Return to the Jazz Age of the Roaring ’20s with the Coconut Grove Davis High School jazz bands’ gala fundraiser.
Playing traditional jazz music starting at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, March 8, in the Emerson Junior High multipurpose room, the night will feature a silent auction complete with mocktails — cocktails without alcohol. Reservations close Monday, March 3. Tickets are $40 general and $20 for students.
“It’s one of those must-see Davis fundraisers … Emerson is transformed into a hip nightclub for the night,” said Stanley Young, the publicity coordinator for the DHS Jazz Band.
For many DHS families, Coconut Grove is a longstanding tradition. For senior band member Laurel Wilkinson, it was an event that she had always aspired to participate in when she was a child.
“It’s a huge tradition, it’s been going on for so many years,” Wilkinson said. “I enjoy it because of the customs; it’s something you can grow up in. You watch it from the beginning (as a child) and then later you can get up there and play.”
Band director Tom Slabaugh has prepared the ensemble with an hourlong jazz set that includes a dramatic ballad. Excited for the night, Slabaugh has worked intently with his students to assemble a diverse array of music.
“Every chance to play is pretty awesome, but this one is a great chance,” Slabaugh said. “People get to hear a whole evening of jazz from six bands and combos from all throughout the district. It’s just a wonderful evening.”
Watching the children perform and reminiscing on old times is a particular perk for senior band member Armen Hovagimian, who enjoys listening to the junior high bands. Hovagimian hopes to act as a source of musical inspiration to the quickly maturing kids.
“It’s interesting to see the younger players and the older players together and watch the younger players get better and grow,” Hovagimian said. “It’s also fun to be a part of the largest and oldest jazz band because then you can think about how you can be the inspiration for the kids to learn.”
Coconut Grove acts as a fundraiser for the bands’ May trip to Seattle and Canada. It includes performances by Sax by Popular Demand, The J Street Jazz Cats, Ten ‘Til Midnight, and the junior high jazz bands. Dos Coyotes will cover the food.
For more information or tickets, email firstname.lastname@example.org.