Introducing the NEXTGen Musician 2024 Cohort!

Midori & Friends is thrilled to welcome thirteen talented high school students into the third cohort of the NEXTGen Teen Musician program! NEXTGen Musician is a youth voices leadership program which empowers teens through artistry, leadership, and advocacy training with professional musicians and mentors in the fields of finance, tech, law, and government. NEXTGen celebrates the creativity of young people and directly invests in participants’ artistry through private music lessons, leadership through mentorship, and advocacy training.

Meet the new members of the 2024 NEXTGen Musician Cohort:

Angel Rios

My name is Angel Rios, and I hail from James Madison High School with a love for music and a zest for life that can’t be matched! I have 3 years of experience playing the tenor saxophone and have 6 years of poetry/lyricism, with the latter starting earlier this year and still going strong! I wholeheartedly believe I can further hone my musical skills and expand my connections through Midori & Friends, and I only anticipate what I can contribute to the program and vice versa.  

Christel Eugene 

My name is Christel Eugene. I attend Eleanor Roosevelt High school and I play the Viola. For as long as I can remember, music has always played a significant role in my life. I always wanted to play an instrument and I chose the viola because it was new and unique. I also enjoy trying different instruments like the electric bass and various percussion instruments because discovering new sounds is special to me. 

Josiah Anyansi

My name is Josiah Anyansi and I am a Junior instrumental major at Fordham High School for the Arts. I have been playing drums and performing since I was 11 years old, but I have played just for fun since I was 6. For piano, I played off and on throughout my Sophomore and freshman year and I recently started playing more now. I feel like this program will help me to actually connect to music instead of just playing it. Also, this program will make me more comfortable to play in any setting.  

Shazia Downs

I’m Shazia Downs when I was 5 years old I love the drum in Church so one day. My mom brought me up to the guy that played the drums at church and he showed me how to play ever since that I started to enjoy and  self taught myself how to play the drums and had a little bit of help with my friends, then ongoing seeing my friends play the guitar I wanted to start since my twin brother gave me his guitar that he never used or never even played. I started to self taught myself how to play the guitar ever since I started playing those two instruments I looked at music in a whole different way that I can’t really explain it I’m in a band club in my school  and I play gigs with them. I want to get more better at drums and guitar to learn how to play a song. And when they make my own music, just like my friends.  

Mckayla Samuel

Hello, my name is Mckayla. my instruments they are Voice and Guitar. I am a 12th grade student at James Madison High School, Music has always been able to comfort me and make me feel an ocean’s worth of emotions. I hope by bettering myself as a musician and an aspiring performer I can move people with my music the same way music has moved me. 

Edgar Celestino

I respect people who are ambitious about their music and how they produce it and most importantly how regularly they practice. The flute for me has been a voyage and the tedious hours poured into practice have helped me have this opportunity to be a part of the Midori and Friends Program. I am ecstatic about meeting new people who have similar interests as I do. 

CJ Havens

My name is CJ, and I’m 16 years old. I started playing music a year and a half ago, and I’ve been in love with it ever since. I play guitar, bass, and a bit of piano. 

Machir Bobb

Machir Bobb, a Brooklyn native has had a love for music ever since he was young. Bobb currently attends James Madison High School where he is the lead soloist in the tenor section. This is such an exciting time for Machir to be apart of this program with Midori & Friends because he feels this is another step closer to being a better vocalist.

Hanifa Ibrahim

Hi, my name is Hanifa! I am 16 years old and I attend Ceila Cruz Bronx high school of music. I have been pursuing music since I was a little girl; I have always had a passion for music. I want to give people the same mystical feeling that I get when I listen to music, I also want to grow and improve. 

Jeremy Delgado-Cruz

Hi, my name is Jeremy and I’m currently enrolled in Celia Cruz Bronx High School of Music! I’m primarily a drummer but also a multi-instrumentalist composing music. In this program which I am honored to be a part of, I hope to meet as many people as possible who share the same passion and potentially collaborate on innovative music projects together! 

Rebecca Chung

Hi, I’m Rebecca! I’m a freshman at the Dalton School and I’ve been studying the violin and piano for ten years; currently, I study violin at the Manhattan School of Music precollege. Making music with others, whether through chamber music, orchestra, or jam sessions with friends, has been an experience I love and value. I believe everyone should be able to have this opportunity. I’m really passionate about music service and education, and I hope to spread my love of music through the NextGen program! 

Angeles Cruz

Hello! My name is Angeles and I’m from Fordham High School for the Arts. Music is my passion and I like to play guitar and bass guitar. Apart from that, I enjoy ice and roller skating in my free time. I can’t wait to start this program at Midori & Friends and explore new genres of music. 

Nathaniel Harrell

My name is Nathaniel Harrell, I attend the Theatre Arts Production Company school(TAPCo) the instruments that I play are the drums, piano, harp, xylophone, and I’m currently learning the guitar. The reason I am excited for the midori and friends internship is because I see it as an opportunity to improve on my skills as an instrumentalist and to make new connections with people that have similar aspirations as myself. 

Congratulations to the 2024 cohort! For more information about the NEXTGen Teen Musician program, click here. To support accessible music and advocacy training for NYC students, click here!