Adams Jazz One Performs at the Morris


Joie Warnke, Reporter

On February 24th, 2023, John Adams High School’s very own Jazz One was presented with the incredible opportunity to perform at the Morris Performing Arts Center with professional jazz musician, Paul Taylor. The benefit concert not only included the extremely popular smooth jazz artist, but also showcased an award winning poet, Red Rah, and a Chicago-native singer, Terisa Griffin. The concert was put on by Candice Adams, founder of the Anthony Adams House located in Michigan City, Indiana. The Anthony Adams house is named after the father of Candice Adams, and is a program that aids runaway youth, someone who Candice Adams herself used to be. The money from the tickets went to a great cause, and John Adams’s jazz band could not have been more honored to have been performing.

The band performed at the start of the concert as well as during intermission. John Adams’s saxophones and rhythm section also received the chance to perform with Paul Taylor himself. The group performed two pieces titled “Prohibito” and “Over the Rainbow,”; Paul Taylor played an astounding solo in each.

Students were also given the opportunity to meet with Paul Taylor before the performance and were able to to ask questions about being a professional musician. As a member of the jazz band and the lead saxophonist, I found this experience very informative. Paul Taylor’s main instrument is saxophone, and it was extremely insightful as a young musician to learn about his experience. Taylor was also once a band student in his early years where he discovered passion for music. He attended the University of Nevada Las Vegas where he continued his study of music. He then began crafting albums soon after graduating, and has been touring the world ever since. Taylor specifically expressed how excited he was to be able to provide this experience to young musicians, as he was in that position once in his life as well.

Other students also found the experience to be very exciting. Senior saxophonist Audrey Martin said, “Overall, it was an incredible experience! It was an honor, not only getting to play for the crowd as they found their seats, but having the opportunity to perform two pieces with Paul Taylor himself. The concert was filled with outstanding poetry, singing, and smooth jazz. I would experience it all over again if I could!”

The jazz band is very grateful for the opportunity to have played with such an established musician, as well as for having been a part of a concert with such a great cause behind it. It was an incredible experience, one that all members are sure to never forget. 

Link to Paul Taylor’s Instagram Reel: