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Year-End Message From Our Founder and Artistic Director


Gilbert Castellanos, Founder, Artistic Director


Another YLJC year is coming to a close, and I feel an immense sense of pride as our seniors embark on the next phase of their lives. The achievements of these young adults never cease to amaze me—I am so proud of them all!

YLJC is dedicated to and continually working toward providing access to jazz education, and your support plays a vital role in achieving this goal. Your contributions have been instrumental in the accomplishments of our students, and I express my heartfelt gratitude to each and every one of you. Recently, we were awarded a $150k grant from the Jay Kahn endowment fund, which is administered by the San Diego Foundation. Additionally, we successfully launched the YLJC Jacobs Jazz Orchestra, a tuition-free program, thanks to the generous sponsorship of Mrs. Joan Jacobs and Dr. Irwin Jacobs. Our collaboration with the San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts proved to be a major success, made possible by the support of the Parker Foundation. I extend my special thanks to all of our scholarship donors who have made YLJC's program accessible to all students in our region who want to participate. Furthermore, thank you to Panama 66 and the San Diego Museum Of Art, the San Diego Symphony and the Rady Shell, UC San Diego, North Park Music Fest, Coronado Public Library, and the many others who had YLJC students perform at their events. I am truly grateful for the unwavering support of our San Diego community!


YLJC is experiencing significant growth, and we are excited to announce our new partnership with A Reason To Survive (ARTS) for the upcoming academic year of 2023-24. This collaboration will bring many additional benefits to our students and pave the way for long-term success. I am delighted to share that the number of new students enrolling in our program continues to increase, and I can't wait to see all of the new talent during our auditions in August!

I am deeply moved by the support of our San Diego community and all those who contribute to my dream of providing accessible jazz education to the students in our county. Thank you for helping me to KEEP JAZZ EDUCATION ALIVE!


With gratitude,

Gilbert Castellanos

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