By DASCHELL M. PHILLIPS
After competing against musicians from high schools across the city, Giancarlo Jerry, a junior at Kenwood Academy High School, was selected to be a member of the Illinois Music Educators Association (IMEA) Senior Jazz Band and the IMEA Senior Concert Band later this month. He is the first instrumentalist at Kenwood to be accepted into the IMEA District for Jazz and Concert Band.
Jerry began playing the trumpet in 7th grade under the leadership of Gerald Powell, musical director at Kenwood, 5015 S. Blackstone Ave. He is in the Kenwood “Jazz at the Wood” jazz band, which has performed at the Chicago Jazz Fest since 2010.
Jerry has also gained experience from playing with the youth orchestra at his home church, The Apostolic Church of God. During the past three years, he has played behind gospel artists such as Tye Tribbett, Anita Wilson and DeWayne Woods during the Joy of Christmas and Joy of Easter concerts at his church. Jerry has also played in performances with the Chicago Modern Orchestra Project, led by Renee Baker.
Jerry has received awards at the Chicago Public Schools and Illinois High School Association solo and ensemble competitions. For the past three years, Jerry has been accepted into the Ravinia Jazz Scholar program, where students are mentored and coached by some of Chicago’s legendary jazz musicians including Pat Mallinger, Willie Pickens and Audrey Morrison. Through the program Jerry received a full scholarship to attend the Jamey Aebersold Music Camp in Kentucky on the campus of the University of Louisville.
Jerry, who said musicians such as Miles Davis, Freddie Hubbard and Wynton Marsalis inspire him, said he plans to study music performance in college and become a professional all-around musician — be it classical, jazz or any other genre of music — and become a music teacher.