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BHM performance with US jazz band 'an honour': Richmond student

The Caili O’Doherty Quintet is performing in the region to celebrate Black History Month.

An RC Palmer student recently got to perform with the famous Caili O’Doherty Quintet in a celebration of Black History Month.

The jazz ensemble performed live with young local musicians, including Richmond's Luke Young, from Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s School of Music Big Band.

The event, organized by the U.S. Consulate General and Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, was held at Vancouver's Pyatt Hall on Feb. 13. It featured a panel discussion on the history and impact of Black music, a documentary screening about jazz pioneer Lil Hardin Armstrong, as well as a live music performance. 

Young, who dazzled the audience with his trumpet solo, told The Richmond News it was “an honour” to play with top-tier jazz musicians. 

“It was a very good learning experience,” he said.

The Grade 12 student explained that he learned about the roots of jazz and the musical contributions of the African American community, and it was a “much more engaging and immersive experience” to learn about Black History Month.

“It was great to hear from the (band’s Black musicians) their firsthand experiences as a jazz musician in the United States,” he said.

“For them, (jazz) was a type of expression, like a language for them, and they use it to express themselves.

“And it’s also an entire community and culture in the United States, where it brings people together of all cultures and their mutual passion for jazz allows them to connect.”