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The Tulsa Jam'bassadors win several awards in jazz competition
[February 26, 2013]

The Tulsa Jam'bassadors win several awards in jazz competition

Feb 26, 2013 (Tulsa World - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- In its first entry in the exclusive Charles Mingus High School Competition and Festival in New York City, the all-city band Tulsa Jam'bassadors came away with first-place honors in three categories.

The Tulsa group came home from the Feb. 15-18 event with the best solo awards for drums and piano and had the outstanding saxophone section.

"We are proud of the exceptional talent that was showcased by (Tulsa Public Schools) students who have come together from multiple schools as the Tulsa Jam'bassadors," Superintendent Keith Ballard said.

Edison sophomore Jonathan Haywood won the Best Drum Solo award. Kaze Mauser, a senior at Tulsa School of Arts and Sciences, won Best Piano Solo. And the band won Outstanding Saxophone Section, led by East Central Junior Adrian Miller.

The Charles Mingus jazz band competition is named for a pioneering jazz bassist, bandleader and composer. It is in its fifth year, but this was the first time any Oklahoma band competed in the finals.

The 20-member Tulsa Jam'bassadors came together when the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame recruited young musicians from Tulsa Public Schools and the Tulsa School of Arts and Sciences.

The group began rehearsals in August and submitted recordings of three Mingus songs to the Mingus Foundation. Only six bands from across the country were selected as finalists.

Tulsa competed in the "Big Band -- Special Schools and Programs" category against the Manhattan School of Music's precollegiate Big Band from New York and the SFJazz High School All-Stars Orchestra from San Francisco.

Ballard said the Tulsa school district is "grateful to the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame for their leadership and to the dedication of these fine musicians. They have represented Oklahoma admirably." State Rep. Kevin Matthews, D-Tulsa, said he is "proud to be a strong supporter and sponsor of these young Tulsa musicians.

"As we look to the future, it is my hope that we restore music education to the levels that I enjoyed as a public school student.

"The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame is in my district, and the work they are doing with young musicians is invaluable." Tulsa Jam'bassadors Directors: Doug Styers and Tim Shadley Band members: NAME SCHOOL GRADE INSTRUMENT Alexis Cota-Gallegos Nathan Hale 12 alto sax An'Nissa Davis Nathan Hale 10 tenor sax Charles Fennell Edison 9 bass Jonathan Haywood Edison 10 drums Renner Howell Edison 11 bass Philip Jenkins Thoreau 8 baritone, trombone, saxophone Nick Johnson Edison 12 trumpet Anthony Jones Washington--11 trombone David Mason Edison 12 tenor, saxophone Curt Masters East Central 10 trumpet Kaze Mauser TSAS*--12 piano Cassy Meador Edison 9 trumpet Adrian Miller East Central 10 alto, saxophone Dylan Reid Washington--10 bass Cody Seibel East Central 11 drums Covey Tims Edison 10 guitar Gabi Trobare Thoreau 8 tenor, saxophone Josh Wagner TSAS*--12 bass James Wessinger TSAS*--11 trombone Sarah Wise Edison 12 trombone --Booker T. Washington *--Tulsa School of Arts and Sciences Source: Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame Kim Archer 918-581-8315 ___ (c)2013 Tulsa World (Tulsa, Okla.) Visit Tulsa World (Tulsa, Okla.) at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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