Grant Le, of Chicagoland, received the 2018 Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival/Eastman School of Music Gerry Niewood Jazz Scholarship.
The program is sponsored by XRIJF producers John Nugent and Marc Iacona and funded by proceeds from the annual festival. XRIJF has donated almost $500,000 to Eastman School of Music for the annual scholarship program that helps young musicians. To date, 40 scholarships have been awarded since 2002.
The awards are part of the festival’s mission to invest in the next generation of musicians and support students attending Eastman School of Music.
Le originally studied piano and trumpet as a child, and started playing the bass in middle school as a member of the district jazz band. In high school, he received the Bill May Jazz Education Fund Scholarship, which allowed him to study at the Illinois Summer Youth Music Camp under the guidance of Larry Gray. The skills and experiences Le gained during that time allowed him to earn spots in the ILMEA District 7 Jazz Band, District 7 Honors Jazz Combo and All-State Honors Jazz Combo, where he held the spot in 2017 and 2018. Le performed with Chicago drummer and bandleader Jimmy Bennington, as well as trumpet player Roger Ingram.
Le attended Birch Creek Summer Music Camp the summer before his senior, and played in the ambassador combo. He studied with Jeff Campbell, who he will work with this fall when he starts his studies at Eastman.
“Earning this scholarship is such an honor,” Le said. “I can’t wait to continue my jazz studies at Eastman this fall.”