(first of 2 WSB video clips of Denny Jazz Ensemble at last night’s dinner)
Denny Middle School‘s cafeteria sports a big blue neon sign on one wall: DENNY DINER. Last night, though, the “diner” became a jazz supper club for the annual Denny Music Department Jazz Dinner, which packed the house with a crowd enjoying food including gumbo, jambalaya, and barbecue from West Seattle’s own OK Corral, as well as music from not only Denny student performers but also Septimus and the West Seattle Big Band – as well as visiting musicians from Cooper Elementary:
(photo of Cooper musicians provided by Denny principal Jeff Clark)
A dessert auction was part of the program too – according to an announcement during the event, the desserts alone brought in more than $1,000. Denny gained renewed attention recently for its designation as an International School starting this fall, but its music programs have regional fame thanks in no small part to director Marcus Pimpleton, who not only leads music at Denny but is also the director of the Seattle Public Schools All-City Band, seen in parades everywhere in their distinctive green polo shirts. Another photo provided by the school shows him with some of the students between their sets last night (the Jazz Ensemble played at the start and finish of the event):
Also on the bill, the Denny steel-drum band (featured recently here) and acoustic musicians. Meantime, here’s another jazz clip from last night – sorry that our video quality is spotty but the audio’s good, in no small part thanks to the kids’ talent and hard work:
(The sax soloist is 6th grader Ryan Maroney.) The ensemble goes to the Reno International Jazz Festival in about a month; other Denny music events on the calendar include Marching Band Camp at the school during spring break next week (we published a feature about Denny camps at mid-winter break last year).