Local Jazz Musicians Play at World’s Largest Jazz Conference


    By Barbara Davis

    For many jazz musicians, performing with legendary jazz artists is a dream, and for one American Fork-based jazz band, the dream became a reality.

    The Crescent Super Band proved it could perform with the best at the world”s largest jazz conference when the members opened for the 34th annual International Association for Jazz and Education conference in New York City held last month. The band will perform on Friday at the BYU Crescent Jazz Festival.

    “This spot [at the New York conference] is traditionally reserved for Grammy-winning artists,” said Caleb Chapman, founder of The Music School in American Fork and director of the Crescent Super Band.

    The band, composed of 21 students from around the state, competed to perform at the conference and was not only selected as the top high school band but also as one of the best bands there, he said.

    Being invited to open for the whole conference is unheard of for high school students, said Rosemary Lind, mother of lead vocalist and trumpeter Suzy Lind.

    During their stay in New York, members of the Crescent Super Band had the opportunity to sit on the set of the Saturday Night Live band rehearsal at NBC studios.

    “It was a once in a life-time opportunity because they probably won”t let other bands do what we did,” said Lauren Tyler, trombonist for the Crescent Super Band. “It was amazing to be surrounded by some of the best players of all time in one room.”

    They visited Juilliard, met with the nationally known trombonist Carl Allen and visited New York University. They also played with several prominent musicians.

    The band was fortunate enough to play at this prestigious musical venue but have also performed at jazz festivals in Sweden and Denmark, at the North Sea Jazz Festival in the Netherlands, and recently at the Park City International Jazz Festival.

    Chapman created the jazz band as a highlight band for his music school, Tyler said. Originally, the band was composed of high school jazz performers from Utah County, but because the fame and popularity of the band spread, it has expanded and is made up of high school students from as far away as St. George and Park City. One member of the band flies from St. George once a week for rehearsal, she said.

    The band has many upcoming opportunities and will perform at the 28th annual BYU Crescent Jazz Festival Wednesday through Saturday. The band will be featured Friday night. To find out more about the upcoming festival visit www.byucrescentjazz.com.

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