Kiewit-Wang Mentorship Award

The Kiewit-Wang Mentorship Award is given to high school students who show excellence in musicianship as jazz instrumentalists. Candidates who have participated in Jazz Links programs (including Artist Residency Schools, Student Council members, and Jazz Ambassadors) compete by auditioning. Recipients are awarded free music lessons with a Chicago jazz musician of their choice.


Since the program began, 25 young musicians have been mentored and inspired by professional jazz musicians, including:


  • Ari Brown
  • Steve Million
  • Willie Pickens
  • Ron Perillo
  • Robert Irving III
  • Rocky Yera
  • Ryan Cohan
  • Dennis Carrol
  • Jim Cooper
  • Dan Nicholson
  • Ken Chaney
  • Michael Raynor
  • Joan Hickey
  • Greg Ward
  • Nicole Mitchell
  • Junius Paul
  • Tom Garling
  • Scott Hesse
  • Ernie Adams
  • Marques Carroll


Our focus on linking the generations through mentorship is at the very heart of the nature and tradition of jazz and is embedded in everything that we do at the Jazz Institute of Chicago.



  • Students must be in or entering grades 9-12
  • Students must be actively participating in Jazz Links education programs
  • Audition and application required


Applications are released annually in June.


Congratulations to our 2017-18 Kiewit-Wang Mentorship Awardees!


Steven Bowman

Bass, Kenwood Academy High School, Sophomore

Mentor: Josh Ramos


“I would like to become more proficient in playing improvisational music, expand my repertoire, improve my electric bass technique, and play in new ensembles. I plan to begin playing upright bass this summer so that I will have a good technical foundation for the remainder of high school and for my future musical endeavors.”



Andrew Cobb

Alto Saxophone, Jones College Prep, Sophomore

Mentor: Greg Ward


“I would like to revolutionize the world’s music in some way. I want to continue to grow in all aspects of music so that I can contribute my originality and uniqueness to the dialogue of creative music.”



Alejandro Salazar

Drums, Addison Trail High School, Junior

Mentor: Ernie Adams


“I love Jazz. It’s such a free art form that can take you to different locations. Jazz has impacted my life in so many ways. I know that Jazz is something I want to do for the rest of my life…My goal is to travel the world spreading love, peace, and unity with my music.”



Past Awardees:




Miles Hardemon

Trumpet, Whitney Young High School



Christopher Sanchez

Drums, Lincoln Park High School



Jahari Stampley

Piano, Rickover Naval Academy






Jada Stroud

Bass, Lincoln Park High School



Jeremy Warren

Drums, Whitney M. Young High School



We are grateful for the support of Mrs. Marjorie Kiewit, without whom this program would not be possible.

Upcoming Kiewit-Wang Mentorship Award Events

See All Scheduled Events

We Need your Support

Your support makes a difference! Support Jazz in Chicago by becoming a member, volunteering or giving today.


The Gift of Music

Your charitable gift helps us continue to provide jazz education, develop Chicago musicians, and build audiences for a thriving jazz scene.