Year Round Faculty
GUITAR, JAZZ STUDIES, CHILDREN’S PROGRAM, ENSEMBLES Undergraduate studies at Berklee College of Music and the University of Texas. B.M. in jazz performance from University of North Texas, 1977; M.M.E. in jazz performance from UNT, 1979; M.B.A from University of Texas, Austin, 1996. Major guitar teachers include: Jack Petersen, John Abercrombie, John Reed, Larry Coryell, Mick Goodrick, and Pat Martino. Recipient of jazz study fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Performing experience includes gigs with Bob Berg, Wallace Roney, Ralph Moore, Tiger Okoshi, and others. Toured and recorded with Chico Hamilton. Former faculty positions at Southwestern University, Georgetown, TX, Eastfield and Cedar Valley Colleges in Dallas, TX and Concordia University Texas in Austin, TX.
VOICE B.M.E. in voice and clarinet from Arkansas State University, 1975, M.M. in vocal performance from University of North Texas, 1977, and Ph.D. course work in higher education administration from UNT. Master classes with: John Wustman, Phyllis Curtin, Jurgen Jurgens, and Robert Shaw. Participated in seminars on Heinrich Schutz, Schluctern, Germany. Performing experience includes: numerous opera roles, soloist with the ASU male chorus and the UNT madrigals; soloist for various churches; Tupelo Symphony; Boston Pops. Additional performing and recording experience with jazz and show bands in Texas and New England area. Accompanying vocalist with Ray Kent and Andrew Culverwell. Faculty positions have included University of North Texas, Denton, TX, Southwestern University, Georgetown, TX, Christ for the Nations Institute, Dallas, TX and Austin Community College, Austin, TX.
VP of Resource and Development
LOWER BRASS, JAZZ IMPROVISATION, ENSEMBLES Andre Hayward is an extremely gifted trombonist with the sound and clarity reminiscent of the late J.J. Johnson. His gospel-tinged approach is refreshing and will warm the hearts of anyone he comes in contact with. He landed his first engagement with trumpeter Roy Hargrove for a European tour after being heard at a jam session during a festival while playing with the Texas Southern University Jazz Ensemble. After Hargrove, Hayward performed and recorded with singer/bandleader Betty Carter for five years in her acclaimed “Jazz Ahead” program. Other acclaimed performers include Joe Williams, Slide Hampton, John Lewis, Mingus Dynasty Big Band, Gerald Wilson, Kirk Whalum, Jimmy Heath, The Duke Ellington Orchestra and Illinois Jacquet’s Big Band. His most recent performance credits are The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, The San Francisco Jazz Collective, and The Clayton – Hamilton Jazz Orchestra. In 2003, he received first place and a $20,000 scholarship at the International Thelonious Monk Trombone Competition in Washington, DC. Hayward is also an educator who has conducted numerous clinics and workshops in various parts of the US and overseas. Hayward has served as jazz trombone professor at New School of Jazz & Contemporary Music, New York University, New England Conservatory, Michigan State University, University of Texas – Butler School of Music, and University of North Texas.
A teacher by profession, Roni worked for children with special needs for over 10 years in Asia. She founded Blue Special Center in Ho Chi Minh City and established 4 volunteer sites for an international organization helping children with special needs all over the world. She served as a board member and the newsletter editor before voted as the President-Elect of International Association of Special Education. Roni volunteered in Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand and Malawi. She helped schools setup programs in the community for children with special needs. She spoke in international conferences with the importance of discussing preventive measures of sexual harassment towards children, young adults, and adults with special needs. She also organized monthly events for Internations, an international organization fostering expat communities in major cities. She aided the growth of the Ho Chi Minh community from 20 active members to over 500 participants during activities. Roni with her love of music has been using songs to teach children social and life skills. Music has played an integral role of the Blue Center Curriculum. Non-verbal students has been very receptive with music as part of teaching.
MASTERCLASSES, DRUMSET, ENSEMBLES
Tom Brechtlein grew up in Long Island, New York and gravitated to playing drums after listening to the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, The Who, Cream and the Jimi Hendrix Experience. When entering high school, his attention turned to big band jazz, and he became attracted to the music of the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra, Maynard Ferguson and Woody Herman’s Thundering Herd. His investigations of jazz led him to Dave Brubeck’s drummer Joe Morello and then to modern jazz giants like Elvin Jones, Tony Williams, Jack DeJohnette, Billy Cobham, Lenny White and Alphonse Mouzon as well as legends like Max Roach, Philly Joe Jones and Roy Haynes. As Tom says, “Like a lot of young musicians in the early 70s, we were listening to the new jazz groups of the day. These bands were John McLaughlin and the Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, Weather Report, Larry Coryell and the Eleventh House, among others. When I was 18 years old I saw Chick Corea and Return to Forever on PBS Television; and I remember sitting there thinking – I’m going to play with this guy someday.” Two years later, in 1978, Tom auditioned for Corea and got the gig. He performed & recorded with Corea till 1983. Their musical relationship has continued off and on throughout the years and as recently as 2004-2006. Other artists Tom has played with are Wayne Shorter, Al Di Meola, Joe Farrell, Jean Luc Ponty, Robben Ford, Rickie Lee Jones, Kenny Loggins, Eric Johnson, and The Manhattan Transfer.
VP of Media Operations
SAXOPHONE, IMPROV, JAZZ STUDIES Evolution and a fiercely open-minded approach to composition are the hallmarks of saxophonist Justin Vasquez. His writing, filled with surprises and twists, crosses boundaries of jazz, contemporary, country, classical, and singer/songwriter aesthetics. His sound, aggressive and muscular, bears the lineage of greats like Coltrane, Joe Henderson, Kenny Garrett and Michael Brecker yet is immediately identifiable. B.M. in jazz performance from the University of Texas in Austin 2005. Recipient of ASCAP Young Jazz Composers Award in 2009. Influential teachers include Dick Oatts, Eddie Daniels, Vincent Herring, Dan Haerle, Andy Laverne, Jeff Hellmer. Recording/touring/performing experience with Randy Brecker (Brecker Brothers), Jimmy Haslip (Yellowjackets), Mike Stern (Miles Davis), Manhattan Transfer, Bob Brookmeyer (Stan Getz), Dave Liebman (Miles Davis), Tom Harrell, Gerry Gibbs, VV Brown, Gretchen Parlato, Janek Gwizdala, Jojo Mayer. Justin has over a decade of experience teaching saxophone performance as well as composition and improvisation.
VP of Partner Management
VOICE Laura has been singing and recording professionally since she was 11 years old. From solo classical performances and musicals, to recording and working in various studios in Florida, Laura has a decade of experience as a background singer for various blues, Jazz, Rock and RnB/Hip Hop groups during her formative years. Laura has also sang with local Austin icons like Dr. James Polk, Brian Andrew Lee, Alan Haynes, Keith Slack and many other greats. She also studied with Dr. Watkins at ACC here in Austin for three years. In addition to her musical expertise, Laura has over 12 years of extensive experience building and maintaining relationships with enterprise level clients at companies such as Electronic Arts, SailPoint, Marin Software, Nexxlinx and Yodle.
Michael Bahan began his career on a Slingerland snare at the age of nine, taking lessons from Jeff Ryder at Kirk Scott’s Drum City in San Antonio, TX. He immersed himself in the world of percussion and began playing and working at the age of fourteen, being dubbed ‘Baby Drummer’ by band mates twice his age. While in college, Michael played in the theater pit and college pep band at Columbia College in Columbia, MO, while also playing in the local scene. He began his teaching career when his Latin/West African percussion teacher, Neftali Medina, volunteered him to teach a group class through the Carver Cultural Community Center in San Antonio. This began a career that has taken Michael from the North East and San Antonio Independent School Districts in San Antonio to Jeff Ryder Drum Shop in Austin to Uganda, Africa, teaching percussion to students of all ages. He is always looking to expand his knowledge and is currently a student of the drum set, tabla, sitar and bata. Michael’s passion for music drives his desire to expand his knowledge of percussion and he has maintained a steady playing, session and teaching career for nearly 30 years. Currently, Michael can be found playing, teaching and recording in the Austin, TX music scene. Since 2012, Michael has also been the owner/operator of Cascade Studios Austin, which is a full-service and fully equipped rehearsal/recording studio located in North Central Austin. Cascade Studios has developed into a small community where musicians are able to go practice, record, and teach their craft. Michael endorses/plays Soultone Cymbals and Bopworks Drumsticks and a bunch of different drums!
Cat Clemons has been professionally playing and teaching guitar since the age of fourteen. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Texas State University where he studied Jazz Guitar. His performance style ranges from jazz to traditional country, punk rock, and beyond. When teaching guitar, Cat believes in finding the music that excites students and helping them develop the skills to play it, all while encouraging curiosity and building a strong musical foundation.
PERCUSSION, DRUMSET, ENSEMBLES
B.M in in Percussion Performance at Sam Houston State University M.M in Jazz Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. Daniel has had the opportunity to play with many great musicians including Pete Rodriquez, Gabriel Santiago, Justin Vasquez, Lynn Seaton, Mitch Watkins, Suzi Stern, Andre Hayward, Ephraim Owens, Elias Haslinger, Red Young, Kevin Lovejoy, Woody Witt, Joe LoCascio, Rotem Sivan, Randy Brecker, Luis Perdomo, Roberto Quintero, Maria Schneider, and Joshua Redman. Daniel has been a part of many festivals in the greater South East region of Texas. Such appearances included the Corpus Christi Jazz Festival, the Jazz Alive Festival in San Antonio, the SHSU Bill Watrous Jazz Festival, and the Temple College Jazz Festival. His teachers include Jeff Hellmer, Wayne Salzmann, John Mills, John Fremgen, Aric Schneller, and John Lane. Daniel is an endorsing artist for Aquarian Drum Heads, Innovative Percussion Sticks, and the A&F Drum Company.
GUITAR, BASS, VIOLIN, VIOLA, MANDOLIN
B.M. in theory from University of North Texas, 1978, Magna Cum Laude; M.M. in guitar performance from UNT, 1983; Master classes with Oscar Ghiglia, Eliot Fisk, Paul O’dette, Robert Guthrie and others. Multi-instrumentalist (guitar, bass, violin, viola, mandolin) with extensive performing experience in diverse styles, including classical, rock, country, and jazz, and has worked extensively with Arthur Brown, Jimmy Carl Black, and Kim Fowley. Over twenty years of teaching experience, including five years at University of North Texas as a teaching fellow and adjunct faculty member. Instructor positions at St. Stephen’s, Childbloom, Austin Guitar School, Three Muses School, and Austin Piano & Strings.
Blake Jurasin is from Covington, Louisiana and earned his bachelor’s degree in music business from Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. His high tempo, guitar-heavy rock style often incorporates elements of Blues and Jazz as well as original lyrical content which he regularly shares in both full-band and acoustic settings. Blake currently performs with the Blake Jurasin Project, the Bethany Becker Band, and the Abundant Life Church. His artistry has been featured on Bethany Becker’s song “Christmastime,” Nishad George’s “Crimson Knight,” and the Abundant Life Church CD. Past performances include the High School National tour featuring Drake Bell, Grapefest featuring Foghat, Good Morning/Good Day Austin, and opening for the groups Moonshine Bandits and Fuel.
Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, Danny Kavka earned his master’s degree in ethnomusicology from Bowling Green State University with concentrations in American popular music and disco. Though he specializes in pop and rock music, Danny also enjoys playing and teaching blues, jazz, country, folk, soul, R&B, jam, metal, and electronic styles. He encourages students to develop a base level of musicianship that will allow them to learn new pieces on their own.
TRUMPET, JAZZ STUDIES, ENSEMBLES
B.S. in ministries & music from Howard Payne University. Graduate studies at Episcopal Theological Seminary. Ensemble director of the NAJO, Mainstream Jazz Quintet, Rhythm Congress Band, and the Ken Ragsdale Orchestra. Worship leader and choir director for the Sanctuary, and additional music ministry directing experience in the Seattle and Austin areas. Extensive private trumpet teaching experience and ensemble directing, ranging from small groups to large jazz orchestras, in a diverse range of musical styles.
Sarah Milligan is a jazz saxophonist residing in Austin, Texas. Originally from Sierra Vista, Arizona, Sarah studied jazz in high school with University of Arizona Saxophone Professor Kelland Thomas, then moved to the Tucson Jazz Institute where she studied under Brice Winston, Scott Black, and Doug Tidaback. She currently earning a BM in Jazz Studies under Dr. John Mills, John Fremgen, and Jeff Hellmer and a minor in Arts Management and Administration at the University of Texas at Austin. During her journey as a musician, Sarah has performed in many of the world’s renowned jazz festivals including the Next Generation Jazz Festival, Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Essentially Ellington, The Montreux Jazz Festival (Switzerland), North Sea Jazz Festival (Netherlands), and has shared the stage with wonderful musicians such as Terrell Stafford, Cyrus Chestnut, Kenny Rampton, Conrad Herwig, and Joe Lovano. Sarah was selected as a part of the Women In Jazz Organization’s (WIJO) mentorship program in spring 2019, and initiated Jazz Girls Texas, an Austin branch of JEN’s Jazz Girls Day. Sarah’s nonprofit experiences ranges from working with organizations such as Ballet Austin, Jazz Outreach Initiative, and Jazz Houston; and is currently on music faculty and the administrative team at the New School of Music in Austin, Texas.
EARLY CHILDHOOD MUSIC, PIANO
Pilar was born in Colombia were she began her music studies at the Taller Musical Francisco Cristancho. She moved to Australia, where she graduated from the Jazz Music Institute with a Bachelor of Music and a Diploma of Music from the Southbank Institute of Technology where she was awarded the 2008 composer of the year. After looking for a postgraduate education program that suited her believes, Pilar traveled to Austria and earned a diploma in Advanced Studies in Music and Movement Education Orff-Schulwerk from the Orff Institute - Mozarteum University.
John X Reed
Early music studies on guitar and fiddle at age 8 with his father and grandfather on a farm in eastern New Mexico. Attended Texas Tech University, where he embarked on what would become long term musical associations with Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Joe Ely, Butch Hancock, Jesse “Guitar” Taylor and Ponty Bone. Extensive performing experience throughout the United States and Europe. Recorded and toured with many artists, including: Freda and the Firedogs, Doug Sahm, Roky Erickson, Marcia Ball, Lucinda Williams, James Polk, Kimmie Rhodes, Alvin Crow, Kenneth Threadgill, The Lucky Tomblin Band, the Texana Dames, and Denny Freeman, Carnegie Hall performance with Doug Sahm. Over 30 years teaching experience, and has been a major teacher and influence on a number of excellent guitarists.
EARLY CHILDHOOD MUSIC, BASS, DRUMS, UKELELE
Diego is a specialist in music education based on the Orff Schulwerk philosophy: Music, Speech and Movement. He has over 6 years experience in education which includes bilingual and multi-sensory lessons, early childhood music, work with children at risk, didactic concerts, one-on-one lessons and teacher training. Most recently, at the Mozarteum University in Austria, he completed the Postgraduate course Advanced Studies in Music and Dance Education Orff-Schulwerk. He has a B.M in performance from the Jazz Music Institute in Brisbane, Australia.
PIANO, ENSEMBLES, JAZZ STUDIES
Undergraduate studies at Eastman School of Music. B.M. in Performance; M.M. from New England Conservatory. World-renowned solo artist along with in the early 1980s, playing in an octet with Priester Cole; she also worked in R&B groups and music during this decade. In the early 1990s she worked often with Konitz, played with Juris, others, in addition to leading her own band, with whom she recorded several albums. founder and Director of the Wall Street Jazz Festival, (“…where all the leaders are women”), held each August in Kingston, NY, Jazz Chorus, Blue Belles Youth Choir. In summers past, she has taught at Jazz Workshop, and Jazz Camp West as well as Homer, Alaska Jazz Choir.
PRIVATE VOCAL STUDIES & COACHING
Nikita Storojev is a Russian bass vocalist, who after receiving his degree in philosophy, entered the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow. Upon winning the prestigious Tchaikovsky Competition, he became a principal soloist at the Bolshoi Theater and the Moscow Philharmonic Society. He speaks Russian, French, English, German, Spanish, and Italian. Mr. Storojev has performed in the world’s major opera houses, concert halls and appeared in international festivals in Vienna, Paris, London, Milan, New York, San Francisco, Florence, Munich, Berlin, etc. His vast repertoire today consists of over 50 operatic roles and more than 300 classical songs. He has twenty-five commercial CDs and five DVDs, performed and recorded under the direction of conductors such as Mstislav Rostropovich, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Sir John Pritchard, Claudio Abbado, Neeme Jarvi, John Nelson, Marius Jansons, Gennady Rozhdestvenski etc., and with singers such as Placido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti. Mr. Storojev has taught many students in several countries, and is currently is an Associate Professor of Voice and Opera at the University of Texas Butler School of Music. Eighteen of his students have won international singing competitions in Europe. In the last four years, while teaching at The University of Texas, his students have won national competitions, participated in young artist programs, and begun professional careers. As a teacher, Mr. Storojev has also presented master classes around the world in Japan, Taiwan, Russia, Germany, France, Italy, and Mexico, as well as in the United States. In addition to his professorship at UT, Mr. Storojev has opened his Austin vocal teaching studio to the community for students who desire to perform at their highest vocal level possible. Recent engagements for Mr. Storojev include the roles of the Police-Sergeant and the Old Prisoner in Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk with Christian Badea and the Baltimore Opera; a program of excerpts from Boris Godunov and Prince Igor with Peter Bay and the Austin Symphony Orchestra; more performances of Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, conducted by Donald Runnicles at the San Francisco Opera; a performance of the role of King Dodon in Le Coq d’Or with the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia. An extensive list of additional recent engagements for Mr. Storojev, and additional information, can be found at the following link, http://www.music.utexas.edu/directory/details.aspx?id=10
PIANO, ACCOMPANIST, VOCAL COACH
Tatiana Storozheva is a professional pianist, accompanist and vocal coach. She was born and raised in Yekaterinburg, Russia and attended a special music school for gifted children. She received her Master’s Degree from the Mussorgsky Conservatory in Yekaterinburg in Piano Performance, Opera Coach, Piano Teacher and Collaborative Piano. Mrs. Storozheva served as Head Coach at the Yekaterinburg Opera for 22 years. She also accompanied soloists in recital, served as soloist of the Yekaterinburg Philharmonia Society, and was the Artistic Director, Conductor and Pianist for Musical Theater, Yekaterinburg. For her work in opera, Mrs. Storozheva was named an Honored Artist of Russia. She also received the Best Accompanist award at the Mussorgsky competition. Her repertoire consists of numerous operas and over 300 hundred songs in Russian, Italian, German, French and English. Mrs. Storozheva has also made several recordings with internationally recognized Russian singers such Nikita Storojev and Valentin Zacharov. During the course of her career she has prepared and accompanied singers in national and international vocal competitions such as the Glinka Competition and the Rimsky-Korsakov Competition in Russia and the Belvedere in Vienna. She has participated in many festivals in Germany, France, Belgium and Hungary and served as coach, assisting Mstislav Rostropovich, in a production of Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk at the Teatro Real in Madrid, Spain. Additional collaborative engagements include Baltimore Opera, Austin Lyric Opera, Moscow, Bard Festival in New York, Houston, San Antonio, Austin, Warsaw Philharmonic Concert Hall, Poland, and Washington, D.C. Tatiana is a vocal coach and accompanist for University of Texas Butler School of Music students.
Dominik began his musical studies at the age of five. He holds two bachelor’s degrees from the Vienna Conservatory in both classical and jazz piano. In 2012 Dominik was chosen to play with the Vienna Military Brass Band. They performed at many official ceremonies and balls, including the birthday celebration for the former president of Austria, Heinz Fischer. Dominik received a scholarship from the University of North Texas to pursue his masters degree in jazz. Since living in Austin, he has performed with Hailey Tuck, a SONY recording artist, at the South by Southwest festival 2018, played at the infamous Townsend with award winning band A Is Red, accompanied the American Ballet Theater for their summer intensive program at University of Texas at Austin, and performed at Jazz TX in San Antonio.
Elizabeth Warren grew up in a musical family and began playing violin at the age of four. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York, where she studied with violinist Sungrai Sohn. For the past twelve years she has maintained a private violin studio of students ages six through adult. She is also an active volunteer teacher and mentor through Kids In a New Groove, a local non-profit that provides free music lessons to children in foster care. Elizabeth’s recent performances include music debuts for short films with Access Contemporary Music and playing alongside Redd Volkaert and Ruby Jane for the world-premiere of Graham Reynolds’ Marfa Tryptich. She has toured internationally with Bill Callahan, performing throughout the UK and Israel. Elizabeth was featured at All Tomorrow’s Party’s Fest, The Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Fest, South by Southwest, and Austin City Limits.
GUITAR, JAZZ STUDIES
Undergraduate studies at the University of Texas’ Plan II Honors Program receiving a B.A in jazz performance in 2009; M.F.A. degree in Jazz Studies at the University of North Texas 2011. At UNT, he was a Teaching Fellow, directing the Super 400 guitar ensemble and teaching private lessons. As a member of the renowned One O’Clock Lab Band, he performed with Lyle Mays and John Mosca, the leader of the Village Vanguard Orchestra. In 2011, he earned his master’s degree, and released his debut album, “Jacob Wise Trio”, which features 9 original compositions, and has received positive notices at Allaboutjazz.com and Vintage Guitar Magazine. From 2011 to 2015, Jacob was a guitarist in the show band for Princess Cruises, traveling the world and playing a wide variety of music ranging from jazz, rock, Motown, to oldies and Broadway. Teaching guitar ensembles, Classes, and private instruction at New School since Fall 2015.
Chris began playing the guitar at the age of eight, influenced by blues and rock greats Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughn and Eddie Van Halen and began studying classical guitar at age ten. At age thirteen, Chris won Houston’s “Best Guitarist in Houston Under 18” in the rock category. While attending the University of Miami under music scholarship, he performed in the award-winning University of Miami Concert Jazz Band and played with jazz greats Wynton Marsalis, Joe Lovano and others. He also played in several bands and with numerous local artists including Christian R&B artist Neville Peter and Nashville piano-rocker Gabe Dixon. Upon graduating from college, Chris coached a jazz guitar ensemble of five undergraduate guitarists and a rhythm section at the University of Miami and prepared them for two annual concerts. He also led the jazz guitar program at Miami’s arts magnet high school, “New World School of the Arts” and taught jazz improvisation to a large class of multi-instrumentalist and moonlighted as a wedding guitarist during this time. Chris moved to New York City in 2000 and soon began playing guitar for neo-soul diva Angie Stone. He toured nationally in support of her album, “Mahogany Soul” and appeared on the “Tonight Show with Jay Leno”, “Live at the Apollo” and BET’s “106th and Park”. Chris later moved to Japan in 2004 and recorded and/or toured the US and Japan with Interscope Records avant garde R&B artist Bilal Oliver, African pop singer and superstar fusion bassist Richard Bona and Japanese jazz pioneer and saxophonist Sadao Watanabe. Now living in Austin, Texas, Chris can be found performing regularly with ‘Eastern Soul’ artist Nagavalli, originally from Mumbai, whose music intersperses elements of Indian ragas, rock, jazz, electronica, rap and soul. Along with balancing performing, songwriting and recording, Chris teaches guitar, bass, ukulele, piano, drums and voice to a wide variety of students.
Chloe Youtsey grew up in an Air Force military home which involved frequent relocations and allowed her to receive piano training in Virginia, Germany, Turkey, and Japan. She graduated from James Madison University with a bachelor’s degree in Jazz Studies and Vocal Performance. She divides her time between composing, teaching, performing, and directing children's musicals. Her favorite musical influences are Stevie Wonder, Earth Wind and Fire, Gregory Porter, Sarah Vaughan, and Nancy Wilson. Chloe recently attended Betty Carter's Jazz Ahead residency with 23 other musicians. The two-week program culminated in three nights of performances at the Kennedy Center presenting the resident artists' original work. She has also made guest artist appearances with the Andre Hayward Quartet and TriplePointe.