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

Young Lions Jazz Conservatory - Jazz Education for Middle and High School Musicians

The Young Lions Jazz Conservatory offers one of the most prestigious jazz education programs in Southern California. This top-quality conservatory is open to middle and high school instrumentalists and vocalists who complete and meet audition requirements. Students 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. Music students delve into jazz theory, history, and performance and receive many opportunities to perform in concerts and attend jazz festivals throughout California. The Young Lions Jazz Conservatory is the top school for middle and high school kids with a passion for jazz.


In the News: Troubadour Magazine Features Our 16-Year-Old Vocal Student in “Shades of Ella: Zion Dyson”

We are pleased to have our 16-year-old vocalist Zion Dyson featured this month in The San Diego Troubadour magazine. Zion’s passion for jazz certainly stands out in this feature. She discusses her start on the stage at The San Diego Junior Theater, her jazz education with Gilbert and Lorraine Castellanos, her involvement with the Young Lions, and her dream of studying jazz at USC’s Thornton School of Music. Congratulations, Zion, and thanks for putting the spotlight on San Diego’s youth jazz scene.


Concert: “This is Jazz!” Series Curated by Claudia Russell

Students from The Young Lions Jazz Conservatory will be performing at the “This is Jazz!” Series curated by KSDS’s Claudia Russell this Saturday. Come on out to Carlsbad’s  Dove Library Complex for this free show followed by a lively discussion between the artists and the audience. When: Saturday September 30, 4–5:30 p.m. Free tickets distributed […]


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.