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BSA student takes her talents on the road as she goes on tour

'I couldn't be more excited for Ebban'
Ebban Dorsey
Posted at 12:10 PM, Apr 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-20 14:59:17-04

BALTIMORE — Baltimore never fails to produce great talent. This statement holds true with Ebban Dorsey, a senior at Baltimore School for the Arts (BSA).

She has just been invited to the Peer-to-Peer Jazz Quintet. This event is one of the most educative and prestigious programs in jazz education.

Dorsey has been around music her whole life, but she didn't pick up the alto saxophone until the age of 10.

"I chose the sax because my older sister played jazz saxophone while she was in high school. It was around the time where my school was handing out instruments and I wanted to be like her," said Dorsey.

She notes that early on, one of the hardest things for her was getting used to what's required to be a musician. Not only was Dorsey making the transition from athlete to musician, but she also had to start to develop a love for jazz music.

"It took me a while to get into jazz, specifically, because I was listening to a lot of hip hop and r&b at the time," said Dorsey.

Dorsey, a few of her classmates and her jazz director will all be in D.C. on Tuesday, April 19, performing with 14-time Grammy-winning jazz musician Herbie Hancock.

Although she's had a lot of experience outside of school, she credits BSA and all of her mentors for preparing her for this moment. She knows how hard it is for a woman to make it as musician.

"I'm blessed to say that I've been supported since I started music and it's pretty cool," said Dorsey.


Her jazz director, Ed Hrybyk, knew that Dorsey and her brother were talented before they became students at BSA. The school is filled with talented students, but Dorsey and her brother were on another level.

"They were already playing at a very high level, almost a college level when they were freshman," said Hrybyk.

Teaching students that are this advanced isn't easy explains Hrybyk.

"It's hard to challenge a student like Ebban while still serving a student that may not have had the experiences she had," said Hrybyk.

Dorsey never gets lost in the moment. As a high schooler, she is booking her own gigs and has taken her education into her own hands.

She will also be hitting the road with internationally renowned jazz trumpet recording artist Sean Jones in a week-long performance tour in May.

The BSA senior is no stranger to large performances, as she's performed at Camden Yards and performed alongside Kamasi Washington, she explains that this performance will be a bit different.

Instead of using sheet music, she'll have to memorize these songs while she's on tour.

"I need to be listening to this music all the time, so that I can take it in and be able to perform it without music," said Dorsey.

What's next for her to conquer? Dorsey will set her sights on Peabody in the fall as she received a full ride to attend. Her ultimate goal is to pursue a career as a full-time musician.