Hudson Valley
Youth Jazz Orchestra

directed by 

Dan Shaut & Robert Shaut

The Hudson Valley Youth Jazz Orchestra allows the region's top student musicians an opportunity to collaborate and perform in a college preparatory ensemble.


Students work with some of the world's finest guest artists and clinicians in the Tri-state area. Previous guests have included; Conrad Herwig, Jim Snidero, Michael Phillip Mossman, Chris Vadala, Terell Stafford, Roland Vazquez, Steven Feifke, and Gary Smulyan. 

Students also have the opportunity to work with our region's top working jazz musicians including: Tristen Napoli, Jeff "Siege" Siegel, Rich Syracuse, Matt Finck, Laurel Massé, Eric Iannucci and Peter Einhorn.  

In our first competition (2019's Essentially Ellington Regional Festival) HVYJO was selected as best trombone section and also had several students selected as outstanding soloists. 

HVYJO performs throughout the region at some of the premier jazz venues including "The Falcon" 


Program Highlights

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Guest Artist - Geoff Vidal

Geoff Vidal will be our guest soloist with Hudson Valley Youth Jazz Orchestra on May 6 @ SUNY Ulster.

A native of Cape Cod, Ma Geoff Vidal is currently serving in the US Army as Staff Sergeant in the West Point Band as a jazz & pop saxophonist. Geoff received his Bachelor’s degree in Jazz Performance ('98-'03) from UMASS Amherst where he won several Downbeat Student Music Awards as an outstanding collegiate soloist. In 2003, Geoff was accepted into the prestigious Betty Carter Jazz Ahead program at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and immediately following he moved to New Orleans where he lived and toured until Hurricane Katrina ravaged the city in 2005. Geoff moved to New York City in the wake of Katrina and quickly ensconced himself as a much sought-after woodwind player in many big bands and small ensembles among the likes of the Arturo O’Farrill’s Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, the Artie Shaw Orchestra and Etienne Charles. In 2010, he released his debut album She Likes That on the Arts & Music Factory label to critical acclaim. In 2012, Vidal took first place in the first ever Detroit Jazz Festival Saxophone Competition earning a featured spot performing at the 2012 DJF. 

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Guest Clinician - Dennis Mackrel

Jazz master Dennis Mackrel prepares HVYJO for the Essentially Ellington program. Dennis spent two full rehearsals @ SUNY Ulster getting the band to swing and find ensemble unity. 


Dennis is a former drummer and director of the Count Basie Orchestra. GRAMMY award winning arranger/composer for McCoy Tyner's Big Band and faculty member at the Aaron Copland school of music.   

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Recording - Essentially Ellington

HVYJO will record in a professional studio original materials by Duke Ellington. 

Sunday, January 19, 2020

David Laks Studio



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Performance - The Falcon

Hudson Valley Youth Jazz Orchestra will be performing the music prepared for Jazz@Lincoln Center's Essentially Ellington jazz festival. Come support the group