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Gilbert Castellanos

Gilbert Castellanos, renowned musician, composer, curator, educator and arranger based in San Diego, is one of the hottest jazz trumpeters in the United States today. 

Adept in straight-ahead, as well as Latin and Afro Cuban jazz, Castellanos has become a leading figure of the vibrant, diverse and flourishing jazz scene in America’s Finest City. An established scene-maker on the West Coast, Castellanos is the Artistic Curator of both of the San Diego Symphony's highly successful jazz series - Jazz at The Jacobs and Bayside Summer Nights - which have featured some of today's brightest stars including ‪Gregory Porter‬, Chick Corea, ‪Chucho Valdes‬, ‪Dianne Reeves‬, ‪Cecile McLorin Salvant‬, John Faddis and more. 

Castellanos’ talents are also renowned in the dance community. He has been creating commissioned original music for the San Diego Ballet since 2014; the acclaimed Latin jazz infused suites - “Azuca” and “Dia de Los Muertos” - come to life movement after movement through the extraordinary choreography of SDB Artistic Director Javier Velasco. In 2017, he was officially named Resident Composer for the thriving ballet company.

In 2017, he began a new collaboration with the San Diego Museum of Art - Portraits In Jazz - a concert series that introduces the American art form to the museum’s global members and supporters. He has consistently been voted Best Jazz Artist in San Diego CityBeat’s annual Reader’s Poll (2018, 2017, 2016). At the 2013 San Diego Music Awards (SDMA), Castellanos become the first jazz artist to be awarded Artist of the Year across all genres; he is six-time SDMA Best Jazz Artist. Both of his recordings, “Underground” and “Federal Jazz Project” (in collaboration with the San Diego Repertory Theater for a musical by the same name) were recognized by SDMA as Album of the Year.

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“[Castellanos] plays with élan, evincing a more individual, ever-large sound offering hard swinging, often ear-grabbing solos…[proving] that music with deep roots in jazz’s glorious ’50s and ’60s can sound completely contemporary today.” Los Angeles Times

“I love playing music with people who light up the bandstand. That's what drew me to Gilbert. I knew we needed his voice in the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra family. I embrace every opportunity with him in sharing this music together.” Jeff Hamilton, American jazz drummer and co- Director of the Clayton- Hamilton Jazz Orchestra

“Gilbert Castellanos was a true gem to have on my new CD ”The Art of Latin Jazz.” In my opinion, he is one of the top trumpet players on the scene today

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