Board of Directors Photos & Bios: 2014-2015


Ruben Alvarez

Rubén P. Alvarez

Rubén P. Alvarez is a Chicago-based Latin percussionist, drum set artist, and educator. His credits include performances and recordings with blues artists John Mayall, and Junior Wells, and Grammy nominee Ramsey Lewis, Victor Goines, Patricia Barber, Slide Hampton, Grammy winner Arturo Sandoval, and 2010 Latin and Latin Grammy nominees Sones De Mexico. He is a 2013 Latin Grammy nominee for his work on the Latin Jazz release Chuchito Valdés Cd “Made in Chicago." A member of Chicago’s premier Latin jazz ensemble Chévere De Chicago, Rubén leads the Puentes (Bridges) Latin Jazz Ensemble.

Rubén teaches percussion and directs Latin Jazz combos at Roosevelt University, Columbia College Chicago, and Prairie State College, and is a teaching artist for the Jazz Institute of Chicago Jazz Links residency program. He is a featured presenter at national and international music education conferences. Rubén currently serves on the Board of Directors of The Jazz Education Network, the Board of Governors of the Chicago Chapter of the Recording Academy and as Vice President of the Illinois chapter of the Percussive Arts Society. He endorses Latin Percussion ®, Remo percussion products, Vic Firth sticks and mallets, and Zildjian cymbals.


Bob Breithaupt

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.


Caleb Chapman

Caleb Chapman

JEN President-Elect Caleb Chapman, as President of Caleb Chapman Music, Caleb directs over 150 of Utah's most talented young musicians in six elite ensembles, including the Crescent City Super Band, which has frequently been hailed as one of the finest youth big bands in the world. Caleb's bands have been featured at may of the world's most prestigious jazz festivals including North Sea (Netherlands), Montreux (Switzerland) Vienne (France), Umbria (Italy), and Puerto Vallarta (Mexico). Most recently, the Crescent City Super Band was featured with Toshioko Akiyoshi at the Telluride Jazz Festival in Colorado. Caleb's bands have also performed with nearly 200 guest artists, including Randy Brecker, Joe Lovano, Christian McBride, Peter Erskine, Kurt Elling, Wayne Bergeron, Dave Weckl, Jon Faddis, Kirk Whalum, Stefon Harris, Nicholas Payton, Wycliffe Gordon, Lenny Pickett, Jeff Coffin, Greg Osby, and Bob Mintzer. Additionally, his bands have been featured on the Sirus XM "Real Jazz" CHannel and released 8 albums on the Big Swing Face label.

Caleb's students have been honored with 4 DownBeat Awards, including "Best Performing Arts High School Big Band" (2007 & 2010). The band has also won 5 consecutive "Best of State" Awards for Utah and the prestigious Best of State Statu Award identifying the program as the top organization in Arts and Entertainment in Utah, beating out every other professional music, arts, and film organization in the state for the honor.

In 2011 Caleb received the John LaPorta Educator of the Year Award, presented in tandem by the Berklee College of Music and the Jazz Education Network. In 2007 Caleb was the inaugural inductee into the Horne School of Music Hall of Fame and received the "Superior Accomplishment Award" from the Utah Music Educators Association. He is the 2006 recipient of the KUER FM90 "Voice of Jazz Award". Additionally, Caleb serves on the Executive Board of JazzSLC, presenters of the Salt lake City Jazz at the Sheraton Series. Caleb is featured clinician and sponsored performer for Yamaha Saxophones and Rico Reeds.


John Clayton

The talents of John Clayton as bassist/composer/arranger/conductor are always in demand within the jazz industry. He graces the cover of JazzTimes Magazine in April, 2009 touting his skills as an arranger.

John has written and arranged music for Diana Krall, Natalie Cole, Nancy Wilson, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Milt Jackson, Michael Buble, Regina Carter and others. He received a platinum record for his “The Star-Spangled Banner” arrangement sung by Whitney Houston during the 1991 Super Bowl, and has won numerous awards. John has received seven Grammy © nominations and in 2008, he received a Grammy © award for his arrangement of “I’m Going to Live Til I Die” featured on Queen Latifah’s CD “Travlin Light”.

John serves as the Artistic Director for the Lionel Hampton International Jazz Festival, which received the National Medal of Arts in 2007. He is also the Artistic Director for the Port Townsend Jazz Camp and the Vail Jazz Camp.

John co-leads the Grammy © nominated Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra with brother and saxophonist Jeff Clayton, and drummer Jeff Hamilton. John and Jeff also co-lead the Clayton Brothers Quintet. Both groups are actively touring and recording.

Clayton began his study of the double bass at 16 when under the tutelage of the famous Ray Brown. His discography includes more than 60 titles.


José Diaz

José Antonio Diaz is the Director of the MacArthur High School Jazz Ensemble and Artistic Director for Diaz Music Institute in Houston, Texas. During his tenure, the group has garnered many first place awards in local, regional, and national level jazz ensemble competitions and has performed with such artists as Eddie Palmieri, Jon Faddis, Poncho Sanchez, Dave Valentin, and Arturo Sandoval, to name just a few.

Diaz's groups have performed twice for IAJE and five times for the Midwest Clinic. Diaz's success with the MacArthur High School Jazz Program was the subject of a featured cover story in SBO Magazine and Band Director's Guide Magazine. He received a Down Beat Magazine Award for Achievement in Jazz Education and was selected by FOX 26 and Univision Television stations as a Hispanic Hero. Recently, Diaz was inducted into the Texas Christian University Band of Fame. In June 2008 Jose received the prestigious Jefferson Award for his work with Diaz Music Institute.

Diaz is Past-president of IAJE-Texas Chapter, past member of the Da Camera of Houston Teacher Advisory Board and the Midwest Clinic Advisory Panel, co-author of Middle School Music Expressions™ and Jazz Expressions™ (Alfred Music Publishing) and is an active composer, arranger, and clinician.

Timonthy Fellows

Timothy Fellow

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.

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.


Judy Humenick

Originally from Western Canada, Judy graduated from the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, with a Bachelor of Music in Music Education, majoring in flute and voice. A music educator, adjudicator and director of award winning junior high school bands for 10 years in Saskatoon, followed by 3 years as Special Assistant to the Executive Director of the Saskatchewan Arts Board and Faculty Member of the Saskatchewan School of the Arts, she was active in the jazz community in both Saskatoon and Regina, before moving to Ottawa in 1988.

Humenick is the Founder, President and Executive Director of JazzWorks Canada, an Ottawa based jazz education organization whose mandate is to raise awareness of jazz music as an art form, to promote the development of jazz performance through educational and collaborative activities and performances that involve adult amateur, talented youth and professional musicians in a concert setting and to develop and provide access to vehicles for creative networking and the building of performance ensembles (small groups/jazz combos) among Ottawa jazz musicians.

Now in its 19th year of operation, JazzWorks is a Not- for- Profit Corporation and Registered Charity with an on-going reach of several hundred jazz musicians in the Ottawa area, plus faculty and workshop participants from many other regions of Canada and the United States. JazzWorks has helped to develop a thriving and growing community of local jazz musicians and jazz composers in the Ottawa area and among its achievements is the large number of groups formed as a result of JazzWorks educational activities. For example, the 2011 Ottawa International Jazz Festival program included 15 different jazz groups that were led by JazzWorks workshop alumni and included alumni as players. The innovative nature of JazzWorks efforts to develop adult jazz musicians in the local community was recognized by DownBeat Magazine in the March 2011 edition, pg.86.

During a successful twenty-four year management career, in five departments across Canadian Federal Government in Ottawa, Humenick has maintained an active membership in the Ontario Registered Music Teachers Association, as a teacher of flute, clarinet and saxophone. Additionally, she has volunteered since 1988 as Coordinator of Workshops, Artist Hospitality and Jam Sessions and is a current Board Member of the Ottawa International Jazz Festival, a major 11- day festival with a $3 million + budget, that has a 37 year history. Still active with the Ottawa Jazz Festival, her work as a Board Member has included two, six-year terms, and in recent years, leadership roles as Vice President and President.

In October of 2011, Judy added to her jazz education activities by embarking on a new career in artist management and consulting, specializing in career development and event management for jazz and visual artists, through a new company, Judith Humenick Productions. Humenick has been an active member of JEN for the past two years, a Canadian representative on the JEN Membership Committee since June of 2011 working toward increased membership and participation in the JEN organization on the part of Canadians, and has facilitated a panel discussion titled “What’s New in Jazz Camps?? – Reaching New Audiences Through Innovation and Outreach” at the January 2012 JEN conference in Louisville Kentucky.


Rick Kessel

Rick Kessel currently serves as Publisher of the Enthusiast Group of Madavor Media, publishers of Jazz Times, International Figure Skating, Volleyball Magazine, Bird Watching, Golf Getaways, The Writer, and numerous other publications and conferences. He is also a founding member of the Jazz Education Network and currently serves as the treasurer on the board of directors.

Rick has twenty four years experience in the magazine and digital media publishing field and conceptualized and launched the music education division for Symphony, including SBO magazine in 1998, the Music Student's College Search & Career Guide, Choral Director Magazine in 2004, and JAZZed magazine in 2006.

received an MBA from Clark University in Massachusetts in 1994, and holds a bachelor’s degree in music and audio technology from Indiana University.

Rick’s extensive background as a professional clarinetist and teacher has included performances with Luciano Pavarotti and Henry Mancini. He is currently the principal clarinetist for Symphony Pro Musica in central Massachusetts.


Mary Jo Papich

Mary Jo Papich

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

Bob Sinicrope, JEN 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 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, 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 $135,000 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.


Cheryl Slay-Carr

JEN member and attorney Cheryl Slay-Carr has been appointed to the JEN Board of Directors. Her experience with the jazz arts community stems from interaction with the music industry in several spheres: as a faculty member, performer, and entrepreneur/researcher. As Assistant Professor of Music Business for Belmont University, her areas of expertise and academic focus are largely derived from her experience as an entertainment and intellectual property (IP) attorney, and as an author and presenter as a vocalist and on a range of IP and entertainment industry topics. With multiple service to various organizations, Slay-Carr is author of Music Copyright Law (2012); has authored a number of publications concerning music business and law in various journals and books, and has presented workshops across the United States. Having presented research at the Atlanta Conference, Slay-Carr is a member of the Copyright Society of U.S.A., Tennessee Jazz & Blues Society, and the Music and Entertainment Industry Educators Association.  


Andrew Surmani

Andrew Surmani

Andrew Surmani, JEN's Immediate Past-President and a Founding Board Member of the organization is a native of Oakland, California who now resides in Los Angeles. Andrew is currently the Chief Marketing Officer for Alfred Music. Additionally he is also an Assistant Professor, Music Industry Students for the Mike Curb College of Arts, Media, and Communications at California State University, Northridge and is the Academic Lead for the Masters in Music Industry Administration program. He played trumpet in the California All-State Honor Band, the McDonald's All-American Marching Band and Jazz Band, and the Walt Disney World All-American College Jazz Band. Andrew attended California State University, Northridge where he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Music degree in Trumpet Performance. While at Northridge he played with the CSUN Wind Ensemble, Orchestra and Jazz "A" Band. He has toured throughout the USA, Europe and Japan, and has performed in the Istanbul (Turkey), Juan les Pins (France), Umbria (Italy), Wigan (England) and the Lake Biwa (Japan) jazz festivals. He has also performed in the concert halls of Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher and Alice Tully Halls at Lincoln Center, Fumon Hall in Tokyo, and the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles. After playing lead trumpet in shows at Walt Disney World, Andrew returned to southern California to complete his MBA degree and began working for Alfred Music. He is co-author of Alfred's Essentials of Music Theory, along with his wife Karen Farnum Surmani, a former LA Unified School District music educator and current Early Childhood, Classroom and Vocal Editor for Alfred Music, as well as Morton Manus, President of Alfred Music Publishing. Andrew is the Founder and Past President of the MATES Foundation. He also serves on the Music Technology Advisory Board at Indiana University/Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), the Advisory Board for Technology in Music Education (TI:ME) and the College Music Society Editorial Board.

Tony White

Tony White

Professional jazz musician, musical director, teacher, philanthropist Tony White is one of those all-around talents whose mastery of the tenor sax, soprano sax, alto sax makes him the perfect headliner as well as the perfect mentor.  White has gained knowledge and encouragement from his mentors including Don Dustin, Buddy Collette, Art Duardo, Frank Harris, Greg Robinson, Bill Helms, Fran Herman and others along the way.  He was honored with the prestigious Bravo Award Finalist and Fulfillment Fund for his work in music education. He also received a UC Riverside Chancellor Award, a Humanitarian Award from the Omni Youth Music Awards and Outstanding Soloist Awards from The National Association of Jazz Educators.
White continues to fight the good fight for music appreciation in all its forms. He has been with the band as a volunteer, assistant, assistant director and now head director for a total of 22 years. He manages programs such as the Henry Mancini Institute, Thelonius Monk Institute of Jazz, Congressional Awards, festival productions, Inside Out Community Arts, The PEP Tournament, The Harmony Project, Latino Art Beat, Little Kids Rock, the All District High School Honor Band and the Band and Drill Team Championships.  He is currently working with former Tonight Show frontman, Kevin Eubanks, to help develop stronger morals and values in music education.
Each year before the end-of-the-year holidays, White rehearses the All City Marching Band for a schedule of appearances including the famed Rose Parade. He also directs the All City Jazz Band, which has played at the Playboy Jazz Festival.

As a band director, he and his students have shared in many high points, including, in 2009, the All City Jazz Band performing at the White House with Wynton Marsalis. In 2011, White's students from the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz performed at The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.  White's bands have also performed at Southern California venues such as the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, at Disneyland, Pasadena City College and the MLK (Martin Luther King) Parade in Los Angeles.

In 2003 he recorded his first CD, The Tony White Project, a CD of jazz saxophone stylings accompanied by Minority Report and produced by jazz impresario Billy Mitchell.  He has also played with Gerald Wilson, Billy Mitchell, John Stephens, Bill Green, Dr. Art Davis, John Ehlis, Jose Arellano, Al Viola, Bobby Rodriguez, The LA Mambo Combo, and East Los Angeles Sax Quartet He is a member of the Latin jazz band, St. Lucy's Big Band and also plays with piano accompaniment at coveted nightclub and jazz venues.