28th Anniversary Edition!
You can now purchase your tickets to the City Jazz Festival!
Since its inception in 1991, the City Jazz Festival has grown to an event hosting dozens of student jazz groups from throughout California, performing in three different venues at Fresno City College. The emphasis has always been on education. A panel of jazz educators critiques the students’ performances, and they attend a variety of workshops presented by some of the greatest professional jazz performers in the country. Scholarships to the Berklee College of Music, FCC, and many summer music camps are awarded to outstanding student performers. The event culminates with a performance by the featured guest artist, accompanied by the FCC Jazz Ensemble. Here are a few facts and figures based on the 20 year history of the festival:
This year’s festival will include two days of student jazz performances, plus clinics and workshops, and an exciting Awards concert featuring guest artist Gilbert Castellanos.
Thursday, March 22
Friday, March 23
Schedule of Performances - coming soon
Director Information - coming soon
City Jazz is part of a strong jazz studies program offered at Fresno City College, directed by festival founder and jazz ensemble director Mike Dana. FCC’s jazz program is the most diverse in central California, and has earned a national reputation. Performance groups include the Jazz Ensemble, Latin Jazz Ensemble, Vocal Jazz Ensemble, and Jazz Combos. Courses in jazz improvisation, theory, history, and arranging are also offered. Faculty members include Mike Dana, Larry Honda, George Ramirez, Julie Dana, Craig VonBerg, and Nye Morton. In addition to the festival, the jazz program at FCC has brought many other performers to perform at work with students. These include the New West Guitar Group, the Langston Hughes Project, guitarists Nguyen Le, Frank Gambale, and John Stowell, the University of North Texas 1:00 Lab Band, and many more.
Born in Guadalajara, Mexico, trumpet whiz Gilbert Castellanos attended Fresno’s Roosevelt School of the Arts and Fresno City College. Later, he also studied at the Berklee College of Music in Boston and Cal Arts in Los Angeles.
Castellanos has performed with Dizzy Gillespie, Nancy Wilson, George Benson, Diana Krall, Al Jarreau, Wynton Marsalis, and Branford Marsalis, just to name a few. He is a member of the L.A. based Clayton Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, and also performs with the Anthony Wilson Nonet, Charles McPherson Quintet, Willie Jones III Quintet, Gilbert Castellanos Quintet, the New Latin Jazz Quartet, and the Latin Trumpet Summit. In addition, he teaches jazz at USC’s Thornton School of Music.
In 2016, he performed at the Monterey Jazz Festival in an all-star band conducted by Quincy Jones and John Clayton. Last year, Castellanos launched the Young Lions Jazz Conservatory, a non-profit year-round after-school program that focuses on the educational component of music: jazz theory, history, cultural context, Latin/afro/Brazilian rhythms, master classes, etc. And of course, he remains one of the most in-demand jazz artists in Southern California.