Essentially Ellington

March 18, 2007 at 11:30 pm 26 comments

senior jazz band

Two weeks ago, Reggie’s Senior Jazz Band performed at the Optimist International Jazz Band Festival at Glenlawn Collegiate.  They performed two Ellington pieces:  Jumpin’ Punkins, Mood Indigo, and one Mingus piece:  Nostalgia in Times Square.  Like the Wind Ensemble Band’s performance at the Convention Centre two weeks earlier, the Jazz Band also received great reviews from the adjudicator. 

The adjudicators, by the way, on this Music Festivals, are professional musicians who give them feedback on their playing.  That night, their adjudicator was a lady bassist named Jodi.  “Beautiful music.”  “Classy.”  “Pristine.”  “You were all in tune.”  These are just some of the words she used to describe the Senior Jazz Band.   

The only suggestion she made was to make it dirtier.  “That’s how Duke Ellington played his music and also the other musicians of his time,” she said.  She told the young musicians to use their hips instead of their upper body when playing their instruments.  Give it some sex.  Just imagine what the parents were thinking when she mentioned the S-word to these 16- to 18-year old kids.  😉  Then she explained that she didn’t want them to DO IT, but rather to express that passion in the music.   

And since she is a bassist herself, she showed the band’s bassist how to play it dirtier.  You should have seen his red face. “Don’t be polite,” she said.   “We, Canadians, are known for being polite.  Give it some edge,” she added.  She said that she had been to New York, and that’s how they do it over there.  

She asked the band to play a little something from one of the pieces they played.  “I finally heard that girth,” she said to the band’s bassist.   

She said that she enjoyed their performance.  “It made my weekend,” were her parting words.


This is the same jazz band that’s going to New York.  They are the only Canadian group that made it to the 12th Annual Essentially Ellington Competition and Festival at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City this spring. 

River East Collegiate was one of the 15 finalist bands, the rest of which are American.  Eighty-eight bands entered the competition by submitting recordings of their performances of three Ellington songs.  The two Ellington songs the senior jazz band played at the Festival were also two of the three songs that they submitted. 

I think it’s pretty cool that they made it.  The school is asking for funding from major corporations here in Winnipeg to help the parents pay for this expensive trip for these young musicians.  And they are also thinking of a few fundraising events. 

I just hope that somebody from a major corporation reads this and gets interested in helping out. Just imagine.  They’re the only Canadian group.  I think that’s something.


I will see if I can get Reggie download a copy of their CD, or at least one song, so that I could upload it on this website.  I will also try to learn how to upload the video from my camcorder to our computer so that I could share it with you.

May 28, 2007 Update:

Here are the links to the videos:

Nostalgia in Times Square and C Jam Blues 


Entry filed under: New York, Reggie and his music.

Internet break, good news, and more River East jazz band on The Herald

26 Comments Add your own

  • 1. verns  |  March 18, 2007 at 11:49 pm

    ohhh…*clap* *clap* *clap*

    I hope many will reach out to help the group 🙂

  • 2. rhodora  |  March 19, 2007 at 12:12 am

    Ang galeng! I can see that Reggie is really serious about his music – and at a young age at that! He will go far, I’m sure… Hope he’ll make it to the international scene someday – and make every Filipino proud! Naku, please, Irene, gusto kong marinig music nila.

  • 3. ipanema  |  March 19, 2007 at 12:58 am

    Oh my! It means they are the best! Let him go to music school niceheart. You’ll be very proud of him. This is an achievement itself.

    lol @ the lady jury. Duke Ellington is my favourite!

    yes please, do a copy and post it on Youtube then upload here, ok? I’m counting on that. Be back!

    Good luck to them BTW.

  • 4. Kyels  |  March 19, 2007 at 7:57 am

    Wow, he sure is good.


  • 5. Major Tom  |  March 19, 2007 at 2:32 pm

    Wow this is a major feat for Reggie and in Jazz music to top that. I know for one that it is one of the hardest music to play, perhaps even more intricate than classical tunes. It demands more improvisation and style and as they say, the ‘dirtier’ it gets, the better it becomes. I am a great fan of Miles Davies by the way and that’s just how his music is to me. I heard some Ellington piece and they are equally good.

  • 6. eric aka senor enrique  |  March 19, 2007 at 5:20 pm

    Sabi na nga be, eh!

    He’ll have the time of his life there 🙂

  • 7. pining  |  March 19, 2007 at 5:36 pm

    wow! now, that’s something to be proud of indeed 🙂
    I hope they get the funding 🙂

  • 8. David Palmquist  |  March 20, 2007 at 12:50 am

    I stopped over in New York in 2004 to hear Essentially Ellington on the way back from the Ellington International Study Group conference in Stockholm.

    From what I observed of the 15 bands full of kids, they played their hearts out, were treated like royalty, and had a really good time. And made darned fine music.

    Break a leg, River East Collegiate!

  • 9. Wil  |  March 20, 2007 at 2:03 am

    It’s probably not that easy to move one’s hips while playing the flute. 😀 That lady bassist is definitely a character.

    Good luck to your son and the band. 🙂 Playing at Lincoln Center in NY. Awesome.

  • 10. iskoo  |  March 20, 2007 at 4:29 am

    very nice, Reggie being in the center of attraction. cant wait for the sound clips. hope you can figure out how to share music in the blog.

  • 11. vic  |  March 20, 2007 at 7:06 am


    Have you seen that lady conductor of Jazz Banb shown on French Station? She’s from Quebec and the show is somehow called Jazz Standard and the conductor is not just moving her hips but she’s dressed up Sexy and very beuatiful too. Imagine she, conducting Reggie band?

  • 12. kathy  |  March 20, 2007 at 7:32 am

    Way to go Reggie! I’m sure he’ll go a long way as a musician. And that’s thanks to you, his mom, for making sure he takes his passion seriously. So kudos to you, too! 😉

  • 13. tin  |  March 20, 2007 at 11:43 am

    Wow! Im glad they made it to the finals! You must be proud of him. 🙂 God bless to their band. 🙂

  • 14. sexy mom  |  March 20, 2007 at 12:50 pm

    the S word must have been a new motivating factor to give their performance more uuummph! you must have enjoyed it a lot. and congratus–they have made it to the finals!

  • 15. Sidney  |  March 21, 2007 at 12:11 am

    Wow! Great looking musicians! I hope his group will get the necessary funds to travel around the country!

  • 16. Gypsy  |  March 21, 2007 at 3:29 am

    Natawa ako sa “give it some sex” na instruction, ah. Hehe..kunsabagay, being sexy and jazz music are synonymous!

    Good luck to Reggie! 🙂 You must be one proud Momma!

  • 17. bugsybee  |  March 21, 2007 at 12:15 pm

    Wow, that’s quite an achievement for Reggie and his band! Good luck to all of them. I hope you can upload the CD. I am excited to listen to them. 🙂

  • 18. myepinoy  |  March 21, 2007 at 12:34 pm

    Congratulations and good luck to your son and his band.

    Congratulations to you too for supporting your kid. I am sure you know that unexplainable joy and pride seeing your kid performs.

    I know. I too have a musician son (now 4th year student college of music) who nowadays is too busy practicing up to the wee hours of the morning (sabi ng wife ko) so he can get that dream scholarship in Germany.

  • 19. haze  |  March 21, 2007 at 3:21 pm

    I just feel like dancing ! Wow you must be very very proud 🙂 Nicehear ! Congratulations to your son and to the rest of the band and I just hope that they will have more funds to support them for their upcoming tours !

    Way to go musicians and real artist !!!! It was worth stop blogging for a while, di ba! Sana mapa dalaw sila dito !

  • 20. TK  |  March 21, 2007 at 7:23 pm

    The Duke would’ve been proud!

  • 21. niceheart  |  March 22, 2007 at 9:25 pm

    Thank you for all the comments everyone. And thank you so much for the very kind words. I know that most parents nowadays are very open and accepting and supportive of whatever endeavors their children want to pursue. This is what I have noticed with my interaction with other parents. I know that there were some parents from my generation and the one before that who weren’t as supporting, and whose children have resented not following their desired career.

    It’s nice to know that there are also quite a few jazz fans out there. I for one was not into jazz music until Reggie started playing in the jazz band.

    Ipanema, Major Tom and TK, Reggie also listens to Miles Davis and most of the CDs he asks me to buy for him are jazz music.

    David Palmquist, thank you for dropping by and sharing your observation about the bands at the Ellington competition. I for one know how dedicated these kids are in giving their best performance.

    Vic, I don’t think Jodi is the lady you’re talking about. She’s not a conductor and I don’t think she’s from Quebec.

    Myepinoy, you have a musician son din pala. I can relate to what you said. Reggie also plays the flute here at home everyday. Even if there’s no need to practice. It’s become sort of a hobby. It’s how he passes time. 🙂

  • 22. bw  |  March 22, 2007 at 10:32 pm

    Making it to the finals in NY and the lone band to represent Canada is awesome ! Congrats to your son and to the school as well 🙂

  • 23. Applying for a Canadian Passport « Journey to Honeyville  |  April 12, 2007 at 9:29 pm

    […] offices all over Canada.  So when I learned that Reggie’s senior jazz band made it to the Essentially Ellington Competition in New York, I knew we had to get started right away on applying for his passport. Since I am […]

  • 24. Nostalgia in Times Square « Journey to Honeyville  |  May 7, 2007 at 10:58 pm

    […] band also played this Charles Mingus piece at the Optimist Jazz Band Festival in […]

  • 25. Jazz in the Courtyard « Journey to Honeyville  |  June 21, 2007 at 12:13 am

    […] Place.  This concert series will feature musicians from our local high school jazz bands.  The River East Collegiate Senior Jazz Band performed in one of these concerts two weeks […]

  • 26. New York - A Jazz Experience « Journey to Honeyville  |  June 21, 2007 at 12:26 am

    […] main reason my son, Reggie, and the rest of the River East Collegiate Senior Jazz Band went to New York is to compete at the 12th Annual Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed

%d bloggers like this: