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Young Lions of Jazz



     The perpetuation of Jazz isn’t of value without investment in young musicians with a sincere attentiveness to this all American categorization of music.  With this ideology in mind, I seek to encourage the crossover of generations of Jazz musicians by providing opportunities to showcase young and experienced talent together.  We can learn from each other while passing the torch in order to maintain the connection to the original generation of jazz.  

     This is especially important in the development, or evolution, of new ideas and styles. The study, appreciation and performance of jazz is vital to it’s progress as world class music.  It is equally important for the “old tigers” or seasoned professionals of Jazz to convey their comprehensive expertise as the conduit for future jazz performers.  What is truly remarkable is that this relatively new form of music is still close enough to it’s original generation to share its initial musical intentions.

     The journey to bring this concept to light for me began in February 2015 with a showcase of musicians blended with and Art exhibit, presented as my first "Art of JAZZ."  Performers were featured throughout the day beginning with “Young Jazzers”, vocalists Jocelyn Avalos, Erin   , Sean Oliu with musicians and ending with Elena Gilliam and the George Gilliam Quartet featuring George, Jane Getz piano, Brad Bobo bass and Fritz Wise drums. After this initial festival, in 2018 was the 1st Annual Young Lions and Old Tigers of Jazz. This featured George Gilliam guitar, Edmund Velasco and son Adrian Velasco saxophone, Paul Navidad saxophone, Ron Stout trumpet, Tabari Lake bass, and many more!!!


     The 2nd Annual 2019 Young Lions of Jazz was hosted by Ziing’s Bistro in Fullerton, CA and featured Elena with Brian Clemens piano, Morgan Milam 14 (lil' drummer girl), Savannah Milam guitar (15), Nic Robbins bass, Dan Jacobs trumpet and other performers sitting in both young and seasoned!


     Stay tuned for the next event! The future of Jazz depends on the continuing collaboration of musical concepts. Here’s to the past, present and future of JAZZ! 

©Elena Gilliam 2019

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