guest artists / judges
schedule of events
join our mailing list!
directions and parking
contact us
Nebraska Jazz Orchestra
Kerry Strayer
Kansas City saxophonist Kerry Strayer is active as a band leader, recording artist and private instructor. He leads both the New Kansas City 7 and the Kerry Strayer Orchestra, and has released six recordings including the critically acclaimed "Jeru Blue - A Tribute to Gerry Mulligan" with Randy Brecker and "Mentor" with Gary Foster. His latest release is a big band Christmas CD, "Kerry Strayer Orchestra, Christmas in Kansas City: Music from the Plaza Lighting Ceremony" featuring Kevin Mahogany, Kelley Hunt, Lisa Henry and Ron Gutierrez.

David Sharp

Dave Sharp is the Instructor of Instrumental Music and Jazz at Indian Hills Community College in Ottumwa, Iowa where he teaches a variety of music courses and directs and arranges music for the Indian Hills Jazz Band. From 1989 through 1998, David was on the faculty at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln School of Music where he taught courses in the jazz studies department including jazz history and directed various UNL Jazz Ensembles. Mr. Sharp earned his Bachelor of Music degree in composition from the University of Miami (Florida) and holds a Master of Music degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

As an educator, Sharp is regularly a guest lecturer and clinician on various jazz topics including history and appreciation, composition, arranging, improvisation, and jazz saxophone styles. He has been an adjudicator, clinician, and guest artist at numerous jazz festivals throughout the Midwest.

An active free-lance saxophonist and woodwind specialist, David travels extensively throughout the Midwest and the United States. He is a member of the Nebraska Jazz Orchestra and was the director of the Monday Night Big Band in Lincoln for several years. In addition to performing with the Indian Hills Faculty Jazz Trio (with bassist Steve Charlson and drummer Dennis McPartland) and leading his own small jazz groups, David is a regular performer with regional dance orchestras, popular entertainers, and has performed in pit orchestras of numerous Broadway national touring shows. He has also performed with several national and internationally renowned jazz and pop artists including the Woody Herman Orchestra, Mel Tormé, Claudio Roditi, Bobby Watson, Terance Blanchard, David Friesen, Victor Lewis, Marvin Stamm, Rob McConnell, Jay McShann, Alex Acuna, Lou Rawls, Kahil El'Zabar, Joe, Locke, Kerry Strayer, The Temptations, Rod Stewart, Shirley Jones, Bobby Vinton, the Latin-jazz group Ashanti, the Bobby Layne Orchestra, the Glenn Miller Orchestra, the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, Myron Floren and the Stars of the Lawrence Welk Show, the Lincoln Symphony, and the Omaha Symphony Pops.

David Sharp is a prolific composer and arranger of jazz and big band music. His works have been performed or recorded by numerous professional and scholastic jazz groups throughout the country including the Nebraska Jazz Orchestra, the University of Miami Concert Jazz Band, Texas Tech Jazz Ensemble, the UMKC Jazz Orchestra, Iowa State Jazz Ensemble, Western Michigan Jazz Ensemble, the University of North Florida Jazz Ensemble, Claudio Roditi, and Paquito D'Rivera. During the summer of 1997, the Nebraska Jazz Orchestra featured his compositions and arrangements during performances in Paris; Heidelberg, Germany; and at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. In the Fall of 2003, the Ottumwa (Iowa) Symphony premiered his "Three Nocturnes for Jazz Quartet and Orchestra". David has also written and published two textbooks on jazz history.

Brian Grasmick

Brian Grasmick is a native Nebraskan originally from North Platte. After attending the University of Nebraska at Lincoln and receiving a Bachelor of Science in Education, he moved to Omaha to pursue a career as a freelance Trumpet Player and Music Educator.In 1981 Brian began a 19-year stint with the Nebraska Arts Council with their Artist-in-Residence program, going to countless schools around the state. He was also one of the "Artists in the Classroom" focusing on all the 6th graders in the Millard Public School's system for 10 years. One of the more memorable residencies was a 2-year program at the Nebraska State Penitentiary, where he developed the curriculum and ran the program for maximum-security inmates. He also maintained a private studio working with over 30 Trumpet students.

While living in Nebraska, Brian performed with numerous musical organizations including the Omaha Symphony, Aksarben Orchestra, and of course the Nebraska Jazz Orchestra, where he was one of the first members. He has backed up name acts such as Bill Cosby, Sammy Davis Jr., Bob Hope, and George Burns, just to name a few. He has also worked for Royal Viking, Norwegian Caribbean Lines, and Crystal Cruise Lines, traveling and performing in over 70 countries all over the world.

In 1999 Brian accepted a Trumpet position with the Delta Queen Steamboat Company out of New Orleans, where his work took him all along the Mississippi, Ohio, and Cumberland River systems. After 9/11 and the company's bankruptcy, he moved to Las Vegas. While here, he has performed with Cher, Josh Groben, Lionel Richie, David Foster, and Jessica Simpson.

Brian and his wife Vita own and operate TwoSmooth Productions, where they specialize in original music composition, production, jingles, and voiceovers. They have been awarded 4 southwest regional Emmy awards for their excellence in composition and arranging.

Pete Madsen
Dr. Pete Madsen is an Assistant Professor and Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. His duties at UNO include directing the jazz ensemble and combo, and teaching applied low brass, jazz survey, low brass ensemble, and improvisation. Under his direction the UNO Jazz Ensembles have presented invited performances at the Notre Dame Jazz Festival, the University of North Texas Jazz Festival, the Klaipeda, Lithuania Jazz Festival, and the Midwest Regional Conference of the International Association for Jazz Education. Dr. Madsen has performed extensively in jazz, pop, and classical venues, having played with Claudio Roditi, Bill Watrous, Don Menza, Pete Christlieb, Aretha Franklin, Frank Valli, the Omaha Big Band, the Nebraska Jazz Orchestra, the Omaha Jazz Orchestra, the Illinois Symphony, the Omaha Symphony, the Omaha Brass Ensemble, and the Missouri Symphony Society. Dr. Madsen is also in high demand as a guest artist/clinician and has performed/adjudicated in Japan, Brazil, throughout Europe, and in Nebraska, South Dakota, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Illinois, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, Iowa, North Carolina, and Missouri. Dr. Madsen received a Bachelor's Degree in Music Education from the University of Missouri in 1993, a Master of Music Degree from Northern Illinois University in 1995, and a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Trombone Performance from the University of Illinois in 2000.

Peter Bouffard
A native of Vermont, Peter Bouffard is a guitarist, arranger, and educator living in Lincoln, NE. He holds a D.M.A. in Jazz Performance Studies from the New England Conservatory of Music, an M.M. in Jazz Education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, as well as an A.S. in Jazz and Contemporary Music and a B.M.Ed. from the University of Maine. He has been a member of the UNL School of Music faculty since 1990, a member of the Lincoln Public Schools instrumental music faculty since 1993, and Director of Jazz Activities for the University of Maine Summer Youth Music program for seventeen years. He is an active guitarist in the region where he performs for a variety of engagements; and has been an adjudicator, clinician, and/or director for a variety of musical events and organizations including the Maine All-State Jazz Combo, the Nebraska All-State Jazz Ensemble, the Iowa Jazz Championships, and University of South Dakota Jazz Festival. As a composer and arranger, his works have been commissioned for jazz ensemble, symphony orchestra, brass quintet, symphonic band, trumpet ensemble, and jazz vocalists. Dr. Bouffard has toured as a member of the UNL Faculty Jazz Trio presenting concerts and clinics in Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota, and Vermont; and has performed internationally in France, Germany, Japan, and Switzerland with the Nebraska Jazz Orchestra and the Lincoln Municipal Band. He has studied privately with John Abercrombie, Jerry Bergonzi, Gene Bertoncini, and John McNeil; and has participated in master classes with Pat Metheny, Herb Ellis, and George Russell. In addition, he has had the opportunity to perform with a number of well-known jazz artists including Marian McPartland, Bob Brookmeyer, and Steve Allen.

Tom Harvill
Tom Harvill has played professionally in the Lincoln-Omaha area for over 20 years. Tom has performed in a variety of musical settings, ranging from solo piano to small jazz ensembles and big bands throughout the region. He has been a member for the Nebraska Jazz Orchestra for eight years. Tom can also be found during the day working for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Andy Hall
Andy Hall is a professional bassist performing on both the acoustic and electric bass. Versatility is the key to his success playing with a wide variety of groups and in many different styles. His favorite style of music, Jazz, is the style of choice. He finds this style the most challenging, yet the most musically rewarding. Hall is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, with a Bachelor of Science in Music Education. For the past twenty years, Hall has served as the personal bassist of nationally know Jazz vocalist, Marilyn Maye. While Andy and his family call Lincoln home, he spends a great deal of time on the road performing, teaching at jazz workshops, jazz camps, artist-in-residence programs and acts as an adjudicator for jazz festivals. Hall has performed concerts and taught workshops in Japan, Germany, and Denmark. Andy has currently recorded with Marilyn Maye, the Nebraska Jazz Orchestra, and the Jazz Factory. His past performance credits include appearances with Chuck Berry, Doc Severinsen, the Count Basie Orchestra, Rosemary Clooney, Peter Nero, Don Menza, Pete Christlieb, and numerous others.

Joey Gulizia

Entertainer: Joey has been performing since the age of ten, and continues to perform as a professional musician. He has proven diversity by working in many musical situations such as a featured artist with the Omaha Symphony, Nebraska Jazz Orchestra, Nebraska Brass, and countless other musical groups including his own. He has entertained on many cruise ships and has performed in Japan, Europe and the Caribbean.

Educator: Since 1979, Joey has done hundreds of week-long residencies in schools sponsored by the Nebraska Arts Council. He has been involved teaching music at the Nebraska Scholars institute since 1982 and works as a jazz clinician in schools and universities throughout the Midwest.

Musician: Joey began studying music at the age of six and plays many instruments. He specializes in the field of percussion and has acquired a collection of instruments from around-the-world. He also performs as a soloist using soprano sax and a MIDI wind controller. Joey can be heard on many CD's, commercials, and soundtracks. Check out the new CD with Ron Cooley "Summer Magic" at www.bdbrecords.com