Traveling Clinicians Program
For one week a month during each school year since 1984, the Monterey Jazz Festival sends top professional musicians and vocalists, known as the Traveling Clinicians, to work with hundreds of students in public and private classrooms throughout the Monterey County School District, helping them develop their jazz skills. The clinicians recognize the area's top players with a place in the Monterey County High School All-Star Band, the Honor Vocal Jazz Ensemble, and our Middle School Honor Band.
The Traveling Clinicians Program is supported by the AT&T Foundation, Community Foundation of Monterey County, Harden Foundation, Joseph Drown Foundation, Monterey Peninsula Foundation, Nancy Buck Ransom Foundation, Packard Foundation, and generous individual donors. To make a financial contribution to this jazz education program, please click here.
2014-2015 TRAVELING CLINICIANS
Peck Allmond - Trumpet Clinician
Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, trumpeter and multi-instrumentalist Peck Allmond has lived in Brooklyn, New York since 1993. He was a product of the great Berkeley High School jazz program that also produced such luminaries as Benny Green, Joshua Redman, and Ambrose Akinmusire. At New England Conservatory he studied classical trumpet with Robert Nagel, and jazz with Fred Hersh, John McNeil, and Roswell Rudd. He has also studied with Charlie Haden, Dave Holland, and Steve Coleman, and has a BA in music from UC Santa Cruz.
In New York City, Peck has led and composed for his own band, the Peck Allmond Group for over 20 years. In addition, he is an in-demand sideman on numerous instruments, including trumpet, saxophones, flute, valve trombone and many other brass and reeds. He also plays kalimba, the African-derived thumb piano, to which he brings an unusual degree of virtuosity.
His jazz recording and performance credits include appearances with Oliver Lake, John Hicks, Billy Harper, Don Cherry, Pharoah Sanders, Tom Harrell, MeShell Ndegeocello, Cindy Blackman, and Peter Apfelbaum. In the pop world, he has accompanied James Brown, Ricky Lee Jones, Sean Lennon, Randy Newman, Ray Lamontagne, Wyclef Jean, Allan Toussaint, Zooey Deschanel, and many others. His numerous television appearances include The Tonight Show, Saturday Night Live, the Conan O'Brien Show, Today, and the Mark Twain Comedy Awards. His compositions were featured by the late great Jackie McLean in Jackie's quintet.
The San Francisco Examiner says Peck is “...a magnificent trumpeter—and a forceful, post-bop modern saxophonist. The music he writes for his group is conceptually brilliant and marvelously played.” Allaboutjazz.com calls him a “formidable talent.” Jackie McLean said Peck is "a true triple-threat: trumpet, saxophone, and composition." Peck has been the Traveling Trumpet Clinician for Monterey Jazz Festival since 2005.
Robynn Amy – Trombone Clinician
Robynn Amy received her undergraduate degree in Performance from Berklee College of Music, where she is currently an instructor in the Brass Department, specializing in both tenor and bass trombones. Robynn has performed with Syncopation, the “Swingin' Europe” European Jazz Orchestra, Against the Grain, the DIVA Jazz Orchestra, the Maiden Voyage Jazz Orchestra, WAITIKI Orchestrotica, the Artie Shaw Orchestra, and the Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra. She has additionally worked with Christian McBride, Patrick Williams, Vince Mendoza, Johnny Mandel, Patti Austin, Eguie Castrillo, Victor Mendoza, Gloria Estefan, Lee Ritenour, Abe Laboriel, Burt Bacharach, Dave Grusin, Donna McElroy, Carmen Branford, and Dee Daniels. Robynn has also traveled for the Berklee College of Music, holding brass and jazz clinics all over the world, including Germany, Puerto Rico, and Israel.
Paul Contos – Director of Education
Paul Contos has been an essential part of the Monterey Jazz Festival's Jazz Education Programs since their inception in 1984, and is active as a saxophone clinician, educator, and performer at various educational festivals, clinics, concerts, and workshops in the United States, Japan, Europe, Canada, and Brazil. His work for the Monterey Jazz Festival’s Traveling Clinician’s Program, Next Generation Jazz Orchestra, (co-director from 1991-2002, and director since 2003) and the Monterey County High School All-Star Band is distinguished.
Since the 1970s, Contos has been involved in jazz performance and education in the San Francisco Bay Area and internationally. He is a faculty member at UC Santa Cruz, has taught at Monterey Peninsula College, and developed the curriculum and pedagogy for the Music Recording/Technology Concentration at Cal State University, Monterey Bay. He has received three performer grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as serving as a three-year term as Artist-In-Residence for the California Arts Council. In 2009, Contos was featured as saxophone soloist at Carnegie Hall as part of New York City’s Distinguished Concerts International, performing a jazz concerto by composer Jeff Beal. Later that year, he was appointed as the Director of the SFJAZZ High School All-Stars.
An inspiration and active in the formation of the Kuumbwa Jazz Center in Santa Cruz (where he serves as Artist-In-Residence in 2010 and 2011), Paul has performed and conducted performances in concert with Dizzy Gillespie, Clark Terry, the Heath Brothers, Wynton and Branford Marsalis, Maceo Parker, Christian McBride, Kurt Elling, Dianne Reeves, Joe Lovano, Regina Carter, McCoy Tyner, Billy Childs, Bobby Hutcherson, Gary Burton, Wayne Shorter, Terence Blanchard, John Faddis, David “Fathead” Newman, John Clayton, Joshua Redman, Urbie Green, Cal Tjader, and many others. He has recorded with Dave Liebman, Peter Erskine, John Patitucci, Richie Beirach, Alan Broadbent, Terence Blanchard, Charlie Haden, Don Cherry, John Abercrombie, and Alex Acuna. In 2011, Paul was named as Education Director of the Monterey Jazz Festival.
Bruce Forman – Guitar Clinician
Guitarist extraordinaire, composer, author, recording artist, and jazz educator Bruce Forman has performed at most major jazz festivals and clubs around the world and has shared the stage with such jazz luminaries as Stanley Turrentine, Grover Washington, Freddie Hubbard, Ray Brown, Eddie Jefferson, and Richie Cole. His many recording titles include the critically acclaimed Forman On The Job on Kamei Recordings (which features Joe Henderson), In the Still Of The Night (Kamei), Pardon Me, There Are Times, Full Circle, and Dynamics (Concord Jazz) just to name a few. In addition, Bruce has recorded with the likes of Bobby Hutcherson, Tom Harrell, George Cables, Mark Murphy, Jimmy Knepper, and more. Famed guitarist Barney Kessel said in JazzTimes Magazine that “Bruce Forman is one of the great lights of our age on guitar right now.” Labeled a “composer of merit” by Leonard Feather and praised by JazzTimes for his harmonic sophistication and improvisational finesse, Bruce has taught at music workshops and universities across the globe. In addition to his role as guitar clinician for the Monterey Jazz Festival, Bruce founded the JazzMasters Workshop, scribed an instructional guide, The Jazz Guitarist’s Handbook and produced the popular video, Jazz Guitar Soloing.
Vince Lateano – Drum Clinician
Renowned Bay Area drummer Vince Lateano began his professional career as a jazz drummer in the ninth grade. At the age of eighteen, Vince went on the road with pianist Carmen Cavallaro, and on his return to the Bay Area, Vince established himself in San Francisco playing with the likes of Eddie Duran and Vince Guaraldi. He has toured with the Woody Herman Band (a band that included Alan Broadbent and Sal Nistico) and eventually joined the Cal Tjader group with whom he played until Cal’s untimely death in 1982. Vince has appeared on six recordings with Cal including the Grammy Award winning La Onda Va Bien! and the Grammy nominated Gozame! Pero Ya. Other recording credits include albums with Stan Getz, Dizzy Gillespie, Tania Maria, Tom Harrell, Al Cohn, Clare Fischer, Mark Murphy, Eddie Duran, Bill Perkins, Carmen McRae, and Bruce Forman, among others. In addition, Vince has performed with numerous artists including Scott Hamilton, Joe Henderson, Art Farmer, Charlie Byrd, Bill Berry, Benny Carter, John Handy, Chet Baker, Mundell Lowe, and Marlena Shaw. Vince has been the Traveling Drum Clinician for the Monterey Jazz Festival since the Education Program’s inception in 1984.
Gary Meek – Saxophone Clinician
Born in Encino, California, Gary Meek played piano and clarinet as a child and began playing saxophone in high school. He attended the Dick Grove School of Music, and played in big bands at the Los Angeles Jazz Workshop from 1980-1983. In 1987, he played keyboards and toured extensively with Dionne Warwick, and that same year, Gary began a two-decade association with Brazilian legends Airto Moreira and Flora Purim, forming the band Fourth World with guitarist Jose Neto. Gary has performed worldwide at the North Sea, Montreux, Monterey, Playboy, and Telluride Jazz Festivals, and has recorded or toured with Jeff Lorber, Herb Alpert, Al Jarreau, Dave Weckl, Brian Bromberg, and many others. As a leader, Gary has released five albums, and has conducted clinics and workshops at Philadelphia’s University of the Arts, the Los Angeles Music Academy, University of St. Louis, and more.
Eddie Mendenhall – Piano Clinician
Eddie Mendenhall is an exceptional pianist and composer who leads his own group and also has performed with “Senator” Eugene Wright, Ray Drummond, Pete Christlieb, Gary Meek, Manhattan Jazz Quintet, Ali Jackson Jr., Tommy Campbell, Calvin Keys, James Mahone, Enrique Iglesias, Peter Yellin, Virginia Mayhew, Paul Contos, Vince Lateano, Scott Steed, Steve Houghton, Mark Sherman, Akira Tana, John Schifflett, Dottie Dodgion, Mike Lent, and many more.
Eddie began studying piano when he was four years old, and by the time he was eight, he was performing the works of Schumann and Beethoven. He became hooked on jazz at the age of 13, when he attended the Monterey Jazz Festival. He earned a place in the Monterey Jazz Festival High School All-Star Band in 1989 and 1990 under the direction of Bill Berry, and performed with Dizzy Gillespie on the Arena Stage of the festival. Eddie earned scholarships to the Berklee College of Music in Boston and graduated with a bachelors degree in Jazz Composition.
Spending the next seven years in Japan, Eddie rapidly became one of the busiest pianists in Tokyo, performing at jazz clubs, major hotels, touring around Japan and embassy parties.
Eddie has performed and recorded with Ray Brown’s Great Big Band and is featured the Ray’s 2010 CD, Kayak. Eddie’s compositions also include works ranging from solo piano to large ensemble. His exceptional writing is featured on Cosine Meets Tangent, Eddie’s 2011 debut recording as a leader on Miles High Records.
Eddie currently directs the jazz department at the Monterey Peninsula College, and is an instructor at the Monterey Jazz Festival Summer Jazz Camp.
Scott Steed – Bass Clinician
After a highly successful 16-year career in the San Francisco Bay Area, jazz bassist Scott Steed now calls the Portland area his home. Scott began his career as a young man in Grand Rapids Michigan where he played with his family’s band. At twelve he joined a local big band, and at fifteen he had a private lesson with bass legend Milt Hinton, an event which he considers to be a turning point for him in his career. After relocating to the Bay Area, Scott began to perform regularly with the Martha Young Trio and backed such prominent performers as Joe Henderson, Buddy Montgomery, and Richie Cole. He was the bassist for the national tour of the Horace Silver Quintet and also toured with Joe Williams, the Norman Simmons Quartet, Rebecca Paris, and Kitty Margolis, among others. Scott has played on numerous recordings, including Kitty Margolis Album (Mad Kat Records), Shanna Carlson (Bout Time Records), Friends (KEDABR) featuring Kenny Hadley and Rebecca Paris, and Mark Murphy’s September Ballads (Milestone Records), which was nominated for a Grammy Award. Some of the artists Scott has performed with include Kevin Mahogany, Bobby Hutcherson, Terry Gibbs, Jessica Williams, Joe Pass, Herb Ellis, Barney Kessel, Ernie Watts, Stan Getz, Tootie Heath, and Tom Harrell. Most recently, Scott serves as the regular bassist for Grammy Award winning vocalist/pianist Diane Schuur. Scott has been the bass clinician with the Monterey Jazz Festival’s Traveling Clinician Program since 1990.
Michele Weir – Vocal Clinician
Michele Weir is one of the leading figures in vocal jazz today. She has earned international recognition through a diverse set of talents as arranger, teacher, singer and pianist/
Michele's vocal arrangements are performed by The Manhattan Transfer, New York Voices, The Swingle Singers, M-Pact, Beachfront Property, Chanticleer, and Voice Trek. Her orchestral works have been played by the Boston Pops, the Buffalo, Cincinnati, and Pacific Symphonies, and others. Michele's educational arrangements are distributed by various publishers, including her own online publishing company, MichMusic. She was Vocal Producer for the Manhattan Transfer¹s 2009 CD release, Chick Corea Songbook, and her arrangements or compositions have been featured on the Shari Lewis TV show, Disney's 101 Dalmatians sing-along CD, and the Holland America Cruise line.
Currently serving on the faculty of University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Michele taught previously at USC, CSU Long Beach, and the Phil Mattson School. Highly respected as a teacher and clinician, her work has taken her to more than 22 countries around the globe. Recent notable presentations include the World Choral Symposium, the IAJE Conference, and the ACDA National Conference. Michele's educational book/CD sets, Vocal Improvisation and Jazz Singer's Handbook are available worldwide. Her most recent book/CD Set, Jazz Piano Handbook (Alfred Pubs.) was released in 2008.
Michele is often featured as guest vocalist at educational jazz festivals and is a former member of the GRAMMY®-nominated vocal group, The PM Singers. As a pianist, she has toured extensively with a variety of artists, including singer Bobby Vinton. In her role as Music Supervisor for the DreamWorks film, Prince of Egypt, she journeyed through Europe and Asia overseeing music production for the film's foreign language dubs. Her solo CD with jazz guitarist Bruce Forman is titled The Sound of Music. www.micheleweir.com