2023 Festival Jazz Clinicians

Dr. Steve Roach — TJF Director

Steve has been the Director of Jazz Studies at Sacramento State University since 2001. He has also served as Director of Jazz Studies at Baylor University and has held teaching positions at the University of Northern Colorado and Northern Illinois University. Steve’s duties at Sacramento State include directing large jazz ensembles, the Latin Jazz Ensemble, and teaching courses in jazz pedagogy and jazz history. In addition, Roach directs the annual Winter Jazz Festival and Trad Jazz Youth Band Festival at Sacramento State. Steve holds a Bachelor of Music degree in trumpet performance from Indiana University, a Master of Music degree in trumpet performance from Northern Illinois University, and a Doctor of Arts degree in trumpet and jazz pedagogy from the University of Northern Colorado. Professional appearances as an assisting artist by Roach include studio and live sessions with such jazz/pop musicians as Tito Puente, Louis Bellson, Conrad Herwig, Lou Rawls, Jon Tchicai, Ben Vereen, Melissa Manchester, Toni Tennille, Roberta Flack, Rosemary Clooney, Jeffrey Osbourne, Carl Fontana, Paquito D’Rivera, the Glenn Miller and Jimmy Dorsey Orchestras, and others. Steve is currently serving on the Executive Board for the California Institute for the Preservation of Jazz and the Capital Section of the California Music Educators Association. Roach also works as a clinician and adjudicator for jazz festivals and workshops nationwide and has directed several California high school honor jazz ensembles including the Sacramento Capital Section Honor Jazz Band, the San Mateo Honor Jazz Band, the Fresno-Madera County Honor Jazz Band, and the Solano County High School Honor Jazz Ensemble. For more information on the Sacramento State Jazz Studies program, visit: https://www.csus.edu/college/arts-letters/music/jazz-studies.html

Dan Barrett — Featured Guest Trombone/Trumpet

Raised in Costa Mesa, California, Dan Barrett began playing the trombone and trumpet around the age of eleven. In high school he formed his first group, the Back Bay Jazz Band, presenting the music of King Oliver, Jelly Roll Morton and other early jazz greats to Southern California audiences. During this time, Dan played many local jobs with the great New Orleans musicians Ed “Montudie” Garland, Alton Purnell, Mike DeLay, Joe Darensbourg, Nappy Lamare, and Barney Bigard, hearing about the “old days” first-hand.

Since 1977 Dan made many trips to Europe as a featured guest at major jazz festivals. After moving to New York City in 1983 with wife Laura, Dan spent a busy couple of years touring with and writing for the Widespread Jazz Orchestra, and later was a frequent guest at Eddie Condon’s Jazz Club and other Manhattan night-spots. It was at Eddie Condon’s that Benny Goodman first heard Dan play, and shortly thereafter asked him to join what would be the King of Swing’s last orchestra. While in New York, Dan also co-led the popular Howard Alden – Dan Barrett Quintet. Dan played both valve and slide trombones for many motion pictures, including Cotton Club and Brighton Beach Memoirs, Woody Allen’s Mighty Aphrodite, Everyone Says I Love You, and Bullets Over Broadway. Dan has performed five times at Carnegie Hall with Woody Herman (and the New York Pops Orchestra); pianist (and legendary raconteur) Joe Bushkin in two tributes to Louis Armstrong; and a command performance for Mr. Bulgari.

Dan has recorded under his own name, and with many respected jazz artists. A partial list includes Doc Cheatham, Scott Hamilton, Bob Haggart, Rosemary Clooney, Ruby Braff, Joe Bushkin, Jay McShann, Buck Clayton and Benny Goodman! Dan is especially proud of his associations with Messrs. Clayton and Goodman, for each of whom he played lead trombone and was a featured soloist.

In addition to his free-lance activities, Dan pursued his interest in arranging and orchestration for the American Playhouse television production of Rocket to the Moon, and Christopher Munch’s motion picture The Sleepy Time Gal, starring Jacqueline Bisset. One of his more ambitious projects was scoring the St. Louis Blues for jazz band and symphony orchestra. His writing can be heard on Arbors Records including I Saw Stars, Moon Song, and Blue Swing, all featuring vocalist Rebecca Kilgore, and Look What I Found, with vocalist Daryl Sherman. An earlier recording (for another label) arranged by Barrett and featuring the late, great Bobby Short, garnered a Grammy nomination.

This comment from the late John S. Wilson (jazz reviewer for The New York Times) sums it up, “(He) is one of the delights here, a melodist, a colorist who knows how to use a plunger mute with taste and, in total, a player Duke Ellington would have loved.” These days, Dan continues to enjoy friends and fans at his appearances at festivals and jazz parties closer to home in the USA.

Dr. Roach is pleased to announce the following outstanding clinicians for 2023 Festival (in alphabetical order):

Clint Baker — Trumpet, All Brass

Clint Baker is one of the few musicians to lead a traditional jazz band at the world-renowned Monterey Jazz Festival, joining the ranks of Louis Armstrong, Turk Murphy, and Jack Teagarden.  He has been a bandleader since 1984, and he produced his first record album in 1991. Since then, he has produced seven recordings including “In the Groove,” “Going Huge,” and “Tears.”

Clint Baker’s New Orleans Jazz Band appeared at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival in 1992 and has toured festivals in the U.S. and Canada.

A multi-instrumentalist, Clint performs regularly with The Yerba Buena Stompers (tuba), The Delta Stompers (guitar/banjo), Hot Club of San Francisco (bass), The Cafe Borrone All-Stars (trumpet, trombone, drums, clarinet, guitar, etc.), The Reynolds Brothers Rhythm Rascals (clarinet, trombone, and bass), The Ray Skjelbred Quartet/Ray Skjelbred and His Cubs (bass), The Grand Dominion Jazz Band (trumpet) and Usonia Jazz (various).

Clint is also a noted jazz educator. He taught on staff with the Jim Cullum Jazz Band at the Stanford Jazz Workshop. He frequently guest lectures at San Mateo Community College and the Community School of Music and Arts at the Finn Center, and is currently an instructor at numerous adult jazz camps. He has been the Staff Archivist and Curator for the San Francisco Traditional Jazz Foundation.

Katie Cavera – Bass/ Vocals

Katie Cavera has made a name for herself on the West Coast and in Europe playing 20’s and 30’s classic jazz. She is a rhythm guitar specialist in the style of Freddie Green and Al Casey. She also plays hot 20’s plectrum and tenor banjo; New Orleans style string bass; and sings in the 20’s pop style of Helen Kane and Ruth Etting. Originally from Southern Indiana, Katie attended Indiana University and studied jazz performance and composition with Dr. David Baker, playing with his Jazz Ensemble in a special presentation of Duke Ellington Masterworks at the Smithsonian Institution.

Her credits include working with Jug Band legend Jim Kweskin; Jim Cullum’s Jazz Band at The Landing in San Antonio, Texas; George Probert from the Firehouse 5 + 2; and members of Turk Murphy’s Jazz Band including Bob Helm, Leon Oakley, and Ray Skjelbred. From 2006 – 2009 she was part of the Jerome Savary production, “à la recherche de Josephine (Looking for Josephine)” a musical about New Orleans Jazz, Hurricane Katrina, and Josephine Baker. Katie played guitar and tenor banjo in the production, and notated the original score written by David Boeddinghaus. The musical premiered at the Opera Comique in Paris, France in the fall of 2006 and was nominated for a Molière Award (the national theatre award of France bestowed by APAT, the Association Professionnelle et Artistique du Théâtre and toured extensively through Austria, France, Germany and Spain from 2007 – 2009, and had its American premiere in Montclaire, New Jersey. 

In 2003 Katie began teaching banjo and guitar at the San Diego Adult Traditional Jazz Camp. She currently teaches at this yearly event as well as the New Orleans Traditional Jazz Camp which she has been a part of since 2009. Jazz critic Jim Leigh and bandleader/multi-instrumentalist Clint Baker have dubbed her the “California Sunshine Girl” because of her upbeat singing style and sunny stage personality. She currently works at Disney California Adventure as a bassist and vocalist with The Pixarmonic Orchestra which premiered this past summer at Disneyland’s Pixarfest. The band plays music from Pixar films in the style of Spike Jones. Katie is a member of ASCAP, a Loar Performing Artist, and a member of the Academy of Magical Arts.

Bill Dendle — Trombone/ Banjo

Bill began playing banjo in 1963, and by 1967 he performed at Mickie Finn’s in San Diego as leader of the South Market Street Jazz Band.  Bill was the lead banjoist at Capone’s Warehouse in Monterey for nine years. 1977 found Bill as an entertainment consultant, banjoist, trombonist, bandleader and entertainer at Florida’s Disney World, where he opened on the Empress Lilly Showboat.  In late 1977 he revived the South Market Street Jazz Band. From 1982 to 1995, Bill appeared as one-half of the duo called Goodtime Banjos.  Bill is is a lead clinician in the SacJEF Traditional Jazz Project. He plays trombone, guitar and banjo in Shelley Burns & Avalon Swing, and with Fast Eddie Erickson. Bill has performed with Bob Haggart, Bob Crosby, Johnny Varro, Dick Cary, Abe Most, Nick Fatool, Bob Draga and others. A retired Vice-Principal, Bill is the director of the annual Teagarden Trad Jazz Camp. In 2017, Bill was presented with the SacJEF Jazz Education Award at the TJF Showcase.

Bob Draga — Clarinet

Bob’s professional career encompasses over forty-five years of live performances (national and international) at jazz festivals, jazz cruises, and personal engagements.  Bob has appeared regularly with the Titan Hot 7, Wally’s Warehouse Waifs, and as a duo with Jeff Barnhart. Bob used to perform on the “high seas” for Jazzdagen Cruises and Jazzfest at Sea, sailing throughout the world.  Since leaving the Garden Avenue Seven, a band he founded and led for twenty-two years, Bob has led several all-star bands, was co-leader of the Draga-Vax Connection for three years, and has worked frequently with Johnny Varro, Tom Saunders, Rick Fay, Bob Haggart, and other world-class jazz performers, and has many recordings to his credit. In addition to playing superb clarinet, Bob presents an infectious brand of humor that made him one of the most popular musicians on the trad jazz circuit. 

Craig Faniani – Piano

Craig had been a professional music educator since 1977 and a continual performer since 1969, in myriad musical settings and styles. He has traveled worldwide with students, competed in hundreds of jazz festivals, been clinician, adjudicator and conductor for numerous honor bands and jazz bands, and gathered a barn full of trophies. His awards include: eleven different “teacher of the year” awards, seven Monterey Jazz Festival wins, twenty-five years developing the Rio Americano Band Program, and Administrator of the Year – California Music Educators Capitol Section 2012. Music education, and jazz study in particular, is being recognized as a significant source of student creativity – namely critical thinking, problem solving/finding multiple answers, developing imagination/new ideas, teamwork/collaboration, passion, and teaching perseverance, grit and concentration. These are essential 21st Century skills for college and career not being taught and assessed in most current conventional classrooms. Jazz study is a thinking strategy for success. Enjoy the process. 

 Ron Jones — Drums

After Ron retired from playing drums with the US Air Force show bands for many years, he backed up such prime-time entertainers as Frankie Laine, Kay Starr, the Ink Spots, and Diahann Carroll.  Since he moved to Sacramento in the early 1980s, he’s played with many top West Coast jazz bands.  A member of the Youth Band Festival committee and a Past President of the STJS board of directors, Ron is a very popular drummer on the national jazz festival circuit and regularly performs with Sister Swing and the Draga Quartet. Ron and the TJF Clinicians Band were selected from a highly competitive field of applicants to present a performance at the first west coast convention of the national JEN (Jazz Education Network) in San Diego in 2015.

Marilyn Keller – Vocals

Marilyn T. Keller, 2016 Jazz Society of Oregon Hall of Fame Inductee, is a 40-year veteran of music and stage performance in Jazz, Gospel, R&B, Pop, Blues, and theater, nationally and internationally. Her musical roots are diverse. Marilyn has built a career that has taken her as a feature artist to Denmark, Sweden, Norway, The Netherlands, Spain, Australia, Russia and the UK for concerts, festivals, nightclubs and recording work. Her voice can be heard on multiple recordings, movie soundtracks, commercials and documentaries. Marilyn’s formative jazz training was as a member of the Mt. Hood Community College Vocal Jazz Ensemble and as the vocalist fronting the award-winning MHCC Jazz Lab Band. She can be seen frequently at clubs, restaurants, festivals and holiday events throughout the Pacific Northwest. She remains active, performing with Don Latarski, Darrell Grant, Tom Grant, Black Swan Classic Jazz Band, Pressure Point Band and the Augustana Jazz Quartet, among many others.

Marilyn is dedicated to music education and is currently an Adjunct Professor at Portland State University, Oregon, teaching Vocal Jazz Improvisation.arilyn T. Keller, 2016 Jazz Society of Oregon Hall of Fame Inductee, is a 4

Mike McMullen – Reeds

Mike is a highly regarded saxophonist and educator currently on faculty at Sacramento State University.  He studied saxophone with Joe Henderson in San Francisco, composing and arranging on a NARAS scholarship with Dick Grove in Los Angeles, and was a founding member of the Capital Jazz Project in Sacramento. Mike’s most recent recording, Picture Book, was released in March 2018. In addition to his own groups, Mike has performed in concert, toured or recorded with many jazz greats, including Dave Liebman, Bobby Shew, Kenny Wheeler, Bobby Hutcherson, Ray Charles, Natalie Cole, Doc Severinson, Manhattan Transfer, and Tony Bennett/Lady GaGa.  He has played woodwinds in the pit with Broadway Sacramento productions for many years, and works commercially with regional pop orchestras, celebrity concerts and recordings. Mike is part of the Sac State University Department of Jazz Studies teaching Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Combos, Saxophone and Jazz Theory.

Jason Wanner – Piano

In younger days, Jason’s dad used to bring him to the Sacramento Jazz Jubilee, where his love for jazz grew. A Music Award recipient, he played for TNT, the STJS-sponsored youth band.  Jason went from being a student at the Teagarden (formerly the STJS) Jazz Camp to earning his place as an instructor there. Jason performs regularly with Blue Street and Bob Draga with Friends, has a regular gig at Disneyland, and is a frequent guest artist at jazz festivals. He enjoys composing and arranging for a variety of shows, films, and recordings, and performing with his 11-piece swing band, Swing Syndicate. Jason studied music for one year at USC but returned north to graduate from the California State University Sacramento School of Music with a Bachelor of Music in Classical Piano Performance. Several years ago, Jason was selected as the Musician of the Year by Dixieland Monterey.