Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Fall Music Festival at Vista, Nov 28 and 29, 2012, 7:30 PM

Northwest Vista College's FALL MUSIC FESTIVAL will be held on Wednesday, November 28 and Thursday, November 29, at 7:30 PM both days, in Palmetto Theatre. The festival features student ensembles, including chamber and jazz ensembles, choirs, student jazz combos and outstanding classical and jazz soloists. Tickets are $4, with proceeds to benefit student travel to the IASJ  international summer jazz intensive. Reservations: 210-486-4527. Come, bring friends and family...

FREE WORKSHOP with Top World-Jazz Guitarist, Monday Dec 10, 12:30 PM

Thanks to Musical Bridges Around the World, renowned world-jazz guitarist Rez Abbasi will be performing in San Antonio on December 9 with stellar band mates Dave Binney, Vijay Iyer, Michael Sarin, and Johannes Weidenmueller as they blend traditional jazz with sounds influenced by their Indian, New York and Southern California backgrounds.

Most exciting for us, Rez Abbasi will present a free workshop for students at Palmetto Center for the Arts at Northwest Vista College. The workshop takes place at 12:30 PM on Monday, December 10 in Recital Hall 107. Contact Katchie Cartwright for more information: 210-486-4828. Don't miss it!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

AUDITIONS! Tues Nov 20, 5 PM at Northwest Vista College

Play or sing jazz?

Audition for the 2012/2013 A-JAM (Alamo Jazz Allstars Mentorship) program…

Openings in all instruments, including voice, woodwinds, brass, strings, percussion, piano, bass, and drums. Take advantage of this unique opportunity for a combo of serious jazzers to perform locally and regionally, be coached by top professionals, and do a live radio broadcast and studio recording at KRTU Jazz 91.7 FM. One lucky student and her/his teacher will be invited to the annual meeting of the International Association of Schools of Jazz (IASJ), to be held at the end of June 2012 in Denmark.

Open to full-time students at any of the Alamo Colleges and Trinity University.

Live audition: Tuesday before Thanksgiving, November 20, 2012 at 5 PM in Rehearsal Hall 152 of the Palmetto Center for the Arts at Northwest Vista College, 3535 North Ellison, San Antonio TX 78251.

Find “Alamo Jazz Allstars Mentorship (A-JAM)” on Facebook
Phone 210-486-4828

Monday, October 8, 2012

Oct 25, 2012 - Bob Dorough to Perform for A-JAM Benefit

Before Nickelodeon made kid’s TV cool, “Schoolhouse Rock!” was a popular educational children’s show in the 1970s and 1980s helping America’s kids learn about math, grammar, science and much more.

The voice and musical composer who helped craft the ABC-TV series was Bob Dorough, who will be performing Thursday, Oct. 25 at 7 p.m. at the auditorium of the Palmetto Center for the Arts.

In addition to Dorough’s Schoolhouse ties, he has an extensive jazz career spanning over 50 years. Dorough’s style is eclectic that often combines be-bop, blues and classic jazz sounds. It’s not uncommon for him to get audience requests for “Schoolhouse Rock!” songs, such as “Three is a Magic Number” or “Conjunction Junction.”

Dorough has received many accolades, including the Pennsylvania Governor’s Artist of the Year Award and has been inducted into the Arkansas Jazz Hall of Fame. He also served as an ambassador of jazz and blues for the U.S. State Department. Dorough is currently promoting his latest album, “Bob Dorough DUETS.”

Ticket prices are $10 for general admission; $5 for seniors, active military and groups of 10 or more. Northwest Vista students with valid ID are free. Proceeds will benefit the Alamo Jazz Allstars mentorship (A-JAM) program. To make a reservation, call the NVC box office at 210-486-4527.  Read more >>

RSVP via Facebook

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Education Through Jazz: Individuality and Collaboration

Brand new clip from Israeli innovation psychologist and film maker Leon Segal's documentary on the International Association of Jazz (IASJ).  Check it out. It really shows our mission in action. Very inspiring.

If you look closely, you can see a bit of Alamo Colleges representation in the group performance of John Coltrane's "Peace" at the end of the clip.


International Association of Schools of Jazz members convene in the hills above Graz, Austria. June 2012.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

IASJ - Letters to Students and Teachers

David Liebman, International Association for Schools of Jazz Artistic Director, writes to students and teachers who are on their way to the annual jazz meeting in Graz, Austria, which takes place June 23-30, 2012. Inspiring and informative. To read the excerpts, open in a new window and click on ZOOM. Check it out...

Friday, May 18, 2012

Jazz Great Rocks Palmetto


San Antonio’sLiebman jazz community and friends embraced jazz legend David Liebman on May 16 as he swept through the city visiting and teaching students and giving an exhilarating performance at a concert at Northwest Vista College.

Liebman, a world-renowned saxophonist and educator, is a 2011 recipient of the coveted NEA Jazz Masters award, has played with jazz greats, such as Miles Davis and Elvin Jones and has been a multiple Grammy nominee. He founded the International Association of Schools of Jazz and has authored books and instructional DVDs, which are acknowledged asLiebman 3 jazz classics.   

The Alamo Jazz Allstars Mentorship, aka A-JAM, opened for Liebman. Prior to the event, Liebman gave the student group tips and suggestions on how to entertain the audience and make their music better. The members of the student jazz mentorship group are singer Shea Adams, guitarist Marco Escobedo, pianist Mark Ligon, bassist Stephen Bennett and drummer James Buentello.
"Having Dave Liebman work with our A-JAM students was an absolutely golden opportunity for them to see, hear, and feel what the music is at the very highest level,” said Katchie Cartwright, NVC associate professor of Music. “His instruction, his presence, his wisdom was invaluable. I heard the students in the wings after the master class, and they were bubbling with excitement.”

Regional music stars AaroLiebman 4n Prado (piano), Audra Menconi (drums), and Mike Porter (bass) performed with Liebman during the concert.   
Liebman’s performance turned many in the audience into new-found jazz fans.
“I loved that he played with such intensity, that it looked like every note traveled up and down his spine and made his body almost shake! He and his band may have just converted me to a jazz fan!” said Lisa McDaniel, NVC coordinator of Communications.

Others in the audience, such as jazz aficionado Nathan Cone, were hooked from start to finish.
“Liebman’s mastery of his instrument was apparent from the moment he stepped out on stage for a rendition of Wayne Shorter’s classic tune ‘Footprints,’ performed with the Alamo Jazz All-Stars,” said Cone, who is Texas Public Radio’s director of classical programming. “His set with local artists was inspiring. The highlight for me was an up-tempo rendition of ‘All Blues.’ Heck, all of the songs he played were taken at a quick snap, which I really dug.”    Read more >>

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

A-JAM Documentary by Alamo Colleges Students

Big thanks to an extremely capable team of Northwest Vista College students for creating an excellent video documentary of our Alamo Jazz Allstars Mentorship (A-JAM) program. The team, led by Jimmy Camillocci, includes Isai Hernandez and Matt Neloff; all Multimedia students of Ron Wojnar.

Watch the video here...

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

CRN: 19736, 19737, 19738, 19739 or 19740
Tuesdays 5-5:50 PM, Palmetto Rehearsal Hall 152

A-JAM ALLSTARS... Are YOU the next generation? Register now for A-JAM PREP, fall 2012.

Hey! This is for real. For research from Johns Hopkins on how jazz grows your brain, read this... 

Jazz Great David Liebman Performs at NVC
World-renowned saxophonist and educator David Liebman will perform in a concert at 7 p.m. on May 16 in the Palmetto Center for the Arts at Northwest Vista College. The Alamo Allstars, a student jazz group, will open for Liebman.

Liebman, a 2011 recipient of the coveted NEA Jazz Masters award, has played with jazz greats, such as Miles Davis, Elvin Jones, McCoy Tyner and has been a multiple Grammy nominee. He founded the International Association of Schools of Jazz and has authored books and instructional DVDs, which are acknowledged as classics in the jazz field.

Regional music stars Aaron Prado (piano), Audra Menconi (drums), and Mike Porter (bass) will perform with Liebman.

General admission tickets are $20 and $10 for seniors, military and groups of 10 or more. Free tickets are available to NVC students with a valid ID and $5 for all other students. To make a reservation, call the NVC box office at 210-486-4527. -

Posted on 05/08/2012 by Alamo Colleges PR Team

Monday, April 30, 2012

Jazz - The World's "Cultural Passport"

Why Jazz? Because it's America's great gift to the world, a language of freedom and democracy...

1st Annual International Jazz Day at the UN

"From its earliest days, when the pianist Jelly Roll Morton spoke of a “Spanish tinge,” jazz has been extraordinarily open to international influences. Now it’s official. Last fall Unesco — the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization — designated jazz a “universal music of freedom and creativity” and decreed that henceforth every April 30 is to be celebrated around the world as International Jazz Day."  Read more >>

“What jazz brings to the table is collective improvisation and tolerance, respect and freedom, and when you mix that up with every world musical style, you are creating a cultural passport,” he added. “I really believe that what jazz has given to the world is a window, a paradigm of how countries should be interacting with each other.” (Danilo Perez, Pianist)

“Jazz was immediately a comforting quilt to be under, because I felt I was stepping into a brother music and running into people who embraced me as a friend,” he said. “The jazz musicians of that time, like John Coltrane, were already looking eastward and experimenting with modal music. So it was almost like meeting halfway, which made it easy for me..." (Zakir Hussain, Percussionist)

"Jazz at its best is a microcosm of what society should be, incorporating and absorbing what’s going on around us and coming out with something that breaks down barriers and connects people. Would that the rest of the world could do that.”  (George Duke, Pianist)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

A-JAM Combo Featured at Jazz Festival

St. Mary's University's 50th annual Fiesta Jazz Festival is this weekend. This year's event features the Alamo Jazz Allstars Mentorship group at 3 PM on Friday, April 27.

The headliner this year is the venerable Jim Cullum and his band. Read more in Jim Beal's column in the San Antonio Express-News...

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

APRIL EVENTS - 1st Spring Music Festival @ Vista, St. Mary's 50th Fiesta Jazz Festival

April and May an exciting months for the Alamo Allstars. Here are a couple of highlights in April.  Stay tuned....

Thursday, April 19, 7 PM - Northwest Vista College's 1st Annual Spring Music Festival. Palmetto Center for the Arts, Wiseman Road / 3535 North Ellison, San Antonio 78251.

Two evenings of NVC student concerts featuring solo and ensemble performances. Wednesday evening's concert features the Vista Voices choir and Quod Novus chamber ensembles (April 18). Thursday's concert features the Orquesta Vista jazz ensemble and the Alamo Jazz Allstars combo (April 19). Both evenings include solo peformances by music majors. Proceeds support students in Alamo Jazz Allstars Mentorship program (A-JAM). Tickets $4.

Friday, April 27, 3 PM - St. Mary's University's 50th Annual Fiesta Jazz Festival / World Class Concert. Alumni Pavilion - Pecan Grove, One Camino Santa Maria, San Antonio 78228

Don't miss the "Jazz of Fiesta." Enjoy Jim Cullum's Band as the Fiesta Jazz artist. Sponsored by St. Mary's University Music Department and the Fiesta Commission dedicated to presenting the finest jazz in town. Bring a friend and join us for an evening of "Great Jazz." Concerts from 1:00 to 10:00 PM. Alamo Allstars set is at 3 PM.

Monday, March 26, 2012

La reVista: Story on the Alamo Jazz Allstars Mentorship Program

Students Get Pointers from Jazz VIPs

The next great jazz musician may soon emerge from the Alamo Colleges thanks to a student jazz group that was formed last year at Northwest Vista College and has received mentoring from some of the best jazz musicians in the business.

The Alamo Allstars, created by NVC associate professor of Music Katharine “Katchie” Cartwright, is a student mentorship program for Alamo Colleges students to receive training, mentorship and a chance to travel abroad to learn from international jazz musicians.

To join the group of five, students have to audition and then one student is chosen to attend the International Association of Schools of Jazz (IASJ) conference hosted in different cities. Only about 50 students are selected internationally to participate in the conference. This year, NVC student Stephen Bennett will be traveling to Austria to be a part of the event.

Last year, then NVC student Jeané Gaines traveled to Brazil to participate in the conference. She said words can’t express all that she experienced on the trip. Read more >>

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Allstars to Perform at Palo Alto Jazz Festival - Fri March 23, 2012

In a whirlwind morning and afternoon, the Alamo Allstars quintet rush from a live television date (10-11 AM) to a festival opening performance on Friday March 23, 2012. The group is slated to perform at 11:30 AM in the Palo Alto College Performing Arts Center auditorium. See you there...

16th Annual PAC Jazz Festival

Friday, March 23, 2012, 10:00 AM
Location: Performing Arts Center Auditorium

Palo Alto College will host the 16th Annual PAC Jazz Festival on March 23 in the Performing Arts Center on the Palo Alto College campus. Performance times are Friday, March 23 from 10am to 8pm and again on Saturday, March 24 from 10am to 5pm (dates and times are subject to change). The festival will feature local Middle and High School jazz ensembles as well as the PAC Jazz Ensemble and the Alamo Colleges All-Star Jazz Ensemble. Admission is free and open to the public. For more information,call 486-3227.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Alamo Allstars Quintet to Perform on San Antonio Living WOAI

The Alamo Allstars quintet are slated to perform live on San Antonio Living WOAI, hosted by Shelley Miles. The television show airs Friday morning, March 23, 2012 from 10-11 AM. Stephen Bennett, the group's bassist, arranged the date. Good work, Stephen! Stay tuned...

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Geri Allen Master Class at Trinity - A Multilevel Community Event

Left to right: James Buentello, Shea Adams, Marco Escobedo, Stephen Bennett

Geri Allen gave a wonderful master class at Trinity University on Saturday, February 18, as part of her residency with Musical Bridges Across the World. The free event was a collaboration between Trinity's KRTU, Musical Bridges, and the Alamo Colleges Jazz Mentorship Program.

Local students and performers were invited to bring their instruments. Elementary school students participated along with local professionals and, of course, our own Alamo Allstars quintet. Allen found a way for everyone to share with each other, whether performing a single-note drone, simple rhythmic pattern, familiar tune, or jazz standard. The afternoon was magical. Everyone left feeling excited and eager to play.

On Sunday, Feb 19, Geri Allen and her trio presented a concert at San Antonio College.  She recorded a radio interview with Bradley Kayser for his Jitterbug Waltz Hour show (Tuesdays 8-9 PM) on KRTU 91.7 FM.  During the interview, she spoke of her influences and spun records by some of her musical mentors.  The radio show is available online until 8 PM CST on Tuesday, February 29. Well worth listening to...

The next Alamo Allstars event on the calendar is a master class with Dr. Armin Marmolejo at Palo Alto College. Stay tuned...

Where's Geri Allen? Back row, fourth from the left...

Pianist Mark Ligon joins the program

We are pleased to welcome Mark Ligon into the Alamo Colleges Jazz Mentorship program as a new member of the 2012 Alamo Allstars quintet. Congratulations, Mark! Our newest member, he is a pianist and hails from Northwest Vista College. We're sorry to see Rene Pintor leave the program, and wish him well in all his future endeavors.

Join the Alamo Colleges Jazz Mentorship program Facebook community for breaking news and lots of other helpful information. Stay tuned...

Monday, February 20, 2012

50th Annual Fiesta Jazz Festival - Alamo Allstars to Perform

The Alamo Colleges Jazz Mentorship program's Allstars quintet has been invited to perform at the 50th annual Fiesta Jazz Band Festival, hosted by St. Mary's Unviversity. Event details are below. Congratulations, Alamo Allstars!

April 28, 8:00am-5:00pm

St. Mary’s University

The 50th annual Fiesta Jazz Band Festival is San Antonio’s oldest educational jazz festival, attracting junior and senior high-school jazz ensembles from Texas and other states. Participants perform for criticism before a panel of renowned jazz clinicians. Trophies and awards are given for outstanding performances in various categories.

A special clinic by this year’s Fiesta Jazz Artist will be featured at midday. Past clinicians have included Dizzy Gillespie, Bill Lee, Wayne Bergeron, Curtis Wilson, Rick Lawn and Bob Moses. Come enjoy tomorrow’s future jazz artists performing for the final day of the Fiesta Jazz Festival.

Free admission. Call the Music Department at (210) 436-3421 for more information.

St. Mary's University
One Camino Santa Maria

Monday, February 13, 2012

IASJ Announces 2012 Grand Prize Winner

Left to right: Loueke, Rene Pintor, Marco Escobedo, Stephen Bennett, James Buentello (2/4/12)


Hot off the presses! We've just heard from the International Association of Schools of Jazz (IASJ) that bassist Stephen Bennett (Northwest Vista College) has been invited to the 2012 meeting of the IASJ, to be held in Graz, Austria June 23-29, 2012.  Congratulations, Stephen!

Our "Alamo Allstars," the Alamo Colleges Jazz Mentorship program's combo of finalists had a wonderful master class with Lionel Loueke at The Carver a few weeks ago, and are looking forward to another this weekend, with Geri Allen at Trinity. Hope to see you there...

Join the Alamo Colleges Jazz Mentorship program Facebook community for breaking news and lots of other helpful information. Stay tuned...

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Master Class with Lionel Loueke at The Carver a Success

The 2012 Alamo Colleges Jazz Mentorship Program is in full swing. The Alamo Allstars just had their first big mentoring experience, a master class with West African guitarist Lionel Loueke at The Carver Community Cultural Center on Saturday, Feb 4 was spectacular. An entire session one-on-one with one of the brightest stars in contemporary jazz. What an exhilirating afternoon. Many thanks to Yonnie Blanchette, Executive Director of The Carver, and to Lionel Loueke for making this happen for our students! 

And kudos to our Alamo Allstars for taking the initiative to prepare themselves for the Loueke master class and upcoming events with a stellar crew of visiting artists and local mentors.  San Antonio should be proud of  them all: Marco Antonio Escobedo - guitar (San Antonio College), James Buentello - drums (Northwest Vista College), Shea Adams - voice (Northwest Vista College), Rene Pintor - trombone (San Antonio College), and Stephen Bennett - bass (Northwest Vista College. 

The Allstars are working hard on the IASJ Top 10 tunes to know in jazz and are gearing up for the next workshop, with Geri Allen at Trinity University on Saturday, Feb 18 at 4 PM.

See you there...