Music Department

Northwest Jazz Festival

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The 37th Annual Northwest Jazz Festival
Tuesday, February 25, 2020



Kate Reid

kate_reid_1Jazz singer and pianist Kate Reid appears as a duo and with her trio and quartet at jazz venues in the Los Angeles and Miami areas.  Kate can be heard performing with Miami pianists Martin Bejerano and Tal Cohen, guitarist John Hart and trumpet player John Daversa and his Progressive Big Band. She is a featured performer presented by the Miami Jazz Co-op.  Kate has worked with many of the great jazz musicians in southern California including guitarists Ron Eschete and Larry Koonse, trumpeter and composer John Daversa, drummers Roy McCurdy and Jamey Tate.  Kate’s latest CD, The Love I’m In, features tenor saxophonist Ernie Watts and pianist Otmaro Ruiz. Like her release, Sentimental Mood, The Love I’m In features tunes from the American songbook and has received extensive airplay on jazz radio stations throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe, and South Africa. Kate has worked with many noted artists including John Clayton, Robin Eubanks, Jon Hendricks, Grady Tate, Mercer Ellington, Don Shelton, Mark Murphy, and the Duke Ellington Orchestra.

Reid is a working studio/session singer in Los Angeles. Her film credits include Tinkerbell: Legend of the Neverbeast, Planes, Star Trek Into Darkness, Oz-The Great and Powerful,  Epic and Men In Black III featuring the music of composers Danny Elfman, Michael Giacchino, John Powell, and Joel McNeely.  She has lent her voice to network television series, commercial spots for Ace Hardware, T-Mobile, Suntory Whiskey and backing vocals for artists MUSE, X Japan and Josh Groban.  Kate co-authored the GLEE Vocal Method book for Hal Leonard publishing with producer/author Andy Waterman of Umbrella Media. 

Brad Leali

Brad Leali colorWith a unique style and sound, which echoes the influences of his past, Brad Leali is one of the most notable saxophonists of current times. Leali toured and recorded with numerous jazz greats, including several years with the Harry Connick, Jr. Orchestra and with the Count Basie Orchestra. Leali was a standing member of the Kennedy Center Honors Band and performed for President Obama’s inaugural celebration. Brad has had a long-time endorsement with Keilwerth Saxophones and D’Addario Reeds. Currently, the professor of jazz saxophone at UNT, Brad continues to perform domestically and abroad, including touring with Lyle Lovett & His Large Band.

All-Star Trio

Austin Hass - Drums

Austin Hass

Approaching a decade of professional performing experience, Austin Hass has come to be one of the most prominent and versatile young drummers in the Pacific Northwest. Based in Eugene, Oregon, Austin has had extensive performing experience with big bands, vocal jazz choirs, jazz combos, theater pits, funk bands, rock bands, showbands, orchestras, wind ensembles, and percussion ensembles. He has been seen and heard performing at the Monterey Jazz Festival, The Jazz in the Valley Festival, the Jazz Education Network Conference, the Next Generation Competition, the NAFME Conference, the WMEA Conference, aboard the Norwegian Jewel cruise ship, and in various jazz clubs throughout the Pacific Northwest. Austin has been fortunate to perform at several of these venues with many great jazz artist on the scene today including Wayne Bergeron, Jeff Coffin, Bobby Shew, Dick Oatts, Christian Howes, Jiggs Whigam, Groove for Thought, Walter Blanding, Jim Rotundi, Terell Stafford and many more.

Austin's advanced music education spans over a decade beginning with his first drumset instructor Kelly Pierce. He earned his BA in Music from Central Washington University where he studied classical percussion with Mark Goodenberger and is currently pursuing his MM in Jazz Studies from the University of Oregon where he is studying drum set with drummer Gary Hobbs. Austin has also had the privilege of studying privately with and/or attended workshops with Garey Williams, Mel Brown, Peter Erskine, Jeff Hamilton, Matt Wilson and Lewis Nash to name a few.

As an educator, Austin has directed and taught a wide array of styles and ensembles. He has coached jazz combos and percussion ensembles, taught many private lessons, and was a percussion instructor for the award-winning West Valley High School Marching Band. He was also on faculty teaching drumset at Yakima Valley College and is currently a jazz graduate teaching assistant for the University of Oregon School of Music and Dance.

Clipper Anderson - Upright Bass


Bassist Clipper Anderson is one of the most highly regarded musicians on the Northwest jazz scene today. Known for his improvisational virtuosity, his steady presence in the pocket and his command of multiple styles, he plays with a genuine reverence for the music and an unassuming mastery that speaks for itself. Clipper has enjoyed a distinguished career as a composer, studio musician, performer, vocalist, and educator. He plays at jazz festivals throughout the United States and Canada and has appeared on numerous recordings, including five with Northwest vocalist Greta Matassa. His new CD “The Road Home,” (Origin) marks his debut as a solo artist. Throughout the years, Clipper has had the pleasure of working with some of the biggest names in contemporary jazz including Michael Brecker, Arturo Sandoval, Tamir Hendleman and Buddy De Franco to name just a few. Clipper is an annual guest artist at the Buddy DeFranco/University of Montana Jazz Festival and the Blaine Jazz Festival. He is currently on the jazz faculty at Pacific Lutheran University.

Josh Nelson - Piano


Born and raised in Southern California, pianist-composer-bandleader Josh Nelson has performed with some of the most respected names in jazz, including Kurt Elling, John Pizzarelli, Benny Golson, Sheila Jordan, Eddie Daniels, John Clayton, George Mraz, Jeff Hamilton, Joe Chambers. Nelson toured with legendary vocalist Natalie Cole for six years and with vocalists Gaby Moreno, Freda Payne, Alicia Olatuja, Sara Gazarek, Nicolas Bearde accordionist Richard Galliano, saxophonist Tom Scott, multi-instrumentalist Miguel Atwood-Ferguson and violinist Christian Howes. He taught music for four years at Soka University and more recently at Cal State University Northridge. In 2006, Nelson was a semi-finalist in the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition. His debut album as a leader, 2004’s Anticipation, garnered attention while his 2007 follow-up, Let it Go, was hailed by Jazz Times, All About Jazz and Jazz Review as a fully realized breakthrough album. Nelson’s next album, 2009’s I Hear a Rhapsody, had him re-imagining Jerry Goldsmith’s “Theme From Chinatown,” Jimmy Van Heusen’s “Here’s That Rainy Day” and Elliott Smith’s “Everything Means Nothing To Me” while contributing seven affecting originals. With 2011’s sci-fi influenced Discoveries, Nelson introduced his Discovery Project, an immersive multi-media presentation combining video, performance art, light and art installations with his original music. He followed with another ambitious Discovery Project in 2015’s Exploring Mars, which wedded evocative musical themes to spectacular NASA/JPL video footage of the Red Planet. Nelson’s latest, 2017’s The Sky Remains, is his love letter to Los Angeles. The third in his Discovery Project series, it unearths hidden gems and little-known stories about the composer’s hometown. From the lurid tale behind benefactor and namesake of L.A.’s famous Griffith Park to the sad transition of wondrous Pacific Ocean Park to an eyesore on the beach to the forgotten, bittersweet story of Mack Robinson. A silver medal winner in the 1936 Berlin Olympics (coming in second to Jesse Owens), Mack was also the brother of baseball legend Jackie Robinson and later became a hero in his own right through his civic activism on behalf of the City of Angels. The Sky Remains blends narrative and music in a persuasive fashion. Throughout this ambitious outing, Nelson and his talented crew of fellow Angelenos convey sentiment about the city and its treasures while uncovering lost history and acknowledging a few L.A. icons along the way. “I’m definitely in awe of what’s in this city and its quiet history,” says the prolific composer. “Maybe it’s just a product of having been born here, but I’m discovering new things and stories about it that were just sitting right under my nose. And I’m hoping that people who hear these stories might be interested in learning more about the fascinating history of Los Angeles.

Festival Philosophy

The Northwest College Jazz Festival is a non-competitive performance opportunity for vocal and instrumental jazz groups at all levels of proficiency. High-quality assessment and instruction will be provided by respected jazz educators in a positive and constructive learning environment. This festival encourages young musicians and teachers to grow through camaraderie and musical exchange.

**Again This Year**

Collegiate Division:

We are now inviting college ensembles and students to join us at the Northwest Jazz Festival. This division is open to soloists, combos, and ensembles of all sizes from community colleges or universities.

Soloist/Combo Division:

We are now welcoming soloists and combos (small groups focusing on improvisation) to join us in this special division. Open to soloists on any instrument (including voice), or small ensembles of any instrumentation. Students will have the opportunity to perform in a separate performance venue and work with a clinician and professional rhythm section. Soloists are welcome to bring their own combos for accompaniment or perform with our in-house professional trio!


Registration is now open!


Festival Cost:
     $200 - Jazz Bands and Choirs
     $100 - Jazz Combos
     $25 - Soloists


As part of your registration, please fill these out the appropriate set of festival forms. You can upload the completed forms during the registration process, or you may return them via email to

Jazz Band Forms

Jazz Choir Forms


Refunds are only available for entry fees when circumstances prevent the judges from appearing at the festival.


Each group may schedule a 20-minute performance time which will include recorded and written adjudication and an off-stage 20-minute clinic for your band or choir. Teachers may elect to receive a rating or "comments only."

Music displays, as well as clinics and workshops, will be available throughout the two-day festival.

Awards are given to outstanding soloists over the course of the festival. Judges also select a band and choir who exemplify our festival philosophy by their performance and spirit for the duration of the festival.


Tuesday, February 25, 6:30 PM
Powell High School Auditorium

This concert features the festival guest artists: Kate Reid, Brad Leali, and the All-Star Trio. 

Concert Tickets

Tickets for the Monday evening concert may be purchased by calling 307-754-6425 or by stopping by the Music Office in the Nelson Performing Arts Center (NPA 16). The concert will be in Powell High School Auditorium. Tickets will also be on sale at the door.

     Ticket Price: $30.00
     School Discount: $15.00*

*School directors and chaperones will also receive the discounted price.


Festival Director

Zach Paris

Department Secretary

Cassie Loera

Recording & Sound

Robert Rumbolz


Lara Moline

Kate Vincent

Mailing Address

Music Department
Northwest College
231 W 6th Street Bldg 2
Powell, WY 82435
Phone: 307-754-6425
FAX: 307-754-6340

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The Northwest Jazz Festival is supported in part by a grant from the Wyoming Arts Council, through funding from the Wyoming State Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts.


Zach Paris
Instructor of Music, Director of Bands/Instrumental Music


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