GHS Jazz Ensemble Takes First Place at Darien Jazz Jamboree

Toby Hirsch, Nathan King, Lucas Gazianis, Duncan Cavanaugh, Marcos Eizayaga. Contributed photo

On Friday, March 1, the Greenwich High School Jazz Ensemble took first place at the Darien High School Jazz Jamboree after competing against other local high school ensembles.

GHS pianist Lucas Gazianis was recognized by the judges as an outstanding soloist and in addition, was awarded the Gerry Mulligan Award as the most outstanding musician of the entire festival.

Gerry Mulligan was a Darien resident, and considered to be the most significant baritone saxophonist in the history of jazz. He shared the stage with the likes of Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Thelonius Monk, Chet Baker, Miles Davis, Billie  Holliday, Dave Brubeck and many others. Not only was he a brilliant soloist, he was also a noted composer and arranger.

The GHS Jazz Ensemble performed four jazz pieces:
• Carmelo’s by the Freeway – Bob Florence
• When You’re Smiling – Larry Shay, Joe Goodwin & Mark Fisher/Arr. Tom Kubis
• Bugle Call Rag – Jack Pettis, Billy Meyers & Elmer Schoebel/Arr. Duke Ellington
• Kind of Dukish/Rockin’ in Rhythm – Harry Carney, Duke Ellington & Irving Mills

Hamden High School was awarded 2nd place and Staples High School was awarded 3rd place.

The other participating schools were King School, Fairfield College Preparatory School, Port Chester High School, Norwalk High School, Wilton High School, Fairfield Warde High School Brien McMahon High School and Darien High School (in exhibition).