We are proud to announce that 12-year-old conservatory student Taichi Okumura has been awarded first prize in the prestigious International Golden Classical Music contest and has been invited to perform at Carnegie Hall on November 1, 2020. Taichi plays alto sax in Rob Thorsen’s “Night Dreamers Ensemble” and attends Pacific Trail Middle School. Taichi is […]
"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
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. Young Lions Jazz Conservatory is the top school for middle and high school kids with a passion for jazz.
We are thrilled to announce that our New Soil Ensemble, led by Gilbert Castellanos, has been selected to perform at the Monterey Jazz Fest this September! They are only one of two ensembles selected nation-wide to perform at this prestigious festival. They will perform on Sunday, September 27 on the North Coast Brewing Company Jazz […]
A HUGE congratulations to Nick Caldwell, a 13-year-old sax player in our program. He won DownBeat Magazine‘s award for Junior High School Honors Outstanding Performance, Tenor Saxophone! We are all so proud!
From April 5 to April 7, 2019, our “New Soil Ensemble” directed by Gilbert Castellanos competed at the Next Gen Jazz Festival in Monterey. This competitive, audition-only festival brings out the best of the best and this ensemble felt like winners just to be included. Two of our students took top honors: Zion Dyson won […]
Vote for for Young Lions Jazz Conservatory for Best Music School in San Diego! Follow link to vote: https://bit.ly/2x9rryW Thank you San Diego CityBeat for the nomination!
Thank you writer Robert Bush for your great feature in this week’s San Diego Reader about Young Lions Jazz Conservatory! Wonderful article with interviews with Artistic Director Gilbert Castellanos and several of our students.
J&J Realty contributed $1,000 and we raised an additional $1,100.00 from generous community members. The total amount of $2,100 will cover tuition and private instruction for a young musician who would otherwise be unable to join YLJC.
Young Lions Jazz Conservatory is pleased to provide you with our first ever impact report. The impact of your generosity and support over the span of just under five months has been remarkable, and we can’t thank you enough for making so much possible for our kids. Together, we are making a difference in young lives.
This month power couple Rob Thorsen (YLJC Instructor) and Steph Johnson appear on the cover of San Diego Troubadour. They discuss their home, their life together as working musicians, their musical up-bringing, and their work with the homeless choir. A truly inspiring read!