2019 Festival Jazz Clinicians
Dr. Steve Roach — TJYBF Director
Steve has been the Director of Jazz Studies at Sacramento State University since 2001. He has also served as Director of Jazz Studies at Baylor University and has held teaching positions at the University of Northern Colorado and Northern Illinois University. Steve’s duties at Sacramento State include directing large jazz ensembles, the Latin Jazz Ensemble, and teaching courses in jazz pedagogy and jazz history. In addition, Roach directs the annual Winter Jazz Festival and Trad Jazz Youth Band Festival at Sacramento State. Steve holds a Bachelor of Music degree in trumpet performance from Indiana University, a Master of Music degree in trumpet performance from Northern Illinois University, and a Doctor of Arts degree in trumpet and jazz pedagogy from the University of Northern Colorado. Professional appearances as an assisting artist by Roach include studio and live sessions with such jazz/pop musicians as Tito Puente, Louis Bellson, Conrad Herwig, Lou Rawls, Jon Tchicai, Ben Vereen, Melissa Manchester, Toni Tennille, Roberta Flack, Rosemary Clooney, Jeffrey Osbourne, Carl Fontana, Paquito D’Rivera, the Glenn Miller and Jimmy Dorsey Orchestras, and others. Steve is currently serving on the Executive Board for the California Institute for the Preservation of Jazz and the Capital Section of the California Music Educators Association. Roach also works as a clinician and adjudicator for jazz festivals and workshops nationwide and has directed several California high school honor jazz ensembles including the Sacramento Capital Section Honor Jazz Band, the San Mateo Honor Jazz Band, the Fresno-Madera County Honor Jazz Band, and the Solano County High School Honor Jazz Ensemble. For more information on the Sacramento State Jazz Studies program, visit: www.csus.edu/music/jazz
Dr. Roach is pleased to announce the following outstanding clinicians for 2018 Festival (in alphabetical order):
Rex Allen – Trombone
Rex Allen is a trombonist, vibraphonist, drummer, big band leader, radio personality, voice-over artist, and media consultant. For 40 years, he has led the Rex Allen Big Band and the Rex Allen Swing Express. Rex was born in Pittsburgh, PA, in 1952. His father, an executive in the aircraft maintenance industry, was assigned to the Bay Area in 1956. For a short period, Rex, his younger sister, and parents, lived at the Lake Merritt Hotel in Oakland where Rex remembers hearing the Larry Cappelli Orchestra every night. He was transfixed. Growing up, Rex spent countless hours listening to his parent’s record collection. “By design or accident, my father bought the best records for someone who is just learning jazz–Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Jack Teagarden and Benny Goodman”. At the age of 10, Rex became obsessed with the drums when his father, an amateur drummer, pulled out his sticks and gave Rex his first lesson. That same year, when they were handing out band instruments at school, Rex picked the trombone. Rex knew he was going to be a musician, but he wasn’t sure if he would be a drummer or a trombone player. He also had visions of leading his own Big Band. Rex loved Big Band music so much that he decided to stop listening to Rock and Roll and made a conscious decision to start listening really seriously to jazz. Rex joined the New Orleans Jazz Club of Northern California and the Sacramento Traditional Jazz Society. The two organizations organized monthly jam sessions for professionals and amateurs that gave Rex the opportunity to meet some of the big names in the business that were still playing. In later years, Rex went on to work for some of these musicians, and many of them worked for him. Through these associations Rex played his first professional gig at age 15, a pajama party for the Grass Valley California Fire Department. In school, Rex studied hard and performed as much as he could. With the help of Local 6 legend Vernon Alley, he transferred to Local 6 in 1972 and immersed himself in the scene. “There really was no problem getting work because the marketplace demanded that.” The following year, Rex got a call from Jimmy Diamond, the bandleader in the New Orleans Room in the Fairmont Hotel, to be the off-night trombone player and regular sub. He learned how to play with top-level guys who really knew how to play Traditional Jazz and Swing. Thanks to this band Rex met the truly great jazz players in San Francisco, and it was from this group of musicians that he started to form his own band. After college, Rex lived at home and continued to gig as much as he could. In 1975, his life took a fateful turn when he met and fell in love with the famous Swing singer, Connie Haines.
Katie Cavera – Bass, Vocals
Katie has made a name for herself on the West Coast and in Europe playing 20’s and 30’s classic jazz. She is a rhythm guitar specialist in the style of Freddie Green and Al Casey. She also plays hot 20’s plectrum and tenor banjo, New Orleans style string bass, and sings in the 20’s pop style of Helen Kane and Ruth Etting.
Jazz critic Jim Leigh and bandleader/multi-instrumentalist Clint Baker have dubbed her the “California Sunshine Girl” because of her upbeat singing style and sunny stage personality. She currently works at Disney California Adventure with the Ellis Island Boys and with the cabaret performance group Vaud and the Villains. Katie Cavera is originally from Southern Indiana. She attended Indiana University and studied jazz performance and composition with Dr. David Baker, playing with his Jazz Ensemble in a special presentation of Duke Ellington Masterworks at the Smithsonian Institution. Since moving to Southern California, Katie has become a sought-after guitarist, banjoist, and bassist. Her credits include working with Jug Band legend Jim Kweskin, Jim Cullum’s Jazz Band at The Landing in San Antonio, Texas, and members of Turk Murphy’s Jazz Band including Bob Helm, Leon Oakley, and Ray Skjelbred.
From 2006 – 2009 she was part of the Jerome Savary production of “à la recherche de Josephine (Looking For Josephine)” a musical about New Orleans Jazz, Hurricane Katrina, and Josephine Baker. Katie played guitar and tenor banjo in the production, and notated the original score written by David Boeddinghaus. The musical premiered at the Opera Comique in Paris, France in the fall of 2006 and returned for an encore presentation in the spring of 2007. The show was nominated for a Molière Award (the national theatre award of France bestowed by APAT, the Association Professionnelle et Artistique du Théâtre) and toured extensively through France and Spain from 2007 – 2008. In 2009 the show toured Austria and Germany and had its American premiere in Montclair, New Jersey. Katie is a member of ASCAP, a Loar Performing Artist, and a member of the Academy of Magical Arts.
Jim Cullum Jr. – Featured Guest Artist
Jim Cullum Jr. (born September 20, 1941 in San Antonio, Texas) is an American jazz cornetist known for his contributions to Traditional Jazz. Jim is also a bandleader who has been active mostly in San Antonio, Texas for over 50 years. Cullum’s father was Jim Cullum Sr., a clarinetist who led the Happy Jazz Band until his death in 1973. Beginning in a partnership with his late father, Mr. Cullum also has specialized, developing an individual sound from the pre-World War II Traditional Jazz stylings. He is influenced, though not dominated, by the playing of Bix Beiderbecke, Louis Armstrong, Texas cornetist Garner Clark and the blues singing of Bessie Smith. With his father, Cullum established the San Antonio jazz club The Landing in 1963. One of the highlights of Mr. Cullum’s career that has brought national acclaim is his development of and performance in Riverwalk Jazz, a highly successful weekly nationwide weekly public radio series since 1989 that featured the Jim Cullum Jazz Band. Cullum has led the Jim Cullum Jazz Band as a successor group to his father’s Happy Jazz Band. His band mates have included Allan Vaché, Brian Ogilvie, Mike Pittsley, Don Mopsick, Evan Christopher, Kenny Rupp, Howard Elkins, and John Sheridan. The band performed live at the Landing Jazz Club on the San Antonio River Walk from 1981 to 2011. The band has, on numerous occasions, toured internationally, performed at Carnegie Hall and often included other legendary greats in appearances. Cullum has also performed at The Kennedy Center, and Austin City Limits, and has recorded for Jazzology Records, Columbia Records (1985’s Porgy & Bess), Audiophile, Stomp Off, and his own Riverwalk. From 1993 until 2005, Cullum and his band were on the faculty of the Stanford Jazz Workshop at Stanford University. In 2011, the Stanford University Library acquired Cullum’s “Riverwalk Jazz” archives, comprising over 400 radio show programs. In January 2013, Stanford’s Archive of Recorded Sound began streaming the collection of recordings.
Bill Dendle — Trombone/ Guitar/ Banjo
Bill Dendle began playing banjo in 1963, and by 1967 was appearing at Mickie Finn’s in San Diego as leader of the South Market Street Jazz Band, which also appeared at Disneyland and on USO tours. In 1968, Bill took over the job of lead banjoist at Capone’s Warehouse in Monterey, where he appeared off and on for the next nine years. 1977 found Bill as an entertainment consultant, banjoist, trombonist, bandleader and entertainer at Florida’s Disneyworld, where he opened the Empress Lilly Showboat. Bugs and humidity sent Bill back to San Diego in late 1977 to revive the South Market Street Jazz Band, which became a popular fixture at Traditional Jazz Festivals throughout the United States. From 1982 on, Bill appeared as one-half of the duo called Goodtime Banjos at banjo concerts, jazz festivals, conventions and private parties until 1995. He plays trombone, guitar and banjo in Shelley Burns & Avalon Swing, a popular Sacramento jazz, show and dance band, and appears at jazz festivals, parties, conventions and shows with his wife, the talented vocalist/ entertainer Shelley Burns, and Fast Eddie Erickson. Bill has performed with Bob Haggart, Bob Crosby, Johnny Varro, Dick Cary, Abe Most, Nick Fatool and others, and is highly regarded as a banjoist, trombonist and very funny master of ceremonies. Bill is also a credentialed educational administrator and teacher.
Craig Faniani – Piano
Craig has been a professional music educator since 1977 and performer since 1969, in myriad musical settings and styles. He has traveled worldwide with students, competed in hundreds of jazz festivals, been clinician, adjudicator and conductor for numerous honor bands and jazz bands, and gathered a barn full of trophies. His awards include: eleven different “teacher of the year” awards, seven Monterey Jazz Festival wins, twenty-five years developing the Rio Americano Band Program, and Administrator of the Year – California Music Educators Capitol Section 2012. Music education, and jazz study in particular, is being recognized as a significant source of student creativity – namely critical thinking, problem solving/finding multiple answers, developing imagination/new ideas, teamwork/collaboration, passion, and teaching perseverance, grit and concentration. These are essential 21st Century skills for college and career not being taught and assessed in most current conventional classrooms. Jazz study is a thinking strategy for success. Enjoy the process.
Chloe Feoranzo – Reeds
Chloe is a 26 year-old clarinetist, saxophonist, and vocalist who has been performing professionally since the age of 15. Born in Rhode Island, she grew up playing in youth orchestras, musical pits, along with swing, Traditional Jazz bands and guest artist at festivals of the Southern California area. She made her debut at the Mission Valley music fete in 2005. As a teenage musician she studied with jazz sax legend Charles McPherson and attended the annual UC San Diego Jazz Camp. In 2007, she became the San Diego Jazz Fest & Swing Extravaganza’s first youth guest artist. In 2016, she completed a three-year tour with Pokey LaFarge. The band toured many countries and appeared on various shows like, The Late Show with David Letterman, Prairie Home Companion and the Grand Ole Opry. She now resides in New Orleans, LA as a freelance musician and full-time member of Shake ‘Em Up Jazz Band. On December 29, 2016, she was featured in the Postmodern Jukebox cover of No Surprises by Radiohead.
Steve Homan – Guitar
Steve Homan has performed professionally for over 30 years and appeared on recordings with major jazz artists and the Nelson Riddle Concert Orchestra. In addition, Homan has performed, composed and arranged music on CDs featuring The Delbert Bump Jazz Organ Trio and a tribute to the great jazz guitar/piano duets in collaboration with Joe Gilman. In 1998 Steve performed at The Glasgow International Jazz Festival in Scotland with jazz organ legend Jimmy Smith. He performed for the 1998 and 2000 Jazz Ambassadors Program at The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C. Also as part of this program, Steve completed music tours throughout Africa, where he performed and conducted jazz workshops featured on radio and television programs in over 12 countries. In 2003, Steve was a featured performer with the Cosumnes River College Jazz Orchestra at the North Sea Jazz Festival with additional performances in Amsterdam, Paris and England. In 2004 Steve travelled to Sao Paulo, Brazil with jazz accordion legend The Art Van Damme Quintet and performed at the Tim Festival. In 2010 Steve played guitar on jazz drummer Mike Clark’s CD “Carnival of Soul”, which climbed to #8 on the international jazz charts. Steve currently holds adjunct teaching positions at Cosumnes River College, American River College, and California State University, Sacramento. In addition to maintaining a private teaching studio, Steve teaches at several regional summer jazz camp programs including the Jazzmasters Workshop Jazz Guitar Series, the Brubeck Institute Jazz Camp, and the Brubeck Summer Jazz Colony, UOP.www.stevehomanjazz.com
Ron Jones — Drums
After Ron retired from playing drums with the US Air Force show bands for many years, he backed up such prime time entertainers as Frankie Laine, Kay Starr, the Ink Spots, and Diahann Carroll. Since he moved to Sacramento in the early 1980s, he’s played with many top West Coast jazz bands. A member of the Youth Band Festival committee, Sacramento Jazz Education Foundation board of directors, and a Past President of the STJS board of directors, Ron is a very popular drummer on the national jazz festival circuit and regularly performs with Sister Swing and the Draga Quartet. Ron and the Teagarden Jazz Festival Clinicians Band were selected from a highly competitive, field of applicants to present a performance at the first west coast convention of the national JEN (Jazz Education Network) in San Diego in 2015. They will return with Wycliffe Gordon to perform at the January 2019 JEN Conference in Reno, NV.
Mike McMullen — Reeds
Mike McMullen has been a professionally working musician for over 40 years. His career as a performer, composer, arranger, and educator has taken him all over North America, Europe, and Scandinavia, and into almost every imaginable musical setting. Mike studied clarinet with CWO Ascercian at NaviBase Music School in Little Creek, Va, then spent 3 years in the 6th Army Headquarters Band based in San Francisco. During that time he began serious studies in jazz saxophone with Joe Henderson, and classical flute with Mong Pil Kim through the SF Conservatory extension. Mike was awarded a NARAS Scholarship in 1978 to study composition and arranging at the prestigious Dick Grove School in Los Angeles, where he also studied conducting, orchestration, film scoring, and studio woodwinds for 7 years with Phil Sobel. In 1997 Mike was a founding member of the Sacramento region’s premier jazz group, Capital Jazz Project. He is currently in his 24th year performing summer and winter shows in the pit for California Musical Theatre, serves as principal saxophone for Modesto Pops, plays in backing orchestras for celebrity acts, travels to Europe to work every year and records periodically. Among many his jazz groups as a leader, most notable was Pastoria, a 10 year Brazilian jazz collaboration with vocalist Ellen Demos, first based in LA, and then Dublin and London. As an educator, Mike currently serves on the jazz faculty at CSU Sacramento and directs the Mondavi Center Jazz High School All Stars. Past activities include 11 years as Director of Jazz Ensembles at UC Davis, 15 years adjunct instruction at ARC, the 1986 founding of the Newpark Jazz Program in Dublin, Ireland, and three years on staff in the early ‘80’s at the Dick Grove School in LA. Mike has also served as a guest artist/clinician at numerous schools, festivals, and camps throughout Northern Europe, Scandinavia, and the Western US. In addition to his work at Mondavi Center and CSUS, he maintains a sizeable private student roster. As a sideman Mike has performed in concert, toured, or recorded with jazz artists Ray Charles, Dave Liebman, Randy Brecker, Bobby Shew, Sonny Fortune, Richie Beirach, Pat LaBarbara, Manhattan Transfer, Dianne Schuur, Doc Severinsen, Benny Green, Natalie Cole, Bobby Hutcherson, Pepper Adams, Moacir Santos, Kenny Wheeler, Alan Skidmore, and Norma Winstone. Commercially, Mike has backed artists Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga, Johnny Mathis, Frankie Valle, Joan Rivers, Wayne Newton, Olivia Newton-John, Tony Orlando, The Moody Blues, The Temptations, the Coasters, and was the house bandleader for the TV show Taxi in 1983/84. He has worked as an arranger, conductor, or performer with radio orchestras in Ireland, Denmark, and Belgium; and in Los Angeles for Arab American Television, Motown Publishing, Screen Gems Publishing, and Hanna Barbera.
Dave Robinson – Trumpet
Dave Robinson has performed and toured with the top DC-area Traditional Jazz and Swing bands for over 30 years, and currently leads the Conservatory Classic Jazz Band. Years ago he gigged with such Swing era veterans as Maxine Sullivan, Billy Butterfield, Steve Jordan, Johnny Blowers, and Bob Haggart. Mr. Robinson’s performance credits include the White House, Capitol, Kennedy Center, Smithsonian, New York’s Rainbow Room, New Orleans’ Preservation Hall, Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, Blues Alley, a royal wedding ball in London, and the Culinary Olympics in Frankfurt. He has been heard on National Public Radio and in various film soundtracks, and appeared on camera in NBC-TV’s hit show ”The West Wing”. Mr. Robinson was a finalist in the State Department’s national Jazz Ambassadors competition, and was an Artist-in-Residence at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage. Since 1988, he has directed the award-winning Capital Focus Jazz Band youth ensemble, which has performed across the U.S. and in Canada, France, England, Scotland, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Spain, and the Caribbean. Mr. Robinson is the founder of the Traditional Jazz Educators Network, is Past President of the American Federation of Jazz Societies, and has produced the Smithsonian’s Jazz Concert Series. He helped to launch the Traditional Jazz Youth Band Festival at Sacramento State University, where he serves annually as clinician, lecturer and adjudicator. He also has served on the faculties of the STJS Trad Jazz Youth Camp in the Sierra Nevada mountains and the National Jazz Workshop at Shenandoah University, as well as on the mentor teams of the Jazz Education Network and the National Association for Music Education. Mr. Robinson hosted “The French Quarter” on Sirius XM Satellite Radio for three years, drawn from his huge archive of Trad Jazz recordings. He is the author and producer of the nationally-acclaimed Traditional Jazz Curriculum Kit, published in partnership with the Jazz Education Network (JEN), the Smithsonian, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the STJS Foundation.
Jason Wanner – Piano
Jason Lee Wanner was born February 1, 1978 in Sacramento. His parents bestowed their love of all music upon their young son. By the time he was 4 years old, Jason was playing by ear – simplistic versions of Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor and Scott Joplin’s “The Entertainer” on his Uncle Richard’s organ. He started taking piano lessons around his 6th birthday. His parents used what little money they had to get him a piano, a Kohler spinet that he still plays to this day. His mentor Dan Lofing, skipped traditional methods and jumping directly into classical training. For the next 6 years, Jason was practicing classical and ragtime piano for his lessons, learning some of the more popular songs on his own. Jason’s growing love for jazz was fueled when his dad would take him to the annual Sacramento Jazz Jubilee. At the age of 12, Jason attended his first year at the STJS Trad Jazz Camp. There, two well-known jazz pianists, Johnny Varro and “K.O.” Ecklund, took Jason under their wings. He joined The New Traditionalists (TNT) for young musicians, and was finally performing in the same festival his dad had taken him to so many years as a spectator! Jason was playing gigs at restaurants and bars with his friends as well as by himself while attending high school; playing in 3 of its bands; working as the rehearsal pianist for the spring musical; and still maintaining good grades. After high school, Jason attended USC’s prestigious music program. Jason recalled that, “The musicians at USC were absolutely outstanding. I started to realize that I wasn’t the only one doing what I was doing. There were a whole lot of other people doing it too, and a whole lot better than me. That scared me. Plus, I found out that my scholarships were not going to be renewed. So at the end of one year, I moved back home again with my tail between my legs. Everyone thought I was still gone, so no one was calling for gigs or anything. I just wanted to quit.” It was in the middle of this year-long despair, when Jason received a call from the directors of Sun Valley Swing & Dixie Jamboree in Idaho. They heard him perform in Mammoth Lakes, CA the summer before he left for USC, and wanted him to appear as a guest artist. Jason immediately said yes, and in October 1997 in Sun Valley, Jason met the Blue Street musicians who were looking for a steady piano player, and became the perfect match. Jason continues to perform with Blue Street; enjoying a hobby in photography; and composing and arranging for a variety of shows, films, and recordings. He has also taken his mentors’ places as an instructor at the same jazz camp he attended as a student. “I want to give back to those who have done so much for me…No matter what happens to me, I will never miss the Teagarden Jazz Camp; it is far too important, more important than all of the other things I do combined.” In June of 2008, Jason moved to San Diego to further pursue his interests and career. He was asked to join the Bob Draga Quartet in 2013, and the Titan Hot Seven in 2014. He now often appears at jazz festivals all over the United States with multiple groups at a time. He enjoys being very busy. When Jason is not traveling, he can sometimes be found at the Disneyland Resort, performing with various contracted groups.