Durant High School’s jazz ensemble, directed by Chris Satterfield, performed three toe-tapping, finger-snapping tunes at a Jazz Jam at the Straz Student Jazz Festival.
The festival’s approximately 70 students included Satterfield’s 26-piece ensemble, the Patel Conservatory Jazz Quartet, Boca Ciega High School Jazz Collective, led by Carlos Franco, and Lakewood Ranch High School’s Advanced Jazz Band, directed by Ron Lambert.
They played on the Tampa Riverwalk at the Patel Conservatory at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts. A crowd gathered on the shady, grassy knoll in front of the musicians, while boaters went by on the Hillsborough River, a pair of dolphins behind them. A breeze carried off some instrumentalists’ lead sheets but it didn’t stop the music.
Earlier that day students attended workshops and clinics led by jazz musicians Chris DeLeon, Frank Williams, T.J. Glowacki, Butch Thomas, Valerie Gillespie, Dave Rudolph, Noah Bellamy and James Crumbly Jr.
Crumbly, Middleton High School music department head and Riverview resident, served as emcee for the concert and played some jazz piano to warm up the crowd.
“The overriding theme of the day was playing jazz from the heart, holding nothing back, precision and looseness working hand-in-hand,” Crumbly said. He was thrilled to see “the overall level of excitement and enjoyment from the students, professionals and parents alike.”
Students and their directors ended the day by attending a performance by the Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour in Ferguson Hall at the center.
“It’s been a great learning experience for the students to grow musically in this beautiful venue,” said Satterfield, who has directed Durant’s band for three years. “It’s been a very positive thing for the kids.”