Jazz group Edmonds Woodway High School ends its year in style in North Bend


The pandemic years have been particularly difficult for young jazz musicians, at their best neck and neck in large bands. Led by Jake Bergevin, the Edmonds-Woodway High School jazz band showed some signs of rust during a performance at the KNKX School of Jazz in North Bend.

Bergevin praised the determination and dedication of this year’s group. A talented quartet of Edmonds-Woodway’s finest proved their point on stage at Boxley’s with top brass player Jerome Smith acting as mentor.

Led by the confident Talli Kimani on alto saxophone, Smith was joined front row by Nick Reinhadt on tenor saxophone, Don Tran on double bass and recent School of Jazz guest DJ Max Bartron on drums.

Jerome Smith is a veteran brass player, but he’s new to the Seattle area. He came away with a new appreciation for the heritage of Northwest jazz education, in which the Edmonds-Woodway program plays a major role.

The young musicians finally got together in the music room at EWHS this year and talked about how important the jazz band is to their return to school. As for their previous days in distance learning, Kimani and Bartron both shared how listening to jazz inspired him.

The EWHS ensemble played three different tunes in the cozy confines of Boxley and produced a massive sound from their cleverly arranged quintet.

1. Bolivia (Cedar Walton)
2. Walk the Earth (Jerome Smith)
3. The Theme (Miles Davis)

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Henry R. Wright