Faculty 2020,  Jazz Festival & Workshop

update: January 27, 2020

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.

Jack Duncan – percussion, Guest Artist 

Jack Duncan is a Percussionist, band leader and educator who has studied with some of the worlds greatest master drummers. He is equally at home playing Afro-Cuban, West African or Jazz music and has toured and performed in Africa, India, Mexico, Cuba, Europe and North America. His knowledge and experience of different musical styles and rhythms are unmatched in the community. His dynamic and sophisticated percussion playing has earned him a national and international reputation and has contributed his unique skills and experience both for stage performances and studio work with Artist’s like Chicago, Donna Summers, Ricardo Lemvo among others. Jack is also a founding member of Hugh Fraser’s Vancouver Ensemble of Jazz Improvisation and performs with John Korsrud’s Hard Rubber Orchestra,
Orquesta Goma Dura, Drum & Light Orchestra, Zapato Negro. Jack has appeared on over 50 CDs, receiving a Juno Award for his work on Alpha ‘YAYA’ Diallo’s album “The Messenger”. Jack has been involved in music soundtracks and as an expert advisor for both T.V. and Movie soundtracks most notably the Grammy and Oscar Award winning animated movie “Ratatouille” Disney Pixar.

Laura Harrison – voice

Laura Harrison (DMA – Doctorate of Musical Arts, University of Southern California, 2007) is a jazz educator, composer, arranger and vocalist who has been pursuing a dual career in jazz and classical music since 1996. She has made quite a reputation for herself as a classical mezzo-soprano performing in the Los Angeles and Orange County areas of Southern California for the past 20 years. She has recently returned as full professor of Jazz Studies at Capilano University and is the director of choirs.

We welcome her back to our faculty for July 2020.

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 worked in the Surrey School District where many of his bands and students have received awards and recognition in Canada and the USA. Kevin has recently retired after working for 29 years in Surrey.

 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 masterclasses 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 an 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, saxophone and jazz piano at the Delta Community Music School. He is a member of the Kris Jay Trio and leads his own jazz piano trio.

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 co­directed 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. Ron teaches in the jazz studies program at Capilano University.

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 include Norm Quinn’s Q5, 4Score, Ian Coleman Trio., and Stephen Robb Trio. Stan’s primary focus over the last several years has been his teaching position at the DCMS.

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