Inviting the finest young jazz musicians on the planet to train with top jazz professionals.
Sunday, July 10 – Saturday, July 16, 2022
Brubeck Jazz Summit is a one-week, intensive educational program in jazz performance for thirty exceptionally talented students from throughout the world with faculty, guest artists and master teachers as a living legacy of the musician and international statesman, Dave Brubeck.
Brubeck Jazz Summit Faculty 2022
Chad Lefkowitz-Brown, Artistic Director & Saxophone
Hailed as a “Sax Phenom” by the New York Daily News, Chad LB has toured globally as a bandleader, and with superstars ranging from Chris Botti to Taylor Swift. He has been a featured soloist with premiere ensembles like the Juilliard Jazz Orchestra, and he was formerly a prominent member of the multi GRAMMY winning Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra. Despite his demanding tour schedule, Chad continues to be a visiting artist at the renowned San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where he gives monthly masterclasses during the scholastic year.
Chad received his formal education in the arts at the Brubeck Institute, a prestigious fellowship program created by jazz legend Dave Brubeck. While studying at the institute, he performed regularly with Brubeck and was a member of the Brubeck Institute Jazz Quintet.
As this year’s Artistic Director for the 2022 Brubeck Jazz Summit, Chad is delighted to perpetuate the values of Dave Brubeck by gathering elite faculty drawn from the jazz community’s highest profile artists for a week of intensive mentorship with a cast of talented young jazz musicians from around the world.
Connie Han, Piano
Pianist/composer and Steinway Artist Connie Han has been described as “a decisively brazen talent with an exhilarating control of her skills and vision” by All About Jazz. On her imminent Mack Avenue release Iron Starlet, Han manifests “an intimate clairvoyance into all that has come before her” with “uncompromising vitality” at the piano. Her powerful vision takes in the full evolution of her forebears, from iconic innovators like McCoy Tyner and Hank Jones through the Young Lions revolution spearheaded by the Marsalis Brothers, Kenny Kirkland and Jeff “Tain” Watts, among others.
“The music’s intention is to continue a legacy of tough, primal, raw but still intellectually engaging jazz,” Han declares. When discussing her new album, the 24-year-old is unafraid of using the word “tradition,” secure in the fact that she’s not a throwback but a fresh voice inheriting a legacy of raw power and urbane lyricism in the jazz piano idiom.
According to Downbeat Magazine, Han possesses “skills as a bop player of fearsome ability, a supple balladeer, and a groove merchant par excellence.” She has “already absorbed the post-bop piano masters” with “all the technical mastery she’ll ever need.” The New York Times describes her as “the rare musician with fearsome technical chops and a breadth of historical knowledge.” Jazziz Magazine predicts Iron Starlet will “confirm her as one of the brightest young stars in jazz.” On this trajectory, Connie Han continues on her stratospheric ascent in the jazz world as a major force to be reckoned with.
Eric Harland, Drums
Multi-Grammy nominated drummer Eric Harland is the most in-demand drummer of his generation. He has already been on close to 200 recordings by the age of 36. Eric has been recognized in the Boston Globe, New York Times, JazzTimes, Modern Drummer, All About Jazz, The New Yorker, DownBeat, L’uomo Vogue, and other prominent publications. It has been his privilege to share the stage with masters such as Betty Carter, Joe Henderson, McCoy Tyner, Michael Brecker, Terence Blanchard, Branford and Wynton Marsalis, Wayne Shorter, Savion Glover, and many others, as well as today’s emerging artists like Esperanza Spalding, Jane Monheit, Taylor Eigsti, Julian Lage, and Stacie Orrico.
He currently performs with James Farm (with Joshua Redman), PRISM (with Dave Holland and Kevin Eubanks), Sangam (with Charles Lloyd and Zakir Hussain, and Voyager, Eric’s own widely-recognized group. He has also collaborated with artists as diverse in style as Les Claypool, Primus, Dispatch, and John Mayer. Voyager recently released their newest album Vipassana to critical acclaim.
Gilad Hekselman, Guitar
Gilad Hekselman has established himself as one of the leading voices in jazz guitar. Only a few years after his arrival to NY in 2004, this native Israeli was already sharing stages with some of the greatest artists in the New York City jazz scene including Chris Potter, Eric Harland, Mark Turner, Anat Cohen, Ari Hoenig, Esperanza Spalding, Jeff Ballard, Ben Wendel, Gretchen Parlato, Avishai Cohen, Jeff ‘Tain’ Watts, Tigran Hamasyan, Aaron Parks, Becca Stevens, John Scofield, Terri Lyne Carrington, Danilo Perez and Peter Bernstein among many others.
In May 2019, Hekselman featured his quartet at the legendary NYC venue The Village Vanguard. He has also been playing all other major jazz clubs in New York City, including the Blue Note, The Jazz Standard, Dizzy’s Club and Smalls. He is constantly touring world-wide and has played most noteworthy jazz festivals and venues including Montreux, North Sea, Montreal & SFJazz to name a few.
Gilad is the recipient of several prestigious awards and recognitions. In 2017, Gilad placed first in the Rising Star category of Downbeat Magazine. That same year, he won the 7 Virtual Jazz Club international competition 2017. In 2018 Gilad was asked by guitar legend Pat Metheny to perform as part of his NEA Award ceremony at The Kennedy Center, alongside some of Metheny’s other favorite young guitar players. Gilad is also the winner of the 2005 Gibson Montreux International Guitar Competition, which led to a string of performances including opening for guitar legend Paco de Lucia with his trio at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 2006.
In 2009, Gilad recorded three tracks for Walt Disney Records, one of which was included in the record “Everybody Wants To Be a Cat” (2011). The album features versions of Disney songs played by a top-shelf lineup of musicians including Dave Brubeck, Joshua Redman, Esperanza Spalding, Diane Reeves, Roy Hargrove, Kurt Rosenwinkel, The Bad Plus and many other jazz legends.
Sean Jones, Trumpet
Music and spirituality have always been intertwined in the artistic vision of trumpeter, bandleader, composer, educator, and activist Sean Jones. Mr. Jones sang and performed as a child with the church choir in his hometown of Warren, Ohio, and switched from playing the drums to the trumpet at the age of 10.
Mr. Jones is an internationally recognized educator. He is president of the Jazz Education Network and holds the Richard and Elizabeth Case Chair in Jazz Studies at The John Hopkins University’s Peabody Institute in Baltimore. As well as artistic Director for the NYO JAZZ Program of Carnegie Hall. Previously, he served as chair of the Brass department at Berklee College of Music in Boston.
Mr. Jones is a musical chameleon, comfortable in any musical setting no matter the role or genre. After a six-month stint with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Wynton Marsalis offered him a permanent position as lead trumpeter of the ensemble, a post he held from 2004 until 2010. In 2015, Mr. Jones was tapped to become a member of the SFJAZZ Collective. During this time, he has managed to keep a core group of talented musicians together under his leadership, forming the foundation for groups that have produced and released eight recordings on Mack Avenue Records. His most recent is the 2017 release Sean Jones: Live from Jazz at the Bistro.
Mr. Jones has been prominently featured in recordings and performances with many major figures in jazz, including Illinois Jacquet, Jimmy Heath, Frank Foster, Nancy Wilson, Dianne Reeves, Gerald Wilson, and Marcus Miller. He was selected by Mr. Miller, Herbie Hancock, and Wayne Shorter for their A Tribute to Miles tour in 2011. He has also performed with the Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Youngstown symphony orchestras, as well as Soulful Symphony in Baltimore and a chamber group at the Salt Bay Chamberfest.
Rodney Whitaker, Bass
Internationally acclaimed bassist and Mack Avenue recording artist, Rodney Whitaker is one of the world’s renowned double bass performers, educators, mentors and is dedicated to inspiring and growing the next generation of jazz educators and musicians. A Detroit native, he grew up in the city soaking in the sounds of jazz and classical music and working with the finest musicians in the city. Building on his Detroit roots and enormous talent, Whitaker went on to earn an international reputation as one of the world’s finest jazz double bass performers.
He completed a seven-year tenure as bassist with the Wynton Marsalis Sextet, the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra and has toured the world over the last twenty-six years, collaborating with over 100+ legendary performing jazz artists such as Dianne Reeves, Hank Jones, Mulgrew Miller, Junko Onishi, Yutaka Shiina, Kenny Burrell, Diana Krall, John Lewis, Kathleen Battle, Marian McPartland, Wycliffe Gordon, Kenny Garrett, Bradford Marsalis, Bob James, Roy Hargrove, Jon Carl Hendricks, Tommy Flanagan, Frank Morgan, Terence Blanchard, Betty “Be-Bop” Carter, Chick Corea, and leading symphony orchestras across the world—just to name a few.
In addition, he has appeared and presented master classes at the International Association of Jazz Educators (IAJE) conferences. Featured on more than 100+ recordings – from film to compact discs – Whitaker’s film scores, “China”, directed by Jeff Wray, was released on PBS Fall 2002 and “Malaria and Malawi”, released on PBS Fall 2010. Also, Whitaker has a DVD release featuring Michigan State University’s Jazz Department entitled, “Inside Jazz” and three new compact discs entitled, “Get Ready” & “Work To Do”—both on Mack Avenue Records and “Better Than Alright” by Michigan State University College of Music. In 2011, he was nominated for an EMMY for the ‘Original Music’ category, “Malawi and Malaria: Fighting to Save the Children” produced by Robert Gould and Sue Carter. Whitaker collaborated with musicians Phil Dwyer and Alan Jones on “Let Me Tell You About My Day,” produced by Alma Records and was nominated for a Juno Award in 2006 for Traditional Jazz Album of the Year, Canada’s equivalent to the United States of America’s Grammy.
He is a full professor of jazz double bass and director of jazz studies at Michigan State University where he has built one of the leading jazz degree granting programs offering both a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Jazz Performance.
Summit Guest Artists
Chris Brubeck, Trombone
“A Grammy-nominated composer, Chris Brubeck has distinguished himself as a multi-faceted performer and creative force, creating an impressive body of symphonic work while maintaining a demanding touring and recording schedule with two groups: The Brubeck Brothers, and Triple Play, an acoustic trio featuring Chris on piano, bass and trombone, guitarist Joel Brown and harmonica player Peter Madcat Ruth. Chris also performs as a soloist playing his trombone concertos with orchestras, and is an in-demand composer. He has served as Artist in Residence with orchestras and colleges in America, coaching, lecturing, and performing with students and faculty. Chris (along with his siblings), is a founding director of “Brubeck Living Legacy” a non-profit founded by the Brubeck family to honor and continue the legacy of Dave and Iola Brubeck.
In addition to creating an impressive body of work, including several band pieces, chamber pieces, 3 concertos for trombone, a trombone quartet, and several concertos for stringed instruments and other ensembles, Chris maintains a demanding touring and recording schedule playing bass and trombone with his two groups: the Brubeck Brothers Quartet, with brother Dan on drums, Chuck Lamb on piano and Mike DeMicco on guitar (www.brubeckbrothers.com); and Triple Play, an acoustic jazz-funk-blues-Americana trio with Joel Brown on guitar and Peter Madcat Ruth on harmonica and Chris on bass, trombone and piano (www.chrisbrubeckstripleplay.com.)
Additionally, Chris performs as a soloist playing his trombone concertos with orchestras and has served as Artist in Residence with orchestras and colleges in America, coaching, lecturing, and performing with students and faculty. Once a year he tours England with the group Brubecks Play Brubeck along with brothers Darius (on piano) and Dan as well as British saxophonist Dave O’Higgins. Chris had been a long-standing member of the Dave Brubeck Quartet, writing arrangements and touring and recording with his father’s group for over 20 years. Dave and Chris co-wrote the orchestral piece “Ansel Adams: America” which has received dozens of performances and in 2013 was a Grammy finalist for Best Instrumental Composition. brubecklivinglegacy.com
Dan Brubeck, Drums
Born in Oakland on May 4, 1955, Dan Brubeck was a highly energetic child who found his calling at the trap set. Mentored by two consummate polyrhythmic masters, Joe Morello and Alan Dawson (at the Berklee College of Music), he was working professionally before he finished his teens.
Over the years Dan was featured on nearly a dozen albums with his father, and toured widely with the Dave Brubeck Quartet, including many appearances with the world’s leading orchestras. He’s been an integral part of the various Brubeck bands, including the Darius Brubeck Ensemble, Two Generations of Brubeck, and the New Brubeck Quartet. He’s toured internationally and recorded three widely played albums with his electric jazz group, The Dolphins, and co-led the Brubeck LaVerne Trio with his brother Chris and pianist Andy LaVerne. A stylistically versatile musician, he’s toured with acts ranging from The Band and David Benoit to Gerry Mulligan and Paul Desmond. He’s recorded with jazz guitar legend Larry Coryell, singer~songwriter Livingston Taylor, jazz~pop singer Michael Franks, and pioneering blues guitarist Roy Buchanan.
Dan’s drumming style is both mesmerizing and unparalleled, and his distinctive, and astonishingly textured drum solos have received standing ovations all over the world! His uncanny sense of timing and use of odd time signatures, combining melodic phrases with polyrhythms that often stretch far beyond the bar line, has earned the respect of many jazz critics worldwide. His mastery of complex rhythms has led to his reputation as one of the most talented and creative drummers in jazz!