Jazz Arts Project Congratulates Four High School Graduating Seniors

A year-end student showcase will take place this Sunday June 16th at 6:00pm at the Count Basie Theatre (upstairs recital room) 99 Monmouth Street, Red Bank.  This program entitled “Jazz for Dads & Grads” is offered free to the public and will showcase all of the talented students who participated in the Academy’s Spring semester.  A special highlight at this event will feature four very talented students from the Jazz Arts Academy who are heading off to college in the Fall.

Mike Delgado (guitar – Monsignor Donovan High School),Jonathon Furer (Piano – Cranford High School), Greg Roberts(Bass – Mattawan Regional High School) and Zach Stroz (Trumpet and Piano – Christian Brothers Academy) have attended the Jazz Arts Academy at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, NJ and are now about to pursue college degrees. They all will continue a study of music at their respective universities.

Joe Muccioli, the Artistic Director of the Jazz Arts Project and Program Director of the Academy says, “We are extremely proud and honored to have known these amazing students over the years and wish them great success in all of their future endeavors. The Jazz Arts Academy strives to offer the best musical mentoring possible while providing students with a ‘centralized jazz scene,’ a place where they can supplement their high school music program, meet new players from the entire region, and gain valuable skills and experience in a nurturing and professional atmosphere.”

Jonathon Furer with Buster WilliamsJonathon Furer, 17 years old, is from Cranford, New Jersey. He is a pianist and will be attending Columbia University studying Jazz, Business Management and Computer Science. Jonathon says,

“Every day, I have this music to bring me joy. The Jazz Arts Academy is a great place for young players to come together, make music and learn from the older generation of musicians who have experience and knowledge to offer. Also, I must say that my involvement in jazz helped me get into Columbia. Music makes me unique from other applicants, something that colleges look for.”

Michael Delgado

Guitarist Mike Delgado is also 17 years old, attends Monsignor Donovan High School, and will be attending Princeton University in the fall studying Molecular Biology and Music (and possibly Neuroscience). Mike shared some of his thoughts regarding jazz and its effect on him.

“Jazz has improved my musicality tremendously. This music requires an understanding of harmony and musical theory and a control over rhythm. Through the Academy, I have been introduced to the great music of people like Wes Montgomery, George Benson, Pat Martino, and so on. Now I can go to see jazz concerts and be more aware of what’s going on.”

Zach StrozZach Stroz is 18 years old and a graduate of Christian Brothers Academy. He will be attending Temple University in the fall studying risk management and insurance. Zach discussed with us how he got into jazz music. He said,

“I have been playing trumpet for eight years. One day, I clicked the wrong radio station in the car, and it was John Coltrane with Duke Ellington performing ‘In a Sentimental Mood’. It was hauntingly beautiful. Intrigued, I started to explore all kinds of jazz starting with the basics like Miles Davis and so on, as well as exploring funk and modern forms of jazz.”

Greg RobertsBassist Greg Roberts is 18 years old and will be graduating from Matawan Regional High School in June. In the fall, he will be attending the University of Rochester studying optical engineering. In reflecting on his experiences with jazz over the last few years, Greg says,

“I had been into rock for a while. Jazz was a challenging music that my friends and I got into. After seeing a Jazz Arts Project show at the Count Basie, I was very impressed, and I got involved. Playing jazz requires a lot of focus. With the guidance of the experienced faculty at the Jazz Arts Academy, I have become a much better musician. Also, music helped me to get a scholarship for college.”

Jazz Arts Project is a non-profit, 501(c) 3, professional presenting organization which produces 25 to 30 events each year from intimate jazz cafe nights through large scale events at concert halls such as the Count Basie Theatre, as well as educational workshops and special programs for youth.

The Jazz Arts Academy is a year round comprehensive jazz studies program offering performance ensembles, improvisation, general musicianship, coaching, special workshops, and jam sessions in addition to jazz repertory and discussions about the history of jazz. The program is run in association with the Count Basie Theatre Performing Arts Academy. Need based tuition assistance is available to all. Joe Muccioli, director of the Jazz Arts Project, says, “The other faculty members and I take the time from a busy professional schedule that takes us around the world each year because we share a personal commitment to music education. Because of budget cuts, arts education in many schools is not what it once was. Today, in some school somewhere is the next young Count Basie, just waiting to be discovered. We need to make sure that in New Jersey, he or she has the best opportunities.”

For more information visit: www.jazzartsproject.org

Email: info@jazzartsproject.org or Phone: (732) 746-2244

Jazz Academy GROUP SHOT


Past Events:

Gershwin Gala with the Red Bank Jazz Orchestra featuring Jon Faddis

A professional 17-piece jazz band directed by internationally known conductor Joe Muccioli, who has worked with Miles Davis, Wynton Marsalis, Quincy Jones and others, the RBJO pays authentic tribute to the sound and spirit of the legendary big bands of Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Benny Goodman, and others. With swinging arrangements of classic, straight ahead jazz, each concert is a soulful journey through jazz history, from its New Orleans roots through Swing, Bop and beyond. Joined by a guest vocalist, this very special concert features an all-Gershwin program, with the second half devoted to a recreation of Miles Davis’ classic recording of Porgy and Bess, starring special guest soloist Jon Faddis. Called “The world’s greatest trumpeter” by Time Out New York Magazine, he directed the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, and still directs the Chicago Jazz Ensemble. A Purchase College Conservatory of Music faculty member, his most recent release is Teranga (2006).

Red Bank Jazz Orchestra featuring Wycliffe Gordon


The RBJO was joined special guest soloist WYCLIFFE GORDON. Named “Trombonist of the Year” seven times by the Jazz Journalists Association, he has performed at the Grammy Awards, on PBS, BET and NPR, and is a Manhattan School of Music faculty member. The latest of his 14 releases is Hello Pops, a Tribute to Louie Armstrong (2011). Wycliffe brought the house down with soulful performances of his own music and many jazz classics including Chick Corea’s “Spain,” and “Basin Street Blues.”


Also appearing were vocalist LAYONNE HOLMES (Bon Jovi, Springsteen, Holiday Express) and Drummer Extraordinaire BERNARD “PRETTY” PURDIE (Aretha Franklin, Steely Dan, BB King…)