Pictured left to right: Musicians Carl Maguire, Bradford Beard, writer Stephanie Painter, Alan Maguire, & Reginald White
I get to meet a lot of talented kids while on assignment for Memphis Parent magazine. In fact, several profiled for our Can-do Kids column have made music with prestigious groups like the Stax Music Academy Jazz Ensemble and Tennessee All State Band.
This week, I ran into several young men I've written about who are now playing music together. Seventeen-year-old twins Carl and Alan Maguire from Houston High, played in the Stax's jazz ensemble this year. Meanwhile, 17-year-old Reginald White Jr., a senior at Southwind High, used his skills on the saxophone to qualify for All State Band. Until recently, these young men had never played in the same group.
At a recent luncheon I attended, the Maguire brothers were unpacking their drums and an upright bass when Reginald arrived with his sax. I started snapping pictures, it was a reunion. Reginald had met the Maguire brothers when he joined the jazz ensemble several months ago. With electric guitarist Bradford Beard, they formed WMB Quartet. So how great is the jazz now that all three perform together? Pretty sensational. At the luncheon, audience members got to enjoy My Funny Valentine, My Favorite Things, and several blues numbers.
This summer, WMB Quartet will play private parties, weddings, and a Ronald McDonald House event. The twins also look forward to participating in Berklee College of Music’s five-week summer program.
As for Reginald, he's heading to Morehouse College in the fall on a full scholarship and Bradford will attend Berklee. Though Carl and Alan were also accepted to the Boston-based music school, they plan to study at the University of Memphis first and transfer to Berklee later.
Music is a powerful force in Memphis, frequently bringing people together,. Here it's united some of our favorite musicians. Here's to a jazzy summer.