We've all heard the stories of awful high school band leaders, but how about those more fortunate share stories about the people, performances, songs, etc. from GOOD school jazz bands? I just joined our school's jazz band this year. I'm one of only two or three new people, so the band overall is pretty tight after a couple practices. The band leader is Greg Runions -- not your typical "I played piano when I was 11, had no passion for anything else, so I became a teacher" kind of music teacher. This man eats, breaths, drinks, and lives music. He's the percussionist in the Kingston Symphony, also leads the Queen's University jazz band (and teaches there part time in addition to my school part time), and is a regularly gigging musician in addition to leading his own big band, which has a fully produced and available CD (which I possess, and is amazing). Our drummer is phenomenal. I've jammed with him several times outside of jazz band this year, the guy's stellar. He's my age (a couple months older, actually -- 17 years old) and recently got a call for the drumming position in a big band in Kingston. I found out today he didn't get the gig, which is a damn shame, 'cause he's great (but there's always someone better, ne?). We've got this pianist -- Cavan -- who's absolutely great. He, the drummer, Greg, and the former bassist for the jazz band (Evan Wise, great guy, really good bassist) had this jazz quartet last year and I've got my fingers crossed we're gonna do something similar this year. Right now, we're doing Minnie the Moocher, and we started Sing, Sing, Sing this past Wednesday as well as Babatunde Olantunji - The Beat of My Drum. The first two are awesome songs, but...ohhhh maaaan. When everyone else got the music for the Beat of My Drum (we did it in class) I started to pull mine out and play it...and he turned to me and said "do something funky around a C minor". It's so fun -- plus it's probably about the only song we're going to be doing where I can really lay out and whip out some chops. I know soon we're gonna start Straight, No Chaser as well as Moondance, and Ain't Got Nothin' But the Blues. Ain't Got Nothin' But the Blues is a little farther off, it's...well, "interesting" to learn (read: hard). Jump, Jive, and Wail, I'm Checking Out (Goombye), and Oye Como Va are all on the future schedule as well. Other people in the band worthy of note, but this post is getting way too long -- great singer, trumpeter, trombones, and saxes.