2002 Summer Jazz Colony participants
Bassist Kai Ando, 17 attends the LaGuardia High School for Music and Art in Manhattan. As a member of the LaGuardia Big Band and Combo, he was named Outstanding Bass Soloist at the 2001 Monterey Jazz Festival High School competition. He also participated in the 2002 edition of the festival, anchoring the LaGuardia trio and taking second place in the combo division; this same trio was also named Outstanding Rhythm Section at the 2002 Essentially Ellington Competition in New York. He also performs with the NY All-City High School Jazz Band. Ando has performed with such eminent jazz artists as Jimmy Heath, Hon Hendricks, Branford Marsalis, and Roy Hargrove, and has appeared at such prestigious events as the Monterey, CUNY, LIU, and JVC Jazz Festivals, as well as the IAJE Annual Conference. A New York Philharmonic Scholarship recipient, Ando studies with Jim Candido and David Grossman. He also studies bass with Michael Moore, bassist with the Dave Brubeck Quartet.
Saxophonist Pat Carroll, 16, has been studying the saxophone for seven years and currently plays lead also in Foothill High School's Jazz Band "A" in Pleasanton, CA. A student of Dann Zinn, Carroll is a member of the Northern California Band Directors Association Honor Jazz Ensemble under the direction of trombonist Dave Eshelman and has received numerous outstanding soloist awards from various jazz festivals as well as a scholarship to the Berklee School of Music. He aspires to be a professional musician, sharing his art around the world.
Vocalist Andrea Caruso, 17, is entering her senior year at Windsor High School as well as the Greater Hartford Academy of Performing Arts in Hartford, CT, where she has been featured soloist with the Real Ambassadors, the Academy' jazz vocal choir which recently placed in the top of their division at the Berklee Jazz Festival in Boston. She also plays flute and also flute for her high school jazz ensemble, and is currently studying saxophone and piano. Prior to finding her passion for jazz, Caruso spent many years as a Windsor Thespian. She has performed at many community events such as Hartford Board of Education functions, and ahs sat in with vocalist Dianne Mower and guitarist Doug Maher at gigs in the greater Hartford area.
Pianist Tobin Chodos, 16, attends the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts. Playing the piano for just six years, Tobin was a semi-finalist in LA's 2002 Spotlight Awards. He also was awarded and Outstanding Musician scholarship at the 2002 Monterey Jazz Festival High School Competition. Chodos is a member of the LACHSA Big Band and Combo, the Idyllwild Academy Summer Big Band, LA's Colburn School for the Performing Arts Advanced Band, and several freelance bands in the LA area. As a member of the LACHSA Combo, which took second place in the Advanced High School Division at the Fullerton College High School Jazz Competition in Spring 2002, Chodos will perform at the 2003 IAJE Conference in Toronto.
Trombonist Nick DePinna, 17, attends Foothill High School in Pleasanton, CA where he is a member of the top big band and combo. He is also a member of the SFJazz All-Star High School Ensemble with which he recently participated in the Essentially Ellington Competition in New York and received the award for Outstanding Trombone Soloist from Wynton Marsalis. He was also a member of the 2002 California All-State Jazz Band and was one of four trombonists chosen nationwide for the 2002 National Grammy High School Jazz Band. As a member of these prestigious ensembles, DePinna has performed with such eminent artists as Ronald Carter, Justin DiCiccio, Kirk Whalum, Kurt Elling, Mike Vax, Tom Horning, Jim Widner, and Stefan Harris.
Drummer Tlacael Esparza, 17, will be a senior at the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts this Fall. He is the principle drummer in LACHSA's award winning big band and combo which received first place at the 2001 Cal State LA Jazz Competition, second place at the 2002 Fullerton College Jazz Festival, and was recently selected to perform at the upcoming 2003 IAJE Conference in Toronto. Prior to finding his true passion, drums, Esparza studied classical piano from age 7. He currently draws inspiration from drummers Brian Blade, Jack DeJohnette, and Tony Williams, and plans to go to college to continue his academic and musical studies.
Drummer Marcus Gilmore, 15, was inspired by the music of his grandfather, legendary jazz drummer Roy Haynes who gave him his first set of drums at age 10. He took naturally to jazz and studied classical theory and percussion for four years at the Juilliard School and Manhattan School of Music. Currently he attends the LaGuardia High School of Music and Art in Manhattan where he performs with the acclaimed LaGuardia Big Band and Trio as well as the NY All-City Jazz Band. Gilmore has received the Wynton Kelly Foundation Award (1997), Wyoming Seminary PAI Best Instrumentalist Award (1999, 2000), and the essentially Ellington Best Drum Solo Award (2002). He has performed at the Monterey Jazz Festival and was the top drummer chosen nationwide for the national Grammy High School Jazz Band (2002). Gilmore also loves Afro-Cuban Jazz and plays timbales and Latin percussion. He has sat in with Ray Barretto, Steve Coleman, Ravi Coltrane, Chick Corea, Wycliff Gordon, Roy Hargrove, Branford Marsalis, and Najee.
Bassist Keith Karman, 17, attends the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts where he plays in the Big Band, Combo, and Vocal Jazz Ensemble, all of which were selected to compete in the 2002 Monterey Jazz Competition. He also is a member of the LACHSA Symphony Orchestra and Full circle Opera Orchestra. Playing the bass since the fourth grade, Karman is an alumnus of the Colburn School of Performing Arts, Idyllwild Arts Academy Summer Program, and Stanford Jazz Residency, is former principal bassist of the Glendale Youth Orchestra, and currently studies with LA studio musicians Joe Zimmerman and Michael Valerio. He was a semi-finalist in the 2002 LA Music center Spotlight awards and currently freelances in the greater LA area. Karman, along with the LACHSA Combo, will be performing at the upcoming IAJE Conference in Toronto.
Guitarist Micah Ke-Renzvi, 17, attends the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts where he performs in their acclaimed Big Band and Combo. Ke-Renzvi started playing the guitar at age 12 and by 13 was leading and writing the music for the rock band Plague that has performed at such venues as the Roxy and Troubadour in LA. His formal training began upon his acceptance to LACHSA his sophomore year and soon, his musical interests shifted to jazz. He has studied privately with saxophonists Katisse Buckingham and Jason Goldman, and guitarists Barry Pohlman, Sandro Albert, and Sid Jacobs. He has participated in the Monterey High School Jazz Competition as well as the Fullerton Jazz Competition where LACHSA's big band tied for first place.
Saxophonist Matt Marantz, 16, started playing the alto sax at age 11. His abilities were recognized at an early age by DownBeat Magazine, winning the jazz soloist award three years ago as an eighth grader and continuing to win this award in 2000, 2001, and 2002. He also was named Best Instrumental Jazz Soloist at the Monterey Jazz Festival for the past two years in the combo division. His is also only the second person to place in four winning categories in one year in the DownBeat Student Music Awards Competition. Attending the acclaimed Booker T. Washington High School for the Arts in Dallas, TX, Marantz has appeared with such jazz artists as Jamey Aebersold, Dan Haerle, Roy Hargrove, Red Holloway, and Bobby Sparks. He has participated in the Monterey Educational Jazz festival (2001, 2002), Monterey Jazz Festival (2001), and International Association of Jazz Educators Conference in Long Beach CA (2002). He freelances and contributes his musicianship to his church and retirement homes in the Dallas area.
Pianist Sean McCluskey, 16, attends St. John's High School in Shrewsbury, MA, and has studied at the Preparatory School of New England Conservatory of Music for the past five years. He has performed in such prestigious venues as Symphony Hall in Boston with the Massachusetts All-State Jazz Ensemble (2002) and the Kennedy Center in Washington DC where he performed solo (1998). McCluskey has written compositions in both the jazz and classical music genres and performs regularly in the greater Boston area. His primary influences include Oscar Peterson, Bud Powell, Charlie Parker, and Sonny Stitt and he regards Brad Mehldau as his favorite modern pianist. McCluskey also doubles on drums, and instrument he was inspired to play by the music of Elvin Jones and Roy Haynes.
Saxophonist Scott McGinty, 17, attends the Grammy Award winning High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston, TX. Besides performing in the acclaimed HSPVA Big Band and Combo and Texas All-State Jazz Ensemble (2000-2002), McGinty also has his own group, The McGinty Brothers Quintet, which includes his twin brother, Shawn. He has been awarded the Jason Moran Scholarship, presented the Duke Ellington Leadership and Horace Alexander Young "Most Outstanding Saxophonist" Awards, and has performed at the Houston International, Texas, Kemah Boardwalk, and Monterey Jazz Festivals. Have received instruction and inspiration from artist such as Joe Lovano, Jason Marsalis, Jason Moran, Bob Morgan, and Horace Alexander Young, McGinty hopes to travel and share his music with the next generation. He considers John Coltrane his primary influence.
Trumpeter Shawn McGinty, 17, performs with the McGinty Brothers Quintet, three big bands including the Young Sounds of Houston Jazz Orchestra, and the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts Big Band and Combo where he is a student in Houston TX. Currently studying with Dennis Dotson, McGinty has been playing trumpet for five years, jazz for three. He has performed at the Monterey, Las Vegas, Kemah Boardwalk, and Houston Jazz Festivals as well as the IAJE Annual Conference in New York. He considers Clifford Brown, Wynton Marsalis, and Woody Shaw among his primary influences and feels that the music has brought great respect and joy to his life and deserves his total dedication.
Drummer Perry Morris, 16, is entering his junior year at the award-winning Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas, TX. Besides performing with their top combo, which took first place at this year's Monterey Jazz Festival High School Competition, he also plays in the BTWHSPVA Jazz Duo and Fund/Rock Group, both of which won this year's DownBeat Student Awards in their respective categories. He has performed at the Monterey Jazz Festival, and the IAJE Annual Conference in Long Beach, CA, and regularly gigs in the greater Dallas area. A former student of Lucy Flohr, Morris currently studies with Dallas-based drummer Dennis Durick and has attended the North Texas Jazz Workshop for the past three years.
Pianist Michael Palma, 16, started performing at age 12. Currently attending the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas, TX, Palma composes as much as he plays and recently won two DownBeat Student Awards, one for composition, the other for performance. Along with the BTWHSPVA Combo, Palma has performed at the 2001 Monterey Jazz Festival, the 2002 Monterey Jazz Festival High School Competition, and the 2002 IAJE Annual Conference in Long Beach, CA. He gigs regularly with such Dallas-based artists as Saxophonist Marchel Ivery, has opened for such national acts as the Joshua Redman Quartet, and has appeared with jazz trumpet great Roy Hargrove. Palma credits pianist Bill Lohr as being his primary music mentor and Keith Jarrett for being the source of his favorite music.
Trumpeter Anja Parks, 16, is beginning to make a name for herself both nationally and internationally. She has received many awards including Outstanding Soloist and Top Brass Soloist at the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival, and was twice selected for the National Grammy High School Jazz Ensemble. She is currently a student at the LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts in NYC where she plays lead trumpet and is a featured soloist with their Big Band. She has performed at the International Trumpet Guild convention in Manchester, England, at the North Sea Jazz Festival with the Amsterdam Conservatory Jazz Workshop, and in Japan with the Monterey Jazz Festival High School All Star Big Band. She has also appeared at Carnegie Hall twice as a soloist and section player with the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, the Blue Note wit the Dizzy Gillespie Alumni All Star Big Band, Birdland with the Jon Faddis Quintet, as well as the Monterey, Lionel Hampton, Edmonds Jazz Connection, and Langley Jazz Festivals with various groups.
Bassist Dominic Thiroux, 16, attends the Hamilton High School Academy of Music in Los Angeles. At Hamilton he is a member of the "A" Jazz Ensemble, which placed first in the big band division at the 2002 Monterey Jazz Festival High School Competition. Thiroux was also selected as the bassist for the Monterey Jazz Festival High School All Stars with whom he recently toured Japan and will be performing at the Monterey Jazz Festival in September. As a freshman, Thiroux was named Outstanding Instrumental Soloist at the Fullerton College Jazz Festival. He is also an orchestral bassist, holding down the principal bass chair in the Orchestra da Camera at LA's Colburn School for the Performing Arts. His bass teachers have included Tim Powell, David Young, and Francis Senger. Additionally, Thiroux has had a very active career as a vocalist, appearing in opera, oratorio, and on soundtracks for movies, television, and radio. He has studied voice with Seth Riggs, David Romano, and Tierney Sutton. The musicians he most admires include the late Ray Brown, Christian McBride, Kurt Elling, and Luciano Pavarotti.