Jazz Studies and Performance :: Alumni

An article about our Jazz Alumni (.pdf)

Jazz Program : Jazz Alumni Performing Credits

Carl Allen (83) – Freddie Hubbard, Jackie McLean, Donald Harrison, Benny Golson, George Coleman, Donald Byrd, albums under his own name, numerous production projects; Director, Juilliard School Jazz Program; co-leads a group with bassist Rodney Whittaker.

Eddie Allen  – performed with Art Blakey, Billy Harper, Randy Weston, Dizzy Gillespie, Henry Threadgill, Bobby Watson, Jon Faddis, Benny Carter, Panama Francis, Joe Henderson and Steve Turre, as well as composed for: Louis Hayes, Lester Bowie, Jack McDuff, Etta Jones & Houston Person, Mongo Santamaria, Chico Freeman, Charli Persip, Vanessa Rubin and Muhal Richard Abrams.  Performed in Broadway orchestras for Ain't Misbehavin', Black & Blue, Side Show, Jelly's Last Jam, Five Guys Named Mo' and Rollin' On the T.O.B.A. , and has written the instructional method book, "An Introduction To The Bb Concert Blues," which is published by Charles Colin Publishing.

Eric Alexander (90) – Second Prize, Thelonious Monk Saxophone Competition, 1991.  Numerous recordings under his own name, performed with Shirley Scott, George Coleman, Harold Mabern, Mickey Roker, Peter Washington, Dave Hazeltine, George Mraz, John Hicks, Idris Muhammad, and CDs with Harold Mabern, Charles Earland, Pat Martino, Kenny Barron, Cecil Payne.

Judy Bady (BA 99) – consecutive Down Beat Jazz Award winner, Best Jazz Vocalist; performed/recorded with Gary Bartz, Andrew Cyrille, Billy Harper, John Hicks, Oliver Lake, many others, own CD Blackbird.

Antwan Barrett (04) – Q Tip, Stevie Wonder

Sam Barsh (03) – leads his own groups, four years with Avishai Cohen Trio, also Cassandra Wilson, Jeff Parker, Boyz II Men, Bobby McFerrin, The Brand New Heavies, Robin Eubanks, Debbie Friedman, Branford Marsalis, Lonnie Plaxico, Christophe Schweizer, Dave Samuels, Ku'umba Frank Lacy, The Mighty Blue Kings, Omar Edwards, Mino Cinelu, Rez Abbasi, Kenny Wollessen, Curtis Watts, Nguyen Le, Ben Monder, Hans Glawischnig

Jeff Baumeister (95)  Dave Douglas transcription article in Down Beat, June 2003. “Useful Music” CD, Best of 2005, All About Jazz.com, numerous transcriptions published in DownBeat, BMI Jazz Composer’s Workshop, M.M. University of the Arts, first recipient of the Bernard Peiffer Jazz Piano Award, Assistant Professor Bucks County Community College, regular performances throughout Philadelphia.

Shirantha Beddage (MM 04) DMA Eastman 2007, Director of Theory and Harmony, Humber College, Toronto; former faculty at U. North Carolina Greensboro and North Carolina State University; active performer with CD “Roots and Branches.”

Johnathan Blake – tours, performances as regular drummer with Mingus Big Band, with Tom Harrell, Russell Malone, Kenny Barron, Avishai Cohen, David Sanchez, Michael Brecker, Roy Hargrove, Conrad Herwig, rapper Q-Tip, M.M. Rutgers University, 2006 ASCAP Young Composers Award

Marlin Bonds – seven years as faculty in Princeton Regional Schools, now in Los Angeles as successful songwriter/producer. His hit song "Money in the Bank" for recording artist/producer Swizz Beatz went to #21 on Billboard charts; also establishing reputation as hook-writer, horn section writer after writing and producing the tracks "Big Girls" for Bow-Wow and "Birthday" for Twista.

Tom Brislin – produced, designed, composed music for own CD “You Were Spiraling”, regular keyboardist, music director for, recorded with Meat Loaf, keyboards with Rick Wakeman andYes

Jameo Brown – Stevie Wonder, Greg Tardy, Bobby Hutcherson, Mingus Big Band

Jason Brown – M.M, Manhattan School of Music, Big Apple Circus, accompanying for numerous singers

Alexis Cole (vocalist) vocalist with the US Army Jazz Knights stationed at West Point.  She has toured worldwide, and was winner of the 2008 JazzMobile Vocal Competition.

Sean Conly (94) – albums and tours as regular bassist with Nicolas Payton, Andrew Hill, Tom Harrell, Regina Carter, Gregory Tardy

Roxy Coss (08) – debut CD released in 2010; tours, performanes at North Sea, Vienne and Montreux Jazz Festivals, Today Show Live, performances with Diva Big Band; Jazz Ahead Residency Program, Kennedy Center, Washington; native of Seattle, alumnus of renowned jazz program at Garfield High School.

Jewel Crenshaw (MM 02) – co-star “American Girl Review” on Broadway; part-time faculty, Bloomfield College; former faculty, Whitney Houston Arts Magnet School

Barry Danielian – trumpet – multiple tours, recordings with Tower of Power, Billy Joel, Blood, Sweat & Tears, James Taylor, in-demand New York session musician and arranger.

Josh Dion – w/Spyro Gyra, Chuck Loeb, Randy Brecker, Bill Evans, own group Josh Dion Band

Michael DuClos (BM 88; Electric/Double Bass) - Peter Townshend, Robert Quine, Deborah Harry, Kristin Hersh, JG, Thirlwell (Feotus), Joan Baez, Joan Osborne, Cracker, Camper Van, Beethoven, Cyndi Lauper, Eszter Balint, Martha Wainwright, Mike  Scott/Waterboys, Shivaree, Walter Salas-Humara, Garth Hudson, JR Monterose, Nick Brignola, James Spalding, The Elegant Too, Marcellus Hall, Nelly McKay, Kevin Salem.

Vincent Ector (07) – w/Dizzy Gillespie All-Stars, NEA Jazz Masters, Freddie Hubbard, Randy Weston, James Moody, Slide Hampton and Jimmy Heath as well as Gloria Lynne, Charles Earland, Bobby Watson, Lou Donaldson, Grover Washington Jr., Dr Lonnie Smith, Ron Carter, Claudio Roditi, John Lee, Ralph Peterson Jr., Melvin Sparks, and Shirley Scott.  Director of Arts for Kids, Inc.

Nathan Eklund (03) – w/Spyro Gyra, MM New Jersey City State University, Cecil’s Big Band lead trumpet, Joe Lovano, Claudio Roditi, Eddie Daniels, Don Friedman, Jack Walrath, Kermit Driscoll, Smoke Big Band, and has subbed on Broadway's The Little Mermaid & Dreamgirls. He recorded for Spyro Gyra's 2006 Grammy nominated album "Wrapped In A Dream", and has performed on recordings for Richie Cole, Chuck Loeb, Gerald Veasley, Craig Yaremko, Dave Noland, and Suede.

Maury Epstein – MM, Manhattan School of Music, CD, Bluejay Records with Mark Turner, David Kikoski, John Benitez

Bill Evans (80) – Miles Davis, Mahavishu Orchestra, Elements w/Mark Egan, numerous recordings under his own name, Michael Franks, Herbie Hancock, Lee Ritenour, Andy Summers, Dave Grusin, George Gruntz Orchestra

Joe Farnsworth (92) – with Cedar Walton, Diana Krall, Junior Cook, George Coleman, Cecil Payne, Annie Ross, Jon Hendricks, Jon Faddis, Benny Green, Benny Golson, Wynton Marsalis, Johnny Griffin, Horace Silver, Lou Donaldson, Pharoah Sanders, and Jazz at Lincoln Center.  Has played with Benny Green, Diana Krall (Montreal Jazz Festival), Curtis Fuller and Barry Harris (Northsea Jazz Festival), Pori Jazz Festival, Red Sea Festival and Umbria.

Dan Faulk (92) – M.M. Rutgers University, faculty SUNY Stony Brook, tours and recordings with J.J. Johnson, TanaReid, Lewis Porter Quintet

Tedd Firth – MM, Manhattan School of Music, accompanist for Marlene VerPlanck, Tom Wopat, John Pizzarelli, Houston Person, Benny Golson, Joe Morello, John Pizzarelli, Houston Person, Frank Wess, Mark Whitfield, Red Holloway, Benny Golson and Joe Morello, rehearsals with Bette Midler; arrangements performed by Philadelphia Pops. Tom Wopat, Lee Ann Womack, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Maureen McGovern, Faith Prince, Linda Lavin, Jane Olivor, Marilyn Maye, Karen Akers, Margaret Whiting, Carol Sloane, Bob Stewart, Marlene VerPlanck, Nancy Marano, and many others.  New York appearances include Carnegie Hall, the Blue Note, Birdland, the Iridium, the Algonquin, the Cafe Carlyle, Feinstein's at the Regency, the Rainbow Room, Town Hall, the Russian Tea Room and Gracie Mansion. Numerous national appearances include a performance at the White House.

Anat Fort (96) – ECM Recording contract accompanied by Paul Motian, also recordings, tours with Ratzo Harris, Al Grey, her own CD “Peel”

Wayne Goodman (93) – with Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, including tours, television and recordings of the Pulitzer Prize-winning oratorio “Blood on the Fields”

Ron Gozzo (94) – written music for independent films, ads for Ken Burns’ PBS jazz documentary, faculty, Brooklyn College since 1997; performances with Ratzo Harris, Dave Valentine, Butch Morris.

Mark Griffith – CD, “Drumatic” on Bluebird Records, with Steve Wilson, Bryan Carrott, Kenny Davis; contributor/columnist for “Modern Drummer” magazine, lecturer at Berklee, PAS conventions

Mark Guiliana (03) –  his group, Beat Music, featured worldwide including Vienne Jazz Festival, Paris; worldwide tours, sox CDs with bassist Avishai Cohen; performed with Donny McCaslin, Gretchen Parlato; cited in Modern Drummer 2007 Readers Poll.

Sunna Gunnlaugs (96) – now living in her native Iceland, has recorded several rave-review CDs in her quartet with bassist Drew Gress, Tony Malaby, Loren Stillman, several Norwegian and Icelandic musicians, and her husband, drummer Scott McLemore. 

Dana Hall (92) – M.M. Composition, DePaul University, PhD candidate in Ethnomusicology, U. of Chicago.  Full-time faculty with tenure, U. of Illinois, Music Director Chicago Jazz Ensemble with Jon Faddis, formerly with Carnegie Hall Jazz Orchestra, Yamaha, Pro-Mark clinician.

John Hébert – performances with Andrew Hill, Uri Caine, Fred Hersch, Gerald Cleaver, Greg Osby

Ari Hoenig – w/Kenny Werner, Shirley Scott, Jean-Michel Pilc, Kenny Werner, Chris Potter, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Joshua Redman Elastic Band, Jazz Mandolin Project, and his own group Punk Bop.  He was awarded a Meet the Composer grant from the NEA, and is a fixture in his regular gig at New York’s Smalls jazz club.

Tommy Igoe (83) - member of Blood, Sweat and Tears; tours, recordings with New York Voices, Stanley Jordan, Art Garfunkel, Dave Grusin; creator of drumset book, associate conductor, performer for Broadway’s “Lion King.”  Leader, Birdland Big Band.  Author of book, “Groove Essentials,” DVD “Great Hands for a Lifetime.”

Matt King (86) - Blood, Sweat & Tears, Joe Lovano, Chris Potter, Rufus Reid, John Patitucci, Jon Hendricks, & Bob Moses, appeared on The Today Show and Good Morning America, North Sea Jazz Festival, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival

Brian Levy (02) MM Manhattan School of Music, DMA New England Conservatory, PhD Musicology, Brandeis University; publications in Sonus Theory Journal Fall 2006; performances with Charles McPherson, George Gruntz Big Bnad featuring John Scofield, Adam Nussbaum, Dave Liebman.

Nate Lienhard (93) – Joe Morello Trio, Orchestra Director at Caldwell High School, Academy of Holy Angels/Demarest.

Adam Linz (95) – busy bassist and bandleader in Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN. Director of MacPhail Center of Music, Minneapolis/St. Paul

Kevin Lutke (1983) – MA from New York University in 1996, faculty in British Columbia, Canada; two solo CDs including one featuring pianist Bill Charlap.  Teaching guitar privately in northern New Jersey.

Sarah Manning (studied 93-5, degree from Smith College) – two critically acclaimed CDs in San Francisco including Live at Yoshi’s: Two Rooms, Same Door; now living in New York City, recorded new CD Shatter the Glass with Linda Oh and Kyle Struve.

Jacam Manricks (MM 04) DMA Manhattan School of Music; third CD “Trigonometry,” performed with Ray Charles, Jeff ‘Tain’ Watts, David Liebman, Micheal Abene, Bob Mintzer, Dick Oatts, James Morrison, Mike Nock, Ben Monder, Gary Versace, Joe Martin, Tyshawn Sorey, Barney McAll, Jerry Lewis and the Queensland Symphony.

Joe Martin – tours as regular band member with Jane Monheit, also tours with Andy Bey, Kurt Rosenwinkel, regular member of Joel Frahm Quartet, solo CDs “Not By Chance” w/Chris Potter, Brad Mehldau,  “Passage” (Fresh Sounds).

Russell Meissner –  w/Sean Smith, Bill Charlap, John Scofield, Bill Charlap, Norah Jones, Marian McPartland, Joe Wilder, Dick Hyman

Coleman Mellett (95) – international tours w/Chuck Mangione, recordings, tours with Jeannie Bryson, MM Manhattan School of Music

Paul Merrill (94) – DMA Eastman; first-ever fulltime jazz faculty and Gusman Director of Jazz Ensembles at Cornell University; former faculty at Ithaca College. Vincent Herring, Terell Stafford, Maria Schneider, Brian Lynch, Rufus Reid, Wycliffe Gordon, Eric Alexander, Carl Allen, Kevin Mahogany, Darmon Meader, Claudio Roditi, and Steve Gilmore.

Adam Niewood (saxophone) - Bill Charlap, Jim McNeely, Rufus Reid, Warren Vache, Vic Juris, Steve Gilmore, Gene Bertoncini; widely known woodwind mouthpiece technician

Kay Wolff Niewood (MM 00) Jazz Library Director, Jazz at Lincoln Center; first Master of Music Jazz Arranging degree recipient; vocalist and jazz vocal arranger.

Jim Oblon (99) – tours, albums with Dick Oatts Trio, David Liebman, Clark Terry, Jerry Bergonzi

Tomoko Ohno (93) – currently featured with her own trio, as well as with the Diva Big Band and Quartet, the Harlem Spiritual Ensemble and Spirit of Life Ensemble.  She has released three CDs on the Japan-based Tokuma label.

Derrek Phillips – tours with Roberta Piket, member of Greg Osby Quartet, duos with Jason Moran, Charlie Hunter, Dave Douglas, and as a resident of Nashville, has performed with Vanessa Williams, Michael McDonald, Tommy Sims, Jonny Lang, Marc Broussard, Mike Farris, Charlie Peacock, DJ Logic, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Viktor Kraus (Lyle Lovett), Angela Kaset, Seamus Blake, Sam Newsome, Michael Brecker, Christian McBride, Adam Levy (of Norah Jones and the Handsome Band), Chris Potter, Rufus Reid, Michele Rosewoman, Lucian Ban, Oliver Lake, Marcus Belgrave, Eric Krasno (of Soulive), and Joshua Redman.

Jameel Roberts (2006) – masters degree in Composition from New York University; performances with Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, LL Cool J, Clark Terry and others.

Sam Sadigursky (02) – Winner, 2003 ASCAP Young Composers Award Competition; Radio City Music Hall, American Girls Review off-Broadway, solo CD “The Words Project”

Jim Saltzman (MM 02) Chris Potter transcription in Down Beat, adjunct faculty, Drew University; member, Cecil’s Big Band; BMI Composers Workshop; performances with Don Braden, Jim McNeely, George Coleman, James Moody, Grover Washington, Jr., Eddie Gomez, Jon Faddis, David Berkman, John Benitez, Jeff Hirschfield, Claudio Roditi, Vanessa Rubin.

Mary Katherine Severin (99) – Development Assistant, Virginia Opera Company, Richmond, VA

Mark Shim (93) – Three recordings on Blue Note Records; performed, toured with David Murray Big Band, Elvin Jones, Mose Allison, Betty Carter, Mingus Big Band

Chris Sholar – tours with Stanley Turrentine, Stevie Wonder, recordings with Whitney Houston, tours, recordings with rapper Q-Tip, with Snoop Dogg, and Teodross Avery, Beyonce, Mariah Carey, Kanye West, Lil Wayne, Jay-Z, Snoop Dogg, Q-Tip, Stevie Wonder,  Ne-Yo, Whitney Houston, D'angelo, Mos Def, Raphael Saadiq, Amerie, BustRyhmes

Travis Shook (90) – appearances with Branford Marsalis, Benny Golson, Clifford Jordan, Winner 1991 Great American Jazz Piano Competition, debut Columbia album with Tony Williams, Ron Carter

Tyshawn Sorey (BM ’04), drums, debut CD and collaborations with Muhal Richard Abrams, Ray Anderson, Steve Coleman, Wadada Leo Smith, Mario Pavone, Ellery Eskelin, Dave Douglas, Mark Helias, Butch Morris; grants and commissions from Van Lier Fellowship and Roulette Intermedium; masters candidate at Wesleyan College.

Vinnie Sperrazza – Japan tour with James Williams, Jim McNeely Trio

Alex Stein (MM ’08), co-leader of the Stein Brothers Quintet, won the award for 2009 Best Jazz Album of the Year from the organization American Music Harvest.  The quintet has released two CDs.

Aaron Stewart (93) – AACM projects, Vijay Iyer, Steve Coleman, Craig Taborn, Andrew Hill, Muhal Richard Abrams, Cecil Taylor, Anthony Braxton, David Murray Big Band, Collective Identity saxophone quartet

Bill Stewart (88) – John Scofield, Joe Lovano, Larry Goldings, Lee Konitz, Maceo Parker, James Moody, Richie Beirach, Marc Copland, Lew Tabackin, appearances on albums by Michael Brecker, James Brown TV special

Adam Strauss – Co-founder and CEO of Sonomic Records

Mark Tonelli (BM ’95) - guitarist, MM University of North Texas with a guitar teaching assistantship, is a member of the West Point Jazz Knights, and has performed with Jon Faddis, Randy Brecker, Gergg Bissonette, Steve Turre, Lynn Seaton, Billy Cobham, and the Les Elgart Orchestra; article featured in Fall 2004 Jazz Educators Journal

Crystal Torres (BM 04) – Jazz and The New Generation, w/Dr. Billy Taylor, Kennedy Center, Washington DC, Clark Terry Big Band, three years of recording, videos and worldwide tours with Beyoncé, two performances at the White House, with Billy Taylor and Beyoncé.

Matt Vashlishan (MM 08) – DMA, University of Miami; saxophone instructor, New World School of the Arts, Miami; transcribed, collaborated with David Liebman on three books, all published by Jamey Aebersold: Sax Basics, How to Approach Standards Chromatically, and David Liebman Transcriptions.

Shunda Wallace (92, MM 02), guest faculty, Michigan State University; original score, “Transformations” film by Javier Molina, assisted Frank Foster on his book Creative Orchestration, performances with Jimmy Heath, Ray Bryant, John Blake.

Bruce Williams (94) – Count Basie Orchestra, lead alto with Frank Foster Big Band, World Saxophone Quartet, Roy Hargrove RH Factor, several albums under his own name accompanied by Dwayne Dolphin, Cecil Brooks III, Russell Gunn.

Sue Williams (87) – current faculty, Bergen Community College; Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, Richard Hell and The Voidoids, Cab Calloway’s Swing Orchestra, Joe Walsh, Darlene Love, Steven Van Zandt, Ben E. King, Broadway’s Smokey Joes Cafe, and La Bamba and the Hubcaps

David Wofford (88) – performances, tours, recordings as a member of Spyro Gyra, with Laura Nyro