Blaine's own jazz giants

Published on Thu, Mar 1, 2001 by K. Cunningham

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Blaine's own jazz giants

By K. Cunningham

The sound of jazz rang through the University of Idaho’s campus last weekend as 300 bands from across the US and Canada played at the Lionel Hampton Jazz festival. Many famous jazz artists were on hand in Moscow, Idaho to perform and run workshops for the young musicians.

Bands in Blaine’s division competed on two stages. Saturday morning the Blaine high school jazz band took first place on its stage. That evening they played at the Kibbie Dome in front of an audience of 5,000 against the winner of stage two, a band from Oregon, to determine first in the division. Out of the 300 bands, only eight were selected to play at the Winner’s Concert, an honor for both directors and band members.

This was the first time Blaine’s jazz band has won. “It happened so fast – the lights were on, so you couldn’t see real well,” senior Josh Smith said, “so it was like playing on any other stage. It was really cool playing on a stage were some of the greatest jazz musicians played the night before.”