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Jazzschool Bands Repeat Wins at 2010 Next Generation Festival
(Published: April 16, 2010)

Berkeley, Calif. -- The Jazzschool's Monday Night and Thursday Night Studio Bands, both under the direction of Keith Johnson, captured 1st and 3rd place respectively on Sunday, April 11, at the 6th Annual Next Generation Festival (40th Annual National High School Competition) in Monterey, California.

The weekend event, devoted to the future of jazz, includes the Next Generation Festival Jazz Competition with Big Bands, Combos, Vocal Ensembles, and individual musicians vying for a spot on the stages of the 53rd Annual Monterey Jazz Festival in September.

The Jazzschool bands competed in the Conglomerate Big Band Division (students from different schools rather than all one school) against groups from Tucson (Jazz Institute "Ellington Band" and "Basie Band"), San Francisco (the always-excellent SFJAZZ High School All-Stars), and Portland, Oregon (the second-place-finishing American Music Program, under the direction of Thara Memory).

Their first-place finish guarantees the Monday Night Studio Band the opportunity to perform at this year's Monterey Jazz Festival as well as a $1,000 cash prize.

"While I am extremely proud of both Studio Bands for their accomplishments within the competition, I leave this year's event glowing with excitement because of the big musical step forward both ensembles made this weekend," said Keith Johnson, Director of the Jazzschool's Young Musicians Program. "Both performances were special for me as I saw the smiles and excitement on the students' faces while performing in front of their peers while also coming into their own as an ensemble, delivering two performances I will never forget.

"That feeling of musical satisfaction is something we have been striving for all year and something we accomplished this weekend. That is what I will remember most about this year's Next Generation Festival. I am so incredibly grateful for the time I get to spend working with these students and am proud to be associated with this talented group of young musicians."

Adds Jazzschool Founder/Director Susan Muscarella: "There was a remarkable lineup of bands at the Next Generation Jazz Festival this year. The judges had some really difficult decisions to make given all of the wonderful bands that played, and I wouldn't have wanted to be in their shoes that morning! In terms of musicality, both the wholes and sums of the bands' parts were off the chart!"

Monday Night Studio Band Personnel:

Saxophones: Albert Baliwas, Sam Priven, Kevin Miller, Tad Nicol, Evan Waltmire; Trumpets: Josh Shpak, Zach Ramacier, Tim Swanson, Benjamin Gerard, Benjamin Kreitman; Trombones: Jonah Levine, Jamie Dunkle, Calvin Barthel, Jakob Lengacher, Christopher Palowitch; Rhythm: Nick Lamb (p), Chris Jefferies (b), Marshall Williams (d).

Music Performed:

"A Single Sky" (Dave Douglas, arr. Jim McNeely); "Thank You" (Jerry Dodgion); "Slings and Arrows" (Michael Brecker, arr. Rob Lussier).

Thursday Night Studio Band Personnel:

Saxophones: Christian Ortiz, Austin Chanu, Robby Sheppard, Brian Rato, Julian Brown; Trumpets: Zach Ramacier, Alec Michels, Daniel Schumacher, Rachel Doolittle; Trombones: Mark Kolding, Anna Rubenstein, Arthur Richardson, Cameron Tholluag; Rhythm: Nate Parton (g), Sturdy Adams (p), Erik Shiboski (b), Roddy Galli (d).

Music Performed:

"Shadow Dance" (Dave Holland); "The Peacocks" (Jimmy Rowles, arr. Bill Holman); "Oleo" (Sonny Rollins, arr. Michael Abene).

More Information: http://www.jazzschool.com

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