2023 Summer Camp Faculty

Jason Carder - trumpet

As the solo trumpeter for the world-renowned artist Yanni since 2008, Jason Carder has performed all over the globe and recorded several live DVD’s, including Yanni Voices Live at the Forum at Mundo Imperial Yanni World Without Borders and Yanni Live at El Morro, Puerto Rico. Jason’s other touring experience includes a diverse lineup of artists such as Ray Charles, Arturo Sandoval, Maynard Ferguson, Paul Anka, Frank Sinatra Jr., Jaco Pastorius Big Band, Woody Herman Orchestra, K.C. and the Sunshine Band, Dr. John, and the Original Wildcat Jass Band.

Jason has also contributed his talent to over one hundred studio recordings including Arturo Sandoval’s Grammy Award-winning Hot House, Rumba Palace and Americana; Latin Grammy winner Mamblue by Ed Calleand Maria Schneider’s Sky Blue, which received a Grammy nomination for Best Large Jazz Ensemble.

Carder studied at the Interlochen Arts Academy and Banff Center for the Arts and received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Studio Music and Jazz at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. He is a member of the International Trumpet Guild and the Historic Brass Society, and currently holds a position as an Assistant Professor of Trumpet at the Fred Fox School of Music.

Chris Finet - bass

Chris Finet is a top-call bassist in Arizona and throughout the Southwest for jazz, classical, and commercial music.

He is the Associate Professor of Practice in bass and jazz studies at Northern Arizona University and maintains an active performing schedule year round in addition to guest teaching, clinics, and festival adjudication.

As a jazz bassist he is in demand to perform with the region’s top artists and is often called to perform with touring artists such as Dave Douglas, David Liebman, Flora Purim, Jane Monheit, Houston Person, Byron Stripling, Lewis Nash, and many others. He also stays busy performing for Broadway national tour productions and commercial acts such as The Eagles, Patti LaBelle, Chris Mann, Michael Feinstein, and more.

Chris is the principal bassist of the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra and has held positions with orchestras such as Chamber Orchestra of New York, Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas, and others. He has appeared as a featured concert soloist with the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra, North Valley Symphony, and the NAU Symphony. Chris is a graduate of Northern Arizona University (BM), and The Manhattan School of Music (MM).

Clark Gibson - saxophone

Clark Gibson is the Director of Education at The Nash, a jazz saxophonist, composer, former Director of Jazz Studies and Associate Professor of Saxophone at Northeastern State University.

Over the past 20 years, Clark has worked with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, the Tempta- tions, the Four Tops, Tito Puente Jr., Pat Bianchi, Doc Severinson, Lalo Rodriguez, Lewis Nash, Sean Jones, Michael Dease to name a few.

Gibson has been a leader of 3 internationally released cds and has received favorable reviews from Down Beat Magazine, Jazz Weekly, allaboutjazz.com, Los Angeles Jazz Scene, Japan's Jazz Life, The Aquarius Weekly and more.

Clark will be releasing his latest cd on Cellar Records Live featuring Michael Dease, Sean Jones, Pat Bianchi, Nick Mancini and Lewis Nash this coming April 2023.

Charles Lewis - piano

Charles Lewis was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
in 1933. He began performing on piano at church functions when he was only 7 years old. Some of his earliest musical influences include Oscar Peterson, Ray Charles, Dizzy Gelespie, John Coltrane, Charlie Parker and Nat King Cole.

Charles moved to Arizona in 1953 when he enrolled at Arizona State University. He began performing at the famous 7th Ave. Elks Club jams in 1954. He played with several bands before forming his own band, The Charles Lewis Quintet. He landed a gig at the Playboy Club in Phoenix in 1961.

He eventually began getting grants from major organizations to conduct workshops. He performed “self awareness through music” seminars for the Bureau of Indian affairs, the Dept. of Corrections and many other organizations. He’s also done workshops on the relationship of music to colors, textures and linear shapes for the National Alliance for Arts Education. He has served on the Arizona Com. on the Arts, the Music advisory panel for the National endowment for the arts in Washington, DC and many other prestigious panels.

He teaches privately in the areas of jazz piano, harmony and theory, jazz improvisation and vocal performance. He considers his crowning achievements to be the work he’s done doing musical workshops for children. He says he loves living in Arizona because of the peace he has found in the wide open spaces and the relatively slower pace of life in the desert.

Jeff Libman - guitar

Jeff Libman is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Jazz Studies at Arizona State University. He holds a PhD in Music Education from ASU. As a jazz guitarist, Libman performs frequently in the Phoenix metropolitan area, sharing the stage with some of Arizona’s finest jazz musicians, including Michael Kocour, Brice Winston, Dom Moio, and Eric Rasmussen.His album Strange Beauty, released on the Cellar Live label, received extensive radio airplay and reached #26 on the JazzWeek chart. 

Lewis Nash - drums

“Rhythm Is My Business” is the title of Lewis Nash’s 1989 debut recording, and the legendary drummer is all about the business of keeping rhythm. Universally recognized as one of the great drummers in jazz history, his illustrious career spans more than four decades.

Lewis arrived in New York City in 1981 and gained international recognition as a member of vocalist Betty Carter’s trio. This was a pivotal time in his development, as he traveled the world for nearly four years with Carter and met many of his musical peers and predecessors.

In the years to follow, Nash toured, recorded, and performed with many of jazz’s most celebrated icons, and his resume reads like a “who’s who” of jazz royalty. These jazz legends include Oscar Peterson, Dizzy Gillespie, JJ Johnson, Sonny Rollins, Tommy Flanagan, Sonny Stitt, Clark Terry, Stan Getz, Benny Golson, Art Farmer, Gerry Mulligan, Hank Jones, Horace Silver, McCoy Tyner, Ray Brown, Milt Jackson, Jimmy Heath, Randy Weston, Cedar Walton, Ron Carter, and Wynton and Branford Marsalis.

Mary Petrich - saxophone

B.M. Saxophone Performance Indiana University
M.M. Saxophone Performance Arizona State University

Saxophonist Mary Petrich enjoys a vibrant career as performer and teacher. Her deep love for creativity and improvisation has led her to explore traditional and non-traditional approaches, resulting in a very personalized style of playing and teaching music.
Her education focus includes improvisation for all players and saxophone study in both jazz and classical repertoire. She is director of the Nash Women’s Jazz Initiative and founder of ‘Nash Jazz DivAZ’, a project that supports jazz education for girls. Mary is also a member of the music faculty at Phoenix College, teaching improvisation and leading jazz combos.

As a performer, Mary has been pursuing her own vision as part of large and small groups including; The Phoenix Symphony, The Jazz Women All-Stars, The Temptations, AZ Festival Orchestra, and The Phoenix Chorale. She is also a founding member of the Phoenix Jazz Women Collective, director of the Nash Little Big Band and leads her own group, “OpenHand Quartet”.

Her mentors include Tony Malaby, Eugene Rousseau, and Bryon Ruth.

Dennis Rowland - voice

Dennis Rowland is beloved by jazz devotees and theatergoers around the globe.

The Detroit native and Phoenix, Arizona resident was the voice of the world-renowned Count Basie Orchestra between 1977 and 1984, where he shared the stage with Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Joe Williams and Tony Bennett. He is also featured on the Basie Band’s Grammy award-winning record “On the Road“.

An electrifying live performer, Rowland’s musical tours in recent years have taken him to Germany, Russia, England, Spain, Portugal, Scandinavia, the Czech Republic and Croatia. Stateside, he has performed at major jazz festivals, with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, and at metropolitan Phoenix-area jazz clubs and performing arts venues.

Rowland is also well-known to theatergoers in his home state, appearing in Arizona Theatre Company productions of “Blue” (with Leslie Uggams), “Little Shop of Horrors” and “Blues in the Night” and Phoenix Theatre productions of “Chicago” and “Once on This Island” among others. In 2007, he was inducted into the Herberger Theater Center Hall of Fame for his contributions to the performing arts.

A Concord Records artist, Rowland’s CDs include “Rhyme, Rhythm & Reason“, “Get Here” and “Now Dig This” a celebration of ’50s and early ’60s Miles Davis music. Other recordings include the inaugural project “Blonde” for the Playboy Jazz label, Joe Sample’s “Sample This” and Frank Foster’s Loud Minority Band recording “We Do It Diff’rent“.

Deborah Weisz - trombone

From playing in the Sahara Desert, with Roswell Rudd, to touring the world with Frank Sinatra; trombonist and award-winning composer Deborah Weisz’s life in music has been filled with diversity. Originally from Chicago, IL, Deborah’s musical journey has included stops in Phoenix, Las Vegas, and NYC, where she has lived since 1993; performing and writing music for a variety of work (commercial, classical & jazz) while exploring the post-bop and beyond realms via performance & recordings with her own groups.

Deborah also works as an educator/teaching artist; giving back, and sharing her love of music with students of all ages. Along with her current teaching work, out of her private studio in NYC, Deborah is trombone instructor, ensemble coach and contributing arranger for the middle school & high school programs at Jazz at Lincoln Center, a faculty member of the NY Pops Educational Programs, and adjunct jazz faculty at WCSU in Danbury, CT. & The New School in NYC, NY.

Recent events of note include playing the rarely performed Duke Ellington’s Sacred Works in concert, two CD releases with the Schapiro 17 Jazz Orchestra, performing in the debut of Ed Neumeister’s Assemblage Jazz Orchestra, and continuing to write new music for her small and large ensembles and plan for future performances & recordings of all her groups.

Administration

Cami Jordan

Cami Jordan is a tireless advocate for music and arts education. She has been the Director of Bands for Red Mountain High School and American Leadership Academy, Gilbert-North. In 2019 she became the Assistant Director of Fine Arts for GNHS, and in 2022 chose to become a part of the opening team for the new Applied Technologies Campus as Office Manager.

Additionally, her professional experience includes owning a large and long-standing private music studio. Cami has been a conductor of many choirs, orchestras, marching, concert, jazz bands, and philharmonics. Her passion for music and theater has also given her several opportunities to conduct pit orchestras. She is a composer, arranger, and performer.

She has put in an innumerable amount of volunteer work throughout her life, supporting many school booster organizations, and volunteering classroom assistance. Cami was also the Highland High School Band Booster president and Highland/ASU Jazz Festival President for several years. She has been an administrator, staff member, and volunteer of many music festivals, camps, and competitions throughout the last 15 years.
Cami has won many academic and administrative awards including, ALA Gilbert-North Teacher of the Year, ALA Elective Teacher of the Year, and Arizona Thespian Society Administrator of the Year. She is married to Dr. Christopher Jordan, has 6 children, and three grandchildren.