Bryan Lipps

Department Head,Brass & Woodwinds Dept.

Trumpeter, writer and educator Bryan Lipps is on a mission to play, create, and share as much music as physics will allow. From his time in the Joe LaBarbara quintet to his tenure as international touring soloist for multi Grammy recording artists Michael Buble and John Mayer, he has been featured on nearly every continent, every major entertainment TV show, and every major jazz festival in the world.

Bryan’s recording studio credits include a sizable list of RIAA multi-platinum and Grammy winning records, and as a writer, he penned the chart-topping lead single and album title track “Nobody But Me” for Michael Buble’s 2016 Reprise release. As an active Los Angeles studio/jazz musician, he has worked closely with RIAA multi-platinum record producers David Foster, Bob Rock, Steve Jordan, and Umberto Gatica. Mr. Lipps has been a band member for the Kim Richmond Jazz Orchestra, Jack Sheldon Orchestra, and Kurt Elling small group, to name a few.

Beliving first hand in the transformative power of music, Mr. Lipps is committed to nurturing the developing muscian. He has taught at the premire West coast arts high school, L.A.County High School for the Arts since 2001, and has seen many of his students receive top prize at the Monterey Jazz Festival “Next Generation” competition, “Spotlight,” “DownBeat,” and Grammy Foundation honors. He has presented master classes across the globe and has contributed in his role as a consultant and educator to innovative Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz programs including Jazz In America, Jazz In The Classroom, and BeBop To Hip-Hop.

Bryan was handpicked by Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter as one of five musicians worldwide selected to participate in the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz international Fellowship Program, a two year post graduate fellowship where he had the honor of learning from and playing with the patriarchs of modern jazz, including Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Jimmy Heath, Barry Harris, and Terrence Blanchard. Mr. Lipps holds a B.M. from North Carolina School of the Arts, a M.M. From Manhattan School of Music, and an Advanced Performers Certificate from the Thelonious Monk Institute at the University Of Southern California.

Gordon Goodwin

Advisory Chair,Brass & Woodwinds Dept.

Having amassed 21 Grammy nominations, four statues and three Emmy wins, Gordon Goodwin is the most decorated big band leader in the 21st century. He is leader of Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band, an internationally known ensemble with a reputation as one of the most exciting large ensembles in jazz.

The BPB has released seven critically acclaimed records, its most recent being Life in the Bubble, which garnered four Grammy Nominations, and won the Grammy for “Best Large Ensemble Album.”

Gordon’s composing for film and television has garnered him three Emmy Awards. He has written and worked with artists like Ray Charles, Christina Aguilera, Johnny Mathis, John Williams, Natalie Cole, David Foster, Sarah Vaughan, Mel Torme, and Quincy Jones, to name a few. His charts are played all over the world, and along with his method books and CDs, have been a robust source of inspiration and learning for thousands of young musicians.

Goodwin is the host of a popular new radio program called “Phat Tracks with Gordon Goodwin,” airing weekends on KJAZZ, America’s jazz and blues station. His newest recording “An Elusive Man” is due for release in fall 2016.

Wayne Bergeron

Wayne Bergeron is enjoying a career as one of the most active players in the world. With studio dates, International touring, jazz concerts, guest soloist appearances and clinics, he has no intention of slowing down. Born in 1958 in Hartford, Connecticut, Bergeron grew up in Southern California where he started on French horn before switching to trumpet in the 7th grade. Although a difficult instrument to play, Bergeron took to the trumpet quickly. “I found I had natural ability for playing the trumpet in the upper register at an early age.” Bergeron credits his junior high school band director and first trumpet teacher, Ron Savitt, for molding his natural abilities into practical working skills. In 1986, Bergeron landed the lead trumpet position with the Maynard Ferguson Band. He can be heard on such MF recordings as “Body & Soul,” “Big Bop Nouveau,” “Brass Attitude” and “The One & Only Maynard Ferguson.” Remarking on the talented trumpet player, Maynard Ferguson had this to say during a radio interview: “Wayne is the most musical lead trumpet player I’ve ever had on my band.”

As a sideman, Bergeron’s list of CD credits reads like a who’s who in contemporary jazz and pop, running the stylistic gamut from Ray Charles to Green Day. Other stellar names include Beyoncé, Michael Buble, Seth MacFarland, Josh Groban, Natalie Cole, Celine Dion, Seal, Diana Krall, Tito Puente, Christina Aguilera, Dianne Reeves, Barry Manilow, Michael Bolton, Gwen Stefani, Earth Wind & Fire, The Pussy Cat Dolls, My Chemical Romance, The Mars Volta, INXS, Chicago, Rosemary Cloony, Diane Schuur, Barry Manilow, Lee Ann Womack, Lou Rawls, Eric Marienthal, Kenny G., Brian Culbertson and David Benoit.

Bergeron has worked on 300 plus TV & motion picture soundtracks. A partial list of film credits include Toy Story 3, Pixie Hollow Games, Despicable Me, Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Charlie St Cloud, 2012, Percy Jackson, Cats & Dogs, Surrogates, The informant, G-force, Star Trek, Confessions of a Shopaholic, Beverly Hills Chihuahua, High School Musical 1 & 3, Race to Witch Mountain, National Treasure 1 & 2, Bedtime Stories, Pink Panther 2, Marley & Me, Role Models, The Mummy 3, Get Smart, Enchanted, Hancock, Horton Hears a Who, Semi Pro, Superman Returns, Pirates of the Caribbean 1,2&3, Ratatouille, The Simpson’s Movie, Dreamgirls, Hairspray, Ice Age 2, Spiderman 1 & 2, Fantastic Four 1 & 2, Team America, Anchorman, Catch Me if You Can, South Park, Flubber and The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

Dave Pozzi

Dave Pozzi has been a Los Angeles based free-lance artist since 1979, recording and playing with artists like: Henry Mancini, Mel Torme, Celine Dion, David Foster, Johnny Mathis, Jeff Hamilton, Rich Little, Charlie Shoemake, Melissa Manchester, Marvin Stamm, Bobby Shew, Pete Christlieb, Don Menza, Roy McCurdy, Bob Cooper, Jeff Berlin, Diana Krall, Billy Childs, and others. Big band credits include Ray Anthony, Bob Crosby, Bill Watrous, Louie Bellson, Bob Florence, and Doc Severinsen. Dave is featured as a soloist on recordings with John Patitucci, Nick Brignola, Dick Berk, Bob Magnusson, Ray Pizzi, and Milcho Leviev. Other recording work includes radio and TV commercials, TV shows like The Osbournes, and numerous demos and record dates.

Howie Shear

After receiving a master’s degree from the Eastman School of Music, Howie moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career as a musician/composer/arranger. He soon took a slight detour to go on the road where he played lead trumpet with the Woody Herman Orchestra. After two years, he moved back to LA, and has since performed on countless TV and movie soundtracks, commercials, Broadway shows and recordings. Howie has performed with Tony Bennett, George Benson, Stevie Wonder, the Temptations, Natalie Cole, Linda Ronstadt, and Mel Torme, to name a few. In addition to performing, Howie has been an active composer/arranger/orchestrator getting his first big break as the musical arranger for the Joan Rivers late night talk show, where he composed for a 16-piece big band 5 nights a week. Howie has also scored several movies. He received his doctorate in music from the University of Southern California in 2002.

Garrett Smith

Garrett Smith moved to Los Angeles in 1998 to attend USC where he studied with Terry Cravens and Bill Watrous.  Since graduating in 2002 he has had a busy freelance career which has led him to perform on the Grammys, the Emmys, the Kennedy Center Honors, American Idol and the Voice.  He was a member of the house band on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno for a number of years and has toured extensively with Stevie Wonder and Christina Aguilera. He joined the faculty of the Los Angeles College of Music in fall of 2017 and lives in South Pasadena.

Ramsey Castaneda

Dr. Ramsey Castaneda (DMA) is a performer, educator, researcher and composer based in Los Angeles, California. Ramsey has performed in a variety of venues from Carnegie Hall, with Paquito D’Rivera, to LA recording studios for television shows, music videos, commercials, movies, and most recently Michael Bublé’s 2018 album, Love. He has presented research at the 2018 and 2019 Jazz Education Network Conferences, at the 2015 and 2016 California All-State Music Education Conferences, and most recently at the inaugural 2019 Documenting Jazz Conference in Dublin, Ireland. His research interests include jazz representation in popular culture and philosophy of music. Recent papers covering the indexical, symbolic, and iconic representations of jazz significations in mass mediated narratives. Ramsey completed his DMA at the University of Southern California in May 2018, with fields in jazz studies, music teaching and learning, collegiate teaching, and web applications and development (view his music theory resource website at Ramsey received his Bachelor of Music degree from the University of North Texas with a minor in music theory, and a Master of Music degree from the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at CSU-Long Beach. At USC Ramsey was a Gluck Fellow, Teaching Mentor, director of the Los Angeles Youth Jazz Ensemble, and a teaching assistant in the Music Industry Program, the Popular Music programs, and for Jazz History and The Music of Black Americans. Ramsey has additionally taught jazz combos at the Bob Cole Conservatory at California State University, Long Beach, and private lessons at USC.

Tom Luer

As a musician based in Los Angeles, Tom Luer has created a multi-dimensional career juggling performing for TV shows, numerous big bands, session work for recordings, and teaching.

Tom released his first album Project Popular in 2011 to critical acclaim including Cadence Review “His beautiful sound is similar to Brecker’s, as are his general approach and mannerisms. And his formidable technique allows him to execute even the most challenging passages.” Some of the music was featured in nationally broadcast promos for National Public Radio.  He continues to perform with his band promoting his original music, which was described as “the kind of magnetism that delights with long contemporary bursts before a large audience at the Greek theater on a Saturday night… an honest goodness thriving jam jazz band.” 

Luer is an essential member of several of LA’s finest Big Bands, including the four-time GRAMMY nominated MONK’estra led by John Beasley, GRAMMY nominated Dave Slonaker Band, the Alan Chan Orchestra and the Mike Barone Big Band.  Tom is also a frequent performer with the Gordon Goodwin Big Phat Band and many others.

Luer performed on NBC’s The Voice and a TV special Sports Illustrated 50 Years of Beautiful; X-Factor on Fox; in Queen Latifah’s band for appearances at the American Music Awards and Tonight Show, Ellen Degeneres. He also played on the film soundtrack of Daddy’s Home (Paramount).

His recording credits include, GRAMMY winning Kurt Elling’s The Brill Building Project, GRAMMY nominated Dave Slonaker’s Intrada, recordings by Lee Ritenour, Cooper Phillips, Bicoastal Collective, and Oliver Future.

He is currently touring with John Beasley’s MONK’estra big band, which has performed at the Monterey Jazz Festival, SFJazz, PyeongChang Music Festival (South Korea), and with upcoming performances at Walt Disney Hall, Chicago Symphony Center, Loeb Playhouse, the Center in Indiana, and Wellington Jazz Festival (New Zealand).

Luer juggles his performing/recording/touring career while managing a position as adjunct faculty member at Cal Poly Pomona and Los Angeles College of Music.  He has also taught at the University of North Texas, Texas Christian University, Bethel College, North Lake Community College and Butler County Community College.

Luer is a D’Addario woodwinds performing artist. He earned a Master’s Degree in Saxophone Performance from the University of Southern Mississippi, a Bachelor’s Degree in Performance from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, and additional graduate studies in jazz at the University of North Texas.

Devin Norris

Devin is a composer, Pianist and Producer in Los Angeles, and has composed music for brands such as Mercedes-Benz, NFL, The Voice, and over 50 other TV shows. He also worked as the lead composer for the Emmy-winning show Born this Way in it’s second and third seasons. As a producer, he has written string arrangements for artists such as Faith Evans, The Common Kings, and Clinton Sparks.

Barb Catlin

Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Barb Catlin has become one of the leading jazz educators in the Southwest. After eighteen successful years in Arizona, she recently returned to her home state of California where she is currently teaching at Pomona College, the California Institute of Technology, and Pasadena City College. Barb has many accolades as a jazz pianist (including named as a Downbeat “Player to Catch”), but is equally well-known for her tenure as musical director of the highly acclaimed youth honor jazz program, The Young Sounds of Arizona, as well as her years as director of jazz studies at Mesa Community College.

Barb majored in music education on woodwinds at California State University at Fresno, graduated Summa Cum Laude from Grand Canyon University and completed, with honors, her Master’s in Music Education with an emphasis in Jazz Studies on piano from Arizona State University.

Her enthusiasm for playing, “real-life” approach to education, and expertise in the rhythm section has made Barb a popular clinician and adjudicator at the high school and college levels. Barb has directed many honor ensembles including the Arizona All-State High School Jazz Band, the 2016 SCSBOA Honor High School Jazz Band, and the 2017 California All-State Junior High School Jazz Band. She has been a featured clinician/guest artist at Fred Sturm’s acclaimed Lawrence Jazz Festival, Kris Berg’s Collin Jazz Festival, Paul Lucceksi’s San Joaquin Jazz Festival, the N.A.U Jazz Festival, and has presented clinics at state conferences both in Arizona and California. Barb was awarded a “Lifetime Achievement Award” by Jazz in Arizona for her outstanding contribution to jazz education in the state of Arizona.

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