Dee Daniels, Artistic Director
Dee marks her second year as Artistic Director of DeMiero Jazz Fest with an exciting line-up of guest artists, faculty, clinicians and new opportunities for participants to experience jazz. Recognized internationally as a unique talent who transcends musical borders when she brings her jazz styling, infused with gospel and blues flavoring, to the stage, Dee has received awards for her contributions in the field of music performance, music education, and community service. Dee will host the evening concerts and be the featured artist at the Thursday night concert.
Carmen Bradford, Guest Artist
Popular Jazz Fest “family member” returns to share her talent and enthusiasm with participants in workshops and as the featured guest artist on Saturday night. Carmen began her musical career as the featured vocalist for the legendary Count Basie Orchestra for nine years. She moved on to broaden her focus and gain recognition as a soloist, a collaborator in duets and small combos, and a performer in stage productions and Hollywood film sound tracks. She has been featured on four Grammy Award winning albums. Carmen has truly contributed to the perpetuation and preservation of this Great American art form called jazz, and continues to do so. Friends of Frank DeMiero are excited to welcome her back to Jazz Fest.
Deborah Brown, Guest Artist
Deborah Brown is one of the finest jazz vocalists in the business, a “singer’s singer” with a magnificent voice and mind-boggling technique. – Victor L Schermer. Deborah’s 40 year musical career began in Kansas City. After travelling all around the United States, she developed a desire to go international, and began travelling around the world. She settled in Holland for 10 years before returning to the U.S. She has recorded over 22 CDs. Her tour schedule is still focused mainly on international travel. Deborah does not have her own band and prefers to perform with local musicians wherever she goes. As a result, she plays with some of the best musicians in the world. Jazz Fest is honored to have Deborah share her perspective and music.
Charenee Wade, Faculty
Charenee Wade is a notable singer, composer, arranger and educator who received her degree from the Manhattan School of Music. Charenee is currently a professor at the Aaron Copland School of Music, City College, and with the Jazzmobile Workshop program. She teaches various workshops and clinics, and she performs internationally. Ms. Wade will participate in Jazz Fest workshops and perform as a guest artist on Thursday evening.
Greta Matassa, Faculty
In 2009, Greta Matassa was voted “Northwest Vocalist of the Year” by Earshot Jazz. This marks the sixth time she has received this award in 15 years. She is one of the most talented singers working in jazz today. Greta is also an excellent teacher who has a passion for helping young people learn about jazz. For the past several years, she has run the popular DeMiero Jazz Fest soloist workshop. Many students cite her workshop as the highlight of their Jazz Fest experience. Greta returns to the faculty this year to conduct the soloist workshop and perform as a guest artist in the Thursday night concert.
Josh Nelson, Piano
A native of Southern California, Josh Nelson maintains a busy schedule as a jazz pianist, composer, and recording artist. At 33 years old, he has made a strong impression on the jazz and songwriting scene on the West Coast. He has been touring worldwide with legendary jazz vocalist Natalie Cole for the past two years. Josh also served as Musical Director for jazz vocal sensation Sara Gazarek, and toured the U.S., Japan, and Canada with her. Josh’s compositions for Sara have garnered him international acclaim, with Sara’s album reaching number 10 on the Billboard Jazz Charts. Josh returns to DeMiero Jazz Fest to share his music with artists and participants.
Jay Leonhart, Bass
A superior bassist, Jay Leonhart is also known as a witty lyricist and singer. Leonhart has played with Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Judy Garland, Sting, Marian McPartland, and many others. Leonhart has been named Most Valuable Bassist in the recording industry three times by the National Association of Recording Arts and Sciences. Jay last visited DeMiero Jazz Fest in 2008 when he performed as a solo guest performer at an evening concert, joined the rhythm section of the Kennelly Keys Music All Star Big Band, and gave a master class for participants. We look forward to his return visit
Alvester Garnett, Drums
“Joy and spirited musical communication” are what characterize the artistry of Alvester Garnett’s drumming. Singers, such as Abbey Lincoln and Betty Carter, to instrumentalists Wynton Marsalis, James Carter, Regina Carter, and Cyrus Chestnut, have all called on Mr. Garnet for the energy and fire that he brings to the bandstand. Alvester began studying music at the age of 5 when he began piano lessons. He moved to percussion at the age of 14 and has continued with that focus since. As a student, he won awards for his drumming, and, as a professional, has performed at many notable jazz festivals throughout the world. This year will mark his first visit to DeMiero Jazz Fest.
Jay Thomas, Sax/Trumpet
Jay Thomas, a native of Seattle, is a versatile multi-instrumentalist (trumpet, flugelhorn, alto, tenor, soprano and flute). His music could be described as lyrical without losing touch with the blues. Jay can be heard on over 60 LPs and CDs. Over the past decade or so an important contribution to jazz has been Jay’s ability and experience in working with and inspiring young jazz musicians. For over a decade Jay has worked with the Garfield jazz program in Seattle, helping to make Garfield one of the top high school jazz bands in the country. Jay will perform with the rhythm section to provide an added dimension to the evening concerts.