Name: The Insomniacs
Genre: Improvisational jazz
How did you each begin playing your instrument?
Megan: I started saxophone in 4th grade.
Laurie: I always liked singing. I started off in choir.
Grace: Before trombone I played flute. I got sick of the keys, so I just chose something without them! Now I love the trombone.
Janet: I’ve been playing piano since I was 5.
David: I started off playing piano but was terrible at sight-reading notes, so I picked up the drums and just kind of stuck with it.
Christian: I started off playing trumpet and piano, but a good friend of mine had a bass guitar. I thought it was really cool, so I got one and taught myself how to play.
What’s the hardest part about playing in a jazz band?
Grace: You have to work with people in getting all the emotion you can into the music.
Laurie: And you have to be so careful to respect each other.
Janet: There’s a lot of synergy in our band – we have a sense about who will start their solo and who will stop. We listen to each other. We’ve become very good at that.
Christian: It’s taken us about a year to build up our synergy.
Megan: Right now, it’s at its peak.
Why “The Insomniacs?”
We all do a lot of stuff, and we don’t get enough sleep.
Who’s your favorite jazz musician?
Laurie: Carmen McRae
Grace: J.J. Johnson
Janet: Ella Fitzgerald
David: Miles Davis
Christian: Miles Davis
Megan: Candy Dulfer
If you could play any other instrument, what would it be?
Megan: Bass guitar. Or a string instrument.
Grace: Cello. I love the tone, and I love how it looks.
Laurie: A low instrument, like a cello or double bass or tenor saxophone.
David: A string instrument, because you can bend the notes.
Christian: Trumpet for jazz, but in general, the sitar.
The Insomniacs are an improvisational jazz collective comprised of ISB High School students:
Bass guitar: Christian Krueger
Vocals: Laurie Lee
Trombone: Grace Lu
Drums: David Su
Saxophone: Megan Wang
Piano: Janet Xiao