Spotlight Series: Andres Montez

April 9, 2021

Marketing and Strategic Communications

Andres Montez, a jazz student at Palo Alto College, was recently named the 2021 A-JAM (Alamo Jazz Allstars Mentorship) Student Honoree.

Each year, the program invites talented jazz musicians from across the Alamo Colleges District to audition. As an A-JAM honoree, Montez will get the chance to perform locally and be coached by regional professionals and visiting artists.

When Montez joined his first jazz ensemble at South San Antonio High School he was instantly captivated by the musical genre. 

“Hearing the rhythm of the jazz music and the bass of the drums within it for the first time sparked my interest in jazz which later turned into an obsession,” said Montez. “Since then, I have strived to learn as much as I can about jazz drumming and the language itself.”

He has since studied at San Antonio College under Joe Caploe and formed part of the Jazz Ensemble under Andrew Gignac. Currently, he is a member of the Jazz Ensemble directed by Dr. Armin Marmolejo at Palo Alto College.

After auditioning for the program last year and not being selected, Montez was determined to audition once more and demonstrate his growth as a musician.

“Although some may shy away from auditions, I relish in the opportunity in which I can take my playing and musical comprehension to the next level,” said Montez.

One lucky A-JAM student will be invited to the International Association of Schools of Jazz (IASJ) annual meeting in July to perform virtually or in-person with fellow students from all over the world for one intensive week.

Montez is excited for the opportunity to represent his school and make his community proud through the power of music.

“I am eager to represent not only myself but also my professors and school with my continued hard work and dedication to increase my knowledge of jazz music,” said Montez.

The Alamo Jazz Allstars Mentorship program was launched in 2010 by Dr Katherine Cartwright at Northwest Vista College to create opportunities for San Antonio students to succeed both locally and internationally in the intercultural collaborative field of jazz.