The Vail Jazz Foundation
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Luke Celenza

Braxton Cook
Alto saxophone

Noah Hocker

Benjamin Kreitman

Tyrone L. Martin, Jr.
Alto Saxophone

Jared Mulcahy

Cody Rowlands

Evan Sherman

Bill Vonderhaar

Alec Watson

Maximillian Zooi
Tenor Saxophone


Luke Celenza - piano

Luke has been playing the piano for nearly 12 years and the saxophone for two years. Some of his favorite artists include Michel Camilo (whom he has also studied with for 12 years), Sonny Clark and Keith Jarrett. Luke has played in various groups and ensembles with Felipe Salles and Jeremy Manasia at the Manhattan School of Music precollege for the past seven years. He has also played with the New York Symphony Jazz Band Classic. He’s performed with Conrad Herwig, Rich Perry, Dick Oatts, and Joe Lovano, just to name a few. His awards include Jazz Band Classic Director’s Award, DownBeat Student Music Award, and was a participant in the 2009 Grammy Jazz Ensemble and has attended the Berklee School of Music Summer Performance Program, the Stanford Jazz Residency, the Jazz in July Piano Master Class and the Dave Brubeck Summer Jazz Colony. One of Luke’s many goals for the Workshop is to “intensify and fine-tune his craft at the piano”.


Braxton Cook - Alto saxophone

An accomplished alto saxophonist, Braxton was one of 30 other high school musicians selected from a nationwide competition to participate in the 2009 Grammy Jazz ensemble, held during the same week as the Grammy Awards.  Growing up listening to gospel and Motown, he credits his rich musical tradition to his family and church.  In the fifth grade, after hearing Grover Washington, Jr.,  he decided to play the saxophone.  Since then, he’s been going non-stop.  Braxton has been the lead alto in several groups, and has also played in the 2009 Maryland All State Jazz Band and the Kaleidoscope Orchestra.  He’s performed with Wynton Marsalis and Herbie Hancock, just to name a few.   Braxton’s awards include several soloist awards and sits first chair in several large ensembles.  He received a full scholarship to Georgetown University where he will begin in the fall.   While attending the Workshop, one of Braxton’s goals is to develop his ensemble playing.  Says Braxton, “…while being a soloist is fun and exciting, it is only part of being a great musician…”



Noah Hocker - Trumpet

Spending his childhood banging on the piano and exploring dense forests, Noah now has a deep appreciation of both the outdoors and music.  He began playing the trumpet 6 years ago, studying with Derek Sims, Jim O'Banion, and Thara Memory conductor of the Pacific Coast Jazz Orchestra.   Favorite artists include Miles Davis, Lee Morgan and Freddie Hubbard.  He has received several solo awards from the Mt. Hood Jazz Festival, Williamette Jazz Festival, and Monterey Next Generation Jazz Festival.  Noah has played in the Tigard High School Wind Ensemble and Jazz Band, the Pacific Crest American Music Program Jazz Orchestra and Jazz Combo and numerous groups with the Metropolitan Youth Symphony.  Noah also plays in the innovative, Alan Jones Academy of Music, led by drummer Alan Jones.  AJAM has performed multiple times around Portland, as well as the Ballard Jazz Festival in Seattle.  His main goal for the Workshop is to discover what it means to “say something” musically.

Noah has been selected as an Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation Scholar.  The Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation has provided funding for his Workshop scholarship.



Benjamin Kreitman - Trumpet

Ben, 17, has been playing the trumpet for seven years. This fall, he will be a senior at Henry M. Gunn High School in Palo Alto, California.  He has played in the El Camino Youth Symphony, the SF Jazz All-Stars, Jazzschool Studio Band, Jazzschool Advanced High School Combo, and Jazz Band of America.  His awards include a scholarship at the Stanford Jazz Workshop for Outstanding Musicianship, the Soloist Award at the Folsom Jazz Festival, Chabot College Festival and Stanford Jazz Workshop.  Ben has studied with Kent Mikasa, Erik Jekabson, and Ambrose Akinmusire (a Workshop alumni), and has performed with Wycliffe Gordon, Irvin Mayfield, and Jimmy Cobb.  Some of his favorite artists include Freddie Hubbard, Nicholas Payton, and Roy Hargrove.



Tyrone L. Martin, Jr. - Alto Saxophone

An accomplished karate master by the age of seven,  Tyrone gave up karate to play the alto saxophone.  In the seven successful years that he’s been playing, he’s earned several awards including two at the Berklee Jazz Festival for Superior Musician and the Judge’s Choice Award, and he also received the Stars of Tomorrow award from the New York Apollo Theatre.  He will be attending two camps this summer – the Jamie Abersold Jazz Camp and the Berklee College of Music Jazz Workshop.  He’s opened for Al Green and The Motown Funk Brothers, and has played in numerous bands, including the Eddie Brookshire Big Band and Roderick Wilson’s Jazz Trio.   His own band, The Serious Young Musicians, even recorded their own gospel CD.  Favorite artists include Joshua Redman, Charlie Parker, and John Coltrane.  Tyrone will attend Berklee on a full scholarship after he graduates from high school.  While attending the Workshop, Tyrone hopes to learn more about chord changes and composing.

Tyrone has been selected as an Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation Scholar.  The Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation has provided funding for his Workshop scholarship.



Jared Mulcahy - Bass

A 16 year old bassist, Jared will be a junior at Skaneateles High School in Skaneateles, NY.  Jared is active in school activities such as orchestra, jazz band, chorus, select chorus, and musicals. Outside of school Jared studies bass with David Perry (classical) and Phil Flanigan (jazz) and is a member of the Young Lions of CNY and the Lemoyne College Jazz Ensemble. Jared has been a member of all-county orchestra or jazz band for six years and was selected for the NY State Band Directors Honor Jazz Band this year. Jared received the Downbeat Award for Junior High Soloist in 2007 and has studied at the Skidmore Jazz Institute. Jared has been recently selected as a member of the 2009 Brubeck Summer Jazz Colony.  As a young artist, Jared received encouragement and mentoring from professional musicians, and he hopes that he can provide that same encouragement to other young musicians in his community.




Cody Rowlands - Trumpet

Cody Rowlands is a senior at Ironwood High School in Glendale, AZ.  He has been playing trumpet since the age of nine. At the age of twelve Cody was accepted as the youngest member of the Young Sounds of Arizona.  As a freshman in high school he performed at the Midwest Clinic in Chicago, IL. Cody has also performed at the 35th International Association of Jazz Education in Toronto, Canada, the Fullerton Jazz Festival, and many others venues throughout his high school career.  Cody and the Tucson Jazz Institute Blue Note Combo received the first ever perfect score in the history of the Fullerton Jazz Festival.  In 2008 Cody was one of four students in Arizona who received a complete scholarship to the Berklee College of Music 5-week Summer Performance Program.  Cody was recently selected to be a member of the 2009 Next Generation Jazz Orchestra which will perform at this year’s Monterey Jazz Festival and he was also selected to attend the Brubeck Institute Summer Jazz Colony this August.



Evan Sherman - Drums

Evan Sherman, 15, began playing the drums at age five, inspired by Charlie Watts (Rolling Stones). He has led his own groups around the New York/New Jersey area including Cachaça, Puppet's Jazz Bar, Trumpets, and other venues. Evan was a finalist for the 2009 Grammy Jazz Ensemble, he was selected into the top combo at NJPAC’s Jazz for Teens and received a scholarship for Jazz in July UMass Amherst. For the past three years, Evan has been playing at New York’s Jazz Standard every Sunday (directed by David O’Rourke) and has led a trio at Samurai Sushi in New Jersey every Saturday for over a year. He has played with top jazz musicians including: Steve Wilson, Mark Whitfield, Jeremy Pelt, Tim Ries, Abraham Burton, Dave Stryker, Julius Tolentino, and many others. Evan’s major influences include Lewis Nash, Kenny Washington, Philly Joe Jones, Max Roach, Art Blakey, and his teacher, Neal Smith. He has performed for several charities, including Streets International, Children for Children and Children's Pressline.



Bill Vonderhaar - Bass

The first musician in his family, Bill is an accomplished bassist and attends the Houston High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (HSPVA).  He has played in several groups and ensembles in the Houston area, including being a featured guest artist withthe Houston Symphony and playing in Step It Up, a community service combo, as well as a member of “The Best Little Klezmer Band in Texas.”    The most influential artist for Bill has been Scott Lafaro, but he also has also been heavily influenced by David Friesen, Ron Carter and Eddie Gomez.  Bill has won numerous awards both as a soloist and group member, including the Jason Moran Award (judged by Jason Moran himself) which included a $500 scholarship for summer music education, and the All Star Trophy at the 11th Annual Moores School of Music Jazz Festival.  Other interests of Bill include travel, reading, and comic books.  Bill’s goal for the Workshop is to strengthen his music theory and compositional skills.



Alec Watson - Piano

An honor roll student, Alec has been playing the piano since the age of 10.  He has studied at the Merit School of Music, Jazz Studies program, and privately with several musicians, including Reggie Thomas, Doug Stone and Jeff Campbell.   In just the seven years of playing, Alec has received numerous awards, including the Outstanding Individual Performance, Northern Illinois University Jazz Day (in 2007 & 2008), and the Certificate of Excellence for Outstanding Performance in the Chicago All-City Jazz Band, Jazz Institute of Chicago in 2008.  He has played with several different ensembles, including the Chicago Jazz Institute’s Jazz Links Student Ensemble and the Chicago All City Jazz Band, and with self-led ensembles, as well.   Alec is actively involved in community service, donating his time and skills for local fundraisers.  He has also has gone to Appalachia for the past two years to help build and repair homes for underprivileged families.



Maximillian Zooi - Tenor Saxophone

Max, an accomplished soprano and tenor saxophonist, attends the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts (LACHSA), one of the premier public arts high school in the western United States.   The highlight of his career so far was his recent participation in the White House Music Series, where he played for First Lady Michelle Obama with jazz great Branford Marsalis.  He has played in several ensembles and workshops, including the Berkeley Summer Jazz Workshop and in the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Program “Peer-to Peer” blues and education program in Kansas City.   Max also has led his own ensembles.  He has received full scholarships to the Berklee School of Music’s summer program, as well as to the Colburn’s Top Jazz Combo.   He has been a featured soloist with LACHSA Big Band at several venues and events, including the Luckman Performing Arts Complex and Monterey Jazz Festival.  Max also enjoys model airplanes, teaching music to youth, and looks forward to working with children in underserved areas of Los Angeles.



Perpetuating jazz with a focus on young musicians and young audiences.