SFJAZZ High School All-Stars Orchestra
Top Conglomerate Big Band from the 2013 Next Generation Jazz Festival Presented by Monterey Jazz Festival
Directed by esteemed educator and performer Paul Contos, the SFJAZZ High School All-Stars Orchestra comprises 24 of the finest young Bay Area jazz musicians, selected annually by competitive audition. The ensemble has appeared at the San Francisco Jazz Festival, SFJAZZ Spring Season, Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Essentially Ellington Competition, Monterey Next Generation Jazz Festival, the Jazz Education Network Conference, and at concerts in top professional jazz clubs, festivals, museums, and community arts centers throughout California. Ensemble members enjoy regular workshops, master classes and mentoring sessions with leading artists, such as members of the SFJAZZ Collective, Terence Blanchard, Yusef Lateef, and Vijay Iyer.
The rewards are evident in their "dynamite" (JazzTimes) performances, which give “testimony to the continuing persistence of the creative spirit” (Los Angeles Times). "These kids are amazing," wrote the San Jose Mercury News, "jazz has a future!"
Four of the SFJAZZ band members won Outstanding Soloist Awards at the 2013 Next Generation Jazz Festival: Michael Orenstein, Howard Dietz, Logan Kane and Eric Nakanishi.
The SFJAZZ High School All-Stars Orchestra and Combo recently also won 1st place awards in New York City at the Charles Mingus High School Festival and Competition in specialized Big Band and Specialized Combo, respectively.
2012-2013 Orchestra Members:
Howard Dietz, alto, Morgan Hill, Valley Christian High School
Eric Nakanishi, alto, Pleasant Hill, Northgate High School
Michael Blasky, tenor, San Rafael, Marin Academy
Kshimon Stevenson, tenor, Novato, Marin School of the Arts
Nico Scolieri, baritone, San Francisco, SF School of the Arts
Jason Seavey, Greenbrae, Redwood High School
Daniel Bereket, San Carlos, Carlmont High School
Alan Osmundson, Walnut Creek, Las Lomas High School
Arbel Efraty, San Francisco , Lowell High School
Bryan Louie, Salinas, Stevenson School
Matthew Blankinship, Albany, Albany High School
Hanne Williams-Baron, San Francisco, SF School of the Arts
Ruben Sandoval, Daly City, SF School of the Arts
Jasim Perales, Oakland, Oakland School of the Arts
Robbie Henderson, Brentwood, Liberty High School
Matt Wong, San Francisco, San Francisco University High School
Sam Klein-Markman, Berkeley, Berkeley High School
Logan Kane, Pleasanton, Amador Valley High School
Kanoa Mendenhall, Pacific Grove, Valley Christian High School
Zev Shearn-Nance, drums, Tiburon, Redwood High School
Benjamin Ring, drums, Piedmont, Piedmont High School
Ahkeel Mestayer, percussion, San Francisco, SF School of the Arts
Voice/Flute: Elena Pinderhughes, Berkeley, Berkeley High School