Last Thursday, The Roosevelt Jazz band performed with the Seattle Symphony as part of their Sonic Evolution concert series. The performance took place at Benaroya Hall in downtown Seattle where the acclaimed Symphony regularly performs.Together with the Symphony, the Roosevelt jazz band performed Migration Series, a composition by Derek Bermel based on a series of paintings depicting the plight of early 20th century African Americans. “It was a very interesting and unique piece,” commented Junior Thomas Hinds, “I enjoyed working with them, but I’m also glad to be done.” The Roosevelt Jazz band had been practicing Migration Series since the beginning of the school year. “It’s been quite challenging,” Hinds explains, “There were some obstacles in the piece that we had to work to overcome as a group.”
The Roosevelt Jazz band practiced with the Seattle Symphony a
total of three times before their performance. “Playing with the symphony was like nothing I had ever done before.” said junior Jack Bylund, “the talent they all possess is just incredible and not only were they great musicians but they were also very inviting. It was an honor to rehearse with them.” Bylund says that even Playing in Benaroya hall itself was also a new exciting experience. “It’s enormous and beautiful, and the acoustics are absolutely amazing. Overall, playing in Benaroya was a honor.”
The performance itself went flawlessly. “There were almost no errors,” reported Bylund. Together with the Seattle Symphony the Roosevelt Jazz band performed the 30 minute composition to full house at Benaroya Hall. When asked about possible future collaboration with the Symphony, Hinds noted he would be “excited about the idea.”
The show was a part of the Seattle Symphony’s ongoing Sonic Evolution concert series. The Sonic evolution features collaborations with local Seattle artists. Influential jazz guitarist Bill Frisell and vocalist Shaprece also took the stage that night, after Roosevelt’s performance. “It was also really cool being able to listen to them after we were finished,” said Bylund.
Next up for the Roosevelt Jazz band is a performance of The Jazz Nutcracker, an annual tradition that will take place on December 5th and 6th. “We’ll be practicing quite hard for that now that we’re done with the Seattle Symphony,” speculates Hinds, The Band has several large performances scheduled after The Nutcracker, including The Hot Java Cool Jazz concert at the Paramount. “Playing in the jazz band is a lot of work,” says Bylund, “But it’s definitely worth it.”
Featured Photo: Roosevelt’s Jazz teacher Scott Brown leads the band in rehearsing. Photo by Conor Courtney