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Beavercreek High School Weekend of Jazz to feature Jeff Coffin, Bob Lanzetti

Three-time Grammy winner Jeff Coffin is among the Beavercreek High School Weekend of Jazz headline performers.
Three-time Grammy winner Jeff Coffin is among the Beavercreek High School Weekend of Jazz headline performers.

The Beavercreek High School Jazz One Ensemble visited WYSO’s studios this week for a live preview of the Beavercreek High School Weekend of Jazz, which takes place at the school on Feb. 23 and 24. Led by Beavercreek schools’ director of instrumental music Matt Frost, the ensemble performed two pieces live on air, and spoke with Midday Music host Evan Miller about the Weekend of Jazz. On Friday, Feb. 23, the Jazz One Ensemble will perform alongside Beavercreek’s three other middle and high school jazz ensembles, beginning at 6:30pm. On Saturday, more than a dozen high school jazz ensembles from across Ohio will play at Beavercreek High beginning at 8:00am, with feature performances by the Wright State University Jazz Band and Innovations jazz combo. The weekend’s events will culminate Saturday night with a 7:00pm headline performance by Jeff Coffin, Bob Lanzetti, Felix Pasorius, and Jordan Perlson, who will also offer masterclasses for students earlier that day.

The Jazz One Ensemble kicked off their WYSO appearance by playing Los Angeles composer Les Hooper’s “Cousin Jeff,” a nod to one of the Weekend of Jazz headliners, Grammy Award-winning saxophonist Jeff Coffin. The Beavercreek Weekend of Jazz gives young jazz musicians from Beavercreek and around the state the opportunity to perform for judges, peers, and community members— and to learn from professional musicians at the height of their career. Matt Frost spoke about the value of working closely with highly accomplished musicians, like founding Snarky Puppy guitarist Bob Lanzettil—even for students who don’t pursue careers in music.

“Some of our kids will go into music. There are a couple in the room that want to, but for the vast majority of them just getting a chance to talk to someone at the very top of their game in any field is super beneficial—What kind of tenacity did it take to found Snarky Puppy? Was there ever a day when you thought ‘this probably isn't going to work,’ and then you made it work?”

Tickets to the Weekend of Jazz headline performance are available for $35. All other events are free of charge. For more information about the festival, visit weekendofjazz.org.

Text by Peter Day, adapted from a studio session recorded by Evan Miler on February 21, 2024.

Evan Miller is a percussionist, lover of sound, and is probably buying too many cassette tapes online right now. Evan got his start in radio in 2012 at WWSU at Wright State University, where he was studying percussion performance. He followed through with both endeavors and eventually landed a lucrative dual career playing experimental music at home and abroad, and broadcasting those sounds to unsuspecting listeners Sunday nights on The Outside. Maintaining a connection to normal music, Evan also plays drums in bands around the area, and hosts WYSO's Midday Music show. When not doing something music-related, Evan is most likely listening to podcasts or watching food videos at home with his cat.
Peter Day writes and produces stories for WYSO’s music department. His works include a feature about Dayton's premiere Silent Disco and a profile of British rapper Little Simz. He also assists with station operations and serves as fill-in host for Behind the Groove. Peter began interning at WYSO in 2019 and, in his spare time while earning his anthropology degree, he served as program director for Yale University’s student radio station, WYBC.