Kenton Dick, an 18-year-old saxophonist and composer from Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada, has been named the 20th recipient of the Jimmy Lyons Scholarship to Berklee College of Music, a four-year, full tuition award presented in conjunction with the Monterey Jazz Festival. Repeatedly recognized for his mature sound on the alto sax, he is the very first Canadian recipient of the Lyons Award. He will begin his studies in performance and composition in Boston this fall.
There will be multiple opportunities to hear Kenton perform at Monterey this year. He will sit in with Berklee’s Mixcla +1, opening the festival at 6:30 pm Friday, September 16 on the Garden Stage. On Saturday, September 17, at 1:00 pm, his Wellington High School Dick/Olynyk Duo will perform in the Night Club. He’ll be seen again with Mixcla +1 soon after, in the festival’s Coffee House Gallery, at 2:00 pm.
Previous recipients of the Jimmy Lyons Scholarship include: Billy Buss (Billy Hart), Rushad Eggleston (Crooked Still), Milton Fletcher (Christian Scott), Jonathan Pinson (Wayne Shorter), Dayna Stephens (Kenny Barron), and James Williams (Gary Burton).
Kenton was selected alongside his sister Tiana, and friend Ethan Olynyk, to compete as a trio in the Monterey Jazz Festival’s Next Generation Jazz Festival in 2015. They were the first Canadian group to compete, and felt honored to attend. In 2016, and with Tiana already attending college at Berklee, Kenton and Ethan were invited to compete a second time, as a saxophone and drum duo. They won first place Jazz Combo in the High School Combo Division, and also received individual Outstanding Soloist awards.
While attending many jazz festivals in Canada, as well as the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival in Moscow, Idaho, Kenton has repeatedly been recognized as an outstanding musician. Kenton has participated yearly in the Vancouver TD High School Jazz Intensive Big Band, the Conn-Selmer Centerstage Jazz Band at MusicFest Nationals, and many other British Columbia-based honor bands. Kenton was awarded “Most Outstanding Musician” in both 2015 and 2016 at the Envision Jazz Festival in Surrey, BC. In June, he was recognized in DownBeat Magazine’s 39th Annual Student Music Awards as the 2016 winner of the Original Composition – Small Ensemble category for his ballad entitled “Somewhere Down The Road.” Kenton also won the TD Vancouver Student Composition Contest with his piece, “One Last Time.”
Kenton has had great opportunities through camps and honor bands to work with gifted musicians, and has been featured alongside Christine Jensen on stage. He has spent time with Joe LaBarbera at Centrum’s Jazz Port Townsend, and been encouraged through workshops with John Clayton, the Hamilton Trio, Berklee alumni Christian Fabian and Delfeayo Marsalis, and others in his hometown of Nanaimo. In Vancouver, he has also learned from performers/educators such as Steve Kaldestad, Jodi Proznick, Brad Turner, Kelby MacNayr, Campbell Ryga, and Tomeka Reid, to name a few.