DownBeat Magazine Student Music Awards caps a banner year for Rio Band
The Rio Americano High School Band Program is receiving three major awards from DownBeat Magazine, the print authority on Jazz since the 1930’s. The awards are:
Co-winners “Best High School Large Jazz Ensemble” – ‘AM Jazz Ensemble’
Co-winner “Best High School Small Group” – ‘Rio’s Mingus Legacy Octet’
Winner – “Best High School Jazz Arrangement” – Rio Junior Jackson Irvine.
The 42nd Annual DownBeat Student Music Awards recognizes excellence in music education, and the winners come from an international pool of applicants.
The recognition caps a banner year for Rio Band which includes:
- The AM Jazz Ensemble was named a finalist in the Essentially Ellington Jazz Festival, to be held May 9 – 11th at Lincoln Center in New York City. This will be Rio’s ninth appearance at the “super bowl of High School jazz festivals”. Only 15 bands are selected from across North America for this honor. Along with performing at Lincoln Center, the band will receive clinics and be judged by jazz greats including Wynton Marsalis.
- The Rio PM Jazz Ensemble was selected as one of twelve national finalists in the Swing Central Jazz festival in Savannah, Georgia and they performed on April 5th. This was Rio’s second time at Swing Central.
- Rio Jazz bands recently placed second in both big band and jazz combo at the Monterey Next Generation Jazz Competition. As one of the top three bands at the event, the AM ensemble has been invited to perform at the world-renowned Monterey Jazz Festival in September. This will be Rio’s 17th time performing at the festival.
- Rio Band was selected by Eastman Wind Instruments as winner of the national “Perform With Mintzer” competition. Legendary saxophonist Bob Mintzer will be performing with Rio Band on October 17, 2019 in Rio’s new Performing Arts Center.
“In the storied history of Rio Band, we’ve never had a year quite like this one. These kids have worked harder than ever, they have created beautiful music, and that music has been recognized with more accolades than ever before”- Josh Murray, Rio Americano Band Director
With three concert bands, three jazz bands, and a one-of-a-kind small ensemble class, the Rio Americano Band Program has a long been acknowledged as one of the finest high school music programs in the United States. This year, several Rio band seniors have been offered full or significant scholarships to the Berklee College of Music, UCLA – Herb Albert School of Music, and a UOP Jazz Ambassadorship, among others. Alumni are currently found at the top colleges and conservatories including University of Miami Frost School of Music, Oberlin, Berklee, The New School, and California State University Northridge. Former Rio Student – John Daversa was a winner of three 2019 Grammy Awards and is currently the Jazz Chair at the Frost School of Music.
More information on the awards can be found at www.downbeat.com/sma/
So much good news for Rio Band and Rio Band Alums!
Rio’s AM Jazz Ensemble has been selected for the Essentially Ellington Festival! This “Super Bowl of High School Jazz” is run by Wynton Marsalis and will be held in May at NYC’s Lincoln Center. It features the top 15 Jazz bands in the US and Canada. This is the 9th time Rio has been selected for this festival.Congratulations to Connor Ettinger, Catherine Treadwell, Arthur Eriksson, Matthew Taylor, Hayden Powell, Grady Flamm, Grace Eastlick, Logan Duffy, Abby Telander, Anna Flaningam, Claire Parker, Grayson Cliff, Luke Roberto, Dale McMorris, Jackson Irvine, Toby Keys, Jake Nalangan, Sam Flores, Michael Gilbert, Maddy Hill, Carson Grimes and Joseph Bly.
Rio’s Mingus Group- “Children Hearing Music – had a great experience at the Charles Mingus Festival held at the New School in New York City. The group wowed the judges and came away with Spirit of Mingus award. This award is bestowed on the group that best exemplifies the spirit, musicianship and commitment of the great Jazz bassist and composer, Charles Mingus. Congratulations to all!
Rio’s PM Jazz Ensemble has been selected for the Swing Central Festival in Savannah, Georgia! Swing Central Jazz is a three-day workshop and competition with a collective approach to big band jazz instruction. Led by pianist/composer/educator Marcus Roberts, the clinician team includes a wide range of jazz educators such as Jason Marsalis, Jim Ketch (Associate Director), Brianna Thomas and Wycliffe Gordon. Congratulations to the whole PM band!
Former Rio student, John Daversa won three Grammy Awards on Sunday!
Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album- “American Dreamers”;
Best Improvised Jazz Solo- “Don’t Fence Me In”;
Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Capella- “Stars and Stripes Forever”
Rio Band Alum Jacob Swedlow has been selected as a charter member of Oberlin Conservatory’s “Sonny Rollins Ensemble,”created through an endowment directly from the legendary saxophonist. The group is having a great run including two sold out shows in January at Dizzys Coca Cola Club at Jazz at Lincoln Center.
Rio Band Alum Eric Treadwell is releasing his first album, with his band “Groundwater”. Here’s information about the release:
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/groundwaterband/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/groundwaterband/
Soundcloud – https://soundcloud.com/groundwaterband
Our 3 Jazz Ensembles and 2 of our combos participated in the Folsom Jazz Festival over the weekend, along with 140 groups from schools throughout Northern and Central California. The showing from the Rio groups was very strong, and the adjudicators awarded many individual and collective accolades to our kids. Here’s a breakdown:
AM Jazz Ensemble- Chosen as Sweepstakes Winner: the top band at the entire festival!
Solo/Musicianship awards were given to: Grayson Cliff, Arthur Eriksson, Grady Flamm, Sam Flores, Carson Grimes, Toby Keys, Dale McMorris and Jake Nalangan
One of the other bands in the finals along with AM was Maria Carillo HS, directed by Rio Band alum Matt Bringedahl.
PM Jazz Ensemble- 2nd place in their division
Solo/musicianship awards: Ben Hansen, Jack Harris, Dylan West, Elie Wu
FM Jazz Ensemble- Solo/musicianship awards: Isaac Goodman, Molly Knepshield, Jackson McMorris, Jonah Prichard and Kesav Sreedharan
Combo 1 (Mingus)- 3rd place in their division
Solo/musicianship awards: Grayson Cliff, Grady Flamm, Carson Grimes and Jackson Irvine
Combo 2 (PM Trio)- 1st place in their division, and the highest score of all combos at the festival.
Solo/musicianship awards: All three of them! Antonio Lopes, Dylan West, Elie Wu
Also- Rio’s Michael Gilbert was awarded a summer jazz camp scholarship for his outstanding bass playing!
Congratulations to all our Band Students!
Our annual Rio/ Arden Dinner Dance is coming up on Saturday, March 2nd. This lavish event features all of the Rio Jazz Bands, as well as the Arden Middle School Jazz Band, playing sophisticated, groovy and funky music for dancing. It is also a major fundraiser for our band programs, and the money raised benefits EVERY member of Rio Band. This is a great opportunity to share an elegant, music-filled evening with a wonderful, welcoming group of band families. Don’t miss the fun and camaraderie as we support our students. We also need your donations for the silent auction as well as your help on the day of the event to make it a success. See links below to purchase tickets, donate items or volunteer.
Visit the Dinner Dance website to buy your tickets: Charityauction.bid/rioardendinnerdance
Please donate items for the silent auction and raffle. Let’s make this the best Dinner Dance and Silent Auction yet! https://drive.google.com/file/d/1tiuFuinGswSF_8n1sh3jxuOKAN4X0XJ-/view?usp=sharing
Please sign up to volunteer! We can’t do this without your help: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/60B094DAAAF28A5F85-2019