Natixis Global Asset Management today announced the winners of this year’s George Wein Jazz Ambassador Scholarships are William Evans of Rehoboth, MA and Samuel Atallah of Needham, MA. Natixis created the scholarships six years ago to help enable student musicians to pursue their musical and academic dreams. John Hailer, CEO for the Americas and Asia at Natixis Global Asset Management, will present the scholarships at the 2016 Newport Jazz Festival, where Natixis has been the presenting sponsor since 2011. The festival takes place July 29 through July 31 at Fort Adams State Park in Newport, RI.
Natixis, one of the world’s largest asset managers, awards the two $5,000 scholarships annually to two aspiring college-bound musicians as part of its broader commitment to music education and to fostering the next generation of jazz musicians and fans. The scholarships are named in celebration of George Wein, the founder of the Newport Jazz Festival and one of the original jazz ambassadors, who has spent his life working to bring people together through the power of jazz.
“Every year we look forward to awarding these scholarships to a new generation of talented young musicians who embody the spirit and energy of jazz and of George Wein, and we hope it will help them become part of the rich culture of jazz for years to come,” said Hailer, who joined the Newport Festivals Foundation board of directors last year. “We are proud to celebrate another year sponsoring the Newport Jazz Festival and the vibrant history, creativity and unique ability of jazz to bring different cultures together.”
Both of this year’s scholarship recipients will study music at colleges in New England this fall. Will Evans, a graduate of Wheeler School in Rhode Island, is a pianist for the Rhode Island Senior All-State Jazz Ensemble who appreciates jazz as “something that brings people together who otherwise would never meet and inspires new lines of thinking.” He intends to study music at Brown University in the fall. “I’m really excited to go into college and learn more about the history of [jazz] and the culture behind it.”
Sam Atallah, who graduated this year from Needham High School, is a trumpet player for the Massachusetts Music Educators Association All-State Jazz Band. He describes playing at the Newport Jazz Festival as “the absolute high point of my summers and of my high school music career.” Atallah will apply his Natixis scholarship to major in music with a concentration in jazz at the University of Vermont.
On July 29, Natixis will again host students from Boston Public Schools at the festival to experience the many talented artists performing. In addition, Natixis has arranged for the students to participate in a workshop hosted by “Dr. Wes” Watkins, Ph.D., founder of The Jazz & Democracy Project® (J&D). J&D is a music integrated curriculum linking the arts (music, particularly jazz) and the humanities (U.S. history, government, civics and culture).
“Natixis is inspired to support opportunities that encourage today’s youth to explore the lessons of jazz – innovation, diversity and a commitment to collaborate as an ensemble – and we are thrilled to partner with the Newport Jazz Festival to make jazz accessible to all audiences for generations to come,” said Hailer.
Natixis also expanded its music sponsorship program globally this year through a partnership with National Youth Jazz Orchestra (NYJO) in the U.K. NYJO, a world-class orchestra, was formed 50 years ago for skilled musicians up to the age of 25 to perform nationally and internationally. Natixis’ music initiatives are part of its Together for Better philanthropic outreach program which creates important and lasting change, combining our resources, our passions, and the power of change-making community partners. Child by child, family by family, community by community we are changing the world. Together for Better.