The GRAMMY Foundation announced today that 30 talented high school students from across the United States have been selected for positions in the 2011 GRAMMY Jazz Ensembles. Their selection launches them into the spotlight surrounding the 53rd Annual GRAMMY Awards, and provides them with unparalleled opportunities to perform in front of some of music's biggest names.
The students, representing 30 cities and 12 states, will travel to Los Angeles for a weeklong musical adventure under the direction of Justin DiCioccio of the Manhattan School of Music, Dr. Ron McCurdy of the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music and Dr. Leila Heil of Colorado State University. Many past members of the GRAMMY Jazz Ensembles go on to enjoy thriving careers as jazz musicians, including several past selectees who are leading bands such as Peter Cincotti (2001), current GRAMMY nominee for Best Instrumental Composition Gerald Clayton (2002), Grace Kelly (2008), and Aaron Parks (2000).
"Our GRAMMY Jazz Ensembles program is a hallmark of the GRAMMY Foundation, and it is truly unique in that it brings together remarkable high school vocalists and instrumentalists from across the country to create a jazz choir, combo and band in the span of a little over a week," said Neil Portnow, GRAMMY Foundation and Recording Academy President/CEO. "It's a highlight of GRAMMY Week to experience the talent, dedication and excitement of our GRAMMY Jazz Ensembles, and it is inspiring to hear the seamless musicality with which these young artists play with their peers as well as with GRAMMY-nominated and GRAMMY-winning artists. The GRAMMY Jazz Ensembles program really brings to life the GRAMMY Foundation's mission of fostering the next generation of music and its makers."
The Ensembles will perform at various GRAMMY Week events including, for the second year, an appearance at GRAMMY In The Schools Live! — A Celebration of Music & Education, sponsored by the Ford Motor Company Fund. This event, which is open to the public, will showcase the Ensembles, along with student alumni from GRAMMY Camp and GRAMMY Signature Schools, with special guest artists on Feb. 9, 2011, at USC. The Ensembles will offer another public performance at Spaghettini's Italian Grill & Lounge with a special guest artist on Feb. 10.
The Ensembles will again record at Capitol Studios & Mastering in Hollywood, Calif., courtesy of the EMI Music Group. GRAMMY Jazz Ensembles recordings from 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010 are available for purchase at online music outlets such as Amazon, iTunes, Napster, and Rhapsody.
The GRAMMY Jazz Ensembles will also perform again this year at the MusiCares Person of the Year tribute on Feb. 11, which will honor Barbra Streisand. As a grand finale, the Ensembles will attend the 53rd Annual GRAMMY Awards on Feb. 13 as guests of The Recording Academy and will perform at the GRAMMY Celebration after-party.
Since 1993, the GRAMMY Foundation has provided students with this extraordinary musical experience. The GRAMMY Jazz Ensembles selectees are eligible for more than $2 million in college scholarships made possible through the GRAMMY Foundation's college partners: Berklee College of Music, Manhattan School of Music, the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, and USC Thornton School of Music. In addition, each selectee's school will receive a professional cymbal courtesy of the Zildjian Company.
For a list of 2011 GRAMMY Jazz Ensembles selectees, click here.