FACULTY 2018

Dena has accumulated an impressive list of performance credits. From the legendary clubs around the world like the Blue Note, Smoke and the Jazz Standard in New York, the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., the Pitt Inn and Body and Soul in Tokyo, The Jazz Showcase in Chicago, Marian's in Bern, The Jazz Center in Istanbul, and Alexander Platz in Rome, to major Jazz Festivals that include The Red Sea Jazz Festival in Israel, The Monterey Jazz Festival, The San Francisco Jazz FestivaL. Dena always delivers "...vivid and often exciting demonstrations of how innovative her musical concepts are..." (Philip Elwood, San Francisco Examiner). She has brought that vitality and innovation to performances alongside the likes of Ray Brown, Clark Terry, Marian McPartland, Benny Golson, John Scofield, Benny Green, Ray Drummond, Alex Riel, Deborah Brown, Jimmy Cobb, Ken Peplowski, Jay Leonhart, John Clayton, Jeff Hamilton, Phil Woods, David ‘Fathead' Newman, Rufus Reid, Jay Clayton, Mark Murphy, Marvin Stamm, and many, many others. 


DeRose has been chosen by Downbeat's Critic's Poll as an "Artist Deserving Wider Recognition" in 2003, 2006, 2008, 2013, 2014, and 2015. All About Jazz anointed her as a "Jazz Artist of the Year" in 2003, and "Best Jazz Album" of 2007. Her CD's, A Walk in the Park, Live at Jazz Standard Vol. 1, Live at Jazz Standard Vol. 2, and "Travelin' Light", all garnered 4 stars in Downbeat, and considered for a Grammy. She has been featured on ‘Morning Edition' on National Public Radio, and three times on NPR's "Marian McPartlands' Piano Jazz" including the "30th Anniversary" show recorded live at Dizzy's Coca-Cola Jazz club in NYC with piano greats Kenny Barron, Mulgrew Miller, Bill Charlap, Cedar Walton, Dick Hyman, and others. Dena also appears on the CD "NPR's Piano Jazz Christmas Compilation".

 

Astoundingly, Dena has also found time to hone her skills as a Jazz educator, and has been on the adjunct faculty at some prestigious jazz institutes, including Manhattan School of Music, NYU, The New School, Long Island University, Purchase College in New York, The Hartt School of Music in Connecticut, and was on the faculty for 10 years at "New York Comes To Groningen" Prince Claus Conservatoire of Music in Holland. Ms. DeRose is currently tenured as the Professor of Jazz Voice at the Jazz Institute of The University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz, Austria. She frequently leads clinics and workshops at such prestigious schools and festivals at the Stanford Jazz Workshop, Centrum-Port Townsend Jazz, the Dave Brubeck Institute in Oakland, CA, The Jazz School in Berkeley, CA, Taller de Musics in Barcelona-Spain, NJPAC Jazz for Teen Program, The Litchfield Summer Jazz Camp, Jazz Camp West, JEN conferences, the Rotterdam Summer Jazz School, and The Royal Conservatory of Music in Den Haag, among others. She has served as a first round judge at the Thelonious Monk Vocal Competition and served 6 years on the NJ Star Ledger Scholarship Awards committee.  

 

Multiple Grammy Nominee and Guggenheim and MacArthur Fellow Miguel Zenón represents a select group of musicians who have masterfully balanced and blended the often contradictory poles of innovation and tradition. Widely considered as one of the most groundbreaking and influential saxophonists of his generation, he has also developed a unique voice as a composer and as a conceptualist, concentrating his efforts on perfecting a fine mix between Latin American Folkloric Music and Jazz. 

Born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Zenón has released ten recordings as a leader, including the Grammy Nominated Típico (2017) and Identities Are Changeable (2014). As a sideman he has worked with jazz luminaries such as The SFJAZZ Collective, Charlie Haden, Fred Hersch, Kenny Werner, David Sánchez, Danilo Perez, The Village Vanguard Orchestra, Guillermo Klein & Los Guachos, The Jeff Ballard Trio, Antonio Sanchez, David Gilmore, Paoli Mejias, Brian Lynch, Jason Lindner, Miles Okazaki, Ray Barreto, Andy Montañez, Jerry Gonzalez & The Fort Apache Band, The Mingus Big Band, Bobby Hutcherson and Steve Coleman.

 

 Zenón has been featured in publications such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, as well as gracing the cover of DownBeat Magazine on two occasions (2010 and 2014). In addition, he topped both the Jazz Artist of the Year and Alto Saxophonist categories on the 2014 Jazz Times Critics Poll and was selected as 2015 Alto Saxophonist of the Year by the Jazz Journalist Association. 

 

As a composer he has been commissioned by SFJAZZ, The New York State Council for the Arts, Chamber Music America, Logan Center for The Arts, The Hyde Park Jazz Festival, The John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, Jazz Reach, Peak Performances, MIT, PRISM Quartet and many of his peers. Zenón has given hundreds of lectures and master classes at institutions all over the world, and is a permanent faculty member at New England Conservatory of Music. In 2011 he founded Caravana Cultural, a program which presents free-of-charge jazz concerts in rural areas of Puerto Rico. In April 2008 Zenón received a fellowship from the prestigious John Simon Guggenheim Foundation. Later that year he was one of 25 distinguished individuals chosen to receive the coveted MacArthur Fellowship, also known as the “Genius Grant”.

 

Hailed by Down Beat magazine for his “quick-witted harmonic reflexes, fluid command of line and cut-to-the- chase sense of narrative logic,” Aaron Goldberg has made his name as one of jazz’s most compelling pianists, both as a bandleader and frequent collaborator with Joshua Redman, Wynton Marsalis, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Guillermo Klein and many more. On his new release The Now, Goldberg reunites with bassist Reuben Rogers and drummer Eric Harland, the virtuoso rhythm team going all the way back to his 1998 debut Turning Point. On their fifth outing together, the trio foregrounds a central truth about the art of playing jazz: that no two performances will be the same because the music is created, in Goldberg’s words, “in the dynamic plane of the present.” 

 

Goldberg became a jazz devotee in Boston during high school. After spending a year in New York City at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, he enrolled at Harvard College and graduated magna cum laude in 1996 with a concentration in Mind, Brain and Behavior. A founding member of Betty Carter’s famed and indispensable Jazz Ahead program, he continued his ascent performing in bands led by Al Foster, Freddie Hubbard, Nicholas Payton, Stefon Harris and Mark Turner among others. By the late 1990s, he was garnering wider attention, and an incessant touring schedule found him both inspired by music from around the world yet appreciative of the zen creativity that only jazz demands. 

 

Goldberg’s bread-and-butter jazz vocabulary, his mastery and sense of invention on blues and standards, is second to none. On The Now, he lends Charlie Parker’s “Perhaps” a twist: the melody is played one quarter note apart in the right and left hand. Warne Marsh’s “Background Music,” on the changes of “All of Me,” is jaw-dropping in its speed, precision and unrelenting swing: the trio at full blast. “One’s a Crowd,” in another twist, uses the chord changes to Joe Henderson’s “Serenity.” “On Worlds (2006), we recorded a tune called ‘Unstablemates,’ and this is a similarly respectful de-rangement,” says Goldberg. “‘Serenity’ has a 14-bar form, while ‘One’s a Crowd’ drops a bar to 13, which alone renders it less serene. Melodically and improvisationally it aims to capture that mood when you're alone but your inner voice won't stay quiet." 

 

 

Jazz has a way of summoning that kind of spirit from musicians, and Goldberg knows exactly how to capture it, surrounding himself with kindred spirits in pursuit of the highest expression. He and the trio embody the best of what jazz can be today: the ability to speak from deep within the tradition while putting their own collaborative imprint upon it. Combined with his personal take on jazz’s intangible and viscerally uplifting heritage, this makes Goldberg just the player to share all he knows about The Now.

 Originally from Houston, Texas, Mike began studying music formally at the Houston High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, a school renowned for its musical alumni, which includes such luminaries as Jason Moran, Robert Glasper, Brian Michael Cox, Eric Harland, Chris Dave, Kendrick Scott, and Beyoncé. 

 

After graduating, Mike moved to New York City with a scholarship to attend the New School University. While still in school he began garnering the recognition necessary to be called to perform and tour with some of the most venerable names in the Jazz world as well as rising stars of the scene. 

 

Over the years, they have included The Joshua Redman Elastic Band, Lizz Wright Band, Nicholas Payton Quartet, Stefon Harris Sonic Creed, Me'Shell N'Degeocello, Jason Moran, Terence Blanchard, Robert Glasper, Ambrose Akinmusire, Gretchen Parlato, Aaron Parks, Claudia Acuña, Greg Osby 4, Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra, Jeff "Tain" Watts, Jeremy Pelt, John Ellis, Myron Walden, Kenny Garret, Yosvany Terry, Ralph Bowen, Will Vinson and more. 

 

Additionally, Mike has recorded with numerous major artists, both inside and outside of the Jazz genre. 3 of these recordings were nominated for a Grammy. In 2010 both Q-Tip's "The Renaissance" and Geoffrey Keezzer's "Aurea" were nominated for Best Album in their categories, as well in 2008 Eldar's "Re-Imagination" received the same nomination in the Jazz Category. Moreno's discography also includes artists such as Bilal, Jeremy Pelt, Robert Glasper, John Ellis, Aaron Parks, Jimmy Greene, Myron Walden, Sam Yahel, Ralph Bowen, Marcus Strickland, Yosvany Terry, Kendrick Scott Oracle, Will Vinson, and Bob Reynolds. 

 

In 2007, Mike released his debut CD Between The Lines on the World Culture Music label, which Nate Chinen deemed in The New York Times as one of his top 10 Jazz albums of 2007. He recorded his second and third albums, Third Wish 2008 and First In Mind 2011, for European Jazz label Criss-Cross Records. He returned to World Culture Music for the release of Another Way 2012 which made the 25 "Best of 2012" Jazz Releases on  itunes. And his most recent album Lotus has just been released. 

Luques Curtis was born 1983 in Hartford, CT. After having formal training on piano and percussion, he found himself wanting to play the bass. Luques studied at the Greater Hartford Academy of Performing Arts, Artist Collective, and Guakia with Dave Santoro, Volcan Orham, Nat Reeves, Paul Brown, and others. While attending high school, he was also very fortunate to study the Afro-Caribbean genre with bass greats Andy Gonzalez and Joe Santiago. With his talent and hard work he earned a full scholarship to the prestigious Berklee College Of Music in Boston. There he studied with John Lockwood and Ron Mahdi. While in Boston he was also able to work with great musicians such as Gary Burton, Ralph Peterson, Donald Harrison, Christian Scott, and Francisco Mela.

 

Now living in the New York area, Mr. Curtis has been performing worldwide with Eddie Palmieri, Brian Lynch, Ralph Peterson, Christian Scott, Sean Jones, Orrin Evans, Albert Rivera, and others. He is the recent recipient of the 2016 Down Beat Rising Star Bassist on the Critics Poll. He also co-owns a record label called Truth Revolution Records. Along side his brother, they have four releases under "Curtis Brothers", the most recent being "Syzygy". Luques was also part of Brian Lynch's Grammy winning CD "Simpatico" and his Grammy nominated "Madera Latino" as well as Christian Scott's Grammy nominated CD "Rewind That". He also produced Grammy nominated "Entre Colegas" by Andy Gonzalez. You can hear him on Eddie Palmieri's "Sabiduria"; Gary Burton "Next Generations"; Dave Valentin "Come Fly With Me"; Sean Jones "Roots","Kaleidoscope",and "The Search Within"; Albert Rivera's CD "Re-Introduction"; Etienne Charles' CD "Folklore"; Orrin Evans' CD "Faith In Action". As a sideman, Luques Curtis has participated in over 75 recordings.

 

Jazz Magazine describes him as “the drummer of his generation” and indeed, Gregory Hutchinson is one of the most highly respected musicians of our time. His mastery of timing and expression of rhythms is at the core of his personal style. He is a musician’s drummer, soundly rooted in the jazz tradition he is able to approach all styles of music with supreme accuracy and imagination, decorating compositions with his natural feel and mind blowing innovation.

 

The Brooklyn native began to nurture his passion for playing at the very young age of 3. He recalls his first drum set lasting a total of 5 minutes, “I proceeded to put the sticks through the drumhead and not on top of it. I didn’t know about Ted Reed stick control” he muses, “and now fast forward many years, here I am.” His dedication to the instrument was apparent in junior high school and his instructors took notice. At the young age of 12, he would arrive at school an hour early each day and stay behind an hour after. He was encouraged to audition for two music high schools and describes his not being accepted as “the best thing that could have happened to me.” It encouraged him to spend the next four years practicing and also led him to Justin Diccicio who became his mentor. Diccicio’s former students had been Omar Hakim, Kenny Washington, Marcus Miller and Steve Jordon. By accepting an apprenticeship under him, Greg had not only entered a lineage of supreme musical talent, but he had acquired a teacher who was serious in helping him become a professional musician.

 

His professional career began right out of high school, when he was introduced to Red Rodney after playing in a Big Band for a year. He quickly became known as a young phenom in the jazz community sharing the stage with the likes of not only Rodney, but Betty Carter, and Ray Brown while still in his early twenties. He is one of the few musicians today who had the opportunity to collaborate with some of the great orginators of jazz music. Since then he has worked with a virtual who’s who of the jazz world including: Dianne Reeves, Betty Carter, Wynton Marsalis, John Scofield, Roy Hargrove, Charles Lloyd, Diana Krall, Harry Connick Jr, Joshua Redman, Christian McBride and Maria Schneider as well as many other’s. His time signatures and beat compositions have won him praise from the hip hop community as well leading him to work with powerhouses Common and Super producer  Kareem Riggins.

His experience and technique make him one of the most exciting musicians to watch and hear. He has the creative power to not only nurture, but challenge the very art of drumming. Dianne Reeves describes him as “Pure Genius.” Gary Giddins described his drum work as “Elegant” and more “like dancing.” Joshua Redman describes him as “Inspired.” To Hutch’s credit his goal is to play the drums like Charlie Parker played the horn, “I want to sing on the drums the way he sang on the horn.” If history is any indication, Hutch will indeed continue to be a formidable presence in the musical community.

Hutch currently resides in Rome, Italy and endorses Sakae DrumsPaiste cymbals, and Vic Firth sticks. Also check out Hutchology for his monthly ongoing video lesson experience.

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