Listen to the future of jazz music as presented by talented local student musicians, when the Future Jazz Heads play at 1:30 p.m. Saturday on the Main Stage, located at North Bend Way and Main Street.
Future Jazz Heads, who play most Wednesday evenings at 7 p.m. at Boxleys, are students from local middle schools and Mount Si High School. They are used to being in front of a live audience, often playing alongside the pros.
“"It makes it more real for them," says Boxley's owner Danny Kolke.
Students get tips and pointers between songs, boost their confidence and build their love of jazz. The evenings cover everything from jazz standards to more challenging compositions.
Every so often, Boxleys brings in an entire school's worth of musicians for a special performance.
"These kids have been doing so much," Kolke said. "It's great for them to part in the Block Party."
Far from disappearing, jazz music is growing in stature in the Northwest, especially in award-winning regional schools, including those in the Snoqualmie Valley.
"Jazz is one of the most original American art forms that we have," Kolke says. "Jazz evolved out of American history."
In the Northwest, many jazz musicians find themselves as educators.
"They take their love of the music with them," Kolke said. "If teachers are passionate, kids catch on."
To Kolke, who plays piano with his own trio, jazz music is about fun and freedom. Jazz players are always looking for new ways to do songs and explore their music.
"The goal is to learn how to improvise, and create melodies and countermelodies," he said. "It's both intellectually stimulating, as well as technically. If it's done right, you never hear the same solo twice."
The music of jazz is only going to continue to evolve and grow.
"There more kids and people interested in jazz now than there was 15 years ago," Kolke said.
• Boxley's holds a Future Jazz Heads night at 7 p.m. every Wednesday, promoting student talent. Future Jazz Heads supports the formation of student groups and performances of the next generation of jazz musicians, beyond their 6:30 a.m. school band classes. The Boxley's Music Fund is a non-profit fund benefiting live music programs for performance and education within the Greater Snoqualmie Valley.