Connor Gilbert, a graduate of Mission Bay High School, first transitioned from the electric bass to the upright bass at the age of 12, under the instruction of Rob Thorsen. Entering his first year in high school, he participated in two separate programs, the Mission Bay High music department, and the Young Lions Jazz Conservatory. At Mission Bay, under the instruction of JP Balmat, Connor took multiple music courses over all four years, and had major performance opportunities, such as gigs in New Orleans, LA and Yokohama and Tokyo, Japan, the San Diego Jazz Festival, House of Blues, The Balboa Theater, opening for Joey Alexander, and the San Diego Jazz Party, with the Preservationists Jazz Band. He received the Top Student Award in Performing Arts for all four years of high school, and in his junior year, won the district-wide VAPA Spotlight Award for Artistic Achievement. At the Young Lions Jazz Conservatory, Connor studied under Gilbert Castellanos, and had many performances at venues like Panama 66 and Copley Symphony Hall, and was given the reins to create his own ensemble and showcase to open at a concert featuring the alumni bands of Mongo Santamaria and Jack Costanzo. Some of Connor’s favorite jazz styles include hard bop, neo-soul, Afro-Cuban, and New Orleans style, and some of his favorite jazz artists include Horace Silver, Ornette Coleman, Ray Brown, Christian McBride, and Lee Morgan. In the fall, Connor will be attending UCLA, where he will major in Global Jazz Studies, and study with Roberto Miranda, Terrence Blanchard, Arturo O'Farrill, and Hitomi Oba.