This fall, three musicians have joined Eastman School of Music’s incoming freshman class as this year’s recipients of the Rochester International Jazz Festival (RIJF)/Eastman School of Music scholarship. Adrian DiMatteo and Evan Henry of Rochester and Daniel Ziemann of Amherst are the latest students to earn the awards sponsored by RIJF producers John Nugent and Marc Iacona.
“The scholarships have helped many area high school students who have been part of the Eastman Youth Jazz Orchestra and then continue their studies at the Eastman School of Music,” said Howard Potter, associate dean for community and continuing education.
Iacona and Nugent have sponsored the scholarship in each of the seven years since the jazz festival was launched in 2002 as part of the Festival’s mission to invest in the next generation of musicians. To date, 17 students have been awarded scholarships.
“We started the first jazz festival scholarship at Eastman School of Music,” said Nugent, “with the clear intent of helping gifted students offset tuition costs to study jazz at Eastman. We hope we will see the next great jazz artist bring their gift to the world while enriching many lives along the way.”
DiMatteo, a School of the Arts graduate, has been studying guitar for more than five years. While a student in the Eastman Community Music School, he performed with the Eastman Youth Jazz Orchestra and Combo. He also was a member of SOTA’s Senior Jazz Ensemble and Senior Jazz Combo. In 2006, DiMatteo was a finalist in the national Guitarmageddon competition.
Trumpeter Evan Henry, also a School of the Arts graduate, is the first student in the Eastman Community Music School to win honors in both jazz and classical trumpet. He has been principal trumpet for the Rochester Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and the Community Music School’s trumpet ensemble. He also performed with the Eastman Youth Jazz Orchestra as well as jazz groups at the School of the Arts.
Ziemann, a bass player, graduated in June from Williamsville East High School, where he played in the school’s orchestras and wind, jazz, and vocal jazz ensembles. During his senior year, he commuted to Rochester to take lessons at the Eastman Community Music School and perform with the Eastman Youth Jazz Orchestra. He also plays guitar, has given bass lessons, and worked in a recording studio. In addition to his musical activities, Ziemann competed on his high school’s wrestling team.
Nugent said the RIJF/ESM scholarship program is funded from proceeds of the Rochester International Jazz Festival. “We hope the success of future Rochester International Jazz Festivals will help us to increase the scholarship each year for deserving students,” he said.
Attending the presentation of the 2008 RIJF/ESM Scholarship were from left: Marc Iacona, Evan Henry, Adrian DiMatteo, Daniel Zieman, John Nugent, Howard Potter, and Eastman jazz studies chair Harold Danko. (Photo by Gary Geer.)
# # #