On a rainy April Friday, the Belmont Hill Jazz Ensemble and Combo travelled to Ryles Jazz Club in Cambridge, MA for an evening of good food and even better music. An annual tradition for both groups, Ryles is a culmination of more than six months of practices and performances. Indeed, as the penultimate event of the year for the two bands, the night doubled as a poignant farewell performance for the seniors, Scott Jackson ‘17, Marshall Knight ‘17, Armin Thomas ‘17, J.P. Champa ‘17, Brian Tanabe ‘17 (in absentia), and Mack Perry ‘17 (in absentia). Amidst their enthralling, excitement-filled sets, the boys mingled with their friends, family and teachers, providing a rare moment of relaxation and ease during a month often filled to the brim with homework, tests, and busy sports schedules.
As the oldest jazz club in Cambridge (and second oldest in the Greater Boston area), Ryles is truly a unique venue to perform in. Featuring a mixture of blues, jazz, R&B, world beat, and Latin music throughout the week, the Belmont Hill boys did no disservice to this great diversity of genres: indeed, from the Miles Davis’ modal jazz classic, So What, to Tell Me A Bedtime Story, a classic theme from the 1970’s series Fat Albert, the audience found themselves tapping their feet to a wide variety of music. For the musicians, Ryles is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the process of playing a “real gig.” Working with the club’s sound technicians, the boys have the opportunity to learn more about what goes on behind the scenes to make sure the performance runs smoothly.
This year was jam-packed with gigs for both groups – besides their performances at the in-school concerts throughout the year, the boys had the pleasure of performing at the open house, the admitted students night, the Algonquin Club, and the recent “Evening with the Headmaster.” While there is just one more “official” performance left in their schedule, the Spring Concert (Sunday, May 7th), the bands now look forward to polishing their repertoire and recording some of their favorites to cap off the end of an excellent year for Belmont Hill Jazz.
Ryles Set List:
Class of 2018.