2018 Adjudicators

Bill Kristjanson currently teaches “Introduction to Jazz for Music Educators” at the University of Manitoba. Most recently a Band Director at Vincent Massey Collegiate in Winnipeg, he has many years of experience teaching jazz from grades 7 through 12. While teaching at Glenlawn Collegiate the band performed at the “International Association of Jazz Educators Conference.”

He is the recipient of the Manitoba Jazz Educator of the Year Award, served as a Divisional Music Consultant in Pembina Trails and Louis Riel School Divisions, is on the Board of the Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra, and is a member of the Big Dig Band. Bill is also a contributor to the GIA publication, Teaching Music Through Performance in Jazz Volume 2.

Gordon Foote

Gordon Foote is currently associate dean, performance & public events, and professor in the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto.

Under the direction of Professor Foote, the UTJO has released two CD’s, one entitled Reflections, and more recently, Sweet Ruby Suite features long-time Wheeler collaborator, vocalist Norma Winstone, along with special guest artist David Liebman on soprano saxophone.

Before moving to Toronto in 2012, Foote spent 26 years as a professor in the Jazz Studies Program at the Schulich School of Music of McGill University, in Montreal, Quebec. He served as dean (interim), associate dean (academic and student affairs), chair of the Department of Performance, director of graduate studies and chair of the Jazz Area. Previous to that he was a professor for six years at St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia.

Foote is one of the pioneers of jazz education in Canada, developing the first undergraduate and graduate jazz degree programs in Canada.

Foote was the coordinator of the McGill Jazz Orchestras, and directed McGill Jazz Orchestra I which was recognized internationally as one of the finest university jazz ensembles anywhere.. They released 9 CD’s and performed throughout the United States, Canada, France, Switzerland, England, Ireland and Mexico.

Gordon is a Conn-Selmer artist and clinician.

Winnipeg born Brad Shigeta has been performing his unique style of New Orleans rooted slide trombone professionally for over 35 years.  While in high school, Brad performed weekends with the Ron Paley Big Band before obtaining undergraduate degree in Performance from McGill and graduate degree from New York University.  The move to New York City in 1990 was at the insistence of bassist Dave Holland who first heard Brad at the Banff Summer Jazz School in 1988 and then personally called him in 2001 to be part of the Dave Holland Big Band world premiere at the Montreal Jazz Festival. Shortly after his move to New York City in 1990, and  under the mentorship of Benny Powell and Jimmy Knepper,  Brad was asked to join the Clifford Jordan Big Band.  This was the beginning of two decades of international television, radio and Hollywood soundtrack recording and touring with NY based  jazz greats including Illinois Jacquet, Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks, The Duke Ellington Orchestra, Lionel Hampton and his orchestra and Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Centre Jazz Orchestra.

Brad returned to Canada in 2008 and made Edmonton his home where he performed with PJ Perry and led bi-monthly traditional jazz improvisation workshops.  Currently Brad is back in Winnipeg and a member of the Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra, Ron Paley’s Big Band as well as leading his own authentic 1930’s swing dance band across the prairies for Lindy Hoppers. All during his busy performance career, Brad has led workshops, adjudicated and coached ensembles at NYU, The New School,  the Jazz Academy at Lincoln Centre, Grant MacEwan University and junior and high schools across North America.

Nathan Gingrich received his Bachelor of Music education degree from the University of Regina. Continued studies led him to Weimar Germany where he received his advanced artist’s diploma in classical trombone performance and another degree in jazz and pop trombone performance from the Hochschule fuer Musik “Franz Liszt”.

While in Germany, Mr. Gingrich co-founded a number of ensembles – travelling around Germany, France, Belgium, Austria and even to China to perform.

He taught trombone and jazz music theory at the Musik- und Kunstschule Jena for 4 years before moving to Calgary in 2006 to begin teaching music within the CBE at Thomas B. Riley Jr. High. In the fall of 2009 Nathan began teaching at William Aberhart High School.

Mr. Gingrich organizes the annual “Holiday TubaFest” and “Slide Into Spring: Calgary’s Trombone Day to celebrate International Trombone Week” events.

Mr. Gingrich can be seen regularly playing with a variety of ensembles in and around Calgary as well as leading masterclasses and workshops. Playing experience has seen him perform with the Prime Time Big Band, Calgary Jazz Orchestra, Calgary Creative Arts Ensemble, The New West Brass, and Altius Brass among others.

Mr. Gingrich is a Conn-Selmer artist and clinician.

Mike Rud is a Juno award-winning jazz guitarist, composer and songwriter, living in Montreal.

As an instrumentalist, Mike has played alongside some of the greatest musicians of the era like Peter Bernstein, Kenny Wheeler, Herb Ellis, Joey DeFrancesco, and Randy Brecker.

As a composer, Mike won the 2014 Juno Award for his album Notes on Montreal, a critically acclaimed tour-de-force, featuring his lyrics, and compositions. It was inspired by the great literature set in Montreal (Michel Tremblay, Gabrielle Roy etc.) and sung by Sienna Dahlen. Mike’s 2015 solo release, Miniatures delighted audiences across Canada, creating the effect of a small group with only his voice and his guitar.

Mike has a master’s degree from McGill, and studied privately in New York City with one of the fathers of jazz guitar, Jim Hall. Mike has taught at McGill, Western Washington and Carleton Universities, and speaks frequently at other music schools.

Bassist, composer and educator Ashley Summers is a Canadian-born, Chicago based artist who has brought her “glorious tone that pours forth and groove” (Jazzreview.com, 2010) to stages all ocer the world.  She was recently named one of the top “35 Under 35 Canadian Jazz Artists” by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and is also an in-demand educator. She frequently serves as an adjudicator, guest artist and clinician for festivals, universities, jazz intensives and non-profit organizations throughout Canada and the US and has held faculty appointments at the Cleveland Institute of Music, Ashland University, Kent State University and Morehead State University.  In Chicago, Summers recently debuted a new quintet, ‘Ashley Summers Raîson d’Être’ featuring longtime collaborators Dustin Laurenzi, Daniel Bruce, Daniel Murphy and Chris Baker.  The quintet has since performed at the 2017 Toronto and Chicago Jazz Festivals.  Her long-awaited debut album as a leader, featuring saxophonist Seamus Blake, was released in March 2017 on the ears&eyes Records label, and soon after, the title track, “True North”, was recognized by the International Soceity for Jazz Arrangers and Composers as the 2017 “Outstanding New Music Composition” in the small ensemble category.     www.ashleysummers.com

Steve Koven is a composer, performer, producer, educator and film maker. In 1993 Steve established the Steve Koven Trio.   Touring the world for more then two decades, they have become known as  ‘Canadian Cultural Ambassadors’.  Aside from performing world wide with his trio, Steve also performs solo piano concerts throughout North America, Europe and the Caribbean. Dozens of Koven’s compositions have been licensed for national and international film and television productions.

As an educator, Steve has been teaching in the Faculty of Music at Toronto’ s York University since 2003, teaching Contemporary Improvisation and Jazz Piano.  In addition Steve teaches in the department of Music at Centennial College in Toronto.   He holds a Masters in Music Composition and has presented master classes and clinics throughout Canada, China, Japan, Colombia, Barbados, Bahamas, USA and Mexico.   www.stevekoven.com

Born and raised in Saskatchewan, Cynthia Peyson Wahl holds a Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Regina, a diploma in Contemporary Music from Grant MacEwan University, and a Master of Music Education from the University of Toronto. She has taught choir, vocal jazz, and musical theatre at Daniel McIntyre Collegiate Institute since 2005, and was the jazz choir director at Canadian Mennonite University.

At DMCI her choirs have been a featured performer at Choralfest Manitoba, the ChoralCanada Podium conference, and the Canadian Rocky Mountain Festival in Banff. In 2011 and 2012, her choirs won the Earl Grey Trophy for Outstanding performance by a choir at the Winnipeg Music Festival, and in 2011, her Chamber Choir won the Lieutenant Governor’s Trophy for most outstanding performance of the Winnipeg Music Festival.

In 2012, Cynthia was the recipient of the Michael Proudfoot award for excellence in choral teaching, and in 2017 Cynthia received the Bert Kroeker award for a choral conductor pursuing further education. Cynthia enjoys a busy schedule as a clinician and workshop presenter, regularly travelling across Canada and the US to work with choirs of all genres. She is currently pursuing her PhD in music education at the University of Toronto.


Chris McLaughlin is a retired high-school choral and vocal jazz teacher. He was educated at the Buffalo State University and did graduate work at Brock University.

His first teaching assignment was at the elementary level, as an itinerant music teacher at eight rural Ontario schools. Following this, he spent another three years at the middle-school level, where he produced and directed three large-scale musicals, each with a cast of over 150!  A high-school principal attended a performance of ‘The Music Man’and invited Chris to apply to teach at the secondary level.

He is one of the vocal jazz pioneers in Canada. His first high-school vocal jazz group was formed in 1982 in St Catharines, Ontario. This group, with five others, was the first to participate in the legendary Ontario Vocal Festival, in its inaugural season.

Groups under Chris’s direction have performed at the National Arts Centre, in a half-hour feature on CBC-Radio, with the Niagara Symphony Orchestra, and as the opening act for five-time Grammy nominee, singer Nnenna Freelon. They appeared as performers and conducted clinics at two Ontario Music Educators’ annual conferences.

Twice, his high school vocal jazz ensembles were invited to perform at the Annual Conference of the International Association for Jazz Education, where they received standing ovations. Likewise, his latest ensemble, Hamilton All Star Vocal Jazz, was selected to perform at the 2013 JEN conference in Atlanta, Georgia.  Chris has appeared as Clinician in the US, in Ontario, Alberta, and at several previous Brandon Jazz Festivals.

He believes the Brandon festival is one of the best festivals in North America for many educational reasons, and is thrilled to have been invited back this year.

Drummer and Educator Chris Baker has established a sound that deftly balances ferocity with subtlety in a way that highlights the diversity of his influences. While primarily a specialist in jazz, his playing is informed by an array of experiences in all genres of music that he has performed internationally for almost two decades.

Chris started studying music at an early age, beginning with piano and eventually falling in love with percussion. He attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he completed a degree in Percussion. His performance career has evolved into full-time touring, recording and performing with like-minded artists in the United Stated and Europe.

As an educator, Chris has more than fifteen years of experience. One highlight of his teaching career has been learning and implementing the principles of Venezuela’s El Sistema music education model. This pursuit has taken him to Acariqua, Venezuela as well as Innsbruck and Salzburg, Austria. Chris has also completed teaching residencies with similar programs in the US, including The Baltimore Symphony’s Orchkids Program and the Peabody Conservatory’s Tuned-in program.

Chris is a member of the illustrious Chicago jazz scene and has been busy lending his versatility to a variety of exciting projects.       chrisbakerdrums.com 

During the past 48 years, Duane Shields Davis has taught in the Grand Rapids Public Schools, Western Michigan University and Grand Rapids Community College, from which he retired in 2009 and just completed a 3 year tenure on the faculty of the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University. He was also Chorus Master for Opera Grand Rapids, a position which he held for 31 years.

Duane’s awards include the Grand Rapids Symphony Legacy Award; the Maynard Klein Award for Choral Excellence presented by the Michigan chapter of the American Choral Directors Association; GRCC’s Excellence in Education Award; and the Lifetime Achievement Award Grand Awards, honoring achievements in local theater in Grand Rapids.

Duane served as director of The Disney All-American College Singers for Walt Disney World, and he conducted the opening ceremonies for the Walt Disney World Animal Kingdom. He has served as a guest clinician in Riga, Latvia, for the 5th International Rigas Ritmi Music Festival; and was a guest presenter in Kyoto and Tokyo, Japan, for the 7th World Symposium on Choral Music. He has served as guest conductor for All-State Choirs in 12 stated from California to New York.

Duane has been a part of Grand Rapids Symphony With Soul since the inception and continues to conduct, compose and arrange the annual concert. His vocal ensemble has shared the stage with such artists as Bobby McFerrin, Kurt Elling, Janis Siegel, Dianne Reeves, Tony Bennett, Take 6, New York Voices, Marcus Roberts, Lizz Wright, Lalah Hathaway and others.

In May 2016, Duane served as chorus master for productions of Porgy and Bess at the Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston, South Carolina. This spring Duane will adjudicate the New York Jazz Festival at the Apollo Theatre.

Marty Olivas, a recording and touring artist with over 26 years experience, is a native of El Paso, Texas. After graduating from Burges High School in 1985, he went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in music education from the University of Texas at El Paso and a master’s degree in trumpet performance from New Mexico State University.

As an educator, Marty has worked in El Paso for the Ysleta ISD for eighteen years in which for six years he taught at Bel Air High School as the Assistant Band Director and Director of Jazz Studies. Currently, Marty is a Fine Arts Instructional Specialist with the Ysleta ISD Fine Arts Department. In addition, Mr. Olivas is also a Yamaha Performing Artist and frequently serves as a clinician and adjudicator throughout the United States. Mr. Olivas is the Artistic Director and co-founder of the El Paso Youth Jazz Ensemble that is going into their sixth season performing at Jazz Festivals and clubs throughout the El Paso area. This group consists of 21 high school students who audition for this group. Also known as EPYJE, this opportunity was created to further their education in jazz studies throughout their high school career.

As a performer, Mr. Olivas joined jazz-fusion group, Billy Townes and Modern Sessions in 1991. In 1992 he assembled El Paso’s premier mainstream jazz quintet, Marty Olivas and Jazz Q, which released their first CD, Jazz at the Dome, in 1999. For the past 10 years Marty has lead the 15-piece big band, The Eklektic Jazz Group; each member of this group (as is the case with almost all of his performing groups) is a certified music educator and takes great interest in keeping the American art form of Jazz alive by educating young people through master classes, clinics and performances.

In 2005, Marty Olivas and Shade Records released his CD, Being Gemini, which can be purchased through Barnes and Noble, Olivas Music Center in El Paso, TX, or online at www.shaderecords.com . His latest project with his latest group CASE CLOSED has recently released a new CD entitled Agree To Disagree. This project includes Ruben Gutierrez on piano, Erik Unsworth on bass, Ricky Malichi on drums, with special appearances by Brad Leali on saxophone and Arath Corral on guitar.

Joel Green

Currently a member of the Royal Canadian Air Force Band, Joel Green’s versatility on trombone has taken him all over Canada and abroad. A graduate of Humber College and University of Toronto, Mr. Green has studied with Alastair Kay and Gordon Wolfe. He has performed with artists such as Frank Sinatra Jr., Michael Bublé, Andrea Bocelli, Babyface, David Foster, Gladys Knight, Colin James, Roger Hodgson and Frankie Valli. An experienced pit orchestra musician, he has performed in many shows including South Pacific, 9 to 5, Wicked, The Addams Family, The Full Monty, Fiddler on the Roof, Dreamgirls, Mary Poppins, Lord of the Rings and Dirty Dancing. As a classical musician, he has performed with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra London, Kingston Symphony, Contact Contemporary Music, Arraymusic Ensemble, the Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber Orchestra and many others. As an educator he has taught countless lessons, classes and clinics on trombone, theory, improvisation and brass technique. Prior to moving to Winnipeg he was part-time faculty at Humber College for both the degree program and Community Music School.

Jim MacKay

Jim Mackay has been active in teaching instrumental music, directing both concert and jazz ensembles, serving as a clinician and an adjudicator for a time that spans 50 years. After receiving his Bachelor of Arts degrees in Music, Jim attended the University of Iowa, The University of Northern Colorado, and the University of South Dakota where he received his Masters degree in Music and Music Education.

Jim taught 8 years in Iowa, British Columbia one year and 27 years in Manitoba of which 24 years were at Silver Heights Collegiate. He now resides in Matlock, Manitoba where his hobbies include woodworking and furniture restoration, gardening, and of course various music activities. He is excited to be back at the Brandon Jazz Festival and to meet and work with so many fine young talented musicians and great educators and teachers.

Russ Baird is presently teaching music at Campbell Collegiate, Regina. He has taught band, orchestra and choir in Ontario, British Columbia and Saskatchewan at the elementary, secondary and university level and in the Music Education departments of the University of Northern Colorado and the Universities of Toronto and Victoria.   He is a past chair of the Canadian Choral Festival and was the founder of the Ontario Vocal Festival. His love for music education manifests itself in an unfailing enthusiasm for seeing students of all ages experience the true soulful joy of music made artfully.

Deidre Baird is a past Chairman of the Vocal Department at the University of Regina Conservatory of Music and Dance. She has taught in elementary school, secondary schools as well as at the university level in Ontario, Saskatchewan and BC. Her ensembles have performed by invitation at national and international conventions with distinction. She is currently the Fine Arts Department Head at Campbell Collegiate in Regina and also serves as a Faculty of Education Sessional Instructor at the University of Regina. Deidre is a strong advocate of quality vocal technique and total musicianship in choral music.


Mr. Workman has been a music educator for the past thirty-two years. He received his Bachelor of Music degree from Queen’s University in 1976 and his Bachelor of Education also from Queen’s in 1978. He has taught Concert Band and Jazz Band in middle schools and high schools in Burlington, Ontario, Stony Creek, Ontario, London, Ontario, The Pas, Manitoba and Winnipeg, Manitoba. Bands under his direction have performed all over North America and in Cuba.

He believes that the goal of music education is to help everyone become life-long lovers of music.

Additional biographies will be added as facilitators are confirmed for the 2018 festival.


The Brandon Jazz Festival is proud to announce several scholarships that will be awarded in partnership with our generous sponsors at the Brandon Jazz Festival and the recipients will be announced soon.

President's Brandon Jazz Festival Scholarship

The President’s Brandon Jazz Festival Scholarship covers full tuition for one year at the School of Music, Brandon University and will be awarded to an entering student who delivers an outstanding performance in a live audition during the Brandon Jazz Festival.

Applicants for the 2018 award must be eligible to attend Brandon University in the fall of 2018 and must gain admission to the School of Music.

Contact Heather Beesley to schedule an audition: 204-727-9631    BeesleyH@BrandonU.CA

International Music Camp Scholarships

The International Music Camp will award two camp scholarships each valued at $400 US, one each to an outstanding instrumental soloist and outstanding vocal soloist, as selected by the adjudicators. The recipients must use the scholarship to attend the respective jazz week at the camp held at the Peace Garden on the border of Manitoba and North Dakota during the summer of 2018. We appreciate the continued support of Tim Bauman, IMC Camp Director for generously donating these scholarships.

Yamaha - Outstanding Musician Awards

Yamaha is proud to sponsor two scholarships to recognize outstanding young musicians in Manitoba. Yamaha carries a complete line-up of instruments including keyboards, drums, bass guitars and all wind instruments and we appreciate their support of the talent in our school music programs.

Yamaha Top Brass Award: $200 towards the purchase of a Yamaha band instrument or Yamaha band accessories at St. John’s Music Winnipeg

Yamaha Top Woodwind Award: $200 towards the purchase of a Yamaha band instrument or Yamaha band accessories at St. John’s Music Winnipeg

University of Manitoba Summer Jazz Camp Scholarships

Two outstanding musicians selected by the adjudicators, will receive scholarships to the Summer Jazz Camp. The camp is hosted by the University of Manitoba in partnership with the Manitoba Band Association. Scholarships are generously donated by St. John’s Music and are to be used towards tuition at the 2018 Summer Jazz Camp.