MCS to Moscow Jazz Fest

By Jodi Rawson
Reader Contributor

The Music Conservatory of Sandpoint has a talented jazz ensemble that has worked hard in preparation for the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival beginning Feb. 22 in Moscow.

Director Nathan Baker, Pianist Jakob Samuels, Drummer Joey Uzabel, Flutist Dinah Rawson, Andrew Martin on the electric guitar, and Alex Manning on Upright Bass. Courtesy photo.

Thanks to the Pend Oreille Arts Council collaborating with the MCS, the ensemble was invited to open for the Montreal Guitar Trio Feb. 11. They played the same set they will perform at the Jazz Fest, and they were incredible. Right before Christmas they played for the Chamber of Commerce at Di Luna’s, and recently they performed a whole hour set for residents at The Bridge. These kids are sharp, disciplined musicians with classical music training and several upcoming gigs.

Nathan Baker has directed the Jazz Ensemble at MCS for three years, and he often leads by jamming on his upright bass. Denis Zwang is a consistent weekly mentor of the group and a master on the sax, clarinet and flutes.

For over two years the Jazz Ensemble consisted of Alex Manning on the upright bass, Joey Uzabel on the drums, Andrew Martin on the guitar, and Pianist Jakob Samuels. This year the boys welcomed Dinah Rawson (playing the flute or violin) and Abby Baker (not pictured due to injury) on the upright bass.

The ensemble or band (jokingly known as “El Macho Nacho”) will stay a couple nights in Moscow getting inspired by dozens of regional groups, performing their set and receiving constructive feedback.

Bon Voyage “El Macho Nacho!”

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