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On Friday, August 12, DigiPen Institute of Technology’s student jazz ensemble performed at Kirkland Summerfest, a celebration of art and music, at Marina Park in downtown Kirkland. This was the first public performance by a DigiPen student ensemble.

“The students performed professionally and brilliantly,” says Lawrence Schwedler, Program Director of DigiPen’s Sound Design Programs and Chair of the Department of Music. “They were the first band to play at the festival, and were very well received.”

Ian Shores, a senior DigiPen student pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Music and Sound Design (BAMSD) degree, worked the microphone and announced the ensemble’s pieces, which included such jazz standards as “Route 66” by Bobby Troup and “Summertime” by George Gershwin, as well as video game tunes including the “Jungle Japes Overworld Theme” from Donkey Kong 64and the theme song from Angry Birds.

The following members of the DigiPen Jazz Ensemble played at Kirkland Summerfest and are all pursuing degrees from the BAMSD program:

  • Evan Alderete (senior), alto saxophone
  • Grey Davenport (senior), tenor saxophone
  • Shauny Jang (senior), vocals and piano
  • Phillip Klassen (senior), violin

The following musicians also played for the DigiPen Jazz Ensemble at Kirkland Summerfest:

  • Robert Snyder (recent graduate), bass
  • Ian Shores (senior), percussion and piano
  • Tacket Brown (adjunct faculty member), drums
  • Bruce Stark (faculty member), band director, arranger, and congas

Bruce Stark, Senior Lecturer of Music Theory and Composition and the Director of the DigiPen Jazz Ensemble, says the group has long-term goals of becoming an established local band in the Seattle metropolitan area. “Our BAMSD program is young,” says Mr. Stark. “We just graduated our first class, and we are very excited that in addition to our regular concerts in the Bits & Bytes Café, we are now ready to perform off campus on the public stage.”

Watch a clip from the performance below and enjoy Phillip Klassen’s violin solo from the classic jazz tune Summertime!