2017 Next Generation Jazz Orchestra on Tour!

May 31, 2017
BY timOTHY ORR

The importance of a program like this goes far beyond music and lands on humanity itself. - Ambrose Akinmusire (NGJO 1999, 2000)

ABOVE: 2007 Next Generation Jazz Orchestra at Jazz at Lincoln Center. ©R. Andrew Lepley

The Next Generation Jazz Orchestra is one of the premier student jazz bands in the United States. Originating in 1971 at the Monterey Jazz Festival, the band began as the California High School All-Star Band, and over the years, it was expanded from a California-based ensemble to included students from all over the United States, and Canada.

Joshua Redman with the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra, 1986Joshua Redman as a student in the 1986 Next Generation Jazz Orchestra.

Over the years, many of the members have gone on to become internationally-known musicians, including pianists Benny Green and Patrice Rushen, bassist Larry Grenadier, drummer Chad Wackerman, saxophonists Joshua RedmanDonny McCaslinMark TurnerEric MarienthalTed Nash, and Dave Koz; trombonist Andy Martin, flutist Elena Ayodele Pinderhughes, trumpeters Gilbert Castellanos and Ambrose Akinmusire, and big band leader Gordon Goodwin, to name a few.

Twenty of the nation’s most talented high school musicians from eight states comprise the NGJO, including California, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, New York, Texas, Virginia, and Washington State. Read the biographies of the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra members.

Five members of the orchestra are returning for their third year, including trombonist Jasim Perales (Berkeley High School, Berkeley, Calif.); and trumpeter Carlos Ramos (Downey High School, Downey, Calif.). Two-time members include trumpeter Geoffrey Gallante (West Potomac High School, Alexandria, Va.); bass trombonist Joshua Hernandez (J.M. Hanks High School, El Paso, Texas); and pianist Luca Mendoza (Crossroads School, Santa Monica, Calif.).

The NGJO has appeared on stages in the United States, Canada, Japan, Australia, and Europe, and the 2017 band – the 47th edition of the NGJO – will be touring New York and eastern Canada from June 24-29.

June 24: Orpheum Film and Performing Arts Center, Tannersville, New York, 7:30pm
June 25: Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, Jazz at Lincoln Center, New York City, New York, 7:30/9:30pm
June 27: Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival, Jazz Street Stage, Rochester, New York, 7:30/9:30pm
June 28: TD Toronto Jazz Festival, OLG Stage, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 12pm
June 29: Montreal Jazz Festival, TD Stage, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, 6pm

BELOW: The 2016 Next Generation Jazz Orchestra at the 59th Monterey Jazz Festival.