Friday Harbor and Harlem, N.Y., are separated by roughly 2,433 miles, unless you’re listening to Friday Harbor High School’s Michael Hoeller play the trumpet.
Michael, a sophomore, earned the distinction of “Outstanding Young Artist” for his performance of Duke Ellington’s “Echoes of Harlem”, at the annual Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival at the University of Idaho, Feb. 22-24. Hoeller played Ellington’s piece as featured soloist during the Friday Harbor High School Jazz Band’s appearance at the festival.
Ellington composed “Echoes of Harlem” in 1936 as a showcase for the star trumpeter of his band, Cootie Williams.
At the festival, billed as the “largest educational jazz festival in the world”, Friday Harbor’s jazz band, directed by Matt Frost, competed against 150 other high school jazz bands, with about 3,000 students in all. In addition to performing, members of the band also attended multiple clinics, listened to several jazz ensemble performances and attended a concert by the Lionel Hampton New York Big Band.