ECA to host benefit concert for EW Jazz Ensemble

‘When You’re Smilin’’: A benefit concert for Edmonds-Woodway Jazz Ensemble
By Pat Ratliff | Mar 23, 2013
The Edmonds Woodway Jazz Ensemble

The Edmonds-Woodway Jazz Ensemble I is one of 15 finalist bands invited to the prestigious 18th Annual Essentially Ellington (EE) High School Jazz Band Competition & Festival held at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City.

And while this is the fourth time the band has been invited to perform at the competition, its importance is not lost to those who will attend.

“This is the biggest deal there is for a band director,” Band Director Jake Bergevin said. “There’s nothing bigger than to be heading to Lincoln Center.”

“We are thrilled to be invited back to New York to play as finalists in the prestigious Essentially Ellington Competition for the fourth time.” Bergevin said. “Our band is especially good this year with many outstanding seniors and soloists.

Beginning May 10, finalist bands will compete for top honors and participate in workshops and jam sessions, during the three-day EE competition and festival in New York City.

But that’s not all, there’s more.

The festival concludes with an evening concert and awards ceremony, open to the public, at Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall featuring the three top-placing bands.

The show closes with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis performing music from the following year's EE curriculum.

“You’d be hard pressed to find a bigger name than Wynton Marsalis,” Bergevin said. “Just the possibility to play with Marsalis is huge.”

The Edmonds Center for the Arts will host a Benefit Concert for the Edmonds-Woodway Jazz Ensemble on Wednesday, March 27, at 7 p.m.

“The ECA is proud to be support the Edmonds-Woodway Jazz program,” Joe McIalwain, ECA's Executive Director, said.  "We hope the community will come out to see the kids perform on the ECA stage and help them raise the funds needed to compete at Essentially Ellington!”

“This really helps the families of the students going to the festival,” Bergevin said.

Featured artists at this benefit concert will include the award winning Edmonds-Woodway Jazz Ensembles, College Place Middle School Jazz Band and Director Jake Bergevin's Javatown Swing Orchestra featuring Jim Sisko (trumpet), Travis Ranney (tenor sax) and John Sanders (piano).

Bergevin is an accomplished trumpeter and vocalist in his own right and his band plays throughout the region.

Frank DeMiero will emcee the event. For lovers of Jazz and Swing, this will be an event to remember.

“This is really an Edmonds event,” Bergevin said. “We have Frank (DeMiero), John Sanders from the Edmonds Community College Music Department, and the College Place Middle School Band, as well as the EW Jazz Band.”

This all works towards something Bergevin said he tells his students, “If you surround yourself with good players, you’ll sound better.”

Bergevin gives give a special “shout out” to the College Place Middle School Band and their director Kate Labiak for their work and support.

Tickets are available at the Edmonds Center for the Arts (ECA) Box Office, 425-275-9595, or online at Tickets are $22 Adult/General and $12 Youth/Students.

The proceeds from the concert will help subsidize expenses that the Edmonds-Woodway Jazz Band and director Bergevin will incur in their travel to the Essentially Ellington Competition.

“We recently returned from the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival with many outstanding soloist and group awards,” Bergevin said. “These students work very seriously on their instruments and rehearse each day at 6:30 a.m.

“Parents also make many sacrifices for their students, so being selected as finalists is a great acknowledgement of all this hard work. I'm grateful to my friends and associates for participating, as they know what a big impact this trip will be for our EW Jazz students.

“This is another great example of how the Edmonds community can come together to make something special happen.”

The cost to send the Edmonds-Woodway Jazz Band per student is approximately $1,400 for six days and five nights in New York, and net proceeds from this benefit will help to offset the group’s travel expenses.

Also on the horizon is the EW Music Booster Club Gala at Edmonds Community College on April 13. The Gala is the largest fundraiser of the year for the Music Booster club and will help fund scholarships to help some students travel fees, as well as fund many other music needs throughout the year for EW music programs.

In preparation for the trip in May, Jazz at Lincoln Center will send, free of charge, a professional jazz musician to Edmonds-Woodway High School in April to lead an intensive day- long workshop of rehearsals, lessons, and master classes to help prepare for their trip.

The free clinics are part of the rich 18-year history of Lincoln Center’s unique music education program, which, by the end of this school year, will have reached more than 450,000 students in more than 4,000 high schools across all 50 United States, Canada, and American schools abroad.

The ECA and the Edmonds-Woodway High School Booster Club would like to thank its Benefit Concert sponsors, Dewar Meeks + Ekem PC and Puget Sound Tax Services, for helping to underwrite this event, and Frank DeMiero for volunteering to emcee this big concert at the Edmonds Center for the Arts.


Edmonds Center for the Arts (ECA) is a non-profit performing arts facility located in picturesque downtown Edmonds, Washington.

Housed in the historic original Edmonds High School building, ECA was remodeled and opened in October 2006 to be a cultural resource for the Puget Sound region through performing arts presentations, community partnerships and education outreach programs.

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