Meet the adjudicators for the 2022 National Jazz Festival. Check out their Bios!
Dr. Jeffrey Kunkel served for 22 years as a faculty member of the John J. Cali School of Music at Montclair State University. During his time at MSU, he acted as the Associate Director for Faculty of the Cali School, Coordinator of Undergraduate Music Education, the Coordinator of Jazz Studies and Director of the MSU Jazz Ensemble. Jeff, a composer and pianist, recently retired from full-time teaching. In 2008, Jeff won the prestigious New Jersey Jazz Education Achievement Award.
His albums Meu Coração Brasileiro and Many Happy Returns showcase his love of Brazilian jazz.
Jeff was a four term president and is a board member of the New Jersey Association for Jazz Education. He frequently serves as a clinician and adjudicator. Jeff is an alumnus of Penn State University (1982 and 1995), and of New England Conservatory (1984).
Wilbur is one of the country’s most requested clinicians, festival judges, guest conductors and teacher professional development presenters.
Wilbur Wittemann Orchestras perform all styles of music. He has been arranging and coordinating successful concert series and music festivals for over 30 years.
He has received the “Lifetime Achievement Award” from the New Jersey Association of Jazz Educators. During his 32 years as a Middle School Band director he was selected “Teacher of the Year” two times and was a finalist for the prestigious Princeton University Scholar Award.
Wilbur has conducted and performed with musicians including: Jose Feliciano, Little Anthony, The Platters, Dizzy Gillespie, Maynard Ferguson, Arturo Sandoval, Slide Hampton, Louis Bellson, Bill Watrous, Clark Terry, Phil Woods, Dave Weckl, Butch Miles, Wayne Bergeron and the Glenn Miller, Artie Shaw, and Jimmy Dorsey Orchestras.
Marc Dicciani is a Professor of Drumset at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and a very busy performer, teacher, clinician, and researcher.
He’s played with a wide range of artists including Randy Brecker, Jon Faddis, Robin Eubanks, Pat Martino, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Ben Vereen, Tom Jones, Lou Rawls, Roger Daltrey, Moody Blues, the Spinners, Natalie Cole, Mel Tormé, the Honolulu, Nashville, Philadelphia, and National Symphony Orchestras, and the Boston Pops; recorded for network TV/film in L.A. including NBC, CBS, the Tonight Show, two telecasts of the Golden Globe
Awards; and presented drumset clinics at countless schools, Universities, and conferences around the world. During the summer, he teaches the nation’s only graduate drumset course for music educators on the campus of Villanova University.
He was recently awarded the prestigious Drumset Education Legacy Award by Yamaha Drums, named Artist-in-Residence at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital’s Health Design Lab to research the healing and restorative powers of drumming, and named to the Scholarly Research
Committee of the Percussive Arts Society. He currently is a member of the Board of Directors of the Philadelphia Music Alliance, and has been with the Grammy organization (National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences) for more than 25 years.
Marc’s articles and research are regularly published in leading magazines including Modern Drummer and Percussive Notes, and his podcasts and interviews can be seen on many websites in addition his own. He is an artist/clinician for Yamaha Drums, Zildjian Cymbals, Vic Firth
Drumsticks, Remo Drumheads, and Latin Percussion.
Contact him on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and at www.dicciani.com
Marc is an Advisory Board Member of the NJF.
Since earning his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of the Arts, saxophonist Chris Farr has been a been a highly sought after performer, arranger and educator. Chris is currently a full time professor at UArts, where he serves as the undergraduate instrumental division head.
Throughout his career he has performed, toured and recorded with the likes of Rihanna, Sting, John Legend, The Roots, Maynard Ferguson & Big Bop Nouveau, Randy Brecker, Eminem, Chaka Kahn, Mariah Carey, Gerald Veasley, Blood Sweat & Tears, Elvis Costello, Jill Scott, the Philly Pops, Terrell Stafford, the Philadelphia Jazz Orchestra, The Pennsylvania Ballet, and many more. Chris also performed on the 2020 Super Bowl halftime show with Shakira and Jennifer Lopez and is an artist/clinician and endorser of Andreas Eastman saxophones.
Steve Uibel has been an educator and free lance musician in the New Jersey/Pennsylvania for the past 40 years. A graduate of Towson State University, his public school music education career included direction of high school ensembles in the Willingboro and Lenape Regional districts (New Jersey) as well as middle school ensembles and music facilitator duties in the Haddonfield (NJ) School District. Steve has served as a jazz ensemble adjudicator and clinician at the local, regional and state levels in New Jersey for more than 40 years. He also holds a Masters degree in Educational Administration from Rider University.
His 45 year freelance trumpet career includes performances throughout the tri-state region with Manhattan Transfer, Hugh Jackman, Phil Woods, Patti Austin, Marvin Hamlisch, Arturo Sandoval, Clark Terry, Slide Hampton, Peter Nero with the Philly Pops and the Lakewood Jazz Ensemble, including others.
Saxophonist/composer Kevin Bene graduated from Michigan State (2011) with a bachelor’s degree in classical performance and jazz studies. and holds a Masters in jazz studies from Manhattan School of Music. Kevin performed with the Grammy nominated MSM Afro Cuban Jazz Band under the direction of percussionist and jazz historian Bobby Sanabria. Kevin has recorded for Quincy Jones signed artist Nikki Yanofsky and has been a featured soloist for Wayfair commercials aired around the world. He has also performed with artists such as Wycliffe Gordon, Jimmy Heath, Luis Perdomo, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Rodney Whitaker, Candido Camero, Roland Vazquez and Jeff Kunkel.
Kevin recently joined the John J. Cali School of Music adjunct faculty at Montclair State University. He continues to freelance and teach around the tri-state area as well as teach remotely internationally. You can also catch him on YouTube.
Mark Allen currently serves as the head of the Saxophone/Woodwind department at the University of the Arts, where he also teaches the History of Jazz and Music Theory. Allen is an active member of the Philly Pops (bass clarinet/woodwinds), the Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia, and several other Philadelphia/New York ensembles. He has performed with the likes of Marcus Belgrave, Tony Bennett, Orrin Evans, George Garzone, Benny Golson, Wynton Marsalis, Wycliffe Gordon, Jimmy Heath, Lady Gaga and Dick Oatts, among others. In addition to being an in demand theater musician for numerous touring Broadway productions, he continues to amass classical performance credits, including performances on piccolo, clarinets, and saxophones with the Pennsylvania Ballet Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Orchestra 2001, and the Delaware Symphony Orchestra.
Matt Davis is a guitarist, teacher, and composer based in Philadelphia. Hailed as
“Inspired” by Downbeat magazine and “eloquent” by Jazztimes Magazine, Matt’s
compelling style has earned him awards and honors from ASCAP, the American
Composers Forum, Chamber Music America, and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. Matt serves as Adjunct Associate Professor and is Chair of the Guitar Department at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. He has shared the stage with notable musicians such as Odean Pope, Mickey Roker, Dave Liebman, John Swana, Terrell Stafford, Jon Hollenbeck, and many others. He has performed and taught workshops across the US, Europe, Asia, as well as Mexico and Canada. For more information visit www.mattdavisguitar.com
Matt is the prototypical lead trumpet player with extensive credits with
professional bands and orchestras up and down the east coast. He is a Yamaha Trumpet Artist and he has performed with several Broadway show productions and artists including The Philadelphia Orchestra, The Boston Symphony, The Baltimore Symphony, Diana Krall, Hugh Jackman, Michael Buble, and Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band to name a few.
Matt is currently the principal trumpet player for The Philly Pops Orchestra, Broadway Philadelphia at the Kimmel Center, and is the lead trumpet player substitute with The Philadelphia Orchestra. Matt is the Music Director of the Philly Pops Big Band which debuted in 2017, and Matt is the studio lead trumpet player at NFL Films in Mt. Laurel, NJ.
Matt is equally committed to both performing and teaching. Matt is the
“Z” Big Band director, trumpet department chair, and music education professor at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA.
Oscar Perez, a New York City native, has played in the musical groups of Phoebe Snow, Wycliffe Gordon, Christian McBride, Charenee Wade, Dave Stryker, Steve Turre, Eddie Allen, Charlie Porter and Don Braden, and has shared the stage with Bunky Green, George Russell, Dianne Reeves and Curtis Fuller. Oscar is also faculty at Montclair State University, Drew University, Manhattan School of Music and Jazz House Kids. He has been an educator through Carnegie Hall, the Kupferberg Center at Queens College and Jazz at Lincoln Center. He is currently enrolled in the Manhattan School of Music Jazz Arts Doctoral program. He also studied at the New England Conservatory, University of North Florida and Aaron Copland School of Music.
He is the recipient of the 2006 ASCAP/IAJE Commission in honor of Billy Strayhorn. He has been commissioned to arrange music for Chick Corea, Regina Carter and the MSM Jazz Orchestra featuring Sean Jones. He has three self- produced albums: Prepare A Place For Me, Nuevo Comienzo, and Afropean Affair.
Meredith Foreman, native of Elizabeth, New Jersey is a recording artist who performs regularly as a freelance musician. Meredith is a versatile performer comfortable playing drums/percussion, saxophone, clarinet, flute, and trumpet. On saxophone, Meredith performs with the world famous “Chops Horns” group where she frequently substitutes for the band’s two founding members Darryl Dixon and David Watson. The association with “Chops Horns” has led Foreman to perform at world famous venues including the Apollo Theater and Carnegie Hall in concerts featuring world class artists such as Quincy Jones, Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight, Natalie Cole, The O’Jays, Anita Baker, Dionne Warwick, Wayne Brady, Doug E. Fresh, Paul Shaffer, Edwin
Hawkins, BeBe Winans, Fantasia, Boyz II Men, Jamie Foxx, Mariah Carey, and Joss Stone to name a few.
After completing a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from Montclair State University in 2005, Foreman went on to establish and conduct an award winning instrumental music program for students in grades 4-8 at Chessie Dentley Roberts Academy in Elizabeth, NJ (Elizabeth Public Schools). In 2014, the Chessie Dentley Roberts Academy Jazz Band was invited to perform at the 40th annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr Human Rights Celebration sponsored by the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA). In 2015, they were the featured ensemble at Franklin Covey’s Leader in Me Symposium in NYC. In 2016, Miss Foreman’s students were invited to perform at Montclair State University as the guest Jazz Band in their spring concert featuring Darmon Meader of the New York Voices. Miss Foreman’s middle school Concert Band and Jazz Band have been awarded first place trophies at Music in the Parks festivals in NJ/PA for 8 consecutive years. In addition, she is currently the Coordinator of Jazz Studies and Activities at Montclair State University’s Stokes Forest Music Camp.
Meredith has served on the Board of Directors for the New Jersey Association for Jazz Education (NJAJE), which serves to promote Jazz Education in the state of New Jersey. Miss Foreman has had the honor of conducting the
New Jersey Region II Honors Middle School Jazz Band (2016), Rockland Junior All CountyBand (2019), and has worked as a Jazz clinician/adjudicator in multiple high schools throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Miss Foreman was commissioned to compose and perform music for the Guggenheim Museum which was used to underscore guide track resources featured in an exhibit titled “Off the Record” (2021). She is a published contributing author of “Teaching Music-The Urban Experience” by
Dr. Lisa Delorenzo (2019). She is the recipient of many awards including the Union County Teacher Recognition Award (2012), Edward F. Kappy Merit Award (presented by the Elizabeth Education Association), and an Excellence in Education “Leadership Award (2015)”.
Meredith is currently pursuing a Masters Degree in School Counseling with an LPC Qualification in an effort to become a more dynamic and effective music educator.
From the drum set Sherrie leads The DIVA Jazz Orchestra, her quintet FIVE PLAY and co-leads the 3D Jazz Trio. From Carnegie Hall, she performs with The New York Pops and she is also music director for Broadway star Maurice Hines.
Sherrie has performed at many of the world’s most acclaimed music venues; from Lincoln Center to the Hollywood Bowl and Jazz Festivals around the globe. DIVA was featured on TCM’s broadcast of the 25th Anniversary of the Kennedy Center and is prominently featured in the award-winning documentary film The Girls in the Band.
Sherrie’s awards include a 2014 Ovation award for “Best Music Direction – Tappin Thru Life;” the 2009 Mary Lou Williams-Kennedy Center Lifetime Achievement Award and a 2013 State Department grant to tour Vietnam.
DIVA’s most recent recording is DIVA & The Boys (2019, MCG.) FIVE PLAY released “LIVE” from the Firehouse Stage in 2019 and in 2020 3D released I Love to See You Smile.
Versatility is the key to acoustic/electric bassist Steve Beskrone‘s musical
achievements. He has worked and recorded with legends such as Ray Charles.
Horace Silver, Pat Martino, Philly Joe Jones. Recently toured internationally
with Melody Gardot and Maceo Parker. Steve has been with the Philly Pops
as the rhythm section bassist since 2013. From 1974-76 Steve attended the
Philadelphia Musical Academy (now know as The University of the Arts). He
studied double bass there with Neil Courtney of the Philadelphia Orchestra.
For the past 20 years, Steve has been on the school of music faculty at the
University of the Arts. He is currently the chair of the UArts bass department.
A graduate of West Chester University, Ron DiDonato spent 30 years in public education. During that time, he served as Director of Bands at both the high school and middle school levels. He has had award-winning school ensembles and musicians under his direction. He has also directed several honors ensembles as well as the NJ All Region jazz bands. He has been an active member of SJBODA, NJAJE and the Percussive Arts Society.
Mr. DiDonato has been performing in the tristate area for over 40 years and has played drums with the Lakewood Jazz Ensemble, now the Wilbur Wittemann Big Band, for over 30 years. Ron has performed with great local jazz musicians such as Dennis DeBlasio, Dave Pollack and Bob Gravener. He has also performed with Arturo Sanduval, Clark Terry, Bill Watrous, Phil Woods, Louis Bellson, Bob Mintzer, Randy Brecker, Dave Wekle, and Wayne Bergeron.
He is recently retired from public school education but continues to work with music students through his affiliation with Music and Arts as an instructor and through his clinics and adjudication of jazz festivals.
Wayne Dillon holds a Masters degree in Jazz performance/pedagogy from The University of Miami (Fl). He completed both his Honors Fine Arts and Education degrees from York University in Toronto, Canada. Wayne is currently the Director of Bands at the Frank J. Ciccarell Academy in Elizabeth N.J. His teaches Music Technology, Jazz, Symphonic and Marching Band. The Elizabeth HS Symphonic and Jazz bands have consistently earned superior ratings during Wayne’s tenure. Wayne is an active adjudicator for Drum Corps International, Bands of America and Winter Guard International. He has judged the National championships for these organizations over the past 30 years. He is a judge liaison for DCI, responsible for judge assignments and training. He also is an educational clinician for the Conn-Selmer Music Corporation. In 2010-2011, Wayne served as a staff member for the US Army All American Marching Band. As a performer, Wayne has played with The Studio Jazz band and the Art Blakey jazz ensemble. Also, Wayne has performed and recorded with Jeff Healey, Albert Collins, KC and the Sunshine Band, Al Chez (from the Dave Letterman band), Steve Brosky, The Meteors, Jay and the Technics, Don Mayer and The Hamilton Philharmonic. He currently plays with Tower Suite. In 2008, Wayne was awarded the State of New Jersey Governor’s teacher recognition award for his work with the music program at Elizabeth High School.
Trombonist Doug Elliott has performed in all 50 states, several countries in South America and Europe, as well as Angola, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and China. Doug was a member of the US Air Force Airmen of Note from 1989 to 1996, and has played lead trombone with the Artie Shaw orchestra since 1997. He has recorded with the Airmen of Note, Bill Potts Big Band, Eva Cassidy, Chuck Brown, Dick Johnson, and many others. He has always enjoyed the variety of playing that freelancing and touring provides, and performs regularly in various classical, jazz, latin, and ethic music groups, on tenor and alto trombone..
As a specialist in brass pedagogy and the mechanics of playing, Doug’s teaching is all about finding and maintaining each individual’s most efficient form, to avoid playing injuries (by any name) before they occur. He has given workshops at the Eastern Trombone Workshop, the International Trombone Festival, and many schools, most recently the University of Utah and Berklee College of Music.
Doug has been equally well known as a mouthpiece maker for over 40 years. Made in the USA by Doug himself, Doug Elliott Mouthpieces provide a unique system of modular mouthpieces with graduated sizing, for all low brass instruments.
Doug’s primary teachers have been John Marcellus and Donald Reinhardt. He has also participated in countless brass conferences, and nearly every International Trombone Festival since its start in 1971.
Mike Tomaro has been the Director of the Jazz Studies Program at the Mary Pappert School of Music at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA since 1997. This saxophonist, composer, arranger and educator earned his B.S. degree in Music Education from Duquesne University and his M.A. degree in Saxophone Performance from George Mason University in Fairfax, VA. Prior to his appointment at Duquesne, he lived in the Washington, D.C. area for seventeen years as a member of the Army Blues Jazz Ensemble, a unit of the prestigious “Pershing’s Own” U.S. Army Band. While a member of this group, he served as its Enlisted Musical Director and performed for Presidents Reagan, Bush and Clinton as well as heads of state from around the world. He also composed and/or arranged much of the Army Blues repertoire and was featured as a soloist on several of the group’s albums and CDs. Mike is a Yamaha Performing Artist and endorses Vandoren reeds, mouthpieces and ligatures exclusively.
As a performer, Mike has worked with such diverse artists and groups as Rosemary Clooney, Ray Charles, Michael Feinstein, Linda Ronstadt, Debby Boone, Johnny Mathis, Wayne Bergeron, Terence Blanchard, Louis Bellson, Terry Gibbs, Dizzy Gillespie Tribute Big Band, Woody Herman Orchestra and the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, where he is featured on their DVD, “Live at MCG.” In his hometown, he has performed with guitarist Joe Negri, Pittsburgh Jazz Legacy Band, Pittsburgh Symphony, River City Brass Band, Pittsburgh Ballet and Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble in addition to leading his own small groups.
Mike is the co-artistic director and lead alto player of the Pittsburgh Jazz Orchestra, the city’s premier big band, where he composes and arranges most of the material that group performs. In 2015, the band released its first CD, “Joyful Jazz,” on the MCG Jazz label; the album contains 11 arrangements by Tomaro. It has garnered rave reviews including a four-star rating in Downbeat magazine and was selected as one of the top seven holiday albums of 2015 by the Wall Street Journal.
Mike has four nationally released recordings under his own name that showcase his talents as both performer and composer/arranger – “Dancing Eyes” (Seabreeze Jazz), “Home Again” (Positive Music), “Forgotten Dreams” (Seabreeze Jazz) and “Nightowl Suite” (Seabreeze Jazz). Additionally, Mike has also been featured on many other CDs as performer and/or arranger, most notably on Nancy Wilson’s last two Grammy Award winning releases, “Turned To Blue” and “RSVP,” the Bob Mintzer Big Band’s Grammy nominated release, “For The Moment,” Ann Hampton Callaway’s “The Hope Of Christmas,” New York Voices’, “A Day Like This,” Sheryl Bailey’s “A New Promise” and the 21st Century Swing Band’s “Pittsburgh Jazz Legacy,” all on the MCG Jazz label. On the last two releases, Mike is prominently featured as the main arranger as well as a soloist.
Mike’s music has been performed by the likes of jazz greats David Liebman, Wayne Bergeron, Ivan Lins, Claudio Roditi, Mike Stern, Ernie Watts, Bobby Shew, Randy Brecker, New York Voices, Al Vizzutti and many more, as well as high schools, colleges and universities around the world. His orchestral arrangements have been performed by the Pittsburgh and National Symphony Orchestras. Over two hundred of his compositions and arrangements have been published by Doug Beach Music, Hal Leonard Publications, and Walrus Music. In 2009, Mike scored all the music for MCG/Opera Theater of Pittsburgh’s production of Duke Ellington’s musical “Beggar’s Holiday.” Recently, he also compiled, transcribed, reorchestrated and arranged music for large jazz ensemble for the entirety of a 90 minute show for actor Keith David for his one man show, “Joe Williams: Here’s To Life.”
Additionally, Mike has co-authored the textbook “Instrumental Jazz Arranging: A Comprehensive and Practical Guide” (Hal Leonard Publications), with his long-time mentor, Dr. John Wilson, who was Director of Jazz Studies at Duquesne University from 1972-1996.
Mike is affiliated with the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers where he has received several ASCAP Plus awards, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS), Jazz Education Network (JEN) and the National Association for Music Education (NAfME). Mike is in great demand both nationally and internationally as a guest soloist, adjudicator, and clinician. For more information on his activities, visit his website at www.miketomaro.com.
Alan Baylock: Born and raised in a small town in Southwestern Pennsylvania, Alan Baylock has composed music that is performed throughout the world. One of the most respected and sought-after jazz composers and educators in the industry today, he is the director of the Grammy-nominated One O’Clock Lab Band at the University of North Texas, and previously served 20 years as Chief Arranger for the USAF Airmen of Note in Washington, D.C. The Alan Baylock Jazz Orchestra recorded three critically-acclaimed CDs and performed throughout the United States for 15 years. Baylock graduated from Shenandoah University (BME 1990), where he later became Jazz Composer-in-Residence, and the University of North Texas (MM 1994).
Baylock travels extensively as guest conductor and clinician, and has been featured with close to 100 professional, collegiate, high school (all-state and regional), and middle school jazz ensembles. Alan is on faculty at the National Jazz Workshop (NJW) and directed the NJW All-Star Big Band in performances on the East and West Coast. Thanks to the Nu Psi Chapter, Alan became an honorary member of Phi Mu Alpha in 2016, and became an honorary member of Kappa Kappa Psi (Kappa Epsilon Chapter) in 2017. He is an active member of the Jazz Education Network.
Alan’s music has been performed and/or recorded by jazz greats Freddie Hubbard, Jimmy Heath, Michael Brecker, Maynard Ferguson, Doc Severinsen, Joe Lovano, Paquito D’Rivera, Melissa Aldana, Phil Woods, Arturo Sandoval, David Liebman, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Kenny Werner, Joshua Redman, Stefon Harris, Jerry Bergonzi, Nicholas Payton, Sean Jones, Tierney Sutton, Kurt Elling, and many more. His eclectic talents have also led him to writing music for Roy Clark, Lee Greenwood, Wynonna, Al Jarreau, Chaka Khan, Patti LaBelle, Spyro Gyra, Ronan Tynan, and symphony orchestras throughout the United States and abroad. His music is published by Alfred Music and ProJazzCharts.com.
Baylock lives in Denton, Texas with his wife, cellist Maria Baylock. In his spare time, Alan enjoys playing table tennis, and golfing with his UNT Jazz colleagues.
Mike Kamuf holds Bachelor of Music degrees in both Jazz Performance and
Music Education from the Dana School of Music at Youngstown State University (Youngstown, OH) and a Master of Arts degree in Instrumental Conducting from George Mason University (Fairfax, VA). Mike’s compositions and arrangements have been performed by numerous jazz artists and ensembles including the Woody Herman and Glenn Miller Orchestras, the USAF Airmen of Note, the US Navy Commodores, James Moody, Eddie Daniels, Sean Jones, Terell Stafford, Bill Watrous and Nick Brignola to name a few. Mike is an exclusive writer for the Belwin Division of Alfred Music Publishing with titles in their jazz, orchestra and concert band catalogs. He also has compositions for jazz ensemble published by UNC Jazz Press, the Neil A. Kjos Music and the FJH Music Company. Many of Mike’s published jazz ensemble arrangements have become standard literature for young jazz ensemble and he currently has over 90 publications in print.
Mike has performed with the Woody Herman and Tommy Dorsey Orchestras and has recorded as a member of the Alan Baylock Jazz Orchestra. He served as assistant principal trumpet of the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra under Maestro David Effron from 1990-92. Currently, Mike leads his own jazz octet, the Mike Kamuf Little Big Band, comprised of outstanding musicians from the Baltimore and Washington DC areas.
Mike has taught instrumental music for Montgomery County (Maryland) Public Schools (MCPS) since the fall of 1992. He has been in his current teaching position since 1995 as the Director of Bands and Orchestras and Music Department Chairperson at John T. Baker Middle School (Damascus, MD). Under his direction, the Baker ensembles consistently receive high ratings at music festivals and have commissioned several works for young concert bands. Mike has received the MCPS Superintendent’s Above and Beyond the Call of Duty (ABCD) Award for his efforts in involving students in the composition commissioning process. He has directed the MCPS Senior Honors Jazz Band, Junior Honors Band, All County Middle School Band. Additionally, Mike has directed the Pennsylvania All State Jazz Band and many regional honors ensembles in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and New York. Mike has served as a jazz faculty member at Youngstown State University and Montgomery College (Rockville, MD). Mike has presented professional development sessions for music educators at the Midwest Clinic, Jazz Education Network Conferences and at numerous regional and state music education conferences. He has become an in-demand arranger, clinician, guest conductor and adjudicator for schools, conferences and music festivals across the country.
Please visit Mike’s website at: www.mikekamuf.com
Rick Hirsch is an award-winning composer, arranger, and saxophonist who began his career as a personal music copyist for Bob Mintzer and Toshiko Akiyoshi. He has written music for jazz icons Yusef Lateef, Tito Puente, the Yellowjackets, and Eddie Henderson; the Capitol Quartet; and the storied Penn State Blue Band, to name a few. Hirsch is an inspiring educator with an active independent teaching studio and frequent appearances as a guest conductor. His CD Pocono Git-Down (Rick Hirsch’s Big Ol’ Band) is on Spotify, etc. He has degrees from UMass-Amherst and Northern Illinois University.
Rob Stoneback is a trombonist, composer, arranger, and big band leader from the Lehigh Valley in eastern Pennsylvania. He has performed with the Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Jimmy Dorsey, Harry James, and Gene Krupa Orchestras. He also has played for Natalie Cole, Johnny Mathis, Aretha Franklin, Olivia Newton-John, The Manhattan Transfer, Clay Aiken, The Temptations, Frank Sinatra, Jr., Rosemary Clooney, Don Rickles, Joan Rivers, Celtic Woman, Celtic Thunder, and many other stars.
In the world of jazz, he has appeared onstage with Bill Watrous, Stanley Turrentine, Phil Woods, Urbie Green, Bobby Watson, Clark Terry, and others. He has performed at the Telluride Jazz Festival, the Sioux Falls Jazz and Blues Festival, the Columbus Jazz and Ribs Festival, the Berks Jazz Festival, the World Café in Philadelphia, and Scullers Jazz Club in Boston.
The Rob Stoneback Big Band has been in continuous operation since 1979. During these years, the band has recorded with Bill Watrous and has performed at Lincoln Center with Simone, Nina Simone’s daughter.
His compositions can be heard on his Caught in the Web and Mad to the Bone
Brian Betz is a guitarist, composer, and educator that resides in the Philadelphia Metro Area performing throughout the United States with a vast array of musical artists. Brian currently has 6 CD releases available on the Dreambox Media Label: Up and Running(2001), Without A Doubt(2003), Dichotomy (2005), Muted Bebop(2006), The Denis DiBlasio/Brian Betz Project(2007), The Denis DiBlasio/Brian Betz Project-Flute Guitar(2010).
Brian holds two degrees from Rowan University (BM, MM) and is endorsed by GHS guitar strings. He is a two time winner of the Betty Carter International Jazz Competition (2004, 2007) and a runner up for the 2006 Henry Mancini Jazz Competition. Brian teaches jazz guitar and improvisation. In addition to his collegial teaching, Brian also teaches for Paulsboro Public Schools. In 2018, he was awarded by the NJEA and FOX 29 as one of the ten “Top Teachers” of New Jersey.
Brian give concerts, clinics, and masterclasses throughout the United States. They include appearances at: The Exit O International Jazz Festival, Berks Jazz Festival, Cape May Jazz Festival, Rowan University Jazz Festival, Villanova Jazz Festival, Clifford Brown Jazz Festival, Gettysburg Jazz Festival.
Dr. Tim Brent is the recipient of 9 DownBeat Magazine awards as a vocal jazz educator, pianist, arranger and performer. He is currently a Lecturer at the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami having most recently been an assistant professor of popular music studies at Westminster College of the Arts of Rider University. Tim is active as a composer and performer and works regularly as a vocalist and pianist. He has performed and/or recorded with such names as, Bobby McFerrin, Mel Torme, Ingrid Jensen, Brian Lynch, Ed Calle, Dick Oatts as well as latin Grammy award-winner Obie Bermudez.
His compositions, arrangements and orchestrations have premiered by such groups as the Westminster Choir, the West Shore Chorale, State University of New York Pottsdam, Kansas State University and Western Michigan University Gold Company. As an educator, Tim has held positions as the director of vocal jazz studies at the University of North Texas, The University of the Arts, Northern Illinois University, and Miami Dade College. He is currently the Eastern Division American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) Repertoire and Resources Chair for Commercial/Contemporary music and serves on the board as the Higher Education Co-Chair for the New Jersey Association for Jazz Education (NJAJE).
Tim received his bachelors degree in choral music education and his masters and doctoral degrees from the University of Miami. He frequently works as a clinician and performer for high school and college vocal groups around the country. Tim has presented interest sessions at state music education conventions, the Eastern Division National Association for Music Education (NAfMe) Conference, as well as the National and Southern Division ACDA conferences. In 2017 Tim released his first solo album On the Sunny Side.
Ned J. Rosenblatt currently holds the position of Professor in the Voice Department at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. Mr. Rosenblatt holds a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from the University of Connecticut, Storrs, and a Master’s Degree in Jazz Pedagogy from the Berklee College of Music and The Boston Conservatory. Mr. Rosenblatt’s high school Vocal Jazz Ensembles and Jazz Ensembles have won numerous awards including thirteen wins at the highly acclaimed Berklee Jazz Festival (Boston, MA), have been featured on television, have performed at the Massachusetts and Florida All-State Conferences, as well as the Arts Schools Network Conference. Mr. Rosenblatt’s Berklee Advanced Vocal Jazz Ensemble has performed at the 2014 and 2020 Jazz Education Network (JEN) Conferences, and the 2016 American Choral Directors Eastern Division Conference (ACDA). Mr. Rosenblatt’s Berklee Vocal Jazz Ensembles are DownBeat Student Music Awards winners in both the Small and Large Vocal Jazz Ensemble divisions.