Poly High School’s top jazz combo group recently won Outstanding Combo for the entire Reno Jazz Festival, while the group’s drummer was named Outstanding High School Drummer for the whole event.
“These are huge achievements!” said Chris Stevens, music instructor at the six-time Grammy Signature School. “Not only did our combo place first in their division, but they were chosen as the best combo at the entire festival, and they played in the evening awards concert – for thousands – who gave them a standing ovation at the end of their performance.”
Poly’s rock star drummer (or is it jazz star?) is Robert Mantz. The remainder of the winning combo consists of Kofi Devall, guitar; Edward Lu, piano; Jordan Peacock, bass; Will Stevens, tenor saxophone; and Luke Van Lant, alto saxophone.
“This could be compared to winning State CIF,” Stevens said, “but I suppose it’s more like WASC (accreditation) – a benchmark of comparison with other schools and programs, including top arts-dedicated schools. We took six groups all together, and two others also earned placement in their divisions, always an honor. Everyone played extremely well.”