Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Next Generation Jazz Orchestra announced

The 2008 Next Generation Jazz Orchestra, directed by Paul Contos, was announced today. They are:


Andrew Olson - alto, American Music Program / Tualatin High School, Tualatin, Oregon; Patrick Sargent - alto; American Music Program, Portland, Oregon, Paul-Eirik Melhus - tenor, Ironwood High School, Glendale, Ari.; Maximillian Zooi - tenor, Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, Los Angeles; Nicole Glover - baritone, American Music Program, Portland, Oregon.


Jon Hatamiya, Davis Senior High School, Davis; John Egizi **, Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, Los Angeles; Kyle Molitor, American Music Program / Tigard High School, Tigard, Oregon; Christopher Kennedy, Catalina Foothills High School, Tucson, Ari.; Emmanuel Rojas (bass) **, Warren High School, Downey.


Joshua Gawel, Daniel Boone Area High School, Birdsboro, Penn.; Nick Frenay ***, Manlius Pebble Hill School, DeWitt, NY; Cody Rowlands, Deer Valley High School, Glendale, Ari.; Ben Benack III, Upper St. Claire High School, Pittsburgh, Penn.; Zachary Gillespie, Ironwood High School, Glendale, Ari.


Gregory Chen - piano
Valley Christian High School, San Jose; Mike Gurrola - bass ** Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, Los Angeles; Adam Moezinia - guitar Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, Los Angeles; Jimmy Macbride – drums **, Hall High School, West Hartford, Conn.; Sam Miller - drums Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, Los Angeles; Ben Lusher - vocals, the Masters School, Dobbs Ferry, NY.

** 2-time member of NGJO
*** 3-time member of NGJO

The Next Generation Jazz Orchestra (formerly known as the MJF High School All-Star Big Band from 1971-2004) nurtures the future generation of jazz stars through a program that selects the best and brightest high school jazz musicians in the country. In 2009, the twenty-two member jazz orchestra features musicians selected from thirteen high schools from Western States and the East Coast, including Arizona, California, Connecticut, New York, Oregon, and Pennsylvania. Six states have contributed members this year in a cross-section of the best high school jazz programs in the country.

Under the direction renowned saxophonist and flautist Paul Contos, who serves as the director of the Orchestra, the ensemble is dedicated to the study and performance of the most challenging big band literature available.

The Next Generation Jazz Orchestra will embark on its annual summer tour on July 5, appearing in clubs, at music conventions, academic institutions in the Heartland of the United States, with gigs in Kansas City, Chicago, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, and Washington D.C.; the tour is being dubbed the KC/DC Tour. With a final tour appearance on the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage, their tenure in the band will culminate at the 52nd Annual Monterey Jazz Festival Presented by Verizon on September 20th on the Arena/Jimmy Lyons Stage, where they will appear with trumpeter and 2009 MJF Artist-In-Residence, Wynton Marsalis.

In 2009, there are five returning members of the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra: trombonists John Egizi and Emmanuel Rojas; bassist Mike Gurrola, drummer Jimmy Macbride, and trumpeter Nick Frenay. Nick Frenay of the Manlius Pebble Hill School in Dewitt, New York, is the only three-time member of the NGJO this year, and has previously performed with the band at the Hilton in Paris, France; New York City’s Jazz at Lincoln Center, the North Sea Jazz Festival in Rotterdam, The Netherlands; as well as on the Arena/Jimmy Lyons stage of Monterey’s 50th, 51st, and 52nd Festivals.

The Monterey Jazz Festival is also proud to announce the winner of the Next Generation Festival's prestigious Big Band Composition Competition, Andy Clausen. Mr. Clausen a trombonist and junior at Roosevelt High School in Seattle, Washington, won the Competition with “Fly,” which will be performed by the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra on the Arena / Jimmy Lyons Stage on September 20th, 2009. He will receive the 2nd Annual Gerald Wilson Award and a cash prize.

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