With fewer than 13,000 residents, Medfield may be considered a small New England town, but when it comes to jazz, the sax is king here.
On April 9, for Medfield’s annual Jazz Night, one especially big Grammy-nominated tenor will take the stage: Donny McCaslin from New York City. McCaslin will perform with the Medfield High School Jazz Band, which earned a slot once again in the Essentially Ellington competition with Wynton Marsalis at Lincoln Center, May 8 to 10. Medfield is one of only 15 jazz bands from across North America to have been named a 2014 Ellington finalist. This will be Medfield’s fourth trip to Lincoln Center since 2005.
“The saxophone is considered to be one of the most iconic instruments in jazz music, and with such great sax talent right here in Medfield, McCaslin was a natural choice as a guest artist,” said Medfield Music Director Doug Olsen.
Medfield is home to highly
regarded tenor saxophonist and composer Jerry Bergonzi, who performs regularly
in the Boston area and worldwide, is author of the Inside Improvisation
Series, teaches at New England Conservatory, and squeezes in helping local students when he’s around.
has taught and mentored a new generation of saxophonists in his hometown, including
Medfield High School junior Anton Derevyanko, who was first tenor in the
Massachusetts All-State Jazz Band last year which performed at the 2013 Newport
Folk Festival, and 8th grader Ryan MacLean, who earned a second
chair spot in the prestigious New England Conservatory Youth Jazz Orchestra in
2012 and is the first Medfield middle school music student invited to play up
with the award-winning high school jazz band.
Medfield community, and its music students and educators are excited about the
town’s reputation as a jazz leader, and especially about McCaslin’s appearance
at Jazz Night.
Said sax player Ryan Dexter, director of the
Blake Middle School Jazz Band where Medfield music students get their first
taste of jazz, “Donny
McCaslin is one of the top jazz saxophonists performing today. He not only has a reputation as a great
musician, but also as an outstanding teacher of jazz music.”
Also performing at Jazz Night: Medfield High School Jazz Choir and Jazz Lab Band, and the Middle School Jazz Band. Over the years, these ensembles have also earned awards at various festivals.
Jazz Night, presented by Needham Bank, is open to the public; doors open at 6:45 p.m.; and tickets are $10 for adults; $5 for seniors, students and children. Regular tickets only can be purchased online via www.medfieldmusicassociation.com, but all tickets can be purchased at Park Street Books or Needham Bank, or at the door on April 9.
ticket sales benefit the entire Medfield Music Program; additional fundraising
in the lobby at Jazz Night as part of the “Dollars for Duke” campaign will help
support the Medfield High School Jazz Band trip to the Essentially Ellington
sponsors include Roche Bros., Clay Family Dealerships, and Zullo Gallery Center
for the Arts. Jazz Night is also supported by a grant from the Medfield
Cultural Council, a local entity of the Massachusetts Cultural Council.