SANTA MONICA, Calif. (Dec. 8, 2016) — The GRAMMY Foundation®  announced today that 32 talented high school students from across the United States have been selected for the 2017 GRAMMY Camp® — Jazz Session. Their selection launches them into the spotlight surrounding the 59th Annual GRAMMY Awards®, and provides them with unparalleled opportunities to perform for some of music's biggest names. The students, representing 30 cities and 14 states, will travel to Los Angeles for a 10-day 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 associate choral director Susanna Wegner of Kansas City, Mo. Two former GRAMMY Camp students will be joining as members of the GRAMMY in the Schools® media team to document the GRAMMY® Week experience for the GRAMMY Foundation's social media platforms.

"GRAMMY Camp — Jazz Session provides an unparalleled experience for some of the most talented young jazz singers and instrumentalists in the U.S. through extraordinary rehearsal, performance, and recording opportunities during GRAMMY Week," said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of The Recording Academy® and the GRAMMY Foundation. "The Recording Academy and its affiliated charities are proud to be a place of inspiration and collaboration for this program that encourages many of these gifted high school students to pursue professional careers in the music industry."

On Feb. 8, 10–11, courtesy of Capitol Studios, the young musicians will record an album (GRAMMY Jazz 25) at the legendary facility in Hollywood, Calif. Over the years, noted members of The Recording Academy's Producers & Engineers Wing® have worked with the ensembles during the recording process. GRAMMY Camp — Jazz Session albums from 2007–2016 are available for purchase via online music outlets such as Amazon, iTunes, and Rhapsody.

The selected students will perform at various GRAMMY Week events, including — for the eighth year — an appearance at GRAMMY In The Schools Live! — A Celebration Of Music & Education sponsored by Ford Motor Company Fund. This special event, which is open to the public, will showcase the selectees, along with special guest artists, on Feb. 9, 2017, at The Novo by Microsoft in Los Angeles. The group will offer additional public performances with special guest artists at Spaghettini Fine Dining & Entertainment in Seal Beach, Calif., and Bluewhale in Los Angeles on Feb. 7 and Feb. 8, respectively. GRAMMY Camp — Jazz Session members will also attend the 59th Annual GRAMMY Awards on Feb. 12 as guests of The Recording Academy and will perform at the GRAMMY Celebration® after-party.

GRAMMY Camp — Jazz Session is supported in part by the Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation, Gia Maione Prima Foundation, Inc., and the National Endowment for the Arts. Artworks. Additional support is provided by Capitol Studios, Centerstaging, Gibson/Baldwin, Guitar Center, JBL, Roland, Shure, and Zildjian Cymbals.

GRAMMY Camp — Jazz Session 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. 

The 2017 GRAMMY Camp — Jazz Session members are listed by each student's instrument, role, or voice:


Name                                       City                         State      School                            Part

Evan                 Mickas              Lafayette                   Calif.       Acalanes High School                        Alto Sax 1

Nathan             Farrell               Montclair                  N.J.          Montclair High School                        Alto Sax 2

Abdias              Armenteros      Miami Lakes                Fla.          New World School of the Arts             Tenor Sax

Griffin              Ross                  Hillsborough             N.C.         Cedar Ridge High School                    Tenor Sax

Jonah                Babitz               Miami                      Fla.          New World School of the Arts              Bari Sax           

Aiden               Thieme             Walnut Creek           Calif.       Northgate High School                        Trumpet Lead

Geoffrey          Gallante            Alexandria                Va.           West Potomac High School                   Trumpet 2         

Zaq                   Davis                New York                N.Y.         Saint Ann’s School                             Trumpet 3

Joey                  Curreri              Marina Del Rey        Calif.       Academy of Music and Performing Arts at                       

                                                                                                         Hamilton High School            Trumpet 4

Miranda           Agnew              Tucson                       Ariz.        University High School                        Trumpet 5

Joseph              Giordano          Albany                       N.Y.         Guilderland High School                      Trombone 1

Reid                  Christmann      Summit                      N.J.          Newark Academy                              Trombone 2

Jasim                Perales              Oakland                     Calif.       Berkeley High School                        Trombone 3

Jacob                Melsha              Kirkwood                  Mo.          Kirkwood High School                        Bass Trombone

Esteban            Castro               Hackensack              N.J.          Bergen County Academies                    Piano

Ben                   Feldman           Seattle                        Wash.      Garfield High School                        Bass 

Arlo                  Sims                  Cambridge                 Mass.       Cambridge Rindge and Latin School   Guitar

Christian          McGhee            Florissant                  Mo.          Westminster Christian Academy             Drums



Chloe                Borthwick        Chester                    N.Y.           Warwick Valley High School               Soprano

Claudia            Nketia               Montclair                N.J.            Montclair High School                        Soprano

Francesca        Winer                Surfside                   Fla.            Miami Arts Charter School                 Alto

Alexandria      DeWalt             Houston                   Texas        High School for the Performing and Visual Arts       Alto

Zach                 Colton-Max     South Orange          N.J.            Golda Och Academy                         Tenor

Donald             Goodall            Detroit                     Mich.         Detroit School of Arts                         Tenor

Jeremy             Adler                 Palos Verdes           Calif.         Palos Verdes High School                        Bass

Noah                 Rosner              Upper Nyack          N.Y.           The Masters School                        Bass



Luca                 Mendoza          Pacific Palisades    Calif.         Crossroads School for Arts & Sciences        Piano                  

Colson              Jimenez            Woodinville            Wash.        Woodinville High School                        Bass

Erik                   Findling            Winnetka                 Ill.              New Trier Township High School        Guitar

Maya                Stepansky        Montclair                N.J.            Montclair High School                       Drums


Media Team

Tess                   Considine        Highland Park         Ill.              North Shore Country Day School                             Media Team     

Kyron               Neveaux           New Orleans           La.             New Orleans Center for Creative Arts                        Media Team     

Watch this video for a look at past Jazz Session participants in action or embed it using the code below:

The GRAMMY Foundation was established in 1988 to cultivate the understanding, appreciation, and advancement of the contribution of recorded music to American culture. The Foundation accomplishes this mission through programs and activities that engage the music industry and cultural community as well as the general public. The Foundation works in partnership year-round with its founder, The Recording Academy, to bring national attention to important issues such as the value and impact of music and arts education and the urgency of preserving our rich cultural heritage. In recognition of the significant role of teachers in shaping their students' musical experiences, The Recording Academy and the GRAMMY Foundation partnered to present their first Music Educator AwardTM in 2014. Open to current U.S. music teachers in kindergarten through college, the fourth annual Music Educator Award will be given out during GRAMMY Week 2017 and nominations are being accepted for the 2018 cycle. For more information about the Foundation, please visit For breaking news and exclusive content, please "like" GRAMMY in the Schools on Facebook, follow the GRAMMY Foundation on Twitter (@GRAMMYFdn) and join us on Instagram (@GRAMMYFdn).


Media Contact:

Christina Cassidy/GRAMMY Foundation/310.581.8670/


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