Jake’s place. Sounds like a little club, doesn’t it? Maybe a night spot, a great venue to hear some jazz.
A scene Thursday evening in one Everett neighborhood fit some of that description — if not the mental image of a darkened nightclub where people at candle-lit tables enjoy jazzy standards.
The place is the home of Jake Bergevin and his wife, Christina. He is Edmonds-Woodway High School’s director of bands and music department chairperson. She’s a former Everett High choir director. Since mid-April, from a deck at the front of their house, Jake Bergevin and talented musical friends have been treating neighbors to Thursday concerts.
“Now we go for a walk, people come and say ‘Hey, we love the music,’” said Bergevin, 52, before neighbors settled into lawn chairs for Thursday night’s live entertainment.
In this time of social distancing, the Bergevins’ yard was mostly reserved for family and close friends. Others in the audience of at least 60 people took up seating outside a home across the street, along the curbside, or in a next-door driveway. “Wear your masks and remain vigilant for the benefit of all,” Bergevin wrote in an email to neighbors Wednesday.
The evening’s eclectic mix — with performances by three groups — included John Philip Sousa’s “Liberty Bell” march, an instrumental version of “Ain’t Misbehavin’,” and Bergevin, who’s both a vocalist and horn player, singing Cole Porter’s “Night and Day.”
Sounding a lot like Frank Sinatra, he crooned from his deck: “Night and day, you are the one, only you beneath the moon or under the sun … ”
Opening the show was a group Bergevin calls the Viewridge Brass Quintet, made up of high school and college students from his neighborhood. He leads them in Monday night rehearsals in the View Ridge Elementary School parking lot.
“They’re from different schools, different bands. We want to keep them playing,” Bergevin said. He joined those players, Jackson Cruz, Zendell Fajarillo, Parker Thompson and Neil Northrop, to make up the quintet that performed traditional marches Thursday.
In a nod to the upcoming Fourth of July, they played a medley of theme songs representing branches of the U.S. armed forces.
Next up was a quintet of area music educators. Trombone player Chuck Wiese, introducing their set, said the group is known as Brass Reflections. For French horn player Robin Stangland, a music teacher with Homeschool Connections in Bothell, the night was a nice change from online lessons she’s been recently leading.
Wrapping up the night was the 200 Trio, out of Seattle, joined by Bergevin. Their members, guitarist Cole Schuster, drummer Max Holmberg, and Greg Feingold on upright bass, brought their smooth sound and big-city polish to Everett.
Out walking her dog, Sandra Oleson said she’d forgotten what night it was. “I usually come down and sit to hear the music,” she said. “I knew he’s a music teacher. I think our neighborhood owes them so much.”
Up the street, Shirley Morrow has lived in the neighborhood 57 years. She loves the music and her talented neighbors. On Thursday. she’d invited several friends to join her. One of them, Nancy Day, came from Mill Creek for the evening. “They’re wonderful,” Morrow said.
Stacy and Earl Lara, neighbors from around the corner, were there to listen with their 16-month-old daughter, Millie, a tiny dancer sporting green plastic sunglasses. “It’s just a really quiet neighborhood. We first heard it from our patio,” Stacy Lara said.
With a masters degree in trumpet performance from Central Washington University, Bergevin has taught for 20 years at Edmonds-Woodway. As a performer, he’s a trumpeter, vocalist and band leader best known for his Javatown Swing Orchestra.
The Edmonds-Woodway jazz program has been recognized as a finalist multiple times in the Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition, a prestigious event in New York City. And Bergevin has been a quarter-finalist for the Grammy Foundation’s Educator of the Year award.
His latest CD is called “Holding Back the Dawn.”
When coronavirus precautions sent students and teachers home and shut businesses and venues, Bergevin found a way to use music to connect with others.
“My wife’s dad is in a retirement home in Redmond,” he said. Bergevin took his horn to play outside the facility while residents enjoyed the music from inside. “It made me feel useful,” he said “It felt the best.”
Toward the show’s end Thursday, family got in on the act. Four Bergevin nieces, Charlotte, Chelsea, Chloe and Joy, together sang a swinging version of the 1930s hit “Bei Mir Bist Du Schön.”
The night grew cool as the sun dipped behind tall trees. Neighbors began to fold chairs and walk on home.
“Thank you!” a woman called out from across the street. “We are the luckiest neighbors in the world, right here.”
Julie Muhlstein: 425-339-3460; firstname.lastname@example.org.
More about musician and teacher Jake Bergevin is online at: www.jakebergevinmusic.com/
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