TJYBF Adjudicators & Clinicians 2018

Adjudicators & Clinicians 2018

Dr. Steve Roach — TJYBF Director

roachSteve has been the Director of Jazz Studies at Sacramento State University since 2001. He has also served as Director of Jazz Studies at Baylor University and has held teaching positions at the University of Northern Colorado and Northern Illinois University. Steve’s duties at Sacramento State include directing large jazz ensembles, the Latin Jazz Ensemble, and teaching courses in jazz pedagogy and jazz history. In addition, Roach directs the annual Winter Jazz Festival and Trad Jazz Youth Band Festival at Sacramento State. Steve holds a Bachelor of Music degree in trumpet performance from Indiana University, a Master of Music degree in trumpet performance from Northern Illinois University, and a Doctor of Arts degree in trumpet and jazz pedagogy from the University of Northern Colorado. Professional appearances as an assisting artist by Roach include studio and live sessions with such jazz/pop musicians as Tito Puente, Louis Bellson, Conrad Herwig, Lou Rawls, Jon Tchicai, Ben Vereen, Melissa Manchester, Toni Tennille, Roberta Flack, Rosemary Clooney, Jeffrey Osbourne, Carl Fontana, Paquito D’Rivera, the Glenn Miller and Jimmy Dorsey Orchestras, and others. Steve is currently serving on the Executive Board for the California Institute for the Preservation of Jazz and the Capital Section of the California Music Educators Association. Roach also works as a clinician and adjudicator for jazz festivals and workshops nationwide and has directed several California high school honor jazz ensembles including the Sacramento Capital Section Honor Jazz Band, the San Mateo Honor Jazz Band, the Fresno-Madera County Honor Jazz Band, and the Solano County High School Honor Jazz Ensemble. For more information on the Sacramento State Jazz Studies program, visit:

Russ Phillips – 2018 Featured Guest Trombonist

Trombonist Russ Phillips was born in Denver, Colorado, but grew up in the Chicago area after his father, Russ Phillips, Sr. left Louis Armstrong’s All Stars as trombonist for 1-1/2 years. Russ began playing trombone at the age of 9 and studied the instrument through his grammar and high school years with various teachers including his father and finally with 2 years of study with the legendary principal trombonist with the Chicago Symphony, Robert Lambert. All through grammar and high school Russ played with every kind of jazz band imaginable, from the very young, initial grade school dixieland bands to professional dance bands every Saturday night during his senior year.

Russ attended college in Missouri and later in Quincy Illinois, where he studied music, continued his trombone studies and played with whatever band was working the most…dixieland, swing or rock-and-roll. During and after college, that versatility proved invaluable in continuing to play professionally. Even after starting a family and settling in Chicago, Russ continued to perform in all manner of ensembles in shows, recording sessions, clubs and private engagements. This while raising a family and working during the day in sales, later in marketing and finally customer relations.

Over the last 25 years, along with performing in and around Chicago, Russ has become active in the jazz festival scene and has performed in dozens of festivals, concerts and jazz cruises throughout the US, in Europe and Australia. In these settings, he has enjoyed playing with Howard Alden, Harry Allen, John Allred, Dan Barrett, Doc Cheatham, Kenny Davern, The Four Freshman, Lionel Hampton, The Woody Herman Orchestra, Dick Hyman, Jon-Erik Kellso, Ken Peplowski, Houston Person, Bucky Pizzarelli, Tom Saunders, Doc Severinsen, Allan and Warren Vache and many others.

Now, retired from working a “day job”, Russ is concentrating even more on trombone playing and enjoying it even more than ever. He leads his own quartet at Chicago’s new Winter’s Jazz Club and enjoys playing with several of the big bands and vintage “swing orchestras” that perform in the area. He has appeared on dozens of CD’s, including four under his own name and four on the Arbors Jazz Label with John Sheridan’s Dream Band.

Russ Phillips, whose trombone style – now robust, now sweet, now silky, now turbulent-like a compendium of all the best elements of trombone style since jazz was born. Russ must be one of the four or five best trombonists now playing traditional jazz.

    Tom Gilmore, Contributor to The Mississippi Rag

Dr. Roach is pleased to announce the following outstanding clinicians for 2017 Festival (in alphabetical order):

Katie Cavera – Bass, Vocals

   Katie Cavera has made a name for herself on the West Coast and in Europe playing 20’s and 30’s classic jazz. She is a rhythm guitar specialist in the style of Freddie Green and Al Casey. She also plays hot 20’s plectrum and tenor banjo, New Orleans style string bass, and sings in the 20’s pop style of Helen Kane and Ruth Etting. Jazz critic Jim Leigh and bandleader/multi-instrumentalist Clint Baker have dubbed her the “California Sunshine Girl” because of her upbeat singing style and sunny stage personality. She currently works at Disney California Adventure with the Ellis Island Boys and with the cabaret performance group Vaud and the Villains. Katie Cavera is originally from Southern Indiana. She attended Indiana University and studied jazz performance and composition with Dr. David Baker, playing with his Jazz Ensemble in a special presentation of Duke Ellington Masterworks at the Smithsonian Institution. Since moving to Southern California, Katie has become a sought-after guitarist, banjoist, and bassist. Her credits include working with Jug Band legend Jim Kweskin, Jim Cullum’s Jazz Band at The Landing in San Antonio, Texas, and members of Turk Murphy’s Jazz Band including Bob Helm, Leon Oakley, and Ray Skjelbred. From 2006 – 2009 she was part of the Jerome Savary production of “à la recherche de Josephine (Looking For Josephine)” a musical about New Orleans Jazz, Hurricane Katrina, and Josephine Baker. Katie played guitar and tenor banjo in the production, and notated the original score written by David Boeddinghaus. The musical premiered at the Opera Comique in Paris, France in the fall of 2006 and returned for an encore presentation in the spring of 2007. The show was nominated for a Molière Award (the national theatre award of France bestowed by APAT, the Association Professionnelle et Artistique du Théâtre) and toured extensively through France and Spain from 2007 – 2008. In 2009 the show toured Austria and Germany and had its American premiere in Montclair, New Jersey.
Katie is a member of ASCAP, a Loar Performing Artist, and a member of the Academy of Magical Arts.

Bill Dendle — Trombone/Guitar/Banjo

Bill began playing banjo in 1963, and by 1967 he performed at Mickie Finn’s in San Diego as leader of the South Market Street Jazz Band. Bill was the lead banjoist at Capone’s Warehouse in Monterey for nine years. 1977 found Bill as an entertainment consultant, banjoist, trombonist, bandleader and entertainer at Florida’s Disney World, where he opened on the Empress Lilly Showboat. In late 1977 he revived the South Market Street Jazz Band. From 1982 to 1995, Bill appeared as one-half of the duo called Goodtime Banjos. Bill is currently director of three trad jazz camp programs and is the lead clinician in the STJS Traditional Jazz Project. He plays trombone, guitar and banjo in Shelley Burns & Avalon Swing, and with Fast Eddie Erickson. Bill has performed with Bob Haggart, Bob Crosby, Johnny Varro, Dick Cary, Abe Most, Nick Fatool, Bob Draga and others. He retired two years ago as Vice-Principal at Lindbergh Ed. Center in Manteca, Ca, and will become the curriculum director and banjo/guitar instructor at Camp Hoagy in Elkhart, Indiana this June 15-22.

Bob Draga — Clarinet

dragaBob’s professional career encompasses over thirty-five years of live performances (national and international) at jazz festivals, jazz cruises, and personal engagements. Previously part of the Titan Hot 7, Bob has been described as Bob performs exclusively on the “high seas” for Jazzdagen Cruises, sailing throughout the world. Since leaving the Garden Avenue Seven, a band he founded and led for twenty-two years, Bob has led several all-star bands, was co-leader of the Draga-Vax Connection for three years, and has worked frequently with Johnny Varro, Tom Saunders, Rick Fay, Bob Haggart, and other world-class jazz performers, and has many recordings to his credit. In addition to playing superb clarinet, Bob presents an almost wicked brand of humor, making him one of the busiest musicians on the trad jazz circuit today. He

Craig Faniani – Piano

fanianiProfessional music educator since 1977 and performer since 1969 – myriad musical settings and styles. Traveled worldwide with students, competed in hundreds of jazz festivals; clinician, adjudicator and conductor for numerous honor bands and jazz bands, and gathered a barn full of trophies. Highlights: Eleven different “teacher of the year” awards, seven Monterey Jazz Festival wins, twenty-five years developing the Rio Americano Band Program, Administrator of the Year – California Music Educators Capitol Section 2012. Realization: Music education, and jazz study in particular, is being recognized as a significant source of student creativity – namely critical thinking, problem solving/finding multiple answers, developing imagination/new ideas, teamwork/collaboration, passion, and teaching perseverance, grit and concentration. These are essential 21st Century skills for college and career not being taught and assessed in most current conventional classrooms. Jazz study is a thinking strategy for success. Enjoy the process.

Steve Homan – Guitar

Steve Homan has performed professionally for over 30 years. He has performed and appeared on recordings with major jazz artists and the Nelson Riddle Concert Orchestra. In addition, Homan has performed, composed and arranged music on CDs featuring The Delbert Bump Jazz Organ Trio and a tribute to the great jazz guitar/piano duets in collaboration with Joe Gilman. In 1998 Steve performed at The Glasgow International Jazz Festival in Scotland with jazz organ legend Jimmy Smith. He performed for the 1998 and 2000 Jazz Ambassadors Program at The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C. Also as part of this program, Steve completed music tours throughout Africa, where he performed and conducted jazz workshops featured on radio and television programs in over 12 countries. In 2003, Steve was a featured performer with the Cosumnes River College Jazz Orchestra at the North Sea Jazz Festival with additional performances in Amsterdam, Paris and England. In 2004 Steve travelled to Sao Paulo, Brazil with jazz accordion legend The Art Van Damme Quintet and performed at the Tim Festival. In 2010 Steve played guitar on jazz drummer Mike Clark’s CD “Carnival of Soul”, which climbed to #8 on the international jazz charts.  Steve currently holds adjunct teaching positions at Cosumnes River College, American River College, and California State University, Sacramento. In addition to maintaining a private teaching studio, Steve teaches at several regional summer jazz camp programs including the Jazzmasters Workshop Jazz Guitar Series, the Sacramento State Jazz Camp, the Brubeck Institute Jazz Camp, and the Brubeck Summer Jazz Colony, UOP.

Ron Jones — Drums

After Ron retired from playing drums with the US Air Force show bands for many years, he backed up such prime time entertainers as Frankie Laine, Kay Starr, the Ink Spots, and Diahann Carroll. Since he moved to Sacramento in the early 1980s, he’s played with many top West Coast jazz bands. A member of the Youth Band Festival committee and immediate Past President of the STJS board of directors, Ron is a very popular drummer on the national jazz festival circuit and performs with Sister Swing and the Draga Quartet. Ron and the TJYBF Clinicians Band were selected from a highly competitive, field of applicants to present a performance at the first west coast convention of the national JEN (Jazz Education Network) last month in San Diego.

Midiri Brothers – Joe on Reeds and Paul on Vibes/ Trombone

The Midiri Brothers have made music, both jazz and classical, the focus of their lives since graduating Glassboro State College in the mid 1980s. On recordings they can be heard leading groups ranging from trios, quintets, sextets and big bands all featuring Joe’s outstanding clarinet and saxophones and Paul on the vibraphone, xylophone, marimba, drums and trombone!

After spending nearly a decade working in Philadelphia, New York and Atlantic City, they began to branch out. They performed first at The Great Connecticut Jazz Festival where in July 2009 they can still be heard. In 2002 the group made their west coast debut and since that time are featured at many west coast jazz festivals including Mammoth Lakes Jazz Festival, Monterey Jazz Festival, The Pismo Jubilee by the Sea, Redwood Coast Music Fest, and Sun Valley Swing-n-Dixie Jazz Jubilee, as well as the Central Illinois Jazz Fest in Decatur, Ill. The Midiri Brothers have also played for many jazz clubs from Chicago to Florida. They have had major articles written about them in both The Mississippi Rag and The American Rag, both respected jazz newspapers. The L.A. Jazz Magazine stated ” Catch them whenever you can!” as well as ” their sextet is one of the most exciting small group swing units around today.” They can also be heard in their home state of N.J. playing both concerts and dances. Two of the most popular concert venues, both run by their good friend and supporter Bruce Gast, are the Bickford Theater in Morristown, N.J. and Ocean County College. The Golden Inn in Avalon N.J. has featured the Midiri Brothers Big Band as part of their Big Band Get Away weekend package for nearly a decade. The big band features many of the arrangements of Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw and the Dorsey Brothers as well as many of their own arrangements. The Diversity of the Midiri Brothers can be heard on their many recordings, notably “Trees”, “A Shaw Thing”, “In The Garden” And “Finger Bustin’”. Recently they have recorded two CDs with the Brooks Tegler Orchestra and one with Harry Salotti. ”

David Robinson — Cornet/Trumpet

robinsonDave has played and toured with the top traditional jazz and swing bands in the Washington, D.C. area for over 30 years, and currently leads the Conservatory Classic Jazz Band. He is Adjunct Professor of Music at George Mason University, where he teaches traditional jazz. Dave is the founder of the Traditional Jazz Educators Network (TJEN), is past President of the American Federation of Jazz Societies (AFJS), and has produced the Smithsonian’s Jazz Concert Series. Dave has directed the award-winning Capital Focus Jazz Band youth group since 1988. For three years he hosted “The French Quarter,” heard nationally on Sirius XM Satellite Radio. He has served on the faculties of the STJS Trad Jazz Camp and the National Jazz Workshop summer camp at Shenandoah University, as well as on the resource teams and committees of the Jazz Education Network (JEN) and the National Association for Music Education (NAME). He is the author and producer of the nationally-acclaimed Traditional Jazz Curriculum Kit, published in partnership with the Jazz Education Network (JEN), the Smithsonian, the National Endowment for the Arts, and various foundations, including the Sacramento Traditional Jazz Society Foundation.” Dave helped launch the TJYBF in 2006 and has participated every year since.

Jason Wanner – Piano


In younger days, Jason’s dad used to bring him to the Sac. Jazz Jubilee, where his love for jazz grew. As a Music Award recipient, he played for TNT, the STJS-sponsored youth band. Jason went from being a student at the STJS Jazz Camp to earning his place as an instructor there. Jason performs regularly with Blue Street, appears every so often with Sister Swing and is a frequent guest artist at jazz festivals. He enjoys composing and arranging for a variety of shows, films, and recordings, and performing with his 11-piece swing band, Swing Syndicate. Jason studied music for one year at USC but returned north to graduate from the California State University Sacramento School of Music with a Bachelor of Music in Classical Piano Performance. Three years ago, Jason was selected as the Musician of the Year by Dixieland Monterey.