Jazz Studies and Contemporary Media

Meet Our Pianists

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Yvonne Rogers is a pianist from Penobscot, Maine. She studies Jazz Performance at the Eastman School of Music with Gary Versace. Concurrently, she is pursuing a degree in African and African American Studies at the University of Rochester.

Yvonne started taking classical piano lessons when she was six years old. She shifted her focus to jazz during her junior year of high school, when she began working with Paul Sullivan. Her jazz studies took off a year later under the tutelage of Tom Luther. Throughout her high school years, she participated in her school’s award-winning jazz band and jazz combos on both tenor saxophone and piano. At the 2017 Berklee High School Jazz Festival, her combo placed second in their division, playing a set which included her original music. Additionally, Yvonne won one of four Outstanding Musicianship awards.

In 2016, Yvonne attended the NYU Summer Jazz Improv Workshop. She has performed at the Deer Isle Jazz Festival for three years and in 2017 she performed at the Rochester International Jazz Festival as a recipient of the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival/Eastman School of Music Jazz Scholarship. In 2018, she was selected as a mentee for the inaugural semester of the Women in Jazz Organization’s Mentorship Program.

Yvonne hopes to inspire other young women to pursue jazz.


Jueun Seok was born in Seoul, and raised in Daegu, Korea. She started to play the piano at age of seven, and she had been self-trained as a pianist in her church since fourteen. From 2011 to 2013, She studied Elementary Education in Seoul National University of Education in South Korea. While she was studying, she took the Berklee World Tour Audition in 2014 and got accepted with the scholarship.

She graduated Berklee College of Music, majoring Jazz Composition in 2018. At Berklee she studied Jazz Composition with Bob Pilkington and Greg Hopkins, while recognized as one of the strongest jazz writers among the students. She has won 2017 Berklee Piano Department Chair Award. Selected as one of the student composers in visiting artist workshops at Berklee, she had her compositions performed at the biggest annual concerts at Berklee in 2017 and 2018. 

   The year 2019 has brought Jueun many opportunities. She won 2019 ASCAP Herb Alpert Young Composer Award  with her big band piece “A Walk in the Forest.” In May, she was selected to be one of the presenters in New Music Workshop at 2019 ISJAC (International Society of Jazz Arrangers and Composers) Symposium. Also, she was awarded honorable mention at 2019 SWJO composer’s contest, and in October 26th, her composition will be performed by Seattle Women’s Jazz Orchestra at 2019 Earshot Jazz Festival in Seattle, WA.

Currently she is studying M.M in Jazz Writing at Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY.


Ted Perry brings together the rich heritage of jazz, blues, and world music into his own unique compositions and arrangements. Ted has performed with musicians such as Ernie Watts, Nick Brignola, Drew Gress, Paul Smoker, John Swana, Dave Santoro, Mike Richmond, Akira Tana, Fred Wesley, and pedal steel guitarist Chuck Campbell of the Campbell Brothers.

Ted graduated with a Masters degree from Eastman School of Music in 2013 with an emphasis on Jazz composition and arranging. He continues to expand his writing for small groups, large ensembles, and Studio Orchestra. After spending several years in New York City, he has returned to Rochester where he is pursuing his DMA at Eastman School of Music with an emphasis on jazz piano performance. Ted has been in demand as both a pianist and arranger touring parts of the US and internationally. He has performed in New York City at a variety of venues such as Somethin’ Jazz Club, the 55 Bar, the Garage, as well as Chris’ Cafe and Ortliebs in Philadelphia. In his current trio, he explores original compositions and standards.


 

Growing up in Westchester New York, Sam Caldwell began studying classical piano at the age of 5. His focus switched to jazz upon studying with Rusty Cloud and Bill O’Connell at the Lagond Music School. He later attended the Eastman Summer Jazz program studying under Harold Danko. Sam has been fortunate enough to open for acts such as Houston Person, Delfeayo Marsallis, Allan Harris, Blood Sweat and Tears, and Bob Newhart (along side his big band). He has been honored to share the stage with legends such as Charlie Lagond, Rusty Holloway, and Delfeayo Marsalis. Sam has played at venues such as the Paramount Theater, Kodak Hall, the Bitter End, Kilbourn Hall, Peekskill Jazz and Blues festival, Garcia’s Capital Theater, and Hatch Hall. Sam was also able to play at the Salzburg Cathedral, Melk Abbey, and Annakirche Cathedral during a 2 week tour of Austria and the Czech Republic. Soon after this Sam had the privilege of touring the east coast with the Lagond Honors Band,  playing venues from NYC to Nashville over the course of 17 days. Sam is humbled to be a part of the Eastman community and looks forward to studying jazz piano under the instruction of Gary Versace.


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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.


Coming from the Chicago area, Terry Dunphy is a piano player and Jazz Studies and Contemporary Media major at the Eastman School of Music. Terry started piano lessons at a very young age, and he was introduced to jazz just before starting high school at a summer music camp called Birch Creek located in Door County, Wisconsin. Toward the end of his freshman year of high school, Terry started taking jazz piano lessons from Frank Caruso, a chicago based musician who currently teaches at Elmhurst College, and during his sophomore year, Terry added additional classical piano lessons with Alexander Djordjevic, who currently is a professor at Wheaton College.

During high school, Terry played in several ensembles including the Youth Jazz Ensemble of Dupage, the Chicago Youth Jazz Orchestra directed by Pharez Whitted, the Merit Jazz Ensemble, the ILMEA All State Jazz Band, and had the honor of sharing the stage with the former tonight show trumpeter Doc Severinsen with the Quinlan and Fabish All Star Concert Band. Terry also has had experience with small ensembles, whether that be extracurricular ones such as the Birch Creek Jazz Ambassadors Combo or the Merit Honors Jazz Combo, or his own small group projects with other young musicians from Chicago and the Chicago area. Currently, Terry is very excited to apart of pianist/organist/accordionist Gary Versace’s studio at the Eastman School of Music.