Stella Rosa Named 2023 Jimmy Lyons Scholarship Recipient

The 18-year-old trumpeter will perform at this year’s Monterey Jazz Festival with Noa Zebley, who received the scholarship last year.

September 12, 2023
Stella Rosa

Stella Rosa

Stella Rosa, an 18-year-old trumpeter from Agoura Hills, California, has been named the 26th recipient of Berklee's Jimmy Lyons Scholarship, a four-year, full-tuition award presented in conjunction with the Monterey Jazz Festival. Rosa, who began her studies in Boston this month, is planning to major in music production and engineering.

In addition to being awarded the scholarship, Rosa will perform at the 66th annual Monterey Jazz Festival, taking place September 22–24, with 2022 award recipient Noa Zebley and her band.

Previous recipients of the Jimmy Lyons Scholarship include Billy Buss B.M. ’09 (Billy Hart), Rushad Eggleston ’03 (Crooked Still), Milton Fletcher B.M. ’03 (Chief Xian aTunde Adjuah), Jonathan Pinson B.M. ’11 (Wayne Shorter), Dayna Stephens ’01 (Kenny Barron), and James Williams ’06 (Gary Burton).

“Receiving the Jimmy Lyons Scholarship means I can focus on pursuing an education in music at my dream school without having to worry about how to pay for it,” says Rosa. “I am honored and excited to play at the Monterey Jazz Festival this year and represent Berklee. It’s an example of the opportunities that you can receive while studying there, and I look forward to playing on the same stage as musicians that have inspired me over the years.”

Rosa began her musical journey at the age of 6 when she was introduced to the guitar. In the sixth grade, she picked up the trumpet, and by the seventh grade, she had also started playing the alto saxophone. She hopes to be seen as a pioneer and role model for other women who have a passion for jazz and the music industry. 

Toolbar itemsRosa started guitar lessons at the age of six and began the trumpet in the sixth grade and alto saxophone in seventh. She sees herself as a pioneer and role model for other women who have a passion for the industry, and also feels that she will be an asset to jazz. Berklee is her hope for the future performer, composer and producer that she will become.

“I am so pleased to celebrate the 28-year relationship with Monterey Jazz in the awarding of the prestigious Jimmy Lyons Scholarship,” says Damien Bracken, dean of admissions at Berklee. “It is particularly rewarding to have our 2022 award recipient, Noa Zebley, and her band welcome the 2023 winner, Stella Rosa, to the stage for what will surely be a very special performance. Both Noa and Stella represent some of the world's leading emerging jazz talents and Berklee is proud to call them our students."

Noa Zebley

Noa Zebley

This year will be Zebley’s third time performing at the internationally renowned festival. She participated in the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra in both 2021 and 2022, as well as the Next Generation Women in Jazz Combo in 2022.

“I have been attending the Monterey Jazz Festival since 2017, and I got the opportunity to grow up watching some of the best musicians in the world play at this festival,” says Zebley. “The energy at the fairgrounds is magical, and everyone there is a true appreciator of music and jazz; the joy in the air is palpable.”

Zebley, a third-semester performance major, will lead a quartet representing the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice on Friday, September 22, at 7:30 p.m. on the Garden Stage and Saturday, September 23, at 1:00 p.m. on the Courtyard Stage. 

About the Jimmy Lyons Scholarship

In 1996, Berklee, in association with the Monterey Jazz Festival, created the Jimmy Lyons Scholarship, in honor of the festival’s founder. Started as a nonprofit in 1958, the Monterey Jazz Festival is the longest continuously running jazz festival in the world, and has presented nearly every major jazz artist over the last 60-plus years—from Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, Dave Brubeck, Tony Bennett, and Miles Davis to contemporary masters Herbie Hancock, Diana Krall, Wynton Marsalis, Norah Jones, and esperanza spalding. As a nonprofit, the Monterey Jazz Festival is devoted to jazz education by presenting year-round local, regional, national, and international programs.