We welcomed an energetic and skilled high school combo into our studios with Mountlake Terrace. Band members included leader Ethan Pyke on trombone, Benjamin Leonard on tenor sax, Henry Smith-Hunt on trombone, Gian Neri on guitar, Andrew Vinther on bass, Josh Setala on drums and Dimitrio Neri on piano.
In discussing inspirations, Pyke thanked his band directors and his grandmother who is a devout musician, Pianist Neri pointed to his brothers, Smith-Hunt said his band directors, Guitarist Neri picked Wynton Marsalis due to his humility, Leonard pointed to his current high school, Vinther said his directors and his family, Treseler mentioned Young and Coletrane and Setala said his current band really inspired him when he was younger.
The band is one of three Northwest finalists in this year’s Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition in New York City. (Roosevelt and Ballard High Schools are also finalists.) Pyke said he’s looking forward to being around hundreds of high school students who are as into jazz as he is, Pianist Neri said he was looking forward to playing with his combo, Smith-Hunt mentioned meeting other talented students, Guitarist Neri said he was anticipating the ‘jam’ night, Leonard is a first-timer to the competition and says he’s eager to grill the leaders, Vinther said he’s excited about the good experiences and Setala is looking forward to meeting new people.
Mentor Saxophonist Treseler anticipates a new release on which he’s worked with Ingrid Jensen.
The combo finished the session with “Blues in the Closet” written by Harry Babasin and Oscar Pettiford.
The Band is directed by Darin Faul and will be part of the 18th Annual Edmonds Jazz Connection Festival Saturday in downtown Edmonds presented by the Rotary Club of Edmonds Daybreakers.