Earshot Jazz Festival
Go to the Welcome page
Go to the Festival Schedule page
Go to the Festival At-A-Glance Page
Go to the Artist Index page
Go to the Buy Tickets page
Go to the Festival Sites and Addresses page
Go to the Festival Accommodations page
Go to the Festival Staff page
Go to the Festival Supporters page
Go to the Volunteer Sign-up page
Go to the Join Earshot Jazz page
Go to the Earshot.org main website
Garfield High School Jazz Band w/ special guest Roxy Coss
$18 general, $16 members/seniors, $8 youth

Roxy CossSeattle’s Garfield High School, under the direction of Clarence Acox, took top honors at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s 15th Annual Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition & Festival, again, in May of this year. The school made competition history, becoming the first band ever to win four times. Acox has led the band for nearly four decades, and he is clearly still going strong. He is known for helping to nurture strong soloists, like tenor saxophonist Roxy Coss who is a former member of the Garfield band.

Coss occupied the first tenor chair in the Garfield’s top jazz band when they won the Ellington competition two years in a row in 2003 and 2004. She also won the Outstanding Saxophone Soloist award at the 2004 competition. After graduating from Garfield, she attended William Paterson University in New Jersey on a full Presidential Scholarship. In 2008, she graduated from WPU with honors. Writing about her senior recital, David A. Orthmann of All About Jazz commented: “In many ways Coss’ Senior Recital was a jazz fan’s dream: the opportunity to catch a gifted young performer before the word gets out, and feeling certain that she’s only going to get better.”

Two years later, the word definitely seems to be out. Coss celebrates the release of her self-titled debut album this month. (She will also perform with the Roxy Cross Quartet on October 17th at Tula’s.) One of the rising stars of the very competitive New York jazz scence, her quintet performs ever Monday in upper Manhattan at a venue called 181 Cabrini, a gig that is becoming ever-more popular as word continues to spread about her formidable talents.

Some of the great jazz musicians Coss has performed with include Clark Terry, Claudio Roditi, and Grassella Oliphant. She also performed as part of the William Paterson Big Band with Slide Hampton, Joe Lovano, and Dave Valentin. She has also guest appeared with the Seattle Women’s Jazz Orchestra, and opened for the Dave Leibman Big Band and Rufus Reid’s Quintet plus Four as part of the esteemed Jazz Room Series.

Not just a talented multi-instrumentalist who also excels on soprano saxophone and flute, Coss also continues to develop her skills as a composer. Earlier this year, she was commissioned to co-compose two original dance scores for the Daniel Gwirtzman Dance Company. One of those pieces, “Breaking,” is 12 minutes long and was written for tenor sax and drums. The other piece, “Tribe,” is 39 minutes of through-composed music scored for flute, clarinet, soprano sax, tenor sax, trumpet, keyboard, bass, and percussion. Listen closely: you may be treated to one or two of Coss’ original compositions during this very special hometown performance.

-Danielle Bias
to top