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University of Minnesota Morris Jazz Festival

University of Minnesota Morris 41st Annual Jazz Fest

Friday April 5, 2019

The UMN Morris Jazz Fest is a non-competitive festival open to high school and middle school jazz big bands and jazz combos. Our goal is to provide you and your students with a memorable and interactive jazz experience. Join us this year as we celebrate the most important precursor to jazz, and one of America's first musical art forms, the Blues.

2019 Guest Artists

Matt Leder, trumpet
Scott Agster, trombone
Ryan Frane, piano
Pete James Johnson, drums

Evening Performance

Friday, April 5, 7:30 p.m.

Edson Auditorium, Student Center

UMN Morris Jazz Ensemble 1 with guest artists
Guest Artist Quintet
West Central All-Stars Big Band

2019 Features

  • Masterclasses on "How to Play the Blues" and "History of the Blues"
  • Outstanding Soloist Awards - Multiple "outstanding soloists" will be selected to perform during the evening concert.
  • Clinics for Each Instrument Section - Afternoon breakout-session style masterclasses will offer something for each instrument/section (saxophones, trumpets, trombones, and rhythm section)
  • Friday Evening Jam Session - Guest Artists and UMM students will host an after-hours jam session. Anyone is welcome to play!
  • "Meet the Artist" Question and Answer Session - Come meet all of our guest artists in an informal Q&A session.

Guest Artists / Clinicians

Scott Agster 

Dr. Scott Agster previously helds the Assistant Ensemble Department Head position at McNally Smith College of Music in St. Paul, MN.  He remains active as a clinician, guest artist, and educational leader.  He currently holds the position of Jazz Honor Band Site Coordinator for the Minnesota Band Directors Association, he has attended the MMEA All State Jazz Band as a Section Coach, and he performs many educational outreach events.

Agster is also an active performer.  He is currently a full time member of several bands including: Salsa del Soul, Jack Brass Band, Snowblind Jazz Quintet, and the Explosion Big Band.  He has had the opportunity to perform and work with many acclaimed artists and groups such as: The Doc Severinsen Orchestra, The One O'Clock Lab Band, The Glenn Miller Orchestra, The JazzMN Big Band, Jimmy Heath, Benny Golson, Dave Douglas, Phil Woods, Nicholas Payton, Sheila E., Pinetop Perkins, Aaron Neville, Kenny Loggins, Slide Hampton and Trombone Shorty.

Agster earned his Doctor of Musical Arts in Trombone Performance from the University of Minnesota.  He also holds a Master of Music in Trombone Performance and a Bachelor of Music Education from the University of North Texas.

Matt Leder

Dr. Matt Leder is an avid educator and has performed as a guest artist / clinician throughout the United States.  Dr. Leder holds a DA in Music Education from the University of Northern Colorado, a MM in Jazz Studies from the University of New Orleans, and a BM in Jazz Performance from East Carolina University. While at UNO, Leder was a member of the “Louis Armstrong Quintet”, funded through the Armstrong Foundation. Dr. Leder has studied with Ellis Marsalis, Clyde Kerr, Irvin Mayfield, and many others. He has a passion for the music and culture of New Orleans. Dr. Leder’s dissertation, “Towards An Informed Pedagogy of Modern New Orleans Style”, describes New Orleans style and offers possibilities of adding this syntax of jazz into the modern classroom. Recently, Dr. Leder was invited to be a National Endowment of Humanities Summer Scholar at Tulane University in New Orleans.  

Dr. Leder has been a professional musician for over 20 years and performs all genres of music. Leder served over eight years as an active duty Navy musician and four years as an Air Force musician.  While a member of the armed forces, he performed for five US presidents.   

Dr. Leder had a wide variety of experiences including selection into the International Association of Jazz Educators All Star Collegiate Big Band, performances at Carnegie Hall, Birdland, and Boston’s Symphony Hall; a theater stint in Myrtle Beach that included shows with Steve Gatlin and the Stars of the Lawrence Welk Show, a national tour with “In the Mood”, and has performed in supporting ensembles for Bob Mintzer, Benny Green, Melton Mustafa, Nicholas Payton, Ellis Marsalis, Ana Popovic, and several others. Dr. Leder is currently principal trumpet in the Gadsden Symphony Orchestra and leads his own jazz quartet.  

Ryan Frane

Ryan Frane is the Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Minnesota Duluth, where he oversees the jazz studies major and jazz studies program, teaches Jazz Ensemble I, Jazz Combo I, Jazz Theory, Jazz Pedagogy, Jazz Piano and other courses. Ryan also coordinates the annual Head of the Lakes Jazz Festival at UMD, drawing internationally known artists and high schools from throughout the state. Under his direction the UMD Jazz Ensemble I has performed in Italy, Switzerland and Holland at the Montreux and North Sea Jazz Festivals, as well as performing at the MMEA and WMEA annual conferences, UNC/Greeley Jazz Festival and throughout the region.

As a pianist, Ryan has performed throughout the country as well as in Switzerland, Germany, Russia, Holland and France. Ryan has performed with the Green Bay Packers band and was a member of the Denver Nuggets house band. He has performed locally with the Big Time Jazz Orchestra, Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra, Arrowhead Chorale, Lake Superior Youth Chorus and many others including his own small groups. Ryan’s most recent trio recording entitled “People We Know” features all original compositions with the exception of one standard. Also, Ryan has backed or performed with many musicians including The Mills Brothers, Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, Bobby Vinton, Steve Lippia, Tom Harrell, Wes Anderson, Rex Richardson, Ingrid Jensen, Jim Snidero and many others. Ryan has been an active clinician and performer at several colleges across the country including the University of Northern Colorado, University of South Dakota, University of Wisconsin Green Bay, Tiffin University, Lawrence Conservatory, University of Wisconsin Stevens Point, University of Wisconsin Eau Claire and the University of Southern Colorado.

Ryan has conducted numerous honor bands in Minnesota and Wisconsin and has been a section coach for the MMEA All State Jazz Ensemble. Internationally, Ryan has performed master classes at the Conservatoire à Rayonnement Régional de Boulogne-Billancourt (Paris, France), Conservatoire National de Région Lyon (Lyon, France) and Petrosovadsk State Conservatory (Karelia, Russia). Under Ryan’s direction, graduates of the UMD jazz studies program have gone on to become teachers (collegiate level) performers and graduate students at some of the nation’s strongest jazz schools while also becoming great contributors to society.

Ryan holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music from the University of Wisconsin Green Bay and a Masters of Music in theory and composition from the University of Northern Colorado.

Pete James Johnson

petePete Johnson serves as director of Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Combos and applied drumset at College of St. Benedict/St. John's University. In addition, he maintains a busy performing schedule around the United States and the world.

Pete has performed and toured with the Grammy-winning Bob Mintzer Big Band, Ambrose Akinmusire, Bob Reynolds, Alan Pasqua, Darek Oles, Carl Saunders, Otmaro Ruiz, Bob Sheppard, Russ Ferrante, Maple & Beech and more. In addition, Pete has worked as a session drummer for Capitol Records and is on over 50 albums of jazz and pop artists. In addition to his time at CSB/SJU, Pete maintains a busy touring schedule with Twin Cities groups and has toured North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.

In 2015 Pete received his masters of music in jazz studies at the University of Southern California, where he studied with Peter Erskine, Ndugu Chancler, Aaron Serfaty, and Bill Platt. In 2009 he received a bachelor of arts in music at Minnesota State University, where he studied with Allen Carter.