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Latin Jazz Youth Ensemble of San Francisco: Home

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Photo by Arturo Riera

Music Director, John Calloway 
Managing Director, Arturo Riera
Co-Director, Sylvia Ramirez

Music Director, John Calloway 
Managing Director, Arturo Riera
Co-Director, Sylvia Ramirez

The Latin Jazz Youth Ensemble of San Francisco, or LJYE, is a performing group of talented musicians ages ten to 18. They play Latin jazz classics and original compositions at a level that has landed them gigs at the San Jose Jazz Festival, the KCSM Jazz Festival, KGO Radio, Yerba Buena Gardens, SF Museum of Modern Art, Paramount's Great America and the world-renown jazz club, Yoshi’s.

Despite their youth, several generations of ensemble musicians have already contributed to the legacy of Latin jazz history by recording three CDs which feature original compositions by the students. In 2005, the group recorded their first CD, "LJYE Live at Yoshi's," followed in 2009 by "Generaciones, and their latest recording, "Con Mis Manos" released in 2015. The CDs present the student musicians playing alongside notable special guests such as Armando Peraza, Jerry Gonzalez, John Santos, Jeff Cressman, and of course, LJYE music director and multi-instrumentalist John Calloway.

The LJYE has shared the stage with legendary performers such as the great Cuban bassist, Cachao; piano virtuoso Chuchito Valdes; Latin jazz heavyweights Poncho Sanchez and Clare Fischer; and the Grammy Award-winning Spanish Harlem Orchestra. Their mission is to preserve the traditions of Latin jazz and Afro-Cuban music by teaching it to youth and to create role models for aspiring student musicians.  The group has won numerous performance awards and is honored to be Youth Artists-in-Residence at San Francisco's Yerba Buena Gardens Festival since 2005.