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We hope to have many of the 2020 Adjudicators that were booked back for the 2022 Brandon Jazz Festival!


Award-winning Canadian trumpet player/composer Dean McNeill has been a Professor of Brass & Jazz at the University of Saskatchewan for the past 23 years during which time he has toured Canada, recorded and/or produced 15 CDs and, led many professional & music education-based projects such as the Saskatoon Jazz Orchestra and the Saskatchewan Jazz Festival’s Jazz Intensive music education program.

Dean has performed as a soloist with the Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra, Calgary Creative Arts Ensemble, Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra, Edmonton Jazz OrchestraNational Youth Band of Canada, and, with a variety of university ensembles.

Dean is honored to have received the Saskatchewan Jazz Festival’s Special Recognition Award, Downbeat Magazine’s Student Arranger’s Award, and, the University of Saskatchewan’s Student’s Union Teaching Excellence Award. Dean’s performance of Kalla composed by Allan Gilliland won a Western Canadian Music Award.

Crediting much of his success to diligence, strong musical role models, wonderful music teachers, and, a healthy dose of dumb luck, Dean is honored to have shared the stage professionally with the likes of Jon Balantyne, Tommy Banks, David Braid, Phil Dwyer, Hugh Fraser, Wycliffe Gordon, Kelly Jefferson, Ingrid Jensen, Michael Kaeshammer, Alastair Kay, Bob Mintzer, PJ Perry, Maria Schneider, Denzal Sinclaire, and Brad Turner.




Brenda Earle Stokes is a pianist, vocalist, composer and educator based in NYC. A natural multitasker, Stokes has fused a passion for the piano and a love of singing into a vibrant career that crosses genres organically.  A native of Sarnia, Ontario, Canada, Brenda’s career has taken her across Canada and US, and internationally performing at venues like the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, the Toronto Jazz festival, Avery Fischer Hall and the Christchurch Arts Festival in New Zealand .

Brenda has performed with a huge array of performers including Wycliffe Gordon, Dick Oatts, Joel Frahm, David Liebman, the DIVA Jazz Orchestra, Ann Hampton Calloway and Maurice Hines. She has toured internationally and performed at Carnegie Hall, Avery Fischer Hall, the Christchurch Arts Festival (New Zealand), the Toronto Jazz Festival and at jazz clubs across Canada, the US, New Zealand and Australia. She has released fivecritically- acclaimed CDs as a leader, which feature her original compositions.

In addition to an active performing career, Brenda is sought after as a top voice and piano teacher in New York City. She is an expert in Somatic Voicework – The LoVetri Method and has taught alongside legendary voice educator Jeanie LoVetri across the US and Australia.  Brenda has taught at high schools, colleges and conservatories in Canada, the US, Australia and New Zealand and she currently serves on the faculty of Fordham University.


Dr. Tracy Heavner is an internationally renowned music educator and distinguished performance artist who has performed in more than fifteen countries on five continents as an artist for Cannonball, D’Addario and Jody Jazz Music Corporations. Dr. Heavner is also a recording artist for, a music studio whose projects have received two Grammy nominated projects and a Dove Award.

Dr. Heavner has served on the faculty of the University of South Alabama for the past twenty-five years, where he is a professor of saxophone, music education and director of jazz studies. He completed music degrees (D.M.E.), (M.M.E.), (B.M.E.) from the University of Northern Colorado and Appalachian State University. Prior to his appointment at the University of South Alabama, Dr. Heavner taught in the public school system where his bands received consistent recognition for their excellence at regional, state and national levels.

Dr. Heavner consistently serves as an adjudicator/clinician for jazz festivals and honor bands and writes articles for a variety of publications including JAZZed Magazine, Downbeat, The Instrumentalist and the Clarinet and Saxophone Journal of Great Britain. In addition, he has authored two books, the most recent is entitled Saxophone Secrets: 60 Performance Strategies for the Advanced Saxophonist.


Trombonist and composer Jenny Kellogg’s musical career has taken her around the world to China, England, Italy, and Peru. Jenny participated in Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead Residency Program at the Kennedy Center, the Stean’s Summer Music Institute, she played lead trombone in the Disneyland Resort All-American College Band, and she won the solo trombone chair in the Grammy-Nominated One O’Clock Lab Band for two years during her master’s. She writes on a regular basis for high school and college jazz ensembles throughout the Northwest United States. Some of her compositions are featured on UNT albums.

Jenny holds Bachelors of Music in Trombone Performance and Music Composition from the University of Idaho and a Master of Music degree in Jazz Studies from the University of North Texas. She is currently living in Lexington, Kentucky while pursuing a Doctorate in Trombone Performance.

She is on leave from her position as Director of Jazz and Trombone Studies at Eastern Washington University where she directs the top EWU jazz ensemble and hosts the EWU Jazz Dialogue Festival among teaching courses in jazz and trombone. Jenny is in great demand as a guest artist and clinician throughout the US and Canada.


Initially inspired by his Father, Jack Kunz, Kelly has been a vocal jazz enthusiast for the last 40 years.  He has since been active as an educator, arranger, clinician and performer both as a bassist and a vocalist.  Kelly received his BA and MA in music education from Central Washington University.  He currently heads up the recording arts program at Bellevue College in Bellevue, WA, where he encourages students to explore their creativity and helps them develop the technical skills to record and produce their own music.

Kelly was the main founder and musical director for the Vocal Jazz group, Groove For Thought. He is also founder and musical director for the Seattle Area based Community Vocal Ensemble, Last Call where his goal is to bring together people who are now out of school, to help provide them with the opportunity to continue to sing and assist them in developing as musicians and/or music teachers.  Last Call has performed at the JEN convention twice in the last few years.

Kelly draws from a large variety of successful teaching experiences, having taught on almost every level of the educational system from Middle School up through the University level. In addition to being an educator, Kelly also works as a music producer, arranger and mixing engineer.



Suba Sankaran

DORA award-winning, twice JUNO-nominated world/fusion vocalist Suba Sankaran has effortlessly combined musical worlds, performing across North America, Europe, Asia and Africa with Autorickshaw, master drummer Trichy Sankaran, FreePlay Duo and Retrocity (80s a cappella revue), to name a few. Performance highlights include performing for Peter Gabriel, Nelson Mandela and Bishop Tutu, and performing with Bobby McFerrin and the Swingle Singers.

Suba is in demand as a choral director, arranger, educator and composer. She has composed and produced music for theatre, film, radio and dance. Highlights include collaborations with Deepa Mehta and the CBC. She is currently artist-in-residence at Soulpepper and co-chair of the JUNO world music committee, as well as composer/arranger/sound designer for Anita Majumdar’s Same Same But Different (presented at Theatre Passe Muraille and Alberta Theatre Projects in February-March 2014).


Mike Rud is a Juno award-winning jazz guitarist and songwriter. He is also a music instructor at Selkirk College in Nelson, BC. As an instrumentalist, Mike has played alongside some of the greatest jazz musicians of the era like Kenny Wheeler, Herb Ellis and Joey DeFrancesco. As a songwriter and arranger, Mike won the 2014 Juno award for his album Notes on Montreal, a critically acclaimed musical portrait of the city. It was inspired by the great literature set in Montreal (Michel Tremblay, Gabrille Roy etc.) and sung by Sienna Dahlen.

He followed that up touring Canada with his solo album Miniatures, and in April 2020 he will release his sixth album Salome’s Dance, with the widely acclaimed New York guitarist Peter Bernstein.

He has a master’s degree from McGill, and studied privately in New York City with one of the fathers of modern jazz guitar, Jim Hall. In 2007, Mike spent a year studying how the brain processes music, in the laboratory of Dr. Daniel Levitin (Author of the New York Times Bestseller This is Your Brain on Music). Mike has taught at McGill, Western Washington and Carleton Universities, and speaks frequently at other music schools.



Originally from Toronto, Ontario, Fabio Ragnelli is a JUNO Award winning drummer. Fabio graduated from Humber College in 2008 and since then has been an in demand sideman performing, recording, and touring with a number of artists.

In 2013, Fabio was awarded Professional Development grants from the Canada Council for the Arts and Ontario Arts Council in which he used to move to New York City. While in NYC (2013-2018), Fabio studied with jazz luminaries such as Kenny Washington, Bill Stewart, and Nasheet Waits, and became an active member of New York City’s vibrant jazz scene.

In 2016, Fabio won the JUNO award for Jazz Album of the Year as a member of the Allison Au Quartet, and in 2017 won the Grand Prix de Jazz at the Montreal International Jazz Festival and the Halifax Jazz Festival Stingray Rising Star Award as a member of the same group.

Fabio has toured nationally and internationally, performing at venues such as Massey Hall, The Owl, Koerner Hall, Place des Arts, The 55 Bar, Cornelia St. Café, The National Arts Centre, The Cotton Club in Tokyo, Maison Symphonique, SF Jazz, The Tranzac, as well as a number of jazz festivals including Haiti, Monterey, and Montreal among others.

Fabio is currently the Assistant Professor of Jazz Drumset at the University of Manitoba.





A proud Edmontonian, Joel Gray attended the music programs of Grant MacEwan College and the University of Alberta, studying trumpet with William Dimmer of the ESO and Dr. Fordyce Pier. He started playing professionally at the age of 17, and has shared the stage with some of the world’s finest artists, including Tommy Banks, P.J. Perry, Slide Hampton, Jens Lindemann, Allen Vizzutti, Gino Vannelli, Frank Sinatra Jr., and the Temptations to name a few.

Known for his versatility, Joel is as comfortable playing lead trumpet with the pops orchestra as he is playing traditional New Orleans music or baroque piccolo trumpet. He is a regular performer with many local artists and diverse musical ensembles, including the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, The Edmonton Jazz Orchestra, the Singing Christmas Tree Orchestra, the Tommy Banks Big Band, the Alberta Symphony Orchestra, and Bok Brass, to name only a few. In 2012, he played principal trumpet with the ESO in their Carnegie Hall debut, and was a featured soloist with them in 2018 when he performed “A Tribute to Louis Armstrong.”

As a music educator, he teaches trumpet at MacEwan University, has been an adjudicator for the Cantando Music Festival, Rocky Mountain Music Festival, the Foothills Jazz Festival, and others. Since 2004, he has been the director of the Littlebirds Jazz Bands, based out of the Yardbird Suite.


Trombonist Jules Estrin has appeared with many internationally renowned entertainers and musicians including: Clark Terry, Paul Anka, Franki Valli and the Four Seasons, Don Menza, Rob McConnell, Moe Koffman, Matt Dusk, Kenny Wheeler and PJ Perry.

Jules has performed internationally in France, Scotland and the United States and a numerous jazz festivals across Canada.

In his 10th year as Musical Director of the JAZZ.FM91 Youth Big Band the group has performed with legendary jazz artists Randy Brecker, BUcky Pizzarelli, Lew Tabackin, Tom Scott, Wycliffe Gordon, Joey DeFrancesco, PJ Perry and Guido Basso.

In 2010 Jules was named Jazz Program Coordinator/Artistic Director at the Kincardine Summer Music Festival.

A graduate of McGIll University, Mr. Estrin has recently completed his Masters Degree at the University of Toronto.

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 trombone 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, Mr. Green 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. He performs frequently with the Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra, Winnipeg Jazz Collective and the Ministers of Cool.

Dylan Bell is a mainstay on the Canadian music scene, having sung with many of Canada’s premiere vocal ensembles such as Cadence; Hampton Avenue and the 1980s-era vocal pop group Retrocity. When he’s not singing, he freelances as a keyboard player and bassist, working with varied artists from world-music’s Autorickshaw, to veteran rockers Honeymoon Suite, to his own Police tribute band, Synchronicty III. Dylan is also co-director of the SING! Toronto Vocal Arts Festival, the only festival of its kind in Canada.

Behind the mixing board, Dylan has produced or engineered several award-winning albums, including a Juno co-nomination as Best Engineer for the Cadence album Twenty For One, the album Ferris Wheels with the world-renowned Swingle Singers from London, England, and the most recent, Juno-nominated album with the a cappella legends The Nylons, Skin Tight.

Dylan’s work as a composer and arranger has garnered international recognition, as winner of the John Lennon International Songwriting Competition and a Contemporary A Cappella Recording Award.  His major work “A Cappella Arranging” (co-written with Deke Sharon) was published by Hal Leonard Music in 2013 to international acclaim. Dylan is also in demand worldwide as an instrumental teacher and vocal/choral clinician.


Brennan Baglio is the Music Department Coordinator and Director of Vocal Studies at Northwest College in Powell, Wyoming, where he directs the Concert Choir, Contemporary Vocal Ensemble, and Studio Singers. Brennan holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music and a Masters of Music in Choral Conducting, both from Central Washington University.

From 2007-2018, Brennan was the baritone and tour manager for the professional vocal jazz septet Groove For Thought. With Groove For Thought, Brennan toured the United States, Canada and Europe.

As a clinician and adjudicator, Brennan has been asked to present at the Jazz Education Network Conference as well as the Washington, Wyoming, and Utah Music Educators Association Conferences. He has also been asked to direct numerous honor choirs and be an adjudicator at jazz festivals throughout the country. Groups under Brennan’s direction have been asked to perform at regional and national conferences, including the 2018 Jazz Education Network Conference in Dallas, TX.

In addition to teaching and performing, Brennan maintains a busy schedule as a studio singer, producer and mix engineer, and arranger. He enjoys arranging for his own ensembles, has published several of his arrangements, and has sung on radio jingles, commercials, and other vocal projects.




nominated Dr. Jeremy Fox has degrees in Piano/Jazz Studies and in Jazz 
Composition. Jeremy served as a Visiting Professor of Jazz Voice at Indiana 
University, but has since returned as an instructor at 
The School for Music 
) in Creston, Iowa 
the only 2
specialized vocational music program in North America. Because of its vocational 
status, the SMV is allowed to teach unique classes 
that many music colleges cannot.

This summer, Jeremy will coordinate his 17
SMV Vocal Jazz Camps
July 12
This is one of a few camps of its kind in the 

 U.S., and last summer included 75 high school & college students and educators from twelve states and Canada. For ten summers, he has also coordinated 5-day retreats to empower music educators called the Jazz Harmony Retreat( Jeremy also directs the annual SMV Real Group Festival–the only festival in the U.S. built around the Real Group.

Jeremy has received 11 awards from Downbeat magazine, for Best Written Song, Best Arrangement, Studio Engineering, and for his vocal ensembles. Jeremy’s arrangements are published on his website, as well as with Alfred Music, Sheet Music Plus, SoundMusic Publications and UNC Jazz Press

Earl MacDonald’s seemingly inexhaustible commitment to the jazz art form is apparent in his performing, composing and teaching. The former musical director and pianist for Maynard Ferguson serves as the Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Connecticut and teaches annually at UMass Amherst’s Jazz in July program.

The Winnipeg native earned a bachelor of music degree in jazz performance at McGill University and a Master’s degree at Rutgers, where he apprenticed with Kenny Barron.

A recipient of the Sammy Nestico Award for outstanding big band arranging, MacDonald has released five albums as a bandleader; two of which earned JUNO nominations for jazz album of the year. For his chamber jazz explorations on “Mirror of the Mind”, MacDonald was described as “a magical, musical alchemist of hip hybrids” (Owen McNally, Hartford Courant). Similarly, his large ensemble project, “Re:Visions” was touted as having “gone beyond where most big bands go, establishing Earl MacDonald as a major force in the world of jazz composition” (Dan Bilawsky,

Visit MacDonald’s web site,, where you can take a free online lesson, read articles and reviews, hear his music, peruse his blog, and learn more about Earl MacDonald’s performances, teaching, and latest projects.

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 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 is a contributor to the GIA Publication, “Teaching Music Through Performance in Jazz Volume 2.”



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.


Matt Kozicki is a freelance bassist from Winnipeg, Manitoba. He received his Bachelor of Music (Jazz Performance) from Brandon University in 2020 and regularly plays in Winnipeg and Brandon. He will be featured on Matthew Steckler’s upcoming double album, Musical Tramps, and has collaborated in many genres and contexts, with an emphasis on Jazz.



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 2020 award must be eligible to attend Brandon University in the fall of 2020 and must gain admission to the School of Music.

Contact Bobbi White to schedule an audition: 204-727-9631    White@BrandonU.CA

International Music Camp Scholarships

The International Music Camp will award two camp scholarships each valued at $450 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 2020. We appreciate the continued support of Tim and Christine Baumann, IMC Camp Directors for generously donating these scholarships.

Brandon Bus Lines Scholarships

Two outstanding musicians from the Brandon area as selected by the adjudicators will receive a scholarship in the amount of $150.  Scholarships are generously donated by Brandon Bus Lines and are to be used towards tuition at any 2020 Summer Jazz Camp.

Mark Cramer Scholarships

Two outstanding musicians selected by the adjudicators, will receive scholarships in the amount of $150.  Scholarships are generously donated by Mark Cramer, head piano technician and Steinway dealer and are to be used towards tuition at any 2020 Summer Jazz Camp.

Beaver Bus Lines Scholarship

An outstanding musician as selected by the adjudicators, will receive a scholarship in the amount of $150.  This scholarships is generously donated by Beaver Bus Lines and is to be used towards tuition at any 2020 Summer Jazz Camp.

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 in the amount of $150 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 2020 Summer Jazz Camp.


Ted Good Music Scholarships

Two outstanding musicians selected by the adjudicators, will receive scholarships in the amount of $150.  Scholarships are generously donated by Ted Good Music and are to be used towards tuition at any 2020 Summer Jazz Camp.


Fehr-Way Tours Scholarship

One outstanding musician selected by the adjudicators, will receive a scholarship in the amount of $150.  This scholarship is generously donated by Fehr-Way Tours and is to be used towards tuition at any 2020 Summer Jazz Camp.