CHS jazz top combo plays for famous trumpet player Wynton Marsalis

Wynton Marsalis whoops for CHS student, Jake Lee.

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For the past month, CHS’s top combo in the jazz program has been putting in extra time: outside rehearsals at their homes and late pizza dinners at school with Jack Wagner the jazz teacher at CHS. They are preparing in anticipation of a gala for the U of M University Musical Society donors, meaning that they would be playing in front of the famous trumpet player, Wynton Marsalis. Marsalis is the Director of the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Director of Julliard’s jazz program, 9 time Grammy award winner and a Pulitzer prize winner.

CHS senior and bassist in the top combo, Jonah Eichner, has been playing guitar since he was in the fourth grade but only began to love jazz after joining the Community jazz program at Community during his freshman year. He now plans on studying jazz in college.

“[The jazz world] is a much smaller circle than say the pop music world,” said Eichner. “The jazz program at CHS is so well recognized they get a lot of amazing opportunities.”

Eichner feels extremely lucky to be at CHS for the jazz program. He feels lucky to be in the realm of jazz at all because the artists are so generous.

“The whole art form came out of spoken word traditions being passed down from generation to generation,” Eichner said. “I think a lot of the big name jazz artists are really into disseminating their knowledge from their lives onto the younger generation of people who are interested.”

Marsalis was not going to break the tradition as throughout the night he encouraged and whooped as the jazz players performed.

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