Drummer Michael Craig of Chili, trumpet player Joe Kozlowski of Penfield, and trombonist Brendan Lanighan of Williamsville are this year’s recipients of the Rochester International Jazz Festival/Eastman School of Music Scholarships.
The three students will be recognized on Monday, June 13, during the annual Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival/ESM scholarships concert at 7 p.m. in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre. The performance features the Eastman Youth Jazz Orchestra directed by Howard Potter and the Eastman Jazz Ensemble directed by Bill Dobbins. Guest artists include Dick Oatts, alto saxophone, and Harold Danko, piano, in a program of the music of Thad Jones.
The awards are sponsored by XRIJF producers John Nugent and Marc Iacona and funded by proceeds from the Festival. The scholarships are given annually as part of the Festival’s mission to invest in the next generation of musicians.
Craig has been playing the drums for nine years. He’s studied for five years at the Eastman Community Music School, where he performed with the Eastman Youth Jazz Orchestra and Combo. Craig is graduating from Gates Chili High School, where he plays in the Jazz Band and Jazz Combo, and in the Percussion Ensemble. He also was a member of the varsity tennis team, the National Honor Society, and the Tri-M Music Honor Society. An Eagle Scout, he is active in the youth group at Parkminster Church, where he was a drummer for the worship team. He was also selected drummer for the 2010-2011 New York State School Music Association All-State Vocal Jazz Ensemble as well as for several jazz and classical Monroe County School Music Association All-County bands. His brother Tim (BM ‘10), a trombonist, was also an RIJF/ESM scholarship recipient. Craig will be studying with Rich Thompson at Eastman.
Kozlowski is transferring to the Eastman School of Music from SUNY Fredonia, where he performed with five jazz ensembles, including the Fredonia Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Combo, as well as with the concert band, wind symphony, wind ensemble, brass quintet, and brass choir. He is the recipient of the school’s Monroe Poummit jazz award and scholarship. The 19-year-old has been studying trumpet for 10 years; he studied with Herb Smith at the Eastman Community Music School and played in the Eastman Youth Jazz Orchestra for three years. In addition, Kozlowski studied piano for 10 years, beginning at age three. He will start his trumpet studies with Clay Jenkins at Eastman this fall.
Lanighan has been playing the trombone for eight years. He is graduating from Williamsville East High School, where he played euphonium in the wind ensemble, tuba in the concert band, and trombone in the symphonic orchestra and jazz orchestra. In addition, Lanighan was a member of the school’s golf teams for four years and outdoor track team for three years. This past year, he also ran indoor track, earning a sectional berth for the indoor track state championships. Lanighan has been active in scouting and became an Eagle Scout in June 2009. This fall at the Eastman School of Music, he will be studying trombone with Mark Kellogg and jazz with members of the jazz faculty.
Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival-goers will be able to catch some of the past award recipients in the “ESM/XRIJF Jazz Scholarship Alumni Concert” at 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 15, on the Jazz Street Stage.
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