2019 ABODA All-State Jazz Band Concert

January 17, 2019

2019 Arizona All-State Jazz Band Concert

Come and hear 38 of the best High School Jazz Band students perform in the All-State Jazz Band I and Jazz Band II concert.

Thursday, January 31, 2019
Mesa Arts Center – Piper Theater – 7:00 PM

Admission is $5.00.  All seating is general admission.  Tickets can be purchased at the door or in advance by going HERE

Those attending the AMEA In-Service Conference will be admitted free with their conference badge.  Registration will be open at the convention hotel prior to the concert.

Thank you to the Mesa Arts Center for their support and sponsorship of this event!

This year’s Jazz Band I will be conducted by Jerome Jennings…….

Born and raised in Cleveland Ohio, Jennings’s interest in music started as a child when his older brother began playing trumpet in the school band. “Growing up, we always had a lot of different music in the house,” Jerome explains. Jerome’s immediate and extended family had very extensive record collections that ran the gamut from iconic to obscure. “From Jazz to Rock, Classical to Disco, you would often find music the focal point of any family gathering in our house, and my Father and Uncles fostered that love of music from an early age.” Jerome Jennings was fortunate in life to discover at an early age, what would later become his life’s passion. “As a kid I was occasionally allowed to stay up late and watch the Arsenio Hall show.”, Jerome explains. “On one of those evenings Sheila E. was featured. During her entire performance, she was so skillful and in command of her instrument – she blew me away!” Shortly thereafter Jerome’s mother brought home a copy of an Art Blakey album on Impulse, and his life-long love affair with Jazz and Swing music began. In high school, Jerome sharpened his skills through practice and by performing in the school’s various ensembles and small groups – instilling in him an early love of music education. His talent garnered him a full scholarship to Ohio State University for music. Jerome later transferred to Rutgers University where he garnered a Bachelor’s Degree in Jazz Studies. Jennings went on to receive a master’s degree from the prestigious Juilliard School of Music in New York City. At Juilliard, Jennings became the first Jazz Studies recipient of the Morse Fellowship, a program that brings the performing arts to New York City school students and their classroom teachers in annual artist residencies. Morse Fellows prepare their own curriculum and teach two classes per week throughout the academic year in area schools. This pioneering program brings much-needed music instruction to schools that are underserved in the arts, while providing select teaching candidates the opportunity to mature as teaching artists. “During that time, I really discovered a love for teaching,” he says. “It’s really one of the best ways to give back to young people and inspire them to go for their goals.” Jenningshas become one of the pre-dominate music educators and musicians of his era, since then. Recording and performing with such luminary Jazz Masters as Benny Golson, Sonny Rollins, Hank Jones, Ray Charles, Ernestine Anderson, Christian McBride, and Wynton Marsalis, to name just a few – his resume is a “Who’s Who!” of the music world.


This year’s Jazz Band II will be conducted by Angelo Versace…..

Jazz pianist Angelo Versace has been the Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Arizona since 2014. He attended William Paterson University from 2004-2008, studying with Mulgrew Miller, a seminal figure in jazz and a man whom Versace cites as being a main musical influence. He subsequently earned his Master’s of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from the University of Miami, studying jazz piano, jazz pedagogy, composition, and arranging.

During his time in Miami, Versace was on faculty at the Superior Academy of Music – an award-winning institution backed by the Royal Conservatory Music Development Program. He also worked closely with two high school jazz band programs which found success at the prestigious Essentially Ellington competition: CGCC Community Arts Program and Dillard High School. He began to work for the Tucson Jazz Institute (the two-time winner of the Essentially Ellington competition) after his move to Arizona in July of 2014.

Versace’s passion has led him all across the globe. His trio has performed at the North Sea Jazz Festival (Netherlands), the Tucson Jazz Festival (Arizona), the New Orleans Jazz Festival (Louisiana), the Pensacola Jazz Festival (Florida), the Mellon Jazz Festival (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania), and the Coral Gables Jazz Festival (Miami, Florida).

He has had the privilege of working as a sideman with several internationally recognized artists: Khristian Dentey, Brice Winston, Troy Roberts, Dave Stryker, Roxy Coss, Wycliffe Gordon, Joe Saylor, Tim Ries, Kevin Mahogany, and Ignacio Berroa.

Versace has been contracted as a performer, teacher, composer, arranger, producer, music director, and an engraver. From 2009-2013 Versace held the piano chair in the Mancini Institute Orchestra, a “multi-genre ‘cross-over’ orchestra” under the direction of Terence Blanchard. He currently tours extensively with Khristian Dentley, and is preparing for two upcoming record releases.  The first is a collaboration with Mr. Dentley entitled Easy Simple Life. The second will be the release of his first record as a leader, My Refrain, and will feature Brice Winston.