Feb 8, 2024 - For Immediate Release
The FWYO is excited to announce a new pilot program; FWYO Jazz. In a continuing commitment to meeting the fast-growing needs of Fort Worth and surrounding area, the FWYO Jazz program will provide students an opportunity to grow their skills with an elite group of young jazz musicians while providing a number of outreach jazz performances in the community.
Leading the effort will be Ken Ebo, former director of the Marine Corps Jazz Orchestra. "It is a great honor to be selected for this position and one that I enter with a mixture of
eagerness, humility, and deep appreciation" said Ken. "I believe that jazz is an American treasure that possesses the ability to reach into the hearts of all our citizenry and into the world. It is most efficiently borne on the wings of our youth, with all their promise, potential, and verve."
Mr. Ebo also served as head of the Instrumental Division at the Naval School of Music in Virginia Beach and most recently as Music Placement Director for the US Marine Music Program in the Southwestern United States. "We are thrilled to have Ken join our team and lead this exciting new program" said Andrew Reynolds, FWYO Executive Director. "Ken's background leading elite musicians and jazz programs for US service members will make for an incredible all-around experience for our students. We share Mr. Ebo's enthusiasm for Jazz as an important part of instrumental music education and look forward to working with Ken to inspire these next-generation musicians."
Audition information for the Pilot program can be found at fwyo.org/audition and recorded auditions are due February 15. The Jazz program will meet at the FWYO's Orchestra Hall on Monday evenings from 6-8 PM beginning Feb. 26.
ABOUT KEN EBO:
Ken Ebo is recently retired from serving as the Music Placement Director for the US Marine Music Program in the Southwestern United States. He is the former head of the Instrumental Division at the Naval School of Music in Virginia Beach where he also served as trombone faculty and jazz improvisation instructor. He was the lead trombonist and musical director of the Marine Corps Jazz Orchestra from '09 – '21.
Ken is an active clinician, performer, educator, and adjudicator with degrees from Indiana University and the University of South Carolina. Ken is currently the director of the Four O’Clock Lab Band at the University of North Texas, where he is also completing his doctoral studies.
As a clinician and guest artist, Ken has traveled to multiple programs across the country for presentations and performances to students of all levels. He is a recipient of the Musician of the Year Award for the U.S. Marine Corps and has presented clinics and performed nationwide with the Marine Corps Jazz Orchestra in locations such as Monterey Jazz Festival, Lincoln Center, Lakeside Jazz Festival, Interlochen, and Eau Claire Jazz Festival. His compositions and arrangements have been featured as part of USMC national recruiting efforts and have been performed by numerous ensembles. He is the author of Common Sense for Comeback Chops, published by Mountain Peak Music. Ken has performed with many artists in both military and civilian settings including Johnny Mathis, Natalie Cole, and Frank Sinatra, Jr., among others.
Ken also directs his own jazz orchestra in an annual series of benefit concerts for Toys for Tots in Baltimore, MD, now in its 21st season, including 8 years of annual concerts also held in Virginia Beach. A resident of Fort Worth, TX, Ken enjoys time with his wife, also a professional musician, and their two kids (one HS senior and one TCU freshman!) – who all
avoid trombone and collectively sing and play trumpet, harp, piano, ukulele, drums, and other instruments at every opportunity!