Susan Jenkins is vice president of the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra board of directors. Her guest post celebrates two landmarks for SRJO and all of our supporters.
SRJO has a widening circle of friends who support the band with their attendance, money and good will. All of us who have fallen for SRJO want to be connected with the band, and we know the band love-love-loves us back, but how do we REALLY know?
Well, now we know. In honor of the CD release of Jimmy Heath’s “Endless Search” performed by Heath and SRJO, and because it’s the fifteenth year of performance, the SRJO hosted backstage receptions after inspiring presentations of Duke Ellington’s “Far East Suite” June 19 and 20, at Benaroya Hall and the Kirkland Performance Center.
Clearly, we all were ready for a party after the very high level of performance by the band, which mastered a captivating set of Ellington and Billy Strayhorn pieces. Happy and energized longtime donors, former board members and other diverse guests came to the “green room” musicians’ area backstage meet the band and enjoy food, drinks, and a special anniversary cake. Talk was all about music, especially the great pleasure of this concert, although a number of times I heard the equivalent of “But you know, I really loved the Ray Charles concert this year!”
Also performing was this year’s crop of outstanding high school jazz band graduates, who wowed the audience with their early mastery of the instruments and the jazz.
The backstage setting for the reception gave people a sense of being with SRJO in a more connected way. All of us who perform or support arts organizations know that our audiences are an irreplaceable part of the music! We want to make certain that our circle is strong, and that the purpose of the music is to share the joy.
You can order your copy of “The Endless Search” here. Spread the word!