NJ Youth Symphony Jazz Orchestra

The New Jersey Youth Symphony Jazz Orchestra, directed by Dion Tucker, performed Rufus Reid’s “City Slicker” on March 7 at Wharton Arts’ gala. The 80-year-old Reid was recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award, saying “It might be Lifetime Achievement, but I’m not done yet!”

Tucker added: “I tell students it’s important to develop your own voice. Rufus’ was the first voice on bass I was able to recognize and know it was Rufus Reid. His sound is still the most distinctive voice in jazz bass.”

Wharton Arts, headquartered in Berkeley Heights, NJ, has four core programs: the Performing Arts School, New Jersey Youth Symphony and Youth Symphony Jazz Orchestra, Paterson Music Project, and New Jersey Youth Chorus. Its programs include private lessons and group classes, high-level ensembles and educational experiences, and exceptional performance opportunities for students of all levels, ages, and socio-economic backgrounds.

At the gala, Wharton Arts will also honored George Marriner Maull with its Education Award. Maull was the founding Music Director and Conductor of the New Jersey Youth Symphony, leading it for 18 years until 1997.

PHOTO BY JAMES ORTHMANN

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The New Jersey Jazz Society (NJJS) is a non-profit organization of business and professional people, musicians, teachers, students and listeners working together for the purpose of advancing jazz music.