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Youth Jazz Ensemble

The Youth Jazz Ensemble is open to all students between the ages of 10 and 18.  We are currently revising our program to meet health and safety requirements for musicians.

Past Repertoire

Dizzy Gillespie | Night in Tunisia
Paul Desmond | Take Five
Miles Davis / John Coltrane | So What / Impressions
Ray Noble | Cherokee
Mongo Santamaria Afro Blue
Thelonius Monk | Well You Needn’t
Jerry Brainin | The Night Has a Thousand Eyes


Derick Polk, Youth Jazz Ensemble Director

Derick Polk grew up on the south side of Chicago, Illinois, and attended two universities in the city: DePaul University, where he earned a degree in music theory, and Northwestern Illinois University, where he earned his degree in music education.

His military career took him out of Chicago and allowed him to explore other parts of the world, such as Italy and Japan, and gave him further opportunities for performance and conducting.

Derick plays tuba in addition to bass, and listens to a wide range of music, including rock, jazz, hip hop, country, and classical. The two most influential musicians in his life are Von Freeman and Fred Anderson, both Chicago jazz legends. 

We have been so grateful to have Derick as the director of the BWS Youth Jazz Ensemble. He has said that this group allows him to give forward. By sharing his experience and wisdom, he is helping to shape the next generation of musicians and keep music alive and well in our community.