n April 28th, 2012, our very own UNLV Sextet — consisting of Otto Ehling on Piano, Austin Pooley on Drums, Nick Schmitt on Bass, Kevin Early on Trumpet, Nick Tulli on Sax and myself on trombone — took 1st place at the 50th annual Reno Jazz Festival in Reno, Nevada. Since its first year in 1962, the festival has endeavored to bring to Reno both talented students and renowned professional artists. The festival has consistently attracted some of the best school bands in the nation, in part because they enjoy the festival’s competition and also because they know they will get to see great artists in concert and in workshops such as Michael and Randy Brecker, Dave Holland, Nicholas Payton, Bobby Hutcherson, Maria Schneider, Roy Haynes, Ravi Coltrane, Ingrid Jensen, Joshua Redman, Lee Konitz and many others. In addition, Kevin Early won the outstanding trumpet soloist award & yours truly was awarded with the outstanding trombone soloist award. All in all, a tremendous victory for our school and a notable personal achievement.
The UNLV Jazz program is run by Dave Loeb (Pianist – Family Guy, American Dad, Cleveland Show, The Hollywood Bowl, et al.) and Nathan Tanouye (Trombonist/Arranger – Celine Dion). It is a remarkable program geared at teaching students, whether directly or indirectly, the reality of the music industry by rote. It is not for the weak-willed or those who need to be spoon-fed the hard lessons of the art & industry. If you are interested in joining the program, either contact me through the contact form or go directly to the jazz area website [here].