Friday, January 11, 2013

Tarpon Springs High School Jazz Ensemble to Represent Florida at Savannah Music Festival


Twelve of the nation’s top high school jazz bands have been selected to participate in the eighth annual SWING CENTRAL JAZZ High School Jazz Band Competition & Workshop, an event produced by the Savannah Music Festival (SMF). Pianist/composer Marcus Roberts leads a group of 19 esteemed musicians/educators as the Associate Artistic Director, along with Associate Director Jim Ketch, trumpet player and Director of Jazz Studies at UNC Chapel Hill.

Participating students work with jazz masters across three days, perform in showcases on Savannah’s River Street, play in competition rounds, and attend a variety of SMF performances during their stay, which takes place from March 27 through 29, 2013. “It was difficult process to select our twelve high school bands from a very strong group of applicants. We look forward to hosting talented young musicians from as far away as California while welcoming first-time participants from the Savannah Arts Academy,” remarks Associate Artistic Director Marcus Roberts. “We will have a great group of world-class musicians working with these bands in team settings during the festival. I’m looking forward to it.”

In 2013, the nationally recognized SWING CENTRAL JAZZ program features the following bands going head-to-head for $13,000 in cash

Agoura High School Studio Jazz Band from Agoura High School (Agoura Hills, CA) Agoura High School Jazz “A” from Agoura High School (Agoura Hills, CA) Charleston School of the Arts Jazz from Charleston School of the Arts (Charleston, SC) Camden Creative Arts Jazz Band from The Creative Arts Morgan Village Academy (Camden, NJ) Denver School of the Arts Jazz Workshop Orchestra from Denver School of the Arts (Denver, CO) Downers Grove South High School Jazz Ensemble from Downers Grove South High School (Downers Grove, IL) Grissom High School “A” Jazz Band from Grissom High School (Huntsville, AL) Lower Moreland High School Jazz Ensemble from Lower Moreland High School (Huntingdon Valley, PA) Overton High School Blue Jazz Ensemble from Overton High School (Memphis, TN) Savannah Arts Academy Jazz Band One from Savannah Arts Academy (Savannah, GA) Tarpon Springs High School Jazz Ensemble Ifrom Tarpon Springs High School (Tarpon Springs, FL) The Lovett School Jazz Ensemble from The Lovett School (Atlanta, GA)

The 2013 SWING CENTRAL JAZZ clinician team includes:

Jim Ketch
Marcus Printup
Terell Stafford

Bill Kennedy
Stephen Riley
Jack Wilkins

Wycliffe Gordon
Ron Westray
Paul McKee

Dave Stryker
Jason Marsalis
Leon Anderson
Herlin Riley

Carlos Henriquez
Rodney Jordan
Rodney Whitaker

Marcus Roberts
Aaron Diehl
Dan Nimmer
Bill Peterson

As part of SWING CENTRAL JAZZ, each participating band receives a visit from a clinician in February to help them prepare for the event. On March 28, all bands perform in public showcases at Rousakis Plaza on River Street. On March 29, select combos perform on Reynolds Square. Competition rounds take place all day on March 29 at the Lucas Theatre for the Arts, and are webcasted for family and friends who aren’t able to make the trip to Savannah. Each band plays three selections: “Billie’s Bounce” composed by Charlie Parker and arranged by clinician Paul McKee, “Such Sweet Thunder” composed by Duke Ellington and arranged by Billy Strayhorn and “Oh!” composed and arranged by Ernie Wilkins. 

The three top-scoring bands each receive an honorarium and vie for the coveted Faircloth Award ($5000 for first, $2500 for second and $1000 for third place) and perform the opening set at the SMF production “Saxophone Summit” (featuring Ted Nash, Charles McPherson, Walter Blanding, Joe Temperley and many others) at 7:00 p.m. that night. Other competitors receive a $500 travel stipend.

SWING CENTRAL JAZZ is sponsored by Wet Willie’s Management Corp.
and Bob & Jean Faircloth, and in part by Garibaldi’s CafĂ©.
Additional support for finale concert is by Rus & Jan Boekenheide and Georgia Public Broadcasting, and is also shared by Mr. & Mrs. W. Mack Webner.

The Savannah Music Festival (SMF) is dedicated to presenting a world-class celebration of the musical arts by creating timeless and adventurous productions that stimulate arts education, foster economic growth, and unite artists and audiences in Savannah. Now in its 24th year, SMF is Georgia’s largest musical arts event and one of the most distinctive cross-genre music festivals in the world. The 2013 festival takes place from March 21st through April 6th in intimate venues throughout Savannah’s historic district. For more information visit

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