Scott Brown

Scott Brown’s Roosevelt High School Jazz Band, from Seattle, has played all over the world -– China, Italy, Mexico, Switzerland, Holland –- and won first place three times at the prestigious Essentially Ellington Competition and Festival sponsored by Jazz at Lincoln Center. Like its local rival Garfield High School, Roosevelt has made the finals at that competition 10 out of 11 years; in the 2009 Essentially Ellington program Roosevelt took proud second place (Garfield was judged the winning band).

Though Roosevelt's student musicians are clearly responsible for these successes, much of Roosevelt's prowess is clearly due to Brown, a working musician who plays trombone in the Seattle Latin Jazz group Latin Expression and in the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra. He has passed on his love of Count Basie – “the watch that laughs,” he calls the Basie rhythm section – to students since 1984, when, as a graduate of the University of Washington he arrived at Roosevelt, follwoing Seattle band director Waldo King. It was King who helped lay the foundations for Seattle’s fertile jazz education scene and four-decade domination of student competitions. Roosevelt is also a regular winner at the Lionel Hampton competition in Moscow, Idaho and at Reno, Nevada.

Brown’s Roosevelt alums include singer Sara Gazarek, whose third CD Return to You (Native Language Music) came out in 2007, and Jumaane Smith, who works with Rashied Ali and recently toured with Michael Bublé. The JJA is eager to hear all the music and musicians emerging from those who've enjoyed Scott Brown's tutelage.-- Paul de Barros

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