top of page
Nate and Ariel BBJYO BBJYO.jpeg

BBJYO NEWS

Wow! What a fantastic season we just had! BBJYO performances at the F. Scott Fitzgerald Theatre in Rockville, MD and at our home base at the BB&J Supper Club were both fabulous! Check out all the awesome things we've been up to...

From The Executive Director:

 

 Happy New Year! The Bethesda Blues and Jazz Foundation fall season was an overwhelming success.

The culmination of the fall season was an outstanding performance by

the BBJYO and our guest artist Ebban Dorsey and the “old dudes.”

 

The Board extends thanks to the parents, youth musicians, Bethesda Blues and Jazz Club

staff and our amazing musical directors. On a personal note,

serving as the Executive Director of the Bethesda Blues and Jazz Foundation

the past few months has truly been a joy. Working with this dedicated Board

that provides guidance, leadership and financial stability,

fuels me to strive for the best musical experience for the orchestra. 

 

I look forward to what great musical opportunities the spring will offer.

Those who attended our fall concert heard me mention that we

received a grant from the Trawick Foundation to produce a series

of workshops called, “Sitting in with the Masters.” These once-a-month workshops

hat will begin in the spring and end in the fall and will allow young musicians

the opportunity to sit in with master jazz musicians. 

 

We are also considering a week long summer youth jazz workshop.

A summer workshop will provide youth musicians an opportunity

to build skills and prepare for our fall season. 

 

Finally, the success of the foundation is achieved through your support and financial contributions.

I want to thank former Bethesda Blues and Jazz Foundation Executive Director

Gary Mason and Mason LLP for his continued support and

for making another generous contribution to the foundation. 

 

 Onward and Upward,

 

J.C. Jefferson Jr.

Executive Director 

Bethesda Blues and Jazz Foundation

Oct 16th @ F. Scott Fitzgerald Theatre

At the invitation of the fabulous Rockville Brass Band, the students gave a wonderful concert. It really gave the band a chance to work on their “live” performance chops…a resounding success after only five rehearsals! This was an excellent opportunity for them to “warm up” for the Winter concert. The incredible trombonist Ben Patterson was our guest soloist, tearing' it up on a blues number! As part of our education series, he gave a wonderful clinic at our dress rehearsal for this concert.

 

Dec 13th @ Bethesda Blues & Jazz

The inaugural “Young Artists Series” was a hit!  The energy our special guest, alto saxophonist Ebban Dorsey, brought up in the club was incredible, the  BBJYO got a hold of that energy and was on FIRE! 🔥 

At the dress rehearsal  Ebban got to talk to the musicians about her studies at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore and how hard work and dedication to her craft got her there. For our students to see someone very close to their age have these educational and performance opportunities is really inspiring for them.

After remarks from our new executive director, J.C. Jefferson, Jr., the band launched into Jimmy Heath’s  “Big P”, with John Wood’s driving bass line!  It set the stage for an evening of solid swing!!🎺

Ebban Dorsey

 I started the “Young Artist Series” with the incredibly talented Ebban Dorsey in mind.  As a BBJYO alumni under Fred Foss, she felt right at home on the stage and brought her mature, hard swingin' improvisation to the club. It was great!

 We featured her and the BBJYO sax section on Rhoda Scott's funky groove tune

 “I Wanna Move”, and all the saxes got to stretch out and show their talents!

 

Ebban Dorsey Quartet

  After the sax section feature, the audience was treated to a 30 minute quartet set featuring Ebban and our staff…and what a staff it is! Our Associate Director Bob Murad was on keyboards,  the Executive Director J.C. Jefferson, Jr.  was driving the quartet on drums, and of course the great Herman Burney was on bass.  I  had a blast playing “Straight No Chaser” with the band before Ebban stretched  out on “Ceora” and “Firm Roots”. The amount of beautiful music coming from this young musician was  unbelievable!

New Members of BBJYO

We were thrilled to welcome  new members to the band this semester:

Luka Howell (guitar)

Elliott Sepulveda (drums)

Hari Maheswaran (tenor)

They really added their own sound to the group and had fantastic solos! Elliott wasn't able to join us for this concert but we are

looking forward to his soulful grooves this Spring. We were once again thoroughly entertained by our fabulous vocalist 

Maya Samone. Some stand-out tunes she performed were the hard swingin' "Imagine My Frustration" that Ella Fitzgerald sang with

Duke Ellington, and Aretha Franklin's “Climbing Higher Mountains”.

She sang with such power and soulfulness that the band had no choice but to swing just as hard!

Our upcoming Spring  program will be exciting!

I have a new arrangement of the Dave Brubeck classic “Take Five”. We're giving it the Latin Jazz treatment!  Sean Shackelford, one of our senior trumpet players will be featured on Gregory Porter's “On My Way To Harlem”. He is a wonderful vocalist as he is a trumpeter.  Also featured will be our bassist John Wood playing a new arrangement of Frank Foster's “Shiny Stockings”.  We'll hear from Maya Samone on the classic “All of Me”, another new arrangement for the orchestra.  Zack White and Hari Maheswaran, both seniors, will present the music of Lee Morgan and Roy Hargrove in the BBJYO combo.

______________________________________

 

Alumni News

It's always great to hear how former BBJYO members are doing…

 

Carolyn Catan - drums
Carolyn is an Aerospace Eng Major at UMD with an interest in pursuing a Jazz performance studies Minor. To date, she has performed as a drummer with both the University Jazz Band (2 performances to date) and a University Jazz Combo where she is the drummer for a suite of 6 performers (1 performance to date). Carolyn also continues to play piano and clarinet.

 

Helen Catan - guitar

Helen is a Mechanical Engineer Major at VA Tech and will join the ranks of the VA Tech Symphonic Band for the Winter-Spring 2023 year playing clarinet. She continues to play jazz and rock guitar, as well as piano. Helen enjoyed seeing the BBYJO perform on 12/13/22 as an audience member!

 

William Hammann - tenor sax

William is Jazz studies major at William Paterson University  where he performed in a combo headed by the famed guitarist Russell Malone. He's been playing events with friends, studying, and practicing.

 

Juliet Goldberg - trumpet
Juliet is at Indiana University, where she plays in the All Campus Jazz Ensemble and has performed on their Winter concert. In the Spring she will start courses working towards a minor in music.

 

We hope to have them back to perform with the orchestra soon!

Thanks to Herman Burney and BassMint Photo Inc. for all the wonderful photos!

About The Orchestra

 Performances with Jazz Masters

Our students have the opportunity to play with some of the greatest Jazz musicians and Jazz bands performing today. Since its founding in 2017, the group has performed with the Grammy award winning Bassist 

Ben Williams, the Grammy nominated Count Basie Orchestra, the award winning vibraphonist Warren Wolf, the Grammy nominated Jazz vocalist Freddy Cole, award wining pianist Sullivan Fortner, international touring Jazz 

vocalist Sharón Clark, and award winning trumpeter Sean Jones. 

BBJYO Performance Venues

As working Jazz musicians themselves, Kenny and Bob are able to find opportunities for our young musicians to be 

a part of the DC Jazz scene and perform at area Jazz venues and festivals to include:

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 "Jazz Night"

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 | info@bbj-youthorchestra.com

Tel: 240-330-4500

bottom of page