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Faculty

Marcus Shelby – Instrumentals

Born in February 1966, Marcus Shelby has been playing the acoustic bass for 23 years. In this time, he has built a diverse and accomplished biography. Shelby was bandleader of Columbia Records and GRP Impulse! Recording Artists Black/Note and is currently the Artistic Director and leader of TheMarcus Shelby Jazz Orchestra, The Marcus Shelby Septet and the Marcus Shelby Trio. In addition, Shelby holds an instructor position at the Berkeley Young Musician Program, San Francisco State University and the Stanford Jazz Workshop and is the 2006 Fellow in the Resident Dialogues Program of the Committee for Black Performing Arts at Stanford University. As the 1991 winner of the Charles Mingus Scholarship, Shelby’s studies include work under the tutelage of composer James Newton and legendary bassist Charlie Haden. Recent honors include the City Flight Magazine 2005 award as one of the “Top Ten Most Influential African Americans in the Bay Area”.

Terrence Brewer – Instrumentals
Consummate jazz guitarist and sought after educator, Terrence Brewer has overwhelming regional support performing over 2000 shows in the past seven years. In addition to being a first-call and in-demand bandleader, record producer, concert performer and studio musician, Terrence Brewer has established himself as one of the San Francisco Bay area’s foremost music educators. For 15+ years Brewer has been a private lesson instructor, master class instructor, clinician, lecturer, music workshop facilitator, and presenter to students of all ages, skill levels, and musical styles. Even with devoting such a large amount of time to teaching, performing, and media appearances, Brewer found the time to launch his own record label and publishing company, Strong Brew Music (SBM) in 2005 and in 2006 released his first two albums simultaneously on SBM, The Calling: Volume One and Volume Two. With their release, Brewer garnered a tremendous amount of media attention and recognition.

Josiah Woodson

Josiah Woodson – Instrumental

Josiah Woodson started playing trumpet at the age of 12. As a member of the Oaktown Jazz Workshop, he continued his craft in the fall of 1995 under the private instruction of Khalil Shaheed. In 1999, Josiah was accepted into the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Oberlin Ohio where he was a member of several ensembles, including the Oberlin Jazz Septet and studied under Marcus Belgrave. Woodson was given a substantial scholarship to attend the New England Conservatory. Since Graduating with academic honors (MM) in 2006, Josiah continues to perform with “The Makanda Project” with Oliver Lake, Yoron Isreal and John Lockwood. Woodson has also had the opportunity to perform an original piece entitled “The Third Day” with conductor Michael Morgan and the Oakland East Bay Symphony.

Bryan S. Dyer – Vocals

Bryan S. Dyer is a multi-talented musician who not only sings but plays and teaches several instruments including bass guitar, percussion and piano; writes and arranges music, conducts choirs and groups, and works in television, radio and film. A veteran of some of the Bay Area’s top vocal groups including Street Sounds, SoVoSo, Slammin All Body Band, Linda Tillery and the Cultural Heritage Choir and CHELLE! and Friends, He also performs with Zadell, Rankin Scroo and Ginger, and R&B group, D.A.P. His musical experiences have him taken around the globe including several trips throughout Europe, Japan, South Korea, Brazil and Jamaica. Bryan’s talents have landed him alongside such artist as Al Green, Bobby McFerrin, Michael McDonald of the Doobie Brothers, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, the soundtrack for the movie “La Mission” with Benjamin Bratt, and Huey Lewis and The News to name a few.

Mark Rosenthal – Steeldrum

Mark has been teaching steel drum classes in the Bay Area since 1996. He is now co-director of Cazadero Performing Arts Family Camp, where he also teaches. After earning his BA in Music Performance at Humboldt State University in 1992, Mark traveled to Trinidad and performed with Phase 2 Pan Groove during the 1994 annual Panorama competition. He is also currently teaching at East Bay School of Science and Art, Head-Royce School, Joaquin Miller Elementary, and the annual summer jazz program Jazz Camp West.

Gillian Harwin

Gillian Harwin – Vocals and Music Theory

Californian turned New Yorker Gillian Harwin is a songwriter, producer, arranger, bandleader, vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, and music educator. She sings in multiple languages and accompanies herselfplaying either guitar or upright bass. She otherwise entertains by playing the ukulele, musical saw, or tel avi and has even been known to do a nose flute or kazoo solo. Gillian graduated with a degree in classical vocal performance although her true passion is for singing jazz, Latin, soul, R&B and theblues. After years of paying dues singing in smoky blues bars and searching for “the vibe”, she shares her voice, vision and depth with the release of her debut album, Whiskey Sandwich. She currently tours with Latin sensation, Movimiento and has appeared at such venues as New York’s Blue Note Jazz Club, The Highline Ballroom, and The Brooklyn Academy of Music. Between performances she provides private vocal training and instruction on playing the ukulele,guitar, musical saw, upright and electric bass.

Joshua Woodson – Turntable

Joshua Woodson started working with a digital recording workstation at Age 14. With only a Midi interface and an old Macintosh he was able to produce several original recording that were never released. After a brief stint in the United States Navy, Joshua headed off to San Diego City College. He also put together a small Digital Audio Workstation in his studio apartment and began familiarizing himself with pro tools and Fruity loops. In 2006 he started Djing with two pro scratch digital turn tables. In 2007 He graduated with an associate’s Degree in digital Music. In 2008 Joshua Built another D.A.W. and is beginning to finish some of his earlier work to be made available on iTunes. He is also working with world renowned Josiah Woodson on releasing his first anticipated album entitled Pipe dreamer.

Kyle Blase – Ukulele Orchestra

Kyle received his B.A. in Music from San Francisco State University in 1998. He has been involved in many bands over the years including, reggae, funk hip-hop, rock, jazz and latin. He is an accomplished musician studying and performing on flute, guitar and voice. Currently he is a member of the Oakland Jazz Choir a professional gigging vocal jazz ensemble. He was director of the Optimist Youth Jazz Band in San Diego a no profit organization for middle and high school students. He has taught all ages from pre-school to high-school in over a ten year span. He lived abroad for a year in France touring and recording with a Gypsy Acid Jazz Band “Buzart”. He has worked with an impressive list of musicians including but not limited too Benny Green, Victoria Theodore, Omar Sosa, Geoff Brennan, Carlton Manning, Jeff Marrs, Walter Bankovitch, Danya Stevens, Gillian Harwin, Destani Wolf, Tim Bulkley, Scott Thompson and Balboa Becker.

Javier Navarrette – Percussion
For more than 25 years, Javier Navarrette has been dedicated to the study and performance of music, specializing in Afro-Caribbean rhythms. Javier has studied with masters in Cuba including Miguel Angá Díaz, Jose Luis “Changuito” Quintana, as well Folklorico Nacional de Cuba. In the San Francisco Bay area, he has studied with John Santos, Michael Spiro and Jesus Díaz. Javier has had the honor to perform with such greats as Poncho Sanchez, Los Van Van, the “Conga Kings”, as well as with Jon Faddis, Jerry Gonzalez, and others.  In addition, Javier has had the privilege of recording with world-renowned artists such as Giovanni Hidalgo, Anthony Carillo, Sandy Perez, and  Jimmy Bosch.  He also recorded on three Grammy nominated albums with John Santos’ Machete Ensemble and El Coro Folklorico Kindembo.  Javier is frequently involved in a myriad of projects such as the featured artist in “Proyecto de Congueros” at Yoshis Jazz Club in San Franciso, and organizing Bomba y Plena workshops.  Javier is currently working on a new project, Machina Sol, along with three other San Francisco Bay Area artists. Javier continues to create new musical ideas, in order to expand his musical knowledge. He also enjoys teaching music to the next generation and currently teaches for Living Jazz as part of the Oakland Children’s Community Project, teaching rhythm classes to 1-3rd graders in under privileged Oakland public elementary schools.
Natalie-AcevesNatalie Aceves – Dance

Natalie Aceves is a choreographer, dancer and educator. She merges technique and vocabulary movements of contemporary, ballet, jazz and modern with elements of Hip-Hop, Traditional Folklore, House footwork, yoga and improvisation.

Her intention as a facilitator of the arts is to provide a multidisciplinary instruction for my students to explore their potential, talent and love by inspiring them with a versatile kinetic experience. She has been a Fusion dance instructor for the New Style Motherload Youth Program, has performed throughout the Bay Area and has recently served on the faculty of Jazz Camp West, a project of Living Jazz.

Samara Atkins2Samara Atkins- Hip-Hop Dance
Samara Atkins has been dancing and teaching hip-hop since 1999 and finds pure joy in sharing her love and passion for dance with others. She has been technically trained in jazz, ballet, and hip hop, while her most recent focus has predominantly been street styles. Not only has she been a choreographer since the age of 14 and directed a student-run dance company at Howard University while attending, but has performed in various dance companies such as Mix’d Ingrdnts, New Style Motherlode, Diamond Dance Company, Neopolitan, Dance 10, St. Mary’s Dance Ensemble, Vizion Performance Team, and Carla Service’s Dance-A-Vision. She currently is a full-time dance teaching artist through Destiny Arts Center, where she has been a youth worker since 2011. Through Destiny, she began working with the Power of Hope Camp in 2014 and utilizing her arts facilitation skills, works with youth to process, cope, release, heal, and apply things discovered in supportive spaces to everyday life.  
Samara is Co-Founder and Associate Co-Artistic Director of the mixed genre dance collective Mix’d Ingrdnts, with a mission to educate, inspire, and empower women, youth, and the community on how to use their voice in different ways.

Traveling to Mexico, China, Thailand, Nepal, South Africa, and Vietnam to showcase, teach, and share her love of dance with other cultures, her passion is to perform and teach youth, as well as
 the community to freely express themselves with confidence. She has choreographed music videos for local artists The Alphabet Rockers, Sara Lovell, and has also back-up danced for Nile Rodgers and the band Chic. She teaches adult and youth hip-hop classes around the Bay Area and also is currently a hip-hop columnist for Dance Studio Life Magazine. 
Reese Bullen – Spoken Word

Reese Bullen is an accomplished drummer, songwriter, sound and audio technician, beatboxer, poet and accomplished educator. He has been serving on both the Jazz Camp West and Jam camp West staff for several years and also works throughout the Bay Area as an instrumentalist as well as equipment and audio technician. When he is not playing music, you might find Reese on his sailboat traveling to some magical place in a far off land.

Joshua Reuben Silverstein – Beatboxer

Joshua Reuben Silverstein is an award winning actor, comedic writer, beatboxer and educator. His various performances and productions throughout the country have received admiration from, Norman Lear, LeVar Burton, Prince and others.

Joshua has become the West Coast’s most sought after beatboxer. His various collaborations with artists such as Slash from Guns and Roses and poetic icons Jerry Quickley, and Ursula Rucker have earned him the title of “the hardest-working performer in L.A.”.

Joshua has gone on to provide and facilitate uncountable Theater, Improvisation and Spoken Word workshops / in-school residencies, all designed to create a safe and open space where youth indulge in the freedom of creative expression. During the school year, Joshua co-hosts and co produces Emmy winning, Downbeat 720; a high school open-mic that has been a staple of Santa Monica for the last 14 years. Joshua also performs with Eliza Skinner for Turnt Up; a monthly comedian emcee battle that takes place once a month at Upright Citizens Brigade in LA.

 

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Sundra Manning – Accompanist

Sundra Manning is a highly sought after B3 Player, Pianist, Keyboardist and Producer, respected for her wide ranging musical versatility. She has toured around the world sharing her lovely gift of music; and has received Grammy Nominations and Gospel Academy Awards for her music. Sundra has played with legendary musical greats such as The Monkees (Peter Tork), Larry Graham, Prince, Raphael Saadiq, Rachelle Ferrell, Ledisi, Gill Scott Herron, India Arie, Maceo Parker, Cindy Lauper, and many more. She has recorded, written and/or produced with Raphael Saadiq, Peobo Bryson, Ledisi, The Braxton Brothers, The Roots, Mike Phillips, Will Downing, Wendy Lands, Lalah Hathaway, JW, Maysa, Shelby J., EnVogue, Michael Franti, Miko Marks, MeShell Ndgeocello, and  Brenda Vaughn, just to name a few. Sundra is a graduate of SF State University (BA Economics, BA Broadcast/Audio). She continues to perform, produce and record music and is available for accompaniment, touring, studio/music production, songwriting collaborations, film scoring, vocal production and indie music consultations.