Eastman Faculty Jazz Quartet perform during assembly today


Justin Su

Middle school orchestra director Dr. David Hart introduces the Eastman Faculty Jazz Quartet. The assembly took place in the gym right after second period.

by Justin Su and Raveena Kapatkar

The Eastman Faculty Jazz Quartet performed during an assembly after second period in the gym after being invited by middle school orchestra director Dr. David Hart to showcase their musical talents and creativity.

The quartet consisted of Harold Danko on the piano, Clay Jenkins on the trumpet, Jeff Campbell on the string bass and Rich Thompson on the drums.

The band started the assembly off with a Charlie Parker composition, followed by “West End Avenue” by Trio East, “Kids are Pretty People,” by Thad Jones and finishing with “Bemsha Swing” by Thelonious Monk and Denzil Best.

“It was really good, we really appreciated the listening that was going on and everyone was attentive, and they laughed and then they clapped and everyone seemed to enjoy it so that was very nice,” Danko said. “It’s really great the people of this generation somehow enjoy what we’re doing.”

Dr. Hart had met the group when he was studying at Eastman School of Music and coordinated with the communications office and dean of students Kevin Williamson to get the group to the upper school.

“We thought that this would be a unique experience for you guys to hear especially at such an academically strong school but also one that fosters creativity like we do here,” Dr. Hart said. “This is the epitome to me of music creativity, with these guys.”

Sophomore Dolan Dworak shared his thoughts on the assembly.

“I feel that creating music for children is the best way to create a nice future for America,” Dolan said. “Without the foundational experiences that jazz provides, our country will be in shambles.“

Orchestra member May Gao (11) liked how she could relate to the theory aspects of the music.

“I thought it was really cool that they could improvise for such long periods of time,” May said. “They also did a lot of stuff that we learned about in music theory so it was interesting to relate to it on a theory level.”

The Eastman Faculty Quartet will be returning to Harker on Saturday to give a master class to the musicians in the upper school jazz band.