DeMiero Jazz Festival: Where jazz masters mentor the next musical generation

Vocal artist and clinician Dave Cozier helps these students refine their vocal techniques.
Jazz instrumentalist Rob Hyatt helps tighten up this youth small jazz combo

Now in its 47th year in Edmonds, the three-day DeMiero Jazz Festival kicked off Thursday morning like it always does, with a series of workshops where masters of the craft work one-on-one with local high school musicians on the finer points of performing, phrasing and presenting jazz. The event’s mission is to create world-class jazz experiences through education, workshops and performances, and over the years more than 10,000 students have attended this one-of-a-kind jazz festival.

Since its inception in 1977 by founder/director and local jazz maestro Frank DeMiero, the event has offered a place where student musicians, vocalists, instrumentalists and songwriters can be coached by prominent guest artists — all in a non-competitive atmosphere. The students attend workshops and clinics on scatting, soloing, instrumental development, stage protocol, small combo techniques, ensemble singing and more. Thursday morning’s workshops included vocal crash courses and workshops, small jazz combo clinics, lyric phraseology, piano, and drums to name a few.

The performers responded enthusiastically to being exposed to and coached by professional jazz musicians.
Vocal coach Kim Nozarian gives pointers.
Clinician Dave Barduhn works with jazz vocalists at the North Sound Center.

From the beginning, the guiding principle of the festival is that there are no winners, no losers and no competition. Youth come to learn, not compete. If you give your all and do your best, you’re a winner at the DeMiero Jazz Fest.

Workshops run all day Thursday, Friday, and Saturday in the following venues:

  • Auditorium Edmonds Center for the Arts – 410 4th Ave. N., Edmonds
  • Community Christian Fellowship – 615 Glen St., Edmonds (Behind the ECA)
  • North Sound Center – 201 4th Ave. N., Edmonds
  • North Sound Church – 404 Bell St., Edmonds  (diagonal to North Sound Center)
Rob Hyatt provides individual one-on-one instruction to this young bassist.
A sign outside a classroom at the North Sound Center announces the location of a vocal crash course taught by Kim Nozarian.
Instrumentalist Michael Glynn gives this young bassist tips on how to hold the instrument to avoid muscle fatigue.

And perhaps the best news is that these workshops are free, open to the public and provide a unique opportunity to not only see and hear some truly awesome jazz, but to watch the guest coaches give individual instruction to the performers on the finer points of technique.

In addition to the youth workshops and clinics, on Friday evening festival organizers bring all this visiting talent together for a one-of-a-kind jazz concert at the Edmonds Center for the Arts, starting at 7 p.m.  The concert will feature world-class guest artists Camila Meza and RESOLVE with the 2023 DeMiero Jazz Fest trio, along with the Dee Daniels Vocal Scholarship winner, and a special performance from Soundsation.

The old North Sound Church was the venue to learn melodic vocal techniques from Camila Meza. Meza will be one of the performers at the Friday evening concert.

Tickets can be purchased at the ECA box office via this link:

— Story and photos by Larry Vogel

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