Educaction & Music: The Connection

Welcome to Education through Music.  This site is  designed to increase awareness for the need of music and arts education in our public schools, and to review  and promote musical events and artists; both locally and internationally.

Music benefits and activates new brain growth that improves the ability to think more critically in both hemispheres of the brain.It is imperative that young people are involved in the arts and continue to realize the lifelong benefits of art appreciation. Music awareness can make you smarter!


Monterey Jazz Festival’s Monterey County High School All-Star Band and Honor Vocal Jazz Ensemble to Perform in San Jose, Los Angeles, Los Gatos, and Santa Cruz, August 10-22


August 5, 2013; Monterey, CA; Monterey Jazz Festival’s Monterey County High School All-Star Band and High School Honor Vocal Jazz Ensemble will perform in San Jose, Los Angeles, Santa Cruz, and Los Gatos for their annual summer performance season in 2013.

“We are so happy to present Monterey County’s finest young musicians and vocalists at the San Jose Jazz Festival, Kuumbwa, Jazz on the Plazz, and Vitello’s Jazz and Supper Club in Studio City,” said Paul Contos, Education Director of the Monterey Jazz Festival. “They have been most gracious in engaging Monterey Jazz Festival’s education programs and our talented students.”

Monterey County High School All-Star Band and High School Honor Vocal Jazz Ensemble will perform at the San Jose Jazz Festival on Saturday, August 10 at 2 and 3 p.m. respectively, on the Next Gen Stage. Traveling to Los Angeles, they will perform on Sunday, August 11 at Vitello’s Jazz Club in Studio City at 7:30 p.m. Both the All-Star Band and the Vocal Honor Jazz Ensemble will also perform at Jazz on the Plazz in Los Gatos onWednesday, August 21, starting at 6:30 p.m. The Jazz on the Plazz concert is free, and will take place at the Los Gatos Town Plaza, at the intersection of West Main Street and Santa Cruz Avenue in downtown Los Gatos. Both ensembles will perform at Kuumbwa Jazz in Santa Cruz on Thursday, August 22, beginning at 7:30 p.m. The bands will also make their traditional appearance at the Monterey Jazz Festival on Sunday, September 22 in the Night Club.

The Monterey County High School All-Star Band, directed by renowned saxophonist and director Paul Lucckesi,includes the best and brightest student musicians from the Festival’s home county. Members are selected by the Festival’s Traveling Clinicians who visit Monterey schools once a month during the school year for one-on-one instruction in jazz, and include jazz musicians from Carmel, Gonzalez, Pacific Grove, Palma, Salinas, Stevenson, and York High Schools. The Monterey County High School Honor Vocal Jazz Ensemble, directed by Kerry Marsh, showcases Monterey County’s best vocalists, also selected by the Traveling Clinicians, and features vocalists from Monterey, Santa Catalina, Salinas, Trinity Christian, and York High Schools.

We gratefully acknowledge support for Monterey Jazz Festival’s Monterey County High School All-Star Band and High School Honor Vocal Jazz Ensemble from Carmel Rotary Club Fund, Hydeus Kiatta Fund, Jazz on the Plazz, Monterey Peninsula Foundation, and Pebble Beach Foundation.

2013 Monterey County High School All-Star Band and Vocal Honor Jazz Ensemble Tour Dates
August 10San Jose Jazz Festival, San Jose, CA / Next Gen Stage / 2 p.m. &  3 p.m.
August 11: Vitello’s Jazz Club, Studio City, CA / 7:30 p.m.
August 21Jazz on the Plazz, Los Gatos, CA / 6:30 p.m.
August  22Kuumbwa Jazz, Santa Cruz, CA / 7 p.m.
September 23: 56th Monterey Jazz Festival, Monterey, CA / Night Club / 3:45 p.m. &  4:30 p.m.

2013 Monterey County High School All-Star Band
Director: Mr. Paul Lucckesi

Patrick McMillin, alto / Salinas High School
Nick Newman, alto / York School
Brendan Martin, tenor / York School
Anthony Paolini, tenor / York School
Miranda Garcia, baritone / Gonzales High School       

Kyle Groves / Salinas High School
Edison Cho / Pacific Grove High School Jazz Club
Philip de Lorimier / York School
John Yeager, bass / Stevenson Middle School

Lizzy Stanton / York School
George Haugen / Pacific Grove High School Jazz Club
Brian Louie / Stevenson School
Akili Bradley / Pacific Grove High School Jazz Club
Cole Paris / Pacific Grove High School Jazz Club

Patrick Hogan, piano / Pacific Grove High School Jazz Club
Austin Chen, bass / Stevenson School
Robert Papacica, guitar / Carmel High School
Harrison Spencer, drums / Palma High School
Cyle Anderson, drums / Seaside High School
Peter Mellinger, violin / Carmel High School

2013 Monterey County High School Honor Vocal Jazz Ensemble
Director: Mr. Kerry Marsh

Miranda Perl / Trinity Christian School
Allison Wheeler / Trinity Christian School
Georgia Sedlack / Santa Catalina School

Katie Ohseik / York School
Shaquira Robinson / Trinity Christian School
Symphonie Constant / Salinas High School

Sam Griffin-Ortiz / York School
Devon Huber / York School
Dhani James / Monterey High School

Noah Reeves / York School
Jake Greenshields / Monterey High School
Mason Reed / Monterey High School


6.25.13 Gerald Clayton + Ambrose Akinmusire Duo [$15]

Gerald Clayton is phenomenal! Do not miss an opportunity to see him.


A quarter of the age of Jazz, Gerald Clayton stakes his claim in the history and the present of this vital music with the following words, “Tradition and innovation can peacefully coexist.”  In libraries and on drawing-boards around the country this statement might be true, but with Gerald behind the piano this coexistence is anything but peaceful.

His dynamic and award-winning sound has been praised in print by the Jazz Times and Los Angeles Times. The New York Times has saluted his “Oscar-Peterson like style” and “huge, authoritative presence” and Down Beat Magazine’s 2008 Readers’ Poll named him one of the top up-and-coming pianists to watch.  As a composer, his work has been commissioned by the Jazz Gallery in New York City and performed overseas by the BBC Orchestra.  He has been honored with a Level 1 award by the National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts (NFAA), the…

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—–Forwarded Message—–
From: Dale Lya Pierson
Sent: May 23, 2012 6:08 PM
To: Phil Ranelin
Subject: Veteran Trombonist, Phil Ranelin, to be honored at 73rd B’Day at LAX Jazz Club







PHONE: (323) 735-5926 Ext. #2





In-House Music proudly presents ‘Their Excellencies’, International Jazz Ambassadors – veteran trombonist, Phil Ranelin and The Phil Ranelin Jazz Ensemble – on Thursday, May 31st at the LAX Crowne Plaza Hotel.


This is a very special performance to Kick-Off National African American Music Appreciation Month (June) as proclaimed by President Barack Obama in 2009; to also celebrate UNESCO’s milestone proclamation, initiated by UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, Herbie Hancock, designating April 30th each year as International Jazz Day throughout the world; and to celebrate Phil Ranelin’s Gemini Birthday Bash!


Elected Officials from the City of Los Angeles, the State of California, the U.S. Congress and the U.S. Senate will honor Phil Ranelin for his community service and international projects, and UNESCO’s International Jazz Day milestone proclamation!


Join other Geminis and The Phil Ranelin Jazz Ensemble at the LAX Jazz Club, located in the Crowne Plaza Los Angeles International Airport Hotel at 5985 West Century Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90045.


There is no cover charge and parking is validated. A modest $15 Food & Beverage minimun is required.

For Jazz Hotline Reservations, please call: (310) 258-1333


The Phil Ranelin Jazz Ensemble will feature some of the West Coast’s greatest Jazz virtuosos:

Phil Ranelin (trombone), Keith Fiddmont (saxophone & flute), Mahesh Balasooriya (piano), James Leary (bass) and Don Littleton (drums).


For more information visit: , , ,









Rebuild Crenshaw Arts Committee c/o The Fay M. Jackson House, 1325 South Van Ness Avenue

Los Angeles, CA 90019, (323) 735-5926 Extension #2



To Kick-Off National African American Music Appreciation Month (June)






The Phil Ranelin Jazz Ensemble




Phil Ranelin – Trombone

Keith Fiddmont – Saxophone/Flute

Mahesh Balasooriya – Piano

James Leary – Bass

Don Littleton – Drums


Thursday, May 31, 2012, 7PM-11PM


at the


LAX Jazz Club

Crowne Plaza Los Angeles International Airport Hotel

5985 West Century Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA 90045


No Cover – Validated Parking – $15 Food & Beverage Minimum

Recommended – Jazz Hotline Reservations: (310) 258-1333


This is a very special performance celebrating UNESCO’s milestone proclamation, initiated by UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, Herbie Hancock, designating April 30th each year as International Jazz Day throughout the world; and celebrating State of California Cultural Ambassador,

Phil Ranelin’s Gemini Birthday Bash!


Visit: , , ,


Monterey Jazz Festival: Year 54

California Tour & Travel
Entertainment Editor: Christopher J. Walker
Monterey Jazz Festival: Year 54. The 2011 installment of the Monterey Jazz Festival, the seminal longest continual running jazz festival in the world picked up where it left off in 2010.  Steeped in the rich history of jazz, the festival covers a lot of ground in a fast paced two and a half day time span with deep reverence for the idiom’s titans, it highlights present day innovators, and showcases emerging artists too. To various degrees many other jazz festivals emulate Monterey’s program, but with either a lighter approach or with a strong emphasis on avant-garde. MJF is far from being lightweight, yet doesn’t require a doctorate in music theory to dissimulate the music and performers artistry. Alternatively, one can delve deeply into the art form and musicians (often playing multiple settings), with a plethora of concerts, merchandise, exhibits and interviews (live and recorded) all going on simultaneously.

From the traditional standpoint in the main arena, trumpeter, Terence Blanchard and percussionist, Poncho Sanchez’s Latin Band celebrated trumpeter, Dizzy Gillespie and percussionist, Chano Pozo’s ground-breaking/legendary 1940’s collaboration.  Father and son guitarists, Bucky and John Pizzarelli, with vocalist, Jessica Molaskey (John’s wife) and a backing quartet served up standards and related originals.  Pianist, Geri Allen and Timeline showcased MJF commissioned work,  “The Dazzler, a Jazz-tap Tribute to Sammy Davis, Jr. with tap dancer, Morris Chestnut.

The Next Generation Orchestra, featuring the country’s best high school players were spotlighted with veterans, saxophonist, Joshua Redman, 2011 Artist-in-Residence, pianist, Benny Green and saxophonist, Donny McCaslin. In tribute to the great Miles Davis/Gil Evans recordings Porgy & Bess and Sketches of Spain, Vince Mendoza led a big band, featuring Blanchard, drummer, Peter Erskine and trumpeter, Miles Evans (Gil Evan’s son). Saxophonist, Sonny Rollins masterfully blazed away with his group and injected impressive solos.

In contrast, other arena artists injected touches of funk, R&B, rock, world and fusion styles that drew a mix of positive and negative reactions. Pianist, Hiromi and The Trio Project impressed the audience with high-energy playing and imaginative improvisation (see Amanda Wheeler’s review below). Redman’s James Farm group pushed the threshold with forward-thinking compositions and playing. Keyboardist, Herbie Hancock with an impressive band rekindled his mid 1970s Headhunters’ funk groves, while mostly playing his strap-on synthesizer for dynamic solos and sidemen interactions.
2011 Monterey Jazz Festival
For An Afternoon in Treme: The Musical Majesty of New Orleans, Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk with guests, The Soul Rebels, Greg Errico, Kermit Ruffins, Blancard and emcee Wendell Pierce from HBO’s Treme all cut up with appealing and very danceable funk. Huey Lewis and the News presented Soulsville, a fun set of R&B and some of rocking hits that also got people dancing. In recent years, MJF has included a world music performance; singer India.Arie and Israeli pianist, Idan Raichel were clearly in that category. With an international cast of musicians/singers from Israel, Nashville, Atlanta and Brooklyn, they beautifully interwove songs that were spiritual and humanity based, with touches of soul.

Out on the grounds spread around three smaller indoor and one outdoor stage were equally compelling and diverse artists. Some of them were organist, Joey DeFrancesco’s Trio, with vibraphonist, Bobby Hutcherson and saxophonist, Chris Potter with drummer, Antonio Sanchez, and pianist, Green with saxophonist, Donald Harrison, along with saxophonist, Steve Coleman & Five Elements mix of funk and avant-garde. Reprising and extending their engaging arena shows were the Pizzarellis and Molaskey, Redman, and Hiromi for those who couldn’t get enough of them or missed out the first time around.

Dumpstaphunk brought a heap more, while saxophonist Tia Fuller with her sister playing piano for hard driving funk jazz funk were amongst the emerging standouts. Other non-arena artists of that ilk were bassist/vocalist, Richard Bona & blind singer/guitarist, Raul Midon who sang and played beautifully together. Pianists Eldar, Helen Sung and Robert Glasper were more nuanced, mixing in hip-hop, rock and modern themes.

Finally, from a non-performance aspect, McCaslin did Downbeat Magazine’s very popular Blindfold Test and Ashley Kahn for Jazz on Film interviewed actor/director/former Mayor of Carmel, Clint Eastwood and Pierce. Kahn also interviewed producer, Orrin Keepnews for The Art of Impulse Records: A 50-Year Retrospective. If that wasn’t enough, films More to Live for featuring Michael Beckerand Dave Brubeck: In his own Sweet Way were also shown. For info about year 55 go to:

Friday Night Extravaganza: Monterey Jazz Festival


Monterey Jazz Festival Scene
By: Amanda Wheeler


Throughout her performance the overriding emotion was that of joy, which is an anomaly in the traditionally serious milieu of outstandingly accomplished jazz musicians, where precision and concentration all too often limit extraordinary players to self-expression through their instruments exclusively. Not so with Hiromi; she emoted her wildly ferocious, creative genius through every pore of her body. Those fortunate enough to witness her performance traveled through the incredibly fantastic voyage with her. Thanks to technology that allowed the MJF attendees to see her facial expressions, which told the story of everything she was playing, produced a multi-sensory effect that was viscerally dazzling.

Following Hiromi in the main Arena, the John Pizzarelli Quartet performed adding a family flair featuring his wife, Jessica Molaskey and his father, Bucky Pizzarelli, who entertained the crowd with a mix of traditional standards, “Don’t get around much anymore” and “East Saint Louis Toodle-oo”, and more cotemporary tunes including, Harrison’s “While my guitar gently weeps” and a version of “Killing me softly with his song”.

The Main Arena closed Friday night with Poncho Sanchez and his Latin Jazz Band, with Terrance Blanchard’s impressing the audience with his riveting performance of Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis tunes, while Poncho Sanchez’s group devoted a tribute to Cuban percussionist Chano Pozo, with impeccable timing and flair.
 The Monterey Jazz Festival is an event that embodies tradition as the second longest running celebration of jazz in the U.S. Yet, it also is innovative and open to new technology and musical directions. Year Fifty-Three intermixed well-renown favorites, along with up and coming players, in addition to a strong international flavoring. Notably, the atmosphere throughout the festival grounds was relaxed and filled with aficionados, but welcoming to newcomers getting their first indoctrination to jazz and a full-blown festival.

Distinguishing features of the festival are an Artist in Residence, who acts a performer, clinician and a competition judge for a variety of MJF activities throughout the year prior to the festival. During the three-day event the selected artist performs in a variety of situations, including a set with the MJF’s Next Generation Jazz orchestra.  There also is a Commissioned Work that is performed and spotlighted. Furthermore, a Showcase Artist, usually someone with a distinguished career full of achievements is highlighted through several shows and a Jazz Journalist Association event.

Unquestionably, MJF has something for anyone who has an interest in jazz and enjoys experiencing it in a live setting. Additionally, the event draws fellow enthusiasts, features a savory selection of food and is lined with plenty of booths for records, posters, clothing and many other products. Not to be forgotten are the picturesque communities of Monterey, Carmel and Big Sur that all offer distinctive getaway opportunities filled with an array of activities.  Start planning for 2012 by going to:


Music must be a part of every child’s education


Arena Packages and Single Day Tickets Still Available for 54th Annual Monterey Jazz Festival

Arena Packages and Single Day Tickets Still Available for 54th Annual Monterey Jazz Festival.

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