Jazz Forum Spring 2015

Wednesdays at 1!
1:00 p.m.
GMC 1029
Doug Leibinger, program director

Jazz Forum at SSU is a unique performance/master class designed to expose jazz majors and guests to a wide variety of jazz styles. Guest musicians perform their music with commentary in a relaxed atmosphere. Info: leibinge@sonoma.edu

Admission is free. Limited seating available on a first-come, first serve basis

Wednesday, January 28
Doug Leibinger: Solo Trombonist

SSU director of jazz studies Doug Leibinger will open the spring jazz forum series with a unique solo performance: no rhythm section, looping, effects, etc. - just Doug and a trombone! Doug is in his sixth year of teaching at SSU. He was a trombone soloist on the University of Miami Concert Jazz Band's recording of Maria Schneider's Three Romances, which was nominated for a Grammy award in 2004. His performing/recording credits include Randy Brecker, Jon Faddis, Claire Fischer, Maria Schneider, Chayanne, Sean "P Diddy" Combs, Jose Luis "El Puma" Rodriguez, Jimmy Buffett, Sam Moore, Les Elgart, Jerry Lewis, Peter Cetera, Royal Crown Revue, Harold Jones and many more. He has several big band charts published by ejazzlines, and his compositions have been featured at jazz festivals and conventions worldwide.

Wednesday, February 4
John Stowell, guitarist and Mike Zilber, saxophonist

The incredible jazz guitarist John Stowell returns to SSU Jazz Forum, this time in a quartet featuring SSU Jazz Faculty Randy Vincent, Cliff Hugo and George Marsh. Stowell has regularly performed as a duo with bassist David Friesen for the last 30 years, and was featured in a groundbreaking tour of Russia with Paul Horn in 1983. Perhaps Larry Coryell put it best - "John Stowell plays jazz, but he doesn’t use any of the clichés; he has an incredible originality. John is a master creator." Fireworks are guaranteed! Saxophonist Mike Zilber joins John Stowell on this Forum.

No matter how you look at it, in whatever genre he chooses, SF-based Jazz Saxophonist Michael Zilber is, as Downbeat and Grammy winning and nominated legend David Liebman says,"simply one of the best composers and players around anywhere. Period!"


Wednesday, February 11
SSU Horace Silver Ensemble with cllinican Keith Saunders

Born in a small coal mining town, Keith combines the ability to play I Cover the Waterfront in 11 and a half keys with his love of washing machines to form a perspective so skewed that his wife insists on separate seatings at dinner. Keith spent his formative years in Los Angeles where he studied with Charlie Shoemake and later, with Horace Silver. Keith worked extensively in L.A. with such well known artists as Eddie Harris, Roy McCurdy, and Bill Watrous, as well as recording with Dick Berk's Jazz Adoption Agency, for which he was the arranger. His most notable contribution to this aggregation was his composition "Forced To Hang," a song depicting the angst of being barricaded in a Denny's booth by an unyielding Berk.

Matt Slocum

Wednesday, February 18
Rez Abbasi, guitartist


Born in Karachi, Pakistan, removed at the age of four to the vastness of Southern California, schooled at the University of Southern California and the Manhattan School of Music in jazz and classical music, along with a pilgrimage in India under the tutelage of master percussionist, Ustad Alla Rakha, Rez Abbasi is a vivid synthesis of all the above stated influences and genres. Making New York his home for the past 20 years, Abbasi has developed a unique sound both as a composer and an instrumentalist. He is considered by many to be one of the foremost modern jazz guitar players the world over.


Wednesday, March 11
Harold Jones, drummer

Harold Jones is the quintessential big-band drummer with a crisp, clean sound notable for the high-pitched snare drum crack. He wastes no element of motion, has near-perfect time, sets up figures beautifully, is a driving accompanist, and plays wonderful fills only when necessary. It's no surprise that Jones later became the drummer of choice of famed singers Sarah Vaughan and later, Natalie Cole.

Matt Slocum


Wednesday, March 25
John Fedchock

John Fedchock is simply one of the most amazing trombonists
alive today. He served as lead trombonist, musical director and arranger for
Woody Herman’s “Thundering Herd” in the 80’s. Today he leads his own critically
acclaimed “New York Big Band” and “NY Sextet,” and is a regular on the Downbeat
readers’ and critics’ polls.

Matt Slocum

Wednesday, April 1
SSU Latin Band with cllinicansThe Carlitos Medrano Afro-Cuban Jazz Quintet

The Carlitos Medrano Afro-Cuban Jazz Quintet will perform and clinic the SSU Latin Band, featuring Carlitos Medrano, conguero; Julio de le Cruz, piano; Ernesto Mazar Kindelán, bass; Colin Douglas, drums, and Doug Leibinger, trombone. Carlos Medrano born in Havana, Cuba, began his musical studies by teaching himself to play Bongos and Congas using traditional Cuban music and Rumba as his guide. After a few years of studying, experience, and having participated in folkloric musical projects and timba, also known as Cuban Salsa, he decided to broaden his musical knowledge by beginning a course of musical studies in the Escuela de Superacion Profesional de Arte “Felix Varela y Morales” where he began to create his foundation for Latin Jazz fusion within other musical projects in Cuba.

Matt Slocum

Wednesday, April 8
SSU Concert Jazz Ensemble with clinician Adam Theis

Adam Theis (born 5/14/1974) is a multi-instrumentalist bandleader/composer/producer based in San Francisco Bay Area, CA who plays trombone, bass, trumpet, tuba and keyboards. Adam has been an active member of the San Francisco Bay Area music scene for the past 20+ years. In 2000 Adam co-founded Jazz Mafia, an eclectic artist-collective of some of the top players of Electro, Hip-Hop and of course Jazz, in the Bay Area. As Jazz Mafia’s leader, Adam has assembled nearly 100 different live projects over the past 15
years and led dozens of successful and acclaimed bands including Shotgun Wedding Quintet, Realistic Orchestra, Western Territory Project, Brass Mafia, Subharmonic and the 50 piece Brass, Bows & Beats Hip-Hop Symphony.

Matt Slocum

Wednesday, April 15
Ron Dziubla, saxophone

As a saxophonist/multi-instrumentalist (guitar and keyboards), Ron Dziubla has performed and recorded with artists such as Duane Eddy, Los Straitjackets, Ricky Martin, Raphael Saadiq, Robert Cray and many more.  As a session musician, you can hear Ron’s saxophone at work for such producers as Kevin Shirley, Dominic Messenger, Linda Perry, Rick Krizman, Rich McCulley and in use in such films as Burlesque, Thirteen and Contact.  His television appearances include the 2007 and 2010 Latin Grammy Awards Telecast, The Oprah Show, The Ellen show, The View and the Today Show.  As an educator/guest artist, Ron has taught and performed at the University of Missouri, Sonoma State University, Coral Park High School (Miami, FL), The Help Group, the U. S. Department of State and the Egyptian Ministry of Culture.  Ron is also an artist in his own right, having released three records. Brian Parrish of KSYM in San Antonio called his release on Little Silver Records, Melenhead, “one of the best instro releases of 1999.”

Matt Slocum

Wednesday, April 22
SSU Contemporary Jazz Ensemble & The Air Force Commanders Jazz Combo

The Commanders, a newly-revived ensemble coming from the US Air Force Band of the Golden West, carries on the American musical tradition of the great big bands, yet offers a lot more than the big band sounds. This energetic group of highly-trained professional musicians, formed from 18 Airmen, delivers the full gamut of jazz music - traditional jazz, cool, bop, swing, Broadway favorites, and patriotic music. The Commanders offers an entertaining show you won't soon forget!

Matt Slocum

Getting There

GMC 1029 is in Music Education Hall adjacent to the Green Music Center. Enter campus from Rohnert Park Expressway, proceed past the Joan and Sanford I. Weill Hall, turn right into Parking Lot L, and go up the stairs to the double glass doors. 


Parking passes are $5 daily and may be obtained from the self-dispenser at each parking lot entrance, or from the Information kiosks at campus entrances.
For directions see:

Download Parking Map for more information