Board of Directors Alphabetical Listing-Photos & Bios: 2016-2017

Bob Breithaupt - Vice President

JEN Vice President Robert Breithaupt is considered one of today’s leaders in music education. He is Professor of Music and Department Chair of Performance Studies at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio. Since 1978, Breithaupt has developed one of the most recognized undergraduate percussion programs in the United States, producing students that are successful in performing, teaching and the music industry. He was the co-founder of the Summer Drum Set Workshops, author of the textbook The Complete Percussionist, the DVD entitled Snare Drum Basics, presents clinics and seminars worldwide, and is a past-president of the Percussive Arts Society.

In over 30 years of concerts and tours, Breithaupt has performed in diverse solo, group, and orchestral settings and has appeared with a virtual “Who’s Who” of great jazz talents such as Terry Gibbs, John Pizzarelli, Kirk Whalum, and dozens of other notable artists. He regularly performs with many of the nation's finest orchestras along with trumpet virtuoso Byron Stripling.

Breithaupt is an artist/endorser and consultant for the Yamaha Corporation, Sabian, Ltd., and Remo, Inc., and has his own signature drum stick line, produced by Innovative Percussion. As a businessman, Breithaupt was one of the founders of Columbus Pro Percussion, Inc. where he was its vice-president for twenty-five years. He is also president of RB Music, Inc., a musical contracting and consulting firm.

Breithaupt served as Executive Director of the Jazz Arts Group of Columbus (JAG) from 2001-2012, and has also served as the drummer of JAG’s Columbus Jazz Orchestra since 1980.

The recipient of numerous honors and awards, Breithaupt received Bowling Green State University’s Outstanding Graduate Award, was a fellow in the Jefferson Academy for Leadership and Governance, participated in the prestigious Executive Program for Nonprofit Leaders in the Arts, a joint program of National Arts Strategies and the Stanford Graduate School of Business, was the founding chair of the Columbus Cultural Leadership Consortium and is a board member of Experience Columbus.

Sharon Burch - Secretary

Sharon Burch​ is a National Board Certified Teacher in Early and Middle Childhood Music, a certified teacher with the International Piano Teaching Foundation, and holds a master’s degree as a Professional Educator.  Sharon chairs the Jazz Education Network Education Committee and serves as an education consultant for Jazz At Lincoln Center.  Sharon has dedicated her life to music education.  The 2015 recipient of the prestigious JEN President's Service Award, Sharon brings her heart for music education combined with her organizational leadership skills to JEN on the education committee. Leading a team of passionate jazz educators, they are ​collecting and compiling jazz education resources for every level establishing a 24/7 network of resources, educators, musicians, and mentors easily accessible on the JEN website.  Another one of the many projects of the education committee, Sharon organized the JEN Education/Outreach professional development workshop day in coordination with the annual conference, an additional benefit for educators in the hosting city and surrounding area.

During her 20+ years teaching pre-k through high school vocal and general music in Iowa, she launched her own company to produce and author the national best-selling Freddie the Frog Book series, interactive storybooks that teach basic concepts of music, including a kid-friendly introduction to jazz.  The business grew into a relationship with Hal Leonard Corporation where she continues to write teaching resources for music education, present workshops, lead professional development, and teach for Vandercook College​. In addition to creating educational resources, she devotes time to JEN outreach through school author visits in elementary schools, reaching thousands of children in interactive jazz story time. Sharon's current work focuses on bringing interactive jazz experiences to children and youth of all ages through workshops and writing jazz education resources for the classroom setting. Working with top jazz artists at Jazz at Lincoln Center and Wynton Marsalis’s Jazz for Young People Curriculum content and recordings, Sharon is creating lessons designed for teachers who may or may not be trained in America's art form, introducing jazz to the next generation.

Caleb Chapman

Caleb Chapman - President

Caleb Chapman's incredibly unique combination of skills as a producer, educator, author, executive, and performer have marked him as a rising star in the music industry. As President of Caleb Chapman’s Soundhouse, his bands comprised of musicians ages 12-18 are regarded as some of the finest in the world. They have received a staggering 35 DownBeat Awards since 2007 and have shared the stage with over 200 guest artists including GRAMMY-winners Gordon Goodwin, Joe Lovano, Poncho Sanchez, Bob Mintzer, Randy Brecker, Nicholas Payton, Esperanza Spalding, Ernie Watts, and Peter Erskine, among many others. They have also performed and/or recorded with members of such well-known bands as Maroon 5, Dave Matthews Band, Journey, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Tower of Power, the Rolling Stones, Neon Trees, the Blues Brothers, and the Saturday Night Live Band.
Caleb’s flagship ensemble, the Crescent Super Band, has a long list of performance credits that includes many of the world’s most prestigious festivals in countries including Cuba, Italy, Canada, France, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Sweden, and more.  They filled a headlining spot at the 2014 JEN Conference and have previously performed at the Midwest Clinic. In May of 2013 the band made its headlining debut at Carnegie Hall to a packed house.
Utah Governor Gary Herbert presented Caleb with the 2013 “Governor’s Performing Artist Award”, given to one artist annually for significant contributions to art in Utah. In 2011, Caleb was named the “John LaPorta Jazz Educator of the Year”, one of the highest honors in music education.  And in 2015 DownBeat Magazine recognized Caleb with the Achievement in Jazz Education Award. Additionally, Caleb has been named Utah’s “Best Educator” (2011) and “Best Music Educator” (2012, 2014) by Utah Best of State.  Caleb was a national semi-finalist for the 2015 "GRAMMY Music Educator Award".
Caleb's book, "The Articulate Jazz Musician", written with Dave Matthews Band saxophonist and multi-GRAMMY winner, Jeff Coffin, was released by Alfred Publishing in January of 2013 and has already sold upwards of 10,000 copies.  He has also written for Hal Leonard Publishing and JAZZed Magazine.
Caleb is an active saxophonist.  He is a fixture in the Utah scene and has performed the National Anthem on solo saxophone at NBA games for the Boston Celtics, the Miami Heat, the Denver Nuggets, the Washington Wizards, and the Utah Jazz.  Caleb is an artist and clinician for Yamaha Saxophones, D’Addario Reeds, JodyJazz Mouthpieces, and Planet Wave Cables.

Diane Chandler-Marshall

Ms. Diane Chandler-Marshall’s work includes extensive experience with both local and national-level government, public and private organizations, and non-profit arts agencies. Her career in the arts spans over 24 years as an arts administrator and advocate. Ms. Chandler-Marshall's active role in the arts and cultural planning is the foundation for her belief in the arts as a vital component of all communities and the important aspects they contribute to creative, intellectual, and financial stability of the communities they serve.

Currently, she is the Education and Talent Development Director for the Jazz Institute of Chicago. In this role she serves as Administrator of the Jazz Institute's Jazz Links programs, which includes, Artist Residences, The Jazz Links Student Council and Teachers Advisory Council, the Jazz Ambassadors Summer Camp, the Straight Ahead Jazz Camp for Instructors, The Kiewit-Wang Mentorship Award and the "Jazzin' Up Chicago Public Schools Professional Staff Development Workshop for Chicago Public School Music Instructors. 

Prior to joining the Jazz Institute Team, Ms. Chandler-Marshall served in the Central Office of Chicago Public Schools as the Director of the Bureau of Cultural Arts. The Bureau’s mission served to advocate for academic, cultural and social development through the arts. The Bureau operated a range of city-wide programs in dance, drama, music and visual arts. Under Ms. Chandler-Marshall’s leadership, in 2002 the Bureau began a significant three-year research project to determine the impact of arts education on academic achievement, entitled “Improving Academic Achievement through the Arts” (IAAA). In 2005, she co-authored The Arts: Keystones to Learning, a publication documenting the 26 schools in this initiative. Ms. Chandler-Marshall believes that arts education is a critical foundation for a child’s comprehensive development, and that a creative learning environment is essential for the academic achievement and success of all children. 
In 1999, Ms. Chandler-Marshall was awarded the Music of the Heart Education Award by the National Association for the Recording Arts and Sciences, Inc. for her outstanding contributions to music and arts education. In 2015 she was awarded the Power of Education Award by the Jazz Institute of Chicago.


Rick Drumm 

Rick Drumm is a 34-year veteran of the music products industry.  During his career he was president of D’Addario & Company, president of Vic Firth Inc., CEO of Midco International and director of sales and marketing for Remo, Inc.  Throughout his career, as well as being a senior manager, he has been involved in product development, artist relations and music education.
Rick Drumm studied drums with Ed Shaughnessy, drummer for the Tonight Show and Sonny Igoe, CBS staff musician for the Ed Sullivan and Jackie Gleason shows.
He served in the U.S. Air Force NORAD band and performed with Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus, and numerous shows and jazz musicians globally.  In 2011, he released his first album, Rick Drumm & Fatty Necroses  to international critical acclaim.
Rick is founder and president of Traction Business Coaching, a company dedicated to helping business owners achieve success.  Rick also teaches Music Business & Industry at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.

Timonthy Fellows

Timothy Fellow - Treasurer

Timothy Fellow is managing member and principal of Easton Walker, LLC, a financial consulting and wealth management firm he founded in 2012. Before launching Easton Walker, Timothy served as a financial advisor with Smith Barney and in various operations and management roles with Wells Fargo Private Bank, Wells Fargo Advisors and Wells Fargo Investments. Timothy has focused his career as a financial consultant on fulfilling the unique needs of arts and entertainment professionals. Artist clients advised by Timothy have collectively won ten Grammys, two Emmys and two Academy Awards.

Timothy's background in music and the arts has ranged from roles as a private percussion instructor and professional performer to artist manager and event producer. He continues to foster his interest and support of the arts through nonprofit leadership service. Timothy has contributed to various arts boards as both a director and external consultant providing guidance in the areas of finance and development.

Timothy is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER practitioner and Certified Trust and Financial Advisor.

Dan Flores

Dan Flores is a Senior Vice President and head of litigation at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc., a leading entertainment company focused on the production and distribution of film and television content.  Prior to joining MGM in 2013, Dan practiced law for over a decade in the Los Angeles office of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP.  While in private practice, his clients included major record labels, motion picture studios, television networks, literary publishers, video game developers, and other intellectual property rights holders.  He has broad expertise advising on matters involving copyrights, trademarks, patents, trade secrets, federal and state antitrust and unfair competition laws, class actions, labor and employment, business torts, rights of publicity and privacy, participations and residuals accounting, and contract and licensing disputes.  Dan is a member of the Los Angeles Copyright Society and is a past Chair of the Los Angeles County Bar Association's Antitrust & Unfair Business Practices Section. Dan received his J.D. in 2002 from Columbia Law School, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar.  He graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in Music from the University of Nevada Las Vegas in 1999, receiving the Nevada Centennial Medallion as the highest ranked undergraduate.  At UNLV, Dan played saxophone in various jazz ensembles and studied clarinet with Felix Viscuglia, performing in the internationally acclaimed UNLV Wind Orchestra.  He also studied saxophone with Ray Smith at Brigham Young University and clarinet with Christie Lundquist and Kathy Pope at the University of Utah, performing in various jazz ensembles, orchestras, wind ensembles, and chamber groups.  Dan currently serves on the President's Council at the Colburn School, a world-class performing arts school located in Los Angeles.

Daniel Gregerman

Daniel Gregerman

Daniel Gregerman, Choral Director at Niles North High School in Skokie, IL has spent 23 years building an award winning choral program. He directs 5 concert choirs, teaches piano class and directs the top vocal jazz ensemble of three in the program. Applying his deep passion for jazz and education, Gregerman started and built the NNHS vocal jazz program. He was recently named the 2014 John LaPorta Jazz Educator of the Year by the Jazz Education Network and the Berklee College of Music. His groups have earned national recognition, performing at regional and national conferences, winning multiple Down Beat awards, and performing at festivals both nationally and internationally. Gregermanís ensembles have shared the stage with such names as Diane Schuur, The New York Voices, The Real Group, Take Six, and Janis Segal of The Manhattan Transfer. Known composers such as Jennifer Barnes, Michele Weir, Kirby Shaw, Greg Jaspers, and Gary Fry continue to create musical arrangements and compositions for his ensembles.

Gregerman has served in a variety of leadership roles within the community of education. He is a founding member of the Jazz Education Network, (JEN), where he has volunteered in many different roles including his current role as the Conference Office Coordinator for the Annual JEN Conference. Gregerman has held positions as State and District Chairman of Vocal Jazz for ILMEA, and has been Guest Director for several ILMEA District Jazz Festivals as well as acting as a clinician for vocal groups both locally and around the Midwest. He also founded and hosts the Niles North High School Vocal Jazz Festival, now in its 14th year. Gregerman earned his Bachelor of Music Education from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL and a Master of Music Degree with an emphasis in Choral Conducting and Jazz Studies from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, MI. In addition to his educational commitments, Gregerman shares two beautiful children with his wife Sandra. The family resides in the North Shore of Chicago.

Monika Herzig

Dr. Monika Herzig

In 1987, the pedagogical institute in Weingarten, Germany awarded a scholarship for a one-year exchange program at the University of Alabama to one of their students, jazz pianist Monika Herzig. Together with her partner and guitarist Peter Kienle, she arrived in the States on a one-way ticket, with one suitcase of belongings and one guitar in August 1988.

Since then she has completed her Doctorate in Music Education and Jazz Studies at Indiana University, where she is now a faculty member teaching courses in Music Industry, Community Arts Organizations, and Creative Thinking Techniques. As a touring jazz artist, she has performed at many prestigious jazz clubs and festivals, such as the Indy Jazz Fest, Cleveland’s Nighttown, Louisville’s Jazz Factory, the W.C.Handy Festival, Jazz in July in Bloomington and Cincinnati, Columbus’ Jazz & Rib Fest, to name just a few. Groups under her leadership have toured Germany, Italy, Japan, opened for acts such as Tower of Power, Sting, the Dixie Dregs, Yes, and more.

Recently, Herzig has been signed to the Owl Studios label and released the holiday CD “Peace on Earth”. A CD/ DVD combo entitled “Come With Me” is set for publication in Spring 2011. Her previous releases have received rave reviews. Thomas Garner from writes, “I was totally awed by the fine musicianship throughout”. As a recipient of the 1994 Down Beat Magazine Award for her composition “Let’s Fool One” and with several Big Band Arrangements published with the University of Northern Colorado Press, Herzig has also gathered international recognition for her writing skills. Monika is the current Secretary of the JEN Board.

Mary Jo Papich

Mary Jo Papich - Co-Founder/Past President's Advisory Council

Mary Jo Papich, known for her avid support and leadership in arts education, is Co-Founder of the Jazz Education Network (June 1, 2008). JEN is now in all states and 22 countries! She is the artistic director for Jazz Fests for school bands in New Orleans and Puerto Vallarta. Serving public school education for 35+ years, she recently retired as Fine Arts Director for Skokie D219-recognized as one of the finest HS Fine Arts program in the nation; she served 8 years as Fine and Applied Arts Chair at Highland Park High School and coordinated FOCUS ON THE ARTS festival with hundreds of volunteers.   While the district Fine Arts Coordinator of 35 schools in the Peoria Public School System #150  (’92-’01), she founded and directed the Peoria Jazz All Stars whose performances included Montreux, North Sea, and Umbria Jazz Festivals, IMEA Conference, American School Board Association Conference and many other state and local events. Prior to her administrative position, Mary Jo was an award winning band director at Peoria’s Woodruff High School (‘82-’92).  Before leaving Peoria in 2001, she founded a District Preparatory Arts School at Peoria High School. Her early years of teaching were in rural Iowa, Ottumwa and Moulton-Udell K-12 public schools.

Her leadership/honor positions in addition to JEN include: Founder of the Puerto Vallarta Jazz Festival via HP Sister Cities Foundation, serving on the Artistic Access to Excellence Panel for the National Endowment for the Arts and as a member of the Quincy Jones Consortium, Chicago Jazz Philharmonic Advisory Board, IAJE, past Illinois Music Educators Association Vice-President, and Highland Park Cultural Arts Commission and many other arts organizations. MJ currently serves on the selection committee for the NARAS Grammy Music Educator of the Year award.

Mary Jo’s recent honors include receiving a Lifetime Jazz Achievement Award from DownBeat magazine, the Arts Inspiration Award from The Art Center, Superintendent’s Recognition Award, Character Counts Award, Huespid Distinguido from the Mayor in Puerto Vallarta and the Prestigious Women in Jazz Award from the Chicago Jazz Ensemble.  Former awards include: PPS Superintendent's Award, and YWCA Leader in the Arts Award. HPHS Patrons of the Arts annually award a Highland Park High School student the M.J. Papich Leadership Scholarship. JEN has honored her with giving the Mary Jo Papich Women In Jazz Scholarship to deserving students at their annual conference.

Papich is the editor of The Jazz Educator’s Cookbook-Creative Recipes for Players and Teachers, a collection of performance tips from outstanding educators put in recipe format for quick reading.  The Jazz Educator’s Cookbook is published by Meredith Music and distributed by Hal Leonard Music. ISBN 978-1-57463-158-6, proceeds go to Jazz Education Network.

Mary Jo, a graduate of Truman State (MO) and Bradley University (IL) was raised in south central Iowa; graduating from Albia Community High School.  Her many presentations include: National Association for Music Education National Conference, many State MEA conferences, Midwest Clinic, IAJE Conferences, Siena Jazz Foundation (Italy), South African Jazz Conference (2008/2010) at the University of Cape Town, Brubeck Institute.  Her professional affiliations include IMEA, NAfME/MENC, ASCD, Illinois Arts in Education Alliance, International Women in Jazz and International Society for Music Education. Papich's vision is that all children will know and appreciate the arts, especially their musical heritage of jazz. 

Her goal is for JEN to be the vital jazz resource today and for JENerations to come!

Bob Sinicrope

Bob Sinicrope - Immediate Past President

Bob Sinicrope, JEN Immediate Past President, is a consummate educator and accomplished bassist, is the inaugural recipient of the John LaPorta Jazz Educator of the Year (2007). The National Youth Development Council award for Outstanding Service (2010) and the DownBeat magazine Acheivement Award for Jazz Education (2010). For over forty years Bob has taught in diverse settings. In 1974, he founded the Milton Academy Jazz Program, which he continues to direct. The program has won numerous national and regional awards and produced outstanding graduates including Aaron Goldberg and Steve Lehman. He has also taught in the Peace Corps, for Jamey Aeberold’s Summer Jazz Workshops since 1981, for Victor Wooten's Berklee College of Music Bass Workshop and presented workshops at conferences and schools on six continents. Bob is a highly respected bassist in the Boston area and has performed worldwide.

Bob has forged special connections with South Africa. He has toured there nine times with Milton Academy students performing nationally and delivering over $170,000 worth of donated materials to needy African music programs. He has also traveled to South Africa to teach, perform and serve as an educational consultant.

His five decades of organizational leadership, the breadth of his teaching experience and knowledge, and his forward-looking vision afford him a unique perspective on jazz education. He has a gift for making global connections and forming coalitions with jazz educators, music industry leaders and musicians.

Todd Stoll - President Elect

Todd Stoll has spent nearly thirty years as an educator, performer and leading advocate for jazz. A graduate of the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music, (MM) Mr. Stoll has taught at all levels of music education from elementary through collegiate including a decade as curriculum coordinator for Westerville City Schools in central Ohio.  For twenty years he was the founding director of the Columbus Youth Jazz Orchestra, a community based ensemble, that received both regional and national accolades. Under his direction the CYJO released six CDs, was an Essentially Ellington Finalist and participated in numerous international tours to both Europe and South America. Students from this ensemble went on to study at the most prestigious music schools in the US and many have maintained high profile professional careers. As a leader in the music education community he served as Ohio president of the International Association of Jazz Educators, the inaugural chair of jazz events for the Ohio Music Education Association, and on various national level committees. His work as a curriculum coordinator helped bring jazz to the forefront of many district and later, state music curriculums.  In 2011 Mr. Stoll accepted the position as Vice President of Education for Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City where he oversees programs that touch more than 100,000 people as young as 8 months thru the elderly. His leadership at JALC has revived the institutions commitment to the underserved while embracing 21st century technology as a means for greater access to the music. In 2014 the education department at JALC produced over 2800 individual events both in its home at Fredrick P Rose Hall and throughout the US.  Through their innovative Essentially Ellington High School jazz band program, they have distributed over 165,000 previously unavailable Duke Ellington and other seminal arrangers’ scores to high schools that have been performed by more than 500,000 students.

Andrew Surmani

Francisco Torres

Francisco Torres doesn’t like labels. He is a musician who is constantly striving to develop his sound while being authentic in any style.

Originally from Sonora, Mexico, Francisco started playing trombone at age 15. At 17 he joined the Fullerton College jazz band and later transferred to Long Beach State to study under the legendary Roy Main. At 23 he joined the Grammy-Award winning Poncho Sanchez Latin Jazz Band and for the last 8 years has been the musical director, as well as his arranger and producer. With Poncho he has garnered 4 Grammy and Latin Grammy nominations, as well as a win in 1998. In addition to winning with Poncho, he has also been a part of Grammy winning records by the Clare Fischer orchestra and Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band. While not touring with Poncho, Francisco splits his time as a member of several jazz orchestras, including The Big Phat Band, Monkestra, Clare Fischer, and Bill Cunliffe. He has performed with Latin greats Cachao, Celia Cruz, Arturo Sandoval, Spanish Harlem Orchestra, Gilberto Santa Rosa, Victor Manuelle, Sheila E., Ry Cooder, Jennifer Lopez and can be heard on records by Michael Buble, Dr. Dre, Eminem, Busta Rhymes, Spoon, and All-American Rejects, as well as latin artists Pitbull, Los Lobos, Jenni Rivera, and Alejandro Fernandez. Most recently he recorded with Bob Dylan on his tributes to Frank Sinatra, as well as Arturo Sandoval’s latest effort. As a jazz trombonist he has performed with Joey Defrancesco, Terence Blanchard, Natalie Cole, Nicholas Payton, The Manhattan Transfer, Clare Fischer, Bill Holman and many others. Television credits include Saturday Night Live, America’s Got Talent, American Music Awards, The Latin Grammys, The Grammys, the ALMA Awards, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, The NBA All Star Game Halftime Show featuring Rhianna, and was a frequent substitute in the original “Dancing With The Stars” orchestra, backing up artists such as Harry Connick Jr. and Carlos Santana. His most recent movie credits include “Straight Out of Compton”, “Penguins of Madagascar”, “Confessions Of A Shopaholic”, “Charlie St. Cloud” “The Informant” and “Dance With Me”. In the studio recently, he had the honor of playing trombone with an All-Star big band assembled for the latest recording of legendary composer and arranger Sammy Nestico, which included Vinnie Colaiuta, Wayne Bergeron, Tom Scott, Warren Luening and Pete Christlieb.

As a Yamaha endorser, Francisco maintains a busy touring and clinic schedule, while fitting in studio work when at home. He credits jazz trombone greats Carl Fontana, Frank Rosolino, Andy Martin and Hal Crook, as well as Latin greats Barry Rogers, Generoso Jimenez, and Leopoldo Pineda as influences.

Tony White

Kirk Whalum

Soulful, passionate, stirring...these are the words most often used to describe Kirk’s music. Forged from his Memphis, (TN) gospel roots and his 1980‘s initiation into the thriving Houston, TX nightclub scene, Kirk’s big, rich tenor sound is unmistakably his. The 80’s were highlighted by Kirk’s stepping out of his blossoming sideman role and forming his own band. It was there that Kirk ultimately developed both his “voice” and songwriting in the crucible of the local club scene––especially at a rooftop club called Cody’s. It was also in Houston where jazz pianist Bob James “discovered” him and brought him on tour, which led to five successful albums with Columbia Records, including Cache, Kirk’s first #1 album. As well, Kirk and Bob received a Grammy nomination for their collaboration album, Joined at the Hip. After moving to Los Angeles, Kirk became an in demand session player for top artists like, Barbara Streisand, Al Jarreau, Luther Vandross, Larry Carlton, Quincy Jones and most notably, Whitney Houston, amongst many others. It’s his sax heard on the mega-hit, “I Will Always Love You.” Kirk soon followed that career high point with his phenomenal hit album released on Warner Bros. Records, For You, perhaps the most successful of over 25 solo recordings to date; others include his eclectic, and much lauded, Gospel According to Jazz series,(Chapters 1, 2, 3 and 4). In addition to his many solo projects, Kirk is a member of the popular soul/jazz group, BWB, which features Kirk as the “W” of the group with Rick Braun (trumpet) and Norman Brown (guitar).

An ordained minister, Kirk has earned a Masters of Art in Religion. It’s in this spirit that he serves his community in various ways when his touring schedule allows. There is also his daily fifteen minute podcast, Bible In Your Ear (BIYE), in which he invites you to listen along as he reads through the Bible in a year. In addition to music and ministry, Kirk has a passion to educate young, aspiring musicians and is currently engaged as a music professor at Visible Music College in his hometown of Memphis.

Kirk is the recipient of numerous awards and acknowledgements for his musical excellence including three Dove Award nominations, an NAACP Image Award nomination and has won two Stellar Awards-Gospel music’s highest honor. A twelve time Grammy nominee, Kirk won his first Grammy award (2011)for Best Gospel Song (“It’s What I Do”––featuring Lalah Hathaway) alongside life-long friend and gifted songwriter, Jerry Peters. 

In a career spanning decades, Kirk has a sound that is uniquely his; it is a sound that leaves an indelible imprint on the listener.


Tony White

Greg Yasinitsky

Gregory W. Yasinitsky, Regents Professor of Music and Director of the School of Music at Washington State University, has an international reputation as a composer, arranger and saxophonist. He is a member of the Washington State Music Educators Hall of Fame and a recipient of grants and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, The Commission Project, Artist Trust and ASCAP. Yasinitsky is the author of the book Improvisation 101: Major, Minor and Blues published internationally by Advance Music and distributed in the U.S. by Alfred Music. Yasinitsky has performed with Randy Brecker, Sean Jones, Ed Calle, Alex Acuna, Kirk Whalum, Claudio Roditi, Conrad Herwig, Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles, Louis Bellson, Stan Getz, Lionel Hampton, Lou Rawls, Manhattan Transfer, and many others. He has written music especially for David Sanborn, Clark Terry, Dave Liebman and the USAF "Airmen of Note" big band. Yasinitsky has over 210 published musical works performed in over forty countries world-wide and his compositions and saxophone playing are featured on over fifty recordings. Yasinitsky is a Yamaha performing artist and JodyJazz Artist. Under Yasinitsky's leadership, the WSU Jazz Studies Program has received widespread recognition including awards from Down Beat magazine, invitations to perform at prestigious conferences and top awards at major jazz festivals.