Trumpeter Is 12th Jimmy Lyons Scholar

Rob Hayes
September 16, 2008
Aaron Bahr, the 12th recipient of the Jimmy Lyons Scholarship.
Photo by Lori Bahr

Presentation will be made on the Jimmy Lyons Stage, Monterey Jazz Festival, September 21 at 2:00 p.m.

Berklee College of Music and the Monterey Jazz Festival announced on September 15 that trumpeter Aaron Bahr of Lafayette, California is the 12th recipient of the Jimmy Lyons Scholarship at Berklee, a major music education prize. The full-tuition scholarship is named in honor of the festival's late founder, James L. (Jimmy) Lyons, who began the festival 51 years ago with jazz education at its core.

2008 Lyons Scholarship winner Aaron Bahr is a gifted trumpeter who graduated this past spring from Campolindo High School in Moraga and began his Berklee studies in Boston this month. He is quick to credit his Bay Area teachers: Jay Rizzetto, for his steady growth on the trumpet; and tenor saxophonist Michael Zilber, who has been central to Bahr's composition studies.

Bahr says, "By the time I was 12 and playing in my middle school band, I knew what I wanted to do every day of my life." Now an accomplished performer, he remains passionately dedicated to making music and has played at various San Francisco Bay Area jazz venues. He has earned numerous recognitions, including the Down Beat Student Music awards for Best Jazz Soloist and Best Original Song.

He has also been selected for national and regional honor organizations such as the Gibson/Baldwin GRAMMY Jazz Ensemble, the Brubeck Institute Summer Jazz Colony, the Monterey Next Generation Jazz Orchestra, SFJAZZ High School All-Stars, and the Jazzschool's Jazz Workshop.  Bahr is already enjoying his studies at Berklee, where he plans to dual-major in jazz performance and either jazz composition or film scoring.

MJF trustee Carsbia Anderson, chair of the Festival's Education Committee, and festival general manager Tim Jackson will make the presentation to Bahr at the festival on Sunday, September 21 at 2:00 p.m., on the Jimmy Lyons Stage.

Bahr will sit in with the Berklee Latin Jazz All-Stars—Down Beat magazine's 2008 Best College Jazz Band—at the Monterey Jazz Festival at 8:00 p.m. Friday at the Garden Stage and again on Saturday afternoon at 5:00 p.m. in the Coffee House Gallery.

The Lyons Scholarship is awarded each year—after thorough live auditions at Monterey's Next Generation Festival in the spring—to one California music student, in recognition of their outstanding talent.  Because it is a full-tuition, renewable award, satisfactory academic and musical progress in each successive year will allow each Lyons Scholar to attend Berklee entirely tuition-free through graduation.

Auditions for the Lyons Scholarship were via submission of an audition tape to the Berklee Scholarship Committee, which selected a group of 30 young Californians for live audition in Monterey. The students selected to audition are required to file an application for admission to Berklee, which must be approved by the college in order to compete for the scholarship. Auditions were held on the weekend of April 3–6, 2008, during the Festival's annual Next Generation Festival, and were conducted, as always, by senior Berklee faculty who came to California exclusively for this purpose. The college also awarded several other significant tuition scholarships at the auditions.