"Ninjas Can't Catch You If You're On Fire" by Nathaniel Schwartz by MJF published on 2013/11/27 23:44:11 +0000 "Ninjas Can’t Catch You If You’re On Fire" by Nathaniel Schwartz 2013 Big Band Composition Competition / Gerald Wilson Award Winner Performed by the 2013 Next Generation Jazz Orchestra at the 56th Annual Monterey Jazz Festival on the Jimmy Lyons Stage in the Arena, September 22, 2013 Each year since 2005 at the Next Generation Jazz Festival presented by Monterey Jazz Festival, the Big Band Composition Competition is open to student composers currently enrolled in high school. Compositions are judged by college-level music faculty, and the winning composer receives the Gerald Wilson Award, named in honor of the legendary composer, arranger and trumpeter who has been a friend of Monterey Jazz Festival for many years. The winning composition is performed on the Jimmy Lyons Stage in the Arena at the annual Monterey Jazz Festival by the Festival's all-star student band, the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra, and the student composer is given the Gerald Wilson Award and a cash prize. 2013 Big Band Composition Competition / Gerald Wilson Award Winner: Nathaniel Schwartz "Ninjas Can’t Catch You If You’re On Fire" Northgate High School / Walnut Creek, CA Guitarist and composer Nate Schwartz, 18, is a graduate of Northgate High School in Walnut Creek, California. He began playing the trumpet in 7th grade and switched to jazz guitar at age 15. "Ninjas" is his first arrangement for big band. He played in Northgate High School's Jazz Band I and Jazz Sextet; in the Diablo Valley College Night Band, and Jazzschool Advanced Jazz Workshop in Berkeley. He's been selected for honor jazz bands at the school district, county, and all-state levels, and was a finalist for the GRAMMY® Camp Jazz Session for the last two years. His musical career began when his family learned to play bluegrass music and formed a band in which Nate plays mandolin and sings. Nate began studying jazz composition at UCLA in the fall of 2013.