Rico Jones Quartet
Rico Jones, a Colorado native, first picked up the alto saxophone at age 11 while in the fifth grade. Before even learning to read music it became clear that he had a keen ear for melodies and, learning songs by ear. In his first year at Denver School of The Arts Rico was formally introduced to jazz music through clinics and performances by such notables as Curtis Fuller and Kneebody. By eighth grade Rico was playing with high school level ensembles as well as participating in the Denver Jazz Club Youth All-Stars, Telluride All-Star Band, and The Sacramento Jazz Festival All Stars group. In the ensuing years he performed in the top ensemble at Colorado Conservatory for the Jazz Arts, competed in Swing Central Jazz Competition in Savannah, Georgia, took part in the Telluride Jazz Festival all Star ensemble for five consecutive years and, was chosen as a member of the Jazz on 2nd Avenue young lion group. He took part in the 2015 Grammy Band Jazz session workshop in L.A. in 2016 he was chosen take part in the prestigious Jazz Band of America. Recently Rico performed at the Detroit Jazz festival with the 2016 Ron Carter bass competition award winner Cole Davis. He has performed with notable artists such as Ernie Watts, Candido, Donald Harrison, Howard Levy, Greg Osby, Bobby Sanabria, Dave Koz, Greg Gisbert, Jeff Coffin, Colin Stranahan, Hubert Laws, Terrell Stafford and, Earl Clue. Rico Jones lives in New York City where he pursues an academic and professional career at the Manhattan School of Music.
Walter Gorra Quartet
Walter Gorra is a jazz pianist, composer and arranger based out of Boulder, Colorado. He is currently 22 years old and a graduate student at the University of Colorado Boulder double-majoring in Civil Engineering (Structures) and Jazz Piano Performance. Beginning piano studies at age nine and composing since he was fifteen, Walter is deeply rooted in the Afro Cuban vocabulary. Currently, his focus lies in expanding upon the exciting fusion between the traditional jazz of the United States and the Cuban lexicon that is Afro-Cuban Jazz.Walter is busy performing throughout Colorado and composing repertoire for his group, The Walter Gorra Quartet. He has also performed with various ensembles at the Jazz Aspen Snowmass Festival, the Puerto Rican Heineken Jazz Festival and most recently the Telluride Jazz Festival with the Telluride All-Stars. Performances have been given throughout Colorado, Puerto Rico and Mexico, with one of his compositions “Merengue Lemon Pie” earning finalist status at the ASCAP Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer’s Competition/Award.
Walter is currently collaborating and studying with Colorado musicians and mentors Paul Romaine, Jeff Jenkins, John Gunther, Brad Goode and Josh Quinlan, along with Chris Bank, Terry Bannon, and Tim Fox among many others.
In February of 2015, Walter received a grant from the Boettcher Foundation to present and play with Paquito D'Rivera in a Master Class and Concert. The group, "The Walter Gorra Septet" played with Paquito D'Rivera at the KUVO studios in Denver, at the University of Colorado Boulder during a masterclass, and at the Mount Vernon Country Club.
A 2011 Boettcher Scholar, he owes special thanks to the Boettcher Foundation, Jazz Aspen Snowmass and the Colorado Conservatory for the Jazz Arts for the vast support that they have provided him throughout his development – musically and personally.