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Palo’s First Jazz Cafe

by Ainslee Archibald, Reporter

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The Palo Verde Jazz Program held its first annual Jazz Café with food and music to fundraise. The event was held on March 9th from 7 to 9 pm in the Palo Cafeteria. Jazz 1, Jazz 2, and small groups of students played a variety of pieces.

The food was mostly snack food like chips, cupcakes, and a wide assortment of other sweets. There was also a chocolate fountain and strawberries. The cafeteria was decorated with streamers and lights.

The event went over well with the audience. Some audience members knew people in the band, while some just came to enjoy the music. At times, the audience was encouraged to participate and clap.

“It’s really smooth; I would have no idea they’re high school students,” said one audience member.

Mr. Sorsen, the jazz band director, was inspired to put on this particular event from a past teacher.

“My greatest teacher puts on a swing dance every year and it’s a big event with lots of dancing and fun. I got the idea from her and I wanted to build off of that,” he said.

The music for the event featured a variety of different artists.

“I chose Glenn Miller tunes and other classic swing tunes like Benny Goodman. Our lead trumpet player is a Glenn Miller nut and I really like that old-timey kind of music,” Sorsen said.

The money fundraised at the event will be used to benefit the jazz program.

“I’ll buy new instruments. I’ll buy new music. I plan on buying stage fronts… they make the saxophones sound better. I plan on taking the band to jazz festivals. There are lots of great ones nationwide… I don’t have a budget. I don’t really get money other than course fees, gigs, and fundraisers, so I decided to start a fundraiser for to make money so we can go to cool places,” he said. This year, the jazz program will attend local festivals.

Despite audience approval, Mr. Sorsen had mixed feelings about how the event went.

“(It went) very rough in many ways. It’s not quite ironed out yet; it’s kind of raw… We hope to be cleaner and better prepared in the future, but this is a satisfactory first run at it,” he said.

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Palo’s First Jazz Cafe