Gilbert Castellanos – Founder and Artistic Director

Gilbert Castellanos, is a nationally renowned San Diego-based musician, composer, curator, educator and arranger, and one of the country’s top-call jazz trumpeters. For over a decade, Castellanos has been a member of The Clayton Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, performing around the world and recording with the acclaimed big band. He is a San Diego Music Awards six-time Best Jazz Artist and Artist of The Year, with jazz-centric partnerships with The San Diego Symphony (Jazz @ The Jacobs/Bayside Summer Nights Jazz), The San Diego Museum of Art (Portraits In Jazz/The Wednesday Jazz Jam & Young Lions Series @ Panama 66), The San Diego Ballet (Resident Composer for Ritmos Latinos) & The Westgate Hotel (My Musical Heroes/Sunset Poolside Jazz Series). He founded The Young Lions Jazz Conservatory in 2016 and continues to explore new opportunities to fulfill his personal mission – keep jazz alive.

Rob Thorsen – Instructor

Rob Thorsen maintains a diverse and busy schedule in Southern California as a performer, educator, clinician, and composer. He has found his true voice in the upright bass and performs regularly in San Diego with artists including the Mike Wofford/Holly Hofmann Quartet, Charles McPherson, Steph Johnson, Gilbert Castellanos, Mundell Lowe, and a host of others. He has released six albums as a leader, the most recent “Solos and Duos – Bass is the Space” which features a host of talents including award-winning pianist Joshua White, Gilbert Castellanos, Steph Johnson, Marshall Hawkins and Fernando Gomez.  In addition to performing with his own quartet, he is the founder of “Jazz an American Art Form” – a successful jazz education program that has been presented to over 8,000 students to date. He is a faculty member at the annual UCSD Jazz Camp, and teaches private lessons.

Charlie Arbelaez – Instructor

Charlie Arbelaez moved to San Diego in 2011 as a Saxophonist for the United States Marine Corps. Charlie has successfully completed several hundreds of hours teaching clinics and masterclasses to young students all throughout the US. As a veteran, he holds a Bachelor’s degree in Jazz Studies from SUNY Purchase and is currently working on his Masters Degree at San Diego State University. When not practicing, Charlie enjoys performing, writing, recording, and teaching music.  

Bob Boss – Instructor

Bob Boss has been playing guitar since 1963. He has experience performing throughout the United States, Mexico, Canada & Europe. He is also in demand as an educator, having taught at UCSD, SDSU, Idyllwild Arts Academy and several community colleges. 

Bob has performed live in San Diego since 1984, having worked with Marshall Hawkins, Jimmy & Jeannie Cheatham, Daniel Jackson, Mike Wofford and The San Diego Symphony, as well as in musical theatre. He has appeared on many recordings including his own “Three Trios” and albums by Daniel Jackson, A.J. Croce, Bert Turetsky and others. 

He earned a M.A. in Humanities in 1975. He appears regularly with The Rob Thorsen Quartet (Rob, Gilbert Castellanos & Richard Sellers) through “Arts for Learning” in San Diego public schools & libraries.