Jam Camp West Faculty
Terrence Brewer – Instrumental and Guitar Ensembles
Consummate jazz guitarist and sought after educator, Terrence Brewer has overwhelming regional support performing over 2000 shows in the past seven years. In addition to being a first-call and in-demand bandleader, record producer, concert performer and studio musician, Terrence Brewer has established himself as one of the San Francisco Bay area’s foremost music educators. For 15+ years Brewer has been a private lesson instructor, master class instructor, clinician, lecturer, music workshop facilitator, and presenter to students of all ages, skill levels, and musical styles. Even with devoting such a large amount of time to teaching, performing, and media appearances, Brewer found the time to launch his own record label and publishing company, Strong Brew Music (SBM) in 2005 and in 2006 released his first two albums simultaneously on SBM, The Calling: Volume One and Volume Two. With their release, Brewer garnered a tremendous amount of media attention and recognition. terrencebrewer.com
Josiah Woodson – Instrumental Ensembles, Improvisation
Josiah Woodson started playing trumpet at the age of 12. As a member of the Oaktown Jazz Workshop, he continued his craft in the fall of 1995 under the private instruction of Khalil Shaheed. In 1999, Josiah was accepted into the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Oberlin Ohio where he was a member of several ensembles, including the Oberlin Jazz Septet and studied under Marcus Belgrave. Woodson was given a substantial scholarship to attend the New England Conservatory. Since Graduating with academic honors (MM) in 2006, Josiah continues to perform with “The Makanda Project” with Oliver Lake, Yoron Isreal and John Lockwood. Woodson has also had the opportunity to perform an original piece entitled “The Third Day” with conductor Michael Morgan and the Oakland East Bay Symphony. josiahwoodson.com
Daria Shani Johnson – Instrumental Ensembles
Daria ‘Shani’ Johnson is a San Francisco based drummer, singer and multi-instrumentalist. Her style is solid, smooth, dependable and sensual. Her dynamic spirit has earned her the title as one of the most sought-after drummers in the Bay Area.
Shani attended the Berklee College of Music, where she studied with Victor Mendoza, Larry Finn, Rick Considine, Anne Peckham, Luanne Warner Katz and Joe Hunt. Her exceptional skills with percussion and drums brought her to San Francisco where she co-founded the band London Street.
On London Street’s debut release “Life through Lyric and Melody” Shani contributed her undeniable abilities to sing, write, arrange and produce, in addition to her drumming. London Street has toured the West Coast and Europe sharing the stage with India Arie, Angie Stone, Erykah Badu, John Legend, Brandi Carlile and Ozomatli. She has moved on from London Street to pursue new musical projects including the Daria Johnson Trio.
As an in-demand drummer, Daria ‘Shani’ Johnson has played with many talented musicians. Her roster includes live performances and studio sessions with Eoin Harrington, Theresa Perez, Esperanza Spalding, Sean Leahy, Four Year Bender, Crystal Monee Hall, Edna Love, Trevor Garrod (Tea Leaf Green), Dan Lebowitz (ALO), Kofy Brown, Vortex Tribe, Vudustu, Papa Mali and Eric McFadden.
Shani brings fire to the stage. Her legacy reveals that her talent not only resides when she is on her throne behind the set, but also on the mic, and in the studio. Daria ‘Shani’ Johnson is a force to be reckoned with. drumdariajohnson.com
Bryan S. Dyer – Vocals
Bryan S. Dyer is a multi-talented musician who not only sings but plays and teaches several instruments including bass guitar, percussion and piano; writes and arranges music, conducts choirs and groups, and works in television, radio and film. A veteran of some of the Bay Area’s top vocal groups including Street Sounds, SoVoSo, Slammin All Body Band, Linda Tillery and the Cultural Heritage Choir and CHELLE! and Friends, He also performs with Zadell, Rankin Scroo and Ginger, and R&B group, D.A.P. His musical experiences have him taken around the globe including several trips throughout Europe, Japan, South Korea, Brazil and Jamaica. Bryan’s talents have landed him alongside such artist as Al Green, Bobby McFerrin, Michael McDonald of the Doobie Brothers, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, the soundtrack for the movie “La Mission” with Benjamin Bratt, and Huey Lewis and The News to name a few. bryandyer.wordpress.com
Tammi Brown – Vocals
Drenched in the uplifting and sultry sounds of Gospel and Jazz music, Tammi’s voice is filled with rich tones, elegant phrasing, and vocal versatility. Tammi is currently a vocalist in the two-time Grammy Award nominated Vocal Ensemble The Cultural Heritage Choir led by the Legendary, Linda Tillery. Tammi also received an invitation by renowned Jazz guitarist, Stanley Jordan, to sing background vocals for the tune “Steppin’ Out”, which received a 51st Grammy Award nomination. In addition, she was selected to perform in the tribute to Quincy Jones at the 59th Monterey Jazz Festival and at the Hollywood Bowl backing the legendary Valerie Simpson. To add to her impressive musical accomplishments, Tammi co-produced her single “That’s How it Goes” with 13-time Grammy nominated Jazz Fusion artist, Tom Schuman of Spyro Gyra. Tammi’s musical journey has taken her to many stages in over 10 countries including solo performances at the famous Apollo Theater in Harlem, New York, The Monterey Jazz and Blues Festivals, and Europe. tammibrown.com
Mark Rosenthal – Steeldrum
Mark has been teaching steel drum classes in the Bay Area since 1996. He is now co-director of Cazadero Performing Arts Family Camp, where he also teaches. After earning his BA in Music Performance at Humboldt State University in 1992, Mark traveled to Trinidad and performed with Phase 2 Pan Groove during the 1994 annual Panorama competition. He is also currently teaching at East Bay School of Science and Art, Head-Royce School, Joaquin Miller Elementary, and the annual summer jazz program Jazz Camp West. caribbeansteeldrums.com
Joshua Woodson – Turntable
Joshua Woodson started working with a digital recording workstation at Age 14. With only a Midi interface and an old Macintosh he was able to produce several original recording that were never released. After a brief stint in the United States Navy, Joshua headed off to San Diego City College. He also put together a small Digital Audio Workstation in his studio apartment and began familiarizing himself with pro tools and Fruity loops. In 2006 he started Djing with two pro scratch digital turn tables. In 2007 He graduated with an associate’s Degree in digital Music. In 2008 Joshua Built another D.A.W. and is beginning to finish some of his earlier work to be made available on iTunes. He is also working with world renowned Josiah Woodson on releasing his first anticipated album entitled Pipe dreamer.
Kyle Blase – Ukulele Orchestra/Theory
Kyle received his B.A. in Music from San Francisco State University in 1998. He has been involved in many bands over the years including, reggae, funk hip-hop, rock, jazz and Latin. He is an accomplished musician studying and performing on flute, guitar and voice. Currently he is a member of the Oakland Jazz Choir a professional gigging vocal jazz ensemble. He was director of the Optimist Youth Jazz Band in San Diego a no profit organization for middle and high school students. He has taught all ages from pre-school to high-school in over a ten year span. He lived abroad for a year in France touring and recording with a Gypsy Acid Jazz Band “Buzart”. He has worked with an impressive list of musicians including but not limited too Benny Green, Victoria Theodore, Omar Sosa, Geoff Brennan, Carlton Manning, Jeff Marrs, Walter Bankovitch, Danya Stevens, Gillian Harwin, Destani Wolf, Tim Bulkley, Scott Thompson and Balboa Becker. californiamusicworks.com
Javier Navarrette – Percussion
For more than 25 years, Javier Navarrette has been dedicated to the study and performance of music, specializing in Afro-Caribbean rhythms. Javier has studied with masters in Cuba including Miguel Angá Díaz, Jose Luis “Changuito” Quintana, as well Folklorico Nacional de Cuba. In the San Francisco Bay area, he has studied with John Santos, Michael Spiro and Jesus Díaz. Javier has had the honor to perform with such greats as Poncho Sanchez, Los Van Van, the “Conga Kings”, as well as with Jon Faddis, Jerry Gonzalez, and others. In addition, Javier has had the privilege of recording with world-renowned artists such as Giovanni Hidalgo, Anthony Carillo, Sandy Perez, and Jimmy Bosch. He also recorded on three Grammy nominated albums with John Santos’ Machete Ensemble and El Coro Folklorico Kindembo. Javier is frequently involved in a myriad of projects such as the featured artist in “Proyecto de Congueros” at Yoshis Jazz Club in San Franciso, and organizing Bomba y Plena workshops. Javier is currently working on a new project, Machina Sol, along with three other San Francisco Bay Area artists. Javier continues to create new musical ideas, in order to expand his musical knowledge. He also enjoys teaching music to the next generation and currently teaches for Living Jazz as part of the Oakland Children’s Community Project, teaching rhythm classes to 1-3rd graders in under privileged Oakland public elementary schools. tocapercussion.com
Natalie Aceves – Jazz Dance
Natalie Aceves is a choreographer, dancer and educator. She merges technique and vocabulary movements of contemporary, ballet, jazz and modern with elements of Hip-Hop, Traditional Folklore, House footwork, yoga and improvisation.
Her intention as a facilitator of the arts is to provide a multidisciplinary instruction for my students to explore their potential, talent and love by inspiring them with a versatile kinetic experience. She has been a Fusion dance instructor for the New Style Motherload Youth Program, has performed throughout the Bay Area and has recently served on the faculty of Jazz Camp West, a project of Living Jazz. natalieacevesdotcom.wordpress.com
Samara Atkins- Hip-Hop Dance
Samara Atkins has been dancing and teaching hip-hop since 1999 and finds pure joy in sharing her love and passion for dance with others. She has been technically trained in jazz, ballet, and hip hop, while her most recent focus has predominantly been street styles. Not only has she been a choreographer since the age of 14 and directed a student-run dance company at Howard University while attending, but has performed in various dance companies such as Mix’d Ingrdnts, New Style Motherlode, Diamond Dance Company, Neopolitan, Dance 10, St. Mary’s Dance Ensemble, Vizion Performance Team, and Carla Service’s Dance-A-Vision. She currently is a full-time dance teaching artist through Destiny Arts Center, where she has been a youth worker since 2011. Through Destiny, she began working with the Power of Hope Camp in 2014 and utilizing her arts facilitation skills, works with youth to process, cope, release, heal, and apply things discovered in supportive spaces to everyday life.
Samara is Co-Founder and Associate Co-Artistic Director of the mixed genre dance collective Mix’d Ingrdnts, with a mission to educate, inspire, and empower women, youth, and the community on how to use their voice in different ways.
Traveling to Mexico, China, Thailand, Nepal, South Africa, and Vietnam to showcase, teach, and share her love of dance with other cultures, her passion is to perform and teach youth, as well as the community to freely express themselves with confidence. She has choreographed music videos for local artists The Alphabet Rockers, Sara Lovell, and has also back-up danced for Nile Rodgers and the band Chic. She teaches adult and youth hip-hop classes around the Bay Area and also is currently a hip-hop columnist for Dance Studio Life Magazine. mixdingrdnts.com
Reese Bullen – Spoken Word
Reese Bullen is an accomplished drummer, songwriter, sound and audio technician, beatboxer, poet and accomplished educator. He has been serving on both the Jazz Camp West and Jam camp West staff for several years and also works throughout the Bay Area as an instrumentalist as well as equipment and audio technician. When he is not playing music, you might find Reese on his sailboat traveling to some magical place in a far off land.
Charles Simon – Hip Hop Dance, Songwriting
Charles Simon has been professionally dancing since the age of 13 for the Golden State Warriors, H&M, Oakland Raiders, and the San Francisco 49ers. He is also a multi-instrumentalist, playing five different instruments including guitar, bass, drums, piano, and voice. Rap also began at an early age while in school using rhymes to express himself. He began to freestyle and perform professionally in high school at age sixteen. While studying music at Santa Fe University of Art and Design Charles joined a rap group named Spacemob Space Cadets. This helped to gain focus on what he wanted to say as an artist and taught him how to work in a musical group as a vocalist. A large part of his rap experience has come from freestyling. Charles has performed with musicians like Zeal Levin as a special guest in the Art and Soul Festival in 2016, Joshua Baronkay, and Reese M Bull.
Colin Hogan – Accompanist
Colin Hogan was a member of the world renowned Berkeley High School Jazz Ensemble alongside “young lions” Ambrose Akinmusire, Justin Brown, and Thomas Pridgen while also studying with the Jazzschool’s founder, Susan Muscarella. He then attended Cal State East Bay (Hayward) where he earned a BA in piano performance.
Colin has performed on 5 continents playing everything from jazz, funk, salsa, and hip-hop to tango and Balinese gamelan. He has performed with many legendary jazz musicians including James Moody, Peter Erskine, Bob Brookmeyer, Roy Ayers, and Maria Schneider. In 2004 he performed with electric bass revolutionary Larry Graham of Sly and the Family Stone at the California Music Awards which was nationally televised. Colin is currently involved in many projects including hip-hop/r+b group Dynamic, local jazz/groove/experimental collective the Jazz Mafia, international cafe music group Trio Zincalo and jazz/funk/fusion band The Hogan Bros. with brothers Steve and Julian. He currently lives in Oakland, CA. talent.entireproductions.com/talent/colin-hogan
Jam Camp West Producers
Stacey Hoffman — Executive Director, Living Jazz
Stacey Hoffman has been the Executive Director of Living Jazz since 1985. She came to the position with an extensive background in music, dance and fine arts, along with 7 years of experience in business management. She co-founded the organization originally to help save a faltering summer music program, Jazz Camp West from extinction, and has gone on to design and launch several Bay Area music programs, many of which have become Bay Area treasures. She has produced Jazz Camp West since 1984, co-founded the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir in 1986; the Fall and Spring Music Series in 1988; RhythmVoice in 1990; and Jazz Camp Weekend in 1991. She created the Oakland Jazz Choir in 1992, “In the Name of Love”, The Annual Musical Tribute honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 2001; The Living Jazz Children’s Project in 2005, and Jam Camp West, a music camp for 10-15 year olds, in 2007. Through her love of the arts, commitment to Living Jazz and dedication to her work, Ms. Hoffman has been responsible for bringing literally thousands of people together, fostering a sense of inspiration and community within the Bay Area’s jazz scene. Stacey has also worked as an MFT licensed psychotherapist in private practice in Berkeley since 1988 and is the mother of two adults sons.
Deborah Knapp — Co-Producer
In addition to her lifelong passion for the natural world, Deborah brings with her diverse experience gained from more than 20 years as an environmental law attorney and mediator, 6 years in the non-profit sector, and countless years as a volunteer community organizer and environmental advocate. In 2003, Deborah left her law practice to become the first manager of the Anza-Borrego Institute, the education/research arm of the award winning Anza-Borrego Foundation, a land trust dedicated to preserving the southern California deserts. During her tenure, she developed programs that were “hands on” and personal, combining education, research and community to build sustainable and meaningful stewardship by reconnecting humans with the land itself. Currently, Deborah is the Executive Director of Wild Gift, a Sun Valley Idaho based nonprofit whose mission is to support leading young social entrepreneurs in their quest to develop innovative solutions for today’s global challenges. Deborah’s other “love” has been connecting children with nature and she continues to co-produce Jam Camp West, an annual outdoor music camp held in the spectacular coastal redwood forests of California for kids from diverse racial, economic and musical backgrounds. She is an avid photographer, hiker, gardener, certified naturalist, active member of the Colorado Desert Paleontology Society and devout believer that the future is dependent on our reawakening to the transformative power of the natural world.