One of the nicest things about IAJE is seeing the fresh faces - the young talent who are really excited about playing jazz. It's funny to watch them go ga-ga over the professional musicians in attendance. Then I remember how that used to be me 15 years ago. Now I'm 33, and all those kids say, "Excuse me, SIR." Ugh. Go right ahead, kiddo...
The Clifford Brown/Stan Getz All-Stars are high school students. They're selected from an international pool of talent, though this group comes exclusively from North America. They opened the IAJE Gala Concert tonight. They are:
Gregory Chaplin - bass (Hopedale, MA), Jake Sherman - piano (Boston, MA), Conrad Jones - trumpet (Long Island), Javier Nero - trombone (Vancouver, WA), Eli Bennett - sax (Vancouver, BC), Jonathan Ragonese - sax (Pennsylvania)
And from Milwaukee, WI, drummer Carl Allen. He's the ringer.
Seems like the youngsters had some jitters at first (probably because they were playing to a few thousand strangers), but they came together on the standard, "After You've Gone." I could tell they enjoyed the arrangement, a transcription from trumpeter Nicholas Payton's record, Gumbo Nouveau. Hear it now:
Keep an ear out for them. They're the future of our music. - Josh