Prescott teens join Jazz on Rocks Youth Band
Four young men from Prescott will join The Sedona Jazz on the Rocks 12-member youth jazz band to open its summer season at a 5:30 p.m. performance Saturday at downtown Flagstaff's Heritage Square.
Tyler Hansen, trombone; Ryan Vaughn, drums; Jonathan McNeely, trumpet; and Matt Butterman, guitar, are Prescott musicians who won the honor of performing with the youth band this year.
Hansen, a senior at Prescott High School, has played trombone in the Bradshaw Mountain and Prescott high school bands; the Yavapai College symphonic and jazz bands; was musician of the year for 1997 at Odom Academy; and received an outstanding soloist award at the 1999 NAU Jazz Festival as well as the 1999 Louis Armstrong Jazz award at Bradshaw Mountain High School.
Vaughn, a senior at Prescott High School, was in the Yavapai Summer Pops Orchestra; the Arizona Central Concert Band; and received a Prescott Fine Arts scholarship to "Music in the Bradshaws" summer camp.
"I listen to jazz day and night and I love and breathe music," Vaughn said.
McNeely, a senior at Prescott High School, played trumpet in the jazz band at the high school; was in its wind ensemble and marching band; is the marching band president for the upcoming school year; and was chosen outstanding junior for the City of Prescott/J.S. Acker Trust. He also plays guitar and drums.
Butterman, a junior at Prescott High School, plays trombone in the school's jazz band and was an Allstate Jazz Band alternate last year.
His music teacher, Edward Carter, said, "Matt is an avid learner who seizes opportunities to grow as a musician and has an open mind with regard to all styles of playing."
Other new members of the Jazz on the Rocks Youth Band are trumpeter Martin Patfield from Phoenix; saxophonist Josh Myers from Peoria, and trombonist Kent Mullen from Glendale.
Returning musicians are saxophonists Ethan Hansen and Nathan Heguy, pianist Peter Farness and trumpeter Jason Cook; all second-year members attending Flagstaff schools. Phoenix bass player Jeff Kerestes is also a returning member.
"Many of the band members live more than 100 miles from Sedona, yet make the round trip once a week to rehearse," said band director Tim Matteson.
"Right now, we're exploring new music to prepare for performance," Matteson said. "These youngsters were chosen in a statewide competition. Since they represent the best of Arizona's young musicians, audiences can look forward to a series of mature, exciting summer performances."
The Flagstaff performance is the first of a series of summer appearances that include the Telluride Jazz Festival on Aug. 6, and its traditional opening of the Sedona Jazz on the Rocks Benefit Festival Sept. 23.
The youth band gets its financing from Sedona Jazz on the Rocks, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and promoting jazz for the next generation. The mission of the youth band is to provide an environment where talented high school jazz musicians can advance their skills to the next level. Emphasis is placed on each musician developing his or her own unique improvisation style, providing professional settings for jazz performances and advancing the members' skills so they may adequately compete for college music scholarships.
Auditions for the youth band are held each spring and are open to junior and senior high school students.
The 19th annual Sedona Jazz on the Rocks Benefit Festival, scheduled for Sept. 22-24, features artists Norman Brown, Los Hombres Calientes, Dianne Reeves, Joshua Redman, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and Chris Calloway. Tickets are now on sale. For more information call the Sedona Jazz on the Rocks office, (520) 282-1985, or www.sedonajazz.com