Background

A teaching artist is “an artist who chooses to artfully include educating others, beyond teaching the technique of the art form, as an active part of a career.” – The Music Teaching Artist Bible: Becoming a Virtuoso Educator by Eric Booth

I absolutely love teaching. In addition to doing masterclasses and clinics, I maintain an active and successful private studio with students earning Regionals, All-State and National Honor Band honors. I’m passionate and energetic. I enjoy problem solving and finding solutions. I’m creative and care deeply about my students. It’s not just about each lesson, it’s about the journey and the process. My students get my thought and attention between lessons as well. I enjoy coming up with solutions and setting goals to help my students improve. I want them to not just achieve their goals, but surpass them. I’m clear and direct, so you will always know what to work on and how to work on it.

I have a very diverse musical background, with experiences in almost every musical situation imaginable. I graduated from Arizona State University in 2003 with my BA in Music. From 2005 – 2011 I taught saxophone, clarinet, bassoon and jazz band at Arizona School for the Arts.

My most influential teachers include
Mike Crotty
Wildy Zumwalt
Elizabeth Buck
Dave Schmidt
Jim Henry
Anne Watson
Pete Vivona
Chuck Marohnic
David Freisen

I practice what I preach, so you can see me performing in a wide variety of musical situations all over Arizona. As a professional musician, I have played in big bands, jazz combos, pit orchestras, rock bands, chamber ensembles, concert bands, and orchestras. I regularly perform on all the saxophones, flute and piccolo, clarinet and bass clarinet. I enjoy a diverse and creative career performing all kinds of music. I am  an active member of AFM Local 586 – American Federation of Musician – Arizona. Currently I have 6 bands that I am a member:

  • Doublers Collective – a progressive jazz saxophone quintet made up of professional doublers
  • Superstition Jazz Orchestra – pro big band based out of Phoenix College
  • Hot Birds & the Chili Sauce – a funky, R&B, soul group
  • Pangean Orchestra – a unifying world orchestra
  • Sonoran Serenade Big Band – working big band available for weddings and corporate events
  • Wicked Children – a creative jazz ensemble mainly focused on unique arrangements of Radiohead tunes.

I’m a huge proponent of professional development, and I take lessons myself to help me be a better musician and a better teacher. Recently I’ve taken lessons with Chris Vadala, Ben Wendel (from Kneebody), Miles Osland, and Nick Mazzarella. I’m an active member of the Jazz Education Network (JEN)North American Saxophone Alliance (NASA), and the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) and I attend their national conferences. This gives me a great opportunity to attend clinics, see concerts and performances, and network with some of the leading performers and educators from across the world.

I earned the prestigious SURDNA Arts Teachers Fellowship Grant in 2010 to study jazz improvisation and a Professional Growth Grant from the Arizona Commission for the Arts in 2011. I’m an artist with United States Artists Projects and a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas.

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