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Hear Four Ensembles From The Famed University of North Texas Jazz Program

Anna Jalkeus Group

The University of North Texas College of Music has a rich jazz history. In 1947, it became the the first university in the world to offer a degree program in jazz. Today, the UNT jazz program, housed within America's largest music school, has spawned the careers of numerous Grammy-winning artists, including Norah Jones and Snarky Puppy's Michael League.

As part of our Jazz Appreciation Month series, John Murphy, chair of the division of Jazz Studies at UNT College of Music, introduces us to four ensembles from his famed program.

1. Anna Jalkéus Group with the Anna Jalkéus Orchestra

Swedish vocalist, harpist and composer Anna Jalkéus  specializes in contemporary jazz orchestra and jazz/fusion singing and playing. For this Jazz Appreciation Month recording, she combines her seven-piece group and 40-piece orchestra on her song "Jupiter."

Group personnel: Anna Jalkéus – voice, harp (composition); Aaron Dutton – alto saxophone, melodica; Garrett Wingfield – bass clarinet; Ethan Stalbaum – electric guitar; Nicholas Olynciw – piano; Aaron Holthus – upright bass; John Sturino – drums

Orchestra personnel:   Conductor: Kyle Gordon  Violin: Kathy Crabtree; Maria Morales; Michael Cervantes
; Asia Charles; Yirong Tang; 
Phoenix Abbo;
 Diego Campos; Justin Daniels Viola: Edwardo Rios; Kelly Bartek; 
Samantha Peng; Myles Miller
; Joseph Geller Cello: Sydney ZumMallen
; Lejing Zhou;
 Manuela Baric Contrabass: Joseph Nunez
; Michael Helwick
; Beckah Maxwell Flute: Brendon Wilkins;  Daniel Pardo Oboe: Carter Calkins; Fernando Yanes Clarinet: Ryan Espinosa; Kelsey Gallagher Bassoon: Martin Wells;  Jolene  Masone Trumpet: Rigo Velez; Evan Templeton; Luke Wingfield French Horn: Eric Hessel; Sarah Konval; Scott Fisher Trombone: Brian Woodbury; Abdullah Ebrahim Bass Trombone:  Kenny Davis Percussion: Nicole Robbins; Alex Mendoza; Adam Davis

Brian Stark, UNT
Brian Stark, UNT

2. Brian Stark Big Band

Brian Stark is an established performer, composer and educator. He is currently finishing his Master's in Jazz Study with an emphasis in Arranging at UNT. He shares his original composition "Adagio from Myself When I Am Mingus."

Personnel: Composer, conductor: Brian Stark; Saxophones: Kyle Bellaire (soloist); Brendon Wilkins; Brandon Moore; Jackson Burris; Howard  Dietz  Trumpets: Michael Campagna; Joshua Kauffman; Brian Fincher; Evan Templeton; Luke Wingfield  Trombones: Brian Woodbury; Conner Eisenmenger; Abdullah Ebrahim; Chris Sharpe; Kenny Davis Piano: Paul Lees (soloist); Guitar: Daniel Pinilla Bass: Steven Heffner Drums: Chris Petro

Cooper Nelson, UNT
Cooper Nelson, UNT

3. Cooper Nelson Quintet

A native of Sacramento, CA, Cooper Nelson began his music education at the age of 11. He is completing his Masters in jazz studies from UNT this spring. He shares his original composition "Pentos."

Personnel: Cooper Nelson-  saxophone; Abdullah Ebrahim - trombone; Brent McCollough  keyboard; Adrian Laird - bass; Luke Berger - drums


Sarina Bachleintner, UNT
Sarina Bachleintner, UNT

Sarina Bachleitner Group

Sarina Bachleitner has been a professional jazz pianist and educator for over thirty years. She teaches Arranging at the University of Texas. She shares her original composition "Paradigm".

Personnel: Brian Standridge - trumpet;  Brendon Wilkins - alto sax; Brian Stark - tenor sax; Cameron Crowley - trombone;  Paul Lees - piano; Jaron Lopez - guitar; Henry Beal - bass; Steven Starks, drums