Many people have heard of Garfield’s award winning symphonic orchestra and jazz bands. It is lesser known that some of the talented musicians in school ensembles also play in their own student-led music groups where they perform covers and produce original music.
One such group is The Unaccompanied Minors, an eclectic-string jazz band comprised of eight Garfield sophomores and juniors. The aspiring musicians got together last spring when they attended the University of Montana Jazz Festival.
“We had played together a lot before [in middle school],” Alyssa Tou said, a sophomore violinist for the group. “That really brought us together.”
Since then, the band has been rehearsing and performing frequently with their folksy yet sophisticated sound through their noteworthy covers of jazz standards and folk songs. Recently, they’ve started writing their own music, suited for their unique instrumentation and sound.
“Just think of us as a string quartet with a rhythm section,” Tou said. “And not classical!” Tate Linden added, a sophomore violinist.
The music group is another space for the string players to venture out of their comfort zones and play without being bound to classical orchestral music.
“This band is a space where I can play music that I like with people that mean a lot to me,” Linden said.
One band takes a different approach to the genre. Small Change, manned by six Garfield seniors, is not your typical jazz band, instead playing a blend of modern jazz, funk, and blues.
“We incorporate a lot more complex rhythms” Avi Chung said, a senior alto saxophonist. “Something that makes us unique is that our rhythm section has some rock and blues influence,” Zack Burpee said, a senior trumpeter.
What is so special about Small Change is that they produce and perform all of their own music. They have been able to lay down great groves at various Seattle-area venues, including the annual Folklife Festival.
They have an upcoming EP that will be soon released on all streaming platforms.
If you want to hear either of these bands perform, they will be performing at The Dane on November 3rd at 7pm. Admission is free.