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  • Vocalist Olivia Castle | Teen Jazz Artist

    Why did you begin studying music?

    I have always sung from a young age and first started attending singing lessons aged 13. I was a Choral singer for my teenage years, performing as finalist for the BBC Radio 2 Chorister of the Year competition held in St Paul’s Cathedral (London). I even intended to enter the Musical Theatre profession for a while. Therefore I only decided to pursue a career in Jazz when I was a little older, aged 18, and it is then that I started my training in the genre.

    Vocalist Olivia Castle

    Located in the UK

    • Jazz Vocalist
    • Years Playing: 9 years
    • School/Major/Degree: First Class Honours Degree in Theatre Studies from Royal Holloway, University of London

    Teen Jazz Artist Badge

    [What’s this?]

    Who are some of your influences? Who have you studied with?

    My greatest musical influences in the current music industry are Michael Buble, Jamie Cullum, Jane Monheit, John Mayer and many others. However I have a particular fondness for classic Jazz artists who are no longer with us; Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, Sarah Vaughan, Sammy Davis Jr and Frank Sinatra to name a few. I learnt the skills of the genre under the expertise of Jazz pianist Laurie Holloway (MBE) who accompanied me on my debut album, Siren Song.

    Who or what gave you the confidence to pursue music as a career?

    I attended a summer course led by the Montgomery Holloway Music Trust and worked with esteemed professionals in the world of Jazz recording and performance. It was these individuals, the overall experience and the continued support of Laurie Holloway that encouraged me to pursue a professional career within the genre.

    What are your thoughts on what it takes to be successful as a performer? Do you think any other skills are needed aside from the ability to play your instrument well?

    Of course musical ability is key to achieving success in the music industry however I definitely feel there are other qualities that are essential. Being humble and open to working with other people and valuing their ideas will always make you nicer to work with. Being gracious when receiving input from others can be incredibly valuable as you never know how they will be able to help you improve your performance- as artists we should always be learning. I also think stage presence and etiquette are very important and for a singer that means trying not to use music, engaging with your audience, microphone technique and thanking your band properly.

    What are some of the things you did before your career as a performer became as successful as it is today?

    During my years as a Choral singer I was a runner up in the BBC Radio 2 Chorister of the Year final, performing to a panel of judges which included Hayley Westenra, and an audience of 1500 in addition to radio listeners. I was also part of the National Youth Choir of Great Britain which meant I performed for the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall with greats like Daniel Barenboim and Gustavo Dudamel for two consecutive years. In 2011 I was also awarded the Diploma in Musical Theatre (dipGSA) from the Guildford School of Acting and completed my Grade 8 in Singing. Finally I was a Choral Scholar for a little while at Royal Holloway University.
    Aside from those great experiences I have been gigging and performing to get as much experience as I possibly can, which includes taking part in theatrical shows. When I was 17 I played Dorothy in a production of The Wizard of Oz, which is where I first met the celebrated composer Denis King. This experience remains special to me and is a significant reason why Over the Rainbow features on my first album, Siren Song.

    What are some of your goals musically for the future?

    My long-term aim is to become an established recording artist. I treasure the process of putting together an album; choosing tracks, making arrangements, the meticulous recording procedure and then being able to distribute your sound around the world. I think it is a great joy of the modern era that creativity can be so easily shared nowadays.
    Through doing this I would love to bring Jazz back to a contemporary mainstream audience. I believe the genre has so much to offer and definitely deserves a more prominent place in the current music industry. I am a big fan of crossover Jazz artists and I think this approach is a great way to make the genre accessible for a wider listening audience.

    What inspires you to continue to pursue music? Have you ever come close to giving up and if you did, how did you overcome it?

    The happiness I derive from music, singing in particular, is what keeps me going. However, although getting personal satisfaction is very important, it is also the enjoyment of an audience or a listener that is rewarding. Singing is something I absolutely love to do, more than anything in the world, and so in my opinion, you only live once and should use this precious life to do something you really enjoy.
    Since embarking on a career as a professional singer I have fortunately not been in a situation where I want to stop yet. However I was definitely dubious about starting such an unpredictable venture. It was the interest from a London music producer that gave me the confidence and the belief in myself that I could achieve my dream.

    What are some of the things you enjoy most about your career as a performer/recording artist?

    I love meeting and working with other talented musicians; it is amazing what you can create musically when you pool resources and individual ability. I also like the adrenaline rush of performing live and the accompanying delight in making an audience smile as a result of singing. It doesn’t get better than that.

    Do you write music? Where do you get your inspiration?

    I have not written any of my own repertoire yet but I have a great young Jazz pianist I am collaborating with soon and we intend to attempt writing some songs.

    What was your lamest gig and how did you learn from it? What was the best?

    I’m not sure I have ever had gigs that have completely flopped but I have no doubt that will come- it is a rite of passage for every performer. I have performed Jazz music in a couple of churches and as you can imagine, with large English stone churches, it didn’t sound right at all. My best gigs are always when I perform with Laurie Holloway and his trio. It is such a thrill to work with someone so breathtakingly talented.

    Hobbies other than Music:

    I have a qualification in Wedding Planning in addition to my degree, so I love everything to do with that industry. I also like reading, scrap-booking and I do charity work from time to time.

    What would your advice be for an up and coming, young musician?

    Give it your best shot while you can- don’t live with regrets. Also be gracious when people want to help you- some of my most valuable musical progressions have emerged from constructive criticism.

    Where can we find more information?

    You can find my website at www.oliviacastle.com which will link you to all my social media channels.  My username for twitter and Instagram is ocastle_music and my Facebook page address is: www.facebook.com/oliviacastlesinger

    New releases and projects coming up:

    I have just launched my debut album so no new recordings in the pipeline at this moment but give me a few more months and I’m sure I will be itching to get back in the studio. I am taking part in some music festivals in England this summer.

     

    Interested in having your profile featured on our site?

    Teen Jazz is also looking for young Jazz Artist features, so you could become a feature if you apply. You will be notified by email of the status of your application.

    Terms and Conditions:

    (A) You cannot submit one sentence answers to the Teen Jazz Artist Application form questions, they must be a short paragraph.

    (B) You must respond to the confirmation email that you receive from Shannon Kennedy after you submit your profile or your profile will not be published on Teen Jazz.

    (C) Pictures and Contact Information on your page are optional, but let us at Teen Jazz know if you would like to have both or either on your profile.

    Apply Here

    February 4, 2015 • Up and Coming Musicians • Views: 986

  • Saxophonist Ahkeem Hopkins | Teen Jazz Artist

    Why did you begin studying music?

    Music has always been something that just “came to me.” Never had to study it, I just knew how to do it. I taught myself many instruments at a young age including piano, guitar, drums, bass, trumpet, and euphonium.

    What are you doing with music now?

    Right now, I have a jazz group and we are playing locally here in Florida.

    Saxophonist Akheem Hopkins

    Located in Pensacola, FL, USA

    • Saxophonist
    • 7 years of playing

    Teen Jazz Artist Badge

    [What’s this?]

    Who are some of your influences?

    Chick Corea is my biggest influence. I also like Bill Evans but Chick Corea has been the only person I have watched repeatedly and tried to imitate.

    Who have you studied with?

    Dr. Michael Coleman
    Dr. Sandy Spivey
    Dr. Joseph Spaniola

    What would you like to do with music in the future?

    Playing music, help others learn to play an instrument. Get others to see the joy in playing music.

     

    Interested in having your profile featured on our site?

    Teen Jazz is also looking for young Jazz Artist features, so you could become a feature if you apply. You will be notified by email of the status of your application.

    Terms and Conditions:

    (A) You cannot submit one sentence answers to the Teen Jazz Artist Application form questions, they must be a short paragraph.

    (B) You must respond to the confirmation email that you receive from Shannon Kennedy after you submit your profile or your profile will not be published on Teen Jazz.

    (C) Pictures and Contact Information on your page are optional, but let us at Teen Jazz know if you would like to have both or either on your profile.

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    January 26, 2015 • Up and Coming Musicians • Views: 828

  • Saxophonist Richard Silva | Teen Jazz Artist

    Why did you begin studying music?

    I started playing saxophone because I wanted to continue the tradition of my grandpa. He played saxophone and so did one of his sons (Joe Silva). I basically was raised in a musical family, with my dad (Reggie Silva) being the guitarist, composer, vocalist, producer, and musical mentor.

    What is your instrument setup?

    Alto Saxophone – Julius Keilwerth SX90 / mouth piece S 90 / 3 reed Vandoren
    Tenor Sax – Collegiate / 3 Vandoren / mouth piece Dukoff D 5
    Flute – Pear PF -501
    Shure – cordless microphone
    Congas – LP Galaxy M. Cohen

    Saxophonist Richard Silva

    Located in Fresno, CA, USA

    • Saxophonist
    • Doubles on flute and congas
    • 19 years of playing

    Contact: 559-824-5170 | theblujz@yahoo.com
    www.theblujz.com | facebook.com/theblujz | twitter.com/theblujz


    Teen Jazz Artist Badge

    [What’s this?]

    What are you doing with music now?

    Currently I am still very active in playing my saxophone and other instruments I could put my hands on. Other than playing, since 2011 my dad has given me the responsibility to promote his band (The Blu J’z) that I am currently performing in. By promoting, I mean finding gigs and promoting his Cd “Feelin’ the Moment.” From then to now with God’s help The Blu J’z has been recognized by various smooth jazz media sources (magazine, airplay, interview, Cd review, and more) and have also been given the opportunity to open up for renowned smooth jazz artists such as Boney James, David Sanborn with Bob James, Brian Culbertson, Keiko Matsui, Fredric Yonnet, Patrick Lamb, Paul Taylor and Marion Meadows. To this day, I still promote my dad’s music because I strongly believe his music is very unique. Currently, we both are working on The Blu J’z second album, in which it is father and son collaboration.

    Who are some of your influences?

    My first influence comes from God, who has given me the gift of music to share to others. My dad plays a vital part as a father figure and musical mentor. A musician who made a strong impact on me is Maceo Parker (Saxophonist), in which I’ve transcribed many of his songs. His energetic funk style has awakened me as musician and performer, “I know now what I must do.” Also, I have come to find that, whatever influences me as a person is best expressed through my saxophone.

    Who have you studied with?

    In high school (Roosevelt High School) I received private lessons from saxophonist Gene Doi who is a highly respected and sought out musician. In college (California State University, Fresno) I received private lessons from Doctor Alan Durst, who is also highly respected and sought out musician and professor.

    What do you plan on doing with music in the future?

    My future plans are to finish the second Blu J’z album and to hopelly be an established band who performs at well known Jazz and Smooth Jazz related festivals, concerts, and venues.

    Where can we find your music?

    On CDBaby, iTunes, and Amazon.

    Album title: Feelin’ the Moment
    Artist: The Blu J’z
    Date: Released 2001
    Genre: Jazz, Latin, Funk, Pop, R & B
    Label: Independent

     

    Any additional information you would like to add?

    These words, “I will never give up” is what I told myself in first grade which continues to inspire me to this day in everything I do and experience, but it is ultimately the belief that through God anything is possible.

    Saxophonist Richard Silva | Teen Jazz Artist

    The family-originated band The Blu J’z began as the vision of Reggie Silva. He grew up in a family of musicians, so it’s no coincidence that he chose to make music his life. As a guitarist, composer, and vocalist, Reggie’s influences came from performing and listening to bands and artists of the seventy’s era, like Earth Wind Fire, Chicago, Carlos Santana, Wes Montgomery, George Benson, Stevie Wonder, James Brown, Tower Power, Andre Crouch, The Winans, and many others. In 1998 Reggie’s vision in creating The Blu J’z sound originated from a dream, a dream of hooky melodies that paved a way in creating their first Cd in 2001, “Feelin’ the moment.” Reggie felt a connection with the album’s title because “it came from the heart.”

    Originally starting out as a five piece band, his son Richard Silva (saxophonist) joined the band during his sophomore year in high school. Since then they became popular around Fresno’s jazz music scene, performing familiar cover tunes, and along with promoting their original material that overall gave a smooth jazz vibe. Their unique sound that attracted listeners consisted of styles of Funk, Rock, Jazz, Pop, Latin, and Rhythm and Blues.

    In 2000, a newspaper writer from the Fresno Bee stumbled upon one of their performances at an Indian Casino named Table Mountain. Afterwards, he was compelled to write an article in which he titled “Family Band,” which was a full front page article on the Life Section displayed on Thursday, April 20, 2000. The original band members included: Reggie Silva (Band leader, guitarist), Joe Silva (Saxophonist, vocalist, percussion, brother), Richard Silva (Saxophonist, percussion, son), Julian Molina (Bass), Ricky Gonzalez (Rhythm guitar), and Juan Chevalier (Drummer, vocalist).

    In addition to performing at Fresno’s hot spots, they got a chance to perform twice (2001 and 2002) at the Sacramento Jazz Festival, which in 2001 was the year The Blu J’z debut their first Cd. Another big event was in 2004 when they were asked to open for Fresno’s own Smooth Jazz Festival at Coombs Riverbend Ranch.

    Within 4 years of the article, the band decided to break from the entertainment business. During this break many changes occurred in the structure of the band to include original members’ passing and moving away. Around mid-2010 Reggie was diagnosed with throat cancer. As a cancer survivor, in mid -2011 Reggie was ready for a comeback and this time his aspirations would lead him to rely on the abilities of his son Richard Silva. Richard Silva began to promote stronger for the Smooth Jazz sound that Fresno had slowly been lacking in the music scene since the departure of Smooth Jazz music from the local radio station 96.7.

    Since Richard Silva took over the promoting of the band they have gained national radio attention by way of internet and have been recently nominated for Best Indie Smooth Jazz Group from GHP from Texas. The promotion of our originals has helped us gain recognition worldwide not only through airplay but also interviews. The Blu J’z has since been recognized by major magazine companies both in California (Coffee Talk Jazz Network) and Texas (Jazz In M.E.E.) By the watchful eye of promoters and diligent hard work they had been asked to be an opening act for smooth jazz artist Boney James in concert at Woodward Park Fresno, California in 2012. It was this performance that has helped opened the door to many other opportunities including opening for other well-known smooth jazz artists to include Fred Yonnett, David Sanborn with Bob James, and Brian Culbertson, and Patrick Lamb. To this day Richard is very much determined in spreading the word about The Blu J’z. Recently from Jazz In M.E.E’s April Magazine (2014) they referenced our Cd and wrote this, “Buyer beware, the melodies will grab your attention and provide an intense form of musical expression. Watch out! This band is creating a buzz.

    “Our goal is to express what we feel, while giving the audience an entertaining experience.” Reggie Silva


     

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    Teen Jazz is also looking for young Jazz Artist features, so you could become a feature if you apply. You will be notified by email of the status of your application.

    Terms and Conditions:

    (A) You cannot submit one sentence answers to the Teen Jazz Artist Application form questions, they must be a short paragraph.

    (B) You must respond to the confirmation email that you receive from Shannon Kennedy after you submit your profile or your profile will not be published on Teen Jazz.

    (C) Pictures and Contact Information on your page are optional, but let us at Teen Jazz know if you would like to have both or either on your profile.

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    January 21, 2015 • Up and Coming Musicians • Views: 1062

  • Saxophonist Tavis Yearwood | Teen Jazz Artist

    Why did you begin studying music?

    With me being a freshman in high school I can’t say that i’m studying music but its what i want to do with my life and I’m extremely serious about it. It is my favorite thing to do in the entire world and I look forward to being a music major once i reach college.

    What are you doing with music now?

    Right now I’m trying to get my name out in the music world in my area by playing at jam sessions, auditioning for every honor band and other audition entry band around, and school concerts.

    Saxophonist Tavis Yearwood

    Located in Orlando, FL, USA

    • Saxophonist
    • Doubles on Flute
    • 4 years of playing

    Teen Jazz Artist Badge

    [What’s this?]

    What is your instrument setup?

    Cannonball Big Bell Stone Series Black Nickel Tenor, Otto Link Super Tone Master 6, Rico Royal Blue Box 3

    Who are some of your influences?

    Kenny G, Dave Koz, Gerald Albright, Grover Washington Jr., Eric Marienthal, David Sanborn, Michael Brecker, Jeff Lorber, Brian Culbertson.

    Who have you studied with?

    Christina Hart, Kimberly Zipoli, Ryan Davenport, Corey Futrell, Billy Meether

    What would you like to do with music in the future?

    My dream is to become a professional musician creating my own solo studio albums and to share my music with the rest of the world.

     Any additional information you would like to add?

    I am a Soprano, Alto, Tenor saxophonist as well as a flutist. I’ve been apart of the All-County Honor Band twice and the All-County Honor Jazz Band once.

     

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    (A) You cannot submit one sentence answers to the Teen Jazz Artist Application form questions, they must be a short paragraph.

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    (C) Pictures and Contact Information on your page are optional, but let us at Teen Jazz know if you would like to have both or either on your profile.

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    December 29, 2014 • Up and Coming Musicians • Views: 826

  • Saxophonist Isaiah Moregrass | Teen Jazz Artist

    Why did you begin studying music?

    Music was something that grasped me for as long as I remember. I knew I wanted to study it because of the passion I had for the magic behind music.

    What are you doing with music now?

    I play in ensembles at my high school and gig around Philly with my school’s small band.

    Saxophonist Isaiah Moregrass

    Located in Philadelphia, PA, USA

    • Saxophonist
    • 7 years of playing

    Teen Jazz Artist Badge

    [What’s this?]

    What is your instrument setup?

    Premier by Hire mp
    Vandoreen 3s
    Bundy Sax

    Who are some of your influences?

    Johnny Hodges
    Pepper Adams
    Gerry Mulligan
    Billie Holiday
    Ella Fitzgerald

    Who have you studied with?

    Temple CMSP program
    CAPA high school

    What would you like to do with music in the future?

    Gigging in Manhattan and being a music teacher.

     


     

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    (B) You must respond to the confirmation email that you receive from Shannon Kennedy after you submit your profile or your profile will not be published on Teen Jazz.

    (C) Pictures and Contact Information on your page are optional, but let us at Teen Jazz know if you would like to have both or either on your profile.

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    December 23, 2014 • Up and Coming Musicians • Views: 768

  • Vocalist Juwan Hall | Teen Jazz Artist

    Why did you begin studying music?

    I began studying music in the 6th grade.

    What are you doing with music now?

    Right now I’m still playing viola in my high school orchestra. I’m also trying to find my start as a musician by playing, writing, and singing my own songs.

    Vocalist Juwan Hall

    Located in Memphis, TN, USA

    • Vocalist
    • 7 years of playing
    • Doubles on Viola

    Teen Jazz Artist Badge

    [What’s this?]

    Who are some of your influences?

    My biggest influences don’t come from many people, instead they come from my life experiences. Some of my favorite artists that has some touch of influence in my life are Nina Simone, Michael Jackson, Lady Gaga, BB King, Bill Withers, and Sean Hayes.

    Who have you studied with?

    I learned how to play the viola with my teacher for the last seven years Mrs. Michelle Johnson.

    What would you like to do with music in the future?

    In the future I plan to have a career as a musician.


     

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    Teen Jazz is also looking for young Jazz Artist features, so you could become a feature if you apply. You will be notified by email of the status of your application.

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    (A) You cannot submit one sentence answers to the Teen Jazz Artist Application form questions, they must be a short paragraph.

    (B) You must respond to the confirmation email that you receive from Shannon Kennedy after you submit your profile or your profile will not be published on Teen Jazz.

    (C) Pictures and Contact Information on your page are optional, but let us at Teen Jazz know if you would like to have both or either on your profile.

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    November 5, 2014 • Up and Coming Musicians • Views: 898

  • Guitarist Brandon Coleman | Teen Jazz Artist

    Guitarist and composer Brandon Coleman is based out of Cincinnati, OH and is one of the region’s most in-demand jazz musicians. He frequently tours and plays his own compositions with the Brandon Coleman Quartet, progressive electronic rock with his trio Zvezda, and avant-garde rock and roll with acclaimed Louisville band D’Arkestra. 2013 saw the release of his debut quartet album, Decisions, which received many favorable reviews. Critical Jazz said: “Brandon Coleman may well be one of the most unique guitar voices to emerge over the last decade…While his technical proficiency is beyond reproach, Coleman has an deceptively subtle artistic sense of harmonic movement that could be considered in the same style as that of a Bill Evans. ” 2014 saw Coleman join the Timberwolf Guitar Company Family, and he plans on recording a new album in 2015, with supporting tours in Japan and Brazil. He is going on tour with his Louisville-based bands D’Arkestra and Anomaly in the fall.

    Guitarist Brandon Coleman

    Located in Cincinnati, OH, USA

    • Guitarist
    • I have been playing about 14 years
    • Endorsements: Timberwolf Guitars, PHRED Instruments and Curt Mangan Strings.

    www.brandoncoleman-music.com
    brandoncolemanjazz@gmail.com


    Teen Jazz Artist Badge

    [What’s this?]

    Setup/Gear/Manufacturer of Instruments:

    I endorse:
    Timberwolf Guitars
    Phred Instruments
    Curt Mangan Strings

    Why did you begin studying music?

    I started playing at 12 years old, but I got into jazz around the age of 15 when my love for Frank Zappa lead me down the rabbit hole of creative music. Since then, I was on a journey to learn as much as I could about the inner workings of music. I went to Morehead State University for undergraduate and the University of Louisville for my Master’s Degree.

    What are you doing with music right now?

    I am currently performing and touring as a bandleader for The Brandon Coleman Quartet, as well as a member of progressive 9-piece band D’Arkestra. I also teach students in my spare time and engrave charts for a publishing company.

    Who are some of your influences?

    Kurt Rosenwinkel, Paul Motian, Wayne Shorter, Maria Schneider, Kenny Wheeler, Gilad Hekselman, Jim Hall, Grant Green, Lennie Tristano

    Who do you/have you studied with?

    Glenn Ginn – Guitar
    Craig Wagner – Guitar
    Gilad Hekselman – Guitar
    Bucky Pizzarelli – Guitar
    Steve Snyder – Piano/Arranging
    Chris Fitzgerald – Piano/Harmony
    John LaBarbera – Composition/Arranging

    What do you plan on doing with music in the future?

    Keep on performing, writing, and making records!


     

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    (A) You cannot submit one sentence answers to the Teen Jazz Artist Application form questions, they must be a short paragraph.

    (B) You must respond to the confirmation email that you receive from Shannon Kennedy after you submit your profile or your profile will not be published on Teen Jazz.

    (C) Pictures and Contact Information on your page are optional, but let us at Teen Jazz know if you would like to have both or either on your profile.

    Apply Here

     

    August 28, 2014 • Up and Coming Musicians • Views: 1054

  • Guitarist Alex Sill | Teen Jazz Artist

    Setup/Gear/Manufacturer of Instruments:

    Ibanez PM-120, Fender Twin Reverb Amp, Music Man JP-6, Martin 1978 D-35

    Why did you begin studying music?

    I grew up in a very musical household and was exposed to lots of great music growing up. My mother is a great singer and my dad has been in the music business for over thirty years, in addition to being a former saxophone player. Through all the exposure to different music, I became fascinated by the different effects certain music would produce within me, both imaginatively and emotionally.

    Guitarist Alex Sill

    Located in West Hills, CA, USA

    • Guitarist
    • I have been playing about 8 or 9 years

     


    Teen Jazz Artist Badge

    [What’s this?]

    What are you doing with music right now?

    I am currently a student in the Cal Arts Jazz Program and play frequently with my own group: www.trifieldguitarproject.com

    My group has been performing at numerous jazz clubs around town lately including the Baked Potato, Vitello’s, and Herb Alpert’s Vibrato Jazz. We’ve performed with several special guests including Lee Ritenour and piano virtuoso Vardan Ovsepian.

    In addition to my love for improvisation, I’m also very involved with composing.

    Who are some of your influences?

    Lyle Mays, Pat Metheny, Allan Holdsworth, Steely Dan, John Coltrane, Guthrie Govan, Chick Corea, Charles Altura, Steve Vai, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Julian Lage, Keith Jarrett, Jonathan Kreisberg, Carl Jung, Albert Einstein, and John F. Kennedy-just to name a few 🙂

    Who do you/have you studied with?

    I am currently studying with jazz guitar great Larry Koonse at Cal Arts, and as of late, have also been receiving mentorship from Lyle Mays. I’ve also studied and/or performed with Steve Vai, Charlie Haden, Lee Ritenour, Joe LaBarbera, Sonny Emory, Melvin Lee Davis and Vardan Ovsepian.

    What do you plan on doing with music in the future?

    I plan on continuing to perform with my own group, hopefully someday on a global scale, and devote as much energy as possible to these ventures. If any other music related project/job opportunity comes along that interests me, I will most certainly take it, whether it means being a sideman in a band or composing music for Film/TV.

    Any additional information you would like to add?

    Awards/Accolades:

    -Winner of Rock Category in Lee Ritenour’s 2012 International Six String Theory Guitar Competition and one of three top finalists overall in the contest. The competition involved hundreds of applicants from over 50 different countries, and was judged by jazz greats including Lee Ritenour, Julian Lage, and Dave Grusin.

    -Recipient of Louis Armstrong Jazz Award (2011)

    -Recently composed a piece entitled “Montana Suite,” commissioned for the 2013 Crown of the Continent Guitar Festival in Montana. The composition was written for three guitars, and was performed during an opening set for Robben Ford. Other performers at the festival included Pat Metheny and Lee Ritenour. “Montana Suite,” is part of an album of the same name, which is now available on iTunes, Amazon, and other major outlets for purchase.

    -Was a member of the great Charlie Haden’s Cal Arts Liberation Music Orchestra in 2013. Rest in peace, dear Charlie!

    -Commissioned to compose and record music in 2010 for the independent film “Smitty,” which starred Peter Fonda and Lou Gossett Jr. The recording sessions included major L.A. studio players such as drummer John Ferraro.

    -I’m also in the process of arranging and recording music for another independent film entitled “Saved in America,” a documentary about one woman’s journey to save the lives of animals in high kill shelters, and her successful attempts to ameliorate the problem of pet overpopulation.


     

    Interested in having your profile featured on our site?

    Teen Jazz is also looking for young Jazz Artist features, so you could become a feature if you apply. You will be notified by email of the status of your application.

    Terms and Conditions:

    (A) You cannot submit one sentence answers to the Teen Jazz Artist Application form questions, they must be a short paragraph.

    (B) You must respond to the confirmation email that you receive from Shannon Kennedy after you submit your profile or your profile will not be published on Teen Jazz.

    (C) Pictures and Contact Information on your page are optional, but let us at Teen Jazz know if you would like to have both or either on your profile.

    Apply Here

     

    August 7, 2014 • Up and Coming Musicians • Views: 1262

  • Saxophonist Austin Gatus | Teen Jazz Artist

    Setup/Gear/Manufacturer of Instruments:

    Selmer Super Action Series 80 Alto Saxophone
    Jody Jazz DV 6 Mouthpiece
    Legere 2.75 or Rico Jazz Select 3M reeds

    Why did you begin studying music?

    When I was in the third grade, I was taught in my class how to play the recorder. From there I tried taking it a level higher by playing other tunes I knew on the recorder. This eventually led to my parents buying me a saxophone. My dad being a Jazz lover and the saxophone having very similar fingerings to the recorder, this was a perfect fit for me.

    Saxophonist Austin Gatus

    Located in San Diego, CA, USA

    • Saxophonist & Singer-Songwriter
    • I have been playing Saxophone for seven years.

    www.austingatus.com
    Facebook | YouTube | Instagram


    Teen Jazz Artist Badge

    [What’s this?]

    By the time I was in the 4th grade I had joined my elementary school beginning band, but after the second rehearsal the teacher promoted me to advanced band and even invited me to join the middle school jazz band he instructed.This had spurred my passion for playing jazz music and led me to want to study in that genre. As I’ve grown as a musician, I’ve had the honor of gaining attention and sharing the stage with some of my idols such as Dave Koz and Kenny G. My passion for music has also led me to taking up other instruments such as Singing, Guitar, Piano, and even writing my own songs.

    What are you doing with music right now?

    As of now I am a Senior at Valhalla High School currently involved with the schools Jazz band and a local San Diego big band called Jazz Xpress. I also lead my own band that gigs around San Diego. We play a variety of genres from Traditional Jazz, Funk/Fusion, and even my own singer songwriter music. One of my goals and challenges when I’m writing music is to be able to blend the saxophone to fit in the songs I write. As of now I’m am currently self producing my first album that I’m expecting to release at the end of 2014. I have also been honored to have the opportunity to be a guest artist on the upcoming Dave Koz and Friends at Sea 2014 Alaska Cruise.

    Who are some of your influences?

    My main influence in traditional jazz is Cannonball Adderly. I am also influenced by Phil Woods and Danny Janklow. For Smooth Jazz I am heavily influenced by Dave Koz and Eric Merienthal.

    Who do you/have you studied with?

    I studied Jazz for two years with John Rekevics and I am currently being mentored by Dave Koz and Kenny G.

    What do you plan on doing with music in the future?

    In the future I plan on attending college to study and major in music. I hope to someday make a career in music performing but if that doesn’t work out I would like to produce/record for other musicians or teach and direct.

    Any additional information you would like to add?

    When I was 9 years old, shortly after taking up the saxophone, I was diagnosed with Leukemia, Cancer of the Blood. After three and a half years of treatment, I am grateful to be a 5 year cancer survivor. Although a hard struggle, this has led me to meeting the amazing musicians I idolize today. I met Kenny G through my local Children’s hospital and Dave Koz through the Starlight Foundation.


     

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    July 30, 2014 • Interviews • Views: 1221

  • Flute Player Althea Rene | Teen Jazz Influence Interview

    Name: Althea Rene
    Location: San Antonio
    School/Major/Degree: Howard University, Flute Major

    The Interview

    When did you first begin seriously studying your instrument?

    At the age of 12.

    Who are your greatest influences? Who did you study with?

    My influences are Ian Anderson, James Moody, and Hubert Laws. I studied with Clement Baron, the principle Flautist with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

    Who or what gave you the confidence to pursue music as a career?

    I came from a musical family and my mom constantly encouraged me to pursue my dreams of a career in music.

    What are your thoughts on what it takes to be successful as a performer? Do you think any other skills are needed aside from the ability to play your instrument well?

    You have to be able to play, perform, as well as pull from all of your abilities. You need to learn solid business practices, how to make good connections and build good relationships, especially with promoters.

    What are some of the things you did before your career as a performer became as successful as it is today?

    I was a Deputy Sheriff in Detroit.

    What are some of your goals musically for the future?

    My musical goals for the future are to do a World Tour and continue to record.

    What inspires you to continue to pursue music? Have you ever come close to giving up and if you did, how did you overcome it?

    My inspiration to continue is because I feel so good when I perform and it allows me a spiritual release. I never allow myself to think about giving up.

    What are some of the things you enjoy most about your career as a performer/recording artist?

    I love the preparation that goes into performing and recording, learning new material, planning outfits, meeting other artists, and the experience of playing with different musicians.

    What was your lamest gig and how did you learn from it? What was the best?

    The worst shows always involve poor sound or a sub-standard backup band. You have to learn to just get through it, and then forget about it. Make sure that you always perform your best, no matter what’s going on around you. I’m still waiting for the Best… LOL

    Hobbies other than Music:

    Working out, living a Healthy Lifestyle, Fashion, and Beauty/

    What would your advice be for an up and coming, young musician?

    Study hard and listen to a variety of music. Identify what area of music you would like to pursue.

    What inspires you to continue to pursue music?

    It’s my destiny, a gift for my Dad (RIP), who would never want me to give up.

    Where can we find more information?

    http://althearene.com

    July 2, 2014 • Interviews • Views: 1103