Jazz House Kids is proud to announce that Xavier Kuzin, a senior at Montclair High School, has been awarded the 2016 Jazz House Kids Musician of Distinction Award. The award was announced at Jazz House Kids’ May 19th Inside the Jazz Note Education Fund Benefit with host Christian McBride and very special guest Wynton Marsalis.
Xavier, a long-time student at Jazz House Kids, plays tenor saxophone in the Legacy Orchestra and the Blues & Roots ensemble directed by Camille Thurman. He is plans on attending William Paterson University in the fall of 2016.
One of the highlights of Jazz House Kids Annual Inside the Jazz Note Education Fund Benefit is celebrating the budding talents of emerging musicians ages 13-18 who work hard around the clock to become better at their craft. Every year, the Jazz House Kids Musician of Distinction Award is granted to two young musicians who participate in either the Jazz House Kids Music Club in-school programs or at the Jazz House in downtown Montclair. This merit and need-based award is given to an outstanding emerging musician who demonstrates leadership, musicianship, creativity and dedication to excellence.
Xavier and his fellow honoree, Rayner Perez, an eighth-grader from Newark, received brand new, professional-level musical instruments from RS Berkeley Musical Instruments, along with a year of mentoring from a Jazz House Kids professional musician. The goal is to assist serious-minded young players in the pursuit of their music.
“Jazz House Kids has always helped young musicians find their voice, and part of finding that voice is the basic tool of a working instrument,” said Melissa Walker, president & founder of Jazz House Kids. “With this award, we can literally change someone’s life. An already promising future for a young musician looks even better with a good instrument.”