SFJAZZ would like to congratulate their High School All-Stars Orchestra on winning the High School Conglomerate Big Band division of the Next Generation Jazz Festival in Monterey for the second consecutive year! The Next Generation Jazz Festival, which happened over March 28th, 29th, and 30th, is the youth portion of the world-famous Monterey Jazz Festival, and division winners earn a performance slot at the fall festival. This means that the SFJAZZ High School All-Stars Orchestra, under the direction of their incredible Band Director, Paul Contos, will perform at this year’s 57th Annual Monterey Jazz Festival on the Arena/Jimmy Lyons Stage on Sunday, September 21, 2014.
In addition to winning the Conglomerate Big Band division, SFJAZZ High School All-Stars also competed in the High School Conglomerate Open Combo division with a set of entirely original works written by the ensemble. All together, four of the All-Stars earned Outstanding Soloist Awards: Matt Wong (piano), Benjamin Ring (drums), Kanoa Mendenhall, and Logan Kane (bass). Benjamin Ring also won a scholarship to the Berklee College of Music Five Week Summer Program.
"SFJAZZ considers this second consecutive Next Generation Festival win not only an incredible honor, but a testament to these remarkable young men and women, who are truly speaking the jazz language at an optimal level,” said Rebeca Mauleón, SFJAZZ Director of Education. “The All-Stars never cease to amaze me, not only because they are so musically gifted, but because they also happen to be extraordinary human beings. We know how stressful high school can be as it is, and for these musicians to demonstrate such commitment and focus above and beyond their academic responsibilities says a lot about the kind of people they are.”
You can check out more information on the SFJAZZ High School All-Stars here: http://www.sfjazz.org/education/hsas, and be sure to keep an eye on the Monterey Jazz Festival’s page to see the amazing lineup alongside whom the All-Stars will perform this fall! http://www.montereyjazzfestival.org/