First Annual Commencement Bay Jazz Festival debuts March 24

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The Commencement Bay Jazz Festival will feature high school jazz bands at Fife High School (5616 20th St. E., Fife) and high school jazz choirs at the Performing Arts Center at Columbia Junior High School (2901 54th Ave. E., Fife). Jazz bands and choirs have been invited from schools in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. This festival is a divisional, competitive and multi-stage event serving both vocal and instrumental high school jazz ensembles. The organizers are pleased to present some of the finest jazz educators and performers in the region and the world for our inaugural festival. The festival runs March 24 from noon until 10 p.m.

In addition to the high school groups, there will be two special guest performers, Aubrey Logan and Thomas Marriott.

Aubrey Logan. Photo courtesy of artist

Aubrey Logan

(7 p.m., Columbia Junior High School)

Singer-songwriter and performer, Logan is no stranger to global fame, regularly amassing close to 2.5 million video hits whenever she delivers one of her unique swing-tinged, trombone-enriched, pop covers for the almighty viral sensation Postmodern Jukebox. Now the girl who was “too jazzy” for Simon Cowell on “American Idol” and who won the Montreux Jazz Festival Competition in 2009, takes a charismatic step into the solo limelight to release her debut album “Impossible,” a diverse, eclectic collection of genres and sounds. Logan had always been told that it would be impossible to successfully create a cross-genre album – a claim she has worked hard to defiantly prove wrong.

The daughter of music-teaching parents, Logan turned down a spot at the Montreux Jazz Festival Voice Competition to diligently accept a place at Berklee College of Music. Three years later she found herself winning the Montreux Jazz Festival Voice Competition. At the age of 22, Logan moved to Los Angeles and began her relationship with Hollywood. Logan became the hired gun on many high-profile tracks and live performances and suddenly the talent of Logan started to shine through.

Now Logan steps into the limelight as a solo artist with her debut album, a fiercely passionate serving of defiance, which sounds audibly divine. So, if you think you love music enough to step beyond genre-boundaries, deliverance of the impossible is here – Aubrey Logan-style.

Thomas Marriott. Photo courtesy of artist

Thomas Marriott

(7 p.m., Fife High School)

Trumpeter Thomas Marriott is one of the most exciting musicians to emerge on the national jazz scene in more than a decade. The seven-time Golden Ear award winner is a skilled instrumentalist, composer and producer, always seeking to expand the boundaries of jazz music in all its forms.

After winning the prestigious Carmine Caruso Jazz Trumpet Competition in 1999, Marriott headed east from Seattle to New York, where he gained initial acclaim through his work with Maynard Ferguson’s Big Bop Nouveau band. Marriott completed three world tours as the jazz soloist with Ferguson, then continued to work in New York and on the road with the likes of Rosemary Clooney, Joe Locke, The Tito Puente Orchestra, Brian Lynch, The Chico O’Farrill Orchestra, Michael Feinstein, Eric Reed, Les Brown and the Band of Renown, Kenny Kirkland, Charlie Hunter, Deltron 3030, Ivan Neville’s Dumpsaphunk, Spanish Harlem Orchestra, Steve Wilson, Ritchie “Alto Madness” Cole, Carl Allan, George Colligan, Orrin Evans and scores of others.

Marriott’s diverse interests and skills are reflected in the range and success of his albums. Since 2004, he has produced eight albums as a leader for Origin Records. Three of his albums have made the top-10 on national jazz radio airplay charts, including the 2009 release “East-West Trumpet Summit,” which made it all the way to number one. His albums have been featured on NPR’s “Morning Edition” and have gained critical acclaim world-wide.

​Known for his innovative spirit and broad musical scope, Marriott continues to perform on the stages of the world’s greatest jazz clubs and concert halls, as a leader and alongside the top names in jazz. The Seattle native is featured on more than 100 recordings with musicians of all genres and styles. Since his return to Seattle, in 2004, he has been the featured trumpet soloist with the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra and has been a catalyst on the Seattle jazz scene.

For more information, visit www.commencementbayjazzfestival.com.

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