Multi-Instrumentalist, Vocalist, and Song-Writer, Austin Gatus first started playing his primary instrument, the Alto Saxophone, at 9 years old. Since then he’s attended the Stanford Jazz Workshop for 5 years, and has taken master classes from the likes of Joshua Redman, Joe Lovano, and Gretchen Parlato. In the summer of 2014 Austin was awarded a merit based scholarship to the Berklee College of Music’s 5-week Program in Boston, where he was placed in the top Jazz Fusion ensemble under the direction of Tiger Okoshi. As a performing musician, Austin has been invited to headline in the lounge of Dave Koz Jazz Cruises, sailing twice to Europe and once to Alaska. He has also performed with Dave Koz, onboard his cruise, at the Thornton Winery, and at Humphrey’s by the Bay. He was also featured during two concert dates as a special guest performer with Kenny G, backed by the Orange County Symphony, and the San Diego Symphony. Austin also leads his own band or Jazz Quartet performing standards and his own original compositions at venues such as Spaghettini’s in Seal Beach, Croce’s Park West in Downtown San Diego, and the San Diego Fair’s Paddock Stage. However, his most endearing performances are in front of children from Rady Chidren’s Hospital, the Starlight Foundation, and other organizations that help kids fight cancer, as he himself was one of those kids, but is now a cancer survivor, and performs at charity events whenever possible. He is our first festival scholarship recipient this year .