This year we welcome Chilean-born, New York City-based tenor saxophonist and bandleader Melissa Aldana, whose uniquely personal sound and innovative musical approach have established her as one of the most vital and important voices in music today. The New York Times described her most recent album with her Crash Trio, the 2016 release Back Home, as "a supremely focused statement. NPR Music described her as "a bold new talent . . .with her own style." In 2013, she became the first female instrumentalist and the first South American ever to win the Thelonious Monk competition. She is also the recipient of the Martin E. Segal award from Jazz at Lincoln Center and a double recipient of the Altazor Award, Chile's highly prestigious national arts prize.
The foundation for the community college’s annual jazz festival was based on the hard work and commitment of the late music instructor, Carol Moore. The jazz festival was renamed in her memory after she passed away in 2008.