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The Swinging Scots

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Finding Inspiration in Every Turn

Our mission is to create a positive, inclusive space to build school spirit through the joy of swing music at Carlmont High School! We meet on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday each month. Come visit us for the fun and join our club!

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What We Do

LIVE CONCERTS

The Quad | 2nd Wednesdays

Nathan's Fearless Five™

& Friends

Traffic Jam

JAM SESSIONS

The Quad | 4th Wednesdays

ALL ARE WELCOME

Bring Your Own Instrument

Toddler Playing Drums

TRY A NEW INSTRUMENT

TBD | 4th Wednesdays

ALL ARE WELCOME

Meet Our Peer Mentors

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ABOUT

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Nathan Tokunaga (16). Mentored by Evan Christopher, Marc Caparone, Clint Baker, and many more.

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Band Leader of Nathan Tokunaga Quartet/Quintet (professional jazz band)

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Band Leader of Nathan's Fearless Five (high school jazz band)

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SJW's Miles Ahead Big Band directed by Michael Galisatus, Lead Alto Saxophone

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College of San Mateo Big Band directed by Patrick Wolff, Tenor Saxophone

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Peninsula Youth Orchestra with Maestro Mitchell Sardou Klein, Principal Clarinet

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Advanced Funk Ensemble, CJC, Alto Saxophone & Clarinet, 2022-23

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Youngest Performing Artist with two professional bands at the Hot Jazz Jubilee 2023

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Youngest Featured Artist of the Monterey Jazz Bash By the Bay Festival 2022 & 2023

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Youngest Guest Artist of Jazzaffair in Three Rivers 2023

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Youngest Performing Musician and Band Leader at the Healdsburg Jazz Festival 2023

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Youngest Performing Musician at the San Diego Jazz Festival 2022

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Worked with Anat Cohen & Wycliffe Gordon at Stanford Jazz Camp in 2022

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Earned the life-time Shape of Jazz to Come award at Stanford Jazz Camp

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Earned the Outstanding Soloist award at Stanford Jazz Camp

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Jazz at the Ballroom 2022-2023 Scholarship Winner

Nathan quickly showed himself an adult in every conceivable way except the number on his birth certificate. In conversation, he revealed himself as assured yet humble, gracious and warm. And on the bandstand, he has an adult musical intelligence, which is to say he is not simply someone who has mastered the clarinet, that unfogiving hybrid of wood and metal, but he is a musician, creating phrases that make sense which become choruses with structure, energy, and personality. His solos are compact and satisfying; his ensemble playing is respectful yet inventive. The clarinet lends itself to shrill forays into its highest register, strings of notes where two would be so much more eloquent: Nathan avoids these excesses. The musicians who were meeting and hearing him for the first time were, shall we say, blown away.

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- Michael Steinman, JAZZ LIVES

......the sensational 15 year old Nathan Tokunaga gave new meaning to the words “child prodigy.” He knew all the arrangements and forms and when to have his clarinet soar above the featured melody while responding to the cues and signals given by the other musicians. He was at ease and somewhat flawless. Jeff Barnhart (see Jeff’s column “My Inspirations” on page six of TST January issue) described this young man with equally endearing adjectives and I expect to see and hear him many times in the coming years. Nathan played with a few other bands throughout the weekend. Both Marc and Howard had ear-to-ear grins while watching Nathan during his featured solos. I did too!

Nathan is super-intelligent and loves old-time traditional jazz,” according to Clint [Baker]. “He’s a very special young man with a bright future.”

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We originally started as a band to raise funds for the New Orleans Musician’s Clinic following the devastation of Hurricane Ida,” Tokunaga said. “After raising over $1800 for that, we’ve since focused on other gigs that align with our mission, like playing at Old Skool Cafe, a San Francisco jazz supper club that provides job opportunities to at-risk youths.

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I’m extremely passionate about New Orleans jazz, and I want to help the people who contribute to New Orleans culture as much as I can, especially since the situation they’re in is highly unjust.”

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Tokunaga

Tokunaga

Nathan's Fearless Five

OUR STORY

Nathan’s Fearless Five™ is a high school jazz band founded in October 2021 at Carlmont High School. With social justice and community at heart, the band was formed to raise funds for the New Orleans Musicians Clinic, a non-profit benefiting musicians and culture-bearers with inadequate or no medical insurance. Since then, the band has played regularly at the Old Skool Cafe, a youth-run, non-profit supper club where live jazz music is an essential part of its business model. The jazz-themed cafe provides job training, employment, and a second chance at life for at-risk youths in San Francisco. Next, the Fearless Five brought live jazz to its hometown since they started gigging at the Tavern in Belmont (formerly Waterdog Tavern) in July 2022. Soon after that, the band was named "Musicians in Residence" at the Palo Alto Rinconada library and is currently playing every 4th Saturday at its Embarcadero Room. We are proud to announce that Nathan's Fearless Five is invited to perform at the Jazzaffair Festival in Three Rivers, CA in April of 2024! It is the first youth band ever invited to the festival in its 49 years of history. The Fearless Five regularly performs for senior living centers, jazz educational events, etc. For upcoming and past performances, please visit the Calendar page.

Music

SAMPLE VIDEO

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Noelle Erslovas • Scot Scoop

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CONTACT

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