Thursday, August 08, 2013

Keweenaw Area Jazz Band to play at Portage Lake District Library Aug. 9

HOUGHTON -- The Portage Lake District Library invites everyone to bring a lunch and enjoy "Music on the Menu," an outdoor series of events held on the dock outside the
library.

The Keweenaw Area Jazz Band, under the direction of Pat Valencia, will perform from noon to 1 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 9.

These fine young musicians will be playing familiar jazz standards composed and/or performed by jazz legends such as Wes Montgomery, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Vince Guaraldi, Charlie Parker, and Sonny Rollins.

"These students have played and practiced very hard all year and look forward to this opportunity to provide a listening experience for the community," says Valencia. "Each of the musicians advanced tremendously in ability over the past year. This will be a fun performance. We welcome everyone to come, listen, and have a great time!"

Summer members of Keweenaw Area Jazz Band and the schools they represent include: Nate Miron (tenor sax) from Baraga Schools; Dillon Babcock (drums), Josh Moore (guitar), and Andrew Baes (bass guitar) from Hancock Schools; and Kayla Makela (alto sax) and Isabel Valencia (keyboard) from Houghton Schools.

This band attends a Jazz Festival each year, and they received the "Most Outstanding Jazz Ensemble" award in 2011 at the Northern Michigan University Jazz Festival in Marquette. Each student does this on his or her own time and has great support from family and parents.

"We hope to get the full Jazz band rehearsing early this fall. All high school students are welcome to participate," says Valencia.

The Keweenaw Area Jazz Band is a collaborative effort of the Copper Country Intermediate School District and Houghton/Keweenaw County 4-H. The band is supported in part by a Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs grant through the Copper Country Community Arts Center, Houghton/Keweenaw 4-H, Michigan Technological University, and in-kind support from community organizations.

Library programs are free and everyone is welcome. In the event of bad weather, this performance will be held in the community room. For more information, please call the library at 482-4570 or visit www.pldl.org.

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