The Blackford Theater came alive on March 15 for the annual Evening of Jazz, a concert featuring student musicians from all three campuses playing selections both modern and classic. The Upper School Jazz Band, directed by Chris Florio, got things under way with the famous Latin-flavored Dizzy Gillespie tune “Manteca,” and contined with the theme song to the most recent James Bond film, “Skyfall,” sung by Nina Sabharwal, grade 12.
Louis Hoffman and the Lower School Jazz Ensemble took the stage next, kicking off their set with a piece by student Anika Fuloria, grade 4, titled “Jazz in the Park,” followed by Horace Silver’s “Song for My Father” and the theme to the late 1950s-early ’60s television show “Peter Gunn” by Henry Mancini.
Harker Winds, the grade 6 middle school ensemble directed by Dave Hart, then performed their own arrangement of the 1930s American popular song “You Are My Sunshine” and “Cantaloupe Island” by Herbie Hancock. Hart proceeded to lead the Middle School Jazz Band in a set of four tunes, including “Four” by Miles Davis and “St. Thomas” by Sonny Rollins. The middle school musicians were soon after joined by the lower school jazz ensemble to perform Miles Davis’ “Blues by Five.”
Count Basie’s lively “Jive at Five” was the first of five songs performed by the Upper School Lab Band, directed by Hart, followed by no fewer than three Horace Silver songs and finishing with “Malaguena” by Ernesto Lecuona. Florio and the Upper School Jazz Band returned to perform a five-song set, including the Broadway favorite “My Funny Valentine,” the Irving Berlin classic “Blue Skies” and concluding with “Frequent Flyer” by Rich Woolworth.
The show ended with the jazz bands from the upper and middle schools performing the familiar favorite “When the Saints Go Marching In.”