Emerging Artists 2018/19


Jayla CheeJayla Chee took up the bass after playing the trumpet. She has been a member of the SFjazz High School All Stars, Michael Zilber’s CJC advanced workshop, the CJC Studio Band, and has performed at the Monterey Jazz Festival and the Savannah Music Festival.
Max CopeDrummer Max Cope fronts a quartet that includes Max Nierlich on trumpet, pianist Isaiah Harwood, and bassist Aidan McCarthy. Max is currently a degree student at the California Jazz Conservatory and studies with Alan Hall.
Jayla HernandezDrummer Jayla Hernandez is a student at Oakland School of the Arts and participated in a Jazz in the Neighborhood master class  as a member of the band Minor F.
Sean HuangSaxophonist Sean Huang  was born in Chicago and lived for a time in China. In the Bay Area since a child, he started playing saxophone at age nine. He has studied with Guido Fazio, Andrew Dixon, and currently with Dann Zinn.  Sean lives in Pleasanton and takes advantage of musical opportunities at the Oakland Public Conservatory of Music. He leads his own quintet, and he is the alternate alto sax player for the SFJazz High School All-Star Big Band.
Evan MickasEvan Mickas is an alto saxophonist who has performed with the Jazzschool Advanced High School Workshop, the Jazzschool Studio Band, the SFJazz High School All-Stars Combo and Orchestra, the Stanford University Jazz, Orchestra, the Grammy Camp Jazz Session, and NYO Jazz. He is currently a student at Stanford University.
Maxwell Nesbet has studied bass at the California Jazz Conservatory and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. His teachers include Randy Keith and Pat Klobas.
Trumpeter and composer Max Nierlich earned first place in the 2018 Jazz Search West. He has been a member of the Jazzschool Studio Band for two years, has played in the Berkeley High School Jazz Ensemble, and has participated in the Monterey Next General Jazz Festival as a finalist in the Big Band and Combo divisions.
Eva Piontkowski began taking jazz violin lessons at the age of thirteen. In addition to performing whenever possible, she is a board certified music therapist.
George Rogers, who plays both alto and bari sax has an exception talent for  improvisation. He has been writing horn arrangements since before the eighth grade, and as a middle-school student, won the Downbeat Award for Best Junior High Big Band Arrangement. He has studied Alex Murzyn and Mary Fettig, and is a member of the California Jazz Conservatory Advanced High School Jazz Workshop.
Nora StanleyNora Stanley is a recent graduate of Oberlin College and Conservatory with degrees in Jazz Studies and Latin American Studies. In high school she was a member of the SFJAZZ High School All-Stars, Jazzschool Advanced High School Jazz Workshop, Latin Jazz Youth Ensemble of SF, and participated in Berkeley High School’s Jazz ensemble and combos. She has returned to living in Berkeley and is pursuing a career in music, working on original compositions, as well as honing her saxophone skills.
Paulos ThomasPaulos Thomas was introduced to jazz at Berkeley’s Longfellow Middle School, where he received a Joffe Boatwright music scholarship. He has attended California Jazz Conservatory classes and various summer jazz camps. Paulos is a member of his high school jazz combo, the Young Musicians Choral Orchestra, and the Oaktown Jazz Workshop Youth Ensemble. Venues he’s performed at include the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Birdland Jazzista Social Club, and the San Jose Jazz Festival.
Kelsey WuKelsey Wu is a senior at The Harker School, where she is the solo vocalist for its jazz band, a member of its show choir, and a candidate for Harker’s Conservatory Program in the vocal jazz discipline. She has attended the Stanford Jazz Workshop and the New England Conservatory Jazz Lab and has won awards in the category of vocal jazz in several national vocal competitions. Kelsey was recently a guest performer with the Liz Tobias Trio at the Boston Prudential Center.

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