Jazz concert welcomes springtime
June 25, 2008 · Updated 1:35 PM
"Anja Parks, whose virtuosity on the trumpet is earning her accolades of her own, is on the Langley Jazz Festival concert program with her brother Aaron Parks and the Langley Middle School Jazz Band.All that jazzAaron Parks in Concert, with Anja Parks on trumpet and the Langley Middle School Jazz BandPresented by the Langley Jazz FestivalSaturday, May 12, 8 p.m.South Whidbey High School auditorium, LangleyTickets, $12 and $8; festival seating. Available at The Kitchen Shoppe in Langley and South Whidbey Animal Clinic, Clinton; or call 221-2090 Coming from New York on Saturday, May 12, pianist Aaron Parks will perform a concert at the South Whidbey High School auditorium.Joining Parks will be Jay Thomas and other jazz artists from Seattle and his sister Anja Parks on trumpet, with the Langley Middle School Jazz Band opening.Parks, who grew up on South Whidbey, is now studying at the Manhattan School of Music in New York. He recently was named the first Cole Porter Fellow of the American Pianists Association, competing in the 5th American Jazz Piano Competition. The fellowship includes a $10,000 cash prize, the production of a CD, and two years of career assistance by the pianists association. Jazz critic Terry Teachout, one of three judges, said he was struck by the finish and confidence of Parks' playing.You could hear it the second he sat down to play, Teachout said. Of course he has tremendous potential, too, but the really remarkable thing is how far he's come already. I think he has a great future ahead of him. Parks, who turns 18 in October, has performed for President Clinton at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, the 2000 Grammy nominees' party, and the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. He was also recently selected by Down Beat Magazine as Outstanding College Instrumental Performer. He has released three CDs: The Promise, First Romance, and his newest, The Wizard.Anja Parks, studying at La Guardia High School in New York, where she plays lead trumpet in the big band, has performed twice with the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band at Carnegie Hall. She also played at Radio City Music Hall, backing the Cadillacs, and has invited back in September to play at the historic Apollo Theater in Harlem. The all-female big band, Diva, has invited her to their big band rehearsals, and she was featured in a story last month in The New York Post.The brother-sister musical team are scheduled to appear on KCTS Connects (Channel 9) at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 10. "