By Jennifer Solis
---- — WEST NEWBURY — Winter Café Jazz at Pentucket High School welcomes a young musician from a neighboring state on Friday.
Aubrey Harris, a sophomore from Exeter, N.H., High School, joined Pentucket’s jazz combo mid-way through the semester when the group’s regular bassist had to step aside due to health issues.
“As I was expecting to have our Pentucket bassist for another two years, I didn’t have another player in the wings who was ready to step into the group,” David Schumacher, director of jazz at Pentucket, said of the choice to bring in a student from another school to perform with his award-winning combo.
Harris is the daughter of local jazz drummer Les Harris Jr. and the granddaughter of jazz drumming legend Les Harris Sr. — one of the early pioneers of the Berklee College of Music in Boston who has performed with a long list of jazz greats over the years.
A school tradition, Café Jazz is held twice each school year in December and May.
On Friday at 7 p.m., the young musicians will transform the high school cafeteria into an intimate jazz club. The audience will sit among the musicians, relaxing with warm cups of coffee and plates filled with complimentary holiday treats.
The program will feature the Blues Ensemble, Big Band and Jazz Combo performing the music of Thelonious Monk, Cole Porter, Charles Mingus, Dizzy Gillespie and Sonny Rollins, among many others.
Admission is free, but donations to the high school music program are always gratefully accepted in the broken drum at the table in the back of the house. Snow date is Saturday, Dec. 15.