Young Turks: Jazz is in good hands.

SRJO with Xavier Del Castillo, Ian Frost, Jack Walters

Xavier Del Castillo, Jack Walters, Ian Frost with SRJO

One of SRJO’s most popular programming features each year is sharing the stage with award winning area high school students. This year was no exception.

At last weekend’s “Jazz of the Harlem Renaissance” shows, backed by the entire band, five outstanding high school guest musicians to solo turns in Thad Jones’ 1967 composition “Groove Merchant” earning standing ovations from both Saturday and Sunday audiences.

Check out this 1968 performance by the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis featuring Sir Roland Hanna

Jack Walters on clarinet with SRJO

Jack Walters

Jack Walters, from the Mountlake Terrace High School Jazz Ensemble, won 1st in State on Clarinet, was selected to National Association for Music Education (MENC) All-Northwest band, and was named Outstanding Tripler – on Tenor, Alto, and Clarinet, at Essentially Ellington 2011. Check him out in this 2010 Hot Java Cool Jazz performance of Artie Shaws “Concerto for Clarinet”, adapted for the MTHS band by SRJO’s David Marriott, Jr.

Ariel Pocock with SRJO

Ariel Pocock

Pianist Ariel Pockock, from Newport High School Jazzband, is also the band’s singer, and has sung with guest artists like Wycliffe Gordon and Lew Soloff (but that’s another story). Last year she won the high school division of the sixth annual Seattle-Kobe Female Jazz Vocalist Audition at Jazz Alley, and was selected to perform at McCaw Hall for Starbuck’s annual shareholders meeting. Check out this short interview with Ariel about her selection as a Bellevue Jazz Festival Rising Star.

Xavier Del Castillo with SRJO

Xavier Del Castillo

Roosevelt High School Jazz member Xavier Del Castillo was featured on Tenor Saxophone. Xavier was the only student from Washington State to be selected to the 2011 Grammy Jazz Band, was named Outstanding soloist on Tenor at the 2011 Essentially Ellington Competition, and was honored by an invitation to play in the intimate setting of “Hamp’s Club” at the 2011 Lionel Hampton International Jazz Festival.

Ian Frost with SRJO

Ian Frost

Ian Frost, multi-reed player for Garfield Jazz, was also featured on Tenor Saxophone. Check out his solo on this hot performance of Thad Jones’ “Basically Yours” at the 2011 Reno Jazz Festival. Ian has performed with the Young Person’s Composers Orchestra, was named Outstanding Soloist on Tenor at the 2010 Essentially Ellington competition, and was a 2011 “Hamp’s Club” invitee.

Zack Hartmann with SRJO

Zack Hartmann

And, featured on Bass was Zack Hartmann, from SRJO trombonist David Bentley’s Mercer Island High School Jazz Ensemble. Zack was recently selected to the 2011 Bellevue Jazz Festival Rising Stars, and can frequently be heard with his own Zack Hartmann Trio. Many thanks to Zack and his fellow musicians for sharing their talent. As SRJO Artistic Director Clarence Acox announced at the end of each show, “jazz is in good hands.”

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