Michigan Jazz Educators Association
The Michigan Jazz Educators Association aims to actively support jazz education,
performance and
heighten awareness throughout the state, bridging the upper and
peninsula and the Great Lakes area.

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West Michigan
Aquinas College - Grand Rapids
Grand Rapids Community College - Grand Rapids
Grand Valley State University - Allendale
Hope College - Holland
Kalamazoo College - Kalamazoo
Western Michigan University - Kalamazoo

Aquinas College
1607 Robinson Road S.E.
Grand Rapids, MI   49506-1799
Ph: (616) 632-8900
Ph: (616) 632-2413

Website:  http://www.aquinas.edu/music/

Jazz Director:  Paul S. Brewer, Director of Instrumental Music
Ph: (616) 632-2416
Office: AMC 119
e-mail:  brewepau@aquinas.edu

BrewerDr. Paul Brewer, Associate Professor and Director of Instrumental Music at Aquinas College holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Music Composition and Jazz Pedagogy from the University of Northern Colorado. Dr. Brewer also holds a Bachelors and a Masters degree in Music Education from the University of Central Oklahoma.

In addition to his teaching duties, Dr. Brewer has been active as a professional trombonist since 1970. While jazz is his main musical endeavor, Dr. Brewer has also played in a variety of musical ensembles including everything from orchestral groups to rock and roll bands.

His many years as a trombonist in musical theater productions gave Dr. Brewer the opportunity to work with celebrities such as Mickey Rooney, Ann Miller, Richard Harris, Robert Goulet, and many others. As a jazz performer Dr. Brewer has performed with such greats as J.J. Johnson, Max Roach, Urbie Green, Mel Torme, Randy Brecker, and many others.

Among his many contributions to the field of jazz education, Dr. Brewer has been chosen three times to lecture at the prestigious International Association for Jazz Education annual conference (twice in New York City and once in Toronto). Dr. Brewer is also called upon each year to adjudicate jazz festivals and to perform as a guest soloist on public school jazz band concerts.

Along with his tenure at Aquinas College and as a Jazz Artist sponsored by the Yamaha Corporation, Dr. Brewer is also on the jazz faculty at the Interlochen Arts Camp held each summer in Interlochen, Michigan. At Interlochen Dr. Brewer has taught many wonderful students from all over the world among them, five-time Grammy Award winner Norah Jones and Dr. Brewer's son, Matthew Brewer, an upright bassist currently performing with the great alto saxophonist and Blue Note recording artist, Greg Osby.
At Aquinas College Dr. Brewer is the Director of Bands, concert and jazz. Dr. Brewer also teaches instrumental conducting, instrumentation/arranging/orchestration, jazz improvisation, studio trombone and trumpet, band methods courses, popular music history, and counterpoint.

Bands:   Aquinas College Jazz Band

Aquinas College Music Faculty

Jazz Events:  https://www.aquinas.edu/music/music-events-calendar

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Grand Rapids Community College
Performing Arts Department-Music
143 Bostwick Avenue, NE
Grand Rapids, Michigan 49503
Ph:  (616) 234-GRCC

Website:   http://grcc.edu/music

Jazz Directors:   Dave Hay; Robin Connell, Co-Directors

David Hay
Applied Music Instructor Electric/Jazz Bass
Ph: (616) 234-3940
e-mail:  haydavid15@gmail.com
David HayProfessor David Hay is a pianist, bassist, drummer and professor of jazz at GRCC. Professor Hay began his piano studies at a very young age and has studied music with teachers from the Interlochen Arts Academy, Berklee School of Music and the Eastman School of Music during his distinguished career. The great jazz artists with whom he has worked include Russell Malone, Rufus Reid and Bob James among many others. Professor Hay is a member of the Cooper/Hay/Van Lente Trio based in Grand Rapids.

Robin Connell
Music Theory and Jazz Voice/Piano Instructor
Ph: (616) 234-3375
e-mail:  rconnell@grcc.edu
Robin ConnellDr. Robin Connell teaches music theory, jazz piano/voice (since 2001). Beginning 2013-2014, she became director of GRCC's award winning vocal jazz ensemble, Shades of Blue.  From Detroit and a GVSU alum, she worked for a decade in NYC as pianist, vocalist, composer, arranger, and music director.  Hired by Interlochen in 1990, she discovered her love of teaching and continued for twenty summers directing high school jazz bands, teaching jazz piano/voice and arranging.

Two years of study with Bob Brookmeyer via the BMI Jazz Composers Workshop, led Robin to delve further into ‘classical’ composition and graduate school.  As a GTA at the University of Northern Colorado, she directed a vocal jazz choir, Jazz Combo 1(receiving the Downbeat best combo award), and assisted in music theory.  She received her Doctorate of Arts in Music Theory and Composition, with a secondary emphasis in Piano Pedagogy, in 1999.  Robin continues leading her own jazz trio and performing with other groups.  Visit:  www.robinconnell.com  

Bands:  Jazz Orchestra  ¦  Jazz Combo
¦  Shades of Blue

   GRCC Jazz Orchestra - David Hay, Director

GRCC Jazz Combo

Jazz Orchestra -
David Hay, Director
The Jazz Orchestra rehearses and performs pieces in various styles and from various periods in jazz and big-band developments.  Improvisation is taught and emphasized in performance.  Membership is by audition.

Jazz Combo -
David Hay, Director
Membership in the Jazz Combo program is by audition. The instrumentation varies according to the number of students available. Groups in the past have been anything from the traditional 3 horns & rhythm section, to a quartet consisting of vibes, cello, bass, drums. Music varies from published charts, to the Real Book, to original compositions of the students. Each combo meets once a week for 1 hour. Performances include, once each semester at the School of Music (Fall and Spring Jazz Night), once a month at the GRCC school library, outside gigs at the Van Andel Arena, and other private functions.

Shades of Blue Vocal Jazz Ensemble - Robin Connell, Director
Shades of Blue
Shades of Blue is a vocal jazz ensemble consisting of 8-14 singers accompanied by a rhythm section of piano, bass, drums and other instruments as needed. The primary concern of this course is artistic and creative vocal jazz for ensemble performance. Advanced solo experience, microphone techniques, and vocal improvisation are part of the course offering. Students who audition will prepare a vocal solo from the Broadway, pop vocal, or vocal jazz idiom. The group performs at least twice a semester and is expected to perform at off-campus venues as scheduled.

GRCC Jazz Faculty

GRCC Jazz Events

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Grand Valley State University
1 Campus Dr.
Department of Music and Dance
1300 PAC
Allendale, Michigan 49401-9403
Ph:  (616) 331-3484

Website:   http://www.gvsu.edu/music/index.cfm

Jazz Director:  Tim Froncek, Affiliate Professor, Director of Jazz Ensembles
e-mail:  froncekt@gvsu.edu

Tim FroncekTim Froncek continues to be one of the busiest drummers in west Michigan. He can be seen performing on drumset, directing big bands, giving clinics & lectures on jazz, or judging one of the many jazz festivals in the mid-west. Mr. Froncek not only performs locally but has toured Internationally with the Western Jazz Quartet to South America, Asia and Europe.

Tim is an affiliate professor at Grand Valley State University, where he directs the Jazz Orchestra, teaches private drumset students, and lectures on the history of Jazz. Currently musical director with two of the areas premier big bands, Tim can be heard with the Muskegon based “Truth In Jazz Orchestra” (TIJO), and the newly reorganized “Grand Rapids Jazz Orchestra” (GRJO).

Bands:  Large Jazz Ensemble 
¦  Small Jazz Ensembles

gvsu jazz ensemble

Large Jazz Ensemble
The group performs both traditional and contemporary jazz music, including new works composed especially for the jazz program.  It's featured at concerts, dances, on tours, and at jazz festivals.  Open to music majors and non-majors. Audition required.

Small Jazz Ensembles
The group focuses on mastery of tunes from the jazz repertoire.  Emphasis is on improvisation and arranging using lead sheets and original compositions.

Jazz Improvisation Seminar
The student unit meets as a performing ensemble with emphasis and instruction on various approaches to jazz improvisation.

Faculty:  http://www.gvsu.edu/music/faculty-staff-82.htm

Jazz Events:  http://www.gvsu.edu/music/module-event-index.htm

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Hope College
Department of Music, Fine and Performing Arts Division
127 E. 12th St
Holland, MI   49423
Ph:  (616) 395-7650
e-mail:  music@hope.edu

Website:  http://www.hope.edu/academic/music/

Jazz Director:  Brian Coyle, Associate Professor of Music and Director of Jazz Studies
Ph: (616) 395-7653
e-mail:  coyle@hope.edu

Brian CoyleBrian Coyle is Director of Jazz Studies and Professor of Music at Hope College, and a performer, composer, arranger, adjudicator and clinician who frequently appears at festivals, conferences, universities, colleges, high schools and clubs, both nationally and internationally.  Professionally, he has performed and/or recorded with Al Jarreau, Roberta Flack, Melissa Manchester, the New Buddy Rich Band, the Ladd McIntosh Big Band, the John Cooper Jazz Orchestra, the George Stone Big Band, Bobby Shew, Marvin Stamm, Gary Foster, the O'Jays, Eric Reed, Ravi Coltrane, Jeffrey Osborne,
Jermaine Jackson, and Lorrie Morgan among others. He has also performed with the National Touring Companies of Dream Girls, How to Succeed in Business, The Will Rodgers Follies, Guys and Dolls, Teddy and Alice and the Radio City Music Hall Rocketts.

As a composer, Coyle's compositions have been commissioned and performed by professional ensembles, universities and high schools throughout the United States. For nearly a decade he maintained a regular column in the Jazz Education Journal and has authored numerous music reviews, articles and a book chapter. He currently serves as an adjudicator for the GRAMMY foundation's GRAMMY in the Schools program.  He is also Artistic Director of the Holland Jazz Orchestra.

Bands:   Jazz Ensemble 
¦  Jazz Combos
Hope offers performing opportunities in both big band and combo settings as well as a vocal jazz workshop.  The ensembles are open to all students, regardless of academic major or prior jazz experience, and placement is determined by audition.

Hope College Jazz Ensemble - Brian Coyle, Director

Hope Jazz Ensemble

Jazz Ensemble
The Jazz Ensemble is Hope's primary big band.  Directed by Brian Coyle, it presents several concerts each semester as well in performing in departmental events such as the Arts and Humanities Fair and the Devos Showcase.  The ensemble plays a wide range of jazz music, from Count Basie and Duke Ellington to Thad Jones, Charles Mingus, Bill Holman, and Maria Schneider, as well as student compositions.  Rehearsals are held from 1:30-2:50 on Tuesdays and Thursdays in Snow Auditorium.

Jazz Combos
Hope has several jazz combos that provide an opportunity for students to play in a small group setting.  The combos meet regularly with their faculty coaches as well as rehearsing on their own.  Performance opportunities vary with the skill level of the combo, with more advanced combos playing for various campus and community functions in addition to the combos concert at the end of each semester.
Jazz Chamber Ensemble I has recorded several CD's and toured nationally.  Combos are open to anyone who is interested, regardless of experience with jazz.  Rehearsal times are determined individually.

Faculty:  http://www.hope.edu/academic/music/faculty/index.html

Brian Coyle, Professor, Director of Jazz Studies, Jazz Arts Collective, Jazz Trumpet
Robert Hodson, Professor, Music Theory, Jazz Studies
Charlie Hoats, Instructor, Jazz Bass
Edye Evans Hyde, Instructor, Vocal Jazz
Mike Hyde, Instructor, Jazz Guitar
Chris Lawrence, Instructor, Jazz Trumpet
Tom Lockwood, Instructor, Jazz Saxophone
Tony Monaco, Teaching Artist in Residence, Jazz Organ
Nate Roberts, Instructor, Banjo, Mandolin, Folk Music Ensemble
Steve Talaga, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Jazz Piano, Composition
Mike VanLente, Instructor, Jazz Percussion
Paul Wesselink, Instructor, Jazz Trombone

Jazz Eventshttp://www.hope.edu/academic/music/

Great Performance Series -
Ph: (616) 395-7890  - Hope College Ticket Office

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Kalamazoo College
Department of Music
1200 Academy Street
Kalamazoo, MI   49006-3295
Ph:  (269) 337-7000

Website:    http://www.kzoo.edu/music/   ¦   http://www.kzoo.edu/music/jazz/

Jazz Director:   Thomas G. Evans, Kalamazoo College Jazz Band Director
Ph: (616) 337-7070
e-mail:  tevans@kzoo.edu

Thomas EvansDr. Thomas Evans is the Director of Bands and Professor of Music at Kalamazoo College where he conducts and oversees all aspects of the band program (Symphonic Band, Jazz Band, and Pep Band).  In addition to conducting, he teaches courses in Music History, Music Education, Jazz, Trombone and Euphonium. He became the conductor of the Kalamazoo Concert Band in 2002, a widely-regarded community band of nearly 100 musicians.

At Kalamazoo College Dr. Evans’ lecture topics include Jazz Explorations. He also conducts both the Jazz and Symphonic Bands.  He joined the faculty of Kalamazoo College in 1995 having held a similar position for eight years at Alfred University in Alfred, New York. His jazz bands have toured internationally (Russia, Estonia, Finland, and Tunisia) as well as nationally (Chicago, Washington, D.C., Cincinnati, and Detroit). In 2004 and 2013, Tom took a 7-piece jazz combo from Kalamazoo College to Numazu, Japan.  This week-long concert tour celebrated the 40th anniversary of the sister city relationship between Kalamazoo and Numazu.  Prior to teaching in higher education, he taught for six years in the New York State public schools where his high school bands and orchestras achieved the highest ratings at state festivals.

Evans holds a Doctorate of Music Arts in Trombone Performance from the University of Michigan, a Master of Music degree in Music Education and Trombone Performance from Boston University, and a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the State University of New York at Fredonia.

Bands:   Kalamazoo College Jazz Band

kalamazoo jazz band

Faculty:  http://reason.kzoo.edu/music/Faculty/

Jazz Events:  http://reason.kzoo.edu/music/events/

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Western Michigan University
School of Music
1903 West Michigan Avenue
Kalamazoo, MI    49008-5434
Ph:  (269) 387-4667

Website:   Jazz@WMU  http://www.wmich.edu/jazz/

Jazz Director: 
Thomas Knific, Professor of Double Bass, Jazz
e-mail:  thomas.knific@wmich.edu

Tom KnificTom Knific has performed with many of the great jazz and classical artists of our time on tour and on record. They include Gene Bertoncini, Billy Hart, Randy Brecker, Dave Brubeck, Fred Hersch, and others. He and Eric Marienthal co-led the “Dream Band” with Toots Thielemans, Kenny Werner and Harvey Mason in the first live interactive concert multi-cast over the Internet. As a classical artist, he has recorded with Pepe Romero, Andre Watts, Philippe Entremont, and the Merling Trio. He as appeared as a soloist with orchestras throughout the U.S. and has performed as principal bassist with orchestras and chamber orchestras in the U.S. and Europe. He has appeared at chamber music festivals throughout North America and Europe and is a founding member, bassist and composer for the contemporary music group, OPUS 21. Tom is professor of double bass and director of jazz studies at Western Michigan University. He has also taught at the Interlochen Arts Academy, Michigan State University, Cleveland Institute of Music, and has presented over a hundred master classes worldwide.

Bands:   Gold Company, GCII
¦ University Jazz Orchestra ¦ University Jazz Lab Band

Gold Company Vocal Jazz Ensemble - Greg Jasperse, Director

Gold Company

Greg JasperseGreg Jasperse, Director, Gold Company
e-mail:  gregory.jasperse@wmich.edu
The Gold Company program is widely recognized as one of the most successful and prestigious collegiate vocal jazz programs in the world.  The ensembles perform a wide variety of repertoire which covers all styles in the contemporary vocal idiom.  Gold Company combines the fundamental musical elements from the traditional choral style with stylistic characteristics from the jazz vernacular with an emphasis on improvisation and swing.

Greg Jasperse, Director, Gold Company II
e-mail:  gregory.jasperse@wmich.edu
GCII is one of nine vocal ensembles in the School of Music. The 20-voice group, like its 16-voice counterpart Gold Company, performs in every style from vocal jazz and show tunes to the hits of today.  Each singer must have the ability to “swing” and master the complex harmonies of vocal jazz arrangements. Choreography and specialty acts are a part of GCII’s exciting and energetic presentation.

University Jazz Orchestra - Scott Cowan, Director

University Jazz Orchestra - Scott
Cowan, Director

Scott CowanScott Cowan, Director, University Jazz Orchestra
e-mail:  scott.cowan@wmich.edu
The Jazz Orchestra is dedicated to the well-prepared performance of big band charts where careful attention is given to style and detail. Literature includes both traditional and contemporary jazz works, and the ensemble is also available for the reading and performance of student compositions and arrangements. An active campus and off-campus performance schedule is maintained with extensive touring. Membership is open to all University students by audition.

Tom Knific, Director, University Jazz Lab Band
e-mail:  knific@wmich.edu
The Jazz Lab Band is dedicated to the well-prepared performance of big band charts where careful attention is given to style and detail. Literature includes both traditional and contemporary jazz works, and the ensemble is also available for the reading and performance of student compositions and arrangements. An active campus and off-campus performance schedule is maintained. Membership is open to all University students by audition.

Faculty Ensemble:  New Western Jazz Quartet

  Western Jazz Quartet

Western Jazz Quartet
     Jeremy Siskind, piano
     Andrew Rathbun, saxophone
     Tom Knific, bass
     Keith Hall, drums

The Western Jazz Quartet melds the talent, experience, passion and professionalism of four gifted musicians whose artistic vision and performance have garnered international acclaim. The group's unique ability to blend culture, education and aesthetics demonstrates multifaceted versatility that energizes and tantalizes contemporaries and audiences alike.

Western Jazz Quartet - Freefall CD
WJQ Freefall cd

Faculty:  http://www.wmich.edu/jazz/meet-the-faculty/

Tom Knific (Chair) - Bass; Western Jazz Quartet
Scott Cowan - Trumpet; Jazz Brass, Improvisation, Arranging; University Jazz Orchestra
Greg Jasperse - Vocal Jazz Director, Gold Company/GCII
Andrew Rathbun - Jazz Studies, Saxophone; Western Jazz Quartet
Jeremy Siskind - Jazz Piano Studies; Western Jazz Quartet

Keith Hall - Drum Set, Drum Choir; Western Jazz Quartet
Edward Simon - Visiting Artist; Piano
Tim Froncek - Visiting Artist; Western Jazz Quartet
Billy Hart - Visiting Artist; Drum Set
Fred Hersch - Visiting Artist; Piano, Composition

Jazz Events:   http://www.wmich.edu/jazz/calendar/

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