College of Music

University of Colorado Boulder



Kurtis Adams (DMA ’07) is Assistant Professor and Director of Jazz Studies at Shepard College in West Virginia.

Andy Nevala (DMA ’09), Director of Jazz Studies at Jacksonville State University.

Damani Phillips (DMA ’08), Assistant Professor of Jazz Studies at Grinnell College in Iowa.

Richard Inouye (MM ’04), Director of Bands at Clark College in Vancouver, WA.

Jon Fox (MM ’03), is Instuctor of Commercial Music and Guitar at McLennan Community College, where he teaches courses in Improvisation Theory, Rock and Commercial Music Ensembles, and Commercial Music Theory.

Peter Sommer (MM ’02) is Assistant Professor of Saxophone and Jazz Studies at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO. At CSU, he directs Jazz Ensemble I and the CSU Jazz Combo program, in addition to teaching courses in Jazz Improvisation and Jazz Pedagogy.

Aaron Miller (MM ’07), Professor of Bass at BYU-Idaho.

Kevin Woods (MM ’08) is affiliate professor of music at Western Washington University in Bellingham, WA, and jazz studies and brass professor at Whatcom Community College


Tia Fuller (MM ’01) is currently touring nationally and internationally with the R&B star BEYONCE, promoting her most recent album “B-day.” Tia extends her talents and expertise through serving as the director of Jazz Museum in Harlem: Harmony Ensemble. This year she will also be serving a two-week term as artist in residence at New Mexico State University (2006), where she will tour with a nonet and clinic local schools and colleges. Through her efforts to reach the younger generation, this fall Tia will be presenting a lecture/performance for WBGO’s Children Series. Tia’s new CD Healing Space is now available at Barnes and Nobles, Borders & Best Buy.

Wil Key (MM ’05)

Tyler Hornby (MM ’06) teaches for the Mount Royal College Jazz Diploma Program, and is the director of the Drumset Educational Camp which is held in Calgary each summer. Tyler is emerging as one of the most versatile and contemporary drummers in Canada. Tyler has been on numerous tours around North America, South America and Europe, where his drumming is a popular staple at many jazz festivals, clubs, and concerts. Recently Tyler released his debut acoustic jazz album entitled Shadows of a Brighter Day which has received rave reviews and was recently selected for a National Campus Compilation entitled Dig Your Roots. Shadows of a Brighter Day; showcases Tyler’s compositions which contain post-bop, contemporary and odd meter influences with unique harmonic and melodic twists.

Vibraphonist Greg Harris leads his own “Vibe Quintet,” is a member of Bluegrass legend Pete Wernick’s Live Five, After Midnight Swing Band, Future Jazz Project, and recently released 2 albums: Greg Harris Vibe Quintet “Open Space” and Prospector “Memory of Pilots.”

Matt Fuller (MM ’04) is Adjunct Instructor of Jazz Guitar at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, CO.

Joel Bowers (MM ’02) moved to Los Angeles in 2002 and has since established himself as a sought after recording artist and session musician. When not recording or performing, Joel teaches privately and leads two of L.A.’s funkiest bands, the all-star funky music machine, The Greasy Beats, and the soul-jazz Hammond B-3 organ sextet JB and The Rebellion. Joel is also a busy sideman in several L.A. bands including: Connie Price & The Keystones, Orgone & The Lions. In August of 2006, Joel joined the teaching faculty at St. Bernard High School in Playa Del Rey, CA and currently instructs the Instrumental Music classes and directs the super funky Viking Band. Joel has previously taught at both Crossroads Elemantary School & New Roads High School in Santa Monica, CA and has been a frequent faculty member at the Stanford Jazz Workshop in Palo Alto, CA.

Tyson Ailshie (MM ’04) is currently performing and recording around the Denver area with his co-led trio, Blue Avenue. As an instructor of music for nine years, he has taught curriculum including bass instruction, music theory, jazz improvisation, string techniques and ear training. Tyson is a private instructor of bass guitar at Music and Arts and gives double bass instruction through his private studio in Arvada. In addition, he has guest lectured in jazz techniques at the University of Colorado and guest conducted and directed master classes at local area schools. He is currently an instructor of music at Front Range Community College, and the music teacher for Compass Montessori School in Golden, Colorado.

Paula Verdicchio-Ailshie (MM ’04) has 12 years professional teaching experience, and 14 years professional playing experience. She has shared the stage with Ira Sullivan and Michael Pagán. Equally at home performing many different styles, Paula continues to collaborate with independent recording artists in roots folk, acoustic rock and improvisational music. Her newest performance project is an improvisational collaboration with bassist Tyson Ailshie, playing pop/rock covers, standards, blues, nu jazz, crunk jazz and any style that suits them at the moment. In the future, Paula hopes to reach out into both the music and educational communities, bridging different styles of music and instrumentations in order to enliven musical synergy by her performances, pedagogy, research, writings and recordings.


Kurtis Adams (DMA ’08) was selected to the Paquito D’Rivera Latin Jazz Workshop which took place in March, 2007. Grammy Award winner Paquito D’Rivera led a Latin jazz workshop with special guest coaches, percussionist Pernell Saturnino, basist Oscar Stagnaro, drummer Mark Walker, pianist Alon Yavnai, and trumpeter-trombonist Diego Urcola. A big band of 18 musicians was formed and focused on arrangements representing different Latin traditions. The final performance took place in Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall on March 19th.

Kevin Woods (MM ’07) was selected to the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead residency program in New York City, presented at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in April of 2007. The week-long residency program included daily workshops and rehearsals with established jazz artists, and culminated in three concerts on the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage. Click here for more information.