Partners: San Diego SymphonyJazz 88.3 KSDS FM San Diego

"Raising up the next generation of jazz is really where my passion and heart and soul is. When I was starting out, someone gave me a chance to get on stage and took the time to invest some of their knowledge and experience in me. It's a big part of my success today, and I'm grateful. Today, I'm giving back, and watching these young adults blossom into amazing musicians is an honor and a gift!"

-Gilbert C. Castellanos, Founder and Artistic Director

Who We Are

The Young Lions Jazz Conservatory is one of the most prestigious jazz education programs in Southern California. This top quality program is open to middle and high school instrumentalists and vocalists who complete an audition. They are placed in small ensembles where they receive professional instruction from San Diego’s top jazz musicians and educators including Gilbert Castellanos, Rob Thorsen, and Marshall Hawkins. They delve into jazz theory, history and performance. Our young musicians receive many opportunities to perform concerts and attend jazz festivals throughout California. The Young Lions Jazz Conservatory is the best school for middle and high school kids with a passion for jazz.


August 20, Young Lions Day: Orientation AND Fundraiser in One Day

Yesterday, August 20, 2017 was a busy day for the Young Lions – so busy we ended up dubbing it “Young Lions Day!” We had our student/parent orientation at Liberty station in the morning and then our fundraiser in the afternoon at The Handlery. We have over 40 students enrolled in our program. We had over 200 people attend our fundraiser. We are deeply grateful to our community of students, parents and community members who share our vision to KEEP JAZZ ALIVE.


In the News: Our Fundraiser is Getting LOTS of Press!

We are so excited about our fundraiser tomorrow!  We are grateful to George Varga at the San Diego Union Tribune, KSDS Jazz Radio and KUSI News for getting the word out to the community. Click here to read George Varga’s article in the SDUT – 08.19.2017 Click here for the interview from Gary Beck’s morning […]

In the News: Thanks for the Write-up, Ken-Tal News!

From Ken-Tal News, August 15, 2017 in SDMusicScene: August 20, “Castellanos Fundraiser for Young Musicians” There can be no doubt that trumpeter Gilbert Castellanos is one of the most important musicians to ever call San Diego home. Beyond his great gigs and session work, Castellanos has made it his life’s work to introduce jazz to […]


Fundraiser: Private Chef and Concert at Your Home!

We are pleased to announce that we will be auctioning off this fabulous item at our Fundraiser on Sunday Aug 20!  Read the details and see if you want to be the lucky winner of this prize! Chefs from Cucina Migrante will prepare a cocktail dinner in your home made with seasonal and locally sourced […]