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The Anthology Summer Jazz Institute held a concert featuring their second class of young musicians (ages 12-14) on Friday, Aug. 3rd at the iconic club, for friends, families and jazz education supporters.

Previous commitments kept me from catching the first three acts--so I'll apologize to the Miles Davis Combo: Dylan Rowe-trumpet; Tristan Shin-trumpet; Marco Imbimbo-alto sax; Troy Appel- alto sax; David Barrett-guitar; Leif Isaacson-piano; Eddie Kim-bass; Margot Richter-bass, Evan Bailey- drums and Christian Wilson-drums.

Likewise to the John Coltrane Combo: Nick Vedder -trumpet; Andrew Frederickson-clarinet; Steven Kasmir-alto saxophone; Richie Brechwald-trombone; Adley Hiemcke-guitar; Leo Ellison-piano; Owen Cruise- bass; and Harvey Gascoigne-drums.

The Thelonious Monk Combo was just exiting when I finally arrived. Patricia Fernandez-voice; Adam Gordon-trumpet; Chris Chueng-alto sax; Michael Carlson-tenor sax; Skylar Mackinnon-trombone; Elijah Senegar-piano; Cheyne Hamm-bass and Paul Thiemann-drums.

Sorry I missed all these youthful improvisers--especially because the two acts I did catch were awesome. If they are any indication of the results of the program as a whole--it was a smashing success.

These young people came in on Monday, and in four days of intense work, transformed themselves into jazz musicians.

I caught the Vocalists set in its entirety. This was unique in that it featured a mix of students and instructors. Mike Holguin manned the drum chair, Justin Grinnell held down the double bass, Danny Green played piano, and the two students--Patricia Fernandez and Crystal Speros, were flanked by Leonard Patton and Melonie Grinnell in order to achieve that four-part vocal harmony.

You expect great things from Patton and Grinnell, they are consummate professionals. The two students, though blew me away. On Stanley Turrentine's "Sugar" and Joe Henderson's "The Kicker," both girls were pitch-perfect, blended well, and even scatted their hearts out when their solos came due. Very impressive.

The Herbie Hancock Combo was last--and these players knocked it out of the park. Featuring Speros on voice; Kimbal Mackinnon-trumpet; Nathan Collins-tenor sax; Kyle Faulkner-baritone sax; Ian Kaufman-trombone; Scott Roberts-piano; Adrian Holtz-bass and Carson Ford on drums--they came out burning on Hancock's "Eye Of The Hurricane," a notoriously difficult tune.

Special praise to the rhythm section--Roberts knows how to propel the music with well-placed chords and Holtz is an amazing bassist for a 14 year old. Ford kept the grooves happening at all times, and even won a "most-improved" award at the end.

Most impressive was the young lion Collins on tenor sax. This guy is going places in music if he keeps it up. He's got a great sound, solid ideas and a sense of adventure. Speros sounded terrific on "The Shadow Of Your Smile," carrying the tune by herself with a piercing clarity. Faulkner and Kaufman snuck in excellent spots on the funk tune "Uppity," to round it all out.

"We've doubled our admissions this year," said an excited Howard Berkson afterwards. "We hope to double it again next year, and then maybe go National."

So congratulations to Anthology CEO Berkson, Institute director Nate Jarrell, all the folks at Francis Parker Middle School, Anthology, the great staff of professional teachers, and most of all, the talented young jazz musicians of the future.

Photo by David Wahlstrom

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