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Juilliard Jazz Ensemble


July 20, 2014

3:00 PM at
Robinson Terrace Living Center
28652 Hwy 23, Stamford NY Calendar General Info Contact FoM Donate Founders & VIPs Concert Archive
Juilliard Jazz Ensemble

Jordan Pettay, saxophone

Christopher Ziemba, piano

Luke Sellick, bass

Samuel Miller, drums


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Photo of Jordan Pettay

Jordan Pettay, saxophone

Born in Wichita, Kansas and raised in Texas, Jordan Pettay began saxophone studies at the age of eleven and graduated from Booker T. Washington High School for the Visual and Performing Arts in Dallas.

Winner of several Downbeat Student Music Awards, Pettay’s experience as a student includes a residency at Jazz Aspen under the direction of Christian McBride, and participation in the Skidmore Summer Jazz Institute.


Ms. Pettay has had the great privilege of performing with the likes of Herbie Hancock, Christian McBride, Trisha Yearwood, Benny Golson, Terence Blanchard, Jeff “Tain” Watts, and Joe Lovano to name a few, playing at venues such as Radio City Music Hall, the Apollo Theater, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, Alice Tully Hall, The Blue Note, and Giants Stadium. Jordan has traveled both nationally and internationally to Japan, Korea, the Cayman Islands, Georgia, Utah and Nevada, performing and teaching with Juilliard Jazz.


Photo of Christopher Ziemba

Christopher Ziemba, piano

Winner of the 2011 Jacksonville Jazz Piano Competition, pianist, composer, and arranger Christopher Ziemba is already receiving widespread critical acclaim. Hailing from Buffalo, New York, Mr. Ziemba’s musical studies began at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, from which he received Bachelor’s degrees in both Jazz and Contemporary Media and Music Education, as well as a Master’s degree in Jazz and Contemporary Media. During his time there, in 2009, Ziemba was featured as a guest artist on Marian McPartland’s famed radio broadcast, Piano Jazz. He also participated in two professional training workshops presented in conjunction with the Weill Institute at Carnegie Hall: the 2008 Young Artists Workshop with Fred Hersch and the 2011 Advancing Jazz Improvisation Master Classes with Brad Mehldau.


After completing his studies at Eastman, Mr. Ziemba relocated to New York City to enroll in the two-year Artist Diploma program in Jazz Studies at the Juilliard School. At Juilliard he was mentored by pianist Frank Kimbrough, and also worked extensively with other leading figures in the jazz scene, among them Carl Allen, Kenny Barron, Steve Wilson, and Rodney Jones. Shortly after graduating in 2013, Ziemba was featured on Jazz at Lincoln Center saxophonist Ted Nash’s big band release, Chakra. Christopher Ziemba will soon release his own debut album as a leader, and looks forward to expanding his career as both a performer and as an educator.


Photo of Luke SellickLuke Sellick, bass

Luke Sellick was born and raised in the rich and eclectic musical climate of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Although originally a classical pianist, Luke discovered jazz at a young age and at eleven found himself grappling with the double bass. Home schooled throughout elementary and high school, his passions included art history, wilderness canoeing, and math. His introduction to formal education didn’t come until 2008, when he enrolled in the Faculty of Music at the University of Manitoba.

By this time, although dreams of National Hockey League stardom were fading fast, Luke’s musical career was gaining momentum. In 2009 he was awarded the Oscar Peterson Grant for best jazz student in Canada, and was also becoming a force in Winnipeg’s folk, indie and world music scenes. At the encouragement of his teacher and mentor Steve Kirby, Luke decided to audition for The Juilliard School where he was accepted and began studies in 2012.


Luke is currently living and performing in New York, where he is completing his Master’s degree and studying with preeminent jazz bassist Ron Carter. He seeks to deepen his knowledge of the jazz tradition, while offering his own disparate influences to today’s varied musical landscape. Luke Sellick’s musical philosophy is epitomized in the words of J.S. Bach, that “the end of all music is none other than glory of God and the refreshment of the spirit.”


Photo of Sammy Miller
Sammy Miller, drums

A native of Los Angeles, Sammy Miller has become known for his unique maturity and relentless focus on making music that “feels good” as a drummer, singer and bandleader. At the ripe old age of 22, Sammy has performed and recorded with Wynton Marsalis, Christian Scott, Johnny O’Neal and Naomi Shelton & The Gospel Queens — at venues across the globe, including the White House, Lincoln Center, and the Hollywood Bowl.

In the Jazz World, Sam has been recognized with a number of honors, including the Los Angeles Jazz Society’s Shelly Manne Award, the Dolo Coker Scholarship, and the Los Angeles Music Center’s Spotlight Award. As a clinician, Sammy has taught throughout the world both independently as well as with institutions, including The Monk Institute, The Juilliard School, and most recently Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Jazz For Young People’s Touring Program.


Upon completing his undergraduate degree at the The New School, Sammy Miller now resides in New York City, where he is finishing his Master’s at The Juilliard School.

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