Review: BCC Jazz Band

By Emma Sargeant.
Toes were tapping and heads were bopping at the Jazz Band Invitational, Wednesday, Nov. 19 at the Carlson Theatre. The event commenced with the young talent of Newport High School. The visiting group played four compositions to exhibit their skill. To open their set, Newport performed “One for the Count”, arranged by William St. Laurent. Director Matt Eisenhauer introduced the young players after praising their skill. Guitarist Eli Meisner, and alto-saxophonist Kyle Mark, were particularly exceptional, which became more apparent when the high school students stayed on stage as the BCC Jazz Band began to set up. They too are members of the college’s jazz program. After a gracious applause from mostly Newport High School parents, the second half of the show began with an introduction from director Hal Sherman. Sherman is the most reputable jazz educator in the Northwest. He hosted the Kent-Meridian Collegiate Jazz Festival at the Seattle Opera House for 15 years. He accepted his position as director of the jazz band at BCC in 1995. He has been recognised for his talent and passion, and has been awarded a prize of distinction as the first jazz educator to win the Charlie “Bird” Parker Foundation Award. His ensembles have been invited to perform at prestigious events such as the Montreaux International Jazz Festival, the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival in Moscow, Idaho, the National Canadian Jazz Conference, as well as backing artists like Clark Terry, Frank Rosolino, and the Four Freshman. Sherman’s experience and skill as an instructor showed in the articulate performance by the jazz band. Lead trumpeter Kyle Humann, who Sherman described as, “inhuman to play the difficult pieces,” took the time he wasn’t playing to listen to his fellow players, wearing a loose tie and open-collared shirt. In “This Could be the Start of Something Grand,” arranged by Count Basey, saxophones quarrelled with each other. A duet with 15-year-old Xavier DelCastillo and Myles Lawrence stole the show.