Colson Jimenez, a junior at Woodinville High School, was one of 32 high school students across the country chosen to participate in this year’s Grammy Camp Jazz Session in Los Angeles this past February.
Not only did Jimenez and his fellow jazz campmates get to watch the Grammy Awards live on site, they also played several shows around town over the course of nine days, including both the Grammy nominee party and the Grammy after party.
“Just hanging out with everybody, just all the people I met. That was probably the best part,” Jimenez said. “A lot of us have been keeping in touch.”
Jimenez played bass in the four-piece jazz combo, which also consisted of a drummer, a guitar-player and a pianist. The group also played behind the Grammy Camp’s 8-piece vocal ensemble.
All 32 students were chosen based on recorded audition tapes. Once selected, they were sent music to learn and were given two days to practice together in Los Angeles before playing any shows.
Jimenez is originally from California and moved to Woodinville a little over a year ago. He plays upright bass in Woodinville’s orchestra and jazz band.
Eric Lucas, Woodinville’s band director, said he was very proud of Jimenez’s selection to the Grammy program.
“He is an exceptionally talented young man who loves and lives all things jazz,” Lucas wrote in an email interview. “His experience with the Grammy Band will likely help set the course of his life and career choices that should involve music.”
When asked how often he practices, Jimenez replied, “As much as I can.” And he really means it.
“I just kind of play bass all day,” he said. “I do a lot of technical practice.” That includes scales, patterns, and other exercises. Aside from his upright bass, he also owns two electric basses and four guitars.
The Woodinville junior’s musical aspirations extend far beyond high school. He hopes to attend college in New York, likely a music conservatory, a goal he said is certainly helped by his participation in the Grammy jazz band.
“It just seems like the place to be,” he said of New York City. “There’s a good scene here too but it’s not as big.”
Not only does Jimenez want to attend school in New York, he wants to live the New York musician’s dream as well.
“Just to be able to eat and sleep and pay rent. That’s pretty much it. To just not have a job ever,” he said. “The main goal is to be able to do what a lot of other people can’t.”
Jimenez started playing music while living in the Bay area, before moving to Woodinville. Many of his friends were into the music scene, and he followed suit. “It was just kind of the community,” he said.
Of his friends here, Jimenez said they were all excited that he was picked for the Grammy Camp. “They helped me audition,” he said.