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Article: Rising Stars

Introducing Baritone Saxophonist Evan Gongora

Read "Introducing Baritone Saxophonist Evan Gongora" reviewed by Sanford Josephson


This article first appeared in Jersey Jazz Magazine. Evan Gongora's father, Oscar, is a classical saxophonist and Founder and Director of The Vitral Saxophone Quartet. “So," recalled the 18-year-old Evan, “he put a saxophone in my mouth at a very early age." Evan “fell in love with the baritone saxophone. I loved the sound. ...

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Article: Rising Stars

Introducing Pianist Esteban Castro

Read "Introducing Pianist Esteban Castro" reviewed by Sanford Josephson


This article first appeared in Jersey Jazz Magazine. Esteban Castro's parents gave him a toy piano when he was three years old. “I would just kind of gravitate toward it a lot," he recalled. “When I was four, they rented a piano and started getting me lessons. I got into jazz because I would ...

4

Article: Rising Stars

Introducing Saxophonist Olivia Hughart

Read "Introducing Saxophonist Olivia Hughart" reviewed by Sanford Josephson


This article previously appeared in Jersey Jazz Magazine. Growing up in Lower Merion, PA, a jny: Philadelphia suburb, Olivia Hughart started playing jazz saxophone in middle school. “My parents were big music lovers," she recalled. “We were listening to music all the time. They're huge Yellowjackets fans, so we'd always listen to Bob Mintzer ...

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Article: Rising Stars

Introducing Pianist Tyler Bullock

Read "Introducing Pianist Tyler Bullock" reviewed by Sanford Josephson


This article previously appeared in Jersey Jazz Magazine. Tyler Bullock began taking classical piano lessons in his hometown of jny: Nashville when he was four years old. Eight years later, he discovered jazz through an organization called the Nashville Jazz Workshop. “It's kind of similar to Jazz House Kids," he said. “They have classes ...

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Article: Rising Stars

Introducing Trumpeter Kellin Hanas

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This article previously appeared in Jersey Jazz Magazine. As a four-year-old, growing up in Wheaton, IL, Kellin Hanas was a fan of the TV show, The Wiggles. “There were four Australian guys in colorful shirts, and they would sing songs," she recalled. “In one of their shows, they brought out this guy with a ...

3

Article: Rising Stars

Introducing Vocalist Tyreek McDole

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This article previously appeared in Jersey Jazz Magazine. In 2018, Tyreek McDole, a student at the Osceola County School for the Arts in Kissimmee, FL, was playing classical percussion for a performance of the 1987 Stephen Sondheim/James Lapine musical, Into the Woods. “During rehearsal," he recalled, “one of the actors got sick. I had ...

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Article: Rising Stars

Introducing Bassist Liany Mateo

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This article previously appeared in Jersey Jazz Magazine. Liany Mateo started playing the bass when she was 13 years old. “They opened up a performing arts school in Jersey City," she recalled. “At that time, I knew I wanted to play an instrument. I was into '70s punk music, and all of my favorite ...

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Article: Rising Stars

Introducing Drummer Mecadon McCune

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This article previously appeared in Jersey Jazz Magazine.Mecadon McCune has been immersed in music since he was born. His father is veteran jazz pianist Brandon McCune; his mother, Christine Clemmons-McCune, is an opera singer. “My dad made sure that I was learning piano since I was about four years old," he said, “but growing ...

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Article: Rising Stars

Introducing Jazz House Kids All-Stars

Read "Introducing Jazz House Kids All-Stars" reviewed by Sanford Josephson


This article first appeared in Jersey Jazz Magazine. Bassist Laura Simone-Martin of Lawrenceville, NJ, is heading back to Carnegie Hall's NYO Jazz Program for the second consecutive year. “Last year," she said, “gave me that first-hand experience of what it is like being on the road for so long and how much energy goes ...

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Article: Rising Stars

Introducing Vocalist April Varner

Read "Introducing Vocalist April Varner" reviewed by Sanford Josephson


This article previously appeared in Jersey Jazz Magazine. The 1957 Verve album, Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Duke Ellington Song Book, contained 38 tracks, including some of the best-known tunes associated with Ellington such as “Solitude," “Satin Doll," and “I'm Beginning to See the Light." Contestants in this year's sixth annual Ella Fitzgerald Jazz Vocal ...


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