Lucas Fonseca is a Brazilian guitarist and composer. He has performed with Big Bands, Orchestras, and many other ensembles that specialize in traditional Brazilian music. Lucas is a Jazz Composition Major who was awarded a scholarship at Berklee College in Boston. He is currently planning the recording of his first album.
Takumi Kakimoto was born in Himeji, Japan and started playing the piano at the age of six. He is dual majoring in Piano Performance and Jazz Composition at Berklee College of Music and he has been studying with Ayn Inserto, Tiger Okoshi, Rick DiMuzio, and Vadim Neselovskyi.
Kyle Myers is a jazz saxophone & composition and arranging student at the University of North Texas. Kyle has written music for multiple Southern California honor groups, The San Diego State University Jazz Ensemble, The Tom Kubis Big Band, and for Lab Bands at UNT.
Zach Rich is a jazz composer and trombonist from Wichita, Kansas. He graduated from Friends University in 2016 and is currently getting his Masters of Music degree in Jazz Composition at the University of Northern Colorado. He aspires to become a freelance musician, composer, and a college professor.
At 23 years old, pianist, composer, & Vanderbilt-graduate, David Rodgers, has toured internationally with Grammy-winning blues legends, Keb’ Mo’ & Taj Mahal, as keyboardist & musical director. He has performed at the Montreux, North Sea, & Playboy Jazz Festivals, and released a genre-bending album of original music, Song’s For A Generation.
Greg is a doctoral jazz student and teaching assistant at the University of Northern Colorado from St. Louis. His arrangement of “Upper Manhattan Medical Group” was performed at the 2017 JEN Conference, and two of his compositions are featured on the All Angles Orchestra’s debut album called New Angle.
Aida Demoya is a guitarist and composer from Dominican Republic. She is a scholarship recipient of Michel Camilo, towards Berklee’s 5-week Performance Program, and is attending Berklee to pursue her undergraduate studies in Jazz Composition and Performance. Aida has studied with B.Pilkington, M.Goodrick, T.Miller, E.Tomassi.
Anna Jalkéus is a Jazz vocalist, harpist and composer and award-winning pioneer who specializes in writing for the contemporary jazz harp group and jazz/fusion singing and playing. Originally from Stockholm, Sweden, Anna is currently working towards an Artist Certificate in jazz performance at the University of North Texas.
Huei Lam obtained her Associate Diploma in Piano from the Trinity College of London at the age of eleven. She then proceeded to earn her Licentiate Diploma in Piano and Associate Diploma in Violin several years later. She was awarded a scholarship to further her studies at the Berklee College of Music, where she completed her Bachelor of Music with a Dual Major in Performance and Jazz.
Tobias Meissl is a vibraphonist and composer from Vienna, Austria currently studying Jazz Composition at Berklee College of Music. With a deep rooting in European Classical Music and a passionate love for Jazz and its descendants he is determined to consolidate these worlds in his music, creating an organic whole.
Luca Mendoza, is a LA Philharmonic Composer Fellow, a National YoungArts Finalist, and Music Center Spotlight Grand Prize Finalist. He has received an Outstanding Solo Award at the Monterey NextGen Jazz Festival, a Gerald Wilson Award, and four Downbeat Magazine Student Music Awards, and is in the 2016 Monterey NextGen Jazz Orchestra.
Chang Su is a jazz saxophonist and composer from Beijing, China. Su is pursuing his Doctor of Arts degree at University of Northern Colorado emphasize in Jazz Studies. The influence in Su’s playing and writing is mainly from bebop and oriental folk songs. “Behind the City,” one of his big band compositions, was performed by UNC Lab 1 at the JEN conference in January 2015.
Cassio Vianna is a composer whose work reflects the broad range of musical influences he has received during his years of training. Born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Vianna holds a bachelor’s degree in Brazilian Popular Music from Uni-Rio (Brazil) and a master’s degree in Music from Western Oregon University. He is now a doctoral student at the University of Northern Colorado, where he studies jazz composition under David Caffey.
Mike Conrad is a composer, improviser, educator, and music lover. He holds a Master’s degree from the Eastman School of Music and is now pursuing a Doctorate at the University of Northern Colorado. Conrad’s compositions and arrangements have been honored with awards from ASCAP, Downbeat, and Carnegie Hall’s Musical Exchange.
Andrew D. Herring
Andrew D. Herring boasts a uniquely spiritual, trans-stylistic compositional voice blending elements of jazz, minimalism, rock, chorales, avant- garde, and more. Andy has received honors including participation in MATA Jr., fanfare performances by Dallas Winds Fanfare, selection as a NFAA Young Arts merit winner, and three Downbeat Magazine student music awards. Andy studies at Shenandoah Conservatory with composers Jonathan Newman and David T. Little, and jazz arranger Alan Baylock.
Nacho González Nappa
Nacho González Nappa is an Uruguayan musician and social entrepreneur. Born in Montevideo (1985), Nacho is passionate about Afro Uruguayan music, Jazz and Tango. He studied and performed with the best musicians in Uruguay and 2013 he began studying Jazz Composition at Berklee College Music. Besides music, Nacho spent 8 years working in the social sector, and is the co-founder of techo.org and socialab.com, two of the largest and most effective poverty reduction in Latin America. He is also a journalist, and worked for many years as a literature reviewer at El Observador newspaper.
Matt Shugert is a Colorado based saxophonist, educator and composer with a passion for the intersection of jazz and other genres of music. He has degrees in saxophone performance and music education from the University of Colorado, and is currently an assistant instructor at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, where he is pursuing a master’s degree in jazz studies. In 2014, Matt co-founded JKS, a jazz sextet dedicated to playing original improvised music. This group received a 2014 Downbeat Student Music Award for Outstanding Graduate Combo Performance. An enthusiastic educator, Matt teaches a private studio and has directed jazz bands, rock band, guitar classes and taught general music. Matt’s teachers and mentors have included Tom Myer, John Gunther, Art Lande and Tom Walsh.
Tom Amend is a pianist and composer originally from Riverton, Wyoming. He is currently pursuing bachelor degrees in Jazz Studies and Music Education at the University of Northern Colorado. As a member of UNC’s Jazz Studies program, Tom performs with the UNC Lab I, and the UNC Vanguard Combo.
Keith Karns is an award winning trumpet player, composer, and bandleader based in Denton Texas. Keith has been the recipient of the Downbeat and ASCAP young composers awards. Keith is currently finishing his doctorate at the University of North Texas.
Chase Morrin is from San Diego and is a senior at Harvard/NEC (Jazz Composition). Chase, a Composer/Pianist, has earned multiple composition awards to include the ASCAP Jimmy Van Heusen, ASCAP Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer awards, DownBeat awards, and the MJF Gerald Wilson award. Follow Chase at www.chasemorrin.com.
Drew Zaremba is quickly earning a reputation as a passionate bandleader, innovative writer, and fiery saxophonist with a sincere love for people and music. At the University of North Texas he plays lead alto with the One O’Clock Lab band, studies composition with Rich deRosa, teaches arranging labs, and directs the Four O’Clock Lab Band.
Lucas Apostoleris is a 20-year-old junior studying music performance at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. A jazz drummer, composer, and classically trained guitarist, Lucas is a two-time winner (2008, 2009) of and one-time finalist (2013) for the ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Awards. In April of 2013, he was awarded the 2013 Howard Lebow Memorial Scholarship by the music department at UMass Amherst. Lucas is the drummer for the group City of Four, a jazz ensemble based in Amherst, MA that recently debuted at Symphony Hall in Boston. He is also performing at the Jazz Education Network Conference this year with the Jeff Schneider Nonet.
Enrico Bergamini is an Italian saxophone player, composer and arranger. While he spent his youth studying Classical Music he was later influenced by other genres of music such as Jazz, Fusion, Funk and Progressive Rock which helped him to develop a peculiar and characteristic musical style. After completing his studies in Classical Performance at the Luca Marenzio Conservatory in Brescia he auditioned and was accepted at the Berklee College of Music where he’s currently majoring in Jazz Composition.
Born in Brazil, Rafael DeLima is a Latin Grammy nominated composer who had his music performed and recorded by artists such as Terence Blanchard, Chick Corea, Steve Miller, Jon Secada, Bruce Hornsby, and ensembles such as the Costa Rica National Orchestra, Campinas Symphony Orchestra, and the Henry Mancini Jazz Philharmonic. Rafael graduated in Classical Composition and Brazilian Jazz Studies at UNICAMP (Sāo Paulo, Brazil). Rafael has a Master’s Degree in Studio Jazz Writing from the Frost School of Music (University of Miami), where he is now a Doctoral candidate in Jazz Composition.
C. Tyler Dennis
Composer-pianist C. Tyler Dennis has a wide range of musical interests, which he uses to fuel his own passions and affect the lives of those around him. His arrangements have been recorded and performed by a variety of artists, including Kevin Mahogany, Bruce Hornsby, Steve Miller, and a host of others. Outside of the jazz realm, he has also been active as a theatre orchestrator, contributing to numerous local and regional shows, including Maryann Kyle’s one-woman off-Broadway debut, Sondheim in the City.
Aaron Hedenstrom is an upcoming young saxophonist and composer who has had the fortune of playing with a variety of wonderful musicians in his life. Whether it is performing original compositions with his big band, the Aaron Hedenstrom Orchestra, playing clarinet and bass clarinet with indie rock groups such as S. Carey, or playing small-group jazz with top-notch jazz artists like Quamon Fowler, Aaron brings a unique and personal sound to every situation. Aaron holds a Masters in Jazz Arranging from the University of North Texas and a Bachelors in Music Composition from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Aaron is the recipient of multiple awards including: Winner of the 2012 Detroit Jazz Festival Arranging Contest; Recipient of the 2013 Herb Alpert ASCAP Young Composer Award; and Winner of the 2013 DownBeat Award for Blues/Pop/Rock Soloist.
Gordon K. Kippola, Director
Carter has studied Piano (10 years), Composition (6 years), and Trumpet (3 years). He has participated in the Humber Community Music Program for the past 4 years. He is a member of the Jazz FM91 Youth Big Band in Toronto. In addition to this JEN award, Carter is a Downbeat Award Winner in the Original Composition category. Carter is the leader of the Brodkorb Simmons Guerreje (BSG) Trio, which has won GOLD Level at MusicFest Canada, performed various clubs in the Toronto area, participated in Orillia Jazz Festival, recorded original compositions in studio, and has been invited to perform at the 2013 JEN Conference.
Mexico-born/Los Angeles based drummer Jose “Gurri” Gurria began playing drums at age 10. He holds a B.M. from Berklee College of Music and a M.M. in Jazz Studies at the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California (USC). Gurri is Teaching Assistant at the Music Industry department at USC, and Musical Director of USC’s Thornton Outreach the Los Angeles Youth Jazz Ensemble (LAYJE. Gurri’s many projects have taken him to China, Singapore, Indonesia, Brazil, Holland, Germany, Peru, Cuba, USA (Kennedy Center, Washington D.C, Notre Dame University), Mexico, Colombia, Puerto Rico, Paraguay, and Guatemala. Gurri will be graduating with a Jazz Studies Doctoral Musical Arts degree on the fall of 2013 from USC.
Laila Smith is a vocalist, pianist, composer, and choir director from San Jose, CA. Honors include: Presidential Scholar in the Arts; YoungArts Finalist in Jazz Voice; GRAMMY Jazz Choir; 6 Downbeat Awards; 3 CA All-State Jazz Choirs; 2 ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Awards; 2 JEN Composer Showcases; and vocalist for the Monterey Jazz Next Generation, SFJAZZ and San Jose Jazz Orchestras. She has performed at JEN New Orleans, Louisville and Atlanta, and is recipient of the 2013 Presidential Scholar in the Arts Award.
Dave Stamps is a Graduate Teaching Assistant and Othmer Fellow at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. At UNL, Stamps directs the UNL Big Band, teaches jazz history, and studies jazz composition for the Doctor of Musical Arts degree. An active trombonist and composer/arranger, Stamps has performed with/written for the Colorado Jazz Orchestra, Ninth+Lincoln Jazz Orchestra, Chuck Owen & the Jazz Surge, Jim Widner Big Band, and Wil Swindler’s Elevenet. He has performed all over North America, South America, and Europe, including several trips and residencies in Romania. His compositions have been performed and recorded by university and professional jazz ensembles worldwide. He is a member of ASCAP, the AFM, JEN, the College Music Society, the Liberace Scholars, and Pi Kappa Lambda.