Jazz alto and tenor saxophonist, Dexter Moses, 14, is taking big steps . He was awarded Superior Jazz Musicianship at A Celebration In Music Competition in Williamsburg’s Busch Gardens, May 3, 2013. On May 9, Dexter was honored at G.W. Carver Spring Band Concert and awarded the Louis Armstrong Jazz Award in recognition of outstanding achievements in the field of jazz through superior musicianship, character, and individual creativity. Both first time awards ever given for individual superiority at Busch Gardens and the Louis Armstrong award given to a musician that was not a trumpet player.
Mr. Skip Choate, G. W. Carver Middle School’s Band Director, says he is honored to have shared this year with Dexter. An exceptional and humble student, Dexter’s philosophy on learning is “ If someone is trying to teach me something they are really giving ingredients to go beyond what they expect me to do. I have the drive and determination to exceed other people’s expectations.”
Two years ago, Dexter returned to 2nd Street one year after hearing and meeting saxophonist James Gates to take the stage with his own alto saxophone at age 12. Under the direction of Ashby Anderson, founder of Muse Creative Workspace, Richmond Youth Jazz Guild, his unique investment in musical studies is paying off. He began playing the tenor this school year at CarverMiddle School thanks to Mr. Choate, who allows him to borrow a school purchased instrument.
As a member of the Richmond Youth Jazz Guild, Moses plays at a series of public concerts. One of his most memorable performances was the opportunity to play before Wynton Marsalis, Artistic Director of Jazz at Lincoln Center. Wynton Marsalis commented, “Dexter is extraordinary, has internal dialogue and rhythm. Dexter experience is spiritual. He has a rare sound with feeling, concept, and harmony. One thing he does is listen.” He was also among the musicians with Richmond Youth Jazz Guild for Richmond Forum opening night with former President Bill Clinton, this past February.
Notable accomplishments include Scholar Roll, Distinguished Honor Roll student, Muse’s Jazz Big Band and Blue Note, Carver Middle Advanced Band, and St. Paul Baptist Church’s youth band, “The Hype.” Dexter recognizes his musical and intellectual gifts as God-given. Passion drives his discipline and daily three hours practice. His mother, Gwyn Griffin, comments, “There has never been a time I have had to ask him to practice, only to stop.”
Moses will be attending Appomattox Regional Governor’s School in the upcoming school year and sights are on Berklee College of Music, affiliated network with Muse Creative Workspace.