Local Jazz Jams in Irvine

Matthew Dimaandal, Staff Writer

Live music is usually performed in a fancy venue or on a stage, but several Northwood students have found their own ways to keep music alive during the pandemic, performing in the most unorthodox of places: in front of a public pool. 

Junior Adam Bauer and sophomore Howard Wu organized an impromptu jazz performance at Meadowood Park on Oct. 3 with junior Matthew Dimaandal and sophomores Alex Park and Noelle Rhee.

The session consisted of a variety of different songs, ranging from jazz standards like “Donna Lee” by Charlie to pop songs like “I Feel Fine” by The Beatles. The songs are not preplanned and are played for the musician’s self-enjoyment.

“I organized these jam sessions to bring the school community back together during the pandemic,” Bauer said. “I think it’s a good way for people to connect with one another during times like these when it is difficult to do so.”

The goal of this performance is to resemble musical performances prior to quarantine while ensuring the safety of both the audience and musicians. Musicians set up 6 feet apart from each other, and wind instruments are prohibited due to the risk of transmitting the virus through the instrument.

“During this pandemic, we meet up in these jam sessions to have fun like we used to,” Wu said. “But we have to be responsible for each other as well as the ones watching us so we can do this all the time.”

These jam sessions help bring students and musicians from other high schools together in a fun, relaxing environment that helps relieve the stress students face in school.

“It felt good to finally hear live music again,” University High School junior Misha Lee said. “Live music has such a vibrant and emotional effect on the listener, and I really loved feeling like that again.”

More jam sessions are planned on Saturdays at 5 p.m. in Meadowood Park. All high school musicians are welcome to come and play.