Monday, November 30, 2015

"Breaking the Barrier" - Francis Stromboe Receives Top A-JAM Honors

"...being a part of A-JAM and all the opportunities it will present will help me break the barrier of technicality and find my inner voice." (Francis Stromboe)

A-JAM auditions were held the week before Thanksgiving, with San Antonio's top jazz students competing, and several of our finest professional jazz musicians adjudicating; Morgan King, Rene Saenz, and Richard Oppenheim. As always, the decisions are tough and we are pleased to announce the results. The three student finalists this year were Roberto Alaniz (bass) from Northwest Vista College, Nikkei Flores (saxophone) from San Antonio College, and Estevan Hernandez (saxophone) from Northwest Vista College. Top honors for the 2016/2017 academic year go to Francis Stromboe (guitar) from San Antonio College. Thanks to our three judges, and congratulations to Francis and our three finalists!
Francis Stromboe (guitar, SAC) 

When asked about his musical background, Stromboe replied, "I was born on March 22, 1992 in San Antonio Texas. I got my first guitar at the age of eleven and haven’t put it down since then. I learned to read music by joining the John Jay Marching Band my freshman year of high school. During my time at John Jay I was actively participating with the drum line, percussion section, as well as the John Jay Jazz Band in which I played guitar and where I was initially introduced to playing jazz. I'm currently seeking an associates degree in music at San Antonio Community College and taking electric bass lessons with Jim Kalson. "

Why did Stromboe audition for A-JAM, and what does he hope to gain from the experience? "I auditioned for A-JAM for several reasons, but one of the main reasons was to get out of my comfort zone and force myself to dive into a new realm of music. This program is a great way to get out and collaborate with new and diverse musicians. Another reason I auditioned is because I hope to participate in the IASJ meeting at Berklee in Boston next year that will present great opportunities for me to gain knowledge of improvising and the universal language of jazz. I believe being a part of A-JAM and all the opportunities it will present will help me break the barrier of technicality and find my inner voice."

Stay tuned as the spring 2016 semester begins and A-JAM activities get underway. Exciting events are in the wings, including a live radio broadcast for Trinity University's KRTU Jazz 91.7 FM and the 2016 international jazz meeting of the IASJ (International Association of Schools of Jazz), to be held this year in Boston at the Berklee Global Jazz Institute.