Jazz is alive and well in Vernon Hills!  That was the consistent and obvious message delivered by all the participants in last night’s VHHS Jazz Festival.  For the second year in a row, VHHS directors Drew Russell and Randy Sundell hosted the event which included performances by Hawthorn Middle South, under the direction of Chuck Naffier, and Hawthorn Middle North under the direction of Pat Cantagallo.

 
The concert was held in the Little Theater complete with smoke machines and special lighting, which makes it a memorable event for all involved.  
 
Middle South Jazz Band played the classic Duke Ellington piece “In A Mellow Tone” to start the night, including solos by Yuli A. (trombone) and Eric R. (trumpet) and Danny P. (drums).  The Middle South finale was a newly arranged jazz version of “Sunshine of Your Love” by Eric Clapton/Cream.  Mr. Naffier arranged the piece for the band after hearing drummer Carter S. and guitarist Keshav S. jamming after a rehearsal one day.  Solo work by Joey D. (tenor sax), Carter S. (drums) and Will I. (trumpet) completed a high-energy performance which brought long and enthusiastic applause from a packed house!
 
The evening concluded with a combined performance by the VHHS Jazz Band and all 8th Grade jazz students from both Middle South and Middle North on the Latin jam tune “Vamanos!”
 
Congratulations to every performer at the concert last night!  A wonderful evening with music and friends!