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Monterey Jazz Festival Announces 2019 Next Generation Jazz Orchestra Members
By Sentinel News Service
Published May 24, 2019

Summer Performances in British Columbia and Seattle, June 29-July 1

NGJO Performs with Allison Miller and Derrick Hodge at 62nd Annual Monterey Jazz Festival, September 29, 2019


Photo by Cole Thompson/ Courtesy of Monterey Bay Jazz Festival



Monterey, CalifMay 23, 2019: Monterey Jazz Festival is proud to announce the 2019 members of its Next Generation Jazz Orchestra, the Festival’s internationally-renowned high school all-star big band, featuring the best high school jazz musicians in the country.

This year, Monterey Jazz Festival is excited to announce that six women musicians have been selected to the 2019 NGJO, a milestone for the band. This year’s musicians include Summer Camargo (trumpet, Dillard Center for the Arts, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.); Jayla Chee (bass, Carlmont High School, Belmont, Calif.); Zion Dyson (vocal, The Bishop’s School, San Diego, Calif.); Serena Geroe (guitar, Canyon Crest Academy, San Diego, Calif.); Kellin Hanas (trumpet, Wheaton North High School, Wheaton, Ill.); and Veronica Leahy (alto saxophone, Charlotte Latin School, Charlotte, N.C.).

“The Monterey Jazz Festival is dedicated to equity and inclusivity in every area of the organization and is pleased to see our efforts working to attract more exceptional female student artists to our premier national band,” said Colleen Bailey, Monterey Jazz Festival Executive Director.

“I’m so thrilled that this year the ensemble represents what we see all across the country in so many excelling high school jazz programs,” said Paul Contos, Monterey Jazz Festival Education Director and NGJO Director.

These 21 students represent the nation’s most talented high school musicians from eight states and were selected through robust online auditions, judged by professional jazz artists and educatorsStudent musicians in the 2019 Next Generation Jazz Orchestra are from California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, and North Carolina. Read the full list of Next Generation Jazz Orchestra members and their biographies.

Ten musicians from California include students from Contra CostaLos AngelesSacramentoSan DiegoSan MateoSanta Clara, and Ventura counties.


The 2019 orchestra will travel to Seattle on June 26 for rehearsals and to perform at the 36th TD Victoria International JazzFest in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada on June 29; the 33rd TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival in Vancouver, British Columbia on June 30; and at Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley in Seattle, Washington on July 1.

In September, the orchestra will return to Monterey to perform the annual free “Concert on the Lawn” for Monterey County students on the Monterey County Fairgrounds (Sept. 26) with an evening performance at MJF’s Jazz Legends Gala honoring Kenny Barron and Dave Holland at Tehama Golf Club in Carmel. The Orchestra will perform throughout the Festival weekend of September 27-29, including a special performance with MJF62 Artists-in-Residence Allison Miller and Derrick Hodge on the Jimmy Lyons Stage in the Arena on Sunday, September 29.

Created in 1971 as a part of Monterey Jazz Festival’s continuing commitment to jazz education, former members of the orchestra include many professional musicians, including pianists Kris BowersJames FranciesBenny Green, and Patrice Rushen; bassist Larry Grenadier; drummer Chad Wackerman; saxophonists Joshua RedmanDonny McCaslinEric MarienthalTed NashMark Turner, and Dave Koz; flutist Elena Ayodele Pinderhughes; trombonist Natalie Cressman and Andy Martin; trumpeters Ambrose AkinmusireGilbert Castellanos and Tanya Darby; and big band leader Gordon Goodwin, to name a few. Read full history of the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra.

About Monterey Jazz Festival
The Monterey Jazz Festival celebrates the legacy of jazz, expands its boundaries, and provides opportunities to experience jazz through the creative production of performances and educational programs. The 62nd Monterey Jazz Festival will take place September 27-29, 2019 at the Monterey County Fairgrounds. Go to montereyjazzfestival.orgfor tickets and more information.



Photo Courtesy of Monterey Jazz Festival by Tomas Ovalle

2019 Next Generation Jazz Orchestra
Paul Contos, Director

Veronica Leahy, alto / Charlotte Latin School, Charlotte, N.C.
Ian Munoz, alto** / New World School of the Arts, Miami, Fla.
Daiki Nakajima, tenor / Prospect High School, Saratoga, Calif. (MJF62)
Makoto Yorihiro, tenor / Century Academy High School, Thousand Oaks, Calif.
Dylan McHann, tenor / Gibbs High School, St. Petersburg, Fla. (Summer tour)
Jason Arkins, baritone** / Carmel High School, Carmel Hamlet, N.Y.

Summer Camargo, split lead / Dillard High School, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Grady Flamm, split lead / Rio Americano High School, Sacramento, Calif.
Ethan Pires / Northgate High School, Walnut Creek, Calif.
Kellin Hanas / Wheaton North High School, Wheaton, Ill.
Ethan Avery** / Crossroads School for Arts and Sciences, Santa Monica, Calif.

Ilai Macaggi / Green Valley High School, Henderson, Nev.
Leo Markel*** / Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts, West Palm Beach, Fla.
Benjamin Conn** / Agoura High School, Agoura Hills, Calif.
Sam Keedy** / Denver School of the Arts, Denver, Colo.
Joe Turgeon** (bass) / Jesuit High School, Sacramento, Calif.

Esteban Castro, piano / Bergen County Academies, Hackensack, N.J.
Serena Geroe, guitar / Canyon Crest Academy, San Diego, Calif.
Jayla Chee, bass / Carlmont High School, Belmont, Calif.
Peter Glynn, drums** / Columbia High School, Maplewood, N.J.
Zion Dyson, vocal / The Bishop’s School, San Diego, Calif.

** 2-year NGJO Member
*** 3-year NGJO Member

2019 Tour Dates
JUNE 26: Arrive in Seattle
JUNE 29: 36th TD Victoria International JazzFest, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
JUNE 30: 33rd TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
JULY 1: Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley, Seattle, Washington
SEPT. 26: Concert on the Lawn, Monterey Fairgrounds, Monterey, California
SEPT. 26: Jazz Legends Gala, Tehama Golf Club, Carmel, California
SEPT. 27-29: 62nd Monterey Jazz Festival, Monterey, California
More to be announced!


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