Mad props to Portland, Oregon, school band master Kenney Poulson, and his co-horts Cynthia Plank and Greg Mckelvey for putting together a Jazz Celebration to raise funds for music programs at the five high schools and middle schools they serve.
Their outstanding students prepared programs featuring Fred Wesley's music, with Fred himself as the inspirational special guest. The evening was a great success and had the desired effect, according to this email excerpt from Kenney, a longtime friend who invited Fred:
Fred has had a huge impact on the kids! On Monday, I had one of my 7th grade boys (who bought a CD) play the head to EL Paso on his saxophone. Wow, what a shock!!!! Not only that, two of my girls were singing along while he played! This whole act made my day. Now, the middle school band wants to play a Fred Wesley tune. The high school band was pumped up as well, many of them were speaking about how well Fred can improvise and how easy he made it look. I think they all spent a lot of time practicing this past weekend!!!! Thanks ... for helping to stimulate the minds, and creativity of these students.
|Fred with Kenney Poulson|
|Fred with Cynthia Plank|
|Fred with Jared, a middle-school student|
|Fred onstage with the Hosford Middle School Jazz Band|
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