Saxophonist selected to be in Grammy band

Tara Stone

Tenor saxophone player Andy Arditi ’14 received the news Dec. 3 that he had been selected to play in the 2014 Grammy Camp Jazz Session, a program created to present opportunity and recognition to talented high school musicians across the country.
The program is part of the Grammy in the Schools program, which is associated with the Grammy Foundation according to the organization’s website. With the original goal of advancing new generations of musicians and cultivating appreciation for recorded music, the Grammy Camp program helped launch musicians like Aaron Parks, Gerald Clayton and Grace Kelly.
“People like them represent the future of jazz,” Arditi. said. “It’s an honor to be associated with them.”
Arditi was one of 32 high school students chosen to play in the session and was one of only 18 musicians from across the country to qualify for the big band, which consists of five saxophones, four trumpets and trombones, piano, guitar, drums and bass.
The players, selected from 12 different states, will arrive in Los Angeles by Jan. 17 to rehearse, perform and record together at various Grammy Week events, including a recording at Capitol records, under the direction of Justin DiCioccio of the Manhattan School of Music, professor of music Ron McCurdy of the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music and assistant professor of music Leila Heil of the University of Colorado, Boulder.
“I know playing with the top high school jazz musicians in the country will be an extremely humbling experience and will inspire me to reach a higher level of playing,” Arditi said.
The students will also perform at USC where they will open for Vampire Weekend at a benefit concert. Grammy Week will culminate with the 56th annual Grammy Awards Jan. 26, which the student musicians are invited to attend. The Jazz Session members will then perform at the Grammy Celebration afterparty, he said.
Arditi looks forward to “attending the Grammys and just having a really great time.”
Arditi has been playing the tenor saxophone for eight years, studying under Bob Sheppard and performing arts teacher Shawn Costantino, though he does not take regular lessons anymore. At school, Arditi plays in the big band and Advanced Jazz Combo. He is also a member of the Colburn Monday Night Band at the Colburn School of Music in downtown Los Angeles. The band is a combo, and members meet downtown every Monday night to rehearse together from 7-9 p.m. Arditi has spent his summers attending various jazz programs at Interlochen, the Skidmore Jazz Institute, University of California San Diego and the Port Townsend Jazz Workshop.
“The workshop at Port Townsend was probably the best and most advanced one as the faculty included jazz giants including Terrell Stafford, John Clayton, Gerald Clayton and Jeff Hamilton,” Arditi said.
In order to compete, Arditi uploaded an audition video in which he performed three songs: “Billie’s Bounce,” by Charlie Parker “It Could Happen to You” by Jimmy Van Heusen and Miles Davis’ “Four.” While the first was required, Arditi said he chose the two latter to “demonstrate his playing of different tempos and forms.”