The 18 Members of the Juilliard Jazz Inaugural Class



Erica vonKleist
Photo by Nan Miller courtesy of The Juilliard School

Erica vonKleist (alto saxophone), from Connecticut, studied at the Manhattan School of Music. Earning honors in the 1999 and 2000 Down Beat Magazine’s Student Music Awards including “Best Composition,” “Best Arrangement,” and “Outstanding Soloist,” she also played lead saxophone player in the Grammy Jazz Band that performed at the Grammy Nominee party in Los Angeles in 2000.



Diron Holloway
Photo by Nan Miller courtesy of The Juilliard School

Diron Holloway (alto saxophone), from Miami, Florida, received his bachelor of science degree in music education with honors from Florida A & M University and a master’s degree in performance/jazz studies from Northern Illinois University in 2001. As a member of the NIU Jazz Ensemble, he appeared with such artists as Wynton Marsalis, Carl Allen, Nat Adderley, and Benny Golson.

Ryan Redden (tenor saxophone), from Florida, graduated from William Paterson University with a bachelor of arts degree in jazz studies. He has performed with Duke Ellington bandmates John Lamb and Buster Cooper, as well as Randy Brecker, Joe Lovano, and Wynton Marsalis. In May 2000, Mr. Redden won the Charlie Parker Saxophone competition.

Adam Niewood (tenor saxophone), from New Jersey, is a graduate of William Paterson University where he earned a bachelor of music degree. Mr. Niewood is a professor of Jazz Saxophone, Jazz History, and small ensembles at Montclair State University. He has performed with his father, saxophonist Gerry Niewood.

Frank Basile (baritone saxophone) from Nebraska is a recent winner in the 24th Annual Student Music Awards sponsored by Down Beat Magazine. As a member of the One O’Clock Lab Band, Mr. Basile performed with Tim Hagans, Jim McNeely, Bill Watrous, and Joe Lovano, among others. Named “Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Jazz Studies” for the 1999-2000 year, he graduated, cum laude, with a bachelor’s degree in jazz studies from the University of North Texas in 2000.

Jennifer Krupa (trombone), from Connecticut, received her bachelor of music degree from the University of North Florida. She has been a member of the St. John’s River City Brass Band, the Universal Studios Brass Band, the Larry Elgart Orchestra, and the Benny Goodman Orchestra under the direction of Bob Wilbur. She also has performed with Wycliffe Gordon, Louis Bellson, Clark Terry, and Dr. John, among others.

Michael Lucke (trombone), from Texas, graduated from the University of North Texas with a bachelor of music degree in 2001. As a member of the One O’Clock Lab Band from 1998-2001, he participated in several international jazz festivals as well as recording three albums with the ensemble. Mr. Lucke also has performed and recorded with the University of North Texas Wind Symphony and appeared with musicians including Kenny Wheeler, Joe Lovano, and the Brecker Brothers.

Ryan Keberle (trombone), from Washington State, was selected to be a Yamaha Young Performing Artist in 1998. He received his bachelor of music degree from the Manhattan School of Music where he studied with jazz trombonist Steve Turre. While at the Manhattan School of Music, he sat first chair with the award winning Jazz Orchestra and the Afro-Cuban Jazz Ensemble led by Bobby Sanabria. He also has performed with artists including Joey Baron, Kenny Werner, and Joe Lovano.



Dominick Farinacci
Photo by Nan Miller courtesy of The Juilliard School

Dominick Farinacci (trumpet), from Ohio, recently was named “Outstanding Trumpet Soloist” at the 2001 Monterey Jazz Festival’s 31st Annual High School Competition. A featured soloist with the Grammy High School Jazz Band, he also performed with Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra in a Live From Lincoln Center broadcast on PBS in December 2000. Mr. Farinacci was a winner of the Yamaha Young Performing Artist Award in 1998.

Brandon Lee (trumpet), from Texas, is a recent award-winner in the 24th Annual Student Music Awards sponsored by Down Beat Magazine. He also was the recipient of the 2001 Clifford Brown & Stan Getz Fellowship Award, the 2001 Bob Ostrum Jazz Scholarship Award, and was chosen “Outstanding Soloist” at the 1999 Ellington Festival. Last December, Mr. Lee was among three young artists invited by Wynton Marsalis to perform with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra in a tribute to Louis Armstrong.

Justin Kisor (trumpet), from Iowa began playing trumpet at age thirteen. Among several honors, he received the Clifford Brown & Stan Getz Fellowship in 1997 and was a member of the National High School Grammy Ensemble. He also has performed at Carnegie Hall and at the JVC Jazz Festival.

Jumaane Smith (trumpet), from Washington State, started playing trumpet at the age of ten. While still a teenager, he was accepted into the Roosevelt High Jazz band and toured with them throughout Europe and the United States including appearances at the Montreux Jazz Festival, The North Sea Jazz Festival, and the Montreal Jazz Festival. He has worked with artists such as Jimmy Owens, Cecil Bridgewater, Andrew Cyrille, and George Garzone.

Adam Birnbaum (piano), from Massachusetts, received his bachelor of science degree in computer science from Boston College. The first two-time winner of the Boston College Concerto Competition, he has played with BC bOp!, The Boston College Concert Band, and with his own jazz trio. In 2000, he was named “Outstanding College Rhythm Section Player” at the Reno Jazz Festival.

Dan Kaufman (piano), from Illinois, is a graduate of the New England Conservatory. He has performed in numerous venues and festivals including the Kennedy Center, the Bank Boston Celebrity Series, the Ravinia Festival Chicago, and the Jazz Aspen Festival in Colorado. In addition, he recently participated in the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance.

Craig Polasko (bass), from Connecticut, attended Tufts University where he earned his bachelor’s degree. He has performed regularly at Wally’s Café with the John Lamkin Quintet under the direction of trumpet player Darren Barrett. Recently, he has been a contributing composer for two Boston-based projects: the Mela Monk Quartet and the New Millennium Group.

Matt Brewer (bass), who was born in Oklahoma but resides in New Mexico, began his career at age twelve when he received the Outstanding Jazz Performer award from the University of New Mexico Jazz Festival. He was chosen to play in the Grammy High School Jazz Combo and to perform with other young artists on the 43rd Annual Grammy telecast. He has played with Dan Gottlieb, Clark Terry, Slide Hampton, and Bobby Watson, among others. Mr. Brewer also has studied classical music and performed as a member of the World Youth Symphony.



Ulysses Owen
Photo by Nan Miller courtesy of The Juilliard School

Ulysses Owens (drums), from Florida, recently was selected as a winner of the 24th Annual Student Music Awards sponsored by Down Beat Magazine. He has performed at international festivals including the Nantes Jazz Festival in Nantes, France and was invited to tour Japan with the Randall Haywood Ensemble in 2001. He has appeared with the River City Youth Band, and the Douglas Anderson Jazz Band, as well as with the Randall Haywood Ensemble.

Carmen Intorre (drums), from New York, studied at the New School University Jazz Program in New York where he has been an active member of the New School Big Band. His performances include appearances with DD Jackson, Ralph Alessi, Bill Kirchner, and Chuck Mangione, among others. He has performed with his band, “Straight Forward,” at numerous festivals. In 1999, he was the recipient of the Yamaha Young Performing Artist Award.