Kenton Dick Named the 20th Jimmy Lyons Scholar to Berklee

By 
Rob Hayes
August 23, 2016
Saxophonist/composer Kenton Dick, recipient of the 2016 Jimmy Lyons Scholarship

Kenton Dick, an 18-year-old saxophonist and composer from Nanaimo, Canada, has been named the 20th recipient of the Jimmy Lyons Scholarship. The scholarship is a four-year, full tuition award presented in conjunction with the Monterey Jazz Festival. Repeatedly recognized for his mature sound on the alto saxophone, Dick is the first Canadian recipient of the Lyons Award. He will begin his studies in performance and composition in Boston this fall.

There will be multiple opportunities to hear Dick perform at Monterey this year. He will sit in with Berklee’s Mixcla + 1, opening the festival at 6:30 p.m. Friday, September 16, on the Garden Stage. On Saturday, September 17, at 1:00 p.m., his Wellington High School Dick/Olynyk Duo will perform in the Night Club. He’ll be seen again with Mixcla + 1 soon after, in the festival’s Coffee House Gallery, at 2:00 p.m.

Previous recipients of the Jimmy Lyons Scholarship include Billy Buss (Billy Hart), Rushad Eggleston (Crooked Still), Milton Fletcher (Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah), Jonathan Pinson (Wayne Shorter), Dayna Stephens (Kenny Barron), and James Williams (Gary Burton).

Dick was selected alongside his sister Tiana and friend Ethan Olynyk to compete as a trio in the Monterey Jazz Festival’s Next Generation Jazz Festival in 2015. They are the first Canadian group to compete, and felt honored to attend. In 2016, and with Tiana already attending Berklee, Dick and Olynyk were invited to compete a second time, as a saxophone and drum duo. They won first place jazz combo in the High School Combo Division, and also received individual Outstanding Soloist awards.

While attending many jazz festivals in Canada, as well as the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival in Moscow, Idaho, Dick has repeatedly been recognized as an outstanding musician. He has participated yearly in the Vancouver TD High School Jazz Intensive Big Band, the Conn-Selmer Centerstage Jazz Band at MusicFest Nationals, and many other British Columbia-based honor bands. Dick was awarded Most Outstanding Musician in both 2015 and 2016 at the Envision Jazz Festival in Surrey, Canada. In June, he was recognized in DownBeat's 39th Annual Student Music Awards as the 2016 winner of the Original Composition – Small Ensemble category for his ballad entitled “Somewhere Down the Road.” He also won the TD Vancouver Student Composition Contest with his piece “One Last Time.”

Dick has had great opportunities through camps and honor bands to work with gifted musicians, and has been featured alongside Christine Jensen on stage. He has spent time with Joe LaBarbera at Centrum’s Jazz Port Townsend, and been encouraged through workshops with John Clayton, the Hamilton Trio, Berklee alumni Christian Fabian and Delfeayo Marsalis, and others in his hometown of Nanaimo. In Vancouver, he has also learned from performers/educators such as Steve Kaldestad, Jodi Proznick, Brad Turner, Kelby MacNayr, Campbell Ryga, and Tomeka Reid, to name a few.