By Katie CicchettoLa Jolla Country Day’s Upper School Jazz Band recently experienced New Orleans jazz firsthand.
William Reed, a music teacher at the school, took 11 students to the New Orleans Jam Fest from March 5-8. The band consists of three saxophone players, three flutists, a standing bass, xylophone, drummer, pianists, two guitarists and a trumpet player.
As alum from Loyola University New Orleans, William Reed was invited by his former jazz professor John Mahoney to bring the band to the annual Jazz Festival.
“It was kind of a big step,” Reed explains, as the Upper School band program is just two years old, and it is unusual for developing bands to compete.
The students performed for a panel of judges, participated in two master classes taught by local New Orleans musicians and were part of a series of concerts.
The judges awarded freshman trumpet player Alexandra Rhodes for her trumpet solo.
One exciting aspect of this trip was the fact that the students were able to meet “the titans of the jazz world,” Reed said.
“The high part of the trip was that the band was able to perform in the Second Line Parade through the French Quarter,” says Reed.
Students also met guest artist Rufus Reid and modern jazz pianist Ellis Marsalis Jr.
“It was an amazing couple days of music and fun. I’m very proud of the group,” Reed added.