Meet The Instructors
Lou Abbott - drums
Lou Abbott holds degrees in jazz, commercial music, and percussion performance. Lou has performed with renowned musicians including Theodore Bikel, Carol Channing, Mandy Patinkin, Jackie Mason, Wynton Marsalis, Dizzy Gillespie, and the Woody Herman Orchestra.
Clipper Anderson - bass
Known for his improvisational virtuosity, his steady presence in the pocket and his command of multiple styles, bassist Clipper Anderson is one of the most highly regarded musicians on the Northwest jazz scene today. Equally comfortable with straight-ahead, traditional, free jazz or bebop, he plays with genuine reverence for the music and an unassuming mastery that speaks for itself. Clipper has enjoyed a long and distinguished career as a composer, performer, studio musician, vocalist and educator.
Clipper plays at jazz festivals throughout the United States and Canada. He has shared the bandstand with a long list of jazz luminaries including Michael Brecker, Arturo Sandoval, Dave Samuels, Peter Erskine, Bruce Forman, Tamir Hendelman, Bob Mintzer, Lew Soloff, Bucky Pizzarelli, Benny Golson, Paquito D’Rivera, Phil Woods and Buddy DeFranco. As a session musician, Clipper has appeared on numerous recordings, including five with Northwest vocal icon, Greta Matassa. Clipper works out of Seattle, WA and is presently on the jazz faculty at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma.
Brennan Baglio - singer and songwriter
Our new Jazz Choir director this summer is Brennan Baglio, a gifted teacher, director and performer.
Brennan is the baritone and tour manager in the professional vocal jazz septet Groove For Thought, which has performed on NBC’s “The Sing-Off,” and performed throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe.
Brennan is a native of the Seattle area and previously taught choir, piano, voice, and music technology courses at Bellevue College. http://www.brennanbaglio.com/links/
In addition to teaching and performing, he maintains a busy schedule as a studio singer, producer and mix engineer. He sings on radio jingles, commercials, and other vocal projects, and has published some of his original arrangements.
As clinician and adjudicator, Brennan presented at the Jazz Education Network Conference, Washington Music Educators Association Conference, and Utah Music Educators Association Conference.
He has also been asked to adjudicate jazz festivals and direct honor choirs throughout the U.S. and Canada.
Nick Biello - saxophone
Hailed as "a brash new voice to New York's vibrant jazz scene,” by AllAboutJazz.com, Nick Biello has shared the stage with world-class artists, such as Slide Hampton, Cedar Walton, Rich Perry, Harvie S, John Benitez, Jaimoe Johnson (Allman Brothers), and Joe Beck, of Miles Davis fame. He has performed at numerous music festivals including the Pescara Jazz Festival and Bussi Jazz Festival in Italy, as well as the Litchfield Jazz Festival, the New Haven Jazz Festival.
Nick has performed at notable venues across North America, including the Blue Note, Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola at Lincoln Center, The Iridium, Smalls, Smoke, The Kitano, and Sullivan Hall. Most recently, he was recognized for his considerable prowess as a saxophonist and improviser by finishing as a top finalist in the International Saxophone Idol Competition. In demand as a composer and arranger, Nick has written music that has been performed by popular artists such as Stevie Wonder, Dave Koz, and Kelly Rowland. His work has been televised on ABC and ESPN. Learn more about Nick.
Camille Bloom - singer and songwriter
Camille Bloom has played in premier venues in eight different countries including Canada, U.S.A., Germany, The Netherlands, UK, Denmark, Belgium and Ireland. Combining percussive guitar and a voice that can "purr and wail" (Victory Review), "Camille's music can make even the rain dance" (Mike Galaxy Indie Music). In the last six years, Camille has been featured in Performing Songwriter Magazine and has had songs licensed for use in 21 shows on major network channels including, MTV, E! and Oxygen. Camille has also completed more than 30 national / international tours. In 2009, her songs charted on the European FAR (Freeform American Roots) Charts
Known for her incredibly dynamic voice and edgy acoustic rock, Camille has toured the U.S. playing the most premier venues on both coasts - from New York City's Bitter End, Boston's Club Passim, Seattle's Triple Door, Tractor, and Crocodile, and Los Angeles' The Mint. She shared the stage with acts such as Smashmouth, SUGARCULT, Mike McCready (Pearl Jam) and many more. She has released three full-length albums, two EPs, and one Live DVD. Learn more about Camille.
Darin Clendenin - piano/accompanist
Darin Clendenin is one of the Northwest’s finest pianist and keyboard artists. Fluent in numerous styles of music, his stylish interpretations of old classics, jazz standards and classical to modern works enchant audiences everywhere. Darin’s performances, as well as his arranging and composing talents, are sought after for their artistry and their magical innovative mix of styles. Darin has performed at various events throughout North America including: opening for Herbie Hancock, Zoo Tunes Concert Series, Mt. Hood Jazz Festival, International Jazz Festival, Du Maurier Jazz Festival, and Toronto Jazz Festival. He also has performed with numerous jazz legends, such as Nancy King, Ernestine Anderson, Leroy Vinnegar, Mel Brown and Ron Steen. His work can also be heard on numerous recordings.
Theodore DeCorso - Artistic Director, clarinet, saxophone
Theodore (Ted) DeCorso has performed extensively as clarinetist and saxophonist. He has appeared in solo and chamber recitals throughout the US and Europe, including recitals at the International Clarinet Congress in London and Seattle and in Carnegie Recital Hall in New York. He was clarinet concerto soloist with the Arctic Chamber Orchestra on tour in the People's Republic of China. Ted was also the soprano saxophonist for the soundtrack of "Make Prayers to the Raven," a PBS TV documentary broadcast worldwide.
Ted received a Master's Degree in Clarinet Performance from the Julliard School and a Ph.D. in Music from the University of Connecticut. He is currently music director of the Sun Coast Symphony Orchestra in Clearwater, Florida.
Ed Donohue - trumpet, jazz band II
Ed Donohue is a freelance jazz trumpet player who is active in the Seattle area. He directs jazz bands and wind ensemble at Port Angeles Junior High School. Prior to his work at the Blaine Jazz Festival, Ed was the featured guest trumpet and a member of the jazz and improvisation faculty at the University of Alaska Summer Arts Camp for 20 years.
Randy Halberstadt - piano
Randy Halberstadt has been a major figure on the Pacific Northwest jazz scene for many years. A multi-dimensional pianist, he is equally at home playing bebop, Latin, down-home blues, mainstream, free and eclectic jazz. He has performed with Herb Ellis, Terry Gibbs, Buddy de Franco, Pete Christlieb, Bobby Shew, Joe LaBarbera, and many others. On the strength of his large repertoire, great sense of swing, and acute listening skills, Randy has established himself as a first-call accompanist for jazz vocalists. He has performed with Sheila Jordan, Kevin Mahogany, Marlena Shaw, and Ernestine Anderson. In 1997, Randy performed with the innovative Jay Clayton at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. While Halberstadt's own recordings showcase his formidable pianistic skills, they also establish him as a first-rate composer.
More recently, Randy has begun to demonstrate his talents as an arranger. He arranged most of the music for Seattle vocalist, Janis Mann, and for Greta Matassa's recording "Live at Bake's Place." Randy teaches jazz theory, piano, and ear training as a professor at the prestigious Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle. He also teaches privately. Learn more about Randy.
Larry Holloway - bass
Larry is the go-to bassist for many regional and national artists and bandleaders. Early in his career, Larry had the opportunity to perform with musical greats such as Chet Baker, Harold Land, Louie Bellson and Gary Foster. He has had the honor of working with Bernadette Peters, Steve Allen, Don Rickles, Regis Philbin, Bob Newhart and Joan Rivers.
What distinguishes Larry from other bassists is his technique of tuning his instrument in fifths, which gives his bass a wider range of sound and clarity. This technique was pioneered by Larry's mentor, the great bassist Red Mitchell. Larry was the first recipient of the Red Mitchell Scholarship Award, granted for his "dedication to the challenge of experimentation" and his "spirit of innovation."
Greg Hopkins - trumpet, jazz band I
Internationally recognized as an arranger, composer, and performer, Professor Hopkins is a beloved member of the Berklee Jazz Composition Department. Greg has performed with Frank Sinatra, Joe Williams, Lena Horne, Dizzy Gillespie, Gladys Knight, and countless other legendary artists. He is the former arranger and jazz trumpeter with the Buddy Rich orchestra. Greg is director of the Berklee Concert Jazz Orchestra, one of the top collegiate ensembles in the world. Greg is one of the most prominent jazz educators today. Learn more about Greg.
Gregor Huebner - violin and composer
Gregor Huebner is an award-winning, Grammy-nominated composer and violinist, celebrated by audiences and critics alike for his visionary work across genres. His music has been described by The New York City Jazz Record as “challenging and vivid… seamlessly incorporating chamber elements with Avant Garde Jazz,” while All About Jazz describes him as “a virtuoso with broad experience in large and small classical ensembles.” Huebner’s recent El Violin Latino, an album exploring the role of the violin in traditional Latin American music, was praised by The Wall Street Journal
A highly sought-after player, Huebner has appeared in many major concert halls and festivals around the globe, including Carnegie Hall, the Apollo Theater, Berlin Philharmonie, the Hollywood Bowl, Montreux Jazz Fest, Frauenkirche in Dresden, JVC Jazz and Gewandhaus Leipzig. He has performed and recorded with some of the most respected names in jazz and pop, including Smokey Robinson, Diane Reeves, Billy Hart, Randy Becker, Joe Zawinul and John Patitucci.
As a seasoned educator, Huebner has given workshops and master classes on performance, composition and improvisation with esteemed institutions, such as the Manhattan School of Music, where he earned his master’s degree and was recognized with a “President’s Award.”
Mark Kelly - saxophone
Mark Kelly has played and taught woodwinds and jazz in Bellingham since 1983.
Founder and director of the Bellingham Youth Jazz Band, he has received the Mayor's
Arts Award and Washington Music Educators Association Friends of Music Award for
his work with this group. He also runs a private studio of adult and teenage musicians,
the Kid'Sax Ensemble, and performs in many local and regional bands. He has played,
taught and coached at Drayton Harbor Music Festival, North Sound Youth Symphony, Western Washington University, Ferndale & Bellingham School districts, and volunteers on a regular basis with many Whatcom County school music programs.
David Marriott Jr. - trombone
Described as a "canny and imaginative player whose solos display an extraordinary sense of architecture and conception," award-winning trombonist David Marriott is a musician for the next generation. Equally at home as a performer, composer, arranger, and educator, David is co-leader, with brother Thomas, of the Marriott Jazz Quintet. The group gained early acclaim for its first CD, Open Season in 1997 and was voted the Best Emerging Group by Earshot jazz magazine that same year. David also has an illustrious performance background, having won the Eastern Trombone Workshop Jazz Soloist Competition in 1999. He is member of Seattle's highly acclaimed Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra and the New York-based Brian Lynch Big Band.
In addition to David's work as a performer, he is a passionate educator with experience teaching in public and private high school programs and summer jazz workshops. He has also worked at Hunter College, the Manhattan School of Music's Preparatory Division, and most recently at the University of Washington. David teaches young musicians not only the mechanics and history in playing and learning jazz music, but also how to find their own passion, path and voice as an improviser of jazz.
Greta Matassa - vocals
In the Pacific Northwest, where she built her career, Greta Matassa wins wide acclaim as a vocalist. She has been voted four times by the readers of Earshot, the Seattle jazz magazine, as the best jazz vocalist in the Northwest. Jim Wilke, the Seattle jazz maven and host of the syndicated "Jazz After Hours" radio program, praises her versatility. "She has a fearlessness in approaching material that makes her like an instrumentalist in a jam session,” Wilke says. Seattle Times critic, Misha Berson, described Greta as a vocal chameleon who "can sound husky or crisp, ebullient or wailing, girlish or jaded.”
Jon Mutchler - piano
Jon Mutchler is one of the festival's long term instructors, teaching jazz piano, combo, and theory. He has taught piano for more than 25 years and has also produced seven CDs of solo piano music, all available on Amazon.
Jon has a Bachelor of Music degree in jazz studies and classical piano performance from Western Washington University and earned his Master of Divinity from Regent College in Vancouver, Canada. He is proud to be the son of jazz education legend, the late Dr. Ralph D. Mutchler (a.k.a. "RDM"). Jon and his wife, Diane, are raising a family of seven children – several of whom have attended the Blaine Jazz Festival. He is also the founding pastor of the Ferndale Alliance Church and is the elected mayor of Ferndale, WA. In his free time he trains and participates in triathlons. Learn more about Jon.
Jovino Santos Neto - piano, composer
Jovino Santos Neto has worked as a pianist, flutist and producer with the legendary Hermeto Pascoal in his native Brazil for 15 years. Since moving to Seattle in 1993, Jovino leads his Quinteto, released several recordings as a composer and has collaborated with musicians such as, Bill Frisell, Gretchen Parlato, and Paquito d’Rivera. A worldwide performer and lecturer, Jovino has received many commissions and awards for his music, which blends contemporary harmonies with a rich variety of Brazilian rhythmic languages.
Jovino has received three nominations for a Latin Grammy (2004, 2006 and 2009). He’s a professor of music at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle. His latest CD is a solo recording, produced by Adventure Music. Learn more about Jovino.
Charlie Porter - trumpet
As a multi-genre trumpeter and composer, Charlie Porter takes an all-encompassing approach to music. He has been steadily forging a strong reputation in music, both in the U.S. and abroad. Charlie has toured locally and internationally as both a bandleader and sideman. His quartet was selected by Jazz at Lincoln Center and the U.S. Department of State in 2010 to tour Asia, including India, Sri Lanka, Dhaka, Bangladesh, and Turkey. Previously, in 2007, his quartet toured West Africa under the same program, where they performed in Sierra Leone, Togo, Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire and Cameroon. Charlie also toured with the JALC “All-Star” quartet in 2008, which toured extensively in India, China and Africa. Learn more about Charlie.
Robert Storms - clarinet
Bob was a music teacher in the public schools for forty years, teaching band, jazz band, elementary music and chorus. He was elected Music Teacher of the Year in 2000 by the San Juan District of the Washington State MENC (Music Education National Conference). As a teacher, he used his talents to create new compositions, and he eventually became known as a composer. He began publishing his own compositions, and they are now being played from California to
Alaska, and Canada. Bob is the winner of three composition contests, and author of ten books of songs, along with numerous pieces for concert band, orchestra, choir and small instrumental ensembles. Now retired, Bob devotes his time to composing, arranging, and guest conducting and performing, and playing jazz professionally. Bob’s clarinet playing has been recognized by both jazz and classical audiences, and his participation in countless Dixieland Jazz Festivals around the U.S.A. has allowed him to perform with famous musicians and travel around the globe. Bob will be offering a class in Trad Jazz, a musical genre that encompasses Dixieland, Blues, and Roots music.
Chris Woitach - guitar
Christopher Woitach is a jazz guitarist and composer living in Portland, Oregon. He performs a wide range of jazz styles, from Dixieland to free jazz, ragtime to bebop. His compositions reflect his diverse musical tastes and abilities, and combine the intricacies of baroque counterpoint with the freedom of modern jazz. Chris has played with many nationally and internationally known artists, including Bernadette Peters, Rich Little, Hank Roberts, Bob Mover, Tony Monaco, Mel Brown, and John Stowell. He regularly performs throughout the Pacific Northwest, and at jazz festivals in the U.S. and Canada. Chris’ recordings have been played on broadcast and internet radio stations across the globe.