Chantilly ShowStoppers perform “Wings” during last year’s Jazz & Pizzazz.
Photo by Bonnie Hobbs.
Bright lights, colorful costumes and spectacular singing and dancing – that’s Chantilly High’s Jazz & Pizzazz. And this year’ extravaganza, the 29th annual, is slated for Wednesday-Saturday, May 27-30, at 7 p.m. each night.
Tickets are $10 at www.chantillychoral.org. Advance purchases are encouraged since Friday and Saturday performances often sell out. Under the direction of Choral Director Evan Ayars and Jazz Band Director Chris Singleton, approximately 60 students total will be taking the stage during this family-friendly show.
“It’s always a great time to put together the Jazz & Pizzazz performances,” said Singleton. “Seeing the collaboration between the band and choir departments in everything from planning to logistics to the music itself is very fulfilling, especially when you get to see how proud the students are of the final product.”
The band members’ program will feature the music of jazz greats such as Quincy Jones, Dizzy Gillespie, the Brecker Brothers and Gordon Goodwin. Another highlight will be Hank Levy’s 1970s hit, “Whiplash,” which has recently regained popularity courtesy of the movie of the same name.
“The students have really enjoyed digging in to learn ‘Whiplash,’” said Singleton. “Many of them saw the movie that came out earlier this year and were very excited to play the piece that is the title track. The tune is in 7/4 time and really keeps you guessing as it leads to a thrilling finish. The entire soundtrack is great, and this piece seemed like the perfect choice [for them to play].”
All in all, he said, “Chantilly Jazz has worked very hard this year and we’re excited to have Jazz & Pizzazz as a part of our performance schedule. The band has about nine performances every year, including many community events, and Jazz & Pizzazz is a great way to kick off the last part of the year. Still coming up for Chantilly Jazz is the Spring Awards concert on June, and the Touch-A-Truck event at the Chantilly Library on June 13.”
Ayars described Jazz & Pizzazz as “a great cumulative activity that combines the talents of the jazz band with the flair of the show choir.” This year, he said, “The ShowStoppers are drawing from many different decades and genres of music, including the music of the Beatles, the Temptations, Britney Spears, Janet Jackson and Earth, Wind & Fire. There’s music for everyone to enjoy.”