Jazz students perform at Heights High and Nighttown, May 8 and 9
The distinction between music student and professional blurs at Cleveland Heights High School where there is a long tradition of high musical standards, challenging repertoire, students who play gigs in the community, and alumni who earn a living making music. In addition to Heights High’s annual Jazz Night, student jazz combos will perform at Nighttown, the Cleveland Heights venue that consistently makes Downbeat’s list of the best jazz clubs in the country.
On Friday, May 8, Heights High jazz ensembles, under the direction of Brett Baker and Ben Ammon, will perform a program of jazz standards, including the work of Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn and Michael Philip Mossman. In addition, Heights High alumni are coming from as far as New York City to perform one last time at the Dina Rees Evans Auditorium at the high school before it is closed for a multi-year renovation of the school. The Heights High alumni group, all taught by Baker, includes Tim McDonald (tenor), Ethan Farris (trumpet), Nolan Plunkett (trombone), Adam Gilbert (alto), Jacob Bergson (piano), Abie Klein-Stefancik (bass) and Anthony Taddeo (drums).
Two Heights High jazz combos and the alumni group will perform at Nighttown on Saturday, May 9 at 8 p.m.
Tickets for the school concert on May 8 are $5 the day of the show, or may be bought in advance from jazz students for $4. There is a $10 cover charge for the May 9 show at Nighttown, and reservations are suggested as tables are limited in the dining room where Heights High musicians will be performing.
Florence D'Emilia is a Cleveland Heights resident and parent of a Heights High student.