Rising Stars

Courtesy of the New Jersey Jazz Society and Jersey Jazz Magazine, Rising Stars is a monthly column that shines the light on emerging jazz artists.

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Meet Pianist Sean Mason

Read "Meet Pianist Sean Mason" reviewed by Sanford Josephson


This article first appeared in Jersey Jazz Magazine. Sean Mason got a late start on piano. He began playing at age 13 after first trying trombone and percussion. As a result, he said, “I didn't apply to any music schools for college. I just decided to go about 1 ½ hours from where I lived (in jny: Charlotte, NC) to the University of North Carolina at Greensboro." UNCG does, however, offer degrees in Music Education and ...

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Baritone Saxophonist Tate Hanlon: Winner of Gerry’s Jazz Challenge

Read "Baritone Saxophonist Tate Hanlon: Winner of Gerry’s Jazz Challenge" reviewed by Sanford Josephson


This article first appeared in Jersey Jazz Magazine. The names of the judges in the Gerry & Franca Mulligan Foundation's Gerry's Jazz Challenge competition among high school music students were kept anonymous. The results, though, were anything but mysterious. The contestants were judged on five categories: notes, sound, technique, intonation, and presentation. Tate Hanlon, a senior at Fairview High School in Fairview, PA, a suburb of Erie, scored the highest in all five classifications. His presentation, ...

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Meet Gabrielle Cavassa

Read "Meet Gabrielle Cavassa" reviewed by Sanford Josephson


This article first appeared in Jersey Jazz Magazine. For the first time in its nine-year history, the Sarah Vaughan International Vocal Competition named two winners of its annual contest: 26-year-old Gabrielle Cavassa of jny: New Orleans and 25-year-old Tawanda Seussbrich-Joaquim of jny: Los Angeles. The finals for the 2020 competition, originally scheduled for November 2020, were postponed by the pandemic and held on June 6, 2021, at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. At April's socially-distanced ...

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Meet Vocalist Lucy Wijnands

Read "Meet Vocalist Lucy Wijnands" reviewed by Sanford Josephson


This article first appeared in Jersey Jazz Magazine. Contestants in the fourth annual Ella Fitzgerald Jazz Vocal Competition, sponsored by the Blues Alley Jazz Society, were asked to sing three selections from the 1964 Verve album, Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Johnny Mercer Song Book. That request, said Lucy Wijnands, the winner, was “a gift from heaven. Johnny Mercer is absolutely my favorite composer." Her three Mercer selections were: “Too Marvelous For Words," “Laura," and “Dearly Beloved." ...

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Meet Pianist Tyler Henderson and Trumpeter Summer Camargo

Read "Meet Pianist Tyler Henderson and Trumpeter Summer Camargo" reviewed by Sanford Josephson


This article first appeared in Jersey Jazz Magazine. Growing up in Oneonta, New York, Tyler Henderson “noodled around for five years on a piano that a church donated to my family. I learned to play older rock songs by ear--stuff from Chicago and The Beatles. Then, in seventh grade, I heard the Vince Guaraldi Charlie Brown Christmas album (Fantasy, 1965). I was really intrigued. I had never heard music like that before. Then I discovered Bill Evans. He ...

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Meet Jocelyn Gould

Read "Meet Jocelyn Gould" reviewed by Sanford Josephson


This article first appeared in Jersey Jazz Magazine. Growing up in Winnipeg, Canada, in a family that loved singing all the time, Jocelyn Gould played guitar to accompany her own vocalizing. But it wasn't until she was 18 years old that she became serious about jazz. That's when a friend introduced her to the 1965 Verve album, Smokin' at the Half Note, featuring the Wynton Kelly Trio and legendary guitarist Wes Montgomery. That album, she said, ...

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Meet Danny Jonokuchi

Read "Meet Danny Jonokuchi" reviewed by Sanford Josephson


This article first appeared in Jersey Jazz Magazine. When Danny Jonokuchi was attending Agoura Hills High School in Agoura, CA, trumpeter Terell Stafford visited in 2006 and 2008 to conduct clinics, preparing the high school band for competition in Jazz at Lincoln Center's Essentially Ellington festival. (Agoura Hills took second place in 2006). “I was completely blown away by his teaching and personality," Jonokuchi said. As a result, he decided to travel across country for college ...


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