As finances permit, The San Diego Jazz Party awards scholarships to students

who went to High School in the San Diego area and are enrolled as full time

undergraduates studying Jazz at any nonprofit College or University in the United States.

Evaluation criteria include:

  • Musical ability and stage presence
  • Financial need
  • Academic achievement
  • Scholarships will be awarded to new or continuing students as funds are available.
  • Children, grandchildren, nieces or nephews of San Diego Jazz Party Board Members are not eligible for the scholarships.
  • San Diego Jazz Party is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization chartered under federal and California law. Contributions are fully tax-deductible. San Diego Jazz Party Scholarships are derived from donations, grants, bequests and fundraising activities of the San Diego Jazz Party

to apply, please print the following forms out, fill out completely, and mail or email to:

Chair, Scholarship Committee
San Diego Jazz Party
5548 Lancaster Drive
San Diego, CA 92120



Connor Gilbert

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.

Christian Rodriguez

Christian Rodriguez is a graduate from Mission Bay High School and currently attending Grossmont College. From violin Christian transferred to guitar his freshman year of high school (2016). He also plays electric bass, banjo, violin and piano. Chistian was taught by Martin Castro, Bob Boss and Fred Benedetti. Christian was part of the music department in High School taught by JP Balmat and was part of the Young Lions Jazz Conservatory. He is currently attending Grossmont College and taught by Melonie Grinnell, Derek Cannon, and Fred Benedetti. Christian is later planning to attend SDSU or UCLA studying for Music Education and Jazz Studies. One of his biggest inspirations is his family which is full of mariachis.


Tiger Diep

Tiger Diep, a recent graduate of the San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts, has been playing the saxophone since the age of 11. Aside from the saxophone, he doubles on other instruments as well such as the clarinet, flute, EWI (electronic wind instrument), and the piano. Tiger is grateful to have had amazing teachers and mentors such as Jeffrey Benedict, Gilbert Castellanos, Julius Tolentino, as well as John Reynolds who have helped him up to this point. In the fall, Tiger will be attending New York University to study privately and receive instruction from Mark Turner, Joe Lovano, Chris Potter, and Dave Pietro.

Sam Kredich

Sam Kredich attended Del Norte High school and played four years in their music program. He has been playing the trumpet since he was ten, but has also played and taken lessons for piano, guitar, ukulele, and vocals.

Outside high school, he participated in the International academy of Jazz as well as the Young Lions Conversatory under the direction of Gilbert Castellanos. Through his association with Castellanos, he was part of the opening group for a tribute to Mongo Santamaria and Jack Costanzo at Bayside Summer Nights at Embarcadero Marina in July of 2019. He also was part of the opening group for the Roots of Rhythm concert at Copley Symphony Hall as part of the Jazz at Jacobs Series. Under the direction of Andy Geib, Kredich was in the Ambassadors of Soul, a high school funk group that travels around gigging in areas like Ocean beach and Balboa Park.

Attending UCLA’s Global Jazz Studies program in 2019, he has studied under the likes of master pianist, composer, and bandleader Arturo O’Farrill, versatile saxophonist and LA Signal Labs co-founder Hitomi Oba, the Clayton-Hamilton Orchestra’s Doctor James Ford and Tamir Hendelman, prolific saxophonist Charles Owens, and acclaimed studio musician and Orenda Records founder Dan Rosenboom. Sam Kredich also took part in the recording of BTS’ three-time winning MTV Video Music Award song ON, in which he played third trumpet. He will continue his studies in the Fall Quarter of 2021, as he enters his third year as an undergraduate.