Photo by Christopher Duclos
Soloists Joe Palasz (clarinet), Julian Amrine (trumpet), Dylan Riley (trombone) play Duke Ellington’s “The Mooch.”

Ballard High jazz band plays it cool at sold out Paramount show

By Christopher Duclos

There were high notes and spirits Friday night, March 22 as Ballard took center stage at the Paramount on their feature in the Hot Java Cool Jazz showcase. With a sellout crowd watching, the students played their tunes to the best of their ability.

Seattle jazz fans enjoyed a concert that featured Seattle’s (as well as the nation’s) top high school jazz programs. Over $50,000 in proceeds from the night’s performances went directly to the participating jazz programs. Since 1995, the profits of Hot Java Cool Jazz have raised more than $300,000 for local school music programs.

“It is the best experience possible for a young musician to play at Hot Java Cool Jazz,” said senior baritone saxophonist Joseph Palasz. “To play some of the most fun music ever written in front of thousands of people is an experience that could make anyone want to play music for the rest of their life.”

Their set started with “Roll Em,” which featured solos by Helen Miller (piano), Palasz (clarinet) Will Radford (alto sax), Thomas Hurley (alto saxophone), and Julian Amrine (trumpet), setting the swing groove strong for introductions.

They continued the energy with Duke Ellington’s “The Mooche,” bringing soloists Palasz (clarinet), Amrine (trumpet), Dylan Riley (trombone) out in front of the band to demonstrate their virtuosity as they played the melody of the tune as well as their individual solos.

The set continued with “Amoroso” featuring soloists Emerson Jordan (tenor saxophone) and Amrine (trumpet) and then concluded with “The Git” featuring Jordan (tenor saxophone), Miller (piano), and Luca Cartner (drums).

For the students, it was a gratifying result for a lot of work.

“All the early mornings, all the work that was put into this throughout the entire school year paid off with performing at Hot Java Cool Jazz,” said freshman trumpet player Mason Lim.

The band will keep putting their best musical foot forward as they continue with various jazz competitions and festivals.

Miss the performance? Each of Ballard High’s tunes have been posted on youtube!

1. “Roll Em”
2. “The Mooche”
3. “Amoroso”
4. “The Git”

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