“We think as far as jazz festivals go, this is the best one. It’s well run, happens in a perfect location, showcases the talents of the best high school and college jazz performers in the nation and gives young players a chance to interact with music pioneeers and masters,” asserted David Beatty of Glendora, Azusa Pacific University’s Commercial Music Department chairman.
All this, he said, explains why his APU big band instrumentalists are excited about returning to the Next Generation Jazz Festival this weekend and going head-to-head with the best of the best young artists in America and Canada on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
During its previous six appearances at the competition that’s among the pearls of Monterey Jazz Festival’s jazz education programs, the APU aggregation has won second place twice, third place three times and applauded madly when tenor saxophonist David Thomasson of Covina, trumpeter Josh Welchez of La Verne and trombonist Mike Briones of Santa Ana won outstanding soloists’ recognition. Thomasson repeated his exemplary performance and won the distinction twice, Beatty bragged.“