Reminder: Bigger, better, bolder Jazz Connection coming Saturday

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EWHS students Nebee Yohannes on keyboard and Kyle Bainbridge on sax.

The 16th Annual Edmonds Jazz Connection this Saturday, May 21, promises to be another grand day for area student musicians. This is a “Don’t Miss” event so mark your calendar.

Sponsored by the Edmonds Daybreakers Rotary Club, the Edmonds Jazz Connection is a local music festival, including a full day of performances (from 9 a.m-7 p.m.) from award-winning Pacific Northwest high school jazz programs. It highlights numerous student groups that have performed in prestigious competitions nationwide, and for the first time, includes a special performance by the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra.

“It is a pleasure to join in participation with this year’s festival, and their efforts to support community investment in music education” Said SRJO Executive Director Michael Brockman.

Brockman is referencing a new partnership between Edmonds Jazz Connection, the Edmonds School District and the Foundation for Edmonds School District to launch the Edmonds School District Music Creativity Lab, bringing in musicians from the region to work with students on a regular basis. Look for more information as this initiative ramps up in the fall.

What you need to know about the Saturday, May 21 event:

– Big bands will swing at the Edmonds Center for the Arts, combos be-bop upstairs at ECA and choral groups will sing praises to jazz at Holy Rosary Church.

– A trolley will be available to conveniently get you to parking and each venue.

– Performances and trolley are free to the public.

The day culminates with the awarding of scholarships for deserving students. This year’s goal is to raise $20,000 for scholarships and another $10,000 in grants. Donations are encouraged and appreciated.

“You’d be surprised (I was) at how excited these students are to showcase their talents,” said Karen Shiveley of the Edmonds Daybreakers Rotary Club. “A number of them get paying gigs and can be seen around town at different venues.”

One example cited by Shiveley: The Kyle Bainbridge Combo. “They were recently seen at the Cole Art Gallery during Art Walk and were a big hit. Saxophonist Rich Cole sat in and a fine time was had by all.”

Check out the Jazz Connection on Saturday and “be blown away like the rest of us,” Shiveley said. “It will be on your to-do list every year from now on.”

You can find the schedule and more information online at www.jazzconnection.org.

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