A musical heavyweight, saxophonist Alex Foster has been a part of many of the world’s most influential sounds to date. Best known in recent years for his work as the alto saxophonist in the house band of Saturday Night Live, he has also shared the stage with numerous world-class performers in varying genres. Besides being a member of the SNL house band, he is also the musical director of the Mingus Big Band, Orchestra, and Dynasty and is currently completing his latest album featuring all original compositions. In the jazz scene, he has been heard on recordings and has performed alongside greats such as Jaco Pastorius, Herbie Hancock, Clark Terry, Jack DeJohnette, McCoy Tyner, Miles Davis, Tom Harrell, Freddie Hubbard, Nat and Cannonball Adderley, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Gil Evans, Dizzy Gillespie, John Scofield, Charles Mingus, Elvin Jones, Thad Jones, Hank Jones, Tito Puente, Michael Brecker, Duke Ellington and more.
In contrast, in the pop rock music scene he has recorded and/or performed with Arethra Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Dr. John, Paul Simon, Elton John, Paul McCartney, Aerosmith, Eddie Van Halen, Diana Ross, the Village People, Sister Sledge, Al Green, Johnny Mathis and many others.
His versatility as an artist is not only present in the jazz and pop music scene, but is also prominent in the classical realm as well, performing with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Oakland Symphony, the San Francisco Symphony and the National Symphony. He has also been heard on television shows besides Saturday Night Live such as Late Night with David Letterman and 30 Rock.
Justin DiCioccio is internationally recognized as one of the foremost jazz educators of our time. In January 2001, he was inducted into the Jazz Education Hall of Fame. His keen insight into teaching and his inventive approach have earned him the title “the musician’s teacher.”
In 2002, Mr. DiCioccio was named Assistant Dean/Chair, Jazz Arts Program of Manhattan School of Music; in 2011 he was named Associate Dean. Under his leadership, the jazz curriculum has been completely restructured, including the creation of a new jazz DMA program. He has put into action his concept of the complete artist- musician –performer, composer and pedagogue – by developing partnerships with public schools, community organizations, cultural institutions and the music industry. He initiated the addition of a jazz component to the pre-college division, making MSM one of the few institutions in the country to offer Jazz programs at all levels. Mr. DiCioccio also directs international jazz programs. In 2017 he has become Processor Emeritus.
Mr. DiCioccio’s performing and conducting credentials include concerts, commercials, Broadway shows, and recordings with jazz, orchestra, pop and new music groups. He has performed with (among others) Joe Lovano, Dave Liebman, Paquito D’Rivera, Arturo Sandoval, Randy Brecker, Phil Woods, Donny McCaslin, Jane Monheit, Jon Faddis, Arturo O’farrill, Dick Oatts, Terell Stafford and Clark Terry. Mr. DiCioccio is a former member of the Rochester Philharmonic and for five years was a member of the Marine Band, “The President’s Own,” in which he served as the official White House Drummer.
From the very first time Richard Boulger heard the sound of a trumpet played by his father, Richard, Sr., in the basement of his family's North Adams, Massachusetts home, he knew that the trumpet was for him. It was his father who taught him the most important thing about playing the trumpet was to feel something while you play or, said another way, play from the soul.
A former long-time, private student of trumpet legends Freddie Hubbard and Donald Byrd, Boulger has spent years developing his craft with the hopes of creating music that will touch the listener, invoke feelings and emotions, and even inspire.
He has recorded with such diverse Grammyaward-winning and world class artists as The Allman Brothers Band, Randy Brecker, "Joe," Little Louie Vega, Alex Foster, Victor Jones, Jeremih and many more. With his three highly-acclaimed, self-produced recording projects,"The Calling", "Blues Twilight" and "Lookin Up" , his fourth project is now in the works.
After many years of studying and teaching, Boulger is now creating a body of work that will help, and also challenge, other trumpeters and musicians with a new play-along series that includes "Long-Tone Meditations." The play-along series is based upon and inspired by Boulger's extensive studies with and ideas shared from the likes of Freddie Hubbard, Donald Byrd, Jackie Mclean, Ludmila Uhlehla, Richie Beirach, Ben Shwendener, Charlie Banacos, Jon Faddis, and many others. The goal of the new series is to encourage players to simplify what are often perceived as complex and difficult musical challenges, as well as help to build stronger technique and facility on one's instrument and to help players be able to perform with greater confidence and in so doing, be able to relax and say something through their horn.
An active studio trumpet session recording artist, producer, educator and performing artist based in New York, Boulger is an endorsing artist and clinician for RS Berkeley Musical Instruments .
When he is not playing the trumpet or recording, Richard is dedicated to working with inner-city children and is the founder and president of the non-profit organization, Brooklyn Music and Arts, Inc.
As the Director of Jazz Studies, Dr. Dave Schroeder is continually developing an interactive environment between students, artist/faculty and the jazz community thriving in and around New York City. Schroeder's vision for jazz education combines theory and practice, taking advantage of NYU's proximity and interaction with legendary jazz clubs, recording studios and record labels. Aside from his duties teaching jazz history, jazz theory and artistic director for the NYU Jazz Masterclass Series, Schroeder has developed opportunities for jazz performers to interact with music industry internships. Current internships are available at Verve Music Group, Blue Note Records, EMI, Virgin Records, Half Note Records, Knitting Factory Records, Saturday Night Live and Jazz at Lincoln Center.
Dr. Schroeder's educational publications include:
Philosophy of Music Education Review, Spring 2002. "Four Approaches to Jazz Improvisation Instruction." Journal of the International Society of Bassists, Summer 2000. "The Two Worlds of Mike Richmond." Jazz Educators J ournal, Jan. 1999. "Jazz Education Toward the Millennium," an interview with Kenny Werner. Jazz Educators Journal, Dec. 1994. "The Source of Knowledge," An Interview With Helen Keane. Verve Records, essays on jazz history for the website link "Jazz Ed" for the Verve website at: www.vervemusicgroup.com
Dr. Schroeder received his B.M.E. from University of Northern Iowa, M.M. from New England Conservatory, and doctorate in Jazz from NYU Steinhardt.
Saxophonist and educator Julius Tolentino has been a staple of the New York jazz scene for over 20 years. In this capacity, he has played and recorded with numerous small groups and big bands including Louis Haye’s Cannonball Adderley Legacy Band and the Louis Hayes Quartet, Eric Reed’s Sextet, Jeremy Pelt’s Quintet, Natalie Cole, Wycliffe Gordon, Connie Francis, Gloria Gaynor, the Illinois Jacquet Big Band, the Christian McBride Big Band, Cecile Mclorin, Michael Feinstein, Dianne Reeves, Jimmy Heath, the Count Basie Orchestra and the Duke Ellington Orchestra.
A graduate of the Hartt School of Music, Julius studied with NEA Jazz Master and alto saxophone legend Jackie McLean, who introduced him to his second musical father, Illinois Jacquet. He has played in top jazz venues and festivals throughout the United States, including Lincoln Center, the Newport Jazz Festival, Tanglewood, the Village Vanguard, Birdland, Blue Note, the Jazz Standard and Dizzy’s Coca Cola. As a leader, his debut album, “Just the Beginning,” on the Sharp Nine label, reached No. 8 on the jazz charts in 2006.
Julius is currently serving on the board of the Jazz Education Network and has presented clinics at the JEN Conference as well as the New Jersey Music Educators Association Conference. He has conducted All-State and All-City Jazz Bands for the Massachusetts Music Educators Association, MMEA and the New York State School Music Association, NYSMA. Julius Tolentino has been awarded Best of NJ, category Jazz Musician Inside Jersey/Star Ledger in 2010, the Illinois Jacquet Jazz Educator of the Year award courtesy of the Illinois Jacquet Foundation in 2013, and the NJ Jazz Education Achievement Award by NJAJE in 2018.