We are so lucky to have our kids is a school that has such a great Fine Arts Department. Not only do they get a great education, they get to do all kinds of cool stuff. Opportunities to travel the world playing venues like Pearl Harbor, Obama's Inauguration and European tours in recent years. The many bands, orchestras and choirs have traveled and competed so many fabulous places.
This year, Alex is a very proud member of the Jazz Band. The cream of the crop musicians are directed by the cream of the crop director, Ryan Adamsons. Ryan seeks great learning experiences for them all the time. Whether it be the Bob Lark Band clinic and performance, Jazz festivals and competitions or visiting musicians, Ryan is always showing them ways to improve and become class A musicians.
Last night we had the pleasure of listening to the perform for a full hour on the stage at the Jazz Showcase nightclub in Downtown Chicago. As opening act for jazz singer Dee Alexander, they did a great job. Solos by Nate Fox and Eric Tranton (to name a few), were spectacular. The audience was not thinking teenage public school music class band performance for a second. They were enjoying high caliber up and coming musicians. Ryan emphasizes improvisation and encourages the kids to solo. They love it and it helps them grow as musicians. I think it's frightening at first, but the confidence and understanding they gain has them comping at the bit in no time.
The surprise of the night (for me at least) was the above clip of my lovely meanager playing an impromtu solo, as much a surprise to him as it was to us. I was so glad to notice the nod and have a quick second to ready the camera. The film quality on my little Nikon point & shoot is poor, but you can still enjoy the performance. I wish I had gotten a few other solos, but another audience member did, so stayed tuned for future youtube postings of the entire show. Int he meantime, indulge my proud mamma moment above