Jazz performs in Vibrato Recording Studio

Elizabeth Madden

Jazz Band recorded a compilation of songs Jan. 12 in order to enter a competition to be featured in the Next Generation Monterey Jazz Festival.

The festival will take place April 5-7. It will include performances by middle school through college level ensembles as well as competitions. The top high school and college-level big bands and vocal ensembles will be invited to perform at the annual Monterey Jazz Festival, which will take place Sep. 20-22.

Contestants will be notified of their status this month.

“This is the first time Jazz Band has entered this competition,” Jazz instructor Shawn Costantino said, “We have a lot of talent this year, so we thought we should go for it.”

The musicians recorded the CD at the Bridge Recording Studio, one of the most sought-after studios in Los Angeles and one of the best in the world, according to jazz band musician Robert Lee ’14.

Musicians played as one big band for some songs and in separate ensembles for others, such as the Jazz Explorers and the Advanced Jazz Combo.

“Playing in studios is all about precision and getting every note right,” Lee said. “On stage, it’s more about feeding off the energy of your fellow musicians and the crowd.”

Some tracks featured on the album are classic big band charts such as Duke Ellington’s “Blue Cellophane” and “Us” by Thad Jones, Lee said.

“[Head of School Jeanne] Huybrechts stopped by for about two hours [while we were recording]” Costantino said, “It was really cool that she came out and supported us.”  The musicians spent eight hours recording in the studio, starting at 9 a.m.

“[We] played through the tracks a bunch of times, and then listened to see where our errors were and which track to choose from,” Lee said. “Each song got maybe around three takes. Mr. Costantino stuck around with the sound engineers [after we were done recording] editing and perfecting each track with a fine tooth comb to get the best result possible.”

Each student received a copy of the CD, and a few students have put tracks up on their Facebook pages as well as the music-sharing site Soundcloud to share with friends and family.

“I will certainly remember such a special day, because it was a huge step for our jazz band and new in the sense that we’ve never recorded together before,” Lee said.