Jazz Forum 2017-18

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

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


Wednesday, August 30
Smith.Bray.Leighton Trio


Matthew Elton Smith, drums
Horace Bray, guitar
Mackenzie Lei, bass

Matt Slocum

Wednesday, September 6
Arranging Rhythm Section Projects


Matt Slocum

Wednesday, September 13
Charged Particles
with Paul McCandless

The most exciting and creative music being made today crosses stylistic boundaries and blends diverse traditions to create engaging new sounds.  Charged Particles, just back from their Indonesian Tour with saxophonist Paul McCandless, features three of the country's virtuosos doing just that in the electric jazz arena. 

Murray Low, piano

Murray Low is a veteran pianist of the Bay Area jazz scene and has been playing, composing, arranging, recording and teaching professionally for over 30 years. His fluency in all forms of jazz and its blending with other idioms has led to a multi-faceted career spanning a wide variety of musical contexts. “In order to combine styles in a meaningful way,” Murray states, “each tradition must be respected and studied in earnest."

Aaron Germain, acoustic and electric bass

Growing up in Massachusetts and studying at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA with Yusef Lateef, Aaron Germain cut his teeth on upright and electric bass in bands playing jazz, blues, funk, reggae, Senegalese mbalax, and more, while traveling all around the northeast. Since moving to the Bay Area in 2000, Aaron's calendar has always been full, and he's expanded his repertoire to include salsa and Afro-Cuban music, Brazilian forro music, Caribbean steel pan music, Indian kathak dance, calypso, and dense odd-meter jazz.
Jon Krosnick, drums

Jon Krosnick's playing in Charged Particles reflects his primary influences on the drums: Peter Erskine, Dave Weckl, and Steve Gadd. His drumming style blends incredible technique (developed through his classical training) and a sensitivity to his fellow players with an explosive energy that propels the trio to electrifying velocities. The mixing of Murray's and Aaron's harmonic and melodic talents with Jon's rhythmic vitality sparks many exciting moments during an evening with Charged Particles.

Paul McCandless, oboe, English horn, bass clarinet and saxophones

During a distinguished career spanning over four decades, Paul McCandless has brought the soaring lyricism in his playing and composing to the ensemble sound of two seminal iconic bands of jazz: the original Paul Winter Consort and the relentlessly innovative quartet, OREGON. Born in 1947 in Indiana, Pennsylvania, and a gifted multi-instrumentalist and composer, Paul specializes in the oboe, English horn, bass clarinet, soprano and sopranino saxophones and a collection of folk flutes reflecting his grounding in both classical and jazz disciplines. Trained at the Manhattan School of Music, he was a finalist in the 1971 English horn auditions for the New York Philharmonic. Today, he says he’s lucky not to have won those auditions, because a victory would have pulled him into the world of full-time classical performing, and he would have missed out on the rich life he’s had in jazz.

Charged Particles

Paul McCandless

Matt SlocumMatt SlocumMatt SlocumMatt Slocum

Wednesday, September 20
SSU Jackie McLean Ensemble
Kasey Knudsen, director
Lisa Mezzacappa, guest clinician

Lisa Mezzacappa is a San Francisco Bay Area-based bassist, bandleader, composer, curator and producer. An active collaborator in the Bay Area music community for more than a dozen years, she leads her own groups Bait & Switch, the Interlopers, Nightshade, Eartheaters and the Lisa Mezzacappa Trio, and co-leads the ensembles BODABODA, duo B., Cylinder, the Mezzacappa-Phillips Duo, and the Caribbean folk band Les Gwan Jupons.

Lisa Mezzacappa

Matt Slocum

Wednesday, September 27
SSU Latin Band
Kendrick Freeman, director



Matt Slocum

Wednesday, October 4
SSU Faculty Jazz Ensemble
Doug Leibinger and George Marsh, directors


SSU Faculty Jazz Ensemble

Matt Slocum

Wednesday, October 11 cancelled due to fires
Jazz Week Guest Ensemble:
The Commanders

The Commanders jazz ensemble from the US Air Force Band of the Golden West will attend Jazz Forum prior to their evening concert in Weill Hall.


The Commanders

Matt Slocum

Wednesday, October 18
Arranging Unison Projects

Matt Slocum

Wednesday, October 25
SSU Bay Area Jazz Composers Combo
Dave Len Scott, director
Matt Zebley, guest clinician

Alto saxophonist and composer Matt Zebley has developed his style on a variety of reed instruments, including clarinet and flute as well as E-flat alto clarinet and C melody saxophone. He began composing at Berklee College of Music where he studied arranging, composition and jazz performance, graduating magna cum laude in 1993. While in Boston he studied with Joe Viola, Billy Pierce, Herb Pomeroy, Hal Crook, Bob Brookmeyer and a host of other great musical minds. Since 1993, Matt has developed his career in southern CA.

Matt Zebley

Matt Slocum

Wednesday, November 1
Jazz Composition Reading Session



Matt Slocum

Wednesday, November 8
Dmitri Matheny

Attracted to his father’s collection of jazz and classical LP records, Dmitri Matheny began piano lessons at age five, switched to the trumpet at age nine, and took up the flugelhorn at 18. He attended the prestigious Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan, then Berklee College of Music, Boston, graduating magna cum laude in 1989. After private studies with Carmine Caruso in New York City, Matheny became the protégé of the legendary Art Farmer, a formative relationship that lasted over a decade.

Throughout his professional career as a concert and recording artist, Dmitri Matheny has distinguished himself as a dedicated educator, community leader and advocate for jazz and the arts.

Dmitri Matheny

Matt Slocum

Wednesday, November 15
Allison Au

Juno-award winning jazz saxophonist, composer and arranger, Allison Au refuses to be defined. Born to a Chinese father and Jewish mother and raised in the multicultural metropolis of Toronto, Canada, Au was exposed to a wide array of musical styles but was captivated by the unhinged freedom of jazz. Her music weaves a mosaic of influences into a seamless and soulful sound, a concoction steeped in the tradition of jazz but skillfully laced with elements of classical, pop, R&B/hip hop, Latin, and world music.

Allison Au

Matt Slocum

Wednesday, November 29
Jazz Juries



Matt Slocum

Wednesday, December 6
Arranging 4-Way Projects




Matt Slocum


Getting There

Green Music Center is located off Rohnert Park Espressway two miles east of Highway 101. Enter campus from Rohnert Park Expressway, park in Lot L and enter the Music Education building via the double glass doors. GMC 1029 is in the wing to the right. 


For directions see:

Download Parking Map for more information