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Spring 2023

"Sitting In With The Masters" workshop series

Our Executive Director, J.C. Jefferson Jr., successfully obtained a grant from the Trawick Foundation. This funding has enabled us to launch an exciting new workshop series, providing young Jazz students with the opportunity to engage and learn from master musicians based in the DC metro area. These workshops are designed for high school and advanced middle school musicians who are passionate about jazz. They have the opportunity to "sit in" with the band, play alongside them, and ask questions about their path to becoming a "Master Jazz Musician." The sessions were held at Alice's JAZZ and CULTURAL SOCIETY in NE DC.:


March: Janelle Gill, piano

April: Tom Williams, trumpet

May: Bill Heid, organ

June: Student Jam Session

coming up...

September: Paul Carr, saxophone

October: Nasar Abadey, drums

November: Michael Bowie, bass 

see the workshop flyers here

Spring concert at Westminster "Jazz Night", Celebrating the Legacy of Fred Foss

The BBJYO joyfully returned to Westminster church to present "Boss Foss", a concert honoring of Fred Foss, founding director of the orchestra. The students had an exhilarating experience, drawing energy from the best Jazz audience of Washington, DC.! We kicked off the set with a high-energy rendition of Jimmy Heath's Big P, showcasing exceptional solos from every section. And Elliott on drums unleashed his extraordinary talent, leaving everyone amazed!


In our orchestra's most extensive performance to date, we delighted the audience with a repertoire of 17 songs divided into three sets. Among the timeless classics were All of Me, Horace Silver's Mexican Hip Dance, and Cold Duck Time, where our exceptionally talented pianist Elena delivered some incredibly hip solo choruses.


We showcased Ariel on alto sax premiering my original composition titled Brother Kevin, while our outstanding bassist John took the spotlight with an arrangement of Shiny Stockings. The sensational vocalist Maya delighted us with her swinging and soulful renditions of Come Dance with Me, Imagine My Frustration, Aretha Franklin's powerful Climbing Higher Mountains, and Carmen McRae's rendition of Elusive Butterfly. Hari added a beautiful soprano sax solo to the latter performance.


Sean, one of our trumpeters, showcased his beautiful voice with Gregory Porter's On My Way to Harlem and Holding On, featuring Josh on alto sax. The second set kicked off with our sax section impressively improvising on the funky tune I Wanna Move by Rhoda Scott.

Nate on alto sax and Zack on trumpet absolutely wowed the audience with their rendition of Roy Hargrove's Strasbourg St. Denis. Special recognition goes to Luka on guitar and Michael on piano for their incredible solo performances on Strasbourg, and Theo, our newest member on trombone, for his impressive solo work on Mexican Hip Dance.

VIDEOS of the concert

A "Juneteenth" concert featuring the Cindy Blackman Santana Trio

and the BBJYO Quintet

We were delighted to welcome the renowned and iconic drummer Cindy Blackman Santana and her trio as our esteemed guests for the Juneteenth celebration. We collaborated with DC Jazz Festival Education to provide support and promote the afternoon workshop led by Cindy. The attendance for the workshop and the evening concert was fantastic. Prior to Cindy's trio taking the stage, the BBJYO small group delivered a brief performance featuring captivating renditions of "You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To," "Mexican Hip Dance," "Corcovado," and "Strasbourg St. Denis." Following that, Cindy delivered a breathtaking performance, accompanied by the talented David Gilmore on guitar and Felix Pastorius on bass. Cindy added Emilio Modeste on tenor sax for this performance.

Student News

John Wood - bass

Our talented bassist, John, achieved recognition as a finalist in the Youth Jazz Solo Competition organized by the International Society of Bassists! In early June, he traveled to Ann Arbor, where he had the pleasure of reconnecting with Laesio Littlejohn, an esteemed BBJYO alumni. John's remarkable accomplishments fill us with immense pride, and we eagerly anticipate another fantastic year filled with his incredible bass playing!


Elliott Sepulveda - drums

Elliott has been granted a prestigious scholarship from the Sitar Center to attend the renowned Berklee Summer Music Camp! This incredible achievement allows Elliott to immerse himself in the camp's enriching environment for a duration of five weeks. During his time there, he will have the privilege of receiving guidance and instruction from exceptionally skilled Jazz educators. This opportunity marks an exciting milestone in Elliott's musical journey.


Maya Simone - vocalist

Maya was awarded a full scholarship to join the renowned Brevard Music Center Summer Institute, widely recognized for its excellence. Guided by the acclaimed Jazz trombonist Michael Dease and featuring guest soloist Branford Marsalis, Maya delved deep into the rich Jazz heritage, mastering standards and improvisation techniques. We eagerly anticipate her upcoming vocal performances in the upcoming Fall season, where she will undoubtedly shine.


Graduating Seniors:

Sean Shackelford (trumpet) will be attending University of the Arts in Philadelphia and will major in Jazz Studies.

Hari Maheswaran (tenor sax) will be attending Northwestern University as an Applied Mathematics major with a classical saxophone minor.


Zack White (trumpet) will attend the University of Maryland as a Government and Politics major and a music minor.

JOIN the Orchestra!

We are actively seeking new members to join our Orchestra! We offer our students the incredible opportunity to perform alongside some of the most recognized Jazz musicians of our time. Since its establishment in 2017, our group has shared the stage with renowned musicians such as the Grammy-winning Bassist Ben Williams, the Grammy-nominated Count Basie Orchestra, the award-winning vibraphonist Warren Wolf, the Grammy-nominated Jazz vocalist Freddy Cole, the acclaimed pianist Sullivan Fortner, the internationally touring Jazz vocalist Sharón Clark, and the award-winning trumpeter Sean Jones.


Our rehearsals take place every Monday from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM. We are currently accepting video submissions, you also have the option to audition in person during any of our Monday night rehearsals. To request an audition time, please send an email to Our musical director will then provide you with a musical excerpt to prepare, which will help us gauge your musicianship and skill level accurately.

You may also choose from the examples below in addition to any excerpts sent to you: *classical piece or etude or solo part from a school ensemble 
* jazz piece or solo/section part from a school ensemble 
*piece from a Solo and Ensemble or District Band festival you’ve prepared 

We are looking for musicians who are excited about learning and performing Jazz with other young musicians!.

go to registration page for more information..

About The Orchestra

 Performances with Jazz Masters

Our students are privileged to engage in musical collaborations with renowned Jazz musicians and bands who are at the pinnacle of their careers. Ever since its establishment in 2017, our group has had the honor of performing alongside esteemed artists such as Ben Williams, a Grammy award-winning bassist, the Count Basie Orchestra, a Grammy-nominated ensemble, Warren Wolf, an award-winning vibraphonist, Freddy Cole, a Grammy-nominated Jazz vocalist, Sullivan Fortner, a pianist acclaimed for his exceptional talent, Sharón Clark, an internationally recognized Jazz vocalist on tour, and Sean Jones, an award-winning trumpeter. Additionally, we had the pleasure of hosting Cindy Blackman Santana. To further enhance our students' experience, we have developed two exceptional series: "Sitting In With The Masters" and "The Young Artists Series."

BBJYO Performance Venues

Being active Jazz musicians themselves, Kenny and Bob possess the ability to discover prospects for our budding musicians to participate in the vibrant DC Jazz scene. They facilitate opportunities for them to perform at various esteemed Jazz venues and festivals, including but not limited to the Mid Atlantic Jazz Festival, Mason Jazz Festival, Alice's Jazz & Cultural Center, Jazz on the Narrows on Kent Island, John Wesley A.M.E. Zion Church Jazz Concert Series, Westminster Church's "Jazz Night," and the Montgomery County Community Television show "Jazz Encounters."

Masterclasses and Private Instruction during the Pandemic

During the height of the historic "pandemic years" we were able to provide our students with virtual private music instruction as well as incredible masterclasses by some of the hottest Jazz musicians on the scene today:

trumpeters Sean Jones and Terell Stafford, trombonist Wycliffe Gordon, saxophonist & vocalist Camille Thurman,

bassist Pepe Gonzalez, pianist Helen Sung, drummer Matt Wilson, pianist John Esposito, and guitarist Kevin McNeal.

Contact Us

Thanks for submitting!

7719 Wisconsin Ave. | Bethesda, MD| 20814 |

Tel: 240-330-4500

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