Meet the 2022 All State Jazz Directors…

1A/2A-Rick Stone

Rick Stone holds a bachelor’s degree in music education from the University of Northern Iowa (Cedar Falls, IA) and a Master’s in Jazz Performance from the New England Conservatory of Music (Boston, MA). He has studied with Robert Washut and Chris Merz (UNI), Jerry Bergonzi, George Garzone, Bob Brookmeyer, Marty Ehrlich, and Steve Lacy (NEC).Rick has performed and recorded with the Either/Orchestra, Jazz Composers’ Alliance Orchestra, Ayn Inserto Jazz Orchestra, the Quartet of Happiness, Mehmet Ali Sanlikol’s “What’s next,” David Liebman, Bob Brookmeyer, George Garzone, John Tchicai, John Fedchock, Sean Jones, and others.

Mr. Stone taught jazz ear training and saxophone at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, as well as jazz ear training, saxophone, and small ensembles at New England Conservatory Preparatory School/School of Continuing Ed. Rick teaches 4th-8th grade instrumental music and digital music production in Brookline Public Schools, and he maintains an active performance schedule throughout New England.

3A -Jennifer Wharton

Jennifer Wharton is a low brass specialist based in New York City. Though getting her start classically, Jen has deep roots in jazz, commercial, chamber and Broadway music.

Jennifer leads the trombone-forward ensemble, Bonegasm, commissioning works from jazz heavyweights and newcomers. She was awarded a 2020 grant by the NYC Women’s Fund for Media, Music and Theater to continue to bring trombone music to the masses. The result was Bonegasm’s sophomore album, Not A Novelty (2021), a follow up to their debut Bonegasm (2019). Downbeat Magazine called the most recent album “Trombone Ecstasy”. 

Jen has held positions on Broadway at West Side Story, King Kong, Beautiful, The Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, Jekyll and Hyde, Scandalous, Wonderland, 9 to 5 and Curtains, as well as performing as a substitute in many other Broadway productions. She has won the Radio City Christmas Spectacular bass trombone chair five times.

In addition to being an in-demand freelancer, Jennifer is an active studio musician. She can be heard streaming on shows like Mrs. Maisel, Schmigadoon, Vivo, and Jerry Seinfeld at The Beacon. Commercials include The Incredibles 2, The Greatest Showman and more. She has also been on over 40 big band recordings since 2009. 

She is a member of three Grammy-nominated ensembles, Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society, Alan Ferber Big Band and the Terraza Big Band. She has also performed on the Grammy-nominated cast albums for The Gershwins’ Porgy & Bess, 9 to 5 The Musical and Curtains The Musical as well as the Grammy-winning recording of Beautiful – The Carole King Musical. 

Jen has performed, toured and/or recorded with groups including the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Dizzy Gillespie All Star Band, Ken Peplowski Big Band, Miggy Augmented Jazz Orchestra, DIVA Jazz Orchestra, Arturo O’Farrill’s Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra, Birdland Big Band, Ayn Inserto Jazz Orchestra, Woody Herman Orchestra, John Yao and His 17 Piece Instrument, Generation Gap Big Band, Walking Distance, South Florida Jazz Orchestra, New Alchemy Jazz Orchestra, Steven Feifke Big Band, and the BMI Jazz Composers’ Workshop. 

Jennifer is an XO Professional Brass artist and plays their 1240-LT bass trombone. She teaches bass trombone at Montclair State University in New Jersey and gives clinics and masterclasses regularly throughout the United States.

4A- Ellen Rowe

Ellen Rowe, jazz pianist and composer, is currently the Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Jazz and Contemporary Improvisation at the University of Michigan. Ms. Rowe has released five CDs as a leader four of which, “Sylvan Way”, “Denali Pass”, “Wishing Well” and “Courage Music” are available at PKO records and at CDBaby.com.  Her newest album “Momentum – Portraits of Women In Motion” was released to widespread critical acclaim in January 2019 and is available at Smokin’ Sleddog Records, ellenrowe.com, CDBaby.com, Spotify and other streaming services. Her various small groups have been featured at jazz festivals around the country, as well as at colleges and universities, and her “Momentum”  band was recently selected to perform at the 2022  Jazz Education Network Conference. 

Ms. Rowe’s compositions and arrangements are published by Kendor Music, Doug Beach Music and Sierra Music Publishing and have been performed by ensembles including the Village Vanguard Orchestra, BBC Jazz Orchestra, U.S. Navy Commodores, Berlin and NDR Radio Jazz Orchestras, DIVA and the Perth Jazz Orchestra.   She has received commissions from the Westchester Jazz Orchestra, Detroit Jazz Festival Orchestra, Minnesota Music Educators, Illinois Music Educators, Lawrence University’s Fred Sturm Commissioning Project and the DIVA Jazz Orchestra, in addition to junior high and high school groups throughout the country. She has also been selected to conduct numerous All-State jazz ensembles, including the NafME All-Eastern and All-Northwest honors groups.

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