JEFFERSON — On April 16 Jefferson Area High School held its first Jefferson Jazz Festival which included stage bands from all over Ashtabula County, Jefferson, Edgewood, Geneva, Pymatuning Valley and Grand Valley. Director of bands at Jefferson and the host director of the festival, Fred Burazer, took the stage to introduce and welcome everyone to Jefferson. The house was full with standing room only.
Taking the stage first was Jefferson Area Junior High School Stage Band. Playing “Honkey Tonk Shuffle” first, the music set the tone for the night, as everyone’s spirits were boosted and were excited to see the rest of what the festival had to bring. Finishing their performance for the night, they played “Bag’s Groove.” The crowd cheered and applauded in support as the band’s hard work had paid off. The Grand Valley Jazz, directed by Tim Carlson, was next to perform. Playing “On Broadway” and “Georgia on My Mind,” the band received cheers and applause. Finishing their performance was the famous piece “Heard it Through The Grapevine.” Audience members were caught singing along to the song.
Performing the most pieces was Pymatuning Valley Jazz Band, directed by John Hulburt. The 20-member band started their performance off by playing “Big Noise from Winnetlea,” followed by “Sing, Sing, Sing” and “Cool.” Ending their performance on a great note, they played “Jump, Jive and Wail.”
Geneva Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Gianna Colella, was then introduced by Burazer. Starting their performance they played “Keys to the Heart” followed by “Count Bubba” and “Baytrail Shuffle.” Though the band only contained 12 members they wowed the audience with their talent.
The final guest band, Edgewood Jazz Ensemble I, directed by John Shamp, took the stage. Edgewood started their performance off with “In the Mood,” which did put the crowd in the mood to hear more. Next, they played “One by One,” followed by their closing piece “Sea of Love.” The 17-member band received applause after applause.