The Latin Connection Jazz Quintet

Michael Valentini: Bass guitar | Chris Burgess: Saxophone | Fernando Gomez: Drums, Percussion | Chase Morrin: Keyboards, Piano | Daniel Feldman: Drums, Percussion

Genre: Jazz, Latin | Tejano

Sound description: Latin jazz played by teens to whom everything old is new again.

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Synoposis

Inception: San Diego, 2008

Ex-Band Members: David James, undetermined

Background:

The Latin Connection Jazz Quintet was created by then 15 year-old composer/pianist Chase Morrin, with the help of 16 year-old tenor saxophonist Chris Burgess. The band plays original jazz and Latin jazz compositions written by Chase and puts together unique and original Latin jazz arrangements—striving for the best sounds.

A student at Canyon Crest Academy in 2009, Morrin started composing and playing piano after discovering a toy keyboard at age 8. By age 12, he became the youngest recipient of the National ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) award presented to him at the Lincoln Center in New York. His composition awards also include the Composers’ Today State awards in 2007 and 2008 from the MusicTeachers Association of California (MTAC). In 2008, Chase received the prestigious Herb Alpert Scholarship for emerging young artists by the faculty of the California Summer School for the Arts--InnerSpark.

A student at Rancho Bernardo High in 2009, tenor saxophonist Chris Burgess participated in the Berklee College of Music’s summer camp in 2007. He received a full-ride scholarship to study at Berklee again, and he plans to attend the Berklee College of Music.

16 years old in 2009, percussionist Daniel Feldman is a sophomore at Canyon Crest Academy, where he plays in the school's jazz band, combo, and wind ensemble.

Bassist Michael Valentini (a senior at St. Augustine High in 2009) also plays with the Jazz
Ensemble and has worked with local players such as Willie Jones, Rob Thorsen, Mike Wofford and Gilbert Castellanos.

Percussionist Fernando Gomez (a senior at East Lake High in 2009) studied with Dave Weckl, Horacio El Negro Hernandez, and Steve Smith, as well as performing regularly with the Karla Irish Jazz Trio and the Southwestern College Afro-Cuban jazz Ensemble.

Latin Connection won the 2009 Downbeat Student Music Award for Outstanding High School Performance - Best Latin Group.

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