Faculty

The faculty of the UC San Diego Jazz Camp is comprised of more than a dozen nationally- and internationally-known musicians and jazz educators. Many are considered among the living masters on their instruments and in a wide variety of styles of jazz. The camp faculty includes Guggenheim and NEA Fellowship awardees, DownBeat and JazzTimes poll-winners, veteran performers and rising stars. The UC San Diego Jazz Camp's unique curriculum gives students direct access to some of the world's leading jazz artists, encouraging them to explore a full spectrum of approaches to jazz improvisation.

2017 Faculty

Dan Atkinson — Camp Founder & Director
Department of Arts, Humanities and Languages, and Digital Arts, UC San Diego Extension, and Jazz Program Coordinator for La Jolla's Athenaeum Music & Arts Library, has worked with a diverse range of jazz musicians and is a Grammy-nominated producer.
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David Borgo — Saxophones
Professor of Music, UC San Diego, composer and ethnomusicologist, has performed with Kenny Burrell, Billy Higgins, David Liebman, Herbie Hancock, Gerald Wilson, and Louis Bellson.
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Anat Cohen — Clarinet/Saxophone
Clarinetist-saxophonist Anat Cohen has won hearts and minds the world over with her expressive virtuosity and delightful stage presence. Reviewing one of Anat's headlining sets with her quartet at the North See Jazz Festival, DownBeat said: "Cohen not only proved to be a woodwind revelation of dark tones and delicious lyricism, but also a dynamic bandleader who danced and shouted out encouragement to her group - whooping it up when pianist Jason Lindner followed her clarinet trills on a Latin-flavored number… With her dark, curly, shoulder-length hair swaying to the beat as she danced, she was a picture of joy."
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Gilbert Castellanos — Trumpet
Member of the Clayton/Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, former Columbia recording artist with Black/Note, has performed with Dizzy Gillespie, Wynton Marsalis, Charlie Haden, Poncho Sanchez, and Anthony Wilson.
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Michael Dessen — Trombone
A composer-improviser who performs on the slide trombone and computer, Michael Dessen has recorded on labels such as Clean Feed, Cuneiform, and Circumvention. A professor at the University of California, Irvine , he is co-founder of a new MFA emphasis in Integrated Composition, Improvisation and Technology.
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Mark Dresser — Contrabass
Professor of Music, UC San Diego, has performed and recorded with many of the luminaries of 'new' jazz composition and improvisation, and is well-known for his musical performances on the film classics "Un Chien Andalou" and "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari."
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Holly Hofmann — Flute
Leading jazz flutist, collaborator with such artists as Ray Brown, Frank Wess, Slide Hampton, Kenny Barron, Ali Ryerson, and Cedar Walton.
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Larry Koonse — Guitar
Born into a musical family, Larry has been playing the guitar since he was seven years old. In 1984, Larry was the first recipient of a BM in Jazz Studies at the University of Southern California.
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Charles McPherson — Alto Saxophone
Leading bebop instrumentalist, longtime Charles Mingus band member, collaborator with such artists as Barry Harris, Lionel Hampton, Art Farmer, Wynton Marsalis, Tom Harrell.
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Hugh Ragin — Trumpet
An inspiring teacher, creative musician and trumpet virtuoso, Ragin has been named "a trumpeter with very few peers in terms of imagination or technical command" by jazz biographer Francis Davis. Ragin has collaborated with musicians including David Murray, Roscoe Mitchell, Anthony Braxton, Spencer Barefield, Fred Wesley, Wadada Leo Smith, Maynard Ferguson, D.D. Jackson, and Andrew Cyrille, on recorded and live performances that range from bebop and freebop, to the most 'out' of avant-garde improvising.
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Eric Reed — Piano
Through more than a quarter-century as a first-caller on the jazz scene, Reed has articulated this inclusive conception as a leader of numerous ensembles, solo performer, composer, producer, educator and sideman with numerous artists. Whatever the context, whatever the style, he consistently animates the flow with fresh ideas, virtuosic chops, intellectual clarity and an unwavering will to groove.
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Edward Simon — Piano
Award-winning pianist and composer Edward Simon hails from Venezuela. He made his first recording as a leader in 1994 (Beauty Within, Audioquest), giving birth to the Edward Simon Trio. Since then, he founded several other ensembles such as: the Edward Simon Quartet, Ensemble Venezuela and Afinidad. Today, the Edward Simon Trio has become an established voice with five recordings and recent performances at well-known jazz venues around the world.
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Peter Sprague — Guitar
Interlochen Arts Academy alumnus, former Musicians Institute and CalArts Jazz Studies faculty member, has performed and recorded with Chick Corea, Hubert Laws, David Benoit, Dianne Reeves and Sergio Mendes.
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Rob Thorsen — Bass
Active as leader and sideman, has performed with James Moody, Charles McPherson, Ernie Watts, Louis Bellson, Hubert Laws, and Bucky Pizzarelli.
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Joshua White — Piano
Finalist in the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition, UC San Diego Jazz Camp alumnus, has performed with artists including Christian McBride, Dayna Stephens, and Ambrose Akinmusire.
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Matt Wilson — Drums
Leader of the Matt Wilson Quartet, has performed with Herbie Hancock, Elvis Costello, Wynton Marsalis, and Pat Metheny.
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Mike Wofford — Piano
Lighthouse All-Stars alumnus, past music director for Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan, collaborator with Bud Shank, Lee Konitz, Shelly Manne, Chet Baker, Benny Carter
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