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Young LA musicians dominate the Next Generation Jazz Festival

April 8, 2011 |  5:15 pm

Next Generation Jazz Festival
This post has been corrected. Please see note at bottom for details.

Retaining a strong foothold in the annual Next Generation Jazz Festival, Los Angeles County high schools and universities nabbed top honors in five out of the eight major competition categories staged at the prestigious event, held last weekend, April 1-3 at the Monterey Conference Center and various locations in downtown Monterey.  Presented by the nonprofit Monterey Jazz Festival, Next Generation encompassed almost 120 music events performed by more than 65 jazz groups from 10 states.

On Wednesday, the results of the festival’s 40th annual National High School Jazz Competition were announced. The top groups will appear at the 54th Monterey Jazz Festival, hosted at Monterey Fairgrounds, Sept. 16-18.

Los Angeles County High School for the Arts snagged first-place titles in the high school categories for big band and vocal ensemble. Hamilton Academy of Music won the top High School Combo Award. The groups were directed by Jason Goldman, Pat Bass and Jim Foschia, respectively.

In the College Big Band Division, top honors went to University of Southern California Thornton School of Music Jazz Orchestra, directed by Bob Mintzer. The College Vocal Jazz Ensemble Award went to Cal State Long Beach group “Pacific Standard Time,” directed by Christine Guter.

In addition, several LA musicians were honored individually.

Soloist awards went to pianist Phillip Golub of Crossroads School for the Arts and Sciences in Santa Monica, vocalist Hope Flores of LACHSA and USC musicians, baritone saxophonist Tim McKay and  pianist Jacob Mann.  Downey High School Vocalist Jonny Arenas was selected to attend a five-week summer program at Berklee School of Music in Boston.

The Monterey Jazz Festival also announced the winner of the Next Generation Jazz Festival’s Composition Competition, won by Chase Morrin of Canyon Crest Academy in San Diego for his composition “Mumphis,” which will be performed by the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra on the Jimmy Lyons Arena Stage on Sept. 18.

Morrin will also receive the fourth annual Gerald Wilson Award and a cash prize. Major funding for the Next Generation Jazz Festival was provided by the Hearst Foundation and AT&T Foundation. The program was also supported by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

For the record, 10:12 a.m.: This post has been corrected to clarify the awards for Hamilton Academy of Music, Tim McKay and Jacob Mann.

-- Nate Jackson

Photo: Next Generation Jazz Festival  Credit: Monterey Jazz Festival