SFJAZZ, the leading nonprofit jazz organization on the West Coast, today announced the SFJAZZ High School All-Stars received three major awards including DownBeat Magazines’ Student Music Awards, the coveted Monterey Next Generation Jazz Festival Award for Best Conglomerate Big Band Performance, and Best Big Band and Best Combo at the 5th Annual Charles Mingus High School Festival and Competition in February in New York. At the Mingus Awards, flutist Elena Pinderhughes and bassists Logan Kane and Kanoa Mendenhall, who played on Charles Mingus’s infamous Lion’s Head bass, won Outstanding Soloists. Elena was also named a 2013 U.S. Presidential Scholar for the Arts.
“We are absolutely thrilled that these extraordinary young musicians are receiving these accolades and recognition,” says SFJAZZ Director of Education Rebeca Mauleón. “Our vision for this program is to provide opportunities for top-notch high school jazz musicians to receive mentorship by internationally renowned artists as well as professional training as performers. Seeing them excel at such an optimal level is not only rewarding, it is an inspiration to know that the future of jazz music is in good hands.”
Since 2001, the SFJAZZ High School All-Stars provides advanced-level training and performance opportunities for some of the most talented musicians in the nation. Directed by Paul Contos, the All-Stars are selected annually by competitive audition and rehearse and perform with today's top jazz educators and artists.
These incredibly talented musicians are performing at the SFJAZZ Center’s Robert N. Miner Auditorium on Saturday, May 18 at 2:00pm and at the 56th Annual Monterey Jazz Festival in September. For the SFJAZZ High School All-Stars’ May 18 performance, they will feature works for jazz orchestra exploring the improvisational prowess of the best of the Bay Area’s young jazz players. Pieces highlighted will by masters Kenny Werner, Thelonious Monk, Charles Mingus, and many others. The Jazzschool’s Advanced High School Jazz Ensemble will join the performance.
Every year, SFJAZZ invites high school students from all over the Bay Area to participate in clinics that lead up to the All-Stars audition process. These clinics are a great way for student musicians to gain musicianship, improvisation, and sight reading skills in preparation for the auditions. Clinics are held in July and August in Oakland and San Francisco. The High School All-Stars auditions will be held at the SFJAZZ Center August 23rd, 24th and 25th.