Contributing Lesson Author Biographies
Chuck Webb is a first call electric & acoustic bassist who has toured the world many times performing with such notable artists as Aretha Franklin, Ramsey Lewis, David Sanborn, Al DiMeola, Grover Washington Jr., Freddie Hubbard and many others. As one of Chicago's top studio bassists Chuck has performed on hundreds of records, commercial jingles and sound tracks. A graduate of University of Miami's Frost School of Music, Chuck is a member of the National Federation of Musicians and the National Educators Association.
A versatile writer & producer, in addition to his newly released solo CD, film scores, sample CD, jazz and contemporary projects, Chuck is also the creator of the critically acclaimed educational music programs "Mind Games," and “Multiply This.” These CDs are being successfully utilized by school systems and individuals throughout the country and as far abroad as Canada, Germany and Australia. Diverse groups such as the NEA and the Congressional Black Caucus have featured Chuck lecturing on the role of music in education.
Chuck is also on the faculty of Columbia College Chicago's music department, serving as coordinator of bass studies, bass instructor, ensemble director and coordinator of the Contemporary, Urban and Popular Music ensemble program.
Born October 25 1966, Jonathan started drumming in church services at the age of six, all the while gaining a solid music background through the choir director, his mother. Having such strong progressive roots in gospel meant that during his high school years he found it easy to transition into jazz.
After attending the University of Miami, Frost School of Music, Jonathan formed and directed the modem jazz band Decision. In fact, his first real break came when Decision opened for Dizzy Gillespie at the legendary trumpeter’s seventieth birthday celebration. Later, while working as a freelance musician, he found himself on stage with top-flight artists including Stanley Turrentine, Monty Alexander, Lou Donaldson and Mongo Santamaria.
Versatility once again came into play when in 1988. Jonathan joined steel drum great Othello Molineaux and toured the U.S. promoting the CD It’s About Time, which features his drumming on six tunes. Then, in 1990, Jonathan stepped out of the jazz arena to spend the next three years playing the R&B circuit and touring extensively with Grammy Award-winning vocalist Betty Wright and recording her CD B-Attitudes.
Jonathan re-entered the jazz scene in 1993, joining legendary Weather Report founder Josef Zawinul in his band The Zawinul Syndicate before touring with Latin jazz flutist Nestor Torres in 1994, which in turn led to joining chart-topping saxophonist David Sanborn in 1995. Next up, Jonathan join multi-Grammy-winning jazz/world guitarist Pat Metheny for the Asian portion of the Pat Metheny Group’s We Live Here tour in October 1995.
Between 1996 and 1998 Jonathan maintained a rigorous touring and recording schedule with major artists Al Jarreau, Mike Stern and Bill Evans, as well as performing on the Grammy-winning Randy Brecker album Into The Sun, in late 1998.
Touring with pop superstar Ricky Martin was next, first on the Vuelve tour of 1999, then the Livin la Vida Loca promo tour in 2000, after which Jonathan teamed up with all-star jazz-fusion band Yellowjackets and performed with bass sensation Richard Bona.
By 2004, Jonathan was drummer and musical director for Joss Stone’s Soul Sessions tour, which led to him meeting and marrying Joss’s mother, Wendy.
After relocating from the U.S. to Devon, Jonathan stepped away from touring so he and Wendy could concentrate on opening a live music venue. Not only did Mama Stone’s become a well-known destination for live music, it offered an artist development program that provided guidance and support for young musicians, as well as a stage to many up-and-coming artists. In 2010, whilst running Mama Stone’s, Jonathan received his second Grammy Award, this one as recording engineer on the Joss Stone track This Little Light Of Mine.
When Jeff Beck met Jonathan while guesting with Joss at Mama Stone’s, the guitarist realized that Jonathan was a drummer who appealed to his sense of what ‘real’ drumming was all about. So as of 2013, a year that included such highlights as playing Eric Clapton’s famed Crossroads Festival and the critically acclaimed Jeff Beck/Brian Wilson tour, Jonathan was once again touring the world.
Bill Boris is a prolific jazz guitarist who performs throughout the Chicago area. Bill attended Berklee College of Music and received his B.A. from Notre Dame University. He has performed or recorded with David “Fat Head” Newman, Fred Wesley, Tony Monaco, Marco Pignataro, Geof Bradfield, Arthur Prysock, Eric Alexander, Charles Earland, Irene Reid, and Robert Irving III. He played on the Mike Frost Project C.D., “Comin’ Straight at You”, which was nominated for a Grammy in 2007. Bill released his debut C.D. “Hold Back” in 1999, featuring original compositions. He has performed at the Chicago Jazz Festival, the Barbados Jazz Festival, the Kaunas Jazz Festival in Lithuania, the Szczecin Jazz Festival in Poland and the South Shore Jazz Festival in Chicago. He has also appeared at the Jazz Showcase, the Green Mill in Chicago and Catalina’s in Los Angeles. Bill is currently leading an organ trio, performing original compositions and new arrangements of standards and pop tunes. His new C.D., Bright Moments, was released early in February, 2018. The trio performed at the 2018 Valparaiso Jazz Fest opening for the Tierney Sutton Band.
Bill is the Coordinator of Guitar and Bass Studies at Columbia College Chicago where he has been a Jazz guitar instructor and ensemble director since 2001. In 2013 and 2014, he performed in Italy at the Pescara and Bucci Jazz Festivals and led workshops at the Pescara Conservatory. In 2015, Bill was a band coach at Popakademie in Mannheim, Germany. Bill has been the director of the Columbia College Pop Rock Showcase Ensemble since 2005. This group has performed with Lisa Fisher, Tod Rundgren, Ivan Neville, Paula Cole and many others over the past ten years
Bill has been the director of the Columbia Fusion Ensemble since 2006. The Fusion Ensemble performs annually at the Elmhurst and Notre Dame Jazz Festivals and has received many awards. The group has performed at the Jazz Showcase with Donny McCaslin, Stephon Harris, Dave Douglas,Russell Gunn, and Wycliffe Gordon. The Fusion Ensemble performed at the 2017 Jazz Educators Network convention in New Orleans with Wycliffe Gordon. The Fusion Ensemble received an Outstanding Performance Award from Downbeat’s 2017 Student Music Awards.
MIGUEL de la CERNA
"(...) When Chicago pianist Miguel de la Cerna was growing up on the South Side, the sound of jazzand blues, gospel and funk, R&B and soul was everywhere. It blasted out of clubs and apartments, car radios and storefronts, inspiring a kid growing up near 41st Street and Berkeley Avenue to build his life in music.
Now de la Cerna, 51, has tried to translate what he calls “the landscape” of his musical childhood into an ambitious composition that will receive its world premiere Sunday evening at the Music Institute of Chicago. But de la Cerna’s “Livingston 8 – A Fantasy” veers far from the jazz-band settings where listeners usually encounter him. Instead, he has scored the piece for the Orion Ensemble, a classical chamber group that commissioned him to write the work for its “Chamber Treasures Meet Chicago Jazz” concert, which will be repeated in Chicago on Wednesday and Geneva on May 13 after Sunday night’s premiere. Before the Orion Ensemble approached him about the venture, he never had entertained creating such an opus. “I was kind of nervous at first,” he says. “But I had to kind of jump at the challenge, and that’s how it happened.” Actually, it was a bit more complicated than that. Even after he accepted the commission, he thought he might write a thorny, 12-tone work that he believed might suit the high-toned classical aesthetic of Orion. “I had been listening to a lot of Gunther Schuller and things like that,” adds de la Cerna, referring to a major American composer who’s proficient in both classical and jazz idioms. But Florentina Ramniceanu, the Orion violinist who originated the idea of the commission, “said they wanted me to write from my heart – what I feel.” Not that 12-tone music can’t have plenty of heart, as many works of Arnold Schoenberg and Alban Berg attest. Yet de la Cerna took Ramniceanu’s advice as a cue to think beyond compositional technique and reach for something bigger and deeper. This led him to thoughts of his childhood on the South Side and the transformative effect music of that corner of the world has had on his life. (...)"
Marco Pignataro is a multi-talented saxophone player, composer and educator, originally from Italy. Together with Danilo Perez, Marco currently leads the Berklee Global Jazz Institute (BGJI), the world premiere jazz center of musical creativity at Berklee College of Music in Boston. The BGJI is as a leading program of musical creativity that emphasizes personalized goal-setting and directed study, experiential and service learning with a special emphasis on nature and the environment, business acumen, and intensive access to world-class visiting artists. Previously, Pignataro was the director and co-founder of the Jazz and Caribbean Music Department and was the chair of the Jazz Saxophone Department at the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico.
As a renowned performer and composer, Marco maintains a very active international schedule of concerts, recordings and clinics and he has shared stages across the world with artists such as Eddie Gomez, Joanne Brackeen, Danilo Pérez, George Garzone, John Patitucci, Rufus Reid, Kenwood Dennard, Antonio Sanchez, Ben Street, Riccardo del Fra, Alan Pasqua, Brian Lynch, Billy Drummond, Billy Hart, Victor Lewis, Clark Terry, Yoron Israel, Laszlo Gardony, Jon Faddis and Adam Cruz among others. Pignataro performs and tours internationally with several musical groups, including the Marco Pignataro Jazzet and the Eddie Gomez Quintet, which is featured in the widely acclaimed CD Per Sempre (BFM Records-2012). His 2011 release CD "Sofia's Heart” was highly praised by the press and was produced by jazz legend Eddie Gomez and recorded with a all star group including Gomez and Billy Drummond. Marco Pignataro lasted recording “Almas Antiguas” features a stellar band including Eddie Gomez on bass, Alan Pasqua on piano, Adam Cruz on drums, and George Garzone on tenor saxophone (on three tracks of the album). The music is evocative and powerful, blending modern jazz with shades of Mediterranean, folk & Latin influences and very lyrical melodies throughout the CD.
A native of Bologna, Italy, he studied classical music at the Bruno Maderna Conservatory of Music and jazz at the University of Miami and Florida International University, as well as with jazz artists and educators such as Steve Grossman, George Garzone, Eddie Gomez, Danilo Perez, Dave Liebman, Gary Campbell, Ed Calle, Gary Keller, Ron Miller, Vince Maggio, Mike Orta, Renato D'Aiello, and Richard Dunscomb.
Marco serves as the Artistic Director for the Dominican Republic Jazz Festival and as the Educational Adviser for the humanitarian foundation Fedujazz in DR, using music as a tool for social change. Marco Pignataro is a D’Addario Woodwind Performing Artist, Endorser for Mauriat & Lupifaro saxophones , EGR ligatures and for the Applied Microphone Technology Wireless System.
J. B. SCOTT
J.B. Scott earned his B.A. degree in music as the first graduate of the acclaimed jazz program at the University of North Florida, under the tutelage of the legendary Rich Matteson and faculty members Bunky Green, Dr. Bill Prince, Bruce Silva and Jack Peterson. While in college, Scott performed with several established groups that included the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, was a band member on the 1988 Japan Tour with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, and performed regularly in the Walt Disney World theme parks. After graduating, he did a three-year stint in New Orleans as the trumpeter and musical director of the world famous Dukes of Dixieland and was featured in the PBS special, “Salute to Jelly Roll Morton.” In 1996, Scott earned his M.S. degree in music education at Florida International University, where he studied with the legendary trumpeter, Arturo Sandoval. In addition to his collegiate big band performances, Scott performed professionally with the Mickey Finn Show and numerous Latin bands led by such legendary names as Eddie Palmieri, Paquito D’Rivera and Arturo Sandoval. After teaching for a year in Orlando, Scott returned to the University of North Florida in 1996 to carry on the Rich Matteson ‘old school swing’ legacy, teaching trumpet, music history courses and to direct the UNF Jazz Ensemble 1, one of the most respected, award winning collegiate big bands in the country. He is currently an associate professor of Jazz Studies at UNF and is a member of International Association of Jazz Educators (serving for six years as the IAJE Florida Secretary) of MENC, and of the Florida Band Masters Association. As a soloist, Scott has performed on many festivals including the Macieo Jazz Festival, (Brazil), the Elkhart Jazz Festival, the Montreux Jazz Festival, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and many others. He has appeared with such notables as Nick Brignola, Ira Sullivan, Rufus Reed and Ed Calle, to name just a few. Partnering with respected vocalist Lisa Kelly in 1997, Scott and Kelly have performed internationally for major festivals, jazz clubs and jazz societies, as featured soloists with big bands, and with their own big band and small groups. They are highly regarded adjudicators and guest artist clinicians for secondary to collegiate music programs, competitions and music camps. Scott has been featured on many TV and radio commercials, on CD recordings and has co-released five successful CDs, including “Home” and “Keeping Out of Mischief” with the Swamp Dog Jazz Band, “Memories of Tomorrow” and “Live at Simons” with the Kelly-Scott Jazz Quintet, and “Just Swingin!” with J.B. Scott’s Swingin’ Allstars. Scott is a popular YAMAHA artist/clinician. Scott has performed and presented clinics for IAJE, FMEA/FMENC, Chicago Midwest, the 2010 inaugural JEN (Jazz Educators Network) in St. Louis, and was the 2009 Florida All-State Jazz Band Director for the annual FMEA/MENC Conference in Tampa. Scott is featured in the book “The New Face of Jazz,” on Amazon.com, released July 2010. In 2015 Scott's UNF Jazz Ensemble 1 won the Downbeat Student Big Band award and in 2017 UNF JE1 was selected and performed at the Chicago Midwest Band Clinic. Also This year, 2017, J.B. Scott was featured at the Pescara Jazz Festival in Pescara Italy, and was inducted into the Jacksonville Jazz Festival Hall Of Fame.
Aric Schneller, D.M.A. is now into his eleventh year as Director of Jazz Studies at Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas. Aric's duties include directing the Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Lab Band, teaching jazz improvisation, jazz keyboard skills, and jazz arranging, teaching summer jazz camps, directing the annual SHSU Bill Watrous Jazz Festival, recording and producing large jazz ensemble CDs, and coordinating the jazz studies program. Before coming to SHSU, Aric taught at Idaho State University, the University of North Texas, and in the public schools of Justin, Texas.
A confirmed member of the Houston Jazz Orchestra as 3rd trombonist, jazz soloist, vocalist, composer and arranger , Aric is in constant demand regionally and nationally as an expert clinician, dynamic soloist and conductor, master teacher, producer, and as an inventive composer and arranger. He has had frequent invitations and appearances at the Texas Music Educators Association and Texas Bandmasters Association Conventions, American Band College Convention, California Music Educators Association Convention, Arizona Music Educators Association Convention, and most notably at the Midwest Clinic International Band and Orchestra Convention. As a committed and enthusiastic jazz educator, Aric has served as President and on the Board of Directors for The Texas Jazz Educators Association.
Aric is a former member of the Grammy Nominated University of North Texas One O’Clock Lab Band, directed by Neil Slater. Aric can be heard on the One O’Clock Lab Band CD, “Live In Portugal - 1993” as well as other Down Beat Magazine winning recordings with the UNT Two O’Clock Lab Band such as “The Transparent Two – 1992” which featured Aric as trombone soloist and jazz arranger. Aric’s singing can also be heard on the UNT Jazz Singers CD, “Scrap Book” directed by Paris Rutherford. Aric has worked and performed with such jazz greats as John Allred, Wayne Bergeron, Randy Brecker, Lena Burke, Pete Christlieb, John Fedchock, Chuck Findley, Andy Firth, Clay Jenkins, Ingrid Jensen, Will Kennedy, Andy Martin, Rich Matteson, Bob Mintzer, Danilo Pérez, Diane Reeves, Arturo Sandoval, Lynn Seaton, Bobby Shew, Ed Soph, Marvin Stamm, Ross Tompkins, Allen Vizzutti, Bill Watrous and Phil Woods, amongst many others.
As a jazz arranger, Aric’s solo trombone feature with big band arrangement, “Invitation” was launched into the international jazz scene in November 2006 with the HGM Jazz Orchestra at the Zagreb Jazz Festival in Zagreb, Croatia. These performances were broadcast on Croatian and Austrian radio and television. Also in June of 2006, Aric was a jazz trombone finalist with the West Point Academy, Jazz Knights Premier Jazz Band.
Aric is an artist of many talents with the ability to sing, play, compose, and teach music at the highest levels. Being a former operatic tenor, Aric has sung professionally with the Ohio Light Opera Co., the Boston Lyric Opera Co., and the del’ Arte Opera Ensemble of New York City. While living and working in New York City from 2000-2005, Aric toured the U.S. with his trade mark clinic, “The Art of Singing the Trombone” garnering critical acclaim at the 2005 Eastern Trombone Workshop in Washington, DC and the 2005 International Trombone Festival in New Orleans.
Originally from Missoula, Montana, Aric holds a DMA in Trombone Performance from the University of North Texas, a MM in Vocal and Operatic Performance from Boston University, a MM in Jazz Studies from the University of North Texas, and a BM in Trombone Performance from the University of Montana. Aric is the creator and Artistic Director of the SHSU Bill Watrous Jazz Festival, a composer and arranger for Alfred Music Company and Belwin Jazz, a music reviewer for the International Trumpet Guild, a Yamaha Performing Artist, a member of ASCAP, and a voting member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences Grammy Awards.
Bobbi Wilsyn is a singer, actress, educator and motivational speaker. Wilsyn’s Musical Theatre studies at California State Los Angeles prepared her for roles in the musicals Beehive, Sophisticated Ladies, and It Ain’t Nothin’ but the Blues to name a few. She is presently a Professor of Instruction at Columbia College Chicago and is the Voice Studies Coordinator in the Music Department. Ms. Wilsyn has performed and coached jazz singers at regional, national, and international Jazz
festivals and Jazz camps in Canada, Korea, Italy, Sicily, Germany, and Sardinia.
Under the direction of artistic directors, Jon Faddis and Dana Hall, and its founder, the late William Russo, Wilsyn was the featured vocalist with the Chicago Jazz Ensemble for many years. In addition to Jeff Lindberg’s Chicago Jazz Orchestra, with whom she recently performed a Tribute to Nancy Wilson, Ms. Wilsyn has sung with Orbert Davis’ Chicago Jazz Philharmonic, Richard Dunscomb’s Symphonic Jazz International, The Italian Jazz Band, and the Sicilian Jazz Orchestra. She has shared stages with many jazz and blues performers such as Ramsey Lewis, Corky Siegel, Milt Trenier, JoeLevano, and the late-greats; Eldee Young, Von Freeman, James Moody, Buddy DeFranco, Johnny Griffin, Lonnie Brooks, GeraldWilson and Johnny Frigo.
Her original compositions have been performed with the multi-media performance ensemble, Cerqua-Riviera DanceTheater and the all-female jazz combo, SHE which Wilsyn founded in 1998. The duet performance with jazz singer, Kurt Elling, on the romantic ballad, Midnight in Bahia with the Orbert Davis Quintet (featured on the CD, Priority), the CJE CD recordings, Kenton Ala Russo and The Chicago Jazz Ensemble, Thommy Gunther’s Taste of Chicago (recorded live at the Tubingen Jazz Fest in Germany) and BobbiWilsyn’s own CD, It’s About Time, all demonstrate Wilsyn’s multi-faceted voice stylizations. Her CD features some of Chicago’s own fabulous jazz musicians, pianist, Miguel de la Cerna; bassist, Jim Cox; guitarists, Curtis Robinson and the late Frank Dawson; drummer, Frank Parker Jr., and saxophonist, Pat Mallinger.
Currently, Wilsyn performs with her jazz quintet, Bobbi Wilsyn & Co., Joan Collasso’s, The Eleven Jazzy Divas, and has been featured with Harold Morrison & Company, the Eric Hochberg Trio, and as a Sunday soloist at area churches.
Dr. Aric Schneller
Miguel de la Cerna
J. B. Scott