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Ventura Music Festival presented
the 8th Annual Student Jazz Competition
on Sunday, January 26, 2014
at 3:00 pm
Pierpont Inn

Congratulations to this year’s winner: Eric Shechter of Newbury Park High School!

The contest’s runner-up was bass violinist Sean Riddle, of Ventura High School. Trumpeter Ryan Kurahara of school placed third. One of the highlights of the competition was an impromptu jam with all three contestants (with drummer Charles Levin) playing.


Ventura Music Festival presented
the 7th Annual Student Jazz Competition
on Sunday, January 13, 2013
at 3:00 pm
Zoey's Cafe

Congratulations to this year's winner: Jade Elliott of Westlake High School! She won with an alto sax rendition of "Sunny Side of the Street."

The contest's runner-up was drummer Alex Smith, also of Westlake High School. Pianist Eric Shechter of Newbury Park, alto saxophonist Gilbert Bao of Agoura Hills, and pianist Zachary Hernandez of Ventura also gave strong performances.

Here's 2013 winner Jade Elliott on stage with Tito Puente Jr. and his band on February 16, 2013 at Ventura High School:


2011 Ventura Music Festival Student Jazz Competition
Winner at Live Concert

Rachel Flowers, a 17-year-old pianist from Oxnard, took top prize at Ventura Music Festival’s 2011 Student Jazz Competition. Flowers was chosen during a live concert performance that took place on Sunday, January 16, 2011 at Ventura’s Laurel Theater.

Flowers, a Hueneme High School junior, earned top honors for her passionate rendition of John Coltrane’s “Naima” on the piano. Blind since birth, Flowers began playing the piano at the age of 2 and learns by listening. A highly gifted musical prodigy, Flowers placed second in the 2010 VMF student competition.

Accompanied by Coda, a Ventura-based jazz trio, each competitor played one song before an audience of family, friends and a 3-person judging panel of professional musicians. Judges were jazz and classical pianist Jonathan Cooper, film score producer Eddie Arkin, and Paul Anka Orchestra lead trombonist, Craig Woods.

Flowers was awarded a $500 scholarship and the opportunity to perform on stage with legendary Cuban jazz trumpeter Arturo Sandoval at the Festival's upcoming Latin jazz concert on Feb. 12 at Seaside Park.

The other finalists included:
2nd place: Jacob Scesney, 18, alto saxophonist from Ojai
3rd place: Tanner Dawson, 17, tenor saxophonist from Moorpark

The other contestants included:
Sara Sithi-Amnuai, flugelhorn player from Laguna Nigel
Cory Smith, 16, drummer from Thousand Oaks

Student Ticket Prices

Students are offered discounted tickets almost exclusively for every concert. The option is available on the BUY TICKETS purchase link.


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