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Poly High School Musicians Take International Stage

The Poly High School Jazz Ensemble this week performed before jazz legends at the most prestigious professional jazz conference in the world. The Poly jazz instrumental group was one of only a handful of groups selected from hundreds of applicants worldwide to perform at the event. The International Association of Jazz Educators Conference continues today and Saturday at the Long Beach Convention Center. More than 7,000 jazz musicians, educators, industry executives and students from 45 nations have gathered for the 32nd annual conference. The talented Poly ensemble is directed by instructor Chris Stevens. "The thing I’m most excited about is that we’re performing in the main concert venue at the conference," Stevens said. "There are many different venues at the Convention Center, but they put us center stage at noon, and we’re performing with three of the top studio musicians in the world." The 24 members of the Poly ensemble are Vanessa Acosta, Martin Blagaich, Alex Bodnar, Bryce Brown, Sean Ducar, Marcelo Duran, Clara Dykstra, Eric Fiero, Daniel Fremgen, Danita Gould, Ming-iun Hsei, Isaac Kaplan, Kate Levinstein, Andy Mak, Sean Massich, Dustin Moore, Jairus Mozee, Darwin Padolina, Drew Pedersen, Nathan Ross, Peter Rothenberg, Theo Scott, Jessica Smith and Jasmine Stewart.