2015 Stanley Kay Scholarship co-winner Nick Kepron

NICK kepron sk scholarship 2015 copyNick Kepron is thrilled to be a recipient of the 2015 Stanley Kay Scholarship. Nick, 16, is a drummer, abstract artist, composer and bandleader. An Honors student entering his Junior year at Cherry Hill High School East in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, he has been the drummer, co-leader and co-director of “Inspiration East,” a 17-piece funk and fusion band at his school. For the past two years, he has been the drummer for the award-winning CHE Jazz Lab Band, and played the Rowan Jazz Festival and Deptford Jazz Festival in 2015. Also during the past two years, he has been a selected member of the Creative Music Program at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, under the direction of Anthony Tidd and Brent White, and has played numerous concerts with the CMP at the Kimmel Center, Chris’s Jazz Cafe as part of Philadelphia’s Center City Jazz Festival 2015, the Brad Schoener Music Festival, “Sittin’ In” with Orin Evans at the Innovation Studio at Kimmel, and the Cheltenham Music Festival 2015. 

In 2014-15, he was the drummer for Rowan University’s Honors Jazz Band. Since 2014, Nick has played weekly in a sextet led by Philly sax legend Larry McKenna.

From a very young age, Nick showed an uncanny passion for music, jazz, and percussion. Ever since he got his first drum set at the age of 8, he has been exploring and playing jazz, funk, R&B, rock, fusion, Latin, hip-hop and progressive metal. He has enjoyed gigging with the best young musicians in South Jersey and Philly, playing coffeehouses, festivals and jazz clubs. 

In recent years, he has begun exploring composition and music production, and, to date, has composed more than fifty songs, most of which are part of an instrumental progressive metal solo album he has been working on as well as a trip-hop jazz ensemble project. 

He had the great privilege of studying with many masters of percussion over the past few years, including Dennis Chambers, Giovanni Hidalgo, Horacio Hernandez, Zoro, Ocie Davis, Chris Beck and DIVA big band leader Sherrie Maricle. His musical influences include Tony Williams, Eric Harland, Chris Dave, Elvin Jones, Philly Jo Jones and Mike Mitchell.

Last year, he combined his music and art by hand-painting one of his drum sets. He is preparing for his first two Art Shows later in the summer in New Jersey and Montreal. www.nickkepronart.com.

Nick’s other interests include yoga, meditation, cooking, reading jazz history, and teaching music. He enjoys jamming and composing with his brother Ben who plays jazz piano. Nick is very much looking forward to attending NYSMF 2015. 

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