In December of 2013, Gilbert created the Young Lions Series with the intent to mentor young musicians and provide them with opportunities to perform in public venues. Middle-school and high-school students are encouraged to prepare and program a concert, to engage with the audience, to build confidence and discipline, and to respect the music. Now, he moves forward in the development of the Young Lions Jazz Conservatory (YLJC), a non-profit year-round after-school program that focuses more on the educational component of music (jazz theory, history, cultural context, latin/afro/brazilian rhythms, masterclasses, etc.). YLJC also aims to expand its performance opportunities at festivals, concert venues, outreach events, and more. Faculty will include the most prestigious music educators in San Diego, including bassist Rob Thorsen.
Although The Young Lions has been around for years the board is currently in the process of formalizing The Young Lions Jazz Conservatory as a nonprofit corporation through the State of California. After incorporating we will apply for our tax-exempt 501(c)(3) status from the Internal Revenue Service. Hopefully this process will be complete when we open our doors for classes on August 19.