Lively jazz music fills Parkrose High Atrium

INCLUDES TUNEFUL VIDEO | Here’s what you missed, if you didn’t attend this fun outer East Portland concert …

Lots of people come to the Atrium in Parkrose High School for a jazz concert.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

At Parkrose High School (PHS), in the Atrium, folks started gathering on the evening of April 24 for the annual Spring Swing concert.

Families of Parkrose High band students brought a wide variety of dessert treats and beverages for the attendees to purchase and enjoy.

Telling about the concert – and, later, introducing the program — is PHS Band Director Keija Lee.

While Jessika Smith, who mentors the Parkrose Jazz Band, was busy making the final concert arrangements, PHS Band Director Keija Lee told about it: “We’re putting on our annual Spring Swing. The professional adult jazz band, Jazz Express, rehearses at our school every other week.

“They perform two concerts a year with us, to help the school raise money for our music program, including a Holiday show in December, and this – the second and final one during the school year.

Jazz Express musically entertains.

“Our Parkrose High School Jazz Band will be performing, as well as our Debonaires – our select vocal ensemble,” Lee informed East Portland News. “All of the proceeds from ticket sales and concession sales goes toward our Music Boosters Program, which supports all music programs in Parkrose.”

 Get a brief taste of what it was like to attend this concert watching our video:

The Jazz Express started off the program with a set of Big Band favorites.

Two of the well received tunes this big band played, Buddy’s Blues and Song for Ellen, were written by PHS Jazz Band Director Jessika Smith, who is also the Parkrose Middle School Band Director.

PHS Jazz Band Director Jessika Smith (at left) starts off the Parkrose band.

Playing professionally, the Parkrose High School Jazz Band members show off their talent.

While Jazz Express took a break, PHS Jazz Band stepped up to play several great numbers, including The HS band played La Noche del Burrito Picante by Mike Dana, Hobo Flats by Oliver Nelson, Cajun Cookin’ by Denis Deblasio, and Four on Six by Wes Montgomery.

Look for their performances again next season.

© 2023 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™



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