In this weekend’s issue of the Kent Reporter, journalist Steve Hunter reports that Darren Motamedy, a popular Kent-based jazz musician and elementary school band teacher, is moving to Las Vegas. He started searching for a job 18 months ago when it seemed imminent that the Kent School District would soon be cutting school band programs from the budget. Although KSD offered him a teaching position at the middle and high school levels here, Motamedy and his family had already made the decision to move to Las Vegas where Motamedy had accepted a teaching position.
A Kentridge High School graduate, the 51-year-old Motamedy is a community favorite. He has won a Golden Apple award in 2009 for his teaching in Kent schools and was named Teacher of the Year by the Kent School District in 2008. He has also won awards for his work as a composer and jazz musician. Though he plays a number of instruments, he is best known locally as a saxophonist and jazz musician.
One of Motamedy’s final performances in Kent will take place this Thursday, June 24 at the free Evening of Jazz and Art event at Kent Senior Center.
Having interviewed Motamedy several times along with his music students, I anticipate that his move out of the community will be a big loss to our cultural arts programs as well as to his students. There is no doubt, however, that he will be a success wherever he travels. Best of luck to you, Darren, and to your family! You will be missed!
File photo by Dana Neuts, February 2009