Faculty, Coaches, & Guest Artists
Jim Ketch – brass, improvisation, combos
Stephen Anderson – piano, theory/improvisation, combos
Kate McGarry – vocal jazz
Aaron Hill – saxophones
Gregg Gelb – saxophones
Sandy Gabriel – saxophones
Jerald Shynette – trombone
Scott Sawyer – guitar
Jeffry Eckels – bass, beginning improvisation, combos
Jason Foureman – bass, combos
Dan Davis – drums, jazz history, basic music skills
Kobie Watkins – drums
Guy Frometa – drums
David Almengod – percussion
Juan Álamo – percussion, combos
Ed Paolantonio – theory, combos
Andy Bechtel – journalism
SANDY GABRIEL is a music producer, composer, arranger, saxophonist, and winner of the Dominican Republic National Music Award 2003, Jazz Line. He began studying music at age 18, with his father, the Dominican saxophonist, Socrates Gabriel, director of the famous merengue band The Combo Candela, representing the Cibao in the 70s. He has studied with Michael Brecker, Dave Liebman, and Paquito d’ Rivera.
JIM KETCH is Professor of Music and Director of Jazz Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has served the Department of Music as Chair and has been the recipient of four university teaching awards. He is Associate Director of Swing Central Jazz for the Savannah Music Festival a program he helped develop with Marcus Roberts and Rob Gibson. He has conducted a number of all-state and regional jazz ensembles. Ketch serves as a trumpet faculty member at the Jamey Aebersold Summer Jazz Workshops and is host (at UNC) to a regional Essentially Ellington Jazz Festival operated in conjunction with Jazz at Lincoln Center. He has led the North Carolina Jazz Repertory Orchestra for two decades and has recorded three CDs with that ensemble in addition to mounting large scale productions of Duke Ellington’s Sacred Music for Public Television. His small group jazz playing has led him to Snug Harbor (New Orleans), Blues Alley (Georgetown); Bohemian Caverns (Washington D.C.) and The Blue Wisp (Cincinnati). Ketch has shared the stage as trumpet and conductor with a wealth of artists including Branford Marsalis, Rene Marie, John Pizzarelli, Natalie Cole, Aretha Franklin, The Manhattan Transfer, The Four Tops, The Temptations, Tom Harrell, The Marcus Roberts Trio, Gene Krupa Orchestra, Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, Lee Konitz, and Joel Frahm. He has appeared in Carnegie Hall and performed and conducted in England, Switzerland, France, and The Netherlands.
STEPHEN ANDERSON is a critically acclaimed composer and pianist whose music has been published on fourteen compact discs through Summit, Albany, Nagel Heyer Records, and other labels. Four of Anderson’s recordings have appeared on the Grammy® Awards ballots representing Summit Records—Nation Degeneration (53rd), Believe (56th), 360˚ Jazz Initiative, Distracted Society (58th), and The Dominican Jazz Project (59th). The Dominican Jazz Project similarly represented the label at the 17th Annual Latin Grammy® Awards in the categories of “Best New Artist” and “Best Jazz CD.” Both the Stephen Anderson Trio Nation Degeneration and Forget Not CDs received 4½ stars (out of 5) from the All Music Guide, and Forget Not was nominated best jazz “Debut CD” (3rd Annual Village Voice Jazz Critics Poll 2008). The Dominican Jazz Project is listed in the 2016’s best Latin/Brazilian jazz recordings (Ken Frackling, Jazz Notes). Anderson was pianist with the Lynn Seaton Trio (2000-03), the North Texas One O’clock Lab Band (Lab 2000-01), was winner of the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival piano competition (1997), and keyboardist for gold-recording country artist, Kevin Sharp (1996-97). As a composer, his works have been performed by ensembles throughout the United States, including the West Point Military Academy Band, Dallas Chamber Orchestra, Montclair State Wind Symphony, Crested Butte Chamber Orchestra, the MIT Concert Band and many others, Awards include two commissions from the Barlow Endowment (2005, 2010), finalist, West Point Jazz Knights Composers Forum competition (2011), Chapman Family Foundation Teaching Award (2014), the “Village Pride, Hometown Hero Award” WCHL Chapel Hill Radio (2008), Endeavors magazine features (2013, 2008), and reviews in All About Jazz, Jazz Times, All Music Guide, and PAS. Dr. Anderson is Professor of Composition and Jazz Studies at the University of North Carolina and is Director of the UNC Summer Jazz Workshop (https://music.unc.edu/summerjazzworkshop).
AARON HILL was born and raised in Port Orchard, Washington. He began playing saxophone at 10 years old and by the end of high school was also studying clarinet and flute. Aaron was introduced to Jazz in 9th grade by his band director, leading to a life-long (so far) obsession with the music.
In 1998 Aaron moved to Hawaii and began studying with multi-instrumentalist Scott Villiger, a Julliard-educated veteran of The Machito Salsa Big Band, Radio City Music Hall, and Broadway. In 1999 Aaron began studies at the University of Hawaii, where he came under the tutelage of classical saxophonist Todd Yukumoto and performed much of the standard repertoire for classical alto saxophone. During his nearly ten years Hawaii Aaron made a living playing and teaching the saxophone, performing at one time or another with virtually every member of the Hawaiian jazz scene, in every major venue, and on every major Island. For his final three years he also studied for a master’s degree in classical music history with a focus on the music of the twentieth century.
In 2007 Aaron moved to Durham, North Carolina, and soon after began teaching private saxophone, flute, and clarinet lessons, as wells as performing with various ensembles throughout the southeastern US. In 2010 he enrolled in the Masters of Jazz Studies program at North Carolina Central University, studying privately with, among others, Brian Horton, Joey Calderazzo, and Branford Marsalis. Upon receiving his masters (doubling in Performance and Composition) Aaron returned to playing and teaching full time. Aaron holds the position of Adjunct Saxophone instructor at UNC Chapel Hill, North Carolina State University, and at North Carolina Central University, where he is also the director of the schools second Big Band, and teaches Jazz Arranging and Jazz Theory.
GREGG GELB is a recipient of a Jazz Composers Award from the North Carolina Arts Council and four Regional Artist grants from the Fayetteville/Cumberland County Arts Council. In addition to leading his Jazz Quartet, 8-piece Swing Band, BIG BAND, Latin Jazz Band and other small groups, he is founder and director of the Heart of Carolina Jazz Orchestra and Jazz Society, and co-founder and player with the North Carolina Jazz Repertory Orchestra. He is director of the Triangle Youth Jazz Ensemble and he teaches Introduction to Jazz online for Central Carolina Community College. He has been an Interim Assistant Professor of Jazz at Francis Marion University, UNC Greensboro, NC State and UNC Chapel Hill and he was a Visiting Artist in the North Carolina Community Colleges. He has taught music in universities and public schools throughout North Carolina including his current adjunct professor position as Woodwinds, Jazz and Classical Music Appreciation Instructor at Fayetteville State University and Jazz and Classical Music Appreciation Instructor Jazz at Central Carolina Community College. He has a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Berklee College of Music, a Master of Music degree from the North Carolina School of the Arts, and a DMA from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
JERALD SHYNETT, trombonist, composer, and educator is a native of Tampa, Florida, currently residing in Wilmington, NC. Jerald is an Associate Professor of Trombone and the Coordinator of Jazz Studies at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, where he teaches trombone, improvisation, jazz theory, jazz arranging, jazz history, and directs the UNCW Jazz Big Band and Vocal Jazz Ensemble. He is an active performer and clinician throughout North Carolina, performing with the Grammy-nominated Jazz Surge, and the John Brown Orchestra based in Durham, NC.
Before coming to UNCW in 1998, Jerald maintained an active career as a freelance trombonist, composer and arranger in Florida. He has performed with such notable artists as Chick Corea, Slide Hampton, Randy Brecker, Conrad Herwig , Joe Chambers, Bob Mintzer, Vincent Herring, K.C. and the Sunshine Band, The O’Jays, Ray Charles, LizaMinelli, and Wayne Newton, as well asthe North Carolina Jazz Repertory Orchestra. Jerald’s compositions and arrangements have been performed throughout the United States and Germany, most recently with the German Big Bandits, the John Brown Orchestra, the University of North Texas, University of South Florida, University of Miami and Northwestern University. Writing credits extend into television and film with Paramount’s “Domestic Disturbance” and Warner Brother’s television “One Tree Hill.”
Jerald holds a Master of Music degree from the University of Miami (‘96), and a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of South Florida (‘94).
The highly sought after bassist, JEFFRY ECKELS, shared the musical spotlight playing live jazz on Public Radio International’s most popular show “Michael Feldman’s Whad’ Ya Know?” with Chicago pianist, John Thulin, for over 15 years. Jeffry has appeared with jazz greats Roscoe Mitchell, Ben Sidran, Antonio Sanchez, Howard Levy, John Abercrombie, Dan Tepfer, and Ernie Watts among others. He is also a talented classical musician who has performed with members of the ProArte Quartet, Bach Dynamite and Dancing Company, the Madison and Whitewater Chamber Players, University of North Texas Chamber Orchestra, and with symphonies and chamber groups around the US. Jeffry received his bachelor’s Degree from Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts and master’s Degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he began his doctorate in composition with Stephen Demski. Jeffry continued his doctoral studies at the University of North Texas where he performed with the world renowned One O’clock Band directed by Neil Slater.
JASON FOUREMAN is in demand as a performer, clinician, and educator. Born in Durham, NC he received his undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2000. In 2005, he was awarded a teaching assistantship at the University of Louisville where he taught and received his Masters degree in Jazz Studies. Currently, Foureman is on faculty at UNC-Chapel Hill, UNC-Wilmington and NC State and has been the bassist for the North Carolina Jazz Repertoire Orchestra (NCJRO) since 2007. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Foureman has performed with Cedar Walton, Eric Alexander, Jim Snidero, Jamey Aebersold, Kenny Werner, Terri Lyne Carrington, Joel Frahm, Slide Hampton, Dave Leibman, John Pizzarelli, Renee Marie, Branford Marsalis, Gary Smyulen, Conrad Herwig, Brian Lynch, Joe Magnerelli as well as many others. He resides in Chapel Hill, NC with his wife, Megan, their two daughters and son.
DAN DAVIS (B.M.- Music Education/Percussion – East Carolina University; M.M.- Jazz Studies/Performance – North Carolina Central University, Summa Cum Laude) Studied drumset with David Via, Keith Copeland, and Thomas Taylor. Dan received the A.J. Fletcher music scholarship to study percussion at East Carolina University. He was the 1987 M.T.N.A.- Wurlitzer competition national winner in percussion and in 1988, won the E.C.U. concerto competition performing Paul Creston’s, Concertino for Marimba (3rd mvt.) with the E.C.U symphony Orchestra. In 1989, Dan received the Farmville Friends scholarship. Dan moved to the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area in 1990 and began a long association with many of the finest musicians in the region. He is an active educator and clinician. From 2002-2005, Dan was a band director at the Durham School of the Arts in Durham, N.C., receiving the Claus Nobel educator of distinction award in 2005. Currently, he maintains a full schedule of students and performs in many different styles of music. He is an adjunct professor of Jazz drumset, Jazz history, and directs Jazz combos at UNC-Chapel Hill, East Carolina University, and UNC-Pembroke. As an educator, he has performed with artists Joe Chambers, Claudio Roditi, Conrad Herwig, Eric Alexander, Ben Allison, The North Carolina Jazz Repertory Orchestra, Gary Smulyan, Lynn Seaton, Jeb Patton, and many others.
A native of Chicago, Illinois, KOBIE WATKINS, is a highly sought after drummer who has performed, toured, or recorded with jazz legend Sonny Rollins, Branford Marsalis, Joe Lovano, Curtis Fuller, Bob Mintzer, Jim Hall, John Patitucci, Arturo Sandoval, George Coleman, Ira Sullivan, Sonny Fortune, including Roy Haynes, Roy Hargrove, Kurt Elling, Fred Anderson, Chrstian McBride, Bobby Broom, Orbert Davis, Ken Chaney, Ron Perrillo, Bethany Pickens, Ryan Cohan, Jarrard Harris and James Austin. Kobie has toured extensively in Africa, Europe, Asia, Canada, South America and the United States and has worked with Gospel singer Kim Burrell, R&B and Neo Soul artists Julie Dexter, Javier, Kendra Ross, Chris Robinson, and many others.
Kobie attended Vandercook College of Music studying all forms and genres of the percussion family with Marc “Max” Jacoby (vibraphonist/ mallet) and Kevin Lepper (percussionist), both teachers igniting him to reach greater achievements and goals. Conferred with a Bachelors of Music Education in 1999, Kobie became a public school band / music teacher by day, by night he played gigs around the Chicago land area and throughout the United States. Kobie eventually became known as the “Swing Master” of Chicago. He was depicted in a front-page article in the Joliet, Illinois – “Herald”, -a local newspaper titled, “Teacher has Alter Ego as Jazz Musician.” Kobie received his Masters of Music from Northwestern University in Jazz Pedagogy 2003. Kobie’s educational and mentoring relationships include working with Wynton Marsalis at Martin Luther King High School, (Chicago, IL) a clinic for high schooler’s aspiring to play jazz. The Ravinia mentors program for the Chicago Public High School students, and “Attention for Boys” a MusicAlive mentoring and teaching program, founded by Orbert Davis and Mark Ingram for inner-city youth ages 8 to 18 years. Kobie is endorsed by Sabian cymbals, Sonor Drums, Aquarian Drum heads, and Vic Firth drum sticks.
SCOTT SAWYER displays his musical diversity like a badge of honor, re-visiting his blues & rock roots while continuing to explore the jazz tradition & beyond. He’s performed at major festivals, concert halls, and beer-soaked dives here and abroad (Asia, Brazil, Canada, Central America, Europe, and the Middle East) including Monterey Jazz Festival (CA), Herbst Jazz Festival (Austria), St. Lucia Jazz Festival, Playboy Jazz, 2002 Silde Jazz (Norway); Ottawa Jazz Festival; Detroit Jazz Festival, Berlin Chamber Music Hall (Germany); the Blue Note (NYC); Joe’s Pub (NYC); Catalina Jazz Club (LA), to name a few. In 1985, Sawyer toured Central America for a month, as a member of the Jon Metzger Quartet (USIA Arts America Program). Through the years, Sawyer has performed and recorded often with jazz singer Nnenna Freelon, including the 1992 Philip Morris Superband world tour. He’s shared the stage and/or recorded with countless artists of note in a variety of genres: Charlie Byrd, David Murray, prima ballerina Marie- Christine Mouis, Willie Pickens, Ed Thigpen, Bob Cranshaw, Dave Finucane, Keith Ganz, Oteil Burbridge, Melissa Reaves, Tony Williamson, Kate McGarry, Bruce Piephoff, Ghezzi, Lois Deloatch-Gomes, Jon Lucien, Bill Anschell, Mel Melton and the Wicked Mojos…to name a few. Sawyer’s latest album “Dreamers” was released in November 2013 and garnered a bit of attention via three Grammy Ballot nominations. His previous album “Go There” (2007) charted on XM Radio. Numerous recording credits include Keith Water’s “Carolina Tracks” (2012; guitar and Associate Producer); Bruce Piephoff’s “Soft Soap Purrings” (2014; Producer, electric/ acoustic gtr); “Still Looking Up at the Stars” (2012, Producer, electric/acoustic gtr); Dave Fox’s “The Meldavians-Farewell to Arigemon” (2012); Nnenna Freelon’s “Homefree” (2010) plus her 1997 Grammy-Nominated “Shaking Free”, “Live” (at the Kennedy Center; 2003) and “Listen” (1993); Lois Deloatch’s “Roots: Jazz, Blues Spirituals” (2010; guitar and Co-Producer); and Bill Anschell’s “a different note all together” (1998Sawyer is a Teaching Instructor at East Carolina University in the School of Music (Jazz; Applied Lessons and Jazz Chamber Combos). He’s also Lecturer of Jazz Guitar (private lessons) at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and leads a Small combo & Group Guitar class at the Durham Jazz Workshop.
With 6 critically acclaimed CDs and a Grammy nomination for Best Jazz Vocal CD KATE MCGARRY has become recognized as a jazz artist who brings authenticity and vitality to every song regardless of genre. The Wall St. Journal calls her music, “Austere and elegant,” New York Times pronounced it, “astute and sensitive”. She currently performs in jazz clubs, performing arts centers and festivals throughout the US and abroad. As an educator she has taught at New England Conservatory and currently serves on the faculty of Manhattan School of Music. Downbeat Magazine cited McGarry as ‘Rising Star’ vocalist for the past 9 years. In July of 2016 ‘s 64th Downbeat Critics Poll named McGarry the #1 Rising Star Female Vocalist. She has been interviewed on All Things Considered, and has performed on Jazz Set w/DeeDee Bridgwater, Piano Jazz w/Marion McPartland, and a host of nationally syndicated radio shows.
Singer Kate McGarry grew up in Hyannis, Mass., one of 10 children in a musical family that spent many nights singing together. At the University of Massachusetts Amherst she earned a degree in Afro-American Music and Jazz. Kate began developing her organic vocal style through early training in jazz performance with Dr Horace Boyer and iconic saxophonist Archie Shepp. Her experiences studying at a meditation ashram and exploring Celtic, Brazilian and Indian music also contributed to her widescreen vision as a vocalist and composer. After years honing her craft in Los Angeles, McGarry moved to New York where her independently produced (by Steven Santoro) debut album, Show Me, was picked up by Palmetto Records. Jazziz Magazine declared, “With this near-flawless album, she has arrived.”
JUAN ÁLAMO is an internationally known performer, composer, and educator. Álamo has presented solo recitals at universities and percussion and jazz festivals throughout the United States, Central and South America, the Caribbean and Europe. He has recorded and shared the stage performing in collaboration with renowned artists such as Keiko Abe, Ney Rosauro, Tito Puente, Arturo Sandoval, Dave Samuels, Michael Spiro, Ted Piltzecker and famous conductors such as Sergiu Comissiona and Krzyszt Penderecki. Álamo has also authored two keyboard percussion books: “Milt Jackson: Transcribed Solos of the Master” and “Four Mallet Music for the Modern Marimba Player”. He has also recoded two solo marimba albums: Remembrance (2007) and Marimjazzia (2014). Álamo is an assistant professor at UNC Chapel Hill and an artist-clinician for Encore Mallets Inc., Yamaha and Meinl percussion.
ED PAOLANTONIO, pianist, is from New York City but lives now in Durham, NC. In addition to earning a BS in Music Education from SUNY and an MM in performance from UNC-Chapel Hill, he studied 3 1/2 years with world famous jazz pianist, teacher and composer Lennie Tristano. He has been composing, arranging and performing jazz professionally since 1971 and has accompanied many jazz giants including Dizzie Gillespie, Slide Hampton, Clark Terry, Lee Konitz, Curtis Fuller, Jimmy Heath, and Emily Remler.
Mr. Paolantonio has been described as an “all consuming musician..(whose) solo struck sparks around the room.”–Owen Cardle (News and Observer, Raleigh, NC) “He’s outstanding,… talented and prolific”, said R.C. Smith (Durham Morning Herald). Joe Vanderford (Spectator, Raleigh, NC) wrote of “Paolantonionio’s sound…(as) full of arpeggios, utilizing every one of the eighty-eights”. Paolantonio has toured with North Carolina drummer Max Roach. As an artist in the NC Touring Program, he performed with his much acclaimed vocal group, String of Pearls. He toured the Middle East for USIA with vibraphonist, Jon Metzger, and has receivd North Carolina Jazz Fellowship Awards as well as the Durham Emerging Artist Grant.
An excellent clinician, Paolantonio has served in schools and colleges in and out of state. He was NC Artist in Residence for three years and has taught jazz improvisation and history at U.N.C.-Chapel Hill, Duke University, North Carolina State University and Elon College. As an accompanist, Paolantonio’s recording credits include 2 cd’s with the North Carolina Jazz Repertory Orchestra. One consisted of Benny Goodman’s arrangements and one of Duke Ellington’s compositions. His credits also include Scott Sawyer’s CD “In the Stream”; Group Sax’s three recordings, “A New Level”, “All’s Well” and “Prime Time”; Karen Love’s CD “I Believe in Little Things”; and Dan Axelrod’s LP “New Axe” distributed on the Phoenix record label.
ANDY BECHTEL teaches editing and writing for print and digital media. He joined the faculty in 2005. Bechtel has nearly 12 years of editing experience in newspapers, primarily at The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C. His other experience includes work as a copy editor and page designer at the News & Record in Greensboro, N.C. While teaching at UNC, he worked for a summer at the website of the Los Angeles Times.
Bechtel is a member of the American Copy Editors Society, and he has served as a member of the Executive Committee of ACES. He has also written several articles for the ACES newsletter and website.
Bechtel is the author of two online courses for Poynter Institute’s NewsU: one on the fundamentals of editing and another on alternative story forms. He has also written reviews and articles for publications such as Journalism & Mass Communication Educator, Society for News Design Update and the North Carolina Media Law Handbook.