Jazz teacher moves past gaming phase

Jazz teacher Shawn Costantino spent six hours of his winter break in Miami with his mother meeting with adoption counselors. About a year and a half ago, the Costantino family started to fill out paper work to adopt a child from Guatemala.

Originally, they wanted to adopt a girl from Russia or Korea, but Costantino’s parents were too old to do so.

The baby girl, who will be brought to the family in May, will live with Costantino’s parents. The jazz teacher will have co-custody of the child and will take care of the girl if anything happens to his parents. With all the work put into adopting this baby, Costantino is “thrilled” to be helping a child who would never have received the chance otherwise.

While in the process of adopting a baby, Costantino is juggling many other things. He plays the saxophone professionally around Los Angeles and hopes to play with bands even more after he feels comfortable in his new job. Costantino occupies himself with more than music. In 2004, he was ranked in the video game Madden Football. He decided to enter a citywide Madden Football competition in Chicago, which he won. However, after he started bragging to Harvard-Westlake students, they began to beat him.

“When I moved, I threw my Playstation in the dumpster,” said Costantino.

Most of Costantino’s time is spent not listening to his recordings or playing Madden Football, but building up the jazz program.

The jazz musicians here “have more power than I’ve ever seen at a high school before, and I want the whole country to recognize their talent,” Costantino said.