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The 2002-2003 Brubeck Fellows


(l to r) Tommy Morimoto, Justin Brown, Fabian Almazan, Joe Sanders, Anthony Coleman.

Saxophonist Tommy Morimoto has studied music intensely since he picked up the instrument. He describes the defining moment of his inspiration: “I remember sitting just inches away from the bell of Lew Tabakin's golden Mark VI, it spiraling out beautiful lines that put me in another world. I knew that night I had to make playing the saxophone my life's work.” He graduated from the North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem, where he performed and toured with the school's exceptional large and small jazz ensembles. He has won numerous awards for his musicianship including the 2002 Down Beat Student Award for Outstanding Jazz Instrumental Soloist.

Trumpeter Anthony Coleman, II has received outstanding soloist awards for his playing from numerous jazz festivals and competitions. A graduate of Sacramento High School, he has performed with the American River College Big Band and California State University Sacramento's Latin Jazz Ensemble. “I want to find my own voice on my instrument,” he declared in his personal statement, and expressed his desire to include teaching as part of his career “to help keep jazz growing.”

Pianist Fabian Almazan, a Cuban native, possesses a unique view of jazz from the personal experience of leaving his homeland with his family to find freedom on American soil. Classically trained in Cuba and in Mexico, Almazan discovered jazz just a few years ago at Miami's acclaimed New World School of the Arts. In spite of his relatively short time playing jazz, Almazan was selected for the piano chair in the National 2002 GRAMMY High School Jazz Combo. In his moving personal statement with his application to the Institute, he wrote of his appreciation for the “land of opportunity” and of discovering “the spectrum of colors that life had to offer.” He said, “With these colors I will paint an image symbolizing the pride that my parents gave me… with the opportunity to gain my freedom through knowledge and responsibility.”

As a member of the Milwaukee High School of the Arts Jazz Combo, bassist Joe Sanders performed twice at the JVC Jazz Festival in New York City as well as at some of the top European summer jazz festivals – Vienna; North Sea (The Hague); Montreaux (Switzerland); and Vienne (France). He was also a member of the National 2002 GRAMMY High School Jazz Band. Sanders began his musical training with bassist Catherine McGinn of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and was a member of the Symphony's Youth Orchestra for five years. He continues to study both classical music and jazz.

Justin Brown, a graduate of Berkeley High School in California, started playing the drums when he was two years old. He participated in the UC Berkeley Young Musicians Summer Program for five years before high school. Brown has performed at many jazz festivals -- as a member of the National 2002 GRAMMY High School Jazz Combo; the 1999 Monterey and 2002 San Francisco Jazz Festival all-star high school bands; and with Berkeley High's award-winning jazz ensemble and combo. Justin's personal statement clearly explained where he sees his life going: “My career objective includes becoming an educated professional drummer with the ability to play all styles of music, and to become a teacher, clinician, composer, and to do world tours.”