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Long Beach Jazz Festival

Members of Jazz: (left to right) Eric Wilson, Kyle Van Lant, Tatiana Tate

Ashlyn Morgan

Members of Jazz: (left to right) Eric Wilson, Kyle Van Lant, Tatiana Tate


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Poly students performed at the Mayfair Jazz Festival on February 24 at Mayfair High School, where Poly’s Jazz C ensemble came in first place. They also played at  the Western States Jazz Festival on February 25 at Upland High School where Poly’s Jazz A2 ensemble came in third place and Jazz A came in fifth place in their own divisions.

Those festivals are the oldest and most famous jazz festival in Southern California. Most of the best schools were there, as jazz teacher Chris Stevens said, “The Poly musicians played great!”

For the first festival, the following four songs were played; “Sack O’Woe” by Cannolbal Addrley, “It’s Alright With Me” by Cole Porter, “Breathing” by Fred Sturm, and “Backjump” by Troy Andrews and Mike Ballard. For the second festival, the following four songs were played: “Low -Down” by Thad Jones, “Blue Skies” by Irving Berlin, “ Here’s Looking at You” by Charlie Haden, and “One Sided Coin” by Dan Radluaer.

There were many solos at both festivals, each involving about two or more soloists per song.

Freshman Alex Reams, one of the soloists at the Mayfair Festival, said, “There were about three judges there and I was nervous, but overall I think I did pretty good.”

Senior Madison Alexander, another soloist, did not have that much time to prepare for the festival because one of the other piano players from Jazz A2 wasn’t able to make it. However, according to the judges, Alexander was still part of one of the “tightest rhythm sections” and that her solo had good licks. Alexander claimed that hearing that was “unimaginable and pretty elating to hear.”

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