Eighteen year-old Shelby Archer goes to Newport High School in Bellevue and plays saxophone in the jazz band. She shares an hour of her favorite jazz with Abe Beeson on Evening Jazz, May 4 from 8-9 p.m. More about Shelby:
Which instrument do you play and why?
My main instrument is alto saxophone, and I have played that in almost every ensemble I’ve been in up until this year. This year, I play alto in my school’s wind ensemble and I now play tenor in my jazz band. I also play percussion for my school’s philharmonic orchestra and marching band.
What’s your all-time favorite jazz piece?
"Don’t Git Sassy" by Thad Jones. I just LOVE this piece. We had to play it for our trip to the Savannah Music Festival my sophomore year, and I fell in love. It was an extremely hard piece to play, but in the end it came together and it really sounded great. I also love it of course because of the insanely awesome and long sax solo (bias admitted).
Who is your jazz hero?
Ell Fitzgerald; I love her voice! She can take any song and make it 1,000 times better, I guarantee you. You don’t have to be a vocalist to try to imitate her talent. I try to sound like her on my saxophone at times because she has such a lyrical and soulful attitude.
I love jazz because it's not just one thing like all of the other genres. I feel jazz is a huge umbrella term for many many many types of music. There's funk, blues, swing, shuffle, bebop, Latin, Dixieland, and so many more styles that fall under “jazz.” Jazz is just so great because the people who create jazz music are always the most creative and amazing types of people to be around. I believe you’re not a true jazz musician until you have improvised and created something of your own. Even if it sounds terrible, jazz is all about self expression and self creation, and it doesn't have to make sense. Jazz is inclusive and endless, and it’s not fair that it’s often stereotyped as outdated or boring. It’s so much more than that.
Shelby's playlist for May 4, 2017:
"Hay Burner" – Sammy Nestico
"Four Brothers" – Woody Herman
"On the Sunny Side of the Street" – Jimmy McHugh (arr. John Clayton)
"Blues in the Night" – Ella Fitzgerald
"Groovin’ Hard" – Buddy Rich
"Giant Steps" – John Coltrane
"Groove Merchant" – Jerome Richardson (arr. Thad Jones)
"Boogie Stop Shuffle" – Charles Mingus
"The Bone Zone" – Buddy Childers
"Samantha" – Sammy Nestico
"Donna Lee" – Charlie Parker
"Sophisticated Lady" – Duke Ellington
"First Impression" – Dan Higgins ft Wayne Bergeron
"Don’t Git Sassy" – Thad Jones