Photo courtesy of Debbie Greengard.
First Edition and Jam Dallas
Hoover High’s First Edition and Jam bands recently experienced the thrill of performing along industry greats at the 5th annual Jazz Educators Network.
It’s not every day that young musicians get a chance to rub shoulders with the biggest names in the industry, but that’s exactly what the Hoover High jazz bands recently got a chance to do. First Edition and Jam mingled with some of jazz music’s greatest artists and performed before enthusiastic audiences of musicians, performers and students from around the world at the fifth annual Jazz Educators Network (JEN) Conference in Dallas in January.
The bands, which have not had opportunities to perform at the same venue in years, were among more than 3,000 students, teachers, artists, performing arts presenters, music industry partners and jazz enthusiasts at the four day conference, jam-packed with ongoing clinics and concerts that also featured more than 100 exhibitors. The numerous artist-led clinics covered a variety of topics, including performance enhancement, improvisation techniques, jazz composition, the latest in technology and inspiration from jazz greats.
The award-winning First Edition Jazz Band, which also won accolades at the Midwest clinic in 2012, was selected as an official performer at the 2014 JEN conference. The 22-member band was joined by internationally renowned guest artists Tom Walsh and John Fedchock. Various big band styles were performed, including Alabama favorite “Tuxedo Junction.” A rousing rendition of “When the Saints Go Marching In” led by Will Roberson on trumpet and lead vocals, Chris Preuc on trombone, Cory Cheung on sousaphone and Nick Greengard on clarinet concluded the evening concert.
Hoover Jam was selected to perform at the JENerations Jazz Festival, held in conjunction with the conference, along with more than 800 elementary, middle, junior high, high school, college and community musical groups of all ages. Their performance was followed by a clinic session with industry professionals who offered praise, critiques and suggestions to the band.