Jazz Camp at University of California, San Diego today announced it was awarding four scholarships to its prestigious summer program to students from two local jazz bands that were recently selected to compete in two of the nation’s most preeminent national jazz competitions.
The San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts, led by John Reynolds, is slated to play at the Essentially Ellington competition (https://academy.jazz.org/ee/participate/competition-festival/) in New York City on May 5-7. Scholarship recipients from the San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts are Wesley Etienne, who plays the trombone, and Ashley DelCastillo, who plays the bass. They will each receive a full tuition scholarship to this year’s five-day camp, which runs from June 20 through June 25.
The International Academy of Jazz, led by Gilbert Castellanos, was selected to perform at the Monterey Jazz Festival’s Next Generation Jazz Festival (https://www.gofundme.com/iajsdnextgen) in Monterey on April 8-10. Scholarship recipients from the International Academy of Jazz are Zion Dyson, who sings as well as plays piano, and Alvin Paige, who plays the tenor sax.
Dan Atkinson, the director of Jazz Camp, said the scholarships aim to recognize the bands for placing in these very selective music competitions and ensure that some of San Diego’s emerging jazz players have the ability to further master their musicianship at this summer’s Jazz Camp, which is run by UC San Diego Extension. Both bands include students who are alumni of past editions of the camp.
“This is about giving back to the San Diego community and investing in the future of jazz,” Atkinson said. “This year UC San Diego Extension is celebrating its 50th anniversary by taking a forward-looking approach, to help individuals get ready for the next 50 years. We felt that providing scholarships to the next generation of jazz musicians was a great way to honor that mission.”
Atkinson said the scholarships also were awarded to two female students to help deliver on his goal to attract more women to Jazz Camp.
“Unfortunately, we’ve always had difficulty recruiting female jazz musicians to our camp,” Atkinson said. “I think it is part of the old image of jazz as a ‘guy thing.’ But I think it’s important to end that perception to ensure the continued vibrancy of jazz.”
UC San Diego Jazz Camp (http://jazzcamp.ucsd.edu) is aimed at intermediate to advanced musicians ages 14 to adult. Enrollment is Iimited to a maximum of 60 students, who work directly with our faculty of internationally renowned jazz artists, exploring styles ranging from classic bebop to contemporary open-form.
Students receive one-on-one and small group instruction, earning three units of University of California continuing education credit. Instructors include such leading artists as Castellanos, Holly Hofmann, Charles McPherson, Mike Wofford, Peter Sprague, Rob Thorsen, Joshua White, Myra Melford, David Borgo, Anthony Davis, Mark Dresser and many others. The camp will also feature instructor Grace Kelly, a jazz saxophonist and rising star who is also a member of The Colbert Late Show Band under Jon Batiste. The deadline to apply for this summer’s Jazz Camp is May 23. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (858) 534-6731.