Tuesday, November 22, 2011

2011-2012 Finalists Quintet Announced

Many thanks to all who participated in the auditions for the mentorship program in 2011-2012. The Small World jam at the Olmos Bharmacy was jam packed and the excitement was palpable. 
As in the past, this year's panel of judges was comprised of top regional professionals, none of whom is affiliated with the Alamo Colleges: saxophonist-flutist Rene Saenz, trumpeter-pianist Cecil Carter, and trumpeter-bandleader Adrian Ruiz. They chose a quintet of finalists, who are to be mentored during the spring semester. Their ranked list of finalists is below (#1 is their top choice). Congratulations to all!
  1. Marco Antonio Escobedo - guitar (San Antonio College)
  2. James Buentello - drums (Northwest Vista College) 
  3. Shea Adams - voice (Northwest Vista College) 
  4. Rene Pintor - trombone (San Antonio College)
  5. Stephen Bennett - bass (Northwest Vista College) 
Their recommendations to the International Association of Schools of Jazz (IASJ) shortly. The IASJ will invite one of  these top 5 contestants to the meeting in Graz, Austria June 24-29, 2012; the final decision is in the hands of the IASJ, and will come some time during the spring semester.
We're in the process of finalizing quintet's spring schedule. We have master classes lined up with pianist Geri Allen through Trinity Uniersity's KRTU and Musical Bridges Around the World, West African guitarist Lionel Loueke through the Carver Community Cultural Center, and NEA Jazz Master saxophonist-educator Dave Liebman. The quintet has an engagement at the NISOD conference in Austin, and a radio date with JJ Lopez and the South Texas Jazz project on KRTU. 
It was disappointing that neither PAC, SPC, and NLV sent students this year. To make the program more visible on all the Alamo campuses, we're in the process of organizing master classes with colleagues at various Alamo Colleges campuses. Northeast Lakeview College (Chris Magee), Palo Alto College (Armin Marmolejo), and St. Philip's College (Greg Gonzales) have already come aboard. The quintet has also been invited perform at the annual Palo Alto College jazz festival in March. Thanks to all!
Stay tuned...

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