Juilliard Jazz "Swingin' Alumni Reunion" With Co-Hosts Christian McBride and David Sanborn Takes Place Thursday, March 31 at 8 PM in Juilliard's Peter Jay Sharp Theater

Press Release Images

Christian McBride by John Abbott
Christian McBride by John Abbott
David Sanborn by Lynn Goldsmith
David Sanborn by Lynn Goldsmith


Juilliard Jazz starts its 10th anniversary in style with a Swingin’ Alumni Reunion concert on Thursday, March 31 at 8 PM in Juilliard’s Peter Jay Sharp Theater. Alumnus Christian McBride, bassist and current artist-in-residence at Juilliard Jazz, and guest saxophonist David Sanborn co-host and perform on the concert, which features a roster of guest artists who’ve made unique contributions to the world of jazz. They are: pianist Monty Alexander; NEA Jazz Master, saxophonist Benny Golson; pianist Benny Green; NEA Jazz Master, saxophonist Jimmy Heath; drummer and multi-talented Juilliard Jazz faculty member Kenny Washington; and Juilliard Jazz Artistic Director, drummer Carl Allen.

Juilliard’s returning alumni: Sharel Cassity; Christopher Madsen, Carl Maraghi (saxophones); Etienne Charles, Dominick Farinacci, and Justin Kisor (trumpets); James Burton, Michael Dease, Ryan Keberle, and Jennifer Krupa (trombones); Lage Lund (guitar); Mayuko Katakura (piano); Yasushi Nakamura and Ben Williams (basses); Carmen Intorre and Jerome Jennings (drums); and Brandon Lee, trumpeter and assistant conductor of the Juilliard Jazz Orchestra (and conductor for this concert); represent a new generation of accomplished global artists, heard in clubs, on broadcasts, and in ensemble, solo, and big band performances everywhere.

FREE tickets for Juilliard Jazz at 10 - Swingin’ Alumni Reunion will be available beginning March 17 at the Janet and Leonard Kramer Box Office at Juilliard. Box Office hours are Monday through Friday from 11 AM – 6 PM. For further information, call (212) 769-7406 or go to www.juilliard.edu.

On April 25, 2000, The Juilliard School announced that it would create its first program of study in America’s own musical art form – jazz – with the first students arriving the following year. Beginning as a pre-professional program, it quickly found its way into the mainstream of Juilliard’s life, becoming one of the School’s most active performing groups. In ten short years, Juilliard Jazz has grown to include educational programs from bachelor through advanced pre-professional levels. It hosts workshops and clinics worldwide, tours frequently, and records. The curriculum combines tailored studio and coursework with professional performance opportunities designed to successfully integrate students into a thriving jazz environment. In the 10 years since its founding, Juilliard Jazz has graduated nearly 100 musicians who are re-shaping the jazz horizon.

Today, the Juilliard Jazz Orchestra and its ensembles play more than 50 performances annually including appearances at the Detroit Jazz Festival and New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, and tour to destinations such as Costa Rica, Colombia, Japan, and Brazil. The ensembles perform regularly at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola and the world-renowned Blue Note in New York City. For the past several seasons they also have enjoyed week-long runs at Jazz at Lincoln Center with guest artists such as Kenny Barron, Lew Tabackin, Gerald Wilson, Bobby Watson, Ernie Andrews, Tom Harrell and Sean Jones.



James Burton, trombonist, composer, arranger and educator, is among a new wave of musicians hitting the jazz scene with an expressive sound, steeped in tradition. He is a summa cum laude graduate of Jackie McLean’s Institute for Jazz Studies and the Juilliard Jazz Studies’ Artist Diploma program and recently completed his master of music degree from the Juilliard Jazz program, studying with Steve Turre. He currently is director of Jazz Studies at Snow College in Ephraim, Utah.

Sharel Cassity, saxophonist, has performed with the DIVA Jazz Orchestra, Jimmy Heath’s Big Bad, Roy Hargrove Big Band, Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Sextet and All Star Big Band; she has done small group work with Harry Whitaker, Ingrid Jensen, Mark Whitfield, and Michael Dease. Her CD, Relentless (Jazz Legacy Productions) is a testament to her abilities as a performer, writer, and leader. She received her master of music degree from the Juilliard Jazz program.

Etienne Charles, jazz trumpeter and a native of Trinidad, has performed and recorded with Wynton Marsalis, Monty Alexander, Marcus Roberts, Roberta Flack, Count Basie Orchestra, Maria Schneider, and Benny Golson, among others. He currently is assistant professor of jazz trumpet at Michigan State University. He recently released his second CD, Folklore, an enticing album of original music employing jazz improvisation and harmony with folk rhythms and chants and inspired by the African experience of Trinidad and Tobago. 

Michael Dease, trombonist, has won high praise for his skills as a player, composer, and producer. A native of Augusta, Georgia, he stays busy composing, arranging, and producing. He has performed and recorded with Roy Hargrove, Jimmy Heath, Illinois Jacquet, Wynton Marsalis, Christian McBride, Nicholas Payton, Slide Hampton, among others. As a recording artist for Jazz Legacy Productions, he recently released his fourth CD as a leader, entitled Grace. His other passions include the operation of his record label, D Clef Records and educational activities as an instructor at Queens College, CUNY, and The New School.

Dominick Farinacci, a trumpeter and Cleveland native, recently opened for British rock stars Jamie Cullum and Jeff Beck at the famed Q2 in London. While attending Juilliard, he balanced his studies with his professional career, signing a major record contract with a Japanese record label. His CDs placed # 1 on jazz charts in Japan. Last February, he released his U.S. debut CD, Lovers, Tales & Dances (E! Music), collaborating with the legendary producer Russ Titelman, who has produced hits for Eric Clapton, James Taylor, and others. He will release his second U.S. CD on July 26, 2011 entitled, Twilight Blue.

Carmen Intorre, a drummer and native of Buffalo, New York, has performed and recorded with George Benson, Larry Coryell, Wynton Marsalis, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Lew Tabackin, and many others. He co-produced and recorded on Joey DeFrancesco’s latest CD entitled, Never Can Say Good-bye: The Music of Michael Jackson, which received a 2011 Grammy nomination in the Best Contemporary Jazz Album of the Year category. Currently, he performs with vocalist Hilary Kole, vibraphonist Joe Locke, and organist Pat Bianchi. 

Jerome Jennings is in demand as a drummer, teacher, and clinician. He has performed with Ernestine Anderson, Houston Person, Sonny Rollins, Hank Jones, Paula West, Slide Hampton, Benny Golson, Wynton Marsalis, the Mingus Big Band, the Count Basie Orchestra, Sean Jones, Ray Charles, and many more. He received his master of music degree from the Juilliard Jazz program.

Mayuko Katakura, born in Sendhai, Japan to two jazz musicians, has jazz in her DNA. She began playing piano at age five and throughout her childhood studied mostly classical music. As she got older, Thelonious Monk became her main influence. In 2003, she moved to Boston to study at Berklee College. After graduating, she entered the Juilliard Jazz program. In 2006, she won the Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Piano Competition and went on to perform at the 2007 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition. Currently, she performs in Japan and plays with artists such as Branford Marsalis and Tineke Postma. She has released two albums on a major Japanese record label and has recorded with Carl Allen, Yasushi Nakamura, and Rodney Whitaker. 

Ryan Keberle, jazz trombonist, was a member of Juilliard Jazz’s first graduating class. He was named the 2008 Latin Jazz Trombonist of the year by the Latin Jazz Corner. In addition to being a regular member of the Maria Schneider Orchestra and several other ensembles, he has performed or recorded with Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Frank Wess, Jimmy Heath, Slide Hampton, Charles McPherson, Percy Heath, Teo Macero, Joe Lovano, Eric Reed, Jon Hendricks, Madeline Peyroux, Beyonce, Rihanna, Mary J. Blige, and Alicia Keys. He was the trombonist for the Broadway musical, In the Heights.

Justin Kisor joined the United States Navy Band in 2007. He has performed with jazz luminaries such as the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Norah Jones, David Berger’s Sultans of Swing, and the Charles Persip Big Band. He studied trumpet with Wynton Marsalis, Metropolitan Opera’s former principal trumpet, Mark Gould, Lew Soloff, and Joe Shepley. After graduating in 2004, he toured Germany with jazz trombonist Wycliffe Gordon and drummer Winard Harper before joining the Navy Band. In 2008, he became one of the four trumpet chairs in the U.S. Navy Commodores, the jazz ensemble of the U.S. Navy Band.

Jennifer Krupa, a native of California, is an active trombonist and composer in the Washington, D.C., area. A member of the United States Navy Band Commodores since 2004, she also performs regularly with the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra; Sherry Maricle and the DIVAJazz Orchestra; and her own group, JLQ, with saxophonist Leigh Pilzer. She has performed with Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, David Berger’s Sultans of Swing, the Wycliffe Gordon Quintet/Sextet, Joe Lovano, Branford Marsalis, Nancy Wilson, Johnny Mandel, Christian McBride, Eddie Daniels, among others. She has performed in Asia, Europe, South America and extensively in North America. She received a bachelor of music in jazz studies from the University of North Florida, and an Artist Diploma and master of music degree from the Juilliard Jazz program.

Brandon Lee is assistant conductor of the Juilliard Jazz Orchestra and the artistic coordinator for Educational Outreach at Juilliard. As a professional jazz trumpeter, he plays frequently with his own group and as a sideman in several other groups around the New York area with artists including Kenny Barron, Christian McBride, Roy Hargrove, and Charles Tolliver. He has also recorded with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Eric Reed, Carl Allen, and Rodney Whitaker, Jazz Conceptions Orchestra, David Berger Big Band, and Fat Cat Big Band.

Lage Lund hails from Norway. He attended Berklee College of Music in Boston and Juilliard, where he was the first electric guitarist in the history of the School. Since then he has worked with Wynton Marsalis, Ron Carter, Mulgrew Miller, Seamus Blake, Carmen Lundy, Aaron Parks, Marcus Strickland, the Mingus band, and others. He won the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition in 2005. He currently is a member of the David Sanchez Quartet and will be recording with the Maria Schneider Orchestra.

Christopher Madsen, jazz saxophonist and composer, serves as jazz faculty member at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, director of jazz at Midwest Young Artists in Highwood, Illinois, and has coordinated the jazz program for the National High School Music Institute in Evanston since 2009. He is an in-demand figure in the Chicago jazz world. In addition to leading his own groups, he performs regularly with the Rob Parton Big Band, the Mulligan Mosaics Big Band, and many others.

Carl Maraghi, baritone saxophonist, moved to NYC from his native Montreal and received the Artist Diploma from Juilliard where he studied and performed with many jazz greats such as Joe Temperley, Victor Goines, Joe Lovano, Benny Golson, Wycliffe Gordon, and Wynton Marsalis. He is part of the David Berger Jazz Orchestra, touring and recording regularly in the U.S., and Europe. He recently recorded with singer Alicia Keys on her CD, As I Am, and performed with Stewart Copeland, composer and drummer of the rock group, The Police. He is performing regularly on the Broadway show hits, Jersey Boys, and Billy Elliot.

Yasushi Nakamura, bassist, leads a busy schedule playing in some of NYC’s most important jazz venues, including Birdland, the Blue Note, and the Algonquin Hotel.  He has performed at the North Sea Jazz Festival, Carnegie Hall, and the Monterey Jazz festival and with jazz stars Benny Golson, Jon Hendricks, Hank Jones, and Wynton Marsalis. A native of Tokyo, Mr. Nakamura grew up in Seattle. He studied at Berklee College where he received his bachelor’s degree in performance. He graduated from the Juilliard Jazz program with an Artist Diploma.

Ben Williams, a native of Washington, D.C., and bassist, performs in ensembles led by pianist Jacky Terrasson and vibraphonist Stefon Harris, with side gigs accompanying guitarist Pat Metheny. He also performs with the Marcus Strickland Quartet. He won the 2009 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition. His debut record, State of Art (Concord Records), will be released in Spring 2011.


In a career spanning five decades, pianist Monty Alexander has built a reputation exploring and bridging the worlds of American jazz, popular song, and the music of his native Jamaica, finding in each a sincere spirit of musical expression. In the process, he has performed and recorded with artists from every corner of the musical universe and entertainment world: Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Ray Brown, Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins, Clark Terry, Quincy Jones, Ernest Ranglin, Barbara Hendricks, Bill Cosby, Bobby McFerrin, Sly Dunbar, and Robbie Shakespeare, among others. He maintains an active touring schedule, from intimate jazz clubs to concert halls and jazz festivals around the globe. His collaborations span multiple genres, styles, and generations. As a leader, he has recorded more than 60 albums to date. His current release on the Jazz Legacy Productions label is entitled, Uplist. In 2000, the Jamaican Government awarded Monty Alexander the title of Commander in the Order of Distinction for outstanding services to Jamaica as a worldwide music ambassador.

With more than 200 recordings to his credit, the Milwaukee-born Carl Allen, Artistic Director of Juilliard Jazz, is a New York-based drummer, sideman, bandleader, entrepreneur, and educator whose propulsive percolations have provided soulful and syncopated support for three decades. Born in 1961, Mr. Allen grew up on gospel, R&B, and funk, but later turned to jazz after hearing an LP by saxophonist Benny Carter. He studied with drum instructor Roy Sneider and band director Robert Siemele. His first hometown gigs were with sax greats Sonny Stitt and James Moody. He studied at the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay from 1979 to 1981, and transferred to William Paterson College in New Jersey, where he graduated in 1983 with a bachelor of music degree in Jazz Studies and Performance. Mr. Allen joined trumpeter Freddie Hubbard a year before his graduation, served as his musical director for eight years, and made many recordings with the trumpeter including Double Take and Life Flight. Mr. Allen also has performed with Michael Brecker, Randy Brecker, Jennifer Holliday, J.J. Johnson, Sammy Davis Jr., Branford Marsalis, Kenny Garrett, Lena Horne, Ruth Brown, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Bobby Hutcherson, Mike Stern, Nellie McKay, Phil Woods, Benny Green, Cyrus Chestnut, Joe Henderson, Billy Childs, and many others. Mr. Allen’s sideman discography also includes Jackie McLean (Dynasty), Donald Harrison (Indian Blues, Noveau Swing), Donald Byrd (A City Called Heaven), and Art Farmer (The Company I Keep). Piccadilly Square, released in 1989, was Mr. Allen’s first CD as leader, followed by The Dark Side of Dewey, The Pursuer, Testimonial, and Get Ready, his 2007 Mack Avenue debut release with bassist Rodney Whitaker. Mr. Allen was again joined by Mr. Whitaker for a recently released second album, Work to Do.

Benny Golson is an internationally famous jazz legend. He has played in the bands of Benny Goodman, Dizzy Gillespie, Lionel Hampton, Earl Bostic, and Art Blakey. He has made major contributions to the world of jazz with such standards such as: Killer Joe, I Remember Clifford, Along Came Betty, Stablemates, Whisper Not, Blues March, and Five Spot After Dark. He has recorded over 30 albums for many recording companies in the United States and Europe under his name and with other major artists.  He has written more than 300 compositions. His prolific writings includes scores for hit TV series and films, such as M*A*S*H, Mission Impossible, The Academy Awards, Bill Cosby’s last TV show, and many others. He has been honored with doctorates from William Paterson College and Berklee School of Music and was named an NEA Jazz Master in 1996. In 2003, he appeared in Steven Spielberg’s The Terminal with Tom Hanks, which premiered in June 2004.

Benny Green has performed with Bobby Watson, Betty Carter (1983 – 1987), and then joined Art Blakey’s band in 1987. He remained a Jazz Messenger through late 1989 and then began working with Freddie Hubbard’s quintet. In 1993, Oscar Peterson chose Mr. Green as the first recipient of the City of Toronto’s Glen Gould International Protégé Prize in Music. That year, he replaced Gene Harris in Ray Brown’s Trio, working with the veteran bass player until 1997. From 1997 on, he resumed his freelance career, leading his own trios, accompanying singers like Diana Krall and concentrating in his own solo piano performances. His recording career includes more than 100 sessions. Mr. Green's latest album is entitled, Source, on the Jazz Legacy Productions label. He continues to tour and teach. He recently completed a ten-week engagement as the musical director of the Monterey Jazz Festival All-Star 50th Anniversary Tour.

Jimmy Heath has long been recognized as a brilliant instrumentalist and a magnificent composer and arranger. He is the middle brother of the legendary Heath Brothers (Percy Heath/bass and Tootie Heath/drums) and is the father of Mtume. He has performed with nearly all the jazz greats of the last 50 years, from Howard McGhee, Dizzy Gillespie, and Miles Davis to Wynton Marsalis. During his career, he has performed on more than 100 record albums including seven with The Heath Brothers and twelve as a leader. He also has written more than 125 compositions, many of which have become jazz standards and have been recorded by other artists.  He was named an NEA Jazz Master in 2003. After having just concluded eleven years as professor of music at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College, he maintains an extensive performance schedule and continues to conduct workshops and clinics through the United States, Europe, and Canada.

Bassist, composer, arranger, educator, curator, and administrator, Christian McBride, a Grammy Award winner, has been one of the most important and most omnipresent figures in the jazz world for twenty years. Philadelphia-born, Mr. McBride moved to NYC to further his classical studies at Juilliard, only to be snatched up by also saxophonist Bobby Watson. As a sideman in the jazz world, he’s worked with Freddie Hubbard, Sonny Rollins, J.J. Johnson, Ray Brown, Milt Jackson, McCoy Tyner, Roy Haynes, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, and Pat Metheny. In the R&B worked, he’s not only played with, but also arranged for Isaac Hayes, James Brown, Natalie Cole, Chaka Khan, Lalah Hathaway. In the pop/rock world, he’s collaborated with Sting, Carly Simon, Don Henley, and Bruce Hornsby. In the hip-hop/neo-soul work, he’s collaborated with Roots, D’Angelo, and Queen Latifah. In other specialty projects, he’s worked closely with opera legend Kathleen Battle, bass virtuoso Edward Meter, the Shanghai Quartet, and the Sonus Quartet. Since 2000, he has been a bandleader with the Christian McBride Band.

One of the most commercially successful American saxophonists to earn prominence since the 1980s, David Sanborn has inspired countless other musicians. Although Mr. Sanborn has work in many genres, his solo recordings typically blend instrumental pop, R&B and lately, more and more traditional jazz. He released his first solo album, Taking Off, in 1975, but has been playing saxophone since before he was in high school when he was inspired by the great Chicago blues artists near his hometown of St. Louis. In his three-and-a-half decade career, Mr. Sanborn has released 24 albums, won six Grammy Awards, and has had eight Gold albums and one Platinum album. He continues to be one of the most highly active musicians of his genre. He is an artist who pushes the limits and continues to make music that challenges the mind and goes Straight to The Heart.

One of the many young hard-bop revivalists to have arrived on the scene in the late 1970s and early 1980s; Kenny Washington has been in demand by more established musicians, and has played with such veterans as Lee Konitz, Betty Carter, Johnny Griffin, Dizzy Gillespie, Clark Terry, and Tommy Flanagan. He studied with Dizzy Gillespie drummer Rudy Collins, and attended the LaGuardia High School for Music and Art. A prolific freelancer with an enormous discography, he has a strong interest in jazz history and has written liner notes for and/or helped prepare classic jazz re-releases by Art Blakey and Count Basie, among others. He has worked as an announcer at the New Jersey jazz radio station, WBGO. He is a Juilliard Jazz faculty member.

The Juilliard Jazz 10th Anniversary Committee includes Billie Allen Henderson and Alexander Smalls and Co-Chairs Lisa Broderick and Ed Johnson.

Juilliard Jazz is a WBGO/Jazz 88 Arts Partner.


Thursday, March 31, 8 PM, Peter Jay Sharp Theater (155 West 65th Street)

Juilliard Jazz at 10 - Swingin’ Alumni Reunion

Co-hosts: Christian McBride and David Sanborn

Juilliard Jazz Alumni:

James Burton, Sharel Cassity, Etienne Charles, Michael Dease, Dominick Farinacci, Carmen Intorre, Jerome Jennings,

Mayuko Katakura, Ryan Keberle, Jennifer Krupa, Justin Kisor, Brandon Lee (conductor), Lage Lund, Christopher Madsen, Carl Maraghi, Yasushi Nakamura, and Ben Williams

Special Guest Artists:

Carl Allen, Monty Alexander, Benny Golson, Benny Green, Jimmy Heath, Christian McBride, David Sanborn, and Kenny Washington

FREE tickets will be available beginning March 17 at the Janet and Leonard Kramer Box Office at Juilliard. Box Office hours are Monday through Friday from 11 AM – 6 PM. For further information, call (212) 769-7406 or go to www.juilliard.edu.