Jon Hamar is a versatile artist who's ability to find a tasteful, unique voice in any musical situation has made him a staple in the Northwest music scene. Hamar's friendly nature, sense of humor and work ethic has kept him busy as a freelance bassist in multiple genres, composer and educator. In 2003 Jon released a “mostly” solo bass cd on Pony Boy Records featuring his own compositions as well as arrangements of songs that he grew up listening to. “I looked back to those songs that upon hearing for the first time I could not stop singing in my head.” This resulted in an “amazing selection of solo upright works that captivate the imagination and free the mind. Playing melody along with supporting lines, Hamar invokes the essence of jazz, pop and Celtic moods. Joined by drums and sax on a few cuts, Hamar leads the way from the bottom (Pony Boy Review). In addition to his role as a leader, since moving to Seattle in 2001 Hamar has been active in the role of supporting bassist. Jon has been busy as a recording artist playing on multiple cds with singer/songwriting artists including Wendy Huckins, Brian Finnell, Hans York, Eric Goetz and Bobby Krier. Recently Hamar played on Brian Owens' disc Unmei, released on the OA2 label from Origin Records and will be heard on Carl Tanner's upcoming release “Hear the Angels Sing” on Sony Classical. Jon has recently been performing with Jay Thomas, Ernestine Anderson, the Greg Williamson Quartet and the Axiom Quartet.
Michael Stegner, piano, is originally from Mt. Sterling, Kentucky, though he has lived in Seattle for more than a decade. Michael is the founder of CMA, and he plays and teaches piano and voice, as well as songwriting/composition classes. After hearing Miles Davis' "Sketches of Spain," Michael became fascinated with jazz and improvised music. Subsequently, he attended the University of Miami, where he earned a BA in Jazz Studies in Piano Performance. Over the years, he has studied with Jeff Laibson, Jay Flippin, Margorie Murphy, Vince Maggio, Ron Miller, Michael Orta, and Robin Holcomb. Currently, Michael is the leader of Michael Stegner’s Fascination Nation; “A Song for You,” the music of Ray Charles and Leon Russell; and he regularly participates in various freelance piano and songwriting projects. He has toured throughout the USA and Canada, and has performed locally at The Triple Door Mainstage, The Moore Theater, The Tractor Tavern, The Royal Room, and The Knitting Factory in NYC. Michael has released several albums on both NCM East and CMA Records. These include his years as a member of the The Jongleurs where he toured and released four recordings between 1995 and 1999. In 2003, he released Spirit Tuck, in 2007 The Fantastic Adventures of an Amphibian Named Jamal, and in 2011 released Fascination Nation. Michael has had the honor of playing alongside many notable musicians throughout his career, including Michael Shrieve (Santana), Skerik, Lee Oskar (WAR), Randy Brecker, Reggie Watts, John Wicks (Fitz and the Tantrums), Kevin Sawka, Wayne Horvitz, Cuong Vu, Robin Holcomb, Aiko Shimada, Alan White (Yes & John Lennon), and M. Doughty (Soul Coughing), among others. Students who have studied with Michael have gone on to receive middle school and high school awards from Downbeat Magazine as well as full scholarships to Berklee College of Music, The University of Miami, and the University of Texas.
Guitarist and Educator Frank Seeberger has been performing and teaching professionally for over 30 years. Frank holds a Bachelor’s degree in both Classical Guitar Performance and Education from CWU. He’s also a graduate of the internationally recognized New England Conservatory of Music, where he earned his Master’s degree in Jazz Studies. He served on the jazz faculty of Pacific Lutheran University for 10 years as a lecturer in Jazz Guitar, and is currently an instrumental music teacher for the Seattle Schools. Frank has studied with jazz guitarists Mick Goodrick and Gene Bertoncini, composer George Russell, and pianist/educator Charlie Banacos.
A versatile player, he’s also a favorite Seattle area studio musician, with many movie scores, commercials, video games, and albums to his credit. Frank has performed live with numerous jazz legends such as Gunther Schuller, Curtis Fuller, Sam Rivers, Ernestine Anderson, as well as national smooth jazz artists Jackiem Joyner, Dominic Amato, and Darren Motamedy. Frank is also a member of the Full Circle Jazz Ensemble, performing the arrangements of jazz pianist/composer Bob Hammer.
Garey Williams has played drums professionally in the Northwest since the 80’s working with numerous bands and many notable Jazz musicians including Diana
Krall, Kristin Korb, Bud Shank, Barney McClure, Howard Roberts, Joe Williams, Dizzy Gillespie, Clay Jenkins, Inger Jensen, Eddie Daniels,and many more.
As a drummer and educator, Garey has become one of the most sought after teachers and performers in the Northwest. Garey received his Masters of Music in Percussion Performance & Jazz Studies from Central Washington University in 1993. Garey has been reviewed in Modern Drummer, Rhythm Magazine, Percussive Notes and numerous regional and local newspapers. As a studio musician, Garey has recorded over 50 commercial CDs, as well as, for radio & television.
Garey has released three instructional DVDs, endorses and conducts clinics for DW Drums, Crescent Cymbals, Regal Tip Sticks, Remo Drumheads, Latin Percussion, Ahead Cases and is the author of, The Hi Hat Foot distributed by, Alfred Publishing.
John Harbaugh is the Professor of trumpet at Central Washington University.
His professional experience includes international tours with Tom Jones, Paul Anka, and Buddy Rich. He appears on three Grammy nominated albums and has recorded as a jazz soloist with the London Symphony. He performed as a jazz soloist with the CWU Jazz Band at the 2009 Western International Band Clinic, again in 2005 as both a clinician and soloist and in 2004 . He is principal trumpet in the Yakima Symphony and has been a member of regional orchestras in Iowa, Washington, and Alaska.
He continues to be a working musician recently having worked in bands behind Charo, Bob Newhart, Manheim Steamroller,the Disney touring company of "High School Musical" and "The Color Purple" He was director and executive producer of "A New and Different Way of Getting More Music Out of Trumpet" which was re-released on DVD in 2007 This 3 DVD series documents Professor William Adam's pedagogical concepts for playing and teaching trumpet.
He is currently a board member of the National Trumpet Competition and continues to work as a soloist/ clinician for C.G. Conn/Selmer Corporation and has appeared in the U.S. Canada, and Taiwan.
Saxophonist and composer Greg Sinibaldi, has established himself as one of Seattle’s most inventive musicians, embracing a diverse musical world. Whether he’s performing with his groups Goat or Burn List, playing EWI in a metal band, or composing new chamber music, he brings forth a characteristic and unique performance each time he plays. Inspired by a wide range of music and art, Greg has developed a unique improvisational language, developing a virtuosic and rich sonic palette. Inspired by collaborations with many musical innovators Greg has worked and performed with Gunther Schuller, Jimmy Giuffre, Wayne Horvitz, Cuong Vu, Robert Dick, Amy Denio, John Edwards, Dave Douglas, Bill Frisell, Ted Poor, Matt Moran, Rueben Radding, Jesse Canterbury and many others. He has toured with many different bands and can be heard on numerous recordings including Frieze of Life’s Nuclear Frog Pond, Uncle Pooch’s Oneirophrenia, Goat’s Special Agent, and most recently on Burn List’s debut album. Greg has been the recipient of grants from the Puffin Foundation, Jack Straw Foundation, Centrum, 4Culture and The City of Seattle and has been Artist in Residence at the Banff Center, the Atlantic Center for the Arts and Centrum. He studied at the New England Conservatory working with a wide range of artists, including George Garzone, Jimmy Guiffre, and Joe Maneri. He is currently a faculty member at the University of Washington as an Artist in Residence.
Jeff Sizer started performing in Seattle area R&B Bands while still a high school student in 1971. He experienced four years of road life with “Jim Brady and the Sonics” and played some “hot and savage swing” in the “New Deal Rhythm Band”. Venues included Vegas, Lake Tahoe, the Bahamas and the LA Playboy Club. A published composer, Jeff won the National Association of Jazz Educators composition contest in 1981 for his big band piece, “Samba These Days”. His compositions and arrangements have been performed at the NAJE Conference, the International Trombone Convention and at many Jazz Festivals.
Jeff has been a music educator for 32 years in public schools and at Shoreline Community College. His performing groups have won awards at all levels from Middle School to College. He continues to be an active performer, having played in the “Seahawks Band” and backing up many artists including Dionne Warwick, Julio Iglesias, The Ojays, Buddy DeFranco and Clark Terry on either trombone or piano. He currently performs with 10 piece funk band, The Depot Street Syncopators, the Treasure Valley Jazz Orchestra, and in the Rock Creek Jazz Quartet with his wife Gina and children, Dan and Kate.
Jazz Review calls Seattle-based saxophonist and composer Steve Treseler “a bona fide big player in the arena of straight-ahead jazz who provides just enough other ingredients to keep it all fascinating and fresh.” In addition to leading his own band, Treseler is a regular member of the Jim Knapp Orchestra, Wayne Horvitz’s Washington Composers Orchestra (WACO), and the Tom Varner Nonet. He has performed with jazz greats Kenny Wheeler, Bill Frisell, Bob Brookmeyer, Dave Douglas, George Russell, George Garzone, Ingrid Jensen, John Medeski, Pete Christlieb, Darcy James Argue, Terri Lyne Carrington, Donny McCaslin, and Kobie Watkins. Growing up in Edmonds, WA, Steve began playing the clarinet in school band at age ten and picked up tenor saxophone in middle school. He got serious about playing jazz in high school, and he immersed himself in the classic recordings of Lester Young, Clifford Brown, John Coltrane, and Thelonious Monk. He began to compose original music and joined a youth New Orleans jazz band that performed in festivals up and down the west coast. Steve continued his education on scholarship at New England Conservatory of Music in Boston where he studied with jazz legends Jerry Bergonzi, Bob Brookmeyer, George Garzone and Steve Lacy. He graduated with distinction in performance and was named “Outstanding Soloist” in the college division by DownBeat magazine. In 2003 Steve returned to Seattle to perform, teach, and work on new projects. He released his debut album Resonance in 2008, and his 2013 release Center Song features renowned trumpeter Ingrid Jensen.
Steve is an in-demand educator in Seattle. He has a large studio of private students, and he presents workshops on jazz and improvisation throughout the Pacific Northwest.
Chris Bruya, Jazz Camp Director, has been at the forefront of jazz education for over 30 years at multiple levels in the jazz ecosystem. In his current position as Director of Jazz Activities at Central Washington University, he has pioneered a hybrid improvisation sequence that develops a student’s ear and inner voice, has developed the small group program in both traditional and creative genres, and has succeeded in placing the big band program on the same level as many of the most prestigious programs in the country, performing at the Montreux, North Sea and Next Generation (Monterey) jazz festivals, and at the 2012 and 2013 Jazz Educators Network (JEN) Conferences. In March of 2015 his band won the Next Generation Festival and will appear at the Monterey Jazz Festival in September 2015. Just released on Origin Records, “Show Me”, a collaboration with the great jazz organist Barney McClure, garnered a 5-star review on allaboutjazz.com. A 2008 CWU Jazz Band CD “In A Mellow Tone” (SeaBreeze Records) was cited by Jazz Times critic Scott Yanow as “consistently impressive and well worth hearing”. Chris has served on the state music educator boards and was an IAJE president of both Washington State and Oregon and has organized state and Northwest jazz ensembles numerous times. Chris’ presentations at state and Northwest conventions have brought numerous accolades and he is in demand as a clinician and adjudicator throughout the Northwest and beyond. He has shared the stage with some true heavyweights of today, including Wycliffe Gordon, Terell Stafford, Gary Hobbs, Ingrid Jensen, Bobby Shew, Eddie Daniels, Nancy King, Dave Pietro, David Friesen, and more.
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After 34 years with the Central Washington University Music Department, Larry Gookin is leaving a p