The Somers Point Jazz Society has named Michael Gordon the recipient of their first ever jazz studies scholarship. The purpose of this scholarship is to give aspiring student musicians a chance to work one on one with a professional jazz educator.
Michael Gordon is from Linwood, New Jersey and is currently a junior at Mainland Regional High School. He has been playing all types of music since he was five years old when he began taking private piano lessons with Russian pianist Lilya Kholbotkova. At that young age Michael composed several pieces and performed them at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, the Kaufman Center in New York and in Princeton, New Jersey.
Only a year later, Michael picked up his teacher’s guitar and instinctively began to play; the pianist became a guitarist. Michael has tried all genres of music from blues and funk to rock, and has been influenced by guitar greats Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page and Wes Montgomery.
Michael has been a member of the concert, jazz and wind ensemble musical groups at Belhaven Avenue School in Linwood and at Mainland Regional High School. He has performed as part of the trio 3 South Benson since his junior high school days, in outdoor venues including Bayfest and Good Old Days Festivals in Somers Point and Margate’s Fall Funfest, as well as at private functions.
Michael’s interest in jazz began about five years ago at age 12 when he began taking lessons with guitar teacher Nick Palermo in Linwood. He now continues his studies in jazz guitar with Ocean City based musician and educator Tim Lekan.
In his Somers Point Jazz Society scholarship application, Michael writes, Although I have been playing all styles of music, I have yet to come across a genre as powerful and that has as much soul as jazz.
Michael’s goal is to improve his playing and to gain knowledge and a deeper understanding of jazz.
One of Michaels’ teachers, Tim Lekan states, Michael demonstrates a sincere and passionate dedication to growing as a musician and guitarist; he possesses the physical skill, the intellect, the love of jazz and the heart and soul necessary to persevere in learning the language of jazz. Also, in his interactions with both his fellow student musicians, and professional musicians Michael is respectful and always shows that he is curious, and eager to listen and learn.
Michael will be recognized on April 7th at Sandi Pointe Coastal Bistro at the monthly performance of the Ed Vezinho/Jim Ward Big Band during intermission. Michael will be performing with the Band that evening. Admission is $10
For more information call 609-927-6677 or visit www.spjazz.org
Pictures from the presentation.