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2021 Contributors

Ryan Korb
Ryan Drums Smile copy - Appleton Music A

Ryan Korb is an in-demand educator and performer. A native of Billings, Montana, Ryan won the 1990 Governor’s Scholarship to attend the National Music Camp in Interlochen, Michigan. After music school, Ryan has sought out some of the most influential musicians in the country to study drumming and jazz. Drum set great Jeff Hamilton and master Afro-Cuban musician Michael Spiro have been two of his greatest mentors and inspirations. Ryan has spent extensive time studying music abroad in India and Cuba. Ryan now coleads the Afro-Cuban drum trio, Africa->West. The trio plays original compositions based on traditional West African and Cuban music. In addition to their residency at the Baldwin Wallace Conservatory of Music in Cleveland, Ohio, the group has released 5 recordings. The trio was featured with Valerie Naranjo (Saturday Night Live Orchestra) at the Percussive Arts Society’s International Convention. As a sideman, Ryan has performed with Aretha Franklin, Frank Sinatra, Jr., Bill Mays, Russell Malone, Byron Stripling, John Fedchock, Llew Matthews, Tamir Hendelman, Valerie Naranjo (SNL orchestra), and Barry Olsen. In addition to drum set, Ryan has performed as percussionist on the touring Broadway productions of Wicked, Spamalot, and others. Ryan has played on numerous recordings and has been seen at many jazz festivals and venues internationally. He is also on faculty at Baldwin Wallace University, Lawrence University, and University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.

Alexa Tarantino is an award-winning, vibrant, young jazz saxophonist, woodwind doubler, composer, and educator. Alexa’s “lovely, ardent way of improvising,” and “sharply plotted but gracefully unencumbered straight-ahead jazz [compositions]” (The New York Times) establish her individual voice which shines through as a dynamic performer and educator. Tarantino was recently named one of the “Top 5 Alto Saxophonists of 2019” by the JazzTimes Critics’ Poll and nominated as a “Rising Star - Alto Saxophone” by Downbeat Magazine’s 2020 Critics’ Poll.


She has performed regularly as a leader and sidewoman in a wide variety of ensembles and genres including the Cecile McLorin Salvant Quintet, Cecile McLorin Salvant’s OGRESSE Ensemble, Ulysses Owens Jr.’s Generation Y, LSAT (quintet co-led with baritone saxophonist Lauren Sevian), Arturo O’Farrill & The Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra, Sherrie Maricle & the DIVA Jazz Orchestra, the Alexa Tarantino Quartet. Firefly, Alexa’s third record for Posi-Tone Records released April 30, 2021. Her previous album, Clarity, peaked at #9 on the JazzWeek Charts and landed at #54 for JazzWeek’s Top 1— records of 2019.


Tarantino is currently on faculty for Jazz at Lincoln Center's Youth Programs (High School Jazz Academy, Let Freedom Swing/Jazz for Young People) and represents the organization as a Clinician and Educator for various schools, festivals, and workshops. She holds a Master’s degree in Jazz Studies from The Juilliard School and Bachelor’s degrees in Jazz Saxophone Performance and Music Education from the Eastman School of Music. Alexa is Founder and Director of the Rockport Jazz Workshop in Rockport, Massachusetts and Co-Founder of A Step Ahead Jazz with pianist Steven Feifke. Alexa Tarantino is a Vandoren Artist and Yamaha Performing Artist.

Alexa Tarintino
Alex Iles

Trombonist Alex Iles enjoys a varied and successful career in many musical settings as an active member of the musically diverse Southern California freelance performing and recording community. Alex has established himself as a very in-demand trombonist/low brass performer, recording artist and educator.

Among the varied palette of artists with whom Alex has performed and/or recorded are: Joe Cocker, James Horner, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Alan Jackson, Zubin Mehta, Kid Cudi, The Tonight Show, Sir Neville Marriner, Hans Zimmer, Johnny Mathis, Lalo Shifrin, Natalie Cole, The Who, Meghan Trainor, Jeffrey Kahane, Danny Elfman, Ray Charles, Trevor Rabin, Harry Connick, Jr., Henry Mancini, Josh Grobin, John Zorn, Terence Blanchard, Barbra Streisand, John Williams, Fallout Boy, Thomas Ades, Neil Young, Johnny Mandel, Paul McCartney, and Prince.


Alex has toured as lead and solo jazz trombonist with Woody Herman and Maynard Ferguson. He has performed and recorded as a regular member of many of the top big bands and jazz groups in the Los Angeles area including Bob Florence’s Limited Edition, Tom Kubis Big Band and he was an original member of Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band. He has performed on The Motion Picture Academy Awards, The Emmy Awards, Golden Globe Awards, The People’s Choice Awards and hundreds of television series and motion picture soundtracks including Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Rogue One, Frozen, La La Land, Up, The Incredibles, X-Men, Secret Life of Pets, Avatar, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., LOST, and Transformers.

David Story

David Story is the Associate Professor of Bass at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (UW-SP). He has performed throughout the U.S. and is active as a classical soloist, chamber and orchestral musician, and freelance jazz artist. Story has performed with numerous Broadway shows and in live chamber music broadcasts for both Michigan and Wisconsin Public radio. He is a two-time semi nationalist in the International Society of Bassists classical soloist competition and a recipient of three Downbeat awards as a member of the Kruiziki Transatlantica Quintet. Since his appointment at UW-SP in 2005, Story has taught courses in jazz improvisation, music history, music theory, jazz ensemble, jazz combos, and chamber strings. He received his M.M. in performance from Western Michigan University where he studied with Tom Knific as a graduate fellow. He earned his B.M. in performance from UW-SP under virtuoso Catalin Rotaru.

Story, Dave
Barb Catlin
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Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Barb Catlin has become one of the leading jazz educators in the Southwest. After eighteen successful years in Arizona, she recently returned to her home state of California where she is currently teaching at Pomona College, the California Institute of Technology, and Pasadena City College. Barb has many accolades as a jazz pianist (including named as a Downbeat “Player to Catch”), but is equally well-known for her tenure as musical director of the highly acclaimed youth honor jazz program, The Young Sounds of Arizona, as well as her years as director of jazz studies at Mesa Community College.

Barb majored in music education on woodwinds at California State University at Fresno, graduated Summa Cum Laude from Grand Canyon University and completed, with honors, her Master’s in Music Education with an emphasis in Jazz Studies on piano from Arizona State University.

Her enthusiasm for playing, “real-life” approach to education, and expertise in the rhythm section has made Barb a popular clinician and adjudicator at the high school and college levels. Barb has directed many honor ensembles including the Arizona All-State High School Jazz Band and the 2017 California All-State Junior High School Jazz Band. She has been a featured clinician/guest artist at Fred Sturm’s acclaimed Lawrence Jazz Festival, Kris Berg’s Collin Jazz Festival, Paul Lucceksi’s San Joaquin Jazz Festival, the N.A.U Jazz Festival, and has presented clinics at state conferences both in Arizona and California. Barb was awarded a “Lifetime Achievement Award” by Jazz in Arizona for her outstanding contribution to jazz education in the state of Arizona. 

Sal is a member of The Tom Kubis Big Band, and can be heard with Gordon Goodwin's critically acclaimed Grammy Award Winning Big Phat Band.  A few of the artists Sal has also recorded with include Paul McCartney, Natalie Cole, John Legend, Christina Aguilera, Lady Gaga, Stevie Wonder, Lalo Schifrin, Brian McKnight, Michael Buble, Keely Smith, Barbra Streisand, Joey DeFrancesco, and Maynard Ferguson.
     Sal has been a member of the Dancing with the Stars House Band and the Academy Awards Orchestra along with numerous other television and commercial credits. He has also performed at the Gala for the President at Ford's Theater in Washington D.C. and as a soloist with the Pacific Symphony, The San Diego Symphony and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
      Sal can be heard on numerous movie soundtracks including Incredibles 2, Straight Outta Compton, LaLa Land, Sing, Joy, The Secret Life of Pets, Joy, Ice Age 5, National Treasure, Legally Blonde, Phineas and Ferb the last three Star Trek movies and Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, to name a few. He frequently occupies the principal chair at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles as well as the Pasadena Playhouse.  Shows include Newsies, Follies, Grey Gardens, The Drowsy Chaperone, Chicago, The Producers and Edward Scissorhands.

Sal is currently a Professor of Saxophone at California State University Long Beach and conducts clinics and master classes across the country. He is also a clinician for Disney's Performing Arts Workshops at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Ca as well as Disney's All American College Band at Disneyland.

Sal Lozano
Marcus Printup
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Born and raised in Conyers, Georgia, Marcus Printup's first musical experiences came from hearing the fiery gospel music his parents sang in church. He would later discover jazz as a senior in high school. 

Marcus attended Georgia State University, then transferred to the University of North Florida on a music scholarship. It was during his studies at UNF that he competed and won the prestigious International Trumpet Guild Jazz Trumpet Competition

In 1991, Mr. Printup's life would change when he met his mentor and friend-to-be, the incomparable pianist Marcus Roberts. Mr. Roberts introduced him to world renowned trumpeter, Wynton Marsalis which in time led to the invitation to join the Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra in 1993. Since then, Marcus has established and held third chair in the trumpet section and contributes regularly to the orchestra as an arranger and composer.

Among many others, Mr. Printup has performed/recorded with Betty Carter (an inductee into Ms. Carter's first Jazz Ahead class in 1994), Dianne Reeves, Eric Reed, Cyrus Chestnut, Wycliffe Gordon, and Marcus Roberts. 

Eric Richards, a native of Pittsburgh, is a versatile composer/arranger, conductor, trombonist and educator active in a wide range of musical media and genres. As a composer who defines himself as a “contemporary American eclectic”, he has written music for groups ranging from rural high school marching bands to chamber music ensembles to nationally recognized big bands and symphony orchestras. 


As a conductor and clinician, Eric has worked in a broad array of settings ranging from live concerts of jazz, concert, and chamber music to professional recording sessions. He has led numerous ensembles in performances, recordings, rehearsals, and clinics.

Eric’s work as a composer/arranger and trombonist has been heard at the Montreux, Vienne, North Sea, and Nice Jazz Festivals in Europe and in performances across the United States, Europe, Asia and India. As a trombonist, he has performed with numerous ensembles to include: The US Army Jazz Ambassadors, The US Army Field Band, The Omaha Jazz Orchestra, The Nebraska Jazz Orchestra, the Washington DC–based Klezmer group Lox & Vodka, and numerous commercial and variety bands. He has shared the stage with artists such as Bob Brookmeyer, Dave Liebman, Joe Morello, Jim Pugh, Ben Vereen, Jack Jones, and The Fifth Dimension.


Dr. Richards is the Associate Professor of Composition and Jazz Studies at the
University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) School of Music, situated in the Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts

Dr. Eric Richards
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Linda Myers
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Linda Myers is a veteran educator and presenter. She has taught high school computer science and mathematics for 29 years and has served as both a department chair and district math coordinator. (However, she always wishes she would have been a band director!) For the past 7 years she had been serving 22 school districts in the CESA 9 region of Wisconsin by providing professional development and district support in the areas of curriculum development, standards implementation, student engagement, Educator Effectiveness, assessment, and educator resilience and self-care. She holds a BS in Mathematics and Computer Science, MA in Education, Administration and Curriculum. Linda always brings her personal experience, practical knowledge, and humor to her interactive presentations. 

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