Faculty, 2017 Jazz Festival & Workshop
update: June 6, 2017
Len Aruliah– saxophone
Len Aruliah is a freelance musician active in London and Vancouver. He released his first album Full Circle in 2007 with a quartet playing his compositions, and has recently recorded current works with a new sextet. In London Len has worked with the Charles Condy Quartet, Paul Weinreb’s Tarantula, the Hot Orange Big Band, the 4Seasons Band, and his own groups. He has also toured the UK with singer Gene Pitney, worked in theatre orchestras in London’s West End, and has toured the world performing on cruise liners. Len studied at UBC and the Banff Centre, working with great musicians such as Julia Nolan, David Branter, Stan Karp, Fred Stride, Hugh Fraser, Kenny Wheeler, Pat LaBarbera, and Don Thompson. Len holds a B. Mus. degree from UBC and is an experienced music educator, having worked in various London colleges, academies and schools. He has recently worked with students at Capilano University to perform his compositions. He has taught at the South Delta Jazz Workshop since 2005, and last year was guest composer for the Faculty Concert.
Dr. Jared Burrows – guitar, guest artist/composer
Dr. Jared Burrows is the Academic Coordinator of the Jazz Studies Department at Capilano University and teaches improvisation, conducting, arranging, and directs small and large ensembles. He is a dynamic force on the Vancouver scene as a performer, composer and community organizer. He works in a huge variety of ensembles in jazz, new music, and world music settings and leads the Jared Burrows Quartet and Sextet and the Vancouver Improvisers Orchestra. Jared performs as a sideman with Dave Robbins Electric Band, the Offering of Curtis Andrews, Sancharam Trio, Delta Quartet, Michael Vlatkovich Quintet, Colin MacDonald’s Pocket Orchestra, Koan, Len Aruliah Sextet, and the Brad Muirhead 4tet, to name only a few.
Jared holds a PhD in Arts Education from Simon Fraser University. His doctoral research explored an alternative paradigm for music education based on improvisation and his thesis supervisor was the pianist and philosopher, Yaroslav Senyshyn. He has a MMus in Jazz Studies from the University of Oregon where he was mentored by the great educator and musician, Steve Owen and studied composition under Robert Kyr and David Crumb. His early teachers included Rudolph Komorous, Martin Gotfrit, David MacIntyre (composition) and Ihor Kukurudza (guitar).
Natasha D’Agostino – voice
A creative composer and improviser, Natasha draws influence from a wide canon of musicians, notably the music of Norma Winstone, Fred Hersch, and Wayne Shorter. Natasha’s original music combines her love and appreciation of modal and modern jazz, and pairs it with elements of free improvisation. She is currently working on her first album set to be released in 2017.
Natasha D’Agostino is a Vancouver based vocalist, with an undergraduate degree in Jazz Voice from Capilano University. Throughout her time at Capilano University, she has participated in the renowned vocal ensemble, Nitecap. Regarded widely on a national and international scale, this ensemble performs extremely versatile and challenging material written by acclaimed visiting artists such as Randy Brecker, Kurt Elling, and Donny McCaslin, as well as originals and arrangements by accomplished director Réjean Marois. Natasha has been involved in collaborations with both students and faculty, allowing her to explore and develop her own music and arrangements.
Kevin Lee – trumpet
Kevin Lee was born in Vancouver where he lived until he was 10 years old. He moved to Surrey where he started playing trumpet in school bands and local community bands which toured in many areas of Canada, USA, & Europe.After High School, Kevin attended Douglas College to pursue studies in Music Education. Kevin transferred to Western Washington University where he graduated with a Bachelor of Music Degree in Jazz Studies. After University, Kevin began a career as a professional musician freelancing with many types of groups ranging from jazz combos, big bands, cruise ships, studio sessions to orchestras. Kevin also worked as a composer/arranger.
In the early 80’s, Kevin moved to Los Angeles, California to study arranging/composition as well as study trumpet. After his time in Los Angeles, Kevin returned to Canada and resumed working as a musician and eventually joined a Ska Band called SkaBoom. SkaBoom became one of Vancouver’s most popular bands and eventually became well known in major centres across Canada as well as parts of the USA. SkaBoom performed, recorded and toured for many years with songs climbing the airwaves in many areas of Canada and the USA. SkaBoom produced a music video of their popular song Love & Affection that received airplay on Canada’s Much Music TV Station as well as some airplay in the USA and UK.
While still playing and touring with SkaBoom, Kevin became a substitute music teacher at the request of the Surrey School District. Kevin fell in love with teaching and decided to become a full time music teacher and enrolled at the University or British Columbia where he received a Bachelor of Education Degree in Secondary Music.
Over the years, Kevin has recorded for radio commercials, movie scores, television shows, as well as a variety of CD/Record projects. Kevin has performed with a variety of musical groups and has performed in festivals across Canada and the USA. As a teacher, Kevin works in the Surrey School District where many of his bands and students have received awards and recognition in Canada and the USA. He enjoys all aspects of making music and teaching the art of making music.
Rob Kohler – bass
Rob has been a regular at the Stanford Jazz Workshop since 1991. He has held various titles, including; Education Director, Jazz Camp Faculty Coordinator, and Combo Coordinator. Besides teaching combos and Bass Master Class, he has taught Beginning Theory, Intermediate Theory, as well as Advanced Theory. He is mostly known as a bassist however and has performed in concerts, workshops and master classes at SJW with a list of world class players that includes; John Stowell, Jeff Ballard, Stefan Karlsson, George Garzone, Don Hass, Ndugu Chancellor, Tootie Heath, and Dana Leong to name a few.
Besides the SJW, Rob has been an integral part of the South Delta Jazz Workshop in Vancouver B.C. as well appearing annually at The Vancouver International Music Festival since 1998. He has also been on the faculty at the world re-known New Orleans Center for Creative Arts. While at NOCCA he created and directed a middle school program as well worked with at the high school during the school year and their summer sessions.
As a composer Rob has been the recipient of two NEA Grants and his originals have been featured on numerous recordings.
He is currently Adjunct Professor of Bass performance at MSU.
Brad Muirhead – trombone, Workshop Co-director.
Brad Muirhead is well known to audiences across Canada and Europe for his powerful sound and inventive improvising and has been involved in the Vancouver music scene as a performer, composer and arranger for more than 20 years. He has recorded and toured extensively with his own groups Primal Orbit and Brass Roots as well as the NOW Orchestra, Hugh Fraser’s VEJI, and the Hard Rubber Orchestra. His latest original projects as a leader are “The Brad Muirhead Quartet”, his original modern jazz outlet and “Propulsion”, a hard-hitting jazz/funk horn band with Brad on Tuba-bass. Brad has been very active as a music educator and has held such positions as Coordinator of the Banff Summer Jazz Workshop, Producer of the Vancouver & Victoria International Jazz Orchestra Workshops and Artistic Director of the Renfrew Community Performance Project.
Stephen Robb – clarinet, saxophone, piano, Workshop Co-director
Stephen is an accomplished clarinetist jazz pianist, saxophonist, and arranger performing both classical chamber music and jazz idioms, performing the gamut from classical clarinet, chamber and orchestral repertoire to jazz standards, original compositions and free improvisation. Stephen is a graduate of Queen’s University at Kingston, McGill University in Montreal and the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. Currently Stephen is Music Director of the Delta Community Music School, and the Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Richmond Delta Youth Orchestra. He teaches clarinet and saxophone at the Delta Community Music School and the VSO School of Music in Vancouver.
Ron Samworth – guitar
Guitarist/Composer Ron Samworth has been playing and teaching music professionally for over 30 years. Critically acclaimed as one of Canada’s leading jazz guitarists and improvisers, Samworth brings his passion for jazz, rock, blues, classical, pop and folk music together in a fusion that represents the breadth of his musical experiences. He leads the celebrated Vancouver-based quartet Talking Pictures and co-directed the NOW Orchestra for ten years and the Indie rock bands Darkblueworld and the Luscious. He is also a member of the Peggy Lee Band, Birds of Paradox and the Hard Rubber Orchestra. His has performed and recorded with numerous international artists including Mary Margaret O’Hara, John Zorn, Dave Douglas, Robin Holcomb and Wayne Horvitz.
He has performed in major venues and festivals in New York, Berlin, Paris, Lisbon,Amsterdam, Vienna, and extensively across Canada. He has been awarded numerous Canada Council awards from 1985 to the present. In 1990 he won the CBC/Alcan Grand Prix Concours de Jazz with the group Creatures of Habit. He has been nominated for multiple Jessie and Dora awards for his theatre collaborations, West Coast music awards, short listed for a SOCAN songwriting award, and Canadian Jazz critic awards for best jazz guitarist and top ensemble (Talking Pictures) in 2004 and 2005.
He was a faculty member of the Banff Center Jazz Workshop in 2009 and has taught at the Capilano University jazz studies programme since 1997. He has conducted workshops and lecture/demonstrations at universities and conservatories across Canada and Europe. Ron enjoys teaching all levels and abilities. His approach is relaxed and easy-going, placing the enjoyment of music and each individual’s specific needs above formal objectives and methodology. In short, he wants everyone to feel like music is fun and uplifting!
Stan Taylor – drums
Veteran Canadian jazz drummer Stan Taylor has been an integral part of the Vancouver jazz scene for more than 27 years. Stan has played with such artists as Kenny Wheeler, PJ Perry,Vinny Golia, Pat LaBarbara, Ray Anderson, Rob Blakeslee, Fraser MacPherson, Mike Stern, Glen Spearman, Peter Brotzman, Hugh Fraser, and Paul Plimley. In the1990s Stan co-led the legendary Kane/ Taylor Explosion which toured and performed in Canada and the US with the Kokoro Dance Company.
Current projects and collaborations include Kane/Taylor Explosion featuring Noelle Pion, Norm Quinn’s Q5 Jazz Collective. Ian Coleman Trio, Lorne Kellett Trio and many others. Stan is actively involved in recording and performing with these groups and is the faculty drum set instructor at the Delta Community Music School.