Congratulations to Berkeley High’s Jazz “Combo A” for winning first place in their division in the annual Charles Mingus High School Competition this past weekend in New York City.
The combo — Alexis Angulo, Oliver Cooper, Brian Hingerty, Jasim Perales and Owen Storey — won the non-specialized school combo division, a competition for regular high schools (not including special arts schools). BHS jazz program Director Sarah Cline called the festival, in which students perform and immerse themselves in Mingus’ music, “a great way to help pass uncompromising brilliance along to the next generation.”
Two combo members also won other honors, with Jasim Perales named the festival’s only “outstanding soloist” on trombone and Owen Storey the only “outstanding soloist” on bass. Jasim and Owen also shared top honors as members of the SFJAZZ High School All-Stars Big Band and the SFJAZZ High School All-Stars Combo, each of which won their respective divisions for conglomerate groups composed of students from multiple schools. The pair capped their performances by being allowed to sit in with the Mingus Big Band at the Jazz Standard club Sunday night.
In addition to four class-based big bands, Berkeley High Jazz has nine smaller student-led combos.