SFJAZZ High School All-Stars Win Next Generation Festival Award Celebrate With SFJAZZ Center Concert April 26

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The SFJAZZ High School All-Stars, under the direction of Paul Contos, won the Conglomerate Big Band Division Award for the second time in a row at the 2014 Next Generation Jazz Festival in Monterey, CA. In addition to winning the Conglomerate Big Band Division, four of the All-Stars earned Outstanding Soloist Awards: Matt Wong (piano), Benjamin Ring (drums), Kanoa Mendenhall and Logan Kane (bass). Benjamin Ring also won a Berklee College of Music 5-week Summer Program Scholarship.

The All-Stars Orchestra and Combo will celebrate with a special performance at their home base, the SFJAZZ Center in San Francisco, on Saturday, April 26 at 7:30pm. Tickets are $5 for children and seniors and $20 for adults. Both the Orchestra and the Combo will premiere new works and also honor legendary saxophonist and composer Joe Henderson, whose birthday is April 24, by performing many of his iconic compositions.

Directed by esteemed educator and performer Paul Contos, the SFJAZZ High School All- Stars Orchestra comprises 26 of the finest young Bay Area jazz musicians, selected annually by competitive audition. The ensemble has appeared at the San Francisco Jazz Festival, SFJAZZ Spring Season, Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Essentially Ellington Competition, Monterey Next Generation Jazz Festival, the Jazz Education Network Conference, and at concerts in top professional jazz clubs, festivals, museums, and community arts centers throughout California. Ensemble members enjoy regular workshops, master classes and mentoring sessions with leading artists, such as members of the SFJAZZ Collective, Terence Blanchard, Yusef Lateef, and Vijay Iyer. The SFJAZZ High School All-Stars will perform at this year’s 57th Annual Monterey Jazz Festival on Sunday, September 21, 2014

“SFJAZZ considers this second consecutive Next Generation Festival win not only an incredible honor, but a testament to these remarkable young men and women, who are truly speaking the jazz language at an optimal level,” said Rebeca Mauleón, SFJAZZ Director of Education. “The All-Stars never cease to amaze me, not only because they are so musically gifted, but because they also happen to be extraordinary human beings. We know how stressful high school can be, and for these musicians to demonstrate such commitment and focus above and beyond their academic responsibilities says a lot about the kind of people they are.”

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