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Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival leaves audience on their feet

EZEKIEL NELSON | Evergreen photographer

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The closing night of the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival was a night filled with incredible performances from the Lionel Hampton Big Band, student musician debuts, an electric crowd and beautiful music.

The night began with the introduction of the Lionel Hampton Big Band and wishing band member James Stewart a happy birthday. The crowd members immediately showed their energy by singing Happy Birthday, and the show got off to a roaring start.

During the Big Band performances, the spotlight alternated between different soloists, giving them each their big moment. The show included performances from artists such as Corey Christiansen on guitar, Julia Keefe with her award-winning voice, Claudio Roditi on trumpet and Jason Marsalis on percussion.

In one of the band’s last performances, the members of the trumpet section built off each other’s solos, creating a dynamic tune like no other. By the end of the performance, the crowd rose from their seats for an ovation.

The next portion of the night was dedicated to student band performances, featuring Semiahmoo Secondary School from Surrey, British Columbia; Mount Boucherie Secondary School from West Kelowna, British Columbia; and Jane Addams Middle School from Seattle.

Each performance displayed tremendous talent, skill and an undeniable passion for music. Band members from the Jane Adams Middle School left the crowd in its second standing ovation of the night after a top-notch performance.

The final segment of the night featured four-time Grammy Award winner and virtuoso Esperanza Spalding. She started her performance by engaging with the crowd in rhythmic clap. As the crowd kept the beat, Spalding sang and played bass in perfect harmony.

She performed a variety of songs, displaying her ability to leave an audience in complete awe. Spalding concluded the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival on the best possible note.

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Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival leaves audience on their feet