Inviting the finest young jazz musicians on the planet to train with top jazz professionals.
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.
Artistic Director, Simon Rowe
“As former Executive Director of the Brubeck Institute, I am delighted to perpetuate the values of Dave Brubeck by gathering elite faculty drawn from the roster of the Roots, Jazz and American Music Program at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, for a week of intensive mentorship with a cast of talented young jazz musicians from around the world.”
Simon Rowe and student, photo courtesy of SFCM.
Artistic Director of the Brubeck Jazz Summit, former Executive Director of the Brubeck Institute, and Executive Director of the Roots, Jazz and American Music (RJAM) program at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Dr. Simon Rowe is a distinguished educator, entrepreneur, and artist in the jazz field. Along with leading the Simon Rowe Trio, Rowe has played with many greats including Dizzy Gillespie, Dave Leibman, Tim Hagens, John Fedchock, Mulgrew Miller, Jimmy Heath, Stephanie Nakasian, Lucia Newell, Debbie Duncan, Willie Akins, Jeanne Trevor, Bob Mintzer, Luqman Hamza, Marvin Stamm, Dianne Schurr and Claudio Roditi. In his first year as Executive Director, Rowe established a new Brubeck Degree Track (at the University of the Pacific), created an innovative jazz club (Take 5) through a private/public partnership and is developing local, national and international coalitions to forward the mission of the Institute.
In 1997, Dr. Rowe founded “Catalyst Productions”, a record label dedicated to documenting and championing the work of some of the Midwest’s most outstanding jazz artists. To date he has played on and produced four national releases for Catalyst, featuring St. Louis’ Willie Akins and Jeanne Trevor and Kansas City’s Luqman Hamza . The CD, “Flamingo”, features the work of his Indianapolis-based trio and his 2007 release “Live at The Hodo” features his current group. As a native Australian, Dr. Rowe has strong international ties, in his homeland and as far afield as Torino Italy, where he performed as musical director for esteemed St. Louis vocalist Jeanne Trevor. Having studied at Northwestern University and the New South Wales Conservatorium of Music, Dr. Rowe completed his undergraduate degree in Jazz Studies at Eastern Illinois University. Moving to the St. Louis area, he completed his Masters work at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville and has recently completed a Doctorate at the University Of Illinois.
“My passion for arts education is fueled by the same fire which inspires me to pursue a life-long journey towards artistry as a jazz performer. As a young musician I left Sydney, having studied the trumpet for four years with Peter Walmsley of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, to attend the ‘High School for the Performing and Visual Arts’ in Houston, Texas. Under the purview of esteemed jazz educator Dr Robert Morgan, this utopian arts education environment, which balanced inspiration with industry, set the standard by which I would judge all schools of the arts. Since then, straddling the Pacific I have had the good fortune to work with mentors from Chicago to Sydney to St. Louis to Bloomington, Indiana. In Bloomington, the most profound learning of my musical journey occurred under world-renowned trumpet pedagogue William Adam. I was also fortunate to develop an association with Distinguished Professor David Baker. For several years, I worked to acquire the nuances of the musical process. Over time, I gained a sense of the insight, patience and methodology embodied in fine teaching. As a result I have had some success with my students to the point that colleagues from neighboring universities are seeking my professional help as they aspire towards higher levels of jazz performance.
As director of the record label Catalyst Productions, I forged relationships with elder statesmen of the jazz community in St Louis and Kansas City. Beginning as an apprentice with esteemed saxophonist Willie Akins, I sought to document his music, first seeking public grant funding and then private funding through the record label Catalyst Productions. I worked with grass-roots organizations such as the “Crusaders for Jazz” and the historic ‘Sheldon Concert Hall’ to champion the careers not only of Willie Akins, but also of revered vocalists Jeanne Trevor and Luqman Hamza of St Louis and Kansas City respectively. Our label garnered respect from musicians and critics across the USA, most notably Nat Hentoff (of the New York Village Voice) who chose to contribute liner notes for the 2001 release ‘Flamingo’.
Moving into the university world, I endeavored to maintain a spirit of mission and collaboration. Music departments world-wide are confronting the challenges of maintaining fresh and innovative approaches to music education without sacrificing the fundamentals of strong musical pedagogy.
In my international travels, I have had the opportunity to practice and teach my art in many fertile cultural environments. Through my apprenticeships with numerous mentors, I have become aware that such fertile environments are the result of artists choosing to pursue their art and engage community wherever they may be. I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to continue to pursue a life of jazz and jazz education wherever I might land, by seeking out and collaborating with like-minds and by nurturing younger minds.” simonrowejazz.com
Assistant Director, Jason Hainsworth
“…Jason Hainsworth continues the longstanding tradition of the Texas Tenors, an esteemed group of raw, hard-blowing saxophonists from the Lone Star State who pioneered a robust fusion of swing, bebop, r&b and blues.” —Downbeat Magazine
Jason Hainsworth is in demand both as a saxophonist and as a composer/arranger. As a native of Houston, Texas, he studied at the prestigious High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. He later went on to study music at the University of New Orleans with legendary jazz educator Ellis Marsalis and saxophonist Victor Goines. Hainsworth then moved to the New York/ New Jersey area to continue his musical studies at William Paterson University while performing along the east coast. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in music, Jason matriculated at Florida State University for graduate work where he earned his Masters degree in Jazz Studies.
As a performer, Mr. Hainsworth has led his own quartet throughout the world to critical acclaim, most recently headlining the Suriname Jazz Festival. He has also performed and recorded with Michael Dease, Johnathan Blake, Renee Rosnes, Randy Brecker, Lewis Nash, Glenn Zaleski, Tim Warfield, and Martin Bejerano just to name a few. Additionally, Jason is a current touring member of Ed Calle’s Mamblue (2016 Latin Grammy Winner), Tito Puente Jr’s. Latin Jazz All Stars, and Melton Mustafa Jazz Orchestra. He has performed extensively throughout the United States and South America.
As a composer/ arranger, Mr. Hainsworth’s works have been performed throughout the country at various high school and university jazz festivals such as Oklahoma State University, Louisiana State University, University of Iowa, Jacksonville State University, and Florida A&M University. His first vocal arrangement was premiered last spring at the Florida Music Educators Conference by the Dillard Center for the Arts Vocal Ensemble. He has recieved commissions to arrange music for Jimmy Cobb, Russell Malone, Tim Warfield, and many others. Mr. Hainsworth’s debut album, Kaleidoscope, features original compositions and arrangements for big bands with the likes of Tanya Darby, Linda Oh, Claudio Roditi, and Michael Dease as soloists. His latest album, Third Ward Stories is scheduled for release this fall on Origin Records and will feature jazz heavyweights Michael Dease, Josh Evans, Johnathan Blake to name a few.
Mr. Hainsworth serves as Assistant Director of the Roots, Jazz, and American Music (RJAM) program at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
Chad Lefkowitz-Brown, Saxophone
“Hailed as a “sax phenom” by The New York Daily News, Chad Lefkowitz-Brown is one of the first prominent jazz musicians to emerge out of the millennial generation. He has toured globally as a soloist, and with numerous jazz artists and pop icons ranging from Arturo O’Farrill to Taylor Swift. Chad is also a member of the multi-Grammy award winning Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra, and he is on faculty at the San Francisco Conservatory as a visiting artist. Downbeat Magazine selected his latest release, “Onward” as an Editor’s Pick for 2017, commending his “technical abilities that mask the difficulty of his wondrously intricate lines.”
A native of Elmira, New York, Chad established himself as a jazz prodigy at age 11, performing throughout New York State under the mentorship of local jazz hero, George Reed, who was known for backing legends like Teddy Wilson, Buddy Tate, and Marian McPartland.
Chad went on to pursue a 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.
Chad received many accolades during his scholastic career, including 15 DownBeat Magazine Student Music Awards for categories such as “Best Jazz Soloist” and “Best Original Song.”
Since graduating from the Brubeck Institute, Chad has performed throughout four continents, and has appeared at venues including Carnegie Hall, the Super Bowl, and Madison Square Garden. His debut album, Imagery Manifesto, was named “Debut Album of the Year” by jazz critic and author, Doug Ramsey, and his most recent recording as a leader, “Onward,” features jazz legend, Randy Brecker.” (chadlb.com)
Chad teaches Applied Saxophone at Roots, Jazz, and American Music (RJAM) program at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
Carmen Bradford, Jazz Voice
“Singer Carmen Bradford, hired by Basie in 1982, effortlessly dominated the evening. A superior stylist with a beautiful stage presence. Bradford brought the house down twice: first with a brilliant version of Fitzgerald’s Mr. Paganini; and again with a heartwarming version of Louis Armstrong’s big hit What A Wonderful World.” —The Australian
“2019 Grammy Nominee, Carmen Bradford, was born in Austin, Texas and raised in Altadena, California. Carmen Bradford grew up with music in her home and in her heart. It was only natural that Carmen would follow in the footsteps of her great family legacy being the daughter of legendary coronetist/composer Bobby Bradford and world-renown jazz vocalist/composer/author Melba Joyce.
Her grandfather Melvin Moore sang with Lucky Millender and his Big Band; Dizzy Gillespie’s Big Band in the 1940’s; and sang with the Ink Spots, making Carmen the third generation of incredible musicians. She has carved out a place in music history for herself and is playing an integral role in this uniquely American art form called Jazz. Carmen Bradford is jazz royalty.
At the age of 22 years old, Carmen was discovered and hired by William “Count” Basie and was the featured vocalist in the legendary Count Basie Orchestra for nine years. She has since performed and/or recorded with; Wynton Marsalis, Shelly Berg, Jeremy Monteiro, John Clayton, along with the Clayton-Hamilton Orchestra, Nancy Wilson, Lena Horne, Doc Severinsen, Tony Bennett, James Brown, Willie Nelson, Tierney Sutton, Liz Wright, Patti Austin, Byron Stripling, Dori Caymmi, George Benson, Frank Sinatra, Joe Williams, Kurt Elling, Jeff Tyzik, Freddie Cole, Benny Carter, Kenny Rankin, Lou Rawls, James Newton, David Murray, DIVA Jazz Orchestra, Dani Felber Big Band, Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, along with the National Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic, Dallas Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Vancouver Philharmonic, Philadelphia Pops, and countless artists around the world.
Carmen performed on two Grammy Award winning albums with the Count Basie Orchestra in the 1980’s and later collaborated on a third Grammy Award winning album, “Big Boss Band” with guitarist George Benson in 1991. Her soulful voice warmed the hearts of the world through the celebrated performance of the classic duet, “How Do You Keep The Music Playing” on the TONIGHT SHOW with Johnny Carson that same year. Carmen Bradford began another chapter in her illustrious career as a solo artist with her critically acclaimed debut album, “Finally Yours” (Evidence Records) in 1992. The 1995 release of her second solo album, “With Respect” (Evidence Records) established the Atlanta based singer as one of “jazz music’s most diverse and exciting vocal stylist” proving to the world that Carmen Bradford was a unique voice in her own right.
Carmen Bradford teamed with singer/composer Kenny Rankin for the Benny Carter Songbook Project making history once again on the duet “And All That Jazz”. Some notable artist also on the album were Joe Williams, Ruth Brown, Bobby Short, Peggy Lee, Shirley Horn, Diana Krall, Diane Reeves, Jon Hendricks, among others. Carmen was asked by Benny Carter to sing “Key Largo” for this Grammy Award winning album. Her Performance on “The Benny Carter Songbook” marked another of Carmen’s beautiful recording collaborations reaffirming her stardom.
On occasion, Carmen Bradford has loaned her talented voice to stage productions and the music of Hollywood films, cartoons for television/radio commercials, and the theater. She sang on the haunting soundtrack for Oprah Winfrey’s “Beloved” and starred in the title role of Duke Ellington’s Folk Opera “Queenie Pie” at the University of Texas at Austin’s Butler School of Music.
Carmen Bradford’s 2004 release, “Home With You” (Azica Records) is a warm and beautiful collection of vocal and piano duets with jazz great, Shelly Berg. The album is yet another departure for Carmen offering her fans a stripped down, intimate portrait of the artist they have grown to love. Carmen Bradford returned to her big band roots with the release from “Sherrie Maricle & The DIVA Jazz Orchestra” featured on ‘Live from Jazz At Lincoln Centers Dizzy’s Place.” This also brought Carmen back to her big band family, The Count Basie Orchestra, which she continues to tour with to this day. Carmen Bradford’s 2015 release with jazz great, John Mills, titled, “Invisible Design” featuring Carmen Bradford is another example of Carmen’s ability to sing all forms of music, be it straight ahead jazz, fusion, blues, and sing it like nobody can. Carmen is doing it all whether it is a duo concert, Big Bands across the world, or the 2015 Christmas album “A Very Swinging’ Basie Christmas” release with the Count Basie Orchestra Conducted by Scotty Barnhart featuring, Carmen Bradford, Johnny Mathis, Ellis Marsalis, and Ledisi.
In 2016 Carmen was the voice on the album “Imagination Nation” by Darren English. His critically acclaimed album won the, “Pledge For Peace” Award from the Global Peace Song Awards, and Best in Jazz Category. At Present, Carmen Bradford’s love for working with Big Bands and Symphony Orchestras across the world is keeping her very busy, as she pays tribute to the great Ella Fitzgerald in her her show called “A Century of Ella” created and conducted by jazz great Jeff Tyzik. Carmen Bradford and the incredible trumpeter/vocalist, Byron Stripling, also pay tribute to the greats in their show titled, “Ella and Louis” for which they’ve received rave reviews.
Carmen Bradford has never stopped performing with her Basie family, the Legendary Count Basie Orchestra. Even after all these years, Carmen has always said, “when they call me, I go”
She has never forgotten Mr. Basie who opened that wonderful door, and gave her wings. The 2019 Grammy nominated album, “All About That Basie” with the Count Basie conducted by Scotty Barnhart on Concord Records, featuring; Carmen Bradford, Stevie Wonder, Kurt Elling, Jamie Davis, Joey DeFrancesco, Jon Faddis Wycliff Gordon, and Take 6. It just doesn’t get any better than this.
Carmen Bradford’s love of teaching has been recognized by the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. The new Roots, Jazz, and American Music (RJAM Program) has welcomed her with open arms. Carmen is the resident and head of the Jazz Voice Department. Carmen Bradford’s body of work reflects a vast depth of musical experience and technical brilliance. She is also recognized for the overwhelming passion she brings to the lyric. Carmen Bradford has truly contributed to the perpetuation and preservation of this great American art form called jazz and continues to do so.” carmenbradford.com
Sylvia Cuenca, Drums
“Sylvia Cuenca is an active drummer on the New York jazz scene who is contributing outstanding performances in a variety of situations. She has had the honor of sharing the bandstand with saxophone legend Joe Henderson for 4 years and trumpet legend Clark Terry for 17 years. The Joe Henderson quartet toured frequently in European countries Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Austria, Belgium, England, Switzerland, France, Italy and Germany and venues across the U.S. In a trio setting she performed with Joe Henderson and Charlie Haden in 1989 and with George Mraz in 1994. She performed with the Clark Terry Quintet and Big Band at Village Vanguard, Birdland, Blue Note, Queen Elizabeth 2, Royal Viking, S.S. Norway jazz cruises and clubs, concerts and festivals in the U.S, Europe, the Caribbean and South America. While working with the Clark Terry quintet she had the opportunity to perform with guest artists Al Grey, Red Holloway, Jimmy Heath, Frank Wess, Marian McPartland, Dianne Reeves, Joe Williams and Lou Donaldson to name a few.
Cuenca has also performed with such jazz luminaries as Billy Taylor, Frank Foster’s Loud Minority Big Band, Houston Person, Etta Jones, Helen Merrill, John Hicks, Valery Ponomarov, Lew Soloff, James Spaulding, Kenny Barron, Ray Drummond, Michael Brecker, Randy Brecker, George Cables, Hilton Ruiz, Jon Faddis, Eddie Henderson, John Handy, Kenny Drew Jr., Emily Remler, Richie Cole, Dave Stryker, Jessie Davis, Ralph Bowen, Vincent Herring, Paul Bollenback, Geoffrey Keezer, Mark Whitfield, Ralph Moore, Jesse Davis, Catherine Russell, Dianne Reeves, Dianne Schuur, Denise Donatelli, Ernestine Anderson, Lea Delaria, the European based Vienna Art Orchestra and many others. In 2015 she performed at Dizzy’s Jazz at Lincoln Center with Albert “Tootie” Heath’s 4 drum set group called “The Whole Drum Truth” which also included drummers Louis Hayes and Joe Saylor.
She was a guest clinician at the Sisters in Jazz Program at the IAJE Convention in NYC and the Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. Cuenca has been a longtime faculty member at the Jazz for Teens and Pre-Teen Program at NJPAC and the Stanford Jazz Workshop in California. Recently she has been on faculty at Roni Ben-Hur’s Summer Jazz Camp in Vermont. She was an artist-in-residence at various universities in the U.S. and Europe with the Clark Terry quintet, Eddie Henderson quartet and as a leader with her own groups. In 2014 she received a B.A. degree in Jazz Performance from Empire State University in NYC.” sylviacuenca.com
Brandon Robertson, Bass
“Brandon L. Robertson is an EMMY® nominated director and notable Upright/Electric Bassist originally from Tampa, FL.
In 2009, he graduated from Florida State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Music with a focus on Jazz Studies. In the same year, Brandon became a member of the popular Florida-based jazz trio The Zach Bartholomew Trio. In 2012, the trio released their first album entitled “Out of This Town”, which received notable reviews from jazz critics. In 2015, Brandon performed at the world-famous Dizzy’s Coca Cola Club in New York City with the nationally recognized FSU Jazz Sextet joining members of the JALC Orchestra.
Aside from being an active musician, Brandon is also an advocate in Jazz/Music Education. Brandon has presented jazz clinics, workshops, masterclasses, and guest performances in schools K-12 throughout Florida and taught at the Florida State University Summer Jazz Camps for Middle school and High school students. In the Spring of 2016 he earned his Master of Music in Jazz Performance at Florida State University. During this two-year period, he directed jazz ensembles, small jazz combos, taught various music-related courses at the University each semester, and performed with traveling national acts visiting the campus. He was also a faculty member of Abraham Baldwin Agriculture College School of Music in Tifton, GA where he taught applied bass and helped assist with the jazz ensemble. .
As a prominent bandleader, Brandon has taken his band on multiple national tours, headlining at some of the top jazz venues in the country, such as The Palladium, Open Stage, Blues Alley, Andy’s Jazz Club, The Jazz Showcase, The Jazz Kitchen, Cliff Bells, NightTown, The BOP STOP, The Jazz Estate, Shapeshifter Lab, The Side Door, Twins Jazz, Velvet Note, B-Sharps Jazz Club, and many others. To add to his impressive resume, Brandon has performed with notable acts such as The World Famous Count Basie Orchestra led by director Scotty Barnhart, Vocalist Carmen Bradford (Singer for The Count Basie Orchestra), Laila Biali (2019 JUNO Award Winner), Jason Marsalis, Marcus Roberts, Marty Morell (Drummer of Pianist Bill Evans: 1968-1974), Vocalist Carla Cook (Grammy Nominee NYC Singer), Dan Miller (Former Member of The Harry Connick Jr. Big Band) , Lew Del Gatto (Former Member of the SNL Band), Leroy Jones, Charlie McCoy (International Harmonica Player, Country Hall of Fame), Ray Coussins (Pianist and Former Accompanist for Frank Sinatra), Eric Alexander, Wycliffe Gordon, Greg Tardy, Marcus Printup (Member of the JALC Orchestra), Nick Finzer, and Canadian Jazz Singers June Garber & Halie Loren. Brandon has also toured 22 countries in Europe traveling from the Mediterranean, up the capitol of Iceland.
Brandon has performed in the South Carolina Jazz Festival, Atlanta Jazz Festival, Savannah Jazz Festival, Clearwater Jazz Festival, Sanibel Jazz & Blues Festival, The Landings Music Festival, Florida Jazz & Blues Festival, and In May of 2017, Brandon made his debut as a Headlining Act at the 2017 International Jacksonville Jazz Festival in Jacksonville, FL.
Currently, Brandon is the Director of Jazz Studies & Director of the Basketball Band at Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers, FL. He is now an honorary member of the Kappa Kappa Psi Mu Upsilon Chapter at Florida Gulf Coast University. Brandon was nominated most recently for an EMMY® Award for best documentary for educational colleigate programs featuring the FGCU Jazz Ensemble.
Brandon has currently released his first album “Bass’d on A True Story” through Canadian label Slammin Media/Believe Distributions. The album has reached #16 on the iTunes Top 200 Jazz Releases.” brandonrobertsonmusic.com
Special Summit Guest, Chris Brubeck
“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
Special Summit Guest, Dan Brubeck
Daniel (Dan) Brubeck has toured the international music circuit since his early teens as the leader of his own groups and as a featured soloist with many of the world‘s top symphonies, pop and jazz artists.
He was producer and drummer for the 1993 Grammy-nominated Trio Brubeck album. Career highlights include his performance in the 1996 annual Grammy Awards as well as the 2009 Kennedy Center Honors when Dave Brubeck received that prestigious award. Recently, The Dan Brubeck Quartet was nominated for the highly coveted JUNO Award. His other group, The Brubeck Brothers Quartet has five critically acclaimed CD’s to their credit.” brubecklivinglegacy.com