Each February brings a BRAVO! tradition – the annual Imagine Concert. Last week, over 1,000 local 4th to 6th grade students from eight schools attended a live performance by their older peers and professional area artists, including performances by the Matilija Jr. High strings program and a special preview of Nordhoff High School’s upcoming musical, West Side Story. Also performing were Artist-In-Residence Rebecca Comerford, local musician Jimmy Calire and special guest (and BRAVO! alum), Jacob Scesney.
Multi-instrumentalist Jacob grew up in Ojai playing the saxophone and participating in school music programs and BRAVO! workshops from elementary school, through his time at Matilija and at Nordhoff (where he won several festival awards for outstanding soloist), before transferring to the Idyllwild Arts Academy to complete his high school education. In recent years, Jacob’s burgeoning career has taken him far beyond the Ojai Valley and included tours with Casey Abrams, performances with Tim Ries, Bernie Dresel, Christian Scott, Robben Ford, and Andrew Gouche (among others), the world premiere of Rufus Reid’s Mass Transit at Disney Hall’s Redcat, and even appearances on the hit TV show Glee. He currently studies at California State University Northridge, where he was named the youngest lead alto in the history of the university’s Jazz A Band.
Watch Jacob and Jimmy perform at the Imagine concert last week:
Jacob has fond memories of his time in Ojai and recently wrote on the important role BRAVO! played in his musical training. He writes, “The BRAVO! Program … helped forge an attitude of consistency that has helped carry me through many circumstances. These programs are instrumental to the mindset needed to be a present active professional, in whatever field.”
We’re thrilled to have had Jacob back in Ojai to share his talents with another generation of Ojai’s students. It’s not that long ago that he sat where they were, and we can’t wait to see where the next years take him.