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Bellevue Community College
Monday Night Band

The BCC Monday Night Band, under the musical leadership of local jazz legend Hal Sherman, is a direct continuation of the original aggregation known as the Issaquah Jazz Orchestra organized in March of 2000 by pianist Scott Reed. This hard swinging group emerged as a creative outlet for improvising musicians on the Eastside, but has since evolved into an outstanding contemporary big band, a Monday-night institution and a labor of love for some of the area's finest jazz players.

The Monday Night Band is striving for a big-band style that is rare, balancing complex sectional play, compelling arrangements, and the ability to set off solos with supportive backdrops. The band's long-term musical goal is to cherish the rich heritage of jazz, but not at the expense of the present or future. We will resist the temptation to return to some kind of a comfortable place where the proverbial big band tradition resides, in order to consider our music "real" jazz. An important and consistent element of jazz traditions is reinventing the nature of the form itself to fit the times and circumstances, as only the musicians themselves could possibly know how to do. As the band's sound develops, we will explore new avenues and extend the jazz tradition by featuring contemporary arrangements and compositions, blending new sounds and styles, and encouraging musical diversity through individual self-expression.

Hal Sherman, Musical Director
Hal Sherman has made a significant impact in the field of Jazz Education, which has earned him the title of "Dr. Jazz." Hal began his career forty years ago with a junior high band in the Highline School District then on to the well-recognized music program at Kent Meridian High School, Kent School District. There he gained national and international recognition for his jazz program while maintaining a symphonic program second to none. Having won the most coveted awards at festivals, Hal's program became more performance oriented. In his effort to motivate and educate his students he hosted the "Kent Meridian Northwest Jazz Festival" at the Seattle Opera House, which sustained sold out crowds for the duration of his 20 years at Kent Meridian. Dr. Jazz and his K-M groups were in demand for performances at major jazz festivals and educational conferences from Canada to Europe.

While at the Kent School District, Hal served as an adjunct at the University of Puget Sound for seven years. He presently holds the same position at Bellevue Community College. He has been an adjunct instructor and lecturer at various universities and conferences throughout the country. Hal served on the staff of the infamous Stan Kenton Summer Workshops and served as the Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Summer Fine Arts Camp. His groups have backed many excellent professional musicians during his tenure. This list of professionals includes Bill Watrous, Clark Terry, Frank Rosolino, Dianne Reeves, Bobby Shew, Don Menza, Louie Bellson, Dick Oaates, Jim Snidero, Randy Brecker, Conrad Herwig and others.

Hal is best recognized for his knowledge of jazz literature. His library is second to none. He is always willing to share his expertise with other directors and does so often. He has written articles for Instrumentalist magazine and the International Association of Jazz Educator's Journal. He is also the author of three books related to Jazz Band Techniques and Material. Hal Sherman has the distinction of being the first educator to receive the Charlie Bird Parker Foundation Award for Excellence. He shares that award with such great musicians as Quincy Jones, Stan Kenton, and Count Basie to name just a few. He is also the recipient of the first National Band Association's Outstanding Jazz Educator Award.

 


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