2013 Next Generation Jazz Orchestra Bios
Trombonist Sam Chess, 17, is a senior at University High School in Tucson, Arizona. He additionally attends the Tucson Jazz Institute, where he plays lead trombone in the Ellington Band, their top ensemble. The Ellington Band’s many awards include first place in the Conglomerate Big Band Division at Monterey’s 2012 Next Generation Jazz Festival and the 2013 Essentially Ellington Competition, hosted by Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra in New York City, where Sam won an Outstanding Trombone Soloist award. Selected to participate in the 2013 Brubeck Institute Summer Jazz Colony in Stockton, Calif., Sam has also played first trombone in the Arizona All-State Jazz Band for the last two years. Sam currently studies with Doug Tidaback, Scott Black, and Brice Winston.
Trumpeter Noah Conrad, 18, is a graduate of Cleveland High School in Portland, Oregon. Over the past five years, Noah has performed with the Jazz Band of America, Berklee Jazz Workshop, American Music Program Pacific Crest Jazz Orchestra, Cleveland High School Jazz I and Jazz Combo, Metropolitan Youth Symphony Jazz I and Jazz Combo, Alan Jones Academy of Music, and Portland Youth Jazz Orchestra. He has participated in more than 20 jazz festivals, including New York City’s Essentially Ellington competition and Monterey’s Next Generation Jazz Festival, and has won more than 20 Outstanding Soloist awards. In 2012, Noah played lead trumpet on two songs on Esperanza Spalding’s GRAMMY® Award-winning recording, Radio Music Society. Noah has studied or performed with John Clayton, Wayne Naus, Terell Stafford, Fred Wesley, Esperanza Spalding, Bobby Shew, Phil Wilson, Gerald Wilson, Tiger Okoshi, Thara Memory, and Alan Jones. Noah also plays piano, studying with Randy Porter. In summer 2013, he’ll play at the Vannes Jazz Festival in France, and then will attend the Berklee College of Music in Boston in the fall. This is his first time in the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra.
Saxophonist Howard Dietz, 18, is a graduate of Valley Christian High School in San Jose, California. He began his musical studies at age six on piano, and added saxophone at age 11. Howard plays lead alto with the award-winning SFJAZZ All-Stars Orchestra and All-Stars Combo, which both won first place in the Conglomerate Division at the 2013 Next Generation Jazz Festival and Charles Mingus Jazz Festival. Both the SFJAZZ All-Stars Orchestra and Combo also won 2013 Conglomerate Category DownBeat Student awards. Also chosen to play lead alto in the 2013 California All-State Jazz Band, Howard has received outstanding performer awards at the Reno Jazz Festival and the Next Generation Jazz Festival; a DownBeat student award for his arrangement of “Fables of Faubus”; and was spotlighted in an interview in the magazine. Additionally in 2013, Valley Christian won a DownBeat Student Award for Best High School Big Band. He has also been selected two years in a row to play in the Reno Jazz Festival All-Star Combo, which comprises of the best players in the West Coast. Howard currently studies under Dann Zinn and has won scholarships to numerous camps including the 2012 and 2013 Stanford Jazz Camp. He has performed in many prestigious venues throughout California, including Davies Symphony Hall and the SFJAZZ Center. He has also performed with Tom Scott, Pete Escovedo, Bobby Hutcherson, Ron Carter, Jimmy Cobb, Houston Person, Kenny Barron, the San Francisco Symphony, Christian McBride, and Joe Lovano. He will attend the University of North Texas in the fall of 2013 as a Jazz Studies major. This is his first time in the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra.
Trumpeter Fernando Ferrarone, 17, is a senior at Felix Varela Senior High School in Miami, Florida. A multi-instrumentalist, he also plays alto saxophone. As a trumpet player, he is a member of the 2013 GRAMMY® Jazz Band and Music for All’s Jazz Band of America; received a 2013 YoungArts Merit Award; and was presented an Outstanding Trumpet Soloist Award from Wynton Marsalis at the 2013 Essentially Ellington Competition at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City. Also a winner of a 2013 DownBeat Student Music Award as a jazz soloist winner on trumpet and alto saxophone, Fernando was First Alto Saxophone Chair in the 2013 Florida All-State Jazz Band, and will participate in the 2013 Brubeck Institute Summer Jazz Colony. Fernando Currently studies with Brian Lynch, Tom McCormick and Jim Broderick. This is first time in the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra.
Pianist James Francies, 17, is a graduate of the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston, Texas. Studying piano since the age of four, James’s musical accomplishments in 2013 include being selected to the GRAMMY® Jazz Ensemble; the Thelonious Monk National Performing Arts High School All-Star Jazz Sextet, and the Texas Music Educators Association’s All-State Jazz Ensemble; winning the DownBeat Magazine Student Composition and Jazz Arrangement categories; and second-stage level consideration for the American Federation of Musicians Presidents Youth Award. In 2012, he was selected to participate at the Vail Jazz Workshop in Colorado; was awarded the 2012-2013 Ruth and Eli Nadel Scholarship Award at the Stanford Jazz Workshop in Palo Alto, California; and won an Outstanding Soloist Award at the University of Houston Jazz Festival.
While at HSPVA, James received the 2012 Jason Moran Scholarship Award. His trio has performed at the Annual Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, and his quintet opened for the Jazz Crusaders’ reunion concert in Galveston in 2011; that same year, he was awarded a full scholarship to attend Skidmore Summer Jazz Institute in Saratoga Springs, New York. Other accolades include winning the Outstanding Musicianship and Outstanding Soloist Award at the 2010 Crescent City Jazz Festival in New Orleans, performing at the City of Houston’s Mayor’s Jazz Brunch, and appearing at the Houston International Jazz Festival in 2008 and 2009.
James has played alongside many eminent musicians, including Houston Person, Albert “Tootie” Heath, Arturo Sandoval, Antonio Hart, Julian Lage, Joel Frahm, Brandon Lee, Terrell Stafford, Mike Moreno, Andre Hayward, Jeff Hamilton, Lisa Henry, Sebastian Whittaker, Wycliffe Gordon, and Kendrick Scott just to name a few. Pianist Taylor Eigsti said that James "is poised to become a major voice on the instrument. He has the passion, creativity and ability to be a real leader amonst his generation. Watch out for him." James will attend the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York City on full scholarship in the fall of 2013.
Guitarist Peter Gabrielides, 18, is a graduate of a New Trier High School in Winnetka, Illinois, where he was the only musician in his class to have been in DownBeat’s multiple award-winning Jazz Ensemble I since his sophomore year. Peter started playing classical guitar at the age of six, staring jazz at 15. An All-State musician for both his junior and senior years, Peter attended the Birch Creek summer camps in 2010, 2011, and 2013. He plays frequently in venues around Chicago such as the Jazz Showcase, the Palmer House Hotel and Andy's Jazz Club, and has performed with such musicians as Seamus Blake, Dennis Mackrel, and Chris Madsen. He will attend the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Oberlin, Ohio in the fall.
Saxophonist Sam Hart, 18, is a graduate of Clarkstown High School South, in West Nyack, New York. Playing since the age of 10, Sam was a 2013 National Federation for the Advancement of the Arts YoungArts Finalist and performed in a collaborative event produced and directed by Mikhail Baryshnikov through YoungArts New York.
As a 2012 and 2013 High School GRAMMY® Jazz Big Band member, he recorded two CDs with the GRAMMY Big Band and Combo at Capitol Studios; and has performed at various venues in the Los Angeles area. Sam received a 2011 DownBeat Award for Outstanding Performance in the High School Jazz Soloist category, and received a 2012 DownBeat Award as lead alto saxophonist for Outstanding Performance of a Jazz Group/Combo.
Sam’s quartet has headlined at Nyack Jazz Week; opened for Whoopi Goldberg at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark; was a special guest at Birdland Jazz Club, the Allen Room, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola at Jazz at Lincoln Center, and has performed at other venues around New York City.
Sam attended the Precollege Program at Manhattan School of Music where he played in the top combo and big band; NJPAC’s Jazz for Teens; has also been involved in his community with the Rockland Youth Jazz Ensemble as lead alto player and student mentor for the last five years; played in Clarkstown High School South’s concert band; and was the lead alto saxophonist for the New York Youth Symphony’s Jazz Big Band. Sam’s summer jazz program accolades include the Brubeck Institute’s Summer Jazz Colony; the Litchfield Jazz Camp, and the William Paterson Jazz Workshop. He has performed with jazz greats including Joe Lovano, Chick Corea, Phil Woods, Arturo O’Farrill, John Hart, Jimmy Heath, Billy Hart, Christian McBride, Onaje Gumbs, Jon Davis, Jon Gordon, Jim McNeely, Brian Lynch, and Wycliffe Gordon. Sam will be a freshman at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida in the fall of 2013, where he will perform with the prestigious Stamps Jazz Quintet.
Trombonist Coleman Hughes, 17, is a junior at Newark Academy in Livingston, New Jersey, where he plays lead trombone in their award-winning jazz band, Chameleon. Coleman was selected as lead trombonist for the 2011 New Jersey Association for Jazz Education All-State Jazz Band; and was chosen for the 2012 and 2013 GRAMMY® Jazz Band and Monterey’s 2012 Next Generation Jazz Orchestra. He has won a DownBeat Magazine Student Outstanding Soloist award in 2012; Outstanding Soloist awards at the Mingus Competition in 2012 and 2013; and the Ella Fitzgerald Soloist award at the 2013 Essentially Ellington Competition at Lincoln Center with the Jazz House Kids Big Band. Coleman has participated in summer programs at Skidmore, Julliard, Kinhaven, and Jazz House Kids. He has studied with Ben Williams, Curtis Fuller, David Gibson, Steve Turre, Andre Hayward, James Burton III, Preston Scott, and Anthony Mazzocchi. Coleman has played alongside the Mingus Big Band, Louis Hayes, David Gibson, Christian McBride, the Michael Dease Big Band, Grassella Oliphant, Bruce Williams, Freddie Hendrix, and Chick Corea. Coleman has also performed at the Manhattan School of Music, Jazz Standard, Dizzy's Club Coca Cola, South Orange Performing Arts Center, New Jersey Performing Art Center, WBGO, and more. This is his second year in the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra.
Bassist Daryl Johns, 17, is a senior at the Dwight-Engelwood School in Engelwood, New Jersey, and also attends the Manhattan School of Music PreCollege Division on full scholarship from the Sidney Frank Foundation. The son of drummer Steve Johns and saxophonist Debbie Keefe Johns, at the age of 13, he was a semi-finalist at the 2009 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Bass Competition, where he performed with Geoff Keezer and Carl Allen. “Daryl represents everything this music is about,” wrote T.S. Monk. “His respect for the history belies his youth.” Daryl has toured the West Coast and Japan, performed at the 2011 and 2012 Monterey Jazz Festivals with the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra with special guests Joshua Redman, Donny McCaslin, Benny Green, and Ambrose Akinmusire; and was also was selected to play in the 2011 and 2012 GRAMMY® Jazz Ensembles. His awards include being named WBGO’s “Jazz Star of Tomorrow” at the Champions of Jazz at Lincoln Center in 2011, and in 2013, Daryl was a YoungArts Finalist, signifying he is among the top 3% of young artists in the country. His notable performances include appearing with the Larry Coryell Trio during a week-long engagement at the Blue Note in New York City (double-billed with the Stanley Clarke Trio); the Wolff/Clark Expedition (with Michael Wolff and Mike Clark); the Lenny White Quartet; the Wallace Roney Quintet; and the Russell Malone Duo. He has recorded with the Wallace Roney Big Band and Quintet, and the Hod O’Brien Trio. This is his third time in the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra.
Saxophonist Julian Lee, 18, is a graduate of Montclair High School in New Jersey. Raised by two musicians, Julian has played alto at age seven, studying privately with his father, Mike Lee, and with Bruce Williams and Felipe Salles. For the past three years, he has been a student at the Manhattan School of Music Precollege Division. As lead alto sax in the Jazz House Big Band since its birth three years ago, he won an Outstanding Soloist award from the Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition in 2013.
Julian has additionally won the Jazz Soloist category of DownBeat Magazine’s Student Music Awards three times; toured with the Monterey Jazz Festival’s 2011 Next Generation Orchestra; and was a member of the 2012 and 2013 GRAMMY® Jazz Band. He has also been cited as an outstanding soloist on multiple occasions at the Charles Mingus Competition in New York City, and has appeared in concert with Christian McBride, Steve Turre, Eric Alexander, Joe Farnsworth, Harold Mabern, Greg Gisbert, Steve Davis, Cecil Brooks III, and many others. Julian gigs regularly in New York and New Jersey, and will attend the Juilliard School in New York City in the fall of 2013. This is second time in the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra.
Drummer Cameron MacIntosh, 17, is a senior at Columbia High School in Maplewood, New Jersey, where he is a member of their jazz and wind ensembles. He began playing drums at age nine, and by age 11, he was accepted as a student of Joe Morello. Cameron also attends the Manhattan School of Music Precollege Division and performs in their top combo and big band.
In 2012, Cameron was selected to the GRAMMY® Jazz Ensemble which played in Los Angeles with Anthony Hamilton and Chick Corea, the MusiCares Person of the Year Gala honoring Paul McCartney, and recorded at Capital Records; Monterey’s Next Generation Jazz Orchestra, touring Japan; was one of two drummers chosen to participate in the Vail Jazz Workshop; and with Montclair, New Jersey’s Jazz House Kids Big Band, which performed at the 2012 Charles Mingus Competition in New York City, Cameron won an Outstanding Soloist award.
He has played in various clubs and venues in New York City, the United States, and abroad, including Smalls, the Jazz Standard, Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola, Trumpets, Yoshi’s San Francisco, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Monterey Jazz Festival, Monterey Jazz Festival in Noto, Japan; the University of Southern California, Spaghettini’s Jazz Club in Seal Beach, Calif., and more.
In 2013, Cameron and the Jazz House Big Band won the Best Rhythm Section award at the Essentially Ellington Competition at Jazz at Lincoln Center, where the band placed second overall. Cameron will also participate in the 2013 Brubeck Institute’s Summer Jazz Colony in Stockton, Calif., as well as the Grammy Cultural Exchange in New York City. Cameron now studies privately with drummer Ulysses Owens, Jr. This is his second year in the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra.
Trombonist Blake Manternach, 18, is a graduate of West High School in Iowa City, Iowa, and currently performs with the University of Iowa's Johnson County Landmark Band under the direction of Ira Rapson. Performing since the fifth grade, Blake is a multiple-year member of the Iowa All-State Band (2011-12) and the Iowa All-State Jazz Band (2011-13). In 2012, he was selected to Music for All’s Jazz Band of America; the Brubeck Institute Summer Jazz Colony; and the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra, which toured Japan. In 2013, he was chosen as a member of the GRAMMY® Jazz Ensemble. Blake has studied or performed with Rich Medd, Jonathan Allen, Tom Garling and Michael Dease. In addition, he has played with Paul McKee, Terell Stafford, Jonathan Batiste, John Fedchock, Michael Mossman, Frank Kimbrough, and Peter Apfelbaum. Blake will attend the New England Conservatory in Boston in the fall of 2013. This is his second time in the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra.
Flutist and vocalist Elena Pinderhughes, 17, is a graduate of Berkeley High School in Berkeley, California. She began playing flute at age seven, and by age nine, she was playing jazz and Latin flute with local bands and recorded her first CD, Catch 22. At 11, she was featured in an HBO special on young musicians entitled The Music in Me. Versatile in classical, jazz, and Latin jazz, Elena has won numerous Best Soloist awards at jazz festivals and from DownBeat Magazine. She is a 2013 YoungArts Gold Award recipient and a U.S Presidential Scholar in the Arts. She was a member of the 2013 Grammy Band and Choir, the San Francisco Youth Symphony Orchestra and has performed in numerous venues, including Carnegie Hall, the White House, the Kennedy Center, Yoshi’s Jazz Club, Davies Symphony Hall, Caramoor Music Festival, Moab Music Festival, Fillmore Jazz Festival, Monterey Jazz Festival, Yerba Buena Latin Music Festival, and more, in addition to touring Brazil, Cuba, Italy, Switzerland, and Japan. She has had the pleasure of sharing the stage with Hubert Laws, Kenny Garrett, Hubert Laws, Carlos Santana, Orlando “Maraca” Valle, Omar Sosa, Ambrose Akinmusire, Arturo Sandoval, Stefon Harris, and others. She has participated in a number of Juilliard Jazz Workshops, the Young Musicians Program, SFJAZZ High School Jazz All-Stars Orchestra, the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra, the Brubeck Institute Summer Jazz Colony, and the Vail Jazz Workshop. She studies classical flute with Michelle Caimotto, and will be attending the Manhattan School of Music in the fall. This is her second year in the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra.
Trumpeter Michael Raehpour is a graduate of Andover High School in Andover, Kansas. A nationally- known jazz and classical musician, in 2013, Michael was selected as lead trumpet in the prestigious GRAMMY® Band, performing at several California venues; and as a member of the University of Kansas Trumpet Ensemble, he performed at the Presidential Inauguration in Washington D.C. Michael has been selected to various jazz and classical honor bands across the state, including the 2010-2013 Kansas All-State Jazz Bands, where he has acted as lead trumpet for the last two years; the 2010-2013 Mid-Kansas Jazz Ensemble; and the Wichita Youth Symphony as principal trumpet.
Michael studies privately with Don Duncan, Jeff Gordon, and Steve Leisring, and has performed under the direction or shared the stage with many jazz greats, including Chick Corea, John Davis, Arturo Sandoval, Dan Gailey, Ron Carter, Justin DiCioccio, Ron McCurdy, Lisa Hittle, Stanley Clarke, Steve Owen, Jim Pisano, Karen Quinn, Bob McCurdy, and many others. He has performed in many top venues in Kansas with various bands, including public and private events with the local Wichita group, Cool Blue, under direction of Steve Shook.
As a studio musician, he has acted as a substitute for professional musicals, has worked with small chamber groups of all wind instruments, and can be heard on four CDs. Michael also privately teaches students from grade school through high school, including special needs children; and has assisted the Andover Middle School bands for two years. Michael has received personal guidance through his musical career from numerous mentors, including his high school director, Ray Linville; L.A. studio musician Jon Lewis; and saxophonist Branford Marsalis. Michael will major in Music Education at the University of Kansas, where he has aspirations of becoming a music professor and studio musician.
Vocalist and composer Brianna Rancour-Ibarra, 17, is a graduate of Los Angeles County High School for the Arts. Playing piano and composing since she was five years old, she started singing formally at the age of 10, studying classical and jazz under the direction of Marisa Rawlins-Bradfield. As a vocalist, she received first place in the Jack Gard Music Competition for Jazz Voice; a Young Arts Honorable Mention for Jazz Voice; and an Outstanding Soloist Award at Monterey’s Next Generation Jazz Festival with the award-winning LACHSA Vocal Jazz Ensemble. At LACHSA, she had the honor of being the student director of the Vocal Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Pat Bass, winning first place at the 2011 Next Generation Jazz Festival. As an instructor, Brianna has taught for the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affair’s Music LA in 2012; has taught voice and piano to middle and high school students; and rhythm, theory, guitar, and singing to elementary school kids.
As a composer, Brianna attended 2011 California State Summer School for the Arts at CalArts and studied with Ralph Jones, Kamau Kenyatta, John Stephens, and Alexander Overington. While attending, she received the Herb Alpert Music Scholarship.
She is currently producing her album, Thin Lines, comprised of original songs. She performs music from this album and more with her band and songwriting duo Portman Two, comprised of GRAMMY® Jazz Sessions singer and multi-instrumentalist, Mark Mekailian, and drummer Daniel Venz, performing locally at the Coffee Gallery Backstage, South Pasadena Music Center, Pasadena Levitt Pavilion and more. Brianna also played bass and sang vocals for the R&B/pop/jazz group Jam Syndicate, which has performed at the Club Nokia, the House of Blues, Los Angeles Theatre Center, and others. She has also had the honor of singing with Josh Groban, Barry Manilow, Ozomatli, Candace Glover, Kree Harrison, Angie Miller, Lisa Henry, Dee Dee Bridgewater, and many more.
Brianna will attend Azusa Pacific University in the fall of 2013 and will study Commercial Music with an emphasis in composing and arranging. She will also be singing in the University’s renowned Gospel Choir and their Vocal Jazz Choir. This is her first year in the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra.
Alto and baritone saxophonist Henry Solomon, 17, is from Palo Alto, California, and is a senior at the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan, where he studies jazz and classical saxophone under Bill Sears. Henry has performed in many venues across America including Alice Tully Hall, Detroit's Orchestra Hall, Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C., and the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Henry has performed alongside many renowned musicians, including Bob Mintzer, Peter Erskine, Houston Person, Harry Connick, Jr.; Jerry Weldon, Roy Hargrove, Ndugu Chancler, Jaleel Shaw, Juanes, Kelly Sill, Joel Spencer, Mike Kocour, Arturo Sandoval, and others. As a member of the 2013 Grammy Jazz Ensemble, Henry performed in Los Angeles and recorded an album at Capitol Studios; and has additionally won a DownBeat Award for Best Classical Performance with the Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra.
Trumpeter Andrew Stephens, 17, is a senior at Rio Americano High School in Sacramento, California, where he plays in the AM Jazz Ensemble and the Minguyz Jazz Combo. He has attended the University of the Pacific and Centrum Jazz Workshops, and the 2012 Berklee Five-Week Summer Program with a full tuition scholarship. He has played with Donny McCaslin, the Brubeck Brothers, Wayne Bergeron, Ku-umba Frank Lacy, Tia Fuller, Conrad Herwig, Ryan Kisor, Phil Wilson, Scott Whitfield, Larry Lunetta, Nick Stanton, Vijay Iyer, Mike Vax, Bob Draga, John Ferrannini, Tiger Okoshi, Walter Blanding, Wessell Anderson, Joe Gilman, Steve Roach, Ted Nash, Reggie Thomas, Bria Skonberg, and Gordon Au. With Rio’s AM Jazz Ensemble, he has taken part in the Essentially Ellington Festival twice; the Monterey Next Generation Jazz Festival and Folsom Jazz Festival three times, receiving soloist awards at all of them. At the 56th Monterey Jazz Festival, he will play with the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra and with the Rio Americano AM Jazz Ensemble (for the fourth consecutive year). Additionally, he played with Rio’s Minguyz Jazz Combo at the Charles Mingus Jazz Festival at the Manhattan School of Music, where they won their category and he received an Outstanding Soloist Award. He takes lessons from Maurice Montgomery and Tom Peron.
Tenor saxophonist Jyron Walls is a graduate of the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston, Texas. In 2012, he participated in the Thelonious Monk Institute’s Peer-to-Peer Education Tour; was selected as a member of the GRAMMY® Jazz Ensemble; and was chosen to the Brubeck Institute’s Summer Jazz Colony in Stockton, Calif. He has received several accolades during his musical journey, including a Best Soloist award from DownBeat Magazine, and a 2013 YoungArts Jazz Soloist award. In 2009, he won a custom-made Zephyr Winds Ronnie Laws alto saxophone. Jyron will be attending Berklee College of Music on a full scholarship in the fall of 2013, and enjoys long walks on the beach and quiet starry nights. This is his first time in the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra.
Trumpeter Liam Werner, 17, is a junior at Montclair High School in Montclair, New Jersey, and has been playing the since 4th grade. Liam has won two DownBeat Student Music Awards for composition, and Outstanding Soloist awards at the 2012 and 2013 Charles Mingus High School Competition and Festival in New York City. He has studied jazz with Freddie Hendrix, Ted Chubb and Claudio Roditi; and classical technique with Donald Batchelder. Liam is currently enrolled at the Manhattan School of Music Precollege and Jazz House Kids.
Liam has had the opportunity to play with many artists, including Wycliffe Gordon, the Christian McBride and Charles Mingus Big Bands, the Stryker/Slagle Band, Chick Corea, Diane Reeves, Inside Straight, George Duke, Angelique Kidjo, Jerome Jennings, Billy Hart, Joe Lovano, and many others. In 2012, Liam performed at the James Moody Jazz Festival at New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, where he was a guest artist in the Miles Davis and Gil Evans: Still Ahead Orchestra under the direction of Vince Mendoza, which also included Sean Jones, Terence Blanchard, Jimmy Cobb, and Peter Erskine. Locally, Liam’s quintet regularly opens for Dave Stryker whenever he plays at Hat City Kitchen in Orange, and he has additionally played at the Somerville Jazz Festival, charity fundraisers, and many other special events with his own groups, as well as with Jazz House Kids ensembles. This is first time in the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra.
Bass trombonist Peter Wikle, 16, is a senior at the Orange County School of the Arts in Santa Ana, California. He currently plays lead trombone in his school’s jazz ensemble and combo, as well as tuba in the school’s wind ensemble and symphony orchestra. Since picking up the trombone in the fifth grade, he has won numerous outstanding soloist awards at various jazz festivals throughout Southern California. Peter has been an honor musician in the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association concert and jazz ensembles since 2010, including acting as principal in the Symphonic Band and lead in the Jazz All-Stars in 2012. Peter has also participated in the 2012 and 2013 California All-State Jazz Ensemble. In addition, he was selected to play in the 2013 GRAMMY® Jazz Ensemble, as well as Music For All’s Jazz Band of America. He has attended programs such as the Idyllwild Jazz Workshop, and the Centrum Jazz Workshop. Peter has worked with people such as Marshall Hawkins, Tom Kubis, Claudio Roditi, Stanley Clarke, Bill Cunliffe, Arturo Sandoval, Matt Harris, Justin DiCioccio, Jeff Jarvis, Ndugu Chancler, and Steve Weist. He currently studies with Peter Fournier, David Beatty, and Joey Sellers. This is his first time in the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra.