SCHOLARSHIP & AWARD WINNERS
These Are The WINNERS Of SCHOLARSHIPS & AWARDS Sponsored By JAZZ UNLIMITED That WILL Ensure The FUTURE Of JAZZ In MILWAUKEE And Wherever THEY GO.
2022 Scholarship Winners
2022 Once Again Proved To Be An INCREDIBLE SCHOLARSHIP COMPETITION With 20 Extremely Talented Musicians Performing Ranging In Age From 9 to 18 Years Old. Their Song Selection Leaned Towards The Old Classics And Standards Which Were Performed Very Meticulously With Elegance And Precision.
The Main Hall At Joe's "K" Ranch Was Packed With Parents, Relatives, Friends And Jazz Lovers Of ALL Ages. Our Immensely Talented JUDGES Once Again Had Their Hands Full With ALL The GREAT COMPETITORS. In Many Cases, Only A FEW POINTS Separated The Performers Due To The HIGH LEVEL Of SKILL. They Did A Phenomenal Job Selecting The WINNERS For An Award Purse Of Nearly $11,000 !!
I Again Commented To The COMPETITORS That There Is Nothing More Difficult Than Performing In Front Of YOUR PEERS. Each And Everyone Of Them Should Be Very Proud Of Their Very Incredible Performances.
CONGRATULATIONS To ALL The Very Talented Young JAZZ MUSICIANS.
Mike Mecha Scholarship Chair
Our 2022 Judges: (Right To Left)
Joe Turano - Singer, Multi-Instrumentalist, Composer/Arranger, Music Director for the Late Al Jarreau, Toured With Michael Bolton, Album Contributions to Rod Stewart, Cher, Tina Turner, Joe Cocker. Received a Grammy nomination for “Best Jazz Vocal Album”.
Sue Russell - Has made numerous Onstage, TV and Radio Appearances. touring throughout the Midwest and Southwest. Played with a 17 piece Allstar Superband . Plays Clarinet, Keys and Guitar. Vice President of Major Gifts at Easterseals.
Sherwood Alper – Singer, Drummer, Former Member of the Four Lads, Drummer With Skip Wagner - an Incredible Show and Comedy Production. He has done various TV/Commercials, Stand Up Comedy, Festivals, Lounge, corporate parties and private parties.
Taras Nahirniak - Currently plays an integral role in the planning as Musical Director, Producer and Orchestrator of the Marvelous Show: Kids From Wisconsin. Over the last ten years he has written well over half of the custom arrangements. In 2002 he won the Wisconsin Choral Directors Association Composer's Award.
The 2022 Award WINNERS:
Yishayahu Levin: $1,000 Wayne “Zim” Zimmermann Showmanship Award
Lillian Alburg: $1,000 Mike D’Amore Vocalist Live Performance Memorial Award
Ariel Marks: $1,000 Augie Ray Best Jazz Vocalist Memorial Award
Liam Jakubowski: $1,000 Douglas M. and Eleanor M. Gmoser Best Reed Player Award
Felix Koch: $750 Frank DeMiles (Dominguez) Memorial Award - Piano / Vocal
Ariel Marks: $750 Best Performer Award
Yishayahu Levin: $750 Best Instrumentalist / Vocalist Award
Eli Miller: $750 Best Guitarist Award And $1000 In Lessons From Dick Eliot
Luke Murray: $500 In Lessons 2nd Place Guitarist Award From Dick Eliot
Jack Monagle: $525 Jane Giliberty Drummer Award
Christian Maxwell Bird: $500 Best Drummer Award
Charlie White: $500 "Taps For Veterans" Bill Seaman Best Horn Player Award
Lilyan Kunsmann: $250 Theodore "Ted" Peppas Memorial Youth Award
Luke Murray: $250 Theodore "Ted" Peppas Memorial Youth Award
$50 Gift Card Recipients: Leah Kunsmann, Aidan Williams-Brusubardis, Zach Fitgerald, Tony Austin, Mack Toson, Flora Miroslaw, Heinrich Kunsmann, Joe Lorenz, Cassius Kasza
2021 Scholarship Winners
It was a great Scholarship Competition with 20 great young musicians competing for a total of $9000 in scholarships. This years event was held at Joe’s K Ranch, from 1-4 pm, March 21st.
Featuring judges: Bill Seaman - JU Scholarship Chair and Renowned Horn Player, Sue Russell - International Jazz Vocalist and Suzanne Grzanna - Worldwide Jazz Singer and Saxophonist.
1 Brendan Mortensen, guitar • $1000 Mike D'Amore Instrumentalist Live Performance
2 Liam Jakubowski, tenor sax • $1000 Wayne "Zim" Zimmerman Showmanship
3 Damien Blair, vocal/tenor • $1000 Best Jazz Vocalist Award
4 Christian Leitner, clarinet & sax • $1000 Douglas M. and Eleanore M. Gmoser Best Reed Player
5-7 Yishayahu Levin, electric bass; Charlie White, trombone & Felix Koch, piano • $750 Best Instrumentalist
8 Lucas LaBeau, piano • $750 Frank DeMiles (Dominguez) Memorial Award Piano and/or Vocal
9 Zachary Fitzgerald, trumpet • $500 ‘Taps for Veterans’ Bill Seaman Best Horn
10-11 Eli Miller & Joe Lorenz, drums • $500 Mike D'Amore Drummers Live Performance
12-13 Jack Monagle, drums & Luke Murray, guitar • $250 Theodore “Ted” Peppas Memorial Youth 15 & younger
OTHER 2021 JAZZ UNLIMITED SCHOLARSHIP PARTICIPANTS: Ajay Singh, trumpet • Crystal Russell, vocal/alto
John Tsagalis, alto sax • Joshua Turner, trumpet • Julian Singh, drums • Nathaniel Frisque, tenor sax
Sunita Singh, electric bass
2020 Scholarship Winners
Once again it was a great Scholarship Competition with 31 great young musicians performing. Their song selection was excellent from old classics and standards to some very progressive tunes.
The Cascio Music drum area and stage was overwhelmed with parents, friends, supporters and general on lookers. The judges certainly had their hands full with all the great talent. As always, they did a great job selecting the winners for the award purse of $9000.
I commented to them that there is nothing more difficult than performing in front of your peers. Each and every one of them should be very proud of their incredible performances.
Congratulations to all the very talented young Jazz Musicians.
Mike Mecha Scholarship Chair
Laura Laberge - 18 year old - Vocalist - $1,500 Wayne “Zim” Zimmermann Showmanship Award
Christian Leitner - 16 year old - Clarinet - $1,000 Douglas M. and Eleanor M. Gmoser Best Reed Player Award
Elizabeth Bocksenbaum - 17 year old - Vocalist - $1,000 Best Jazz Vocalist Award
Jeffrey-Thomas Snow - 18 year old - Vocalist - $750 Most Unique & Original Vocalist Award
Luke Murray - 12 year old - Guitar - $750 Best Instrumentalist Award
Alex Feucht - 17 year old - Bass Guitar - $750 Best Instrumentalist Award
Nicholas Brooks - 17 year old - Baritone Sax - $750 Best Instrumentalist Award
Charlie White - 15 year old - Trombone - $750 “Taps for VETERANS” Bill Seaman Best Horn Player Award
Sam Patterson - 17 year old - Piano - $750 Frank DeMiles (Dominguez) Memorial Award
Lucas LaBeau - 14 year old - Piano - $500 Theodore “Ted” Peppas Memorial Youth Award
Joe Lorenz - 15 year old - Drums - $500 Theodore “Ted” Peppas Memorial Youth Award
Deirdre Fellner West End Conservatory Scholarship for 14 and 15 year old jazz students: Joe Lorenz $250, Nicholas Peterson $250
Best Jazz Vocalist Award: Xarion Latimore $500
Most Unique and Original Vocalist Award (donated by Mike Mecha): Jordan Greer $500
Best Instrumentalist Awards: Lyle Rivera $500, Jasper Kashou $500, Jon Blessing $500
Douglas M. and Eleanor M. Gmoser Best Reed Player: George Davis $1000
Wayne "Zim" Zimmermann Showmanship Award: Josh Catania $1000
The winners of Jazz Unlimited of Greater Milwaukee's 2017 Scholarship awards were as follows:
The winners of Jazz Unlimited of Greater Milwaukee's 2016 Scholarship awards were as follows:$1,000 Douglas M. and Eleanor M. Gmoser award - Alto saxophonist Alex Pavelic
$1,000 Chuck Hedges award - Guitarist Matthew Rotker-Lynn
$500 Jazz Unlimited awards to pianist Josh Catania, and trumpet player Travis Drow.
$500 Jazz Unlimited Vocalist award - Vocalist PJ Rivers
Finally, through the generosity of Deirdre Fellner, the following students were awarded special $250 scholarship awards: Alto saxophonist Gideon Adams and pianist Dan Van Zeeland.
2015 Winners - $4000
Brandon Polzin, 17, alto sax, Waukesha North High School. $1,000.00 Douglas M. and Eleanor M. Gmoser Award.
Travis Drow, 17, trumpet, Milwaukee High School of the Arts. $1,000.00 Chuck Hedges Award.
Joshua Catania, 14, piano, Waukesha Catholic Memorial High School. $500.00 Jazz Unlimited Scholarship.
Isaac Suprenant, 18, bass, New Berlin Eisenhower High School. $500.00 Jazz Unlimited Scholarship.
Nathen Kay, 17, trumpet, Oconomowoc High School. $500.00 Jazz Unlimited Scholarship.
Norskuski Rivers, 17, Milwaukee High School of the Arts. $500.00 Jazz Unlimited Scholarship Vocalist.
2014 Winners - $4000
Amy Clapp, tenor sax, $1,000 Douglas M. and Eleanor M. Gmoser $1,000 Award.
Jordan Rattner, guitar, $1,000 Chuck Hedges $1,000 Award.
Travis Drow, trumpet, $500 Scholarship.
Gervis Myles, bass, $500 Scholarship.
Lily Lalios, vocalist soprano, $500 Scholarship.
Jackson Shepard, guitar, $250 Scholarship. (split decision by judges)
Nathen Kay, trumpet, $250 Scholarship. (split decision by judges)
2013 Winners - $4000
Lenard Simpson, alto sax, $1,000 Douglas M. and Eleanor M. Gmoser Best Reed Award.
Jordan Rattner, guitar, $1,000 Chuck Hedges scholarship for Best Overall Musician Award.
Peter Garofalo, piano, $500 Jazz Unlimited scholarship.
Amy Clapp, tenor sax, $500 Jazz Unlimited scholarship.
Travis Drow, trumpet, $500 Jazz Unlimited scholarship.
Grace McDonell, vocals, $500 Jazz Unlimited scholarship.
2012 Winners - $4600
Amy Clapp, 14, alto sax, $1,000 Douglas M. and Eleanor M. Gmoser best reed player.
Leonard Simpson, 17, alto sax, $1,000 Chuck Hedges scholarship for best overall musician.
Tommy Rorabeck, drums, $500 Jazz Unlimited scholarship.
Jake Richter, 17, drums, $500 Jazz Unlimited scholarship.
Peter Garofalo, 17, piano, $500 Jazz Unlimited scholarship.
Alexander Aldred, 17, trumpet, $500 Jazz Unlimited scholarship.
Brandon Polzin, 14, alto sax, $200 Jazz Unlimited scholarship.
Cameron Johannig, 18, piano, $200 Jazz Unlimited scholarship.
Brian Lenski, Jr., 17, tenor sax, $200 Jazz Unlimited scholarship.
2011 Winners - $3100
Leonard Simpson, saxophone. $1,000 Scholarship.
Alexander J. Aldred, trumpet, $500 Scholarship.
Peter Garofalo, piano, $500 Scholarship.
Melvin Jagodzinski, trumpet, $500 Scholarship.
Brian Lenski, Jr., saxophone, $200 Scholarship.
Nick Mace, percussion, $200 Scholarship.
Jake Richter, percussion, $200 Scholarship.