Jazz Fest 2019

Danny Stock
Jazz Fest welcomes other area schools to GDS to perform before a panel of judges and features a performance and masterclass from visiting musicians.

Brad Linde, director of jazz and creative music, saxophonist
“The jazz festival is in its 20th year at GDS. Before I got here it usually featured local musicians in performance and a masterclass, but I saw an opportunity to highlight internationally known musicians with broader backgrounds and experiences. For instance, this year I brought in Fay Victor, a musician, composer, lyricist and educator based in New York City. The artists I select are usually from New York City and spend several days with the GDS students.”

Benji Ishimaru ’19, vibraphone, Big Band (a student-led jazz band)
“Every year, Brad brings in really cool outside musicians to give a performance or masterclass or both. We’ll practice for about a month, using a few songs from our most recent performances. This year, Hugo Day ’21—who played especially well—arranged a new piece for us that we played during the festival. We exceeded our expectations in Big Band and are happy with our performance. The judges noted that we need to play with a bit more energy. Still, I was complimented by the judges this year rather than only receiving criticism. I credit all my success to my teacher and mentor Brad Linde for his guidance and inspiration.” Watch a video sample » 

Topher Dunne, de-facto member of GDS Creative Music and High School history teacher
“There was a great deal of music in the air from lunch Friday through the end of the day Saturday. Congrats all around, to the many students involved and to the guest artists and judges, on a great jazz festival for 2019."

Alex Carmen ’19, bass, Honors Band
“[In Honors Band, comprised of Eli Thayer ‘19, Xander Davies ’19, Kat Liu ’19, Thomas Heist ’19, and Ben Finkelstein ’22] we’ve been able to play really impressive music well, and it’s been a lot of fun. This year, we played two pieces for the judges: Charlie Mingus’ “Reincarnation of a Lovebird” and Dizzy Gillespie’s “Groovin’ High.” The judges liked the balance of instrumentation we had: a combo of two saxophones, violin, and guitar. They felt we were authentic to Mingus and his arrangements. The judges complimented [ninth grader] Ben Finkelstein on his soloing. I’d like to stay involved as an alum.” Watch a video sample »

Plan to join more GDS musicians at Allyworld at Tonal Park on Monday, March 18 for a set with pianist/composer/educator Anthony Coleman.
  • Arts
  • High School