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The Dakota Combo: new ensemble selected following auditions

Posted on 24 November 2012 by robwas66

(left to right) Sam Worthington, Benjamin Beyene, Zosha Warpeha, Jack Courtwright, Peter Goggin, Levi Schwartzberg, Will Kjeer and Jackson Mullett. (Photo Credit – Andrea Canter)

The MacPhail Center for Music and the Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education (DFJE) announce the 7th edition of The Dakota Combo, a high school jazz ensemble. Selected through open auditions, the Combo is a band of exceptional student musicians who rehearse and perform throughout the year under the direction of Adam Linz, Jazz Coordinator for MacPhail.

This MacPhail program, with funding from DFJE, was begun in 2006. Graduates of the program have moved on to study at the nation’s top music programs, including the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, New England Conservatory of Music and the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, among others. During the school year, the Dakota Combo will rehearse biweekly with Linz and perform frequently, including at the Artists Quarter (November 29), MacPhail’s Antonello Hall, the 2013 Twin Cities Jazz Festival, and at other venues and events. Students will also visit area schools and participate in clinics and workshops.

The student musicians of the 2012-2013 Dakota Combo:

Jackson Mullet, trumpet (Eden Prairie High School); Jack Courtwright, trombone (Apple Valley High School); Peter Goggin, alto saxophone (Moundsview High School); Zosha Warpeha, violin (Perpich Center for Arts Education); Levi Schwartzberg, vibraphone (Minneapolis Southwest High School); Will Kjeer, piano (St Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists); Sam Worthington, bass (Moundsview High School); Benjamin Beyene, drums (Minneapolis Roosevelt High School)

MacPhail Center for Music is a community resource for education and performance experiences in the musical arts. In operation for over 100 years, MacPhail is one of the nation’s oldest and largest community music schools with over 8,000 students of all ages. Visit The Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education (DFJE) is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to bringing jazz and education together. Since 1997 DFJE has been providing jazz education and performance opportunities that encourage an understanding, appreciation and enthusiasm for jazz among young audiences and developing musicians. For more information about the Foundation, and about the Dakota Combo throughout the year, visit