by JENNIFER FRAKES

All That Jazz

student_soto1For Dylan Soto, music, especially jazz, is his deepest love. “It is not an overstatement to say that I am obsessed with music and every single moment of every day, I have a tune in my heart and a melody on my mind. I spend virtually all of my time outside of school either thinking about music, reading about music, studying music, listening to music, or making music,” revealed Dylan. At the young age of 18, he has played music professionally for many years. He leads his own jazz sextet that performs throughout San Diego County (The Soto Six), holds positions in four other professional jazz ensembles, is a member of the jazz ensemble at Palomar College, and is a music therapist at Palomar Medical Center. “I’ve been honored to be a part of the professional jazz community in San Diego for so long and at such a young age. Words simply cannot describe the amount of love I possess for jazz music,” stated Dylan, who is inspired by the talent, spirit, and self-expression of jazz legend John Coltrane.

“I find it unfathomably beautiful that with jazz one can communicate and move audiences to tears without ever uttering a single word.”

Dylan recently graduated from Vista High School as a candidate for the full International Baccalaureate diploma and is headed to Columbia University in New York City this fall. While attending Vista High, Dylan participated in many service organizations including Best Buddies and the Environmental Club. Dylan is especially passionate about environmental issues and ensuring the health and survival of the planet for future generations. “When I took over as Environmental Club president my senior year, I wanted to grow the club and recruit driven, self-motivated, community service-minded kids. We grew the club’s membership and teamed up with other Vista High organizations to tackle beach clean-ups and participate in other events to protect and preserve the environment,” related Dylan. He and the other Environmental Club members also participated in community events at Alta Vista Botanical Gardens, providing fun and interactive crafts and activities for young children to learn about the environment and sustainability.


Name: Dylan Soto (18)
School: Columbia University (New York) in the fall
Pets: Dog – Ringo, Cat – Swiper
Parents: Lisa and Herman Soto
Siblings: Erica and Estella
Favorite Places to Visit: Anywhere where there’s GOOD FOOD to eat!


As Dylan prepares to embark on his next adventure at Columbia University, he is excited to immerse himself in the Columbia and New York City vibe and is looking forward to being on a campus where jazz is considered one of the most important modern art forms. “It is my hope that I will find success as a musician while attending Columbia and living in New York,” said Dylan. He feels that his time at Vista High School truly prepared him for future success and credits his supportive teachers as one of the main reasons he is ready to take the next step in his life. And of course, his beloved jazz music has also prepared him for this moment. “I find it unfathomably beautiful that with jazz one can communicate and move audiences to tears without ever uttering a single word,” said this talented young musician.