Dear Friends near and far, 


Playing my trumpet and performing for you has been the biggest honor and joy of my life. I can’t say enough about how filled with gratitude I am when I look back on incredible moments - with the band Black Note in the 90’s, Clayton Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, and sharing the stage with countless incredibly talented musicians here in San Diego and beyond. No human being should be so lucky, and I count myself blessed.


Because YOU, my supporters and fans, are extended family to me, I want to share about a medical condition that I have unexpectedly been faced with for some time now. 


It was discovered over a year ago by my dentist that I have a serious issue in my mouth, which began in the area below my lower front teeth where my trumpet mouthpiece sits. A biopsy was performed on a growth in my lower jaw, the result of which was benign, but over time it began to grow and is now causing bone tissue deterioration. Last week, my case was the subject of the San Diego Advanced Study Group; over 30 general dentists, oral surgeons, prosthodontists, periodontists, and other dental care specialists were in attendance to review my condition, but there was no consensus reached as to what might be causing the bone loss. Another biopsy will be performed, followed by the extraction of several teeth. Then in August, I will undergo implant surgery; unfortunately the procedure and recovery period will prevent me from playing the trumpet for several months.


During that time of healing and intense rehabilitation, I will continue to carry out my many roles in the community, including curation of the San Diego Symphony’s jazz series, as well as perform through mid-August. As founder, instructor and artistic director of Young Lions Jazz Conservatory, I will work with my students at the school, an important part of my therapy. 


Many have asked how they can help at this time. In the past, it has been heartbreaking to see many local artists in times of need, and I was moved to organize fundraisers on their behalf. And every time, I was blown away at the response by the music and art communities to come together, be a part of the event and help a member of the “family.” Ironically and unexpectedly, I find myself in a position of need. It is unchartered territory, and deeply humbling. 


As you can imagine by late summer, the inability to work will impact my income. For those that wish to help, any gifted funds will go towards medical expenses, living expenses and toward the completion of recording projects prior to my surgery, as the future is uncertain.


  • PAYPAL: gilbertc1972@aol.com or paypal.me/gilbertcastellanos

  • USPS: Gilbert Castellanos, PO Box 161251, San Diego CA 92176

  • FED EX/UPS: Gilbert Castellanos, 3288 Adams Ave #161251, San Diego CA 92176

    • Checks can be made out to “Gilbert Castellanos”


A fundraiser is being planned for sometime in July; stay tuned for more information on my website, Facebook and Instagram accounts.

The past year has had it's high's and low's, and I realize it's not over yet. To Dr. Roy Vegter and Dr. Erick Sato, thank you from the bottom of heart for standing by me, and for everything you have done for me. I hope when it’s all said and done, I will return to the stage, horn in hand, playing at the top of my game sometime next year. In the meantime, I would love to see many of you at one of my upcoming performances through August. Please find dates and times on my website listed below.

My very sincere thanks for your loyalty, love and support. 


Love & Respect,

Gilbert Castellanos



P.S. In the coming months, I unfortunately may be unable to respond personally to every phone call, email, text message, etc. Your patience & understanding mean the world to me. If this is regarding the Young Lions Jazz Conservatory, please email Board President Leslie Murray at leslie@younglionsjazzconservatory.org. For business and all other inquiries, please email my manager Arlene Damasco at arlenedamasco@gmail.com. For urgent matters, contact Arlene at 619-869-5889.