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Faculty Artists +

Guest Ensembles


NJW faculty represents the best jazz educators and performers from Washington, D.C., an area known worldwide as one of the nation’s most prestigious and innovative centers for jazz performance.

Throughout the week you will receive instruction and coaching from National Jazz Workshop faculty focused on raising the level of performance of each participant.




Mike Tomaro

Composer-in-residence Mike Tomaro has been the director of jazz studies at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, since 1997. Prior to his appointment at Duquesne, he lived in the Washington, D.C., area for 17 years as a member of The U.S. Army Blues, a unit of the prestigious U.S. Army Band “Pershing's Own." Mike has four nationally released recordings under his own name that showcase his talents as both performer and writer. He has also been featured on many other CDs, most notably on Nancy Wilson's two Grammy Award-winning releases Turned to Blue and RSVP, the New York Voices, A Day Like This, A New Promise by guitarist Sheryl Bailey and an upcoming release from the Pittsburgh Jazz Legacy Project, all on the MCG Jazz label.



Darryl Brenzel


Darryl Brenzel is a saxophonist, woodwind doubler, composer, arranger and educator. He is also a retiree from the U.S. Army Jazz Ambassadors. Brenzel has taught at the university level and his groups (duo, trio, quartet) provide jazz music for any occasion. He freelances in all styles and many of his arrangements are available for purchase.


Joseph Henson


Saxophonist, composer, arranger, educator Joseph Henson earned his undergraduate degree in saxophone performance from the University of South Carolina and a master's degree in jazz studies from the University of North Texas. He played tenor in the U.S. Army Blues Jazz Ensemble in Washington, D.C., for 21 years and is currently professor of saxophone and jazz studies at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia.


Brad Linde


Brad Linde is a saxophonist, bandleader, and presenter in the Washington, D.C. metro area. He is the director of jazz and creative instrumental music at Georgetown Day School and is on faculty at Levine Music. In 2010, he founded and began co-directing the Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra, a 17-piece big band in residence at the historic club until its closing in 2016, and he is the director of the 10-piece chamber group the Brad Linde Ensemble (BLE), the 5 saxophone/rhythm section band Sax of a Kind, the big band BLEE (Brad Linde Expanded Ensemble) and the 14-piece BIG OL'.


Mike Tomaro


Composer-in-residence Mike Tomaro has been the director of jazz studies at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, since 1997. Prior to his appointment at Duquesne, he lived in the Washington, D.C., area for 17 years as a member of The U.S. Army Blues, a unit of the prestigious U.S. Army Band “Pershing's Own." Mike has four nationally released recordings under his own name that showcase his talents as both performer and writer. He has also been featured on many other CDs, most notably on Nancy Wilson's two Grammy Award-winning releases Turned to Blue and RSVP, the New York Voices, A Day Like This, A New Promise by guitarist Sheryl Bailey and an upcoming release from the Pittsburgh Jazz Legacy Project, all on the MCG Jazz label.


Graham Breedlove


Since taking up the trumpet at age twelve in his hometown of Lafayette, Louisiana, Graham Breedlove has performed on four continents in more than twenty countries, with headliners representing more than one hundred Grammy nominations. Among these are the Saturday Night Live Band, Ray Charles, Wynton Marsalis, Ramsey Lewis, Mariah Carey, and Doc Severinsen. As a leader, Breedlove is a Summit Records recording artist. When reviewing his debut CD Coming Home, released in 2001, states, "This CD is like a bottomless glass of good wine." The Graham Breedlove Quintet appears regularly at the Kennedy Center, and was invited by the Obama administration to perform at the White House. Graham is listed in the book Trumpet Greats, which is a biographical dictionary of famous trumpeters since the Baroque Era by noted educator, author and trumpeter David Hickman. As a sideman, Breedlove has appeared on more than 200 recordings, including back-to-back Grammy winners in 2004 and 2005.


William H. Dunn


Chief Musician Bill Dunn, a native of Canton, Ohio, joined the Navy Band in 2006. Prior to the Cruisers, Dunn was a member of United States Military Academy Band at West Point. He earned a Bachelor of Music from The Ohio State University in trumpet performance and a Master of Music in trumpet performance from the Manhattan School of Music, studying classical trumpet with Vincent Penzarella, jazz trumpet with Byron Stripling, improvisation with Garry Dial, Afro-Cuban music with Bobby Sanabria and arranging with Manny Albam. Other significant trumpet teachers in his career include Richard Burkart, William Adam, Pharez Whitted, Laurie Frink, Charley Davis and Dave Sheetz.


Craig Fraedrich


Craig Fraedrich has been on faculty at Shenandoah University in Winchester, Virginia, since 1989 where he has taught jazz theory, jazz arranging, music theory, jazz improvisation, applied jazz lessons, coached jazz combos and directed the Shenandoah Conservatory Jazz Ensemble. A graduate of North Texas State University (Bachelor of Music -inJazz Studies) and Arizona State University (Master of Music in Instrumental Music), he has performed with artists such as Dave Liebman, Tom Harrell, Charlie Rouse, Wycliff Gordon, Marvin Stamm, Alan Vizzutti, Richie Bierach, Cecil Taylor, and Don Thompson. He has studied with Don Jacoby, Dennis Najoom, Leonard Candelaria, Wayne Cook, Dave Liebman and Kenny Wheeler.


Joshua Kauffman


Joshua Kauffman, an in-demand performer and educator in the Washington Metropolitan area, can be seen and heard at major venues like the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Capitol One Arena and Blues Alley. He teaches regularly at the National Jazz Workshop and is frequently seen as a guest artist and clinician with colleges and schools throughout the United States. Equally at home in the jazz and classical idioms, Joshua has had the opportunity to share the stage with Doc Severinsen, Hugh Jackman, Randy Brecker, Bobby McFerrin, Arturo Sandoval, Franki Valli and the Four Seasons, Sean Jones, Stefon Harris, Luis Enrique, the Big Apple Circus, Eddie Daniels, Wycliffe Gordon, Alan Baylock, Dennis Mackrel, and many others.


Ashlin Parker


Ashlin Parker is a versatile jazz trumpeter based in New Orleans.  He is sought after for big band, small ensemble, and solo performances. He has played with various ensembles at jazz festivals and clubs in Australia, Barbados, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, England, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Italy, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Norway, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, and Wales. Ashlin leads the Trumpet Mafia and plays regularly with ensembles in New Orleans, such as the Ellis Marsalis Quintet, the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, and Bill Summers and Jazalsa.


Matt Niess


Matt Niess is the director of the National Jazz Workshop. He is a former high school band director and has taught on the jazz faculties of Shenandoah, Towson and West Chester Universities. He is the founder and director of the Capitol Bones, a jazz trombone ensemble which has received national recognition and has performed throughout the country. He has appeared as a soloist, clinician, and adjudicator at jazz festivals, schools, and universities throughout the country and has recorded and performed with numerous artists.


Eric Byrd


For twenty years, the Eric Byrd Trio (EBT), pianist/vocalist Eric Byrd, bassist Bhagwan Khalsa and drummer Alphonso Young, Jr., have traveled the world as enthusiastic ambassadors of jazz. Rooted in swing and be-bop, the trio also embraces gospel and the blues as core elements of their expansive performance style. Their body of work spans seven unique studio and live recordings on which they shine as a trio and as collaborators with an expanded 8-piece ensemble they call the Eric Byrd Trio: Brother Ray Band, in tribute to the Genius of Soul icon Ray Charles. On each recording, they take a rigorous, modern approach to standards as well as original compositions, playing with great acuity within the broad and rich jazz tradition.


Bob Larson


Bob Larson served on the faculty of Shenandoah Conservatory from 1982 to 2021 and is now professor emeritus of jazz piano. He performs regularly in the greater Washington, D.C. area and is the pianist on the critically acclaimed CD Two Seconds to Midnight by the Alan Baylock Jazz Orchestra. He produced two albums by the Shenandoah Conservatory Jazz Ensemble in 1990 and 1998. He directed the band from 1988 to 2000, during which time the ensemble performed with Randy Brecker, Bob Berg, Billy Taylor, Conrad Herwig, and many others. He has researched the early recordings of jazz pianist Bill Evans, and presented a paper at the 1989 National Association of Jazz Educators Conference in San Diego, California. In 2008 he wrote an arranging book titled Writing for the Small Jazz Ensemble. His doctoral dissertation focused on computer analysis of jazz rhythmic practices, particularly tonal onset, swing ratio, and accent.


Tony Nalker


Tony Nalker has performed with many musical talents including Doc Severinsen, Kathy Mattea, Kenny Loggins, James Moody, Slide Hampton, Kurt Elling, Stanley Turrentine, Clark Terry, and Louis Bellson. He has performed on more than 90 recordings in a variety of styles including three Grammy finalists (and one winner) in the children's music category. Tony also enjoys composition, having co-written a musical theater adaptation of Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter. Nalker has also written numerous works for dance companies and a variety of jazz ensembles.


Shawn Purcell


Shawn Purcell graduated from Duquesne University in May, 1993 with a Bachelor of Music in Recording Arts and Sciences. As an undergraduate, he studied jazz/Brazilian/rock guitar under the direction of Ken Karsh, Joe Negri, Mark Koch, Marty Ashby, and classical guitar under the direction of Tom Kikta. Studies also included jazz arranging and jazz composition with Dr. John "Doc" Wilson. While attending Duquesne and upon graduating, Shawn played in Late Edition, a contemporary Jazz/ Fusion Band based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In November, 1993, he was called to tour with Ringling Bros. & Barnum and Bailey Circus as the Blue Units staff guitarist. This two-year gig covered over 93 cities throughout the United States.


Donovan Stokes


Donovan Stokes enjoys a varied career of performing, composing, writing and teaching and has given classes and performed as soloist throughout the United States, in Mexico, Norway, Italy, England, France and the Czech Republic. His solo recording Gadaha garnered two JPF Music Award rankings for Best Album and Best Instrumental Song. Described as a musician who “paints primary colours and subtle shades to considerable effect” (The Double Bassist), Stokes is also noted for his “eye-popping display of technical wizardry and showmanship” (Madison Jazz).


Todd Harrison


Todd Harrison, born and raised in Houston, Texas, began his professional career at age 14 playing drums in local funk, R&B, rock, and jazz bands. After high school he studied jazz composition with Shelly Berg at San Jacinto College and percussion at Houston Baptist University. He is a versatile musician who has performed with a wide range or artists including Dick Oatts, Cold Sweat,TKOH!, Rita Moreno, El DeBarge, Clark Terry, Kirk Whalum, Phil Woods, Slide Hampton, the Unified Jazz Ensemble, the Capitol Bones, Rick Perry, Andy Bey, and Carl Filipiak, to name a few. He has recorded with the Alan Baylock Orchestra, Randy Runyon, the Victory Mass Choir, the Capitol Saxophone Quartet, multiple recordings with the Jazz Ambassadors, and many others. He also appears on numerous educational recordings produced by Alfred and Hal Leonard Publications.


Sherrie Maricle


From the drum set, Sherrie leads the DIVA Jazz Orchestra, her quintet FIVE PLAY and co-leads the 3D Jazz Trio. She is also a busy freelance performer, a published composer/arranger and a dedicated educator, clinician, guest conductor and soloist. Sherrie has performed at many of the world’s most acclaimed music venues and festivals with her bands, from Lincoln Center to the Kennedy Center and the Hollywood Bowl, to Jazz Festivals in Germany, Switzerland, France, Portugal, Ireland, England, Croatia, Japan, Vietnam and Israel, and beyond. Additionally, Sherrie and DIVA were featured at the 2017 NEA Jazz Master’s Awards Ceremony, the soundtrack for the NBC-Macy’s Fireworks Spectacular; on CBS Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood, on TCM’s televised broadcast of the 25th Anniversary of the Kennedy Center and NHK Japan’s New York Jazz. The band also co-stars in the award-winning documentary film The Girls in the Band.


Kevin McDonald


Drummer and percussionist Kevin McDonald's performance credits include Dave Liebman, Mark Turner, Paquito D’Rivera, Miguel Zenon, Bob Mintzer, Randy Brecker, and Lee Konitz in international venues including Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, the White House, the U.S. Library of Congress, the Midwest Clinic, and Bimhuis. A Ph.D. candidate in musicology at Catholic University, McDonald is currently completing his dissertation, "Hearing the American Civil Rights Movement in the Music of Max Roach." McDonald serves as adjunct professor of applied jazz percussion at George Mason University and as drummer for the U.S. Navy Band Commodores, the Navy's premier jazz ensemble. He is a proud endorsing artist for Zildjian Cymbals, Vic Firth Drumsticks, and Remo Drumheads.


Alphonso Young, Jr.


Alphonso Young, Jr. has been a professional musician for more than 20 years. His versatile and imaginative style of performance has not only charmed audiences around the world, but has led noted artists such as Randy Brecker, Bob Berg, George Colligan, Giacomo Gates, Buck Hill, Etta Jones, Ira Sullivan, Othello Molineaux, Rebecca Parris, and Jon Secada to acquire his talent. He has also performed with trumpeter and composer Alan Baylock, world-renowned DJ Kevin Yost, smooth jazz artist Brad Clements, Benny Powell, Miles Griffith and jazz diva Vanessa Rubin, as well as many other luminaries of the jazz world.



Music Production & Recording Technology

Golder O'Neill

Golder O'Neill is the Director of Music Production & Recording at Shenandoah Conservatory with more than 25 years professional recording experience and live sound reinforcement including being the owner, manager, and chief engineer of Goldreel Studios (Winchester, Virginia) and recording engineer at Sound Loft Studio (Brookline, Massachusetts). He is a member of the Audio Engineering Society and is Avid Pro Tools Certified, completed the Avid Media Composer and Sibelius certificate courses and has been running the technology program at National Jazz Workshop since its inception.


The U.S. Navy Commodores


Jazz is America's music and the U.S. Navy Band Commodores, the Navy's premier jazz ensemble, have been performing the very best of big band jazz for the Navy and the nation for 50 years. Formed in 1969, this 18-member group continues the jazz big band legacy with some of the finest musicians in the world. The Commodores' mission includes public concerts, national concert tours, ceremonial support in honoring our veterans, jazz education classes and clinics, and protocol performances for high-level military and civilian government officials. 

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