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The Crimson

The student news site of Bernards High School

The Crimson

The student news site of Bernards High School

The Crimson

Crimson Cafe takes place in PAC

Olivia Highland
The BHS Jazz Ensemble plays three lively songs during their set before playing with both Bedminster’s and BMS’s jazz bands. Charlie Quinn ’27 remarks, “My favorite part of playing with others is the idea of everyone being able to throw in their own musical ideas, but being able to turn it into something that sounds good at the same time”.

On Saturday, April 27th, the Crimson Cafe took place at Bernards High School. The Crimson Cafe is a night of live entertainment and food, featuring the talented BHS Jazz Ensemble, BMS Jazz Band, and Bedminster Jazz Band. To make the night a success, the band teachers of each school taught students a variety of songs to play and allow the audience to enjoy. Mr. Taesler, Mr. Snyder, and Mr. Lefurge worked diligently with each of their students to put on a night of exciting performances. 

The show opened with the Bedminster Township School Jazz Band, who played upbeat Disney tunes. The band played “Cruella de Vil” from Cruella and “The Bare Necessities” from The Jungle Book, finishing with “Friend Like Me” from Aladdin, a personal favorite of Mr. Lefurge. Bedminster’s jazz band featured Aidan Chang on the piano, as well as Sam Silva on the drums, both of whom executed their parts flawlessly. Playing songs from Disney’s classics started the night off on a lively note and gave all members of the audience a chance to reminisce and enjoy songs they found familiar. 

After Bedminster’s performance, the Bernardsville Middle School Jazz Band took the stage. The middle school changed the mood, playing two rock along with one jazz song. Keeping the audience engaged, they played “Livin’ On A Prayer” by Bon Jovi, “Orinoco Cocoa” by Vince Gassi, and “Enter Sandman” by Metallica. These lively tunes kept audience members entertained and enjoying the show. Evan Jatkoe ‘29, who plays the trombone, noted, “My favorite song we played was ‘Orinoco Cocoa’”. 

To break up the performances, there was a brief intermission in the cafeteria, with food and refreshments, and even more music. The endurance of the bands and the ensemble to play through both the concert and intermission proved their devoted compassion and commitment to their instruments. 

Succeeding intermission, the hosts of the night, BHS, began their set. The Bernards High School Jazz Ensemble has been very successful for years. Even just this year, the ensemble played a gig for the Somerset Hills Education Foundation Pet Parade while spreading Christmas cheer, as well as traveling to Disney World for memorable bonding opportunities. In the Crimson Cafe, they executed three songs astonishingly, to no surprise. 

First was “If I Didn’t Have You” by Randy Newman, including a solo on the alto saxophone from Nolan Baker ‘26 and one on the trumpet from Evan Schwartz ‘26. They then presented “Take the A-Train” by Duke Ellington, which involved a solo from Jack Cohen ‘26 on the trumpet. The final song of their part had solos on the guitar from Adair Alverado ‘24, the soprano saxophone from Addison Dunn ‘24, and the trombone from Kurt Hunziker ‘24. The ensemble finished on a spirited note, playing “Gardyn” by John C. Gardner. 

Finally, all three of the jazz groups played a closing song together. The full Crimson Cafe Jazz Orchestra harmonized in “Watermelon Man” by Herbie Hancock, a very fitting song for the night as it fits into the category of jazz. The Crimson Cafe was successful in showcasing the talents of Bedminster Township School’s Jazz Band, Bernardsville Middle School’s Jazz Band, Bernards High School’s Jazz Ensemble, and the groups altogether. 

Mr. Taesler, BHS’s band instructor, recalled what he enjoys about teaching the ways and undefined flow of music to his students: “To instruct someone how to perform such an art is an honor and privilege because it teaches students to be true to themselves, to have the confidence to express that truth, and to find creative solutions to impossible problems; all very valuable skills in the adult world no matter what profession anyone goes into. And it’s fun! Especially when it sounds good!”. 

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