The Jazz Club is a community of musicians who meet almost every day at lunch to practice what they love: jazz music.
The club is well known in the band room but does not get any other exposure as it was not at this years’ club fair. Most of the people at Jazz Club heard about it from other people in their band classes. Currently, the majority of participants are freshmen who wanted to meet new people and network.
Joseph Bazarsky, a senior, does not have one definitive favorite jazz musician, but some of his top picks include John Coltrane, Bill Evans, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Esperanza Spalding, and Eliane Elias.
“There’s just so much character to the music,” Bazarsky said. “Only in jazz can you go from the powerful, complex harmonies of Bill Evans to the simple, catchy melodies of Horace Silver.”
The club watches YouTube videos of jazz performances at some meetings if there is something new to be seen. Typically they watch videos from the Tower Of Power, a band that started in 1968 in Oakland, CA.
According to Brian Switzer, the assistant music director and club adviser, the Jazz Club has existed at Carlmont since the 1960s. Some Carlmont alumnae are even making a living off of playing their music.
A well-known jazz player from Carlmont is Dana Leong. Since graduating, his music has led him to two Grammy awards and a career as a composer, producer, and, of course, musician.
“It’s pretty wild to see kids go from absolute beginner to extreme competence within two years. They’re very eager learners and open to suggestions. Their relationship with music is self-driven, not guided by an instructor,” Switzer said.
The club usually plays the more commonly recognized jazz pieces, and suggestions on which pieces to play are taken from the group. The group throws out what they think would be an interesting piece to learn, and, a few minutes into lunch, they are playing as if they had been practicing for weeks.
“I like the whole vibe of playing jazz. Once you kind of get into jazz, you’re into it forever,” said Lorenzo Wolczko, a freshman.