The Advanced Jazz Combo, Jazz Explorers and two Studio Jazz Combos performed at the Catalina Bar and Grill on March 19 as a part of the Young Artist Jazz Series.
The four jazz groups were invited to perform, though the Young Artist Jazz Series is mostly targeted at college groups. The series, which began in 1996, has launched the careers of jazz musicians such as Zane Musa and Anthony Wilson.
“[The program was launched] with the goal of providing a forum for local young jazz artists to showcase their talents in front of a live audience, while giving the community the opportunity to support and enjoy these musicians,” the Catalina Bar and Grill website said. “The performers are selected mostly from recommendations made by teachers or musicians in mentoring positions.”
Harvard-Westlake jazz groups have performed at the Catalina Bar and Grill in the past but never in such large numbers.
“This was the first time more than one or two combos were invited,” Jazz Director Shawn Costantino said. “It is a real sign of growth for our program.”
The musicians collectively earned $500 for their performance, but Costantino has chosen to donate the money to the financial aid program.
“It was the right thing to do,” Costantino said. “It is always beneficial to give money to the school and generate good will.”
Each group performed four to five numbers, including original numbers by Jazz Band member Jason Oberman ’15 and Jazz Explorers Daniel Sunshine ’13 and Nick Lee ’15.
“It was fantastic to be able to play at such a well-respected jazz institution,” Studio Jazz Combo member Zach Bushkin ’14 said. “It’s not only known in Los Angeles, but also across the country.”