Guest ArtistsGilbert Castellanos, trumpet

Jazz @ The Jacobs and Jazz @ The Shell Series Artistic Curator

Gilbert Castellanos is a nationally renowned San Diego-based musician, composer, curator, educator and arranger, and one of the country’s top-call jazz trumpeters. He has been highlighted by internationally acclaimed DownBeat Magazine as one of the country’s most innovative jazz trumpeters in their “25 for The Future” feature. For over a decade, Castellanos has been a member of The Clayton Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, performing around the world and recording with the renowned big band led by bassist John Clayton and drummer Jeff Hamilton.

An established scene-maker on the West Coast, Castellanos has forged collaborations with major art and culture institutions including: the San Diego Symphony (Artistic Curator for “Jazz at The Jacobs” & “Bayside Summer Nights” series), the San Diego Museum of Art (Artistic Curator for “Portraits in Jazz” series) and the San Diego Ballet (Resident Composer).

His strategic partnerships include The Westgate Hotel, where he has held a Friday night residency for five years in The Plaza Bar, the city’s most elegant and intimate listening space; launching and curating the Westgate’s annual Poolside Summer Nights Jazz series. In 2017 San Diego’s award-winning jazz radio station, KSDS Jazz 88.3 FM, recently created the KSDS Jazz Orchestra directed by Gilbert Castellanos; multiple concerts, highlighting exclusive arrangements by jazz icons, will be performed annually and live-streamed around the world.

The San Diego Music Awards has honored Castellanos as 2013 Artist of the Year; selected both of his solo recordings – Underground and The Federal Jazz Project – as Album of the Year; recognized him six times as Best Jazz Artist.

His “Wednesday Jazz Jam” at Panama 66 is the city’s longest-running Jam, and is preceded weekly by the “Young Lions Series” which he launched in 2013 to provide public performance opportunities for middle and high school students. In 2017 he founded the Young Lions Jazz Conservatory, an award-winning music education program infused with lessons learned from renowned greats of the art form, including Dizzy Gillespie.

Gilbert Castellanos is committed to “keeping jazz alive” by creating new and innovative ways to raise awareness of the American art form, expanding the San Diego jazz scene, cultivating new audiences and investing in young musicians to ensure the future of jazz.

Learn more at