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  • Carnegie Hall Presents
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NYO Jazz

Friday, July 27, 2018 8 PM Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
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Sean Jones by Jimmy Katz, Dianne Reeves by Jerris Madison, and Wycliffe Gordon by Devon Cass
Trumpeter Sean Jones, trombonist Wycliffe Gordon, and Grammy Award–winning vocalist Dianne Reeves join NYO Jazz in its inaugural performance at Carnegie Hall. This new program for gifted young musicians ages 16–19 from across the country gives the next generation of American jazz players the opportunity to learn from some of today's top artists and perform as cultural ambassadors on an international tour. NYO Jazz's Carnegie Hall debut showcases the diversity and scope of jazz music, as well as its profound ability to express the vast dynamics within American music.


Sean Jones, Bandleader and Trumpet

with Special Guests
Dianne Reeves, Vocals
Wycliffe Gordon, Trombone


JONES “Tip Toe”
WAYNE SHORTER "Speak No Evil” (arr. Igmar Thomas)
MONK "Light Blue" (arr. John Beasley)
SEAN JONES “The Ambitious Violet” (arr. John Clayton, commissioned by Carnegie Hall)
MIGUEL ZENÓN “Run With Jones” (commissioned by Carnegie Hall)
FOSTER "Shiny Stockings" (arr. Frank Foster)
COLTRANE Giant Steps (arr. Frank Foster)
WYCLIFFE GORDON "Medley: We’re Still Here / He’s Alright” (arr. Wycliffe Gordon)
LOESSER “If I Were a Bell” (arr. John Clayton)
MICHAEL LEGRAND / ALAN BERGMAN / MARILYN BERGMAN “The Windmills of Your Mind” (arr. Peter Martin)
JULE STYNE / BETTY COMDEN / ADOLPH GREEN “Make Someone Happy” (arr. John Beasley)
JOHN CLAYTON “I Be Serious ’bout Dem Blues”


Event Duration

The program will last approximately two hours, including one 20-minute intermission.
Experience NYO Jazz in Concert

Lead Donors: Hope and Robert F. Smith; Marina Kellen French and the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation; and Beatrice Santo Domingo.

Major support has been provided by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and Clive Gillinson.

Additional support has been provided by the Arison Arts Foundation; Bank of America; and The Netherland-America Foundation.

In the Artist’s Own Words

For me, the big band has always been America’s orchestral format and one of the most wide-ranging ensembles ever devised. Its ability to produce a full-throated sound and also serve as a chamber ensemble, highlighting the interplay of individual voices, allows it to convey nearly any style of music in a sonically stimulating and interactive way. The program we’ve prepared exhibits this diversity by placing classic big-band works from Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and Thad Jones alongside pieces that exemplify how the big band can be a vehicle for contemporary American music. We will move between standards—such as “Isfahan” and “Shiny Stockings” from the Ellington and Basie repertoire, respectively—to pieces like “Got to Give it Up” by Marvin Gaye and “R&P” by Igmar Thomas, representing hip-hop, R&B, and a variety of American musical genres. In addition to these works, we are honored to be premiering an original composition by MacArthur and Guggenheim fellow Miguel Zenón, and new arrangements by John Clayton and John Beasley—all of which were written for NYO Jazz and commissioned by Carnegie Hall.

—Sean Jones


NYO Jazz

Beginning in the summer of 2018, Carnegie Hall brings together the finest young jazz musicians (ages 16–19) from across the United States to form NYO Jazz. Selected through a comprehensive audition process, these remarkable musicians engage in a rigorous two-week training residency in New York with world-class jazz masters. Following its residency, NYO Jazz performs at Carnegie Hall before embarking on a tour to some of the world’s great music capitals. The musicians serve as dynamic music ambassadors as they share this uniquely American musical genre with people around the globe.

In 2018, trumpet player Sean Jones—one of the field’s outstanding performer-composer-educators—serves as soloist and bandleader for NYO Jazz’s inaugural year, leading the ensemble in its Carnegie Hall debut this evening and on its first tour to Europe this summer, including performances in the Netherlands, Germany, and Great Britain. Grammy Award–winning vocalist Dianne Reeves and acclaimed trombonist Wycliffe Gordon join NYO Jazz as special guest artists on this evening’s program, and Ms. Reeves also joins the ensemble on tour.

NYO Jazz builds on the success of Carnegie Hall’s critically acclaimed National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America (NYO-USA) and NYO2—created by Carnegie Hall in 2013 and 2016, respectively—which draw together outstanding young classical musicians from across the country each summer for training, performances, and international touring. 

To learn more, visit

Sean Jones

Music and spirituality have always been fully intertwined in the artistic vision of trumpeter, bandleader, composer, educator, and activist Sean Jones. Singing and performing as a child with the church choir in his hometown of Warren, Ohio, he switched from drums to trumpet at the age of 10.

Jones is a musical chameleon and is comfortable in any setting or genre. He is equally adept in being a member of an ensemble as he is at being a bandleader. Jones turned a six-month stint with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra into an offer from Wynton Marsalis for a permanent position as lead trumpeter—a post he held from 2004 until 2010. In 2015, Jones was tapped to become a member of the SFJAZZ Collective, where he was a member until 2018. During this time, he has managed to keep a core group of talented musicians together under his leadership, producing and releasing eight recordings on the Mack Avenue Records, the latest being Sean Jones: Live from the Jazz Bistro in 2017.

Jones has been prominently featured with a number of artists, recording and/or performing with many major figures in jazz, including Illinois Jacquet, Jimmy Heath, Frank Foster, Nancy Wilson, Dianne Reeves, Gerald Wilson, and Marcus Miller. Jones was selected by Miller, Herbie Hancock, and Wayne Shorter for their Tribute to Miles tour in 2011.

Jones has also performed with the Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Youngstown symphony orchestras, as well as the Soulful Symphony in Baltimore and in a chamber group at the Salt Bay Chamberfest.

Jones is an internationally recognized educator. He was recently named the Richard and Elizabeth Case Chair of Jazz at John Hopkins University’s Peabody Institute in Baltimore. Before coming to Peabody, he served as the chair of the brass department at the Berklee College of Music in Boston.

Dianne Reeves

Five-time Grammy Award winner Dianne Reeves is one of the world’s preeminent jazz vocalists. With her breathtaking virtuosity, improvisational prowess, and unique jazz and R&B stylings, she has received the Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal Album for three consecutive recordings—a Grammy first in any vocal category. Featured in George Clooney’s Academy Award–nominated Good Night, and Good Luck, she also won a Grammy for the film’s soundtrack.

Ms. Reeves has recorded and performed with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. She has also recorded with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra conducted by Daniel Barenboim, and was a featured soloist with Sir Simon Rattle and the Berliner Philharmoniker. She was the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s first Creative Chair for Jazz, and the first singer ever to perform at the famed Walt Disney Concert Hall.

Her most recent Grammy-winning release, Beautiful Life, was produced by Terri Lyne Carrington and features Gregory Porter, Robert Glasper, Lalah Hathaway, and Esperanza Spalding. Ms. Reeves received honorary doctorates from the Berklee College of Music and The Juilliard School. In 2018, the National Endowment for the Arts designated her a Jazz Master—the highest honor the United States bestows on jazz artists.

Wycliffe Gordon

A musical ambassador and interpreter of “America’s music,” Wycliffe Gordon is one of the world’s most renowned and award-winning jazz trombonists. The Jazz Journalists Association named him Trombonist of the Year for the 11th time in 2018, and DownBeat magazine’s Critics Poll named him Best Trombone in 2018, as well as in 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2016. Mr. Gordon’s signature sound and mastery of the plunger mute have helped solidify his impressive musical career.

Mr. Gordon tours as a soloist and with his quintet, Wycliffe Gordon and His International All-Stars, headlining legendary jazz venues and performing arts centers worldwide. Mr. Gordon has been featured on more than 300 recordings; composed and arranged hundreds of compositions, including the theme song for NPR’s All Things Considered; and is a passionate and sought-after educator. Mr. Gordon is a former veteran member of the Wynton Marsalis Septet and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, and has been a featured guest artist on Billy Taylor’s Jazz at the Kennedy Center series.

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