Jazz Mentors

It’s called the music business for a reason. The business side of music is often anathema to most musicians – something to be ignored, feared or misunderstood.

The Jazz Mentors series connects up-and-coming musicians with some of New York City’s premier artists to discuss the business of jazz. Each forum features discussion led by preeminent members and leaders of the jazz community about how to build and maintain a successful music career.

The business components of establishing a career in music are frequently under-appreciated and misunderstood by young and emerging musicians. To address this, Jazz Mentors audiences are guided through some of the most vital aspects of launching a career, including representation, touring, protecting your recordings in digital format, the impact of streaming services, and building a secure financial future, among others.

Located at Local 802, the informal setting allows for relaxed communication and a free-flowing exchange of ideas between the audience and the artists, encouraging full participation and interaction. The events are free and open to the public.

The Council for Living Music and AFM, Local 802 Present

Jazz Mentors Student Jam

Featuring JMB with Henry Conerway III, Endea Owens, and  Chris Cherney and Guest Artist Kevin Blancq

On January 31, 2019, Local 802 American Federation of Musicians will host the fourth installment of its JAZZ MENTORS STUDENT JAM, a musical performance and mentoring session designed to connect younger musicians with some of New York City’s premier jazz artists to learn the basics of jazz improvisation, musical collaboration, proper technique, scat singing, ensemble playing, bandstand etiquette, and many other skills essential to a career as a jazz performer.

Thursday, January 31
5:00pm – 7:00pm
Local 802 Club Room
322 West 48th Street
New York, NY

Open to students of jazz ages 15-22



Kevin Blancq began his musical life in New Orleans listening to his parents, Betty and Charlie, both teachers and performers.  At 17, Kevin was awarded a full scholarship to the Tanglewood Summer Music Institute where he performed under the batons of Leonard Bernstein and Gunther Schuller.  Following his undergraduate work at the University of North Texas, Mr. Blancq settled in New York and has since worked with Frank Foster, Benny Golson, Wynton Marsalis, Slide Hampton, Sahib Shihab, Doc Cheatham, Bob Dorough, among others.  Mr. Blancq has appeared at Swing 46, Birdland, Symphony Space, and Lincoln Center and for the last 17 years, has been the Jazz Band Director at LaGuardia High School.


JMB’s leader Henry Conerway III has emerged as one of the most “in demand” drummers on the jazz scene in the U.S. and abroad since making New York City his home in 2015, as evidenced by his ongoing work with such global touring artists as; the iconic Freddy Cole; Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Marcus Printup; Grammy nominated vocalist, Jazzmeia Horn; Grammy nominated trumpeter, Russell Gunn; and several residencies with Jazz at Lincoln Center in Doha, Qatar. While matriculating at Atlanta’s historic and prestigious Morehouse College (B.A. in Music Composition), Henry co-founded the group, Jaspects, which quickly became a staple in that city’s music scene and successfully sold thousands of their own recordings, while booking their own tours and forming creative partnerships with many established artists. Henry has also composed original works for film and performed in theatre settings including the Tony Award nominated Shuffle Along, on Broadway.

Detroit native Endea Owens is a vibrant up and coming bassist. She has toured and performed with Jazzmeia Horn, Steve Turre, Jennifer Holliday, Camille Thurman, and Lea DeLaria from the Netflix original series “Orange is The New Black.” Endea has done music exchange programs in Cuba and Trinidad and Tobago. She has performed at jazz festivals in Switzerland, Paraguay, The Cayman Islands, South Korea, Detroit, and San Francisco. Recently, Endea was featured on ABC7 News (New York) with Sandy Kenyon, as well as ABC7 “Here and Now.” This episode was played in 6,500 taxis in the New York area. This year Endea was featured in The Wall Street Journal as well as Billboard Magazine. Currently, she is completing her Master’s degree at The Juilliard School.

Pianist Chris Cherney has been active in New York as a teacher, performer, composer and musical director for 45 years.  With each passing year his appreciation of the transformative power of studying music grows.  His command of different styles has allowed him to perform with a wide range of musical legends from The Drifters, Bo Diddley, and Chuck Berry to the Duke Ellington Orchestra, Britt Woodman and Milt Hinton in venues from Opryland to Carnegie Hall.  The New York Times has called his work “powerful, rhythmic and kaleidoscopic”.  In addition to his private practice Chris has taught at City College of New York, the Brooklyn Conservatory and in the New York public school system.  He is a recipient of a Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.