50th Annual NMSU Jazz Festival

The New Mexico State University Music Department and Jazz Ensembles are pleased to announce the 50thAnniversary Jazz Festival and Jumpstart. This year’s festival will feature an All Star lineup including, Hollywood Studio Trumpet Artist, Wayne Bergeron, Yamaha String Educator and Artist, Christian Howes, and former member of the Chuck Mangione Jazz Ensemble and Selmer Jazz Artist, Chris Vadala.

Jazz Jumpstart is an event that promotes jazz and jazz education. During this two-day festival, middle schools and high school musicians from throughout the region will have the opportunity to perform and receive feedback from our guest clinicians/artists. They will also have the chance to attend clinics and workshops throughout the two-day event.

Alumni Jazz Ensemble

As an added feature in this year’s banner Anniversary, we will host an Almuni Big Band directed by Sam Trimble, former director of NMSU Jazz Ensembles. Former Jazz Ensemble members are invited to participate and perform in the Alumni Jazz Ensemble.  Registration can be found at https://music.nmsu.edu/forms/jazz-festival-alumni-registration.

The 50thAnnual NMSU Jazz Festival and Jumpstart will take place at the Atkinson Recital Hall on November 15thand 16th, 2018. NMSU Jazz II and the Alumni Band(s) will perform with guest artist Chris Vadala the evening of  November 15th and NMSU Jazz I will perform with Wayne Bergeron and Christian Howes on November 16th.  This event is sponsored by The New Mexico Arts Council, Olivas Music-El Paso, The Selmer Corporation, Yamaha Musical Instrument Corporation, and the New Mexico State University Music Department. Each evening's concert ticket prices will be $5 for students and $15 for adults.  Participating students will be admitted free of charge. Fee for participating bands is $150 per ensemble.  Individual students wanting to attend clinics and concerts can pay $10 to attend all events.

Christian Howes

Suzuki-trained violinist from Columbus, Ohio, Christian Howes grew up winning classical competitions and went on to pursue jazz, rock, fiddle styles, blues, and world music, distinguishing himself as one of the premier improvising violinists in the world. He was voted first place in the Downbeat Critics Poll (“Rising Star/Violin”) and nominated by the Jazz Journalists Association for “Violinist of the Year.”

In 2014, Christian formalized his “Creative Strings” initiatives with the founding of Creative Strings, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to the expansion and improvement of music education. Christian regularly visits school orchestra programs offering residencies combining collaborative performances with interactive clinics, rehearsals, and teacher training. He typically gives workshops in over 50 school districts annually.

Christian served for three years as an Associate Professor at the Berklee College of Music after founding his own annual Creative Strings Workshop and Festival. The annual week-long conference provides teen and adult string players an opportunity to experience a rigorous schedule of public performances, jams, rehearsals, and clinics, all with a focus on improvisational music.

Christian founded his own online learning site, the Creative Strings Academy, to provide curriculum for teachers to offer improvisation, harmony, and eclectic styles in the classroom. His Music Biz Mastermind courses are now offered several times annually, helping working musicians design their careers while growing their impact.

Wayne Bergeron

Wayne Bergeron is enjoying a career as one of the most sought-after musicians in the world. Studio sessions, film dates, international touring, jazz concerts, guest appearances, and clinics keep him busy not only in his hometown of Los Angeles, but worldwide.

Born in Hartford, Connecticut in 1958, Bergeron came to Los Angeles at age one, so considers himself a native Californian. Originally starting on French horn, he switched to trumpet in seventh grade and found he had natural upper register ability. Bergeron credits his junior high and high school teachers, Ron Savitt and Bob Smith, for molding his talent into practical working skills.

Bergeron first caught the ear of many when he landed the lead trumpet chair with Maynard Ferguson’s band in 1986. Bergeron can be heard on Maynard’s recordings of “Body and Soul,” “Big Bop Nouveau,” “Brass Attitude,” and “The One and Only Maynard Ferguson.”  Bergeron demonstrates daily why Maynard remarked, “Wayne is the most musical lead trumpet player I’ve had on my band.”

As a sideman, Bergeron’s list of recording credits reads like a who’s who in contemporary jazz and pop, running the stylistic gamut from Ray Charles to Green Day. Other names include Beyoncé, Barbra Streisand, Michael Buble, The Dirty Loops, Seth MacFarlane, Natalie Cole, Celine Dion, Seal, Diana Krall, Tito Puente, Christina Aguilera, Dianne Reeves, Michael Bolton, Earth Wind & Fire, The Pussy Cat Dolls, My Chemical Romance, The Mars Volta, INXS, Chicago, Rosemary Cloony, Diane Schuur, Barry Manilow, Lee Ann Womack, Lou Rawls, Eric Marienthal, Kenny G., and David Benoit.

Bergeron has worked on over 400 TV & motion picture soundtracks. A partial list of film credits include Moana, Frozen, Bridge of Spies, Get On Up, Toy Story 3, Monsters University, Planes, Despicable Me 1 & 2, Cars 2, Charlie St. Cloud, High School Musical 3, Pink Panther 2, Marley & Me, Get Smart, Superman Returns, The Simpson’s Movie, Dreamgirls, Hairspray, Mission Impossible 3, Ice Age 2, Spiderman 1 & 2, Team America, Catch Me if You Can, and South Park. 

Bergeron’s featured trumpet solos can be heard on the motion pictures La La Land, Rough Night, Ted 2, MinionsJersey Boys, The Incredibles, Rocky Balboa, The Green Hornet, The Interview, Smurfs 2, Despicable Me 2, Duplicity, Leather Heads, Princess & the Frog, The Perfect Game, High Crimes, Rounders, Fled, Hey Arnold (the movie), The Life Aquatic, The Rat Pack, Child Star, Illegal Tender, Aladdin King of Thieves, Foolproof, and Two Days in the Valley.

Numerous TV credits include Academy Awards, Golden Globe Awards, SAG Awards, NBC, ESPN & TNT sports themes, Entertainment Tonight Theme, American Idol (2001-02), Emmy Awards, Grammy Awards, Latin Grammy’s, Family Guy, American Dad, The Cleveland Show, The Goode Family, Jeopardy, America’s Funniest Home Videos, Phineas & Ferb, Emperor’s New School, Mouse Works, Have a Laugh, House of Mouse, King of the Hill, Futurama, Buzz Lightyear, Hercules, Disney Mickey Mouse Shorts,and Hey Arnold.

Bergeron’s passion for big bands has led to his inclusion in some of Los Angeles’ most well-respected bands. He has recorded and played with Quincy Jones, Gordon Goodwin, Arturo Sandoval, Pat Williams, Sammy Nestico, Jack Sheldon, Chris Walden, Tom Kubis, John La Barbara, Bob Florence, Ray Anthony, Bill Watrous, Bob Curnow, and more recently Vince Mendoza’s re-creation of the Gil Evans/Miles Davis recordings featuring Terance Blanchard and Sean Jones.

After being behind the scene for so many years,Bergeron stepped out on his own with his first solo effort, “You Call This a Living?”  This debut project earned him a Grammy nomination in 2004 for Best Large Jazz Ensemble, as well as rave reviews from fans and press worldwide. Bergeron’s second CD, “Plays Well With Others,” released on the Concord Jazz label in 2007, was met with the same acclaim.  Bergeron's latest CD, "Full Circle" was released in January of 2016. Bergeron feels this is his best work to date.

Bergeron has been principle trumpet at the Pantages Theatre for over 15 years and is regularly featured with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. He has done guest appearances with the L.A. Philharmonic, The New York Philharmonic, and the Cleveland Orchestra.

Bergeron is a National Artist for the Yamaha Corporation of America and is co-designer of the YTR-8335LA trumpet and YFH-8315G Flugelhorn. Bergeron also designed a series of trumpet mouthpieces with Gary Radtke of GR Technologies that are available through Bergeron’s website.

Bergeron was mentored by legends like Uan Racey, Bobby Shew, Warren Luening, Gary Grant, Rick Baptist, and George Graham. He hopes to inspire a new generation of young players and enjoys his work as a clinician and educator. “Nothing makes me feel more accomplished than hearing a young musician say that I inspired them or had a positive influence on their life. For me, that’s the real payday.” Bergeron is currently on faculty at California State University Northridge.

Maybe Grammy winning composer and bandleader, Gordon Goodwin said it best, “Wayne is a once in a lifetime lead trumpet player.”


Chris Vadala

One of the country's foremost woodwind artists, Chris Vadala is in demand as a jazz/classical performer and educator. He has appeared on more than 100 recordings to date, as well as innumerable jingle sessions, film and TV scores, performing on all the saxophones, flutes, and clarinets.  A native of Poughkeepsie, N.Y., he graduated from the Eastman School of Music, earning the honor of the Performer's Certificate in saxophone as well as a B.M. in Music Education, received an M.A. in clarinet from Connecticut College, and pursued postgraduate study in woodwind doubling at Eastman.

Professor Vadala, Director of Jazz Studies and Saxophone Professor, is a UM Distinguished Scholar-Teacher at the University of Maryland. Previous academic appointments include teaching studio woodwinds and conducting jazz ensembles at Connecticut College, Montgomery College, Hampton University, Prince George's Community College and Mount Vernon College, as well as serving as Visiting Professor of Saxophone at the Eastman School of Music, 1995 and 2001.

Mr.Vadala's performing career has been highlighted by a long tenure as standout woodwind artist with the internationally recognized Chuck Mangione Quartet, which included performances in all 50 states, Canada, Australia, Japan, Phillipines, China, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Bermuda, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Dominican Republic, England, Italy, France, Germany, Austria, Netherlands, Poland, Belgium, and Switzerland, performing credits on five gold and two platinum albums, plus two Grammy awards and eight more nominations, one Emmy, one Georgie (AGVA) and one Golden Globe Award. In addition, he has performed and/or recorded with such greats as Dizzy Gillespie, Quincy Jones, B.B. King, Chick Corea, Ella Fitzgerald, Aretha Franklin, Placido Domingo, Sarah Vaughn, Natalie Cole, Herbie Hancock, Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Henry Mancini, Doc Severinsen, New York Voices, Frankie Valli, Johnny Mathis, Diana Ross, Gregory Porter, Patti LaBelle, Bernadette Peters, Kendrick Lamar, and many others. He was a woodwind specialist in the United States Coast Guard Congressional Band, a member of the Award-Winning Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, and has been a frequent saxophonist with National Symphony Orchestra for many years, the first call saxophonist with the NSO Pops Orchestra and the Wolf Trap Summer Orchestra.

As one of the Selmer Company's most requested Artist in Residenceclinicians, Mr. Vadala travels worldwide, performing with and conducting student and professional jazz ensembles, symphonic bands, and orchestras.  He has appeared with countless musical ensembles across the nation and Canada, and has conducted one All-Eastern and 50 All-State jazz ensembles (some duplicates), as well as numerous All-County and All-District Jazz Ensembles.  Mr. Vadala served three terms as President of the Maryland Unit of the International Association for Jazz Education, was a permanent member of its MD Executive Board (College Faculty Representative), and a Woodwind Representative to the International Resource Team. 

Mr. Vadala's column on woodwind doubling appeared regularly in the Saxophone Journal for over 10 years, and he has authored articles for many other magazines.  He is currently on the Editorial Board and a contributing writer for the Flute Journal.  A Downbeatmagazine poll finalist in four categories and the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Study grant, he has published a number of original compositions and arrangements (Medici Music & Cimarron Music Press).  His book, Improve Your Doubling(Dorn Productions) is acclaimed as a valuable addition to woodwind literature. In addition to his debut solo CD, Out of the Shadows, (Art of Life Records), his new quartet CD, Eastern Standard Time(Art of Life Records), is already receiving rave reviews!  Additional recording/publications include Jazz/Rock in the USA, Jazz Solos, Nothin' But Jazz, Jazz Adventures, Modern Jazz-Rock and R & B, and Fusion Solos (6 books with play-a-long CDs by DeHaske/Curnow), as well as a contributions toWarner Brother's Approaching the Standardsplay-a-long improvisation series and Jazz Pedagogy  (The Jazz Educator's Handbook and Resource Guide). He also has the honor of being included in the recent publication, "The History of the Top 40 Sax Solos (1955-2015)." You can hear him on such TV and movie soundtracks as “Criminal Minds,” “Big Bang Theory,” “Zombieland,” “Life After Beth,” “Avalon,” ”Anchorman 2,” ”Dr. Strange,” “Intolerable Cruelty,” “Let’s Go to Prison,” “Fargo,” “Cannonball Run,” “The Children of Sanchez,” ”Hard to Kill-Seven Year Storm,” Saturday Night Live, a Chevrolet Colorado Truck commercial, among others.

Visit his www.chrisvadala.com website for additional information on discography, bio info, publications, calendar of performances, booking request form, CD purchases, sound bytes and more!

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