Jazz bands, teacher perform in first show

Jensen Pak

With dimmed lighting and the aroma of food permeating the restaurant, the Vibrato Grill buzzed with activity as the Harvard-Westlake Advanced Jazz combo and the Jazz Explorers stepped onto the stage.

These students performed their first show of the year at the Vibrato Grill on Oct. 14. Reservations were required to attend the event. The Advanced Jazz combo and the Jazz Explorers are both groups that are part of the jazz band class.

“The instrumentation of the group is pretty rare because of the addition of Nick Lee [‘14] on trombone,” Jazz Explorers drummer Daniel Sunshine said. “It is not often that a trombone is in Explorers, so we are definitely going to take advantage of that and do some interesting arrangements with three-part harmonies between the trombone, tenor and guitar.”
In addition to these groups, Performing Arts teacher Shawn Costantino performed with his own band.

“My band is a group of friends and musical colleagues who I perform with all the time,” Costantino said. “We played with the students at Vibrato because many of the guys in the band teach the jazz students in the combo classes here at Harvard-Westlake and we like the mentoring and musical fellowship that we get by sharing the stage with our students.”

Although the combos held their first show at the Vibrato, they had previously played at Back-to-School Day and the ribbon cutting ceremony for the Kutler Center.
“I think everybody sounded great that night,” Sunshine said. “We practiced a whole lot leading up to that show and I think it paid off. It was a great way to kick off the year.”