Blake Van Treese

Composer, singer/songwriter, and mandolinist.

                                           Jazz Composition

Blake Van Treese first began studying jazz in order to broaden his outlook on improvisation and composition. After many of years of being mystified by the foreign sounds and sonorities of jazz, Blake began studying jazz improvisation on the mandolin in 2003 with Jazz educator and trumpeter Ray Brown in his Jazz Improvisation courses at Cabrillo College. After a couple of years studying in Santa Cruz, Blake was accepted into UC San Diego's music program and headed south to the land of sand and sun. 

While at UCSD, Blake met Kamau Kenyatta, the jazz chamber ensemble director and jazz theory teacher, who would become a huge influence on Blake and his jazz compositions. He studied both improvisation and composition with Mr. Kenyatta. He allowed Blake the opportunity to compose for the ensemble and Blake managed to compose and arrange a piece for each of the six quarters that he was in the ensemble. Blake focused on bringing the mandolin to the forefront of his compositions using untraditional arranging techniques and bizarre instrument combinations.

In 2010, Blake received the Lower Southern California Jazz Society Award for his work with the Jazz program. Also in June of 2010 Blake was featured in an article by Ted Eschliman of Jazzmando.com. Click here to see the article. Blake is forever grateful for his time studying with Kamau Kenyatta and the many other amazing faculty that he had the pleasure studying with. Blake would also like to send out a special thanks to Kathleen Gallagher for her many hours of help with anything music, especially for her support and her belief in her students.

The following songs are from Blake's Jazz CD Silhouettes with some bonus tracks from an unreleased project from vocalist Nina Deering.

                                        anybody's treasure

                               Performed by the UCSD Jazz Chamber Ensemble directed by Kamau Kenyatta.

                                          After You've Gone

Performed by Nina Deering-vocals, Kevin Flowers-guitar, Blake Van Treese-mandolin and Tyler Eaton-bass

                                Buddhist Monk Funk Lunch

 Performed by the Richard Tater Funkestra 

                                                   Stags Leap

For Jazz Chamber Ensemble  

Performed by the UCSD Jazz Chamber Ensemble directed by Kamau Kenyatta.

Click Here To Buy This Track!

                                            Providence Suite

 For Jazz Chamber Ensemble

Performed by the UCSD Jazz Chamber Ensemble directed by Kamau Kenyatta. 

Click Here To Buy This Track!

                                               Chitzen Itza

For Piano, Guitar, Mandolin, French Horn, Trumpet, Clarinet, Flute, Tenor Sax, Drums and Bass

Click Here To Buy This Track!

               4 on 3

For Jazz Chamber Ensemble 

Performed by the UCSD Jazz Chamber Ensemble directed by Kamau Kenyatta. 

Click here to preview and purchase the rest of Blake Van Treese's debut album of jazz compositions.