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MIDDLE SCHOOL JAZZ CAMP FACULTY

Kyle Athayde, adjunct trumpet and trombone

Kyle Athayde is a New York based composer, arranger, performer, teacher, and bandleader. A native of Orinda, California, Kyle plays vibraphone, piano, trumpet, and drums, bongos, congas, timbales, string bass, bass clarinet, sousaphone, and vocal percussion. He is the leader, conductor, and principal writer for the New York based big band, the Kyle Athayde Dance Party, a group acclaimed for its versatility in the wide scope of styles it performs, and is pianist for the New York Trumpet Ensemble.

Influenced by the music of J. S. Bach, Duke Ellington, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Eric Dolphy, Dmitri Shostakovich, Louis Armstrong, Igor Stravinsky, Charlie Parker, Olivier Messiaen, Art Tatum, and many others, Athayde composes and arranges music in a variety of genres, with an emphasis on jazz, classical, salsa, and electronic. While an undergraduate student at Juilliard, Kyle was heavily immersed in an inter-disciplinary arts environment which included dance, drama, and music, which provided him the opportunity to further develop and refine his programmatic approach to composition.  

Athayde’s recent commissioned compositions and premieres include a double concerto for the New York Sinfonietta, a tone poem for Bobby Sanabria and the Manhattan School of Music Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra (the title track of their most recent album, ¡Que Viva Harlem!), two pieces for choir and band for the University of Scranton’s performing ensembles, and music for the ending credits of the film Diller, Scofidio + Renfro: Reimagining Lincoln Center and the High Line. He also arranged the music for the halftime show for the University of California at Berkeley Marching Band in their final performance of the 2013 season. Kyle is currently working on commissions for the Canadian Brass, the New York Trumpet Ensemble, Manhattan School of Music Trumpet Ensemble, and the San Francisco Conservatory Brass Choir.

Committed to inter-disciplinary educational outreach in the arts, Kyle has offered classes, clinics, lessons and masterclasses at schools, workshops, and camps in California, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Alaska. A regular visiting faculty member of the Sitka Fine Arts Camp, he recently developed and taught a class on video game music history and composition there, and directed the jazz band and a vocal hip hop class. He is the Director of Curriculum at the Lafayette Summer Music Workshop, and regularly offers clinics and masterclasses to middle school and high school bands throughout Northern California. 

Kyle has a wide range of interests, and loves to teach and learn about a variety of subjects, which brings a wide stylistic variety to his music, as his diverse interests inspire his work. A passionate fan of American football, the ruthless power and strategy of the sport influence his exciting writing style. An avid gamer, the music of these games has inspired some of his most unusual and engaging compositions. www.kyleathaydedanceparty.com

Bob Athayde, piano

Recognized for his outstanding teaching and musicianship, Bob Athayde has garnered a number of awards including the Gil Freitas Outstanding Music Educator Award, the Diablo Symphony Association’s Distinguished Music Educator Award, Charles Schwab’s Teach Each Distinguished Teacher Award, the Prudential Realty Outstanding Teacher Award, the AC5 Arts Recognition Award, and the KDFC Outstanding Music Educator Award. Bob was also awarded the CMEA Don Schmeer Outstanding Band Teacher of California Award, and the Warren Eukel Teacher Trust Award. In 2013, Mr. Athayde was awarded the first ever Outstanding Jazz Educator Award by the CMEA Bay Section. Most recently he was selected as a Quarterfinalist for the 2016 Grammy Music Educator Award.

He received his Bachelors degree in Music and a teaching credential from California State University, Hayward, and has completed work toward a Masters Degree in Kodaly Music at Holy Names College in Oakland. He has been a faculty member at Diablo Valley College, CSU East Bay and is currently teaching jazz improvisation at St. Mary's College in Moraga, Calif.

Additionally, Athayde was the featured guest artist/clinician on trumpet and piano at the CSU Stanislaus Jazz Festival, and a clinician at the UC Berkeley Jazz Festival and Henderson State University Band Camp. For the past 14 years, Athayde has traveled to the Sitka Jazz Festival in Alaska as performer/clinician, playing with such well known artists as Paquito d’Rivera, Steve Turre, Ira Nepus, John Santos, and John Clayton. Since 2008, Bob has performed and given clinics at the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival in Moscow, Idaho where he has become known as “The Interviewer.” These interviews have included such greats as Hank Jones, Diane Reeves and Jimmy Heath. Along with adjudicating for various music festivals around the Bay Area, guest teaching and conducting, Bob has taught jazz improvisation and conducted orchestras for Suzuki Music Institutes in Stanford, Utah, and Hawaii. Since 2001, Bob has been on the faculty of the Sitka Fine Arts Camp in Sitka, Alaska. He is the Director of the Lafayette Summer Music Workshop (now in its 17th year). His "everyday job" is Director of Music Education at Stanley Middle School in Lafayette, Calif. which includes two jazz bands (four-time DownBeat magazine award winners), five concert bands, and one chorus.

Marika Galea, bass

Bassist Marika Galea was named as the 2014 Rising Young Star at the Prince Edward County Jazz Festival and is a full scholarship graduate from Berklee College of Music in Boston. She has performed everywhere from the desert of Santa Fe to Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola in New York, as she carves out her reputation as a jazz bassist with staying power on both sides of the U.S.-Canadian border, and has studied with master drummers Ralph Peterson Jr. and Terri Lyne Carrington, as well as bassist Susan Hagen (Boston Symphony Orchestra extra). She plans to complete her studies in Performance and Classical Composition with a minor in Conducting. Over the last few years, Marika has enjoyed the privilege of performing with a number of skillful artists including Cyrus Chestnut, Bucky Pizzarelli, and Steve Davis. She has also opened for Branford Marsalis & Joey Calderazzo, Joey DeFrancesco, Al Jarreau and Randy Brecker. Marika also leads a variety of projects, and appeared at the 2015 Monterey Next Generation Jazz Festival with her quartet. Originally from Toronto, Marika is a former student of both the University of Toronto and the Humber College Community Music School. A respected musician, journalist, and educator who emerged from the Toronto scene, Marika aspires to a career in international relations as a musical ambassador for both Canada and the United States as her musicianship continues to grow.

Mike Galisatus, trumpet

Michael Galisatus is the Director of Bands at the College of San Mateo directing both the college big bands and the wind ensemble. He has been the recipient of various teaching honors including the CMEA Bay Section Outstanding Jazz Educator Award 2015-2016, the Peninsula Arts Council Arts Educator of the Year for 2007, the Otter Distributors 2004 Jazz Educator Award for the state of California, the California PTA Honorary Service Award, and the CMEA Bay Section Gil Freitas Memorial Award for music education. Prior to his appointment at the College of San Mateo, Michael was the band director at South San Francisco, El Camino, and Aragon High Schools. He currently holds the office of Jazz Representative for the California Music Educator’s Association, and is on the board of the California Alliance for Jazz. He is also a past president of the California Music Educator’s Association Bay Section.

Michael is in demand as an adjudicator throughout California, and has appeared as guest conductor for the CMEA Bay Section Conference Band, Hayward Unified School District High School Honor Band, The Elk Grove Unified School District High School Honor Band, The Stanislaus County Music Educators Association High School Honor Jazz Band, The San Mateo Union High School District Honor Jazz Band and Concert Bands, the Contra Cost County Honor Junior High School Honor Jazz Band, and the West Contra Costa County Honor High School Band.

As a freelance trumpeter in the San Francisco Bay Area, Michael has recorded with Pete Escovedo and Queen Ida, and has performed with a variety of artists, including Louis Bellson, Natalie Cole, Frank Sinatra Jr., Mary Wilson, Kenny Washington, Jamie Davis, Frankie Valli, Kenny Loggins, Gladys Knight, Johnny Mathis, Mel Torme, The Temptations, Michael Feinstein, and a host of others.

Alan Hall, drums

Bay Area drummer and educator Alan Hall has performed and/or recorded with many jazz greats,  including Paul McCandless, Russell Ferrante, Taylor Eigsti, Art Lande, Geoff Keezer, Jimmy Haslip, Kai Eckhardt, and vocalists Kenny Washington and Rebecca Parris. He’s worked with Cirque Du Soleil in New York City, and Teatro Zinzanni in San Francisco. Alan taught drum set and ensembles at Berklee College of Music for seven years and he currently teaches drum set and ensembles at California Jazz Conservatory in Berkeley and Cal State University East Bay in Hayward. He is the author of several articles and a drum book entitled Internalization, a non-reading intensive approach to mastery of the jazz drumming language. He is a proud endorser of Brooks Drums, Zildjian Cymbals, Aquarian Accessories and Vic Firth Sticks. www.jazzdrumming.com

Pat Kelley, guitar

Recognized for his signature touch, harmonic dexterity, bluesy melodies and sense of rhythm, guitarist Pat Kelley has enjoyed an extensive and successful career as a studio and touring musician, recording artist, composer, lyricist, producer, arranger, vocalist, recording engineer, publisher, and educator. He has now officially embraced the title of mentor. As an integral part of the Thornton School of Music Guitar faculty at the University of Southern California for the past 22 years, he has helped guide students to success as professional musicians. Pat also devotes time to preparing high school guitarists for college auditions. He has been the guitar faculty for the Monterey Jazz Festival Summer Jazz Camp for two years and the University of Tulsa Summer Jazz Camp for seven years. Two of Pat's books, Arpeggios for the Evolving Guitarist and Melodic Minor Guitar are part of the USC Thornton School of Music instructional series and are available from Mel Bay Publications.

Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Pat grew up playing with his Dad, other guitarists, singers, and bands from the age of five. After attending the University of Tulsa with a major in music composition, he moved to Southern California in the early 1970s where he has navigated the music business in Los Angeles, touring internationally and/or recording with George Benson, Natalie Cole, David Benoit, Jane Monheit, Hubert Laws, Ronnie Laws, Eric Marienthal, John Pisano, Mark Winkler, Rick Braun, Richard Elliot, Dave Brubeck, Gregg Karukas, Dave Koz, Bill Cantos, Tom Scott, Al Jarreau, Nickel Creek, CeCe Wynans, Melissa Manchester, Randy Crawford, Burt Bacharach, Olivia Newton John, Jose Feliciano, Carol Welsman, and many others.

Pat worked for nearly seven years as the house guitarist on the Merv Griffin Show, Pat Sajak Show, and the New Carol Burnett Show. Performances with symphony orchestras include San Francisco, San Diego, Houston, Atlanta, Tulsa, Denver, San Antonio, Auckland, Nashville, Toledo, and the Asia America Symphony Orchestra. With a BMI catalogue containing more than of 150 compositions that have been commercially recorded for CDs, films, television, jingles, and music libraries, Pat's latest CDs feature collaborations with nine different guitarists (Overtones 4 Two Guitars), and five different singers (Sing Me Back Home). In 2003, Pat was honored in his home state by being inducted into the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame, joining past inductees Chet Baker, Oscar Pettiford, Lester Young, Charlie Christian, and Barney Kessel. www.patkelley.com

Janice Perl, vocal jazz

​Janice has had a passion for the performing arts since she was a little girl. She grew up in the musical Marotta family where she had the opportunity to have excellent training which led to a professional career in music, and performing arts. The years she experienced as a “working” performer gives her a unique perspective when coaching and directing the next generation.  

She was a featured dancer on a T.V. special called IBM Presents Baryshnikov on Broadway starring Mikael Baryshnikov, Liza Minelli, and Nel Carter. She also toured in a national touring company with the cast of American Bandstand starring Dick Clark. She was a featured singer with Danny and the Juniors, The Platters, and Gary US Bonds. Upon returning from that tour, she was the lead singer in the Mike Marotta Jr. band for two years, and then the band leader and lead singer for her own band for five years. She loves singing jazz, and watching the next generation of performers hone their skills.

Kristen Strom, saxophone

In addition to leading her own Quintet, Kristen Strom is an integral part of some of the San Francisco Bay Area's leading bands. She has performed with many well-known artists, including Manhattan Transfer, Roberta Flack, Johnny Mathis, Jimmy Heath, Steve Turre, Kevin Mahogany, Michel LeGrand, the San Jose Symphony, the Temptations, Natalie Cole, The Four Tops, and the San Francisco production Beach Blanket Babylon. In addition to her solo albums Intention and Sojourn, she has recorded more than 30 CDs with various jazz and pop artists, including the international jazz group Crossing Borders, John Worley and Worlview, Ed Johnson and Novo Tempo, Wally Schnalle, Tammy L. Hall, the Jim Norton Collective, poet Paul Zarzyski, and four albums with the Nuclear Whales Saxophone Orchestra. Her touring schedule has included performances across the U.S., Canada, Europe and Asia with the Nuclear Whales and others. Kristen is saxophone and jazz combo instructor at Santa Clara University, is on the faculty of the Stanford Jazz Workshop, and is the Director of South Bay Summer Jazz Intensive. Kristen has a B.A. in Music from San Jose State University, as well as graduate studies in music education, and studied saxophone and woodwinds with Joe Henderson, Mel Martin and Victor Morosco. Kristen is an endorsing artist and clinician for Selmer saxophones. www.kristenstrom.com

Marty Wehner, trombone

A graduate of the Berklee College of Music, Marty has extensive playing experience. A few of the musicians he's worked with include: Dizzy Gillespie, Joe Henderson, Natalie Cole, Tone Toni Tony, Cecil Taylor, Dr. John, Tito Puente, Josh Redman, Benny Carter, the Mingus Epitaph Orchestra, and Wynton Marsalis. Marty plays with the Bay Area band Mingus Amungus, and leads his own band, Funkbone. He is an instructor of Trombone and Intermediate Combo at the University of California, Berkeley, and also teaches at the Prospect Sierra school in El Cerrito. He recently performed with Wayne Shorter at the Monterey Jazz Festival.

 

HIGH SCHOOL JAZZ CAMP FACULTY

KYLE ATHAYDE - trombonist and educator

Kyle Athayde is a New York based composer, arranger, performer, teacher, and bandleader. A native of Orinda, California, Kyle plays vibraphone, piano, trumpet, and drums, bongos, congas, timbales, string bass, bass clarinet, sousaphone, and vocal percussion. He is the leader, conductor, and principal writer for the New York based big band, the Kyle Athayde Dance Party, a group acclaimed for its versatility in the wide scope of styles it performs, and is pianist for the New York Trumpet Ensemble.

PECK ALLMOND - trumpeter and educator

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 Hersch, 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. Check out Peck on YouTube.

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. www.peckallmond.com

HENRIQUE CARNEIRO - intern, trumpeter and educator

Henrique Carneiro, 19, currently studies jazz trumpet at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York City. A dual American/Brazilian citizen, he was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and is a graduate of Escola Graduada de São Paulo, in São Paulo, Brazil, where he first came into contact with the trumpet and music performance education. Henrique met MJF educator Paul Contos through Escola Graduada's annual jazz workshop, the Graded Jazz Festival, when he was a seventh grader in school, and was inspired to focus on music ever since. He has gone back to teach at the Graded Jazz Festival for its two latest installments, and plans to further his performance and composition technique, as well as his skills as an educator.

Henrique can be seen regularly in São Paulo jazz clubs when he's in Brazil, as well as having appeared at Smalls, Fat Cat, Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Minton's Playhouse, and many other venues in New York, playing alongside various greats, such as Harold Mabern, Lew Tabackin, Luis Bonilla, Jane Monheit, and others. He currently studies under Marcus Printup, Peck Allmond, and Scott Wendholt.

PAUL CONTOS - woodwinds performer and educator

Since the 1970s, Paul Contos has been involved in jazz performance and education in the San Francisco Bay Area and internationally. He has mentored and taught an impressive roster of musicians through his work for the Monterey Jazz Festival’s Jazz Education Programs as saxophone clinician and director of the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra and Monterey County High School All-Stars is distinguished. He 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 U.S., Japan, and Brazil. Contos is a faculty member at UC Santa Cruz, has taught at Monterey Peninsula College, and has developed the curriculum and pedagogy for the Music Recording/Technology Concentration at Cal State University, Monterey Bay. He received three performer grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as serving as Artist In Residence for the California Arts Council. He conducts, performs, and adjudicates at college and high school jazz competitions internationally, including Monterey’s Next Generation Jazz Festival. In September 2009, Paul Contos was appointed as the Director of the SFJAZZ High School All-Stars Orchestra.

An inspiration and active in the formation of the Kuumbwa Jazz Center in Santa Cruz, Contos has played with many world-renowned jazz artists such as Mundell Lowe, Clark Terry, Roy Hargrove, Jon Hendricks, Joe Williams, Dianne Reeves, Sheila Jordan, Ray Drummond, Eddie Marshall, Kenneth Nash, Vince Lateano, Madeline Eastman, Mark Levine, Rebeca Mauleón, Bruce Forman, Tee Carson, Dave Eshelman, Ray Brown, Dizzy Gillespie, Clark Terry, the Heath Brothers, Wynton and Branford Marsalis, Christian McBride, Kurt Elling, Regina Carter, Gary Burton, Wayne Shorter, Terence Blanchard, John Faddis, David “Fathead” Newman, 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.

MATT FALKER - vocalist and educator

Matt Falker is currently the department chair of the Music Department at MiraCosta College in Oceanside, Calif., where he directs vocal jazz ensembles and teaches theory and piano classes. His previous faculty positions include the University of Southern California, Cal State Northridge, Cal State Fullerton, Fullerton College, Hamilton High School Academy of Music, and Purdue Musical Organizations at Purdue University.

A native of northern Michigan, Matt received his undergraduate degree from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo in jazz piano and his graduate degree from the University of Southern California in jazz voice. An active performer and international clinician, his recent appearances as a guest clinician or performer include festivals in Washington, New York, Idaho, Alberta, Manitoba, and California, including prominent events such as the Monterey Jazz Festival. He has also served on the vocal jazz faculty for the IAJE Teacher Training Institute, and as the guest conductor for both the Washington and California All-State Vocal Jazz Ensembles and the LAUSD Middle School Honors Chorus. He is the founder and director of the Oceanside Jazz Festival, a non-competitive vocal jazz and big band festival hosted at MiraCosta College.

Many of Matt’s vocal arrangements are published by Sound Music Publications and UNC Jazz Press, and he also distributes music through his own publishing company, Matfal Music. He has also published an instructional DVD through Sound Music Publications entitled Jazz Piano For Singers, Volume 1. Recently, he presented a clinic at the 2013 Jazz Education Network (JEN) conference in Atlanta on jazz piano voicings. He is a member of the professional vocal jazz quartet True North, comprised of Los Angeles studio musicians and clinicians. www.mattfalker.com

BRUCE FORMAN - guitarist, author and educator

Bruce Forman's guitar style has been an important part of the international jazz scene for more than three decades. He has been featured as leader as well as sideman at many of the most prestigious festivals and concert venues throughout the world.

His numerous recording and performing credits include the likes of Bobby Hutcherson, Ray Brown, Freddie Hubbard, Joe Henderson, Barney Kessel, Roger Kellaway, Richie Cole, and countless others. Known for swinging bop-style phrasing and inventive harmonizations, his ability to work in a variety of settings keeps him in constant demand. His guitar work is featured throughout Clint Eastwood's Academy Award winning film, Million Dollar Baby.

His devotion to sharing knowledgeparticularly with childrenhas been a constant throughout his career. Having taught since his late teens, he is keenly aware of the needs of developing musicians and is personally connected to all of his students, many of whom have moved on to successful careers as recording and performing artists. He has served as 'artist in residence' at numerous music workshops worldwide, has conducted seminars in conservatories and universities across four continents, is in residence at USC's Thornton School of Music and a longstanding member of the Monterey Jazz Festival Education Programs.

In January 2000, he founded JazzMasters Workshop, a music-mentoring program for student-age musicians. Beginning in 2001, JazzMasters achieved non-profit 501(c)(3) status and operated well more than 2,500 workshops throughout the nation. Bruce Forman's recording and performing credits include the likes of Bobby Hutcherson, Ray Brown, Freddie Hubbard, Joe Henderson, Barney Kessel, Richie Cole, and countless others.www.bruceforman.com

MICHAEL GALISATUS - trumpeter and educator

Michael Galisatus is the Director of Bands at the College of San Mateo directing both the college big bands and the wind ensemble. He has been the recipient of various teaching honors including the CMEA Bay Section Outstanding Jazz Educator Award 2015-2016, the Peninsula Arts Council Arts Educator of the Year for 2007, the Otter Distributors 2004 Jazz Educator Award for the state of California, the California PTA Honorary Service Award, and the CMEA Bay Section Gil Freitas Memorial Award for music education. Prior to his appointment at the College of San Mateo, Michael was the band director at South San Francisco, El Camino, and Aragon High Schools. He currently holds the office of Jazz Representative for the California Music Educator’s Association, and is on the board of the California Alliance for Jazz. He is also a past president of the California Music Educator’s Association Bay Section.

Michael is in demand as an adjudicator throughout California, and has appeared as guest conductor for the CMEA Bay Section Conference Band, Hayward Unified School District High School Honor Band, The Elk Grove Unified School District High School Honor Band, The Stanislaus County Music Educators Association High School Honor Jazz Band, The San Mateo Union High School District Honor Jazz Band and Concert Bands, the Contra Cost County Honor Junior High School Honor Jazz Band, and the West Contra Costa County Honor High School Band.

As a freelance trumpeter in the San Francisco Bay Area, Michael has recorded with Pete Escovedo and Queen Ida, and has performed with a variety of artists, including Louis Bellson, Natalie Cole, Frank Sinatra Jr., Mary Wilson, Kenny Washington, Jamie Davis, Frankie Valli, Kenny Loggins, Gladys Knight, Johnny Mathis, Mel Torme, The Temptations, Michael Feinstein, and a host of others.

VINCE LATEANO - drummer and educator

A California native, Vince Lateano made his mark performing with Eddie Duran and Vince Guaraldi in the 1970s. After a tour with the Woody Herman Band, Vince joined the Cal Tjader group in 1978, recording six albums with the famed vibist. Vince has also recorded with Stan Getz, Dizzy Gillespie, Tania Maria, Tom Harrell, Al Cohn, Richie Cole, Mark Murphy, Eddie Duran, Bill Perkins, and Carmen McRae, among others.

 

GARY MEEK - saxophonist and educator

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 - pianist and educator

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. Along with several trips back to the states, performances ranged from 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, and features vibraphonist Mark Sherman, drummer Akira Tana, and bassist John Schifflett. www.eddiemendenhall.com

SCOTT STEED - bassist and educator

Bassist Scott Steed was born and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He moved to San Francisco in 1981, where he quickly became one of the top-call bass players in the Bay Area jazz scene, playing with many of the top local and touring jazz musicians, including Tee Carson, Richie Cole, Bobby Hutcherson, Bruce Forman, Joe Henderson, Vince Lateano, Mark Murphy, Kitty Margolis, and many others. In 1985, Scott won the bass chair in the Horace Silver Quintet, and toured with the group, and in 1990, Scott became the bass clinician for the Monterey Jazz Festival’s Traveling Clinician Program, an education role he still holds. In 1993, Scott began to work with the legendary singer Joe Williams, a spot he held until Joe’s death in 1998.

Scott moved to Portland, Oregon in 1997, and worked with many of the area's top musicians, including Gary Hobbs, Randy Porter, Dan Balmer, Mel Brown, Tony Pacini, Tom Grant, Rebecca Kilgore, and many others. In 2001, Scott became the bass player and music director for Diane Schuur, and played with her until 2010. He is on many recordings, and has performed at many of jazz festivals around the world. Scott moved to Spokane, Washington in 2010, and acts as an adjunct teacher at both Eastern Washington University in Cheney, and Whitworth University in Spokane.