Join top-notch musicians and instructors in this virtual honors program where you will learn about rehearsing, recording music, and working in a section. This program is open to all students currently high school age.

Instrumentation is limited to:

5 Saxophones, 4 Trombones, 4 Trumpets, 2 Guitars, 2 Pianos, 2 Basses, 2 Drums

If selected, the participation fee is $150.


To audition send a video recording to by January 18, 2021.

The audition must include:

    -Struttin' with Some Barbeque (linked here)

          -Alto 1, Tenor 1 & Trumpet 1&4: measure 107 to 123

          -Bari: measure 12 to 20

          -Trombone 1&4: measure 20 to 34

          -Rhythm: measure 5 to 20

    -Bb Mixolydian & Bb Dorian scales, 1/8 note=140 bpm (all but drums)

    -Bass & Drums, play an uptempo swing feel at 220 bpm and a samba feel at 200 bpm



February 7

10:00am CST- Rehearsal

11:00am- Instrument specific masterclass

12:00pm- Rehearsal

February 21

10:00am- Rehearsal

11:30am- Listening party



Tom Luer- Program Director

Tom Luer is a freelance saxophonist who resides in Los Angeles, CA, and is a D’Addario Woodwinds Performing Artist.  His album "Project Popular" was released in 2011 to critical acclaim. Recent recording credits include Dave Slonaker’s Grammy nominated album “Intrada” and Grammy-winning jazz vocalist Kurt Elling's "The Brill Building Project". Tom has also recorded with the Lee Ritenour, the Alan Chan Orchestra, the Mike Barone Big Band, Wayne Bergeron Big Band, Cooper Phillips, the Bicoastal Collective, and Oliver Future.  Music from Tom’s CD was also featured in nationally broadcast promos by National Public Radio.  Tom can also be heard on the soundtrack of the film “Daddy’s Home”, a Paramount Pictures Production.

Tom recently performed on the NBC broadcast of “Sports Illustrated 50 Years of Beautiful” and on the “X-Factor” on Fox.  Previous television appearances include the American Music Awards, the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and the Ellen Degeneres Show.  Additional performance credits and tours include John Beasley’s “Monk’estra”, Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band, Poncho Sanchez, Queen Latifah, Tom Wopat, Patrizio Buanne, and Engelbert Humperdinck .

Tom has a Master’s Degree in Saxophone Performance from the University of Southern Mississippi, a Bachelor’s Degree in Performance from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, and additional graduate studies in jazz at the University of North Texas. As a music educator, Tom is currently an adjunct faculty member at Cal Poly Pomona.  Previous positions have included the University of North Texas, Texas Christian University, Bethel College, North Lake Community College and Butler County Community College.


Trevor Ware- Assistant Director

Grammy nominated Trevor Ware is well recognized as one of the most supportive bassists in jazz.  His style, reminiscent of Paul ChambersSam Jones and Charles Mingus, focuses not only on producing a supportive bass tone with impeccable intonation, but also features long, creative, well developed bass lines.  One of the most in-demand bassists in Los Angeles, Ware is regularly featured with a number of bands, but most often forms strong bonds with drummers.  Developing his love for music at The World Stage Performance Gallery, Ware had the opportunity to hone the craft of swing under the tutelage of master drummer Billy Higgins (still the most recorded jazz drummer in history).  After being offered his first professional gig by legendary pianist and composer Horace Tapscott & New York saxophonist Sonny Fortune, Ware developed as sense of musical adventure playing in Tapscott’s quartet and Pan Afrikan People’s Arkestra.  Ware later developed a strong bond with drummers Tootie Heath, Alphonse Mouzon, Clayton Cameron and Sherman Ferguson.  Having appeared on over 40 recordings, Ware’s current musical associations include Kenny BurrellMolly Ringwald, Jeff Goldblum & The Count Basie Orchestra.

Trevor Ware was nominated for a 2019 Grammy Award for his contribution to All About That Basie by The Count Basie Orchestra. The recording was nominated as Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album.

Mr. Ware’s international festival performances include the North Sea, Monaco, Jazzaldia, JazzAspen, Concord Jazz Festival, Monterey, Toronto, Joy of Jazz, & Montreux Jazz Festivals. His film credits include the Dreamworks film release Collateral starring Tom Cruise and Jamie Fox, the CBS series Smith starring Ray Liotta, and most recently a recurring role in Key & Peele comedy sketches.

Ware has earned degrees from Cerritos College & University of Southern California, in addition to a graduate degree from University of California, Los Angeles.  He teaches acoustic & electric bass at California State University, Dominguez Hills.


Alexa Tarantino- Saxophone Masterclass Teacher

“[Alexa is] a one-woman wrecking crew, […] an indomitable force for expression, education, and absolute excellence.” - Wynton Marsalis, Managing and Artist Director, Jazz at Lincoln Center 

Alexa Tarantino is an award-winning, vibrant, young jazz saxophonist, woodwind doubler, composer, and educator. Alexa’s “lovely, ardent way of improvising,” and “sharply plotted but gracefully unencumbered straight-ahead jazz [compositions]” (The New York Times) establish her individual voice which shines through as a dynamic performer and educator. Tarantino was recently named one of the “Top 5 Alto Saxophonists of 2019” by the JazzTimes Critics’ Poll. Her debut album, Winds of Change, peaked at #15 on the JazzWeek Charts and landed at #79 for JazzWeek’s Top 100 records of 2019.

She has performed regularly as a leader and sidewoman in a wide variety of ensembles and genres including the Cecile McLorin Salvant Quintet, Cecile McLorin Salvant’s OGRESSE Ensemble, Ulysses Owens Jr.’s Generation Y, LSAT (quintet co-led with baritone saxophonist Lauren Sevian), Arturo O’Farrill & The Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra, Sherrie Maricle & the DIVA Jazz Orchestra, the Alexa Tarantino Quartet. Tarantino is an artist on the Posi-Tone Records label. Her debut quartet record on PosiTone, Winds of Change, released late-May 2019, followed by Clarity in June 2020. Her most recent record features Steven Feifke (piano), Joe Martin (bass), and Rudy Royston (drums). Tarantino is currently on faculty for Jazz at Lincoln Center's Youth Programs (High School Jazz Academy, Let Freedom Swing/Jazz for Young People) and represents the organization as a Clinician and Educator for various schools, festivals, and workshops. She holds a Master’s degree in Jazz Studies from The Juilliard School and Bachelor’s degrees in Jazz Saxophone Performance and Music Education from the Eastman School of Music. Alexa is Founder and Director of the Rockport Jazz Workshop in Rockport, Massachusetts and Co-Founder of A Step Ahead Jazz virtual workshop with pianist Steven Feifke.


Francisco Torres- Trombone Masterclass Teacher

A native of the state of Sonora in Mexico, Francisco Torres immigrated to the United States in 1984. He began his musical studies at the age of 15, playing the saxophone in high school for a year, then switching to euphonium, and curiosity led him to the trombone. In 1998, while still at Cal State Long Beach, Poncho Sanchez saw Francisco at a small jazz club and asked if he would join his band. As a member of the popular Poncho Sanchez Latin Jazz Band for 10 years, he has been an integral part of the band’s sound, not only as soloist, but also as director and arranger. With Poncho, he has won a Grammy, been nominated for two Latin Grammys, and won three Billboard awards.

Recording and performance credits in the international scene include Cachao, Celia Cruz, Los Lobos, Roberto Roena, Andy Montañez, Pete and Sheila Escovedo, Juan Gabriel, Emmanuel, Ricky Martin, Alex Acuña, Justo Almario and the great Aretha Franklin. His television credits include Saturday Night Live, the Latin Grammys, the ALMA Awards, and The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.

Francisco is a jazz trombonist at heart and, in addition to The Big Phat Band, Francisco is also plays regularly with Bill Holman’s Big Band filling in for the great Andy Martin. He has also recorded or performed with Terence Blanchard, Joey DeFrancesco, Bill Cunliffe, Dianne Reeves, Pattie Austin, Natalie Cole, James Moody, and Roy Hargrove.

Wanting to contribute his ideas to the music world, he began arranging and composing for several of the major Latin jazz groups in the Los Angeles area. That led to arranging albums for the likes of Ry Cooder, Ersi Arvizu, and Angelique Kidjo, which included a Grammy nomination. He has also produced records for Jazz on the Latin Side All Stars, Francisco Aguabella and was assistant producer on Poncho Sanchez’s latest, “Raise Your Hand”.

Bijon Watson- Trumpet Masterclass Teacher

Bijon Watson’s career as a musician and educator spans more than 25 years and has taken him around the globe to perform for audiences worldwide. Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Bijon began playing the trumpet at the age of 8. He attended the New England Conservatory of Music Preparatory School, and the University of Southern California, and was a member of the 1994 Disney All-American College Band and 1995 Disney/Grammy All-American College Jazz Band.

Bijon’s recording and/or live performance and touring credits are vast and the short list includes iconic artists such as Natalie Cole, Michael Bublé, Justin Timberlake, Harry Connick, Jr., Diana Krall, Michael Jackson, Arturo Sandoval, Lady Gaga, Mariah Carey, Joe Williams, Queen Latifah, Earth, Wind & Fire, Stevie Wonder, Nicholas Payton, Rosemary Clooney, Steve Tyrell, Eric Benét, Jamiroquai, Prince, Barbara Morrison, Dianne Reeves, Nancy Wilson, Alicia Keys, Chaka Khan, Luis Miguel, The Temptations, and Gladys Knight.

Bijon’s love for big band and latin jazz inspired him to become a student of the great bands of the past and present and he has become a sought after and in-demand lead trumpet player. Bijon is the lead trumpet for the Grammy-nominated Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, the Grammy-nominated John Daversa Progressive Big Band, the Grammy-nominated John Beasley’s Monkestra, José Rizo’s Jazz on the Latin Side All-Stars, the late Gerald Wilson Jazz Orchestra, and many other jazz, salsa, and pop bands throughout the United States. Internationally, Bijon has recorded and performed live as lead trumpet with the Frankfurt Radio Big Band.

On television, Bijon has performed on episodes of “American Idol”, as well as “The Tonight Show”, Grammy Awards shows, The BET Music Awards, and “Dancing With The Stars”. Bijon’s film appearances include appearing in the award-winning film “La La Land” and recording on several soundtracks with studios such as Paramount, Fox, and Disney, including most recently “Despicable Me 2”, and “The Secret Life of Pets”.

As a classically trained musician, Bijon has had the opportunity to perform as a guest with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, the Los Angeles Opera, the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, the San Diego Symphony, and the San Francisco Symphony.

A dedicated educator, Bijon is an in-demand clinician that has given master classes and clinics to colleges, conservatories, secondary schools, high schools, and middle schools throughout the United States, and Europe, as well as maintaining a private lesson studio.

Bijon is an Stomvi USA/Spain performing artist and uses the Stomvi line of horns exclusively. He performs on the VRII Custom Big Bell Bb Trumpet, as well as the Stomvi Master Bb, Flugelhorn, and C trumpet, and the Stomvi Elite Piccolo. Bijon also uses the Stomvi Flex Mouthpiece System.


John Beasley- Rhythm Section Masterclass Teacher

John Beasley, Multi-GRAMMY® and Emmy Award-nominated pianist, composer, arranger, producer, music director

An uncommonly versatile pianist, he has backed such jazz icons as Miles Davis and Freddie Hubbard – playing in the bands of both these trumpet greats while still in his 20s. Since then, Beasley has performed with a wide range of artists from Dianne Reeves, Ivan Lins, John Patitucci, Chaka Khan, Christian McBride, Carly Simon, Steely Dan, Lee Ritenour, Somi, A.R. Rahman, and James Brown’s last concert at the Hollywood Bowl. 

His extensive work as a composer-arranger extends beyond jazz, with many credits in television such as Star Trek:TNG, Cheers, and Fame; and in films scored by 15-time Oscar nominee Thomas Newman 1917, James Bond’s Spectre and Skyfall, Finding Dory, He Named Me Malala, and Shawshank Redemption. 

While on tour with Miles Davis, Beasley was inspired to record his first album Cauldron, which was produced by Steely Dan’s Walter Becker. A dozen albums later, Beasley has earned ten GRAMMY nominations, six for his project called MONK’estra. 

MONK’estra is a smashing 15-piece big band that captures the spirit of Thelonious Monk’s singular music in fresh arrangements flavored with contemporary sounds that range from Afro-Cuban rhythms to hip-hop. Critics have given it a 5 star and called it “some of the most mesmerizing big band music of recent memory.” His latest album “MONK’estra plays John Beasley” showcases his compositions and more unique arrangements of Monk, Ellington, and Bird songs. His big band MONK’estra recorded the Thomas Newman score in a Steven Soderberg film “Let Them All Talk” with Meryl Streep on HBO (Dec 2020) which Beasley orchestrated, arranged and conducted. His MONK’estra Quintet will be on screen in the popular BOSCH Amazon series, Episode 1 of Season 7 (March 2021). He wrote a jazz piece for Director Damon Lindelof’s The Watchmen’s winning episode 6 “The Extraordinary Being”. 

Beasley took his MONK’estra charts to various schools and rehearsed and conducted student big bands in the US and Europe, including Rutgers, Frost, Julliard, Manhattan School of Music, Rotterdam, Amsterdam, and Maastrich conservatories in Holland.

As a producer, Beasley worked on Weather Report’s drummer Peter Erskine on his recent albums and several for Lee Ritenour, including producing projects for Dianne Reeves. His most recent production was with Portuguese singer Maria Mendes and the Metropole Orkest on her album “Close to Me”, which earned Beasley and Mendes a 2020 Latin and a 2021 American GRAMMY nomination for Best Arrangement. The album is nominated for the Dutch Grammy “The Edison” for Best Jazz Vocal album. Beasley not only produced the album but was arranger, conductor, orchestrator, and played piano. He also earned a 2021 GRAMMY nomination for conducting and arranging vocalist Somi’s new album “Holy Room.  He produced other global artists including Japanese singer Chie Ayado, Cuban saxophonist Yosvany Terry.