Apply Today!
Skidmore Jazz Institute

Institute Faculty

Click the name of each faculty member to jump to their full bio.

Former Institute faculty members can be seen here.

Todd Coolman Director           John Nazarenko
Avid ProTools Workshop
Mark Beaubriand Academic Advisor & Saxophone Jeb Patton Piano & Combo Leader
Paul Bollenback Guitar & Combo Leader John Riley
Drums & Combo Leader
Bill Cunliffe
Piano & Combo Leader Gary Smulyan Saxophone & Combo Leader
Michael Dease Trombone & Combo Leader Kenny Washington  Drums & Combo Leader
Jon Faddis Trumpet & Combo Leader Doug Weiss Bass & Combo Leader
Jimmy Greene Tenor Saxophone & Combo Leader Scott Wendholt Trumpet & Combo Leader
Bob Halek Drums David Wong Bass & Combo Leader
 Vic Juris  Guitar & Combo Leader Administration

Todd Coolman
 - Director

Todd Coolman

Grammy Award-winning bassist and educator, Coolman has performed and recorded with top jazz artists such as Horace Silver, Gerry Mulligan, Stan Getz, Benny Golson, Art Farmer, Lionel Hampton, Benny Goodman, Slide Hampton, Jon Faddis and James Moody. A Professor of Music at SUNY Purchase, he is a recipient of SUNY’s Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching and holds a Ph.D. from New York University. Coolman works worldwide as a clinician and lecturer. Recent recordings include Our Delight, Perfect Strangers, and 4B, the last recording of James Moody and winner of the 2011 Grammy Award for Best Jazz Instrumental AlbumAn forthcoming album entitled “Collectables” with his trio Trifecta (Bill Cunliffe and Dennis Mackrel) is expected out this year.



Mark Beaubriand - Academic Advisor & Saxophone

A graduate of the University of Miami with a master's degree in jazz pedagogy, Mark Beaubriand is currently chair of the Music Department and director of band and jazz band at Saratoga Springs High School. Under his direction, the Saratoga Springs High School Jazz Ensemble has won many New York State and national awards and has commissioned works by Frank Mantooth, Jeff Jarvis, and Jim Snidero. Beaubriand is a frequent performer in the northeast and has appeared with the Manhattan Transfer, New York Voices, Johnny Mathis, Aretha Franklin, Natalie Cole, Rosemary Clooney, Liberace, and Bobby Vinton.

Paul Bollenback - Guitar & Combo Leader

Paul Bollenback

Born just outside Chicago, Illinois, Bollenback was raised in Hastings-on-Hudson, NY, and got his earliest musical nudge from his father, a classically trained trumpeter. The elder Bollenback, a scientist, relocated the family from New York to New Delhi, India when he was 11, and so began a life-long interest in exotic musical sounds and timbres that remain evident in most of his work. Bollenback went on to major in music at the University of Miami, then studied with Baltimore-based professor of Theory/Composition Asher Zlotnick. In 1987 he made his recording debut on Gary Thomas’s Seventh Quadrant (Enja), and in 1990 established a working relationship with the young organ legend Joey DeFrancesco, an association that lasts to this day and has produced 18 recordings.

In 1997, Bollenback was named Musician of the Year at the Washington Area Music Awards. Bollenback debuted as a leader with Original Visions (Challenge) and has many recordings including most recently Brightness of Being (ED4548) and Invocation (ED4550). He has appeared on the Tonight Show, Good Morning America, the Today Show, and Entertainment Tonight, and has played with an impressive line-up of musicians, including Steve Gadd, Gary Bartz, Paul Bley, Charlie Byrd, Terri-Lyne Carrington, Herb Ellis, Geoffrey Keezer, Mike LeDonne, Joe Locke, Jack McDuff, James Moody, David "Fathead" Newman, Jim Snidero, Carol Sloane, Gary Thomas, Grady Tate, Stanley Turrentine, and Jeff "Tain" Watts, vocalist-composer, Chris McNulty and in the group East Meets Jazz with the renowned tabla virtuoso Sandip Burman, to name a few. In 2011 Bollenback garnered a Grammy nomination for co-production on Joey DeFrancesco's Never Can Say Goodbye (Hi Note). His international and national touring schedule currently includes appearances with Joey DeFrancesco, Mike LeDonne, Jim Snidero, Gary Smulyan, Buster Williams, Chris McNulty's Magic Trio, as well as with his own trio.

Bill Cunliffe - Piano & Combo Leader

Bill Cunliffe

Pianist, composer and Grammy Award-winning arranger Bill Cunliffe has worked with legends including Buddy Rich, Frank Sinatra, Ray Brown, Joe Henderson, Freddie Hubbard and Art Farmer. He currently performs with his trio; his big band; his Latin band, Imaginación; and his classical-jazz ensemble, Trimotif. Recent releases include his trio album “River Edge, New Jersey,” and his Overture, Waltz and Rondo for jazz piano, trumpet and orchestra, which won Cunliffe his fifth Grammy nomination for Best Instrumental Composition. Cunliffe is a jazz studies professor at Cal State Fullerton. He received his master’s degree from the Eastman School of Music and was the 1989 winner of the Thelonious Monk International Piano Competition.

Michael Dease - Trombone & Combo Leader

Michael Dease

Michael Dease has emerged as one of the premier jazz trombonists of his generation. Born in Augusta, Georgia, the “Deep South”, Dease played the saxophone and trumpet before choosing the trombone. He was a self-taught high school senior when he moved to New York in 2001 to study at the Juilliard School where he earned his Bachelor and Master degrees. Dease quickly established his reputation as a soloist and sideman, recording 4 albums as a leader and logging over 100 sessions as a sideman, all before the age of 30. His 4 critically praised releases as a leader include: The Takeover (2005), Clarity (2007), Dease Bones (2008) and Grace (2010).

His latest album, Coming Home on D Clef Records features pianist Renee Rosnes, bassist Christian McBride, drumer Ulysses Owens Jr, and saxophonist Steve Wilson, plus a guest appearance by tenor sax man Eric Alexander. The Grammy award-winning trombonist, has played with many of today's foremost jazz orchestras, including those led by Wynton Marsalis, Christian McBride, Roy Hargrove, Nicholas Payton, Charles Tolliver and Rufus Reid. Dease has also performed with Winard Harper, Renee Rosnes, Bill Charlap, Claudio Roditi, The Heath Brothers, Lewis Nash, Alicia Keys, Paul Simon, Paul Schaffer and the CBS Orchestra, Elton John, Neal Diamond, Illinois Jacquet, Slide Hampton, Fred Wesley, Maceo Parker, WDR Big Band, George Gruntz, Billy Harper, and numerous others. He learned his craft from trombone legends Wycliffe Gordon and Joseph Alessi and is frequently asked to host master classes in the U.S. and abroad. Dease teaches jazz trombone full time at Michigan State University and has also been on faculty at Queens College CUNY, The New School and Northeastern University. In addition to leading his own quartet, quintet and sextet, he conducts his own 17-piece big band.


Jon Faddis - Trumpet & Combo Leader

Jon Faddis

Jon Faddis joined Lionel Hampton's band as a featured soloist, moving from Oakland, CA to New York.  Shortly after arriving in Manhattan, Faddis was invited to sit in with the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra at the Village Vanguard; he rapidly became lead trumpeter for the band, touring the world.  He soon formed his own quartet, and began directing orchestras, including the Grammy-winning United Nation Orchestra, the Dizzy Gillespie 70th Birthday Big Band, the Dizzy Gillespie Alumni All-Stars, the Chicago Jazz Ensemble (2004-2010), the Carnegie Hall Centennial Big Band, the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band (1992-2002), and the Jon Faddis Jazz Orchestra of New York (2003-present). Faddis has also served as guest conductor and featured guest with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra and the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra.

Jon Faddis’ distinctive trumpet appears on hundreds of records and numerous soundtracks for film and television. Faddis' original compositions include the Jazz opera Lulu Noire (1997) (named a “Top 10” pick by USA Today); other Faddis compositions may be heard on his Grammy-nominated Remembrances (Chesky 1998), Hornucopia (Epic 1991), Into the Faddisphere (Epic 1989), and TERANGA (Koch 2006).

Jon Faddis is known throughout the world as one of the most innovative and inspiring jazz trumpeters of our time.  He has an unfailing commitment to the education of young musicians and frequently conducts clinics and master classes to help the next generation of jazz musicians.  In Chicago, Faddis served as the Jazz Institute of Chicago’s first mentor for the Jazz Links program and also created the Louis Armstrong Legacy Program.  Faddis is a full-time faculty member at the Conservatory of Music, Purchase College-SUNY, where he began in 1999 as Artist-in-Residence, becoming shortly after Professor and Director of Jazz Performance. Faddis holds the first-ever honorary doctorate in Jazz from Manhattan School of Music (which he attended for about a semester when he was 18), as well as numerous other accolades and awards.  

 Jimmy Greene - Tenor Saxophone & Combo Leader

Jimmy Greene

A native of Hartford, CT, saxophonist, composer, and educator Jimmy Greene has emerged as a positive presence in the jazz world. His 9 solo recordings, including his most recent Live at Smalls (SmallsLive), have been met with much critical acclaim. Greene was First Runner-Up in the 1996 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition, and was named one of the “25 Young Rising Stars in Jazz” by DownBeat Magazine in 1999. He graduated from the Hartt School in 1997 and received his Masters in Music Education from Boston University in 2012. He is currently a doctoral candidate in Jazz Arts at the Manhattan School of Music. His mentors include Jackie McLean, Jim McNeely, Garry Dial, Justin DiCioccio, David Liebman, Dave Santoro, Kris Jensen, Steve Davis, Ken Radnofsky and Janet Arms.

His Quartet performs regularly in jazz venues, festivals and clubs worldwide. In addition to his recordings and appearances as a leader, Greene appears on over 70 albums as a sideman, and has toured and/or recorded with Horace Silver, Tom Harrell, Freddie Hubbard, Harry Connick, Jr., Avishai Cohen, Kenny Barron, Lewis Nash, Steve Turre, the New Jazz Composers Octet and the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, among many others. Greene is Assistant Professor of Music and Co-Coordinator of Jazz Studies at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury, CT and has previously taught at the University of Manitoba, Purchase College (State University of New York), the Hartt School (University of Hartford) and the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts. Greene has given clinics and master classes throughout the United States, Canada, Brazil, Israel and Russia.

Jimmy was nominated for two Grammy’s in 2015, one for his latest recording, Beautiful Life (Mack Avenue), in the Best Jazz Instrumental Album category and “When I Come Home," a reworking of Greene's song "Home" (with vocals by CT native Javier Colon), in the Best Arrangement, Instruments and Vocals category.

Bob Halek - Drums

Teacher and percussionist Bob Halek is a native of upstate New York. As a musician, his versatility keeps him very active recording and performing with artists from many different disciplines: Big Band, Jazz, Latin, Funk, Country, Classical and R&B. He has performed on the Food Network, Newport Jazz Festival, as well as concerts, festivals and clubs throughout the Northeast. His current schedule includes performances with The Empire Jazz Orchestra, Keith Pray’s Big Soul Ensemble, The Capitol Region Wind Ensemble, City Rhythm and various club bands. Halek was named the 2012 district wide teacher of the year in the East Greenbush School District where he teaches instrumental music. He also has appeared as a clinician and guest conductor for various concert bands, jazz bands and percussion ensembles.

Vic Juris - Guitar & Combo Leader

Vic JurisA native of Jersey City, N.J., Victor Juris took up guitar at age 10, in 1963. By the mid-1960s, he was playing with rock and R&B bands in his area. He discovered jazz in his late teens and subsequently studied with Philly jazz guitar legend Pat Martino. In 1975, Juris made his recording debut on alto saxophonist Eric Kloss' Bodies' Warmth (Muse). He later gigged with fusioneer Barry Miles before hooking up with alto-sax burner Richie Cole, appearing on two hot, boppish offerings in 1977's Alto Madness and 1978's Keeper of the Flame (both on Muse). In the early '80s, Juris immersed himself in acoustic guitar, performing duets with Larry Coryell and Biréli Lagrène, and by the late '80s he joined bassist Gary Peacock's group.

Juris has been a member of the David Liebman group since 1991. This band has recorded 10 CDs, traveled throughout Europe, Japan, Israel, and the United States throughout the 1990s and is still going strong. He was a member of the Gary Peacock Quartet and musical director of the Charles Mingus Guitar Quintet. Juris performed at George Wein's J.V.C. Festival, in duets with John Abercrombie and Russell Malone. He has also performed with Jeremy Steig, James Moody and Charlie Mariano to name a few.

As a leader Juris performs in the United States and in European venues. His own quartet includes saxophonist Dick Oatts. His band has recorded albums on Steeple Chase, Night Tripper, Pastels (1997), Moonscape (1998), and Remembering Eric Dolphy (2000). His CD Songbook hit top 10 pics in 2000. Juris has also recorded on Double Time Records' Music of Alec Wilder. His 2004 release of Blue Horizon listed him as top pics for the year 2004. Juris teaches at Rutgers University and Lehigh University and has conducted clinics throughout the United States and Europe.

 John Nazarenko - Avid ProTools Workshop

John Nazarenko is Senior Artist-in-Residence at Skidmore College and a renowned jazz pianist. He is also a music producer and engineer and has owned and operated The Creek Studio, a full production facility offering complete recording services, since 1980.  Nazarenko is also on the faculty at Williams College, directs the jazz ensemble at the Luzerne Music Center, and has authored several books in jazz studies. He performs as a soloist with numerous ensembles at jazz clubs and concert venues and has recorded with Eric Harland, Reuben Rogers, Chuck D'Aloia, and Colleen Pratt among others. His latest live recording project features Eric Harland and Matt Penman and is due for release in 2013.

Jeb Patton – Piano & Combo Leader

Jeb PattonJeb Patton has toured throughout the United States and abroad as the pianist with the Heath Brothers, Jimmy Heath's Generations Quintet, the Charles McPherson Quartet, the Sachal Vasandani Quartet, the Dmitry Baevsky Quartet, the Winard Harper Sextet, as well as with his own trio. Jeb has also performed and/or recorded with a variety of luminaries and top ensembles including Percy Heath, Tootie Heath, the Jimmy Heath Big Band, the Dizzy Gillespie Alumni Big Band, the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, Etta Jones, Jessye Norman, Barbara Cook, James Moody, Maurice Peress, Coleridge Taylor Perkinson, the Broadway musical, “After Midnight,” and the New York Philomusica to name a few. His arrangements have been performed by the Heath Brothers, Jessye Norman, Emanuel Ax, Lang Lang, The Jimmy Heath Big Band, Sachal Vasandani, The Duke University Big Band, and the UNC Chapel Hill Big Band.

Jeb Patton’s brand new CD, Shades and Tones, was released this spring on the Cellar Live label. Jeb recorded New Strides in 2009 on the MAXJAZZ label. In 2013, Sher Music published the first volume of Jeb’s new book, An Approach to Comping: the Essentials. Volume two of the series, An Approach to Comping: Advanced Concepts and Techniques, is due to be released at the beginning of 2016. Jeb also teaches piano, ear training, transcription, jazz piano for non-pianists, arranging, and improvisation at Queens College and Five Towns College.


John Riley - Drums & Combo Leader

John RileyCritically acclaimed performer, author and teacher, John Riley has worked with the world's leading Jazz musicians for over 30 years. A three time GRAMMY award winner and 13 time nominee, John has played on hundreds of recordings and at major venues with Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Stan Getz, Woody Herman, John Scofield, Joe Lovano, Bob Mintzer, The Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra and many others.

John is the author of The Art of Bop Drumming, currently published in five languages, Beyond Bop Drumming, The Jazz Drummer's Workshop and the DVD The Master Drummer.

John has a BM in Jazz Studies from the University of North Texas, 1975, and an MM in Jazz Studies from the Manhattan School of Music, 1985. He is on the faculty of Manhattan School of Music and SUNY Purchase, an Artist in Residence at the Amsterdam Conservatory in Holland and has given master classes around the world.


Gary Smulyan – Saxophone & Combo Leader

Gary SmulyanGary Smulyan is a gifted multi-instrumentalist who started his music career by first learning alto saxophone during his teenage years. Today he is critically acclaimed and recognized as the major voice on the baritone saxophone. His playing is marked by an aggressive rhythmic sense, an intelligent and creative harmonic approach, and a strong and incisive wit.

While still in high school, he had the chance to sit in with major jazz artists such as legendary trumpeter Chet Baker, saxophonist Lee Konitz, trombonist Jimmy Knepper and violinist Ray Nance.

Gary has been a member of Woody Herman’s Young Thundering Herd, the Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra, the Mingus Big Band and the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra. He has shared the stage and recording studio with trumpeters Freddie Hubbard and Dizzy Gillespie, saxophonist Stan Getz, pianist Chick Corea, timbales king Tito Puente, and r&b/blues and soul icons Ray Charles, B.B. King and Diana Ross.

With at least ten recordings under his own name, Gary continues to play with a wide variety of artists including the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Nonet, the Dave Holland Octet, Big Band, Three Baritone Saxophone Band, George Coleman and the Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band.

Gary is the winner of the 2014 and 2015 Downbeat Readers Poll for Baritone Saxophonist of the Year, the 2015 Downbeat Critics Poll for Baritone Saxophonist of the Year, the 2014 Jazz Times Expanded Critics Poll for Baritone Saxophone, the 2009 and 2011 Jazz Times Readers and Critics Polls for Baritone Saxophonist of the Year, and the 2009 and 2010 Jazz Journalist Award for Baritone Saxophonist of the Year.

Gary is a faculty member of Amherst College and serves as the artistic director at the Berkshire Hills Music Academy in South Hadley, Massachusetts, a two year post secondary music school for eighteen to thirty year olds with developmental disabilities.

Kenny Washington – Drums & Combo Leader

Kenny WashingtonOne of the many young hard-bop revivalists to have arrived on the scene in the late '70s and early ‘80s, Kenny Washington has been in particular demand by much older musicians, playing with such legendary veterans as Lee Konitz, Betty Carter, Johnny Griffin, Dizzy Gillespie, Clark Terry, and Tommy Flanagan.

Born in Brooklyn, Washington studied with the former Dizzy Gillespie drummer Rudy Collins and attended New York's LaGuardia High School for Music & Art.

Washington worked with Konitz while still in his teens, recording with the saxophonist's nonet in 1977. He worked with Carter from 1978-9 and Griffin from 1980. A prolific freelancer, Washington has compiled an enormous discography, performing on dozens of sessions by many of jazz's most prominent figures. He has worked with many distinguished musicians, including Ronnie Mathews, Lee Konitz, Betty Carter, Johnny Griffin, Dizzy Gillespie, Clark Terry, George Cables, Benny Goodman, Lionel Hampton, Sonny Stitt, James Spaulding, Phil Woods, Bill Charlap, Bobby Watson, Curtis Lundy, and Tommy Flanagan. He currently plays with Ahmad Jamal replacing Idris Muhammad.

Kenny Washington has a strong interest in jazz history; he's written liner notes for and/or helped prepare classic jazz re-releases by Art Blakey and Count Basie, among others. He's also taught jazz drumming at the New School in New York City, and worked as an announcer at the New Jersey jazz radio station WGBO.

Doug Weiss - Bass & Combo Leader

Doug Weiss

Raised in Chicago, Illinois, Bassist Doug Weiss has lived and performed in the New York City jazz scene since graduating from the William Paterson College jazz studies program in 1988. His first International travel was to Japan with the legendary singer Joe Williams in 1991 and that same year he joined the faculty of the New School University. In 1995 Weiss recorded the first of two critically acclaimed Blue Note records under the leadership of pianist Kevin Hays. His relationship with Hays continues with 10 cds recorded and touring appearances in the United States, Europe, and Asia.

Other recording, touring and performing credits include Lizz Wright’s Salt, Al Foster, Brian Blade and the Fellowship band, guitarist Peter Bernstein's "Monk" project, Bill Stewart, the Eli Degibri quartet, Marc Copland with band Crosstalk featuring Victor Lewis, Greg Osby, and himself, and the collective "Wayfarer", featuring Timothy Hill, Jeff Haynes, and Brandon Ross. In 2004 Weiss was invited to join the Faculty at SUNY Purchase. Recently, Weiss was featured, along with Billy Drummond and John Scofield, on Eddie Henderson's release For All We Know (Furthermore Records). Of particular interest is his work with Peter Bernstein, Brad Mehldau, and Bill Stewart, a special quartet that convenes every year at Smoke in New York City. Weiss continues to circulate in the New York club scene with the likes of Mike Moreno, Sam Yahel, Bruce Barth, Gerald Clayton, Chris Potter, Jim Snidero, and Francisco Mela. Doug Weiss has also performed and recorded with such notable figures as Toshiko Akiyoshi, Lee Konitz, Jacky Terrasson, Eddie Henderson, Lew Tabakin, Walt Weiskopf, the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, and Joshua Redman. Weiss has been part of 2 Grammy nominated works, both by Folk Legend Pete Seeger.

Scott Wendholt – Trumpet & Combo Leader

Scott WendholtScott Wendholt is an articulate, passionate, and lyrical trumpeter who approaches music with energy and spirit. He communicates to audiences with sincerity and ease. Born in the mid-sixties and nurtured in the Mile High City (Denver), this young veteran left for Indiana University and subsequently moved on to Cincinnati, Ohio. Still feeling a pull from farther East, he, like so many other musicians, migrated to New York City and has remained ever since.

Scott is much in demand as an artist and has found himself in a variety of settings. He has recorded and/or worked extensively with artists including Kenny Garrett, Cyrus Chestnut, Christian McBride, Don Braden and Bruce Barth. For the last Six years, Scott has found a home with Vincent Herring's quintet. This highly acclaimed band has recorded three albums, including Folklore-Live at the Village Vanguard. He has toured extensively throughout the United States, Europe, South America, Africa and Japan with these bands as well as others. To his credit, Scott has been recorded on more than ninety CD's. However, he is recognized as a leader as well. His second recording for the Doubletime Jazz label was released in the spring of 2000, following three successful Scott Wendholt offerings on Criss Cross. This CD has received much favorable press including a 4 star review in Downbeat. Look for his upcoming release with a new quartet he co-leads with Adam Kolker on tenor saxophone. The recording features Victor Lewis on drums and Ugonna Okegwo on bass in a "chord-less" quartet setting with all new music and is due out in late 2013 (Fresh Sound).

The "Big Band Scene" has also sought out this trumpeter for his versatility and formidable powers. His list of credits include: The Carnegie Hall Big Band (led by Jon Faddis), Maria Schneider’s Big Band, the Bob Mintzer Big Band and the Buddy Rich Big Band. He currently has the honor of being included in the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra (formerly Thad Jones/Mel Lewis) where he is a featured soloist.

Scott continues to be in demand on the playing scene as well as in the educational arena. He is currently on the faculty at Manhattan School of Music and the Jamey Aebersold summer jazz camps and is in demand as a player/clinician in many colleges and various other learning institutions around the world.

David Wong - Bass & Combo Leader

David Wong

Bassist David Wong was born and raised in New York City. In 2004, he graduated from the Juilliard School in classical music. He has studied with Orin O’Brien (New York Philharmonic), Ron Carter, Ben Wolfe, and John Clayton.  He is currently a member of Roy Haynes’ “Fountain of Youth” band, The "Heath Brothers" Quartet – led by jazz legends Jimmy Heath and Albert "Tootie" Heath, The Benny Green trio, and the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra.  Wong was also the last bass player in Hank Jones' "Great Jazz Trio" and is featured on the piano master's last recording.  He has performed in many of the major concert halls and jazz clubs throughout the United States, Europe and Asia.

He can also be seen regularly performing with Steve Kuhn, Brian Lynch's "Unsung Heroes Project", Ralph Lalama's "Bop Juice", the Jeb Patton Trio, the Dan Nimmer Trio, the Aaron Diehl Trio, Ray Gallon, Grant Stewart, Dmitry Baevsky, and Sachal Vasandani. He has recorded with Hank Jones, Roy Haynes, Jimmy Heath, Albert "Tootie" Heath , The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Benny Green, Dick Oatts, Joe Magnerelli, Wycliffe Gordon, Russell Malone, Brian Lynch, John Marshall, Grant Stewart, Dmitry Baevsky, Fabien Mary, and Walt Weiskopf. Wong has performed with Clark Terry, Frank Wess, Joe Wilder, Jimmy Wormworth, Illinois Jacquet, Lou Donaldson, Barry Harris, Slide Hampton, Andy Bey, Bill Charlap, Bennie Wallace, Wynton Marsalis, Terell Stafford, Gary Smulyan, Eric Reed, Michael Weiss, Kenny Washington, and Lewis Nash. Wong is a former participant at the Skidmore Jazz Institute and is currently an adjunct professor at the New School and Queens College.


Donald McCormack - Program Consultant

As Dean of Special Programs at Skidmore College, Don McCormack founded the Skidmore Jazz Institute in 1987. Under McCormack's 20-year tenure as dean, the College offered nationally recognized programs in the arts, among them the NYS Summer Writers Institute, Skidmore Summer Dance Workshop, Skidmore Summer Flute Institute, SITI Company Summer Theater Workshop and the Summer SIX Art Program. A long-time advocate for arts education, McCormack has been the inspiration and the impetus for creating artistic residencies and scholarship funds that serve disadvantaged students. Currently he serves on the Board of Directors at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center.

Gerald Zaffuts - Program Consultant

Gerald Zaffuts is the founding Director of the Skidmore Jazz Institute (1987-2007) and was instrumental in starting the College’s jazz program in the early 80’s. A graduate of the University of Northern Colorado, he has also taught at Bennington College, SUNY Albany and Schenectady Community College. Zaffuts was principle trombone with the Colorado Fusion Orchestra under the direction of Pat Williams and has performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra, The Bach Choir of London, and at the Newport and Kool Jazz Festivals as well as with a wide variety of recording artists and entertainers. He has recorded with the New Columbian Brass Band and The New Walnut Street All-Star Orchestra, and worked as a post-session producer for Dorian Recordings. In 2011 he received the Olmsted Award for Excellence in Secondary Teaching from Williams College.

Brian Carucci – Administrative Coordinator

Brian Carucci is a band director at Shenendehowa High School where he teaches Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, and two Jazz Ensembles. In addition, he is the pit orchestra director for the Shenendehowa High School Musical and the advisor of the Shenendehowa chapter of the Tri-M Music Honor Society.

Carucci serves as Assistant Conductor for the New York State Summer School for the Arts (NYSSSA), School of Orchestral Studies Wind Ensemble and is the Administrative Coordinator for the Skidmore Jazz Institute. An adjunct clarinet instructor at Schenectady County Community College, Carucci is also an active woodwind adjudicator for the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA).

Carucci has performed with the Northern Symphonic Winds, the Capital District Wind Ensemble, the Schenectady Light Opera Company (SLOC), and the Glens Falls Symphony. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Music Education and Master's degree in Music Performance from Crane School of Music.