Manlius Pebble Hill High School trumpeter Nick Frenay will perform alongside Maceo Parker and Christian McBride at the 2008 Monterey Jazz Festival in California.
A 16-year-old junior, Frenay has won a chair in the brass section of the 2008 Next
Generation Jazz Orchestra, the Monterey Festival's renowned high-school all-star big
band. This is the second year in a row that Frenay was chosen for the orchestra.
Before heading to the Golden State for the Monterey fest, the NGJO will fly to Europe to play at the North Sea Jazz Festival in the Netherlands on July 7. Frenay, whose paternal grandfather was Dutch, will be accompanied to Holland by his parents, Jackie and Gary Frenay, of Syracuse.
The Frenays are accustomed to traveling to their talented son's prestigious performances. In February, he played in Los Angeles with the Gibson/Baldwin Grammy Jazz Ensembles, also for the second year in a row.
Locally, he sometimes leads his own combo as he did last summer opening for the Mario DeSantis Orchestra at an Armory Square Candlelight Concert. That evening Frenay led his quartet through a nine-song set comprised primarily of mid-tempo swing standards such as "Autumn Leaves" and an occasional samba like "Recordame." He blew the copper lacquer off of his flugelhorn on "Someday My Prince Will Come."
The teenager played some Duke Ellington ("Things Ain't What They Used to Be") on the trumpet and some Harry Warren (a decidedly uptempo "There Will Never Be Another You") on the flugelhorn. But when he picked up his Schilke trumpet again, Frenay seemed to burst forward, becoming one with the shifting syncopations of "Caravan." Frenay rarely indulges in speed for speed's sake, but even when he did, as on "There Will Never Be Another You," on flugelhorn, his tone remained unshakable.
More recently, Frenay has been subbing with the Salt City Jazz Collective and playing lead horn in the MPH Jazz Combo and the Young Lions of CNY. The Collective, the Combo and the Lions are all led by trombonist Joe Colombo. Guess what? Frenay plays trombone too!