Jazz Bands Get Together to Play with a Pro

Anat Cohen is a highly acclaimed jazz clarinetist and saxophonist

The Northview High School Jazz Band is once again hosting a world-class jazz pro, but this time they’ll be joined by their fellow jazzers from Rockford.

The Rockford High School Jazz Band as well as Northview’s will perform on Feb. 8 with acclaimed clarinetist and saxophonist Anat Cohen.

Her visit comes courtesy of a grant from the MSU artist-in-residence program to bring jazz musicians to Michigan schools. Two years ago, the same program brought jazz trumpeter Jon Faddis to Northview to play with the MSU Be-Bop Spartans jazz band.

This year the event will include Rockford’s growing jazz program, to avoid pulling attendees away from concerts on separate nights, said Northview Jazz Band director Greg Wells.

“To share a concert would make it easier for preparation for both high schools, and gives more opportunity for sharing the joys of jazz/music with others,” Wells said.

Cohen has been voted Clarinetist of the Year eight years in a row by the Jazz Journalists Association, and has topped polls in Downbeat magazine every year since 2011. She has released seven albums as an instrumental leader, including her latest, “Luminosa,” in 2015. She will solo on one tune each with the Northview and Rockford bands before joining with the MSU Jazz Octets.

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Charles Honey
Charles Honey is a freelance writer and former columnist for The Grand Rapids Press/ MLive.com. As a reporter for The Press from 1985 to 2009, his beats included Grand Rapids Public Schools, local colleges and education issues. Honey served as editor of The Press’ award-winning Religion section for 15 years. His freelance articles have appeared in Christianity Today magazine and the Aquinas College alumni magazine. Read Charles' full bio.

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