Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Edmonds Jazz Walk - 2nd Annual Event - June 3

Stay tuned for more info about the 2nd annual Edmonds Jazz Walk. Here's a blurb about last year... https://visitedmonds.com/blog/post/edmonds-jazz-walk-2022- Supported by The Jazz Colony and Jazz Clubs NW https://www.jazzclubsnw.org/

Saturday, August 13, 2022

August 10 update

Final performance has been moved to 1 PM on Sunday, August 28. Please make a note of it. Yesterday we dove into creating background lines during someone else's solo. We talked about how to lead that and the importance of coming up with short repeatable phrases for those. We finished our tune "Leo." I can send you a pdf if you were absent! Homework for Leo - either practice one of the "licks" we came up with over the changes (transpose it over the different chords!) or come up with your own. Options were come up with: option 1) 9 9 1 9 1 4 option 2) 1 3 5 7 6 9 4 or option 3) 7 7 1 9 1 7 6 . Solar: We are playing this as a bossa! In practice your improv this week - see how long you can string together eighth note lines! Can you play for 4 measures? Challenge yourself to keep playing! - Christine Here is the Star Eyes Combo Summary from Tuesday. Today the Star eyes combo worked on reviewing our arrangements on Cashews (the Peanuts themed F blues) and brainstormed ideas for a third tune. On Cashews, we decided on what Paul described as a Bugaloo feel for the head with a repeating funky bassline based on the original peanuts theme. The intro features Spencer and Waylisha on the bassline while Josh, Marcel, and Ella play harmonies on top. For solos, we decided on switching in between swing and the Bugaloo feel for variety. At the end we are doing a tag ending. For another tune we have tentatively decided on Groovin High from the packet, although we reviewed other ideas as well. We played through the head and took solos focusing on expressing musical “ideas” rather than just playing the changes. It is good to know the changes, but ultimately the ideas/phrasing are more important than hitting all the right notes. Remember to keep track of the form of the tune as we play through these. Nice work everyone! This was my last session (Brandt). So I hope the performances go well. It was a pleasure working with you all. Homework: -keep practicing the blues, Star eyes and grooving high -listen to the styles we are playing in: swing, Latin-jazz, and Bugaloo. Notice how we might solo differently in each style -practice the key centers of Groovin High. Each II-V-I is in a key center we can identify and practice. -think about which tunes you would like to take solos on for the performance. Thanks, Brandt

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

July 26 - Getting Hot!

Jazz Colony at EWHS continues with chamber groups too.  The weather is getting hot so the chamber groups stayed outdoors in the shade. 

Romeo's Jam this THURSDAY - July 28 at 7 PM featuring Reuel Lubag on piano. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXwTfNPWn-Q

COME OUT & JAM with EWHS players on Wednesdays at Sea Jazz all summer long. 5-7 PM.


 Address: 458 Admiral Way behind Anthony's Beach Cafe 

At this Tuesday's Jazz Colony session it was especially nice to have some notable alumni drop in including Devon Yesberger and Andrew Fox.  Check out Devon's website for some cool free online lessons ...


Some key advice from Mr. B - "strive to develop your 'hearing eyes' and 'seeing ears'.  All groups continue to strive to be creators while also working on achieving a BIG TONE.

Here's the practice log link - try to create some new habits this summer?


Rehearsal summaries:

Star Eyes Combo:

This rehearsal we continued to work on “Star Eyes” and “Now’s the Time.” For the blues we learned about the leading tones of the blues, the thirds and sevenths and how they lead from one to the next in the 1, 4, and 5 chords of the blues. We then passed around a call and response exercise trying to play confidently and develop a melodic idea into our own spontaneous “blues head.” Possibly, a member of the group will write us an F blues head, so we don’t have to play “Now’s the Time“ anymore. Everyone did a nice job, and we are getting more comfortable with the blues every time we play it.

On “Star Eyes” we reviewed our triads exercise from last week. We also spent time with the chord movement of the A section of the tune playing just the roots of the chords, just the thirds, fifths, and finally the sevenths. This kind of work helps us the expand how we hear the changes and encourages us to start our musical on notes other than the root. We then spent some time soloing on this tune trying to hit the new key centers when they come up.

-continue to practice Now’s the Time and Star Eyes with backing tracks
-Think about a 3rd time our group could play?
-when at home, play with TONE! Focus on air speed and breath to create a beautiful tone while practicing jazz as well as our technical exercises

Bonus Homework (optional):
-write an F blues head (a contrafact) and bring it in for us the replace Now’s the Time

I can hear us getting better every week :) ~ Brandt

Tuesday, July 26 2022

This week, we worked on the same tunes as last week with a focus on “Skylark” and “This is For Albert." Copies of charts can be found at the following link: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1TcU23WhIkX_lqQWQUCPd7FnMc-AsELNa?usp=sharing


Horns- I hope y’all are ready to blow over this when you get here.  Make sure you can play the melody convincingly as if you were a soloist.  We will divide the head into sections for each of you to shine.

Rhythm- Loved the samba groove we settled on, but wasn’t thrilled by our collective “open feel.” check out some more Gretchen Parlato stuff with Mark Giuliana on drums to get some inspiration.  I’ll be shedding my Fabian Alamazan impression! Additionally, this tune would be a great candidate for a drum solo w/ comping behind it. We will keep the vamp in the end the same.

“This is for Albert”:

Boy is that head tricky.  Nice work figuring out the Blakey-isms in the “A” sections, Max.  The hits in the sections that follow the pedals are still tripping up (myself included). Also, listen to how the soloist on the record blow over the “Gmaj7 +4/C#” in the bridge.  It’s simpler than you might think!

Thanks again and hope to see more of you next week.


Hi Fly Combo - We took each section of the chords to Hi-Fly and repeated them, playing patterns 1 2 3, 1 2 3 5, and explained the modes for each chord. Showed the drummer some new Afro-Cuban grooves. ~Milo

Yesterday we continued working on Solar and Equinox. On the tune Solar, we focused on our guide tone lines using 7ths and 3rds. If that's still a struggle, practicing slowly out the playing chords 1 3 5 7 can help solidify mentally being able to find the near guide tone as you play through the form. Our goal in improvising on this tune was taking a shape and playing it over all the changes. Some example shapes were 5-3-1, or 1-2-3-2-1. Practice goal: make up a short shape and play it over the changes with this play laong: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JvpJEMVGijQ&t=22s&ab_channel=GuitareImprovisation

For Equinox: improvise, and repeat! We got a good handle on the changes, now our goal is to get more confident soloing for more than one chorus. Pick an idea and repeat it while improvising with good tone! Practice goal: come up with a new melody (Leo!) on these changes! We'll have Leo vote on his favorite next week. Play along: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W61cA8vQrjU&ab_channel=M2


Stars Fell on Alabama Combo:
Our combo did some listening to a live Marcus Miller recording from 1992 called "Run for Cover" https://youtu.be/cHf7DvVpeiU We talked about playing with style and showmanship and the elements of good solos (developing short ideas and leading to longer ideas, high notes, tricks). We also talked about learning; specifically we talked about more structured learning habits (such as making lists and checking off goals) versus more inspired and exploratory learning (such as going deep into a recording or learning songs). In terms of playing, we learned how to trade 4s with the drummer (and how to keep the form) on the blues. We discovered that playing memorable ideas allows for some fun interactions between the drummer and instrumental players. Additionally, we broke up into instrument specific groups and worked on our own stuff (saxes, brass, and rhythm section). Saxes specifically transcribed a lick from the Sonnymoon recording and talked about the circle of 5ths.

Homework: Check out the Ray Brown Trio's record called "Summer Wind"https://youtu.be/DsVDeLUdk44 and come back with 3 specific things you liked. Think also about the musical communication between the musicians. Additionally keep working on the melody to Solar by Miles Davis https://youtu.be/wszvzhsHI9U as well as working on playing Sonnymoon for Two https://youtu.be/DXMwHVM113s .
- Max B

Sea Jazz on 7-27 photos 
Thanks to Lilia Sanders, Reuel Lubag and Max Bartron

Romeo's Jam on 7-28, 7-9 PM

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Jazz Colony - July 19, 2022 - Straight No Chaser

 Glad to have these swanky new shirts with logo design by Nick Loyd. 

Every Jazz Colony Student would benefit by studying the blues.  Here's a recording which is recommended for all to listen to and choose a favorite chorus or 2.

Miles Davis - Straight No Chaser


Mr. B posted a progress chart in the class to help students that need a goal for their personal practice during the summer. Here's a photo of the physical chart ...

Across the top are a few items which could be addressed each week. Students that accomplish the tasks will earn points for their ensemble (and themselves). Most importantly, you'll notice improvement if you have a systematic approach.  Some items which are listed include:
  • transcribing
  • intentional listening (to jazz)
  • attending a jam session (like Sea Jazz or Romeo's)
  • practicing independently and logging your progress in a notebook (or phone)
  • memorizing a melody
  • playing any lick in all 12 keys
  • attending a live performance 
  • working on any audition material
  • taking a real live lesson in person 
  • sight reading (alone or with a buddy)
  • playing scales and arpeggios (or rudiments)
  • optional area of interest
Take a moment to fill out this google form instead of using the chart in the band room?

Here are the rehearsal summaries:

Solar Combo: Today we worked on transcribing Miles Davis' solo on Now's the Time. We learned the melody and learned the first two bars of Miles' solo that starts at 1:44. We decided a good practice goal would be to learn the first chorus of his solo. Singing first, then noodling, then playing in rhythm in small chunks seems to work best! We worked on Solar, writing out the chord tones on each chord and practicing a guide tone melody.  Practice goal this week: improvise on Solar with two techniques - improvising off the guide tone line (keep coming back to the guide tone!) and then improvise using the melody to guide the solo. Decide what technique you are going to use before you play. Also this week - memorize the melody of Equinox. ~ Christine H

Hi-Fly Combo - Homework for this week:
Take every note in any scale and stack the 7th chord and number each chord with its value. This is called Diatonic 7th chords. We will be playing High Fly and Straight No Chaser so I would recommend going through this process with those tunes as well.  ~ Cedar

This week in the Stars Fell on Alabama combo, we started by listening to Roy Hargrove, and went around the room and identified our favorite parts of the music, which include Roy's unique and beautiful tone on the trumpet, the excellent comping and time feel in the rhythm section, and the joyful feeling of the band. Here it is if you want to listen again: 

Then, we worked on soloing over the twelve bar blues, and specifically honed in on keeping the form over minimal hits in the rhythm section that we lifted from the recording of Sonnymoon for Two. We continued to work on non-verbal contact, and tried to pass solos and comunicate with each other through eye contact as we played. Finally, we transcribed the first 8 bars of Miles Davis' Solar by listening, collaborating, and recognizing patterns in the melody. Everyone is encouraged to learn the rest of the melody by next week, as well as work on transcribing Miles' solo on Now's the Time. - Jack Hillman

Here is the Star Eyes Combo blog summary:

This week we worked on the tune “Star Eyes.” We listened to versions by Sarah Vaughan, Charlie Parker, Cannonball Adderley, and Roy Hargrove. Our combo learned the melody and started talking about playing over chord changes. Focus was on learning the major, minor, and diminished triads at the base of each chord. We played an exercise outlining the triad for each chord as it went by during the tune, and then tried soloing using only notes from each triad.

It is difficult to play with only these select notes, but when we put restraints on our solos it trains us to internalize the tune in a new way. And, exercising like this can spark creativity in our playing.

Afterwards, we briefly reviewed “Now’s The Time,” focusing on soloing with thematic development: taking one idea and playing it repeatedly with variations over a chorus of solo. Mr. B came in and reminded us to use proper airspeed and create more tone on our instruments while we play. Our tone is our “musical handshake.” Call and response exercise ensued, with a focus on creating more tone. This made a big difference.

-review Star eyes melody and listen to a version you like
-practice the triads to the Stay eyes changes along with a backing track/recording
-practice playing with more TONE, do scale warm ups and long tones while focusing on the tone you create in your instrument.

Nice job this week! It’s great to see everyone progressing. Thanks for the good work.

Virgo (Horace Silver)
Practice the head (horns) and familiarize yourselves with the figures (rhythm section).  When playing fast, think slow.  This means feeling larger subdivisions of the beats and generalizing harmonic concepts while blowing.  If you try to cram everything you know into each ii-V, it's going to sound like just that. Time and a light, gliding swing feel are of the essence.

recordings for reference:

Skylark (Hoagy Carmichael)
Check out the changes, they are heavily reharmonized.  The theme of the week continues to be the family of Sus chords and how to effectively improvise over them.  While this largely depends on context, we are trying out the use of 1-2-3-4-5 shapes in Natural Minor one whole step above the root of each sus chord (e.g., B sus13= C# Minor, Ab sus13= Bb Minor).

recording for reference:

This is for Albert (Wayne Shorter)
We haven't spent a great deal of time on this, but it would be good to familiarize ourselves with the tune. This is, of course, a dedication to Albert II, who was the first mammal to go into space. 

Horns: Follow along with the recording and figure out your parts in the divisi sections (trumpet plays top line, tenor plays middle line, and I'll play the bottom).
Rhythm: Check out those pedals and breaks, some happen in the blowing, some don't. Some only happen sometimes.  Also, I love what Art Blakey is doing on the hi-hat/rim clicks at the top of the form.  Maybe we can lift that?

recording for reference:

Conner Eisenmenger
Denis Wick Artist

Chamber Colony got rolling with 2 groups finally. Thanks to Steve for the fun outdoor rehearsal/lesson. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Jazz Colony Lives! - Back in Action - Summer 2022

Jazz Colony Lives! - Back in Action - Summer 2022

After a long hiatus due to the global pandemic, Jazz Colony at EWHS returns with a bunch of enthusiastic students and staff!  Director Jake Bergevin is thrilled to have students learning to love the music and also making new friends back on campus. 

This year we've added Chamber Music too.  Students and staff appreciate Pete Bennett (man on the street) and Lynne Behrendt back as key volunteers/coordinators making things run smoothly. 

New Chamber Music - Woodwind Quintet

Thanks to Christina Medawar and SustainMusic.org we are running two chamber music groups this summer in addition to our traditional Jazz Colony experience. This new Woodwind Quintet is already making great sounds. 

Summer Combos are rolling with the Theme of "Jazztrology". Clinicians include Milo Petersen, Paul Gabrielson, Michael Glynn, Alex Dyring, Conner Eisenmenger, & Christine Hannan. Thanks to all the EW Alumni Coaches too: Brandt Fisher, Jack Hillman, Max Bennett, Cedar Lange, Rimmy Le & Lilia Sanders. 

Come Jam!  

Each Wednesday and Friday all summer students will be performing and jamming at the Port of Edmonds Sea Jazz Stage behind Anthony's Homeport.  Bring your instrument, bring a folding chair and your dark glasses and enjoy the scene.  This Friday will be especially cool with guest artists from NYC as the host group. Check these guys out - Friendship Trio - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ua-vXIvT3q8


Colony Combos are reaching for the stars! We will be working on tunes like Star Eyes, Groovin' High, Stars Fell On Alabama, Blue Moon and other great standards in addition to diggin' into the BLUES.  Colony folks are encouraged to study this recording and choose one 12 measure section which is your favorite.  

Miles Davis - Straight No Chaser

Solar Combo - Theater

Stars Fell on Alabama Combo - A202

Groovin' High Combo - H classroom/mail room :)

Star Eyes Combo - A111

Combo Rehearsal Summaries - good to review each week especially (but not only) if you happened to be absent ...

Hi Fly - Cedar Lange/Milo Petersen
Today we started by listening to Miles Davis’s 1958 Straight No Chaser recording. We then listened to Shirley Horn and Randy Weston’s recordings of High Fly. We also spent some time discussing the origins of both rhythm and harmony in jazz, tracing them back to other parts of the world, all converging in New Orleans around the turn of the 20th century. Milo has requested that we each take a listen to every tune in our books to become familiar with them for next week. - ~Cedar

Solar Combo - Christine Hannan/Michael Glynn
Today we started off by learning the melody of the tune Solar. We worked on subdividing in the rests to have a more accurate entrance on syncopated rhythms. Then we went over the changes of Solar. We learned the difference between minor 7 and half diminished. After that, we worked on guide tone lines for Solar. We played through the changes finding the 3 on each chord, then again finding the 7 on each chord. Then they started constructing a guide tone line with good voice leading. We started on the 7 and tried to find the path of least resistance through the changes. After that, we worked on the blues. We learned the head to Sonnymoon for Two. We worked on improvising over the blues with the blues pentatonic scale. The focus for the horn players was intentionality and tone. Even just focusing on tone made a huge difference! For next week, we are memorizing the head to Solar and practicing a guide tone line for the Solar changes starting on the 7 of the concert C minor chord. 

Rehearsal Notes - Groovin' High Combo

Tuesday, July 5 2022


Students and leader participated in a SEL group activity to begin rehearsal.

“What is your name, the grade you’re going into, and a boring fact about yourself?”



We played through the tune once to acclimate ourselves with the melody, changes, and feel.  The focus then shifted to the practice of ending solos predictably and communicatively with the goal of creating compositional continuity through musical, verbal, and non verbal communication on the bandstand. Examples included making eye contact, playing bluesy licks to end solos, decrescendos, and descending lines and earmarks that a solo might be winding down.

“The Mail Room Never Stops”

Students composed their own original tune based off of modified blues changes taken from Steve Davis’ “Blues for Ant-Man.” Link to rehearsal recording https://drive.google.com/file/d/1c2AtsXyepX9O2NDSGrL8pxSVFIiWz0mp/view?usp=sharing

Next Actions:

  • Learn and practice the new tune.  

    • Matt: research some sus13 shapes that you like that feel good on guitar, both for the Bb7sus in the head in as well as the last 4 bars. 

    • Everyone: have any of you used music notation software before (e.g., Finale, Sibelius)? Are you interested in learning? This would be a great, safe environment to try and notate a lead sheet to print out for the group.

  • Suggestions for more tunes that fit the “Jazztrology” theme.  Please feel free to edit this document and list them below.  I’ll start with a few:

    • How High the Moon

    • Skylark

    • 500 Miles High

    • Virgo (Wayne Shorter)

    • Peri’s Scope (Bill Evans)

Conner Eisenmenger
Denis Wick Artist
(502) 439-5824

Stars Fell Combo 
We kept with the F blues theme and learned Charlie Parker’s “Now’s The Time” by ear. We worked on tune etiquette: establishing a beginning and ending for the tune, playing confidently on the melody and solos, keeping solos a tasteful length and sending other good vibes when they are playing.

We talked about the mixolydian scale and briefly touched on the arpeggios and blues scales to use on the tune. We talked about “imagining” a drummer to keep the beat in your head. I emphasized listening to the tune and finding what notes work best by ear. Knowing the theory is good, but ultimately just play whatever sounds good and have a good time feel.

Homework is to find a version of Now’s the Time to listen to and to embrace practice with an F blues backing track. Also, think of tunes that fit the theme and bring in your ideas next week!
Thanks, Brandt

Jack Hillman

Wed, Jul 6, 9:19 PM (9 hours ago)
to me
This week in the Stars Fell On Alabama combo, we first began by discussing the importance of rhythm in jazz. We discussed a bit of the historical roots of jazz as a music that was born from Africans who were brought to America in the slave trade, and how that history impacted not only the rhythmic content of the music but also its soul as an art form. Then, we pivoted to call and response, one of the building blocks of jazz, and went around the room clapping rhythms that the rest of the group would repeat back. The important lesson we learned from this was that of intentionality, which is important to having a strong sense of rhythm, as if you don't believe what you play, nobody else will. We then did the same exercise using just one note on the horn. Finally, we pivoted to the blues form. We learned that blues is largely based on pentatonics, and learned both the Bb minor pentatonic scale and Bb blues scale, which respectively in concert key are: Bb Db Eb F Ab Bb and Bb Db Eb E F Ab Bb. We also learned the basic form of the blues, which follows the chord changes I IV I I IV IV I I V IV I I (or V). The group finished by doing four bar call and response over the blues. For next week, students are encouraged to listen to Sonnymoon for Two and Straight No Chaser, and for extra work to try and learn one tune from the packet.

Sunday, August 1, 2021

Jazz Colony Big Band performs "Sea Jazz" Aug 25 at 4:30 - Punishments at 6:30

Join the EWHS Jazz Colony Big Band on Wednesday, Aug 25 at the Port of Edmonds Sea Jazz Stage
458 Admiral Way in Edmonds behind the Anthony's Beach Cafe

Special Thanks to the Port of Edmonds, EWHS Music Boosters, Hazel Miller Foundation, Hubbard Foundation, Kennelly Keys Music and Bennet & Bennett Law for their support of music and learning.

The Jazz Punishments Big Band will perform from 6:30-8 PM at this same location.

Keep an eye out for the lineup of musicians to play at the Edmonds Art Festival 
"Jazz On the Plaza" stage on the weekend of August 27-29, 2021