Shelton G. Berg is Dean and Patricia L. Frost Professor of Music at the University of Miami Frost School of Music where he leads a dynamic faculty and teaches outstanding students. He was previously the McCoy/Sample Professor of Jazz Studies at USC Thornton School of Music and a past president of the International Association for Jazz Education (IAJE). In 2000, the Los Angeles Times named him one of three "Educators for the Millennium." He is widely acclaimed for his energetic and innovative approaches to performance, composition, and pedagogy. He has performed and recorded with top music industry professionals and has orchestrated music for television, motion pictures and major orchestras. Berg has performed and lectured throughout the world and has numerous arrangements, compositions and texts in publication. The All Music Guide says "Shelly Berg is one of the finest pianists around in the early 21st century playing modern mainstream jazz." His CD, Blackbird (Concord) reached #1 in US jazz radio (Jazzweek, 2005). Recent recording and arranging projects include a solo CD The Nearness of You (Arbors), Arturo Sandoval's Latin Grammy winning A Time for Love (Concord) and several NPR radio broadcasts for Jim Cullum's Riverwalk Jazz series. He recorded "Rhapsody in Blue" and other Gershwin selections with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London which will be released soon. He was nominated for a 2014 Grammy Award in the category "Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s) for his arrangement of "What a Wonderful World" on Gloria Estefan: The Standards (Sony Masterworks) and was also nominated for a Grammy as co-producer of Gloria Estefan: The Standards in the Best Traditional Pop Album category. Shelly Berg was a 2013 Grammy nominee in the category “Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s)” for his arrangement of “Out There” on Lorraine Feather’s CD Tales of the Unusual.
Assistant Professor of Music, Chair, Department of Studio Music and Jazz
John Daversa is assistant professor of music and chair of the Department of Studio Music and Jazz at the University of Miami Frost School of Music where he also conducts the award-winning Frost Concert Jazz Band. A versatile and internationally respected performer (trumpet/EVI), composer, arranger, producer, bandleader, educator, and recording artist, Daversa joined the Frost faculty in August 2013. He previously taught at California State University, Northridge (CSUN) and University of Southern California (USC). He is a winner of the Herb Alpert Award, David Joel Miller Award, the National Trumpet Competition, the ITG Jazz Soloist Competition, and was a finalist in the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition. His celebrated and distinctive musical perspective has been a passport to performances on world stages such as The Today Show, Late Nite with David Letterman, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Monterey Jazz Festival, Montreal Jazz Festival, Montreux Festival, and the Playboy Jazz Festival, to name a few. He has also performed or recorded with artists such as Fiona Apple, Burt Bacharach, Michael Bublé, Dori Caymi, Joe Cocker, Andraé Crouch, Sheryl Crow, Dr. Dre, Bob Mintzer Big Band, and The Yellowjackets. In 1996, he founded the John Daversa Big Band that released its first studio album, Junk Wagon: The Big Band Album in 2011 to critical acclaim, winning Best in Show and Awards of Excellence in Creativity/Originality and Production in The Global Music Awards. His sophomore album for BFM Jazz, Artful Joy, (2012) features Gretchen Parlato and Bob Mintzer. Daversa earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from The University of California, Los Angeles, a Master of Fine Arts degree in Jazz Studies at California Institute of the Arts, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Jazz Studies at the University of Southern California.
Assistant Professor, Jazz Piano
Martin Bejerano is assistant professor of jazz piano at the University of Miami Frost School of Music. A native of Miami, Florida, Bejerano is a graduate of the New World School of the Arts, Florida State University, and the University of Miami (M.M., Jazz Piano Performance). After winning third place in the prestigious 1999 Great American Jazz Piano Competition, he moved to New York City and joined the quartet of legendary jazz drummer Roy Haynes. In 2004, their recording Fountain of Youth was nominated for a Grammy award for Best Instrumental Jazz Album. In 2002, Martin Bejerano also joined guitarist Russell Malone’s quartet, and continues to tour and record with both groups. He has performed with such jazz luminaries as the Christian McBride Band, Kenny Garrett, Roy Hargrove, Adam Nussbaum, James Moody, Jimmy Heath, Lonnie Plaxico Group and Marcus Printup at major jazz festivals, clubs and venues around the world. He has presented numerous clinics and toured with “Jazz Reach,” a non-profit organization that presents multimedia concerts for school children. In 2007, his debut CD as a leader, Evolution/Revolution (Reservoir) rose to number nine on the Jazz Week Jazz Album Chart. He was recently awarded the New Jazz Works composer/ensemble grant from Chamber Music of America. Bejerano maintains a busy teaching studio at the Frost School and also performs, arranges, records and tours the U.S. and abroad.
Lecturer, Jazz Bass
Chuck Bergeron (jazz bass) is a lecturer in the Department of Studio Music & Jazz at the University of Miami Frost School of Music where he also is the faculty mentor for the Stamps Jazz Quintet. Bergeron teaches jazz history, conducts big bands and small jazz ensembles and is an active clinician at schools throughout the country. He is one of the most active and innovative musicians working in the field of jazz. Equally versatile on the acoustic and electric bass, his unique compositional style and approach to improvisation reflect a wide variety of musical influences. Chuck’s newest CD, My Take – A Collection of Friends and Standards, is his fifth as a leader, and for the last five years he has been bassist and co-arranger for Kevin Mahogany. Born and raised in New Orleans, he earned a B.M. from Loyola University and a M.M. in Jazz Studies from the University of Miami. He then moved to New York, where he resided for 12 years while touring, performing, and recording with such jazz luminaries as Joe Williams, Stan Getz, Randy Brecker, Steve Gadd, Larry Coryell, John Fedchock, Dave Weckland many others— plus the big bands of Woody Herman and Buddy Rich. Never relinquishing his focus on performing, Chuck balances his educational endeavors with a continual schedule of touring, performing, and recording that keep him active year 'round.
Recording artist and world percussionist Richard Bravo is a lecturer in Afro-Caribbean hand drumming at the University of Miami Frost School of Music. Venezuelan-born and classically trained, Richard Bravo arrived in the United States in 1978. He attended Full Sail Academy in Orlando where he immersed himself in the world of recording sciences and graduated with an Associates Degree in Engineering. Moving to Miami shortly afterward, Richard’s resolve and expertise rapidly made him a “first call” musician, who easily assimilated into the high-pressure world of music recording. Richard Bravo has contributed to over two hundred recordings and has worked with such high profile performers as Shakira, Julio Iglesias, Celia Cruz, Ricky Martin, and Jon Secada. As a direct result of many recordings on which he has played reaching gold or platinum status, he received nine Grammy Award Achievement Certificates. Recently, Richard Bravo recorded on the soundtrack for “Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights”; contributed to Spanish singer, David Bisbal’s CD, “Buleria”; played on a new CD by Nestor Torres; and recorded live in New York City with Huey Dunbar. It is his hope that his achievements in world percussion will help to inspire future generations of aspiring musicians to achieve their goals.
Professor and Assistant Chair, Studio Music & Jazz
Don Coffman (jazz bass) is professor and associate chair of the Department of Studio Music and Jazz at the University of Miami Frost School of Music where he also serves as program director of Jazz Pedagogy. He earned his B.M. and M.M. degrees from the University of Miami. He has performed with Sonny Stitt, Jerry Coker, Chet Baker, Ira Sullivan, Pat Metheny, Bill Watrous, Joe Pass, Mike and Randy Brecker, Lee Konitz, Dave Liebman, Red Rodney, Bill Evans, Larry Coryell, Dick Hyman, and many other jazz greats. Coffman also is the artistic director of the Hollywood Jazz Festival. He performs regularly throughout South Florida, and appears regularly on the Gold Coast Jazz Society's annual subscription series.
Director, Frost Salsa Orchestra
Alberto De La Reguera is the director, composer, and arranger for the University of Miami Frost Salsa Orchestra. He has worked in the musical theater, where he received numerous awards, including Musical Director of the Year in San Juan Puerto Rico. He has also worked in commercial music production. De La Reguera has written for various artists including world-class percussionist Giovanni Hidalgo, Tony- nominated actress Josie De Guzman, and has collaborated with Grammy award-winning producer Lucco Pena. He currently serves as vice-president of the Board of Directors of WDNA-Community Public Radio where he is also co-host of the University of Miami Jazz Bandstand, a weekly radio show. Alberto De La Reguera published his music through the University of Northern Colorado Jazz-Press.
Lecturer, Jazz; Director of Community Outreach; HMI Coordinator
Stephen Guerra, Jr., is a jazz composition lecturer in the department of Studio Music and Jazz at the University of Miami Frost School of Music. He is also the conductor of the Frost Studio Jazz Band, winning DownBeat student awards in both 2010 and 2011. In addition he is the Director of Community Outreach for the Frost School and Coordinator of the Henry Mancini Institute. Stephen earned a B.A. from the University of New Hampshire in Saxophone Performance, an M.M. from the Eastman School of Music, and is currently pursuing a D.M.A in Jazz Composition from UM Frost School of Music. In high demand as a composer and arranger, Guerra was commissioned to write music for Dave Koz, Jorge Villamizar, Carmen Bradford, the Lakes Region Symphony Orchestra, the Greater Manchester Youth Symphony Orchestra, the Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra, and the Air Force Band of the West, and served as a composer‐in‐residence throughout the U.S. through the Commission Project and the National Endowment for the Arts. Guerra has performed alongside many jazz greats including Phil Woods, Al Grey, Snooky Young, Marshall Royal, John Faddis, and Jeff “Tain” Watts. He was a featured soloist on the Clark Terry Young Titan’s of Jazz 2003 release Live at Marihan’s and the Louie Bellson Big Band release, Louie and Clark Expedition 2. The Stephen Guerra Big Band released a critically acclaimed first album in 2009 entitled Namesake.
Lecturer, Jazz Guitar
Jazz guitarist John Hart is a lecturer at the University of Miami Frost School of Music. A New York fixture for 29 years, he is one of the most prolific and versatile guitarists on the jazz scene today. He released eight CDs as bandleader on such prestigious labels as Blue Note and Concord and has appeared on over 100 CDs as a sideman, including a 16-year stint with organist Jack McDuff. JazzTimes wrote, “An alum of the Brother Jack McDuff University of Jazz Guitar, John Hart can burn his way through blues changes on a level that’s right up there with fellow graduates George Benson and Pat Martino.” John Hart has also worked with Jimmy Smith, James Moody, Jon Hendricks, Brian Blade, Chris Potter, Larry Goldings, Bob Belden, Javon Jackson and vocalists Lizz Wright and Hilary Kole. He has played with the Maria Schneider Orchestra for the last 20 years. John Hart has headlined at the Montreux Jazz Festival, Edinburgh Jazz Festival, Vancouver Jazz Festival, Nairn Jazz Festival, Victoria Jazz Festival and many of the premier jazz clubs in the USA. He is featured on soundtracks including HBO’s Sex in the City and appeared on the Garrison Keillor Show with the popular band Pink Martini. In 1992 he formed the John Hart Quartet featuring young star Chris Potter. The band toured extensively for seven years, was featured on NPR's Jazzset and recorded one album for Concord Records. In 2001 he formed the John Hart Trio and recorded three CDs for Hep Records. Recent recordings include a jazz organ trio CD on the Index Jazz label.
Professor of Professional Practice, Jazz Saxophone
Gary Keller (jazz saxophone) is professor of professional practice in the Department of Studio Music and Jazz at the University of Miami Frost School of Music. A versatile saxophonist, Gary Keller has toured with the Woody Herman Thundering Herd and performed and/or recorded with such prominent jazz artists as Kenny Werner, Billy Hart, Maria Schneider, Jim McNeely, Ira Sullivan, and the late Jaco Pastorius. In the classical realm, Keller has performed and/or recorded with the Florida Philharmonic, New World Symphony, and others. His debut solo CD, Blues For An Old New Age, garnered widespread critical acclaim. He has appeared in clubs, jazz festivals, and presented guest lectures at universities throughout the United States, Europe, and Japan. Keller is the founder of the Miami Saxophone Quartet and authored the The Jazz Chord/Scale Handbook (Advance Music). A long-time Miami freelance musician, Keller has played on numerous recordings, television shows, in Broadway pit orchestras, and backed scores of prominent entertainers including Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Johnny Mathis, Natalie Cole, Lou Rawls, and Mel Torme. Prof. Keller earned a B.M. from the State University of New York at Fredonia and a M.M. from the University of Miami.
Professor, Jazz Vocal Performance
Rachel Lebon is professor of jazz vocal performance at the University of Miami Frost School of Music where she also coaches musical theatre students and advises students on vocal health concerns. She received B.M. and M.M.E. degrees from North Texas State University and a Ph.D. from the University of Miami. Lebon previously was on the faculty of Belmont College, Nashville, Tennessee, and has toured worldwide with the U.S. Air Force Tops in Blue. She has participated in a U.S. State Department Tour of Russia and Portugal with North Texas University's One O'Clock Jazz Band. Her professional activities include jingles and back-up vocals in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, Nashville, and Miami, and network television specials. Lebon has appeared with the Nashville Opera Quartet and as soloist in various oratorios. She also performs contemporary music in the South Florida area. An active clinician and a member of the Professional Voice Institute, an interdisciplinary team devoted to the treatment of vocal disorders, Lebon's articles have been published in the Journal of the National Association of Teachers of Singing. She is the author of the book, The Professional Vocalist: A Handbook for Commercial Singers and Teachers, published by Scarecrow Press.
Professor and Program Director, Studio Jazz Writing
Grammy-nominated Gary Lindsay is professor and program director, Studio Jazz Writing, at the University of Miami Frost School of Music. Lindsay is an arranger, composer, performer, educator and author. He holds degrees in music from the University of Rhode Island and the University of Miami. As an arranger/composer, Gary has worked with Maynard Ferguson, Michael Brecker, Pat Metheny, Jose Feliciano, Gloria Estefan, Arturo Sandoval, The Florida Philharmonic, and The Airmen of Note, to name a few. In performances, Gary has appeared as a soloist with the Florida Philharmonic, Naples Philharmonic, and in pit orchestras for performances of "West Side Story," "Porgy and Bess," "The Music Man," "The King and I," "Fiddler on the Roof," and more. He composes, arranges and performs with the Miami Saxophone Quartet. Gary has performed on woodwinds with Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Mike and Randy Brecker, Jaco Pastorius, Stanley Turrentine and many others. Gary Lindsay is a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts award and received a Grammy nomination in arranging for "Cherokee" from Arturo Sandoval's "I Remember Clifford" CD. Professor Lindsay has been teaching at the Frost School of Music since 1980.
Lecturer, Jazz Trombone
Dante Luciani is a lecturer in jazz trombone in the Department of Studio Music and Jazz at the University of Miami Frost School of Music where is coordinator of the Jazz Brass program, and conducts the award-winning Frost Concert Jazz Band (CJB). Dante Luciani earned B.M. and M.M. degrees from the University of Miami. Formerly the lead trombonist and soloist with the Woody Herman and Maynard Ferguson Orchestras, Luciani has performed with various artists, including Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Jr., Ben Vereen, Burt Bacharach, Natalie Cole, Anthony Newley, Bob Mintzer, Randy Brecker, and Paquito D'Rivera. Under his leadership, the Frost Concert Jazz Band won the Downbeat Magazine 2010 award for "Large Jazz Ensemble, Graduate College Winner." As a trombone soloist, Dante toured Eastern Europe with his Jazz Quintet and also performed in Istanbul, Turkey at the Nardis Jazz Club for the Istanbul Jazz Festival. He was twice featured as a soloist for the “Salsa Meets Jazz” series at the Arturo Sandoval Jazz Club and in 2005 was featured as an All-Star on The Jazz Cruise.
Associate Professor, Jazz Trumpet
Grammy Award winner Brian Lynch is associate professor of music at the University of Miami Frost School of Music where he teaches jazz trumpet. A highly esteemed musician within both the hardcore straight ahead and Latin Jazz communities, Lynch is as comfortable negotiating the complexities of clave with Afro-Caribbean pioneer Eddie Palmieri as he is swinging through advanced harmony with bebop maestro Phil Woods. A honored graduate of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers and the Horace Silver Quintet, he has been a valued collaborator with jazz artists such as Benny Golson, Toshiko Akiyoshi, and Charles McPherson; Latin music icons as diverse as Hector LaVoe and Lila Downs; and pop luminaries such as Prince. As a bandleader and recording artist he has released a series of critically acclaimed CDs featuring his distinctive composing and arranging, and tours with various ensembles reflecting the wide sweep of his music. He was formerly on the faculty of New York University and conducts clinics and workshops the world over. His talents have been recognized by top placings in the Downbeat Critics and Readers Polls; highly rated reviews for his work in Downbeat, Jazziz and Jazz Times; three Grammy award nominations as well as a 2006 Grammy Award, and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Chamber Music America, and Meet The Composer. Brian Lynch’s most recent CD releases as a leader include Bolero Nights For Billie Holiday (Venus); his Grammy Award winning collaborative recording project with Eddie Palmieri, Simpático (ArtistShare); Spheres Of Influence Suite (EWE); and ConClave (Criss Cross).
Lecturer, Jazz Bass
Nicky Orta is a lecturer in the Department of Studio Music & Jazz at the University of Miami Frost School of Music where he teaches jazz bass and coaches various small groups. A highly sought after electric bassist from the South Florida area, Nicky’s knowledge of many musical styles has landed him world tours, gigs, and recordings with a diverse array of artists such as Sammy Figueroa (with whom Nicky received a Grammy nomination), Arturo Sandoval, Mike Stern, Randy Brecker, Paquito D’Rivera, Julio Iglesias, Cristian Castro, and Gloria Estefan, to name but a few. Aside from being an active performer on the Florida jazz scene, Nicky has given master classes and lectures in the U.S., Africa, Brazil, Costa Rica, Venezuela, and Panama; organized and presented three Jazz Bass Conferences in Miami; taught at the University of Miami Young Musicians Camp; is a Founder of the Miami Jazz Cooperative; and has appeared in various journals and resource sites such as Bass Player, BDGuide, Músico Pro and Forbassplayersonly.com. Nicky contributed a chapter on the electric bass for the book/DVD, Jazz Pedagogy: The Jazz Educator's Handbook and Resource Guide (Warner Bros. 2002).
Associate Professor and Program Director, Jazz Vocal Performance
Kate Reid is associate professor of jazz voice and program director for Jazz Vocal Performance in the Department of Studio Music and Jazz at the University of Miami Frost School of Music. An acclaimed jazz singer and pianist, Reid joined the Frost faculty in 2013 after serving as chair of the music department and head of the applied music and jazz programs at Cypress College in California. She is in demand as a guest artist, clinician and adjudicator at jazz and choral festivals through the United States and Canada. Reid earned M.M. and D.M.A. degrees in Jazz Vocal Performance from UM Frost School of Music and a B.M. in Jazz Studies from Western Michigan University. She has sung and appeared with such notables as Jon Hendricks, Grady Tate, Don Shelton, Mark Murphy, Kevin Mahogany, Paul Anka, Liza Minnelli, Tito Puente, and more. Her latest CD The Love I’m In features saxophonist Ernie Watts and pianist Otmaro Ruis and like her 2008 release Sentimental Mood, it received extensive airplay on jazz radio stations throughout the U.S, Canada, and Europe. Reid also works regularly as a studio/session singer. Recent film credits include Star Trek Into Darkness; Oz, The Great and Powerful; Epic and Men In Black III, singing the music of Danny Elfman, Michael Giacchino and John Powell. She recently lent her voice to a jazz singing character on CBS’s hit show Vegas. Other session work includes commercial spots for T-Mobile and Suntory Whiskey and backing vocals for artists MUSE, X Japan and Josh Groban. She is co-author of the GLEE Vocal Method with producer/author Andy Waterman (Hal Leonard Publishing).
Lecturer, Jazz Percussion
Stephen Rucker (drumset, jazz percussion) is a lecturer and instructor in the Department of Studio Music and Jazz at the University of Miami Frost School of Music. He directs the Funk/Fusion Ensemble, which has won six Downbeat Student Awards; his Drumset Improvisation class is one of the most unique programs in the country. Stephen Rucker has twice been voted “Best Jazz Performer” and “Most Versatile Artist” in South Florida polls. He recorded Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me with Gloria Estefan and performed for many years with Ben Vereen, including appearances with Atlanta Symphony and Dallas Symphony. Stephen Rucker was a member of the Bee Gees for more than ten years, and appeared with the band on the Tonight Show, Oprah Winfrey Show, Today Show, David Letterman, Rosie O’Donnell, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, and a Command Performance for the Queen of England. In 1997 he performed on a Bee Gees concert at the MGM Grand Las Vegas that was mastered as a live CD that sold more than 5 million copies, and led to an extended world tour. Rucker was a member of the Ross-Levine band, a ground-breaking jazz-fusion group, and Randy Bernsen’s Ocean Sound Band, and performed or recorded with Jaco Pastorius, Joe Sample, Paquito D’Rivera, David Liebman, Jon Secada, and the Woody Herman Big Band.
Lecturer, Jazz Piano
Daniel Strange is a lecturer in jazz piano at the University of Miami Frost School of Music where he teaches Jazz Ear Training and all four levels of Jazz Piano class. Additionally, Daniel maintains his own piano studio in Miami, is the director of the Young Musicians All-Star Jazz Ensemble, and performs frequently with his wife, violinist, Ashley Liberty. He is also a faculty member of an outreach conservatory program through the Coral Gables Congregational Church, teaching solo and group piano classes. Since moving to Miami, he has played in orchestra pits for the national touring companies of A Chorus Line and Jersey Boys and with the Stephen Guerra Big Band. Daniel earned his B.M. at the University of Southern Maine, where he was awarded the Excellence in Music award. He completed his Master of Music at the Frost School of Music, where he served as the jazz piano teaching assistant and performed with three of its premiere jazz ensembles including the Jazz Vocal 1 Ensemble, the Frost Sextet and the Grammy nominated Concert Jazz Band. Along his scholastic journey he completed a year of studies at Berklee College of Music.
Lecturer, Jazz Percussion
John Yarling (drumset, jazz percussion) is a lecturer in the Department of Studio Music and Jazz at the University of Miami Frost School of Music. His flawless musicianship and commitment to his art make him the drummer of choice for many South Florida performers such as Ira Sullivan & the Inter-Outer Continental Quintet, The Shack Daddys, South Florida Jazz Orchestra, Brian Murphy Trio, The Nicole Yarling 4-Tet, and the Jeff Taylor Band. John Yarling is at ease playing in many styles including Modern Jazz, Blues, Funk and Rock. In past years he has performed with jazz luminaries Mose Allison, Sonny Stitt, Nat Adderley, Lou Donaldson, Jaki Byard, Jimmy Forrest, Mark Murphy, Mike Stern, Pete Minger, Larry Coryell and Dave Liebman as well as rockers Mick Taylor, Nicky Hopkins and Bobby Keys (The Rolling Stones). He has recorded with Ira Sullivan, Curtis Fuller, Pepper Adams, Joe Williams, Ernest Ranglin, Kevin Mahogany, and most recently, Pink. Yarling attended Florida State University (classical percussion) as well as the University of Miami (jazz performance, drum-set). Earlier in his career he taught general music and percussion at North Broward Preparatory Schools, and established a percussion program at the Florida Youth Conservatory.
Lecturer, Jazz Vocal Performance
Nicole Yarling (jazz vocalist) is a lecturer in jazz vocal performance at the University of Miami Frost School of Music where she also teaches in the Bruce Hornsby Creative American Music program. Nicole Yarling is a rising star in the jazz community. For more than a decade, she has been a part of South Florida's musical world as a singer and violinist working in most musical genres. Her rich voice and musical prowess has made her a local favorite. Yarling has worked with music legends Dizzy Gillespie and Joe Williams as well as touring as a featured soloist with Jimmy Buffett for over two years. She has been a featured guest artist for Jazz on the Green at UM, and for the Gold Coast Jazz Society and is a favorite at such jazz hot spots as Van Dyke Cafe on Miami Beach and Cactus Cantina in South Beach. Her rock band, Little Nicky and the Slicks, also performs regularly.