Pathways to Jazz Showcase ft. Rico Jones & Emily Takahashi
Emily Takahashi grew up in a musical family studying classical piano. In college, she became interested in jazz, particularly its opportunities for improvisation, which had been lacking in her classical studies. Now, many years later, she has become a member of the improvisational group BoyGirl Band, founded by jazz legend Art Lande. The group has two recordings, Drop Your Leotards (2004) and Down the Corridor(2008) and has performed extensively in Colorado and New Mexico. In 2009, Emily returned to her classical roots and earned her Master’s in Piano Performance from the University of Colorado. Most recently, Emily began writing her own jazz compositions, which have been performed by the E.T. Quintet to enthusiastic audiences. Emily now teaches over 40 students in her studio in Boulder, CO.
Rico Jones, a Colorado native, first picked up the alto saxophone at age 11 while in the fifth grade. Before even learning to read music it became clear that he had a keen ear for melodies and, learning songs by ear. In his first year at Denver School of The Arts Rico was formally introduced to jazz music through clinics and performances by such notables as Curtis Fuller and Kneebody. He’s now living and performing in New York City while attending Manhattan School of Music.
By eighth grade Rico was playing with high school level ensembles as well as participating in the Denver Jazz Club Youth All-Stars, Telluride All-Star Band, and The Sacramento Jazz Festival All Stars group. In the ensuing years he performed in the top ensemble at Colorado Conservatory for the Jazz Arts, competed in Swing Central Jazz Competition in Savannah, Georgia, took part in the Telluride Jazz Festival all Star ensemble for five consecutive years and, was chosen as a member of the Jazz on 2nd Avenue young lion group. He took part in the 2015 Grammy Band Jazz session workshop in L.A. in 2016 he was chosen take part in the prestigious Jazz Band of America. Recently Rico performed at the Detroit Jazz festival with the 2016 Ron Carter bass competition award winner Cole Davis. He has performed with notable artists such as Ernie Watts, Candido, Donald Harrison, Howard Levy, Greg Osby, Bobby Sanabria, Dave Koz, Greg Gisbert, Jeff Coffin, Colin Stranahan, Hubert Laws, Terrell Stafford and, Earl Clue. Rico Jones lives in New York City where he pursues an academic and professional career at the Manhattan School of Music.