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The boy behind the jazz

"It's pretty cool. I get to jam with the old guys," he said with a laugh.

Last summer, Mulcahy attended the Brubeck Summer Jazz Colony in California where he was one of 20 students chosen to study under some of the best jazz performers in the country for a week. After that, he attended the Vail Jazz Workshop in Colorado where he took private lessons with jazz legend John Clayton and other jazz musicians.

"Last summer was basically the pinnacle of my jazz career so far," Mulcahy said. "I've improved so much since then."

Mulcahy's track to stardom in Downbeat Magazine began about three months ago when he sent in recordings of himself accompanied by piano to the magazine's competition

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And then the wait began.

"They didn't tell us who won. We just had to wait to crack open the magazine to find out," he said.

The news that he was one of the five chosen came from his jazz conductor, Angelo Candela, at school a few weeks ago. Mulcahy's initial reaction: "Oh man, that's cool!"

"My parents bought at least five copies of the magazine, and jazz friends from all across the country left me Facebook messages congratulating me. It was pretty cool," he said.

Mulcahy also won the magazine's "Junior High Soloist" award in 2007.

Next year, Mulcahy plans on looking into music schools for college. Those on his radar include Julliard, the Manhattan School of Music, the New School, SUNY Purchase and the New England Conservatory.

"Maybe one day I'll be a music teacher, but right now I plan on becoming a jazz performer," he said.

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