Five-time winner of the Next Generation Jazz Festival's High School Big Band Division
Northgate High School Jazz Band I from Walnut Creek, California, under the direction of Greg Brown, has earned command performance honors at the Santa Cruz Jazz Festival in each of the last seven years. They have also been a perennial finalist at the Folsom Jazz Festival, where they were once again the sweepstakes winner in 2018. The band recently made their 13th consecutive appearance at the famed Yoshi’s nightclub in Oakland, selling out both their shows. Northgate has been a Next Generation Jazz Festival finalist in the High School Big Band Division for the past 12 years and will be performing for the fifth year in a row at the Monterey Jazz Festival after receiving their fifth consecutive first place award at the Next Generation Jazz Festival. Recent graduates from the group have gone on to study music at such elite institutions as Julliard, the Berklee College of Music, USC, UCLA, the University of North Texas, California State University-Northridge, and University of the Pacific.
Director Greg Brown has been recognized as Jazz Educator of the Year by the California Music Educators Association (CMEA) Bay Section in 2014, as well as CMEA's Outstanding Music Educator in 2009. Greg Brown is in his 22nd year as Director of Instrumental Music and Chairperson of the Performing Arts Department at Northgate High School. Under Mr. Brown’s direction, the Instrumental Music Department has become one of the most recognized, versatile, and comprehensive music programs in the Bay Area. The Northgate Instrumental Music Boosters commissioned “Gate Sixty-Eight” by Francisco Torres, which they performed at the 2018 Next Generation Jazz Festival. Other commissions for the ensemble have included “The North Fort,” “Fantasia En Clave” and “Danzon Para Mi Tierra” by Francisco Torres, and “Northern Exposure” by George Stone.