SFJAZZ High School All-Stars Alumnus and trumpeter Aaron Bahr received the first HUT Foundation Alumni Commission Award. Bahr’s composition “Kenny’s Song” won the award along with a $1,000 check presented to him by saxophonist Ravi Coltrane at the SFJAZZ Center on Sunday, December 14 during the organization’s weeklong A Love Supreme 50th Anniversary celebration. In Spring 2015, the High School All-Stars Orchestra will perform Aaron's composition.
SFJAZZ and the HUT Foundation invited former High School All-Stars to submit original works for consideration. Submitted compositions were evaluated by the SFJAZZ Education department based upon creativity, musical maturity, and a command of composition within the jazz orchestra idiom. This award was designed to maintain engagement with High School All-Star program alumni in a way that fosters their own creativity and artistry. SFJAZZ strives to support those who have come through the institution internally as students and contributors. This commission not only recognizes and rewards our awardee for their artistic contribution, but it also creates a dialogue between previous and current program participants. As well as being valuable to the awardee, this is valuable to current High School All-Stars as an educational and inspirational experience.
Aaron Bahr went to Campolindo High School in Moraga, CA and was in the SFJAZZ High School All-Stars from 2006-2008. He went to Berklee College of Music for his undergraduate degree in jazz composition and the New England Conservatory for his graduate degree in jazz composition. Bahr now lives in DeForest, Wisconsin, and has released an album with his dectet entitled Prologue.
It's especially interesting since I have a history with the band. The band has just grown and grown,” says Bahr. “It is an exciting opportunity to write for the All-Stars, because I won't have to limit what I do artistically and I can choose different colors and feature the musicians in ways that will play to their strengths."
SFJAZZ Education is beyond excited to award this first alumni commission,” says SFJAZZ Ensemble Coordinator Erin Putnam. “For the All-Stars' talent to come full circle like this, where alumni are having the chance to provide not only original material to the current students, but also that inspiration, is so rewarding."
Formed in 2001 and Directed by esteemed educator and performer Paul Contos, the SFJAZZ High School All-Stars Orchestra is comprised of 22 of the finest young Bay Area jazz musicians, selected annually by competitive audition. The ensemble has appeared at the San Francisco Jazz Festival, SFJAZZ Spring Season, Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Essentially Ellington Competition, Monterey Next Generation Jazz Festival, the Jazz Education Network Conference, and at concerts in top professional jazz clubs, festivals, museums, and community arts centers throughout California. Ensemble members enjoy regular workshops, master classes, and mentoring sessions with leading artists, such as members of the SFJAZZ Collective, Terence Blanchard, Christian McBride, and Vijay Iyer.