Here is a color version of the photograph on the cover of this month’s Earshot Jazz, the magazine, honoring Seattle’s Garfield High School, under the direction of Clarence Acox, for taking top honors on Sunday, May 10th in New York at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s 14th Annual Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition & Festival. They were selected as the winner by a panel of judges composed of distinguished jazz musicians and historians — Wynton Marsalis, Jazz at Lincoln Center Artistic Director; composer, conductor and Ellington authority David Berger; educator, clinician and pianist, Reginald Thomas; and legendary jazz trumpeter and composer/ arranger, Gerald Wilson— from among the 15 finalist bands from the U.S. and Canada that came to the Competition & Festival in New York City. At the awards ceremony, Wynton Marsalis presented prizes and cash. Acox accepted the 1st place trophy and an award of $5,000. Scott Brown, Director of the Roosevelt High School Jazz Band, accepted the 2nd place trophy and an award of $2,500. For complete list of winners, including top soloists and sections, visit www.

Story by Danielle Bias from Earshot Jazz, the magazine.


Phil Kelly has been working on a new CD project out at Bear Creek Studio in Woodinville recently. I got to make a panoramic photo of the whole band on a break out behind the studio. Phil is seated at right.

Jerry Dodgion Portrait

June 3rd, 2009


Jerry Dodgion was in town this weekend playing in a big band making a recording with Phil Kelly. He told me he needed a new portrait for publicity since he has some gigs coming up in the San Francisco Bay area. He grabbed his sax and we got together and made this portrait. Jerry is a jazz saxophonist and flautist.
Jerry Dodgion, alto saxophone, flute, arranger and composer, hails from Richmond, California on San Francisco Bay. He gained early experience in 1950s with bay area bands of Rudy Salvini, John Coppola/Chuck Travis and Gerald Wilson as well as brief appearances with the Vernon Alley quartet which included backing Billie Holiday in 1955.
Dodgion joined Benny Carter, on Gerald Wilson’s recommendation, for the opening of the “Moulin Rouge” in Las Vegas ‘55. Jerry joined the Red Norvo quintet [`58-’61] which included long stints in Las Vegas at the “Sands Hotel.” Many tours accompanying Frank Sinatra ‘59-’60 plus touring as part of the Benny Goodman groups of ‘59-’61 which incorporated the Red Norvo quintet into Goodman’s ten piece band (including Flip Phillips, Bill Harris and Jack Sheldon) and subsequent versions which included Zoot Sims, Carl Fontana and Charlie Shavers.

After a long career as a side man, Dodgion’s first release as a bandleader arrived in 2004 with his ensemble The Joy of Sax, featuring saxophonists Frank Wess, Brad Leali, Dan Block and Jay Brandford, pianist Mike LeDonne, bassist Dennis Irwin and percussionist Joe Farnsworth.