Jazzing Up the Jazz Band With New Vocalist Bailey Driver


Lenox Johnson

Queen of Jazz: Sophomore Bailey Driver prepares to be the next leading vocalist for the North Atlanta Jazz Band and to stun next year's audience with her outstanding voice.

For lovers of great, swinging music, the North Atlanta Jazz Band is the musical highlight of any school event. It is comprised of some of the best musicians our school has to offer and with such high quality music, they have yet to disappoint. One of the things that truly sets them apart is the smooth vocals provided by seniors Devon Gates and Chris Robinson. As the school moves into spring semester, the reality of the impending departure of our seniors begins to set in and you can’t help but wonder what the school is going to be like without them. Luckily for us, Jazz Band director Adam Brooks thought ahead.

Starting this year, Devon Gates has been training Bailey Driver to take her place as lead vocalist of the Jazz Band. Driver has been learning at Gates’ right hand, soaking up all the advice she can get from this musical prodigy. “This is very exciting. To know that Mr. Brooks even thought of me is so flattering and I really want to make him proud,” said Driver.

Driver’s first appearance with the Jazz band was this year at the arts department Holiday Concert where she sang in front of an enraptured audience. “I was terrified but it ended up being so much fun,” Driver said.

Driver is also a member of the advanced Bel Canto chorus where she sings the voice part of alto. Although her experience with the chorus has helped to prepare her, jazz is an musical art form all its own. “Jazz breaks all the rules of music and it’s amazing,” Driver said. “It’s one of the reasons I love it so much.”

Driver is very eager to prove herself but along with that comes a ton of pressure. She has admitted that she has some rather large shoes to fill following the dynamic Gates and that the road ahead will be far from easy. “I think the key is for her not to try to replace them,” said North Atlanta Class of 2018 graduate Osaze Tisdale who now studies at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. “She needs to find her own sound and place in the jazz band.”

Driver has a voice that is uniquely her own and its expected she will do a fantastic job as the Jazz Band’s lead vocalist. Whichever direction she decides to go, she will add a new energy and flavor to the music collective we have grown to love. Until then, jazz-lovers must wait with bated breath for Driver to take her place among the best of North Atlanta. Most fans of the genre will be “jazzed” to see what she has to offer.