Jazz bands to play along in the South

Two jazz bands from Agoura High School will were selected to participate in the 12th annual Swing Central Jazz High School Jazz Band Competition and Workshop from April 4 through 6.

Produced by the Savannah Music Festival, the event will host bands from 12 schools.

AHS Jazz “A” band, directed by Bob Hackett, and AHS Studio Jazz Band, directed by Chad Bloom, will compete against the other schools for $13,000 in cash awards.

Jazz pianist/composer/ educator Marcus Roberts will lead more than 20 musicians and educators as the festival’s associate artistic director, along with associate director and trumpet player Jim Ketch, director of jazz studies at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.

The participating students will work with jazz masters across three days, play in competition rounds and attend a variety of performances during their stay.

On April 5, all the bands will perform in Jazz on the River at Rousakis Plaza on River Street.

Competition rounds take place all day April 6 at the Lucas Theatre for the Arts.

During the competition, each band will play an original commissioned arrangement of Cole Porter’s “Night and Day” by trumpeter Alphonso Horne, as well as two selections from standard big-band repertoire.

The three top-scoring bands will each receive an honorarium and vie for the Jean Elizabeth Faircloth Award. They will also perform the opening set at the SMF original production titled “Stomping the Blues”at the Lucas Theatre for the Arts on April 6.

All other competitors will receive a $500 travel stipend.