U.S. Army Blues Solo Competition

U.S. Army Blues Solo Competition

Congratulations to the winners of the 2022 U.S. Army Blues Solo Competition! The winners will be featured in concert with The US Army Blues on Thursday, May 5th at Woodbridge High School at 7:00 p.m. Look for a livestream performance to be released later this summer!

Collegiate Division
Ben Turner

Guitarist Ben Turner is a native of Southern New Jersey but was lucky to have had his formative musical education in Philadelphia during his studies at Temple University. Being surrounded with fantastic musicians from peers to elders, as well as being immersed in Philadelphia’s rich black musical heritage helped Ben develop a deep passion for jazz music. In addition, studying with faculty such as Terell Stafford, Tim Warfield, Dick Oatts, and Peter Bernstein, helped form Ben’s identity as a musician and human being. Those lessons stressed the importance of striving to be a good person and a good musician. Ben’s relationships built during that time facilitated opportunities to play with and be mentored by Jasper Blom, Byron Landham, Mike Boone, Larry McKenna, Behn Gillece, Joe Magnarelli, John Swana, and more. Ben is currently pursuing a master’s degree in jazz studies at Michigan State University as a graduate assistant under the tutelage of Randy Napoleon and Rodney Whitaker.

Ben is also an active composer and educator who has taught privately and for organizations such as Jazz at Lincoln Center and the COTA Jazz Festival. He has also participated in jazz programs such as Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead (2018), JAS Academy (2020), and most recently the Brevard Jazz Institute (2021).

Ben was a semi-finalist in the 2019 Wilson Center Jazz Guitar Competition and the 2022 UNISA International Strings Competition.

High School Division
Aiden Interrante

Aiden Interrante is a senior at Mount Hebron High School in Ellicott City, Maryland. He’s been playing jazz since sixth grade, where he got his start in his middle school’s jazz ensemble. Since then, he has performed in local his high school and community college ensembles, Howard County GT Jazz ensemble and the Maryland All State Jazz Band. Aiden has also started and leads his own combo.

Aiden has been fortunate to have numerous musical mentors, including private music instructors Todd Butler and Sean Jones along with music educators Joe Fischer, Robert Chamberlin, Barry Enzman, James Ellis, Dr. Kyle Coughlin, and Dr. Alan Blackman. Aiden’s jazz influences and favorite players include Dizzy Gillespie, Roy Hargrove, and Clifford Brown. He loves transcribing a good solo, going to jam sessions, and a good cup of coffee. Aiden will pursue a degree in jazz performance this fall.

Past Winners

Collegiate Division

Year Winner School
2019 Brendan Malloy (Guitar) The University of North Texas (Denton, TX)
2020 Liam Sutcliffe (Trumpet) Rutgers University (New Brunswick, NJ)
2021 Austin Ford (Trumpet) The University of North Texas (Denton, TX)

High School Division

Year Winner School
2019 Nate Stanley (Guitar) Broadneck High School (Arnold, MD)
2020 Ronan Zwa (Saxophone) The Bullis School (Potomac, MD)
2021 Jonathan Orellana-Sanchez (Trumpet) Westfield High School (Chantilly, VA)

2019 U.S. Army Blues Solo Competition Winner Brendan Malloy

2019 U.S. Blues Solo Competition Winner Nate Stanley

The 2020 US Army Blues Solo Competition

The 2021 US Army Blues Solo Competition

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