Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead Participants Announced

Class for 20th year of Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead includes 25 young musicians from the United States, Israel, Russia, Canada, Germany and the U.K.

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Jason Moran, artistic director for Jazz at the Kennedy Center

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., on Monday announced the participants in the 20th year of Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead, its international jazz residency program for emerging artists and composers. This year’s class includes 25 young musicians from the United States, Israel, Russia, Canada, Germany and the U.K., selected through a competitive audition process that was open to young jazz artists and composers from their mid-teens to age 25.

For nearly two weeks these artists will work on honing their skills in performance, composing and arranging, under the guidance of Kennedy Center Artistic Director for Jazz Jason Moran—himself an alum of the Jazz Ahead program—and a faculty of seven other jazz artists who, like Moran, were mentored by legendary vocalist and Jazz Ahead founder Betty Carter. The faculty includes vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater, trumpeter Darren Barrett, pianist Xavier Davis, drummer Ralph Peterson, bassist Reuben Rogers, saxophonist Mark Shim and guitarist Mark Whitfield.

The program this year will take place May 29-June 9, with the 2018 graduates performing three concerts of their original compositions at 6 p.m. June 7-9 at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage. The free performances will be broadcast live on the Kennedy Center’s website and archived for future viewing.

The 2018 participants include:

Alto saxophonists:
Tristan H. Cappel, Michigan
Thomas Kelley, Florida
Henry Solomon, California

Bassists:
Emiliano Lasansky, New York
Stephen Arnold, District of Columbia
Niklas Lukassen, Germany

Drummers:
Avery Logan, Massachusetts
Samvel Sarkisyan, Russia
Kweku Sumbry, District of Columbia

Guitarists:
Tal Arditi, Israel
Ben Turner, New Jersey

Pianists:
Samantha Langstein, New York
Paul Cornish, California
Chase Morrin, Massachusetts

Tenor saxophonists:
Alex Francoeur, Canada
Ryan Mulder, North Carolina

Trombonists:
Jack Kotze, New York
Ting Yang (Brandon) Lin, Canada
Armando Vergara, New York

Trumpeters:
John Michael Bradford, Louisiana
Nathan W Kay, New York

Vibraphonist:
Sasha Berliner, New York

Vocalists:
Erik Leuthäuser, Germany
Chloe Youtsey, Virginia
Cherise Adams-Burnett, United Kingdom