Jazz Events

Friday, September 2
Eastman Jazz Faculty Concert, Kilbourn Hall 8:00 pm

Wednesday, September 28
Eastman Jazz (JCM) Showcase, Kilbourn Hall 8:00 pm

Friday, October 7
Jazz Cafe - Miller Center Sproull Atrium 7:30PM/10:00PM
Guest Artist - Ike Sturm

Monday, October 10
Clay Jenkins Recital - Kilbourn Hall 8:00pm

Tuesday, October 11
Charles Pillow Recital - Kilbourn Hall 8:00 PM

Thursday, October 13
Eastman Jazz Ensemble/New Jazz Ensemble Concert - Kilbourn Hall 8:00PM

Tuesday October 25
Eastman Saxology Concert - Hatch Hall 8:00PM

Tuesday, November 8
Eastman Chamber Jazz Series - Kilbourn Hall 8:00 pm

Thursday, November 17
Eastman Jazz Lab Band - Kilbourn Hall 8:00PM

Thursday, December 1
Eastman Jazz Ensemble - Kilbourn Hall 8:00PM

Friday, December 9
Eastman New Jazz Ensemble - Kodak Hall 8:00PM
with Guest Kirsten Edkins

Upcoming shows

Events are currently being scheduled. Please check back soon!

Meet the Students



Ben Britton

Saxophonist Ben Britton is an active educator and performer in the U.S. His talents as a musician and composer were first nationally recognized in 2007 when he was selected to participate in a residency at the Kennedy Center as part of the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead program. Following that, Britton recorded and performed with both world-renowned musicians like Chris Potter and Bobby Sanabria as well as rising stars from the younger generation. His most recent recording as a leader, an EP titled Children at Play, features Philadelphia based musicians and a unique brand of jazz with influences ranging from African music to modern rock. He also performed on the album Tito Puente Masterworks Live!!!, which was nominated for best Latin Jazz Album at the 2011 Latin Grammys. In 2012, Britton participated in two national saxophone competitions placing as a finalist in the Detroit Jazz Festival National Saxophone Competition and winning the First Annual Charlie Parker Cutting Contest hosted by NPR’s 12th Street Jump. 

As an educator Britton has held adjunct teaching positions at various colleges including University of Pennsylvania. He has also published various materials including transcription, play along tracks, solo analysis, various articles on his blog, Everything Saxophone, and two books on saxophone technique. Currently Britton is pursuing a DMA at Eastman school of music and resides in Spencerport, New York with his wife and seven children. 




Colin Gordon

Colin Gordon is currently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the Eastman School of Music under the tutelage of Charles Pillow. In addition to receiving his Master of Music from Eastman, Colin has previously studied at SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Music and Prince Claus Conservatoire in Groningen, Netherlands, studying with saxophonists such as Steve Wilson, Jon Gordon, Eric Alexander, Michael Moore, and Ramon Ricker. Colin has performed at jazz venues in New York City such as Birdland, Smalls, Smoke, City Winery, and ShapeShifter Lab, and has toured internationally at festivals and jazz clubs in the Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia.

In addition to being a performing jazz saxophonist, woodwind doubler, and composer, Colin also enjoys being an active music educator. He currently holds two graduate teaching assistant positions at Eastman and the University of Rochester, and has taught private lessons and conducted masterclasses and clinics at local music schools and high schools.




Orlando Madrid is a native of Las Cruces, New Mexico. He graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from the University of New Mexico. At UNM, he studied Classical Saxophone with Professor Eric Lau, Clarinet with Professor Keith Lemmons, and studied and performed extensively with Director of Jazz Studies and Saxophone, Glenn Kostur.

Orlando has performed quite regularly in the Albuquerque and Santa Fe area with nationally renowned guests and many of the best jazz musicians in both areas. He performed with the Albuquerque Jazz Orchestra (AJO), Entourage Jazz, popular local band Cactus Tractor, Bobby Shew, Doug Lawrence. He also has had the privilege of sharing the stage with Ingrid Jensen, Marshall Gilkes, Dick Oatts, Jeff Coffin, Tony Lujan, George Stone, Jules Broussard, Eric Alexander, Clay Jenkins, Wynton Marsalis, Jerry Lopez and the Santa fe Horns, and The Temptations. In 2012 Orlando competed in the ISSAC International Saxophone Symposium and Solo Classical Competition and was Semi-Finalist in the Regional MTNA Music Teachers National Association Solo Wind Competition.

Orlando is currently pursuing an MM in Jazz Saxophone Performance and Contemporary Media at Eastman School of Music studying with world renowned performer and teacher, Charles Pillow. He is also a Teaching Assistant at Eastman where he teaches Jazz Saxophone Styles and Analysis and is part of the Jazz Saxophone Studio and well known Eastman School of Music performing Ensemble Saxology under the direction of Professor Charles Pillow.



Cj Ziarniak

CJ Ziarniak is a jazz saxophonist and educator originating from the Rochester, NY area. He is currently a freshman and is pursuing his Bachelors in Jazz and Contemporary Media as well as a Music Education degree from the prestigious Eastman School of Music.

CJ has been active on the jazz scene since he was in high school. He has played in a variety of selective groups, including the Monroe High School All-County Jazz Ensemble and the Monroe High School All-County Concert Band. He has been a dedicated member of the Eastman Youth Jazz Orchestra throughout his high school career. CJ took lessons and classes throughout high school at the Eastman Community Music School and has performed at many local venues, including the Rochester International Jazz Festival, local country clubs and café’s, the State Street Bar and Grille, and on the stage of Kodak Hall at the Eastman Theatre.

CJ really has a strong passion to perform for others, and really loves his hometown community of Rochester because of the amazing opportunities it gives for him to follow his dreams. CJ plans on graduating from Eastman in the 2017. He is very thankful for the opportunities that the Eastman Community Music School and the Eastman School of Music has given him. He hopes to study abroad his junior year.



Luke Norris

Luke Norris is a native of Long Island, NY and a sophomore at Eastman. He is currently pursuing degrees in both Jazz Saxophone Performance and Music Education, studying saxophone with NY professional Charles Pillow. Prior to coming to Eastman, he performed with various regional ensembles, like the New York All State jazz ensemble and Nassau Suffolk Performing Arts jazz ensemble. He performed under the direction of Michael Davis, Steve Wilson, and Jim Pugh. He has studied privately with New York professionals like Gary Smulyan, Rich Perry, and Ralph Lalama. He participated in the New York Summer Music Festival, playing in various ensembles on both saxophone and clarinet. Luke has won awards for both his compositions and his playing at music festivals in the Northeast. After college, Luke wants to move to New York City and pursue a freelance career. 




Aidan O’Connor, a New Jersey Native, is pursuing a degree in Jazz Performance under the tutelage of Charles Pillow at the Eastman School of Music. Aidan studied under Ed Palermo and Mike Lee, both prominent New Jersey Jazz performers and educators. He has participated in a variety of honors jazz ensembles and programs including the Region 1 Jazz Ensemble, New Jersey All State Jazz Ensemble and inaugural year of the Summer Jazz Academy (Directed by Wynton Marsalis). Aidan had performed under the direction of Dennis Diblassio, Rodney Whitacre, Ali Jackson and Tim Haggins. Aidan looks to move to New York to fulfill his dream of a career as a jazz performer, arranger, writer and doubler.




Currently a freshmen this year at Eastman, Drew Voghel is a saxophonist from Tolland, CT pursuing his Bachelor’s in jazz performance as well as majoring in computer science and minoring in philosophy at the University’s College of Arts and Sciences.  He has participated in various ensembles and artistic endeavors during his high school career at Loomis Chaffee including the Connecticut Northern Regional Jazz Band, the Connecticut All-State Jazz Band, and his high school jazz ensemble as well as organizing a few independent recitals. 

Having participated in the Litchfield Jazz Festival and CMEA ensembles, Drew has performed under the direction of Claudio Roditi, Todd Coolman, and Steve Wilson.  He has also attended the master classes of Don Braden, Gary Smulyan, and Kris Allen.  Now a member of Charles Pillow’s studio, Drew is excited to start exploring the new performing venues Rochester has to offer. 

After completing his undergraduate degrees, Drew hopes to continue his studies in both music and the sciences.  Extremely grateful for the opportunities that are available to him here in Rochester, he is looking forward to jumping at each and every one that presents itself.


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At the age of six, Logan picked up a cello.  At the age of eight, she fell in love with the saxophone.  Although she has been a dedicated cellist for the past thirteen years, Logan Mohr is primarily a jazz saxophonist.  As a small town girl from New Hope, Pennsylvania, Logan has adapted well to the close knit community that is Eastman.   She is happily attending The Eastman School of Music and is pursuing her degree in both Jazz Performance and Music Education.  She is studying under the instruction of Charles Pillow and big band director, Rich Thompson.  Logan has made her goals for the next four years at Eastman very clear; she wants to improve her overall musicianship while gaining a better knowledge and understanding of jazz in general.  Her greatest desire is to make a difference.  Logan wants to change the way the world views jazz, and have a significant impact on those who appreciate and value the healing powers of music.  Although women are the minority in most jazz ensembles, Logan is willing to do whatever it takes to inspire young girls to pursue a future in jazz, and therefore increase the amount of women that are involved in the jazz industry today.  She is looking forward to an amazing year full of many opportunities for success and unforgettable experiences.



AJ Worcester is a saxophonist, composer, woodwind doubler, and vocalist from Fryeburg, Maine, currently pursuing a BM in Jazz Performance from the prestigious Eastman School of Music as a student of Charles Pillow.

Prior to enrolling at Eastman, AJ attended Fryeburg Academy, which is nationally reknowned for its music department. While at FA, AJ was privleged to study saxophone, improvisation, harmony, and composition under the tutelage of Eastman graduate Mike Sakash (MM Jazz Composition ’99), as well as vocal technique with Mimi Rolhfing.
AJ has participated in masterclasses lead by the likes of Grammy-winning pianist Laurence Hobgood, David Wells, Brent LaCasce, Kevin Norton, and Dave Pietro. 
This past summer, AJ participated in a tour of Europe with American Musicians Abroad as a featured flute soloist, as well as a member of the choir.
AJ draws influence from musicians such as Ben Wendel, Mark Turner, Ingrid Jensen, Ralph Alessi, Steve Coleman, Lee Konitz, Johnson “Blu” Barnes, and Angel “Homeboy Sandman” del Villar, to name a few.
He aims to create unique music that communicates significant emotional substance through composition and improvisation and share it with those who love music as much as he does. 



Rowan Wolf is a freshman, pursuing a bachelor of music degree in jazz saxophone performance under professor Charles Pillow. Originally from the Boston area, Rowan has studied privately from Ian Carroll, and has taken lessons from Daniel Pencer, Maxim Lubarsky, and Felipe Salles. Rowan received the Louis Armstrong Award as a senior at Belmont High School, and has performed at various venues in and around Boston including Ryles Jazz Club, the Hatch Shell, and Symphony Hall. Rowan has played in many different musical groups, including the MMEA Northeastern Jazz Band and Wind Ensemble, and participated in the Eastman Summer Jazz Studies workshop. Rowan is happy to be in the Eastman community and is always looking forward to meeting new people and creating new music.  



Livio Fasullo is a freshman at the Eastman School of Music double majoring in Jazz Performance and Music Education. Livio studies alto and tenor saxophones in the studio of Charles Pillow. Livio Fasullo was born and raised in Albany, NY and attended Albany Public Schools. For his eighth birthday he received an alto saxophone from his aunt and began to play in his elementary school band. In 5th grade Livio began to study privately with Christopher Russell and in 8th grade joined the Empire State Youth Wind and Repertory Jazz Ensembles. In 9th grade Livio joined the Albany High School Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Michael Richmond and the Empire State Youth Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Eastman alum Paul Evoskevich. Throughout high school Livio performed in his own small groups such as the Tower Six Quartet and the Albany Jazz Collective with fellow high school musicians. In eleventh grade Livio participated in the New York State All-State Symphonic Band which performed in Eastman Theater. In Livio`s senior year he was selected to perform in both the New York State All State and All Eastern Jazz ensembles under the direction of Alan Baylock and Jeff Jarvis respectively. Livio is currently enrolled at the Eastman School of Music with a double major in Jazz Performance and Music Education.



Max Roark is a saxophonist, flutist and clarinetist from Portland, Oregon. Max is a former student of Grammy Award Winner Thara Memory and his band, The American Music Program’s Pacific Crest Jazz Orchestra, (Essentially Ellington 2015, Monterey Next Generation 2016). Here he gained skilling in both combo and big band work while over the years playing baritone, tenor and alto saxophone within the band. Max has just started pursuing his Bachelor’s Degree in Jazz and Contemporary Media at the Eastman School of Music and plans to continue his higher education after Eastman. Max is extremely grateful to have the chance to be studying at one of the top conservatories in the world and under his Studio Director Charles Pillow, he doesn’t plan to waste any of his time there.



Grace Frarey, from Canandaigua, New York, is a freshman pursuing a double major in jazz saxophone performance and music education at the Eastman School of Music.


Grace discovered her passion for the saxophone at age 10. Grace has studied with Doug Stone at ECMS and performed with the Sfourzando Saxophone Quartet. Participating in music institutes since she was 12, Grace attended Crane Youth Music, Eastman Wind Ensemble Camp, Eastman Summer Saxophone Institute and Summer Jazz Studies, and the New York State Summer Music Festival. Grace has received an honorable mention in the  2015 Rochester Philharmonic League Youth Competition, performed in the 198th Army Band Competition, the George Reed Jazz Foundation Competition, and received the Louis Armstrong Award from Canandaigua Academy. Grace Frarey was named the winner of the 2016 Finger Lakes  Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition, and performed the Glazunov Concerto.

Grace Frarey was named the 2016 recipient of the Rochester International Jazz Festival / Eastman School of Music Jazz Scholarship, and performed in shows on the Gibbs Street Stage with Eastman jazz faculty and students.





Jon Rarick 

Jon Rarick is currently pursuing a Master’s of Music in Jazz Writing at the Eastman School of Music, where he is a member of the studios of Bill Dobbins and Clay Jenkins. Currently, he holds a graduate teaching assistantship and plays in the Eastman Jazz Ensemble and Harold Danko’s Jazz Performance Workshop. He previously studied at Elmhurst College, where he received his B.A. in Composition and Jazz Studies and played in the Elmhurst College Jazz Band under the direction of Doug Beach. As a member of the band, he has performed at festivals and concerts in Serbia, Bulgaria, Croatia, and Germany, in addition to participating in the annual Elmhurst College Jazz Festival. He has had the pleasure of sharing the stage with artists such as Dennis Mackrel, Byron Stripling, Gary Smulyan, Bobby Shew, Dee Dee Bridgewater, and Ryan Truesdell. 



 Driven by a passion for discovery and beauty in music, Garret Reynolds seeks out colorful and compelling sounds in his compositions and improvisations. He frequently collaborates with artists of other media, scoring for films, animations, and games. As a member of the Catherine Filene Shouse Arts Leadership Program at the Eastman School of Music, Garret has interned with Remote Control Productions in Santa Monica, California and Rochester Institute of Technology’s School of Film and Animation. He composed the original soundtrack for Interlude, an interactive multiplayer game featured at the Imagine RIT festival in 2015. Garret has scored many award-winning short films including, Seas the Day (2015), Taicaraya (2016),The Selection (2016), and Hunt or Be Hunted (2016) which have all been showcased at the RIT College of Imaging Arts and Sciences Honors shows.  The Selection was selected by Largo Film Awards in the category of Best Sound / Music in June 2016. Additionally, Garret received a Downbeat Student Music Award for his 2014 composition, “Our Time.” Garret can be heard playing trumpet and flugelhorn with the Dave Rivello Ensemble and the Eastman New Jazz Ensemble. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Performance from Eastman (’16) and will graduate with a Master of Music in Contemporary Media Composition and Film Scoring in 2018. Garret is from LosAngeles, California. Visitwww.garretreynolds.com for more information.




Christian Crawford is currently a Junior Jazz Trumpet Performance Major at the Eastman School of Music under the direction of Clay Jenkins. He is from Brentwood, NY, a town on Long Island, and is grateful for having a strong music program in his High School. Christian enjoys listening to the styles of Louis Armstrong, Roy Hargrove, and Kenny Dorham. Christian aspires to play in Broadway Pitt Orchesteras, but still hopes to keep jazz in his life with whatever opportunity that comes up. He feels so honored to be part of such an amazing department and is very excited for his final two years at the Eastman School of Music 



Ben Bird

Ben Bird is a freshman Jazz Studies trumpet major. He is from Lincoln, Nebraska and attended Lincoln Southeast High School. In high school, Ben played in the wind ensemble, jazz band, and marching band. He also played principal trumpet in the Lincoln Youth Symphony, and participated in the Nebraska all-state jazz band.


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A native of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, jazz trumpeter Sam Hill is a recent graduate of the South Carolina Governor’s School for the arts and humanities and a current student at the Eastman School of Music. Sam has held the lead trumpet position in the South Carolina all state jazz band, as well as taken grand prize in the University of North Carolina School for the Arts brass chamber competition. Sam is currently working towards a BMA in Jazz performance from the Eastman School of Music, with hopes to work professionally as a jazz musician in the future. 



Coming from Oconomowoc Wisconsin, Nathan Kay is a freshman at the Eastman School of Music. He is pursuing a degree in Jazz Trumpet performance. Along with performance, Nathan also loves to compose on the side. He started out trumpet in 5th grade, but never took it seriously until high school. Once there, he discovered his true passion for music. In his sophomore year, he starting playing in his high school’s Jazz 1, where he fell in love with the art of improvisation. Nathan has also had the wonderful opportunity to study with Jazz trumpet player Russ Johnson. Currently, Nathan is excited to be studying with Doug Prosser and Clay Jenkins at the Eastman School of Music.

Since Nathan discovered Jazz, he has participated in a number of ensemble groups and summer camps. For 3 years, he was a member of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Youth Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Curt Hanrahan. In the spring of 2015 this band premiered Nathan’s first complete jazz ensemble composition. His composition also won an award in the WSMA state wide competition for being best in class. Nathan was also a member of the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra Jazz Studies program, where he had the opportunity to learn, play around the city, and compose. For two years, Nathan was also a member of the Wisconsin all-state jazz Ensemble directed my Steve Wiest (2013) and Steve Houghton (2014). In the summer of 2014, Nathan attended the Interlochen Fine Arts Camp and won the Fine Arts award for Jazz. In his senior year of high school, he received recognition in the Green Bay Jazz festival and Milwaukee conservatory festival for outstanding Jazz soloist.



Emiel De Jaegher is a performer and educator from Winnetka, Illinois. He is studying Trumpet Jazz Performance at Eastman School of Music as well as Brain and Cognitive Sciences at University of Rochester.

Emiel started playing the trumpet at the age of 11, studying with Marques Carroll up until he was 18 years old. Throughout his time at New Trier High School, Emiel has played in the Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, Symphonic Wind Ensemble, as well as Jazz Ensemble I under the direction of Nic Meyer, Matt Temple, Peter Rosheger, and Bruce Draughtery. In addition, Emiel played with Midwest Young Artists in the jazz Big Band directed by Chris Madsen. Emiel also created his own band called North Shore Quintet that plays concerts across the North Shore community featuring original compositions. Throughout high school, he taught three students on trumpet, varying in age from sixth to ninth grade. Now he continues his studies under the tutelage of Doug Prosser and Clay Jenkins at the Eastman School of Music and plans to graduate in 2020.

Emiel has had the opportunity to share the stage with Victor Garcia, Conrad Herwig, Martin Wind, Bill Cunliffe, Scott Robinson, John Clayton, Marquis Hill, Lauren Sevian, Matt Wilson, Ingrid Jensen, Delfayo Marsalis and the Uptown Jazz Orchestra. He has also studied with Tanya Darby, Clay Jenkins, Derrick Gardner, Doug Stone, David Bixler, at Birch Creek Music Performance Center every summer since 2011.

Through his interest in Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Emiel has already began his research into the connection between Alzheimers and music memory. He plans to balance both the performance, research, and teaching aspects of music throughout the rest of his life.





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William Zimmer started playing the trombone at the age of 8. He received the instrument as gift from his grandfather. Will’s early musical development was aided by instruction from Even Dobbins, Nick Finzer, and Howard Potter. Will has had the pleasure of playing the Eastman Youth Jazz Orchestra, where he had the opportunity to compete with his peers in the Essentially Ellington competition and Mingus competition in New York City. After graduating high school, William attended the Breklee College of music.There had the pleasure of studying with Phil Wilson, Jason Palmer, John Fiatia, and Ralph Peterson. Will is currently attending the Eastman School of Music for a masters in Jazz. 

Abe Nouri 

Originally from Harrisonburg, Virginia, Abe Nouri started playing the trombone in 8th grade after studying voice, piano, clarinet, oboe, and guitar. After participating in the  District V Jazz Band his sophomore year of high school, Abe knew he wanted to study jazz in college. In 2013, he was involved in the summer jazz camp at Eastman, and fell in love with the school. Before attending Eastman in the fall of 2014, Abe participated in Harrisonburg High School’s marching band (Brass Captain and Executive Board Member) and musical theater (Les Mis- Marius, Thoroughly Modern Millie- Jimmy, and Oklahoma!- Curly) programs. He also participated in the jazz small group class at James Madison University his senior year. He has played with Mark Mullins and Craig Klein with the band “Bonerama” at multiple music festivals and venues. Abe plans to finish his performance degree at Eastman and to continue to do graduate work in New York City. 



Trombonist Adrian Eldridge is a current freshman at the Eastman School of Music, studying jazz and contemporary media in addition to pursuing a BS in engineering at the University of Rochester. Adrian is from Seattle, Washington, and studied classical and jazz trombone with Jeff Hay for eight years before coming to Eastman. During his senior year in high school, Adrian had the opportunity to play lead trombone in the Shoreline Community College Big Band and the Bellevue College Jazz Ensemble. While playing with these groups, Adrian won awards at the Reno Jazz Festival and the University of Northern Colorado Jazz Festival. At Eastman, Adrian studies trombone with Mark Kellogg and plays with the Eastman Jazz Ensemble.




Jack Courtright is currently pursuing Bachelor of Music degrees in both Trombone Performance and Jazz Studies at the Eastman School of Music in the studio of Mark Kellogg, playing in the Eastman Jazz Ensemble led by Bill Dobbins. Jack was the winner of the International Trombone Association’s 2016 Carl Fontana Jazz Trombone Competition. He has performed and received solo awards at music festivals in New York, Minneapolis, St. Paul, Iowa City and Eau Claire, and spent the summer of 2016 performing on the Norwegian Dawn cruise ship on its run from Boston to Bermuda. Jack’s primary teachers include Dr. John Tranter (University of Minnesota) and Mark Kellogg (Eastman School of Music).
Glen Munson is a first year undergraduate jazz trombonist from Damascus, Maryland.  He is currently studying both Jazz Trombone and Music Education at the Eastman School of Music.  Glen has been musically active for most of his life and has gotten the opportunity to perform in a variety of different groups.  While Glen was in high school he earned the opportunity to play lead trombone in the Maryland All State Jazz Ensemble and the Montgomery County Public Schools All County Jazz Ensemble.  He was also lead trombonist in the Jazz Academy Orchestra under the direction of saxophonist Paul Carr.  After high school, Glen attended Montgomery College for one year and studied jazz trombone with Reginald Cyntje.  Glen has also had the opportunity to play in a variety of orchestras such as the Trinity Concert Orchestra and the Academy of Saint Cecilia Youth Orchestra.  
These opportunities have helped Glen to broaden his musical background and have helped him to become a more versatile trombonist. Glen plans on graduating Eastman in the spring of 2020.  Glen has a strong passion to perform and teach music to others and he is extremely thankful for all of the people and opportunities that have led him to this point.  




Billy Petitto

Originally from the Maryland suburbs of Washington, DC, Billy Petito is currently studying Music Education and Jazz Guitar with Bob Sneider at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY. 

Billy began music study at age 6 with classical piano lessons, and began playing the guitar at age 10. After being self taught for several years, Billy began to study with Chad Leader, the lead guitarist in the army premier band Pershing’s Own “Downrange.” Chad trained Billy in many genres – jazz, classical, funk, rock, fusion, metal, folk, bluegrass, etc. – in order to help him develop into a versatile performance-ready musician. Chad also introduced Billy into the world of recording, production, and music technology, all interests that he continues to pursue professionally, and for fun. 

At Eastman, in addition to studying Jazz Guitar and Music Education, Billy discovered an interest in composition and arranging, both activities he intends to pursue professionally. Through an internship with Bruce Chianese, owner of Mad Cow Music and Sound – an LA based post-production and film scoring studio – Billy discovered a passion for film and commercial scoring. Billy is currently studying composition independently with various members of Eastman’s prestigious faculty, most notably Dave Rivello, Assistant Professor of Jazz Studies and Contemporary Media. 

Billy has been commissioned to arrange for various groups including The Elden String Quartet and the University of Rochester Yellowjackets, and has been commissioned to score several short films, including Khorvash Kayati’s Unlucky Bird and Stephen Markowitz’s award-winning Hands of Flame. Billy has participated in groups such as the Metropolitan Jazz Academy Orchestra, the Maryland All-State Jazz band, Levine School Select Jazz Combo, the Eastman Lab Band, the Eastman New Jazz Ensemble, Collossus, and has shared the stage with names such as Paul Carr, Carmen Bradford, and Warren Wolf. Billy also regularly collaborates and records guitar tracks on commercial pieces for brand name companies. Other notable accomplishments include winning the guitar position in the Maryland All-State Jazz Band, Metropolitan Jazz Academy Orchestra, the Levine School Select Jazz Combo, and placing as a finalist at an audition for the army premier band Pershing’s Own. Billy intends to complete his BA in Music Education with a double major in Music Education and Jazz guitar, and then pursing film scoring and music production in his graduate studies.


Chris xu 

Christopher Xu is currently pursuing a dual degree in Jazz Performance and Music Education. Born and raised in Lexington, Massachusetts, Christopher began studying piano at age 5, switching to guitar later, teaching himself to play the instrument. He started studying jazz at age 17 under the tutelage of Berklee professor Jon Damian. Versed in several styles, Christopher played in various settings in and around the Boston area, most notably the New England Conservatory Youth Jazz Orchestra, Senior Districts, and every jazz group in his high school, which he competed in and won several times in the national Mingus and Berklee Jazz Festivals, the UNH Jazz Festival (where Christopher won an Outstanding Soloist award), and the 2013 Ellington Festival. In addition playing jazz, Christopher has led several local rock bands in the Boston area and started the first student band in his Chinese School, where he composed music and taught others how to play their instruments, both in individual and group settings. Christopher currently studies with renowned jazz guitarist Bob Sneider.

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Blake Pattengale is a jazz guitarist hailing from Maine. In addition to leading his solo jazz project at the Festival International de Jazz de Montreal, Blake has performed in a wide variety of ensembles and is comfortable in all popular genres. In the past he has studied at Concordia University where he was at the top of his class and received the Charles Ellison Scholarship. Currently he is studying jazz guitar with Bob Sneider at the Eastman School of Music. Apart from music, Blake is an avid runner and has coached middle school track and field. He looks forward to sharing his music and creativity with the Rochester community. 


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Garrett Mader first became fascinated with music at age at age 10 when he heard the Beatles’ “I Am the Walrus”, and was amazed by how the song managed to make a statement while sounding so nonsensical. Since then he has enjoyed the challenges of: playing classical Bass in his local All-County Youth orchestra, playing Jazz Guitar in the National Jazz Workshop’s All-Star Band (under the direction of Alan Baylock, the new director for UNT’s One-O-Clock band, and working with both Doc Severinson and Wynton Marsalis), playing Pop Guitar and Ukulele in his high school’s pit orchestra, and playing with The Vurge, a local band, at venues ranging from Downtown Silver Spring to Fontana’s in New York City. He enjoys playing and listening to all styles of music. Garrett is also an Eagle Scout and loves to spend time backpacking or day-hiking. Garrett is studying Jazz Guitar Performance with Bob Sneider at the Eastman school of music, and is looking forward to knowing Rochester better over the next four years.  



Born and raised in Thousand Oaks, California, a suburban city approximately thirty miles north of Los Angeles, Avery Scanlon is currently an undergraduate guitar student going for a BM in Jazz Studies and Contemporary Media at Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. Son of reputable Los Angeles woodwind player and Eastman alum Brian Scanlon (BM ’81, MM ’83), Avery found his way to the guitar at the early age of five and began studying seriously at the age of ten. At the age of twelve, Avery began studying privately with legendary Los Angeles session guitarist Mitch Holder, who aided Avery in his pursuit of finding his own musical voice. In addition to playing in a variety of groups focused on playing jazz, Avery continuously explores rock, blues, hip-hop, R&B, funk, metal, Latin, and avant-garde music to provide additional context and material for his jazz playing. Avery has played with noteworthy musicians such as Gordon Goodwin, Alan Ferber, Katisse Buckingham, and many others. Additionally, he has had the opportunity to study with notable guitarists such as Gilad Hekselman, Julian Lage, Peter Bernstein, and Larry Koonse. In conjunction with his work as a performer, Avery is also an avid composer/arranger who often puts groups together to play his music. His compositional work spans from personal projects to commissioned pieces. Having participated in a wide array of honor groups and competitions, Avery constantly searches for new opportunities to further his own personal development as a musician. Upon completion of his undergraduate degree at Eastman School of Music, Avery plans on studying music at the graduate level.




Jeff Benetar

Jeff Benatar is a Jazz Pianist pursuing his DMA at the Eastman School of Music. Benatar is the instructor of the Jazz History and Analysis course for non-majors, a Teaching Assistant for Jazz Theory and Aural Musicianship courses, and a teaching intern at the Eastman Community Music School. Benatar is currently a student of Harold Danko; he has also had lessons with Stanley Cowell, Bill Dobbins, Dariusz Terefenko, and Tamir Hendelman. He has performed with Pat LaBarbera, Melba Joyce, Bob Sneider, Vaughn Weister’s Famous Jazz Orchestra, The Rick Brunetto Big Band, The Tony Lewis Swing Orchestra, The Ohio State University Faculty Combo, and as guest soloist with the Columbus Jazz Orchestra. Benatar earned a BM at The Ohio State University under direction of Mark Flugge and a MA in Jazz History and Research at Rutgers-Newark, The State University of New Jersey, under the direction of Dr. Lewis Porter.

For full biography and more information, please visit Jeff Benatar’s website at http://jeffbenatar.blogspot.com/.



Theresa Chen is a well-rounded pianist, composer/arranger and an educator. Her delicate, bright and beautiful touch on the keys has touched many listener’s hearts. Her acknowledgement of various styles have increased potentials in her playing. Her compositions also have raised awareness of music from Asian culture. Her passion in music today has gained many attentions from audiences in the US and her hometown, Taiwan.

 Theresa has performed with Dave Rivello, Matt Harris, Rich Thompson, Mike Kaupa, Ray Ricker, Charles Pillow, Gary Smulyan, Clay Jenkins, Jeff Campbell, Lance Hoffman Orchestra, Scott Wendholt, Giuseppi Bassi and Pat Bianchi. She also played at the Kilbourn Hall, Hatch Hall(Eastman School of Music), Downstairs Cabaret Theatre, WGMC-Jazz90.1 Radio Station and many other prominent jazz venues in Taiwan.

 Born in Buffalo, NY and raised in Chiayi, Taiwan, Theresa was a 20-year experienced classical pianist graduated from college of music at National Taiwan Normal University(NTNU). She won the 3rd place in piano concerto competition in college of music and several awards in National Student Music Competition. She was also involved in film scoring and her recent musical work “A Moment of Love” was released in August, 2013. Inspired by renown jazz musicians such as Bill Evans, Keith Jarrett, Chick Corea, Brad Mehldau, Marian McPartland, Bud Powell, Fred Hersch and many stride pianists, Theresa made up her mind to become a jazz musician. During her college time, she established the jazz club at NTNU and took part in workshops held by National Taiwan Concert Hall and National Taiwan University’s jazz club.

 When she was a senior, she was accepted as an exchange student in University of North Texas for Fall 2012, double majoring in classical and jazz piano performance, under the instruction of Prof.Gustavo Romero and Mr. Sergio Pamies. In Spring 2013, she successfully entering the Master’s program at Eastman School Music. Under the instruction of the legendary pianist, Harold Danko, she began her professional career as a jazz musician.

 As the first Taiwanese student studying in grad school of Jazz Studies at Eastman, Theresa never stops promoting music of her own culture. In November, 2013, she was involved in the composer’s project held by Ethnomusicology Department at NTNU. Her arrangement on a Taiwanese folk song, “Latin Ferry”, was recorded on an album “The Sound of Antique”. In the album, she was the only arranger who was not a composition major. Also, her recent work, “The Song of Taibalang,” is included in 2016 annual album of Jazz Department. 

 As a class instructor of Functional Jazz Piano and secondary jazz piano lessons, Theresa has gained many experiences on jazz education. During May and June 2014, she gave a series of clinics at Cheng-Gong University and her previous college, National Taiwan Normal University. In Summer 2016, she was interviewed by one of the most famous jazz magazines in Italy, “Jazz Community”, “Blow Music” and “Xin Media” from Taiwan.

 Currently, Theresa is continuing her studies as a 2nd-year doctoral student in jazz piano performance at Eastman School of Music, minoring in Music Theory. She is devoted to advanced research on women jazz pianists. Invited by Jazz Education Network(JEN) Conference in January, 2016, Theresa presented her research about Marian McPartland’s solo piano style in the format of poster session. Gathering the information around jazz field, she aims at helping Taiwan build a complete, professional jazz educational system. She’s also exploring different possibilities of sounds through musical experiments and meeting more jazz people from different cultural backgrounds. She believes jazz is a free art form which has multiple cultures among music. Through her music, she hopes to bring love, peace, harmony and warmness to audiences around the world.



Jonathan Adam Fagan is a first-year Masters student in Jazz Piano at the Eastman School of Music, currently studying in the studio of Harold Danko. He is one of the pianists for the Eastman Jazz Ensemble, directed by Bill Dobbins, and a member of a small ensemble directed by Clay Jenkins. Jonathan is also the pianist for a group called “Good Trouble,” a jazz combo out of Appleton, Wisconsin. The group released their first album of original music last summer, and are planning a tour around the midwest for this coming winter. Jonathan is an alumni of Lawrence University (class of 2015), where he had the priviledge of working with Fred Sturm, José Encarnación, and Bill Carrothers. Jonathan was the pianist for the Lawrence University Jazz Ensemble, which performed with artists as diverse as vocalist Kurt Elling, drummer Peter Erskine, and bassist John Clayton. In addition to immersing himself in the Jazz department, Jonathan remained an active classical pianist, studying with Catherine Kautsky. He won a seat as a Junior Jurist in the Piano Arts National Concerto Competition in 2013, and was featured on Wisconsin’s Public Radio’s broadcast “live from Harper Hall” performing a Chopin étude and an original Jazz composition. He was an accompanying fellow throughout his four years at Lawrence, working with vocal and instrumental students in all musical genres. Originally from Boston, Jonathan performed regularly as a folk pianist with “Apple Crisp,” a piano-vibraphone duo that played for dances around New England. Jonathan also taught improvisation for an after-school music program called “Project Step” at Symphony Hall, Boston. He is an alumni of the Skidmore Jazz Institute, the Berklee 5 Week program, and the Interharmony chamber music program in Arcidosso, Italy.





Max Greenberg is in his first year as a graduate student in the Jazz & Contemporary Media department here at Eastman. Max just finished his BM in jazz studies this past spring at the College-Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati, OH. There he had the pleasure of studying with Steve Allee, Phil DeGreg, and Kim Pensyl while also performing in the CCM Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Scott Belck. During the second semester of his junior year, Max had the sublime opportunity to study abroad in São Paulo, Brazil thanks to a grant on behalf of the conservatory’s exchange program.
Before moving to Rochester in August, he was busy with many different projects including teaching, accompanying, and gigging around the tri-state area; including performances with the Blue Wisp Big Band, Richmond Symphony Orchestra, and the Cincinnati Contemporary Jazz Orchestra. In high school, Max was selected for the Ohio All-State Jazz Band in 2010, 2011, and 2012 as well as placing second at the Nathaniel Patch Piano Competition and receiving an honorable mention at the Buckeye Piano Competition.



Sterling Cozza 

Sterling “Joey” Cozza is a pianist from Sacramento, California. He has been playing piano since he was 5 years old, and began studying jazz at age 12. He attended Rio Americano High School, where he had the honor of performing at events such as the Essentially Ellington Festival at Lincoln Center, the Charles Mingus Festival at the Manhattan School of Music, the Monterey Jazz Festival, and more. He began his private study with Craig Faniani, the original director of Rio Americano, and went on to study for three years with Joseph Gilman, currently the artistic director of the Brubeck Institute.

Sterling continued his studies outside of school at various summer programs, including the 5 Week Summer Performance Program at the Berklee College of Music, the Brubeck Institute Summer Jazz Colony, and the Lafayette Summer Jazz Workshop, to all of which he was awarded full scholarships. He also took part in the SFJazz/Mondavi Center High School All Stars program for three years under the direction of Mike McMullen where he honed his small-group playing, studying the music of the SFJazz Collective. He has shared the stage with the likes of Avishai Cohen, Antonio Hart, Robin Eubanks, Donny McCaslin, Matt Wilson, Stefon Harris, Eddie Gomez, the Charles Mingus Big Band, and more. Sterling is grateful to be pursuing his passion at the Eastman School of Music, and is always looking for new musical experiences. 



Born and raised in the metro-Detroit area, Max Berlin began piano lessons at the age of eight. Almost immediately, Max began to enjoy and find creative expression in the piano, with an even greater interest in music theory and composition. This soon developed into a great passion for musical improvisation and the jazz idiom. Since then, Max has written professionally for several kinds of ensembles and musical genres, orchestras and quartets alike. As a pianist, he has led three piano trios, regularly performing with professional and touring jazz orchestras, and was the founding member of a Detroit-based Klezmer band. As a composer, he has also scored several films and live-stage productions, recently scoring an award-winning RIT short film, Into the Microscope. Max was also named Resident Composer at the 2015 Southeast Asia Music Festival, held annually in the Philippines. Max is currently studying under Bill Dobbins and Harold Danko at the Eastman School of Music as a jazz pianist with an emphasis in composition.




A multifaceted jazz pianist, Naomi Nakanishi is based out of Las Vegas, Nevada where her musical endeavors began. Under the tutelage of Professor Harold Danko, she is currently working to pursue her BA in Jazz Performance at the Eastman School of Music. Beginning her classical studies at the age of 5, Naomi worked through various Suzuki Method books to develop her listening skills and soon participated in numerous piano competitions such as Nevada’s Silver State and Bolognini. Taking both classical and jazz lessons she has worked with top tier instructors such as Matt Harris, Tony Branco, Uli Geissendoerfer, Jon Matteson, Pierce Emata, and Polya Bankova. In high school, she then began her pursuit in jazz studies at the Las Vegas Academy of the Performing Arts as a world jazz studies major under the direction of Patrick Bowen. Throughout her time at Las Vegas Academy, she has had the opportunity to perform at the Next Generation: Monterey Jazz Festival, Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival, Reno Jazz Festival, Las Vegas Jazz Invitational, Midwest Clinic, All State Jazz Band, and JEN Conference with a big band and small group. Throughout the weeks of the school year she would also gig regularly with her trio and has done a variety of duo/solo work. During the summer, she would participate in jazz camps such as the Idyllwild Jazz Workshop working with Matt Harris and Jeff Hellmer, the Berklee Five Week Program, and the Centrum Jazz Workshop under the direction of John Clayton. Naomi has also shared the stage with world renowned jazz artists such as Jeff Hamilton, Randy Brecker, Jimmy Cobb, DeeDee Bridgewater, Nat Reeves, and Peter Epstein. Aside from piano, Naomi also enjoys playing clarinet and has participated in Las Vegas Academy’s top wind ensemble, All State Orchestra, All State Band, and numerous Solo & Ensemble competitions.





Tyrone Allen

Tyrone Allen began his musical journey on recorder at the young age of 3. From there he moved on to guitar, next electric bass with his church in junior high, and would never look back after switching to upright bass for his high school jazz ensemble. Tyrone continues to play for his church and regularly gigs at restaurants and bars in DC, being very close to his hometown; Temple Hills, Maryland. Some of the places he has played include Columbia Station, Twins Jazz Club, Bohemia Caverns, and the Kennedy Center. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree in classical bass as well as jazz bass, under the instruction of James VanDemark and Jeff Campbell respectively.


Eugene Bisdikian  

Eugene Bisdikian is a bass player currently in his sophomore year. He started playing upright bass at the age of 9 in his elementary school’s orchestra, and picked up the bass guitar a year later. He studied both Classical and Jazz throughout grade school under the instruction of various teachers including Harvie S and Michael Goetz. He performed in several groups featuring various other styles of music as well, many of which were put together through the Lagond Music School, a music school led by Eastman alumnus Charlie Lagond. Through Lagond Music he has been on three tours as part of various Jazz/Latin/Funk groups: two in the eastern United States and one in and around Montreal. He attended the New York State School Music Association’s All-State Orchestra programs in 2012 and 2013, playing in both the String and Symphony Orchestras. In 2013 he was also named a finalist in the National YoungArts Foundation’s competition under the Jazz Double Bass category. For the past two summers he has co-taught ensembles and theory classes at Lagond Music’s college prep program.



Jakob Ebers (BM 2017) is majoring in jazz studies and contemporary media under the supervision of Professor Jeff Campbell.  Jakob started playing the upright bass in his elementary school orchestra at the age of nine, and began private studies with jazz bassist Rick Petrone at the age of ten.  Jakob participated in jazz ensembles through the “Summer Jazz” program run by Rick Petrone and Joe Corsello for six years.  In “Summer Jazz” Jakob worked with jazz greats like Joe Magnarelli, Ralth Lalama and Charles Tolliver.  He also attended master classes with artists such as Linc Milliman, Peter Bernstein, Doug Weiss and Bill Stewart.  In 2012, Jakob was selected by the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) to perform as bassist with the New York All-State Vocal Jazz Ensemble. Jakob has played in pit orchestras for the musicals “A Little Night Music” (Stephen Sondheim) and “Once Upon a Mattress” (Mary Rodgers), and performs with various jazz groups in western Connecticut, New York’s Hudson Valley and Rochester.  At Eastman, Jakob plays in the Eastman Lab Band under the direction of Professor Rich Thompson and in Saxology under the direction of Professor Charles Pillow.


Taylor Kroma Headshot

Taylor Kroma is a (jazz) bassist currently studying at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY. Originally from Naperville, Illinois, she participated in both the Midwest Young Artists big band, as well as the Illinois All-State Honors Jazz Combo.  In 2013 and 2014, she received the North Shore Jazz Festival’s “Outstanding Soloist” Award.  She played cello and bass throughout her career at Naperville North High School, where she participated in the orchestra, pit orchestra, jazz band, and was the Drum Major of the Marching Band.  Taylor founded Healing Hearts with Harmony, a benefit concert at Naperville North High School, that has raised several thousand dollars for various charities so far.  She is now studying bass with a double major in Jazz and Contemporary Media and Music Education. Taylor aspires to continue doing work as a freelancing musician and eventually teach jazz bass at a collegiate level.  



Born in Northeaster Pennsylvania, Scott Kwiatek was raised in a family of musicians. His first experience in music was performing in jam sessions with his older siblings. Consisting of a guitarist and drummer, his brothers pushed for him to begin bass studies at the age of 9. Immediately showing a natural enjoyment of music and theory, Scott pushed to perform at higher levels and in different styles.

Wyoming Seminary College Preparatory School gave him a great starting point in jazz education by performing in big bands and small groups. Quickly, he fell in love with the improvisation and orchestration aspects of jazz. Freshman year meant the beginning of upright bass studies and a beloved summer program termed The Performing arts Institute of Wyoming Seminary. There, Scott was first introduced to Eastman by alumni and factually who worked at this camp.

Deciding to follow music as a career, Scott saw Eastman as his top choice school to continue learning and performing as a bassist. His high school jazz band was best in state all 4 years he was a part of the group and he earned his place in All-State Band. After being accepted into Eastman, only Scott’s gratitude surpassed his excitement to work and learn with the greats he looked up to. Now in his second year, he looks to continue his path in pursuit of a career in Jazz. 



Mikailo Kasha hails from Mountain View, California. He is pursuing a BM in jazz and contemporary media, and studies under Professor Jeff Campbell. Mikailo began studying music at the age of four, starting with classical piano. At age twelve, he picked up the upright bass, playing in the junior high classical and jazz ensembles. Throughout high school, Mikailo participated in summer jazz programs at Florida State University, Stanford University, and the Eastman School of Music. He previously studied under Seward McCain, Frank Tusa, David Wong, Larry Grenadier, and Rodney Jordan before beginning his studies with Jeff Campbell. Mikailo has been involved in jazz ensembles such as the San Jose High School All-Stars under Grammy award-winning Aaron Lington, the San Francisco High School All-Stars under Paul Contos, and the California All-State jazz ensemble under Joey Sellers. In addition to jazz bass, Mikailo has performed in pit orchestras, marching bands, wind ensembles, chamber ensembles,  and has experience directing both small jazz combos and big bands.



Chase Ellison cymbal1

Drummer, Chase Ellison, originally hailing from Albuquerque, New Mexico now calls Rochester, New York home as he pursues a Doctorate of Musical Arts with an emphasis in performance and literature in the Jazz Studies & Contemporary Media Department at the Eastman School of Music.  Additionally, Chase is a graduate teaching assistant with various roles and responsibilities within the Jazz & Contemporary Media Department including teaching individual studio lessons.  Prior to his studies at the Eastman School of Music, Chase earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education at the University of New Mexico graduating and Master’s of Music from the Eastman School of Music, and also spent time cutting his teeth in the city of Detroit with its rich legacy of world-renown jazz artists.

Along with having the fortunate opportunity to have been mentored by some of the greats in the music, Chase has also been afforded numerous opportunities to share the stage with world class jazz musicians in a smaller group setting at venues in music festivals and jazz clubs throughout the country. Among the artists he has been honored to perform and/or record with include – legendary father of Vocalese and 8 time Grammy Award Winner/NEA Jazz Master Jon Hendricks, trumpeter Bobby Shew, tenor saxophonist Doug Lawrence, vocalist Tommy Gearhart, legendary gospel artist Rance Allen, and many other notables in the big band & orchestra settings too, such as NEA Jazz Master composer/pianist/arranger/bandleader Toshiko Akiyoshi, and tenor saxophonist Lew Tabackin.  Furthermore, Chase seeks balance between his performing and recording schedule in order to focus on providing educational opportunities for those in the community via masterclasses at local universities, public schools, and private lessons.  With a deep respect for the tradition of the music by humbly paying tribute at each performance opportunity, Chase strives to become a professor at the college level in order to give back and pass the torch to the next generation of jazz musicians. 


 George Darrah

 George Darrah is a drummer, composer/arranger and educator from Boston, Massachusetts.George graduated from the University of Tampa in 2011. Since graduating, he has maintained actively writing, playing and teaching throughout New England. He has worked with some of New England’s finest jazz musicians and has performed for President Barack Obama, Governor Duval Patrick (MA) and has performed on The Today Show. A member of Bill Dobbin’s composition studio, George will be pursuing an MM in Jazz Composition and Contemporary Media. In addition, He will be performing with the Eastman Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Bill Dobbins and Clay Jenkins’ Jazz Performance Workshop.


Stephen Morris

Stephen Morris was born in 1994 in Southern California, growing up in Aliso Viejo before beginning a new chapter on the East coast. Prior to transferring to Eastman as a sophomore, Stephen studied drum set and jazz at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo under Paul Johnson, in addition to also studying with Matt Witek and Brian Carmody. While at Saddleback’s jazz program under Joey Sellers, Stephen was a percussionist and drummer for the school’s wind ensemble, symphonic orchestra, Saddleback Big Band and several jazz combos. He graduated Magna Cum Laud in May of 2014 with an Associate’s Degree in Fine and Applied Arts. Stephen participated in the 2013 University of California, San Diego jazz camp on full tuition scholarship, studying under Willie Joe Jones III and Mark Ferber and performing in one of the top ensembles led by Gilbert CastelIanos, In addition to studying under Rich Thompson on scholarship at Eastman, Stephen also currently studies under Jeff Hamilton back in Southern California.

Stephen Morris most recently participated this past summer as a member of the 2014 Disneyland All-American College Band with 20 of the top college musicians from across the country. During the 11 weeks at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, Stephen performed with John Clayton, Jiggs Whigham, Wayne Bergeron, Ron Carter, Rex Richardson, and Sal Lazano. Stephen has also performed with Katisse Buckingham, Charles McPherson, Kirsten Edkins, and Tony Malaby. Stephen can currently be heard on the Saddleback College Big Band’s 2013 debut self-titled Christmas album, and also on the 2014 Disneyland All-American College Band CD on drum set, Latin percussion, and tenor drums recorded at Capitol Records in Los Angeles.


 Daniel sunshine

Daniel Sunshine is a Sophomore from Los Angeles, currently pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Drums under Professor Rich Thompson. He is a graduate of Harvard-Westlake High School, where he led the school’s top jazz group and received the Jerry Margolis Jazz Award as a senior. In 2013 he played in the Colburn School of Music Thursday Night Band and was a semi-finalist in the Music Center Spotlight Awards for Jazz. In his Freshman year at Eastman, his Composition “Song For Avalon” was featured on the Jazz at Eastman 2014 CD. He currently performs with the Eastman New Jazz Ensemble conducted by Dave Rivello.


Matt Bent 

Matt Bent is a current freshman at Eastman School of Music. Originally from Red Bank, New Jersey, Matt has previously studied with Steve Johns, Dion Parson, and Cecil Brooks. Matt has also participated in various music programs including the NJPAC Jazz for Teens, the Mason Gross Summer Workshop, The William Paterson Summer workshop, and The Eastman Summer Jazz Studies workshop. Currently a member of the Clayton Faris Trio, Matt is honored to be a part of the Eastman community.



Andrew Tachine is a Freshman at the Eastman School of Music studying jazz drum set. He comes from Red Bank, New Jersey where he began studying drums at the age of 7. Before he became a student at Eastman, Andrew participated in several music programs such as the Rutgers Mason Gross Summer Jazz Institute, the New Jersey All Shore Chorus, and the New Jersey All State Jazz Ensemble. Andrew has dreamed of a career in music for a long time and believes that Eastman is the perfect place for him to prepare for success.



Coming from the Boston area, Ian Carle is currently studying jazz drum set performance under Professor Rich Thompson. Ian has been studying drum set for 9 years and is very excited about all the Eastman School of Music has to offer.

Prior to Eastman, Ian studied with Mark Hardt, focusing on the studies of Gary Chaffee and Jim Chapin. In addition, he took classes at the New England Conservatory Preparatory School every Saturday studying with teachers such as Rick McLaughlin, Alexei Tsiganov, and Austin MacMahon. Throughout high school, he participated in his high school jazz bands, wind ensemble, orchestra and initiated the start of a jazz small group. During high school he was a member of the Massachusetts Central District Jazz Band as well as the Massachusetts All-State Band under the direction of Earl Macdonald. As a member of these bands he had the great opportunity of performing at Mechanics Hall in Worcester, Symphony Hall Boston, and the legendary Newport Jazz Festival.  

Ian is extremely grateful for the opportunity to study here at such a prestigious establishment. He hopes to hone his craft in order to make a living doing something he loves. He is honored to be a part of the wonderful Eastman community.