Gilbert Castellanos, trumpet
Jazz @ The Jacobs and Thursday Night Jazz Series Curator
Gilbert Castellanos is the leading top-call jazz musician, band leader, composer, producer, and educator on the local and international circuit. Zan Stewart of the Los Angeles Times says: "[Castellanos] plays with élan, evincing a more individual, ever-large sound offering hard swinging, often ear-grabbing solos...[proving] that music with deep roots in jazz's glorious '50s and '60s can sound completely contemporary today."
Recognized as a new American master by Downbeat magazine, Mr. Castellanos is also a strong advocate of promoting and educating various communities about Jazz: “America’s classical music,” as he calls it. Mr. Castellanos takes pride in being a member of the prestigious Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, working with one of his mentors, the great John Clayton. He has recorded and performed with a multitude of world-renowned musicians from Dizzy Gillespie to Michael Bublé to Willie Nelson (to name a few), and even doing a stint on American Idol for millions of listeners. On one memorable occasion, his “Star Spangled Banner” on solo trumpet opened a San Diego Symphony “Star Spangled Pops” concert. He was a 2012 San Diego Music Awards “Artist of the Year” honoree.
One of Mr. Castellanos’s newer projects is the curation of The Young Lions series, a program (currently presented weekly at Balboa Park's Panama 66 restaurant) that showcases what young blooming jazz artists (ages 11-18) can do. Other passionate ventures include being artistic director for the International Academy of Jazz, as well as presenting Jazz masterclasses and performances all over the world. Gilbert Castellanos is Series Curator for both of the San Diego Symphony’s jazz series: Jazz @ The Jacobs (Jacobs Music Center) and Thursday Night Jazz (Embarcadero).