From their perch in the suburbs, just northeast of Seattle, the jazz program at Bothell High School is producing some powerhouse musicians. This all-star ensemble’s performance with mentor Jim Sisko was a bold statement that these teens can keep up with anybody.
The front line horns of Richard Connelley's trombone and Preston Lee's sax have earned valuable experience working with Sisko's big band, and they showed it. Both took daring solos and pushed each song with their enthusiasm.
The rhythm section of Jaeda Ferrell and Tucker Wilson at the bass and drums kept the group steady with a solid musical connection more often found in players twice their age.
Pianist Johnny Huynh, following in the footsteps of his now college-age guitarist brother, kept a mostly low profile. But when the time came for a solo, soulful fireworks burst forth from his nimble fingers. Maybe another jazz brother group will take flight in the mold of the Breckers, Heaths, Joneses, Montgomerys, and Marriotts?
Jim Sisko, an experienced jazz educator at Bellevue College, was encouraging in his leadership. He plainly appreciates and respects the talents of these youngsters, and told us that this group has plenty of what a good young jazz musician needs - passion.
It was a thrilling end to a year of wonderful School of Jazz studio sessions and guest DJs, stay tuned to KNKX for much more in 2018!