Congratulations to the newest members of the Jazz St. Louis All-Stars–the top students in the JazzU program!
Zach Arias (guitar) has been in the JazzU program for two years and is a first year member of the Jazz St. Louis All-Stars. As a junior at Maplewood Richmond Heights High School, he participates in the Jazz Band, MRH Rhythm and Blues Band as well as the Chess Club and has studied guitar for six years. Outside of school, Zach keeps busy as a member of the St. Louis MetroBones and the jazz/funk group, Jazz in Outer Space. “The most impactful part of participating in JazzU is being able to learn from musicians that are a lot better than me and getting to hear the masters for free at the Bistro,” Zach says about his years in JazzU. His hard work and dedication has given him the opportunity to be selected for honors such as the Missouri All-State Jazz Band and the All-Suburban Jazz Band. In addition to watching NOVA on PBS, Arias enjoys the music of Kurt Rosenwinkel, Jonathan Kreisberg, Gilad Hekselmanm, Adam Rogers, and Lage Lund.
Kevin Baudrexl (bass) is a senior at Lindbergh High School, a third year member of the JazzU program, and a first year member of the Jazz St. Louis All-Stars. As a bass player, Kevin plays in his school’s jazz ensemble as well as the St. Louis MetroBones and has been selected as a member of the All-Suburban jazz band. He also plays trombone in the marching and symphonic bands, earning a “1 rating” in state solo and ensemble contests for trombone ensemble. Additionally, Kevin is a member of the Tri-M Music Honor Society and the NHS National Honor Society. When asked about the best part of JazzU, Kevin states, “I love being able to attend concerts and clinics through JazzU. Plus, I get develop my skills at improvising and play with musicians from all around St. Louis!” Of his many musical influences, he cites Miles Davis, Happy Apple, The Bad Plus, Jaco Pastorius, Victor Wooten, Richard Bona, and Paul Chambers as the biggest, but adds,”I dislike being asked this question because there are so many influences!”
Kevin Killeen (trombone) is a Senior at Webster Groves High School where he is a member of the school’s jazz band, marching band, and wind symphony, in addition to the editor-in-chief of the school newspaper. Having studied trombone for six years, he studies privately with Dave Dickey and is a member of the St. Louis Metrobones. This is Kevin’s second year in the JazzU program, and his first as a Jazz St. Louis All-Star. “JazzU has made me realize how great jazz music is,” Kevin said. “I love playing on the stage at the Bistro and I also enjoy playing with the All-Stars and the fun interactions we always have,” he said of his participation in the program. He lists Duke Ellington, JJ Johnson, Wycliffe Gordon and Art Blakey among his many influences.
Matt Leininger (tenor sax) is a Senior at Lindbergh high school where he plays lead alto in the jazz ensemble, 1st tenor in the symphonic band and is the head Drum Major for the Lindbergh Spirit of Saint Louis Marching Band. Studying saxophone for roughly six years, this is his second year in JazzU and his first as a member of the Jazz St. Louis All-Stars. Despite his busy schedule, Leininger finds time to play music outside of school and JazzU, performing with the jazz/funk group, Little Skinny Band (LSB) as well as Jazz in Outer Space and a rock-oriented group, called Project 324. He sites receiving “instruction from a multitude of musicians from all over the jazz scene,” as the most impactful element of being in the JazzU program along with, “meeting so many new people and friends.” Of the artists visits, Leininger says that working with Matt Wilson’s Arts and Crafts “has been the most inspirational and eye opening…”
A senior at Metro High School, Khamali Moore (trumpet) has been in the JazzU program for four years. This is his first as a member of the Jazz St. Louis All-Stars. At school, he keeps busy as a member of the concert band and jazz combo as well as the Varsity Soccer and Ultimate Frisbee teams. Outside of school, Khamali plays in many local ensembles, including the Jazz Edge Big Band, Jazz in Outer Space, North of the Quarter, and Ron Wilkerson and Friends. Among his many accomplishments are, 1st chair in the E. Desmond Lee honors jazz band (2008) , principle trumpet in the Webster Youth Symphony (2008), 1st chair in the Midwest Honors Band at UMKC (2012), 1st chair in the district 8 jazz band (2011, 2012), Missouri All-State jazz band (2012). He was also recipient of a scholarship from the Hesse Foundation in 2012. He sites “getting to perform with world-class musicians and building personal relationships with them” as the most impact full part of participating in JazzU. Khamali cites Terell Stafford, Clifford Brown, Trombone Shorty, and Esperanza Spalding as his main influences.
Zachary Morrow (drums) is a Senior at University City High School, which boasts the likes of Peter Martin and Jeremy Davenport as alumni. This is Zachary’s third year in JazzU and his first as a member of the Jazz St. Louis All-Stars. Having studied the drums for 15 years, he is already well ingrained in the St. Louis music scene, performing in the University City High School jazz and marching bands, the Sean Holland Band, Jazz in Outer Space, and at his local church. An honor roll student since sixth grade, Zachary has received numerous awards, including an Outstanding Musicianship award from the Greater St. Louis Jazz Festival (2011) and the University of Missouri – Kansas City (2010-2012). Most recently, he was selected as the drummer for the 2012 All-Suburban High School honor jazz band. “The most impactful thing about JazzU,” said Zachary, “is getting to work with great jazz legends Cyrus Chestnut, Peter Martin and Tim Warfield. Not to mention the chance to play with fellow musicians who share the same passion for music as I do, and the opportunity to express myself through my music.” He lists Art Blakey, Buddy Rich, Dennis Chambers and Dave Weckl among his many musical influences.