For over two decades, ESYO set young musicians on a course to discover Jazz, a truly unique and all-American artform. From Jazz standards and big band to Jazz masterpieces by Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, and Louis Armstrong, ESYO Jazz is at the center of the youth jazz movement in Upstate New York. We are beyond excited to welcome Dr. Peter Bellino and Keith Pray to ESYO as conductors of ESYO's Jazz Program.
Jazz saxophonist and organist Keith Pray joins ESYO as the conductor of the Repertory Jazz Orchestra. While at the podium with ESYO's Repertory Jazz Orchestra, Keith will bring a unique perspective and versatility to ESYO Jazz that will introduce young Jazz musicians to a wide range of music styles found in Jazz. In addition, to being an active jazz musician and bandleader, Keith is a published composer and experienced educator.
Before joining ESYO, Keith lived and performed throughout New York City and traveled from the West Coast to Europe, making music with some of the greatest Jazz musicians of all time. Since moving to the Capital Region, Keith has worked at both SUNY Oneonta and SUNY Schenectady and currently directs the high school bands in the Schenectady City School District and the SUNY Albany Jazz Ensemble.
Dr. Peter Bellino, an ESYO Alumni Parent and longtime ESYO coach, is excited to work with the young musicians of ESYO's Youth Jazz Orchestra. Peter has an extensive musical career and holds multiple degrees in music from top-notch Jazz programs, including the Eastern School of Music and the University of Miami, and brings incredible experience as a genre-crossing artist who lives and performs on the boundaries of jazz and classical music.
Peter's jazz and commercial performances include numerous appearances with Jazz at Lincoln Center and several Broadway productions, the Empire State Jazz Orchestra, and Walt Disney World Entertainment. He has also performed with musical greats Aretha Franklin, Doc’ Severinsen, the late Curtis Fuller, and Blood, Sweat, & Tears trumpeter Lew Soloff.