Jazz concert benefits Lakewood music program
The sounds of jazz music flooded the room at the Museum of Fine Arts as family and friends gathered around the stage to the beat of the drums, the tune of the guitar and the wail of the saxophone.
The Lakewood 54th Ave South jazz band and other Lakewood High School jazz musicians had a benefit concert on Feb. 6 to raise money for a trip to New Orleans. The student jazz band played with professional musicians Butch Thomas, Belinda Womack and John Brown during the first half.
"I loved how they entered at the beginning, and I loved the opening song. I thought that it was great. And I loved when that lady Belinda (Womack) sang her song. She was absolutely fantastic. ... I really thought the whole performance was good," front desk receptionist Veirette Lundin said.
According to band teacher Michael Kernodle, the concert raised about $5,000, but the musicians still need $13,000 more to pay for their March trip to New Orleans. The students are visiting the city to compete in the Crescent City Jazz Festival.
"It was one of the best (concerts) we've had at Lakewood since I've been here. Everyone was blown away by their professionalism and musicianship. They enjoyed performing the music and looked like they were having the time of their life," Kernodle said.
The room was filled with about 160 friends and family members, including "jazz royalty" John Lamb who has played with Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Clark Terry and more, Kernodle said.
"I think the concert went really well. The benefit concert we had two years ago ... we only had about 20 people come, so for this one to have a better audience was really cool. We might even have another benefit concert since this one went so well," said senior Chase Goggins, who plays the saxophone.