Dave Stamps is a composer/arranger, trombonist, and educator based in Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN. His music has been performed by academic institutions and professional ensembles worldwide including the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra and the Romanian National Jazz Radio Big Band featuring Luiza Zan. He writes for jazz chamber groups (instrumental and vocal), studio orchestras, and both traditional and contemporary big bands. Many of his works are available through UNC Jazz Press or his own publishing arm, March of the Purple Penguin Music. Always looking for ways to be a creative catalyst, he has had an integral role in the development of the former national Center for Jazz Composition and today’s more expansive International Society of Jazz Arrangers & Composers (ISJAC) of which he serves as Vice-President. Dave is currently Assistant Professor of Music, Director of Jazz Studies, and Director of Arts Administration at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN.
Kari Musil has been composing music for jazz orchestra since 1981. Her compositions have been performed by college ensembles – Moorhead State University, University of Minnesota (Twin Cities, Duluth), and Northland College (Ashland, WI), as well as community ensembles – Big Time Jazz Orchestra (Duluth, MN), Big Woods Big Band (northwestern Wisconsin), NOVA Contemporary Jazz Orchestra, BADFIT, and IMP ORK in the Twin Cities. In 2011 she received a Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative grant to record her first album, The Music of Kari Musil, featuring poet J. Otis Powell, with the NOVA Jazz Orchestra. Ms. Musil, although mostly self-taught, has studied large ensemble jazz composition with Dave Rivello (Eastman School of Music) via Skype since 2012. She has also been greatly influenced by her long-time teacher, Ed Berger. Ms. Musil studied theory/composition and jazz studies at the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities, and received a M.M. Music Education from the University of MN at Duluth. After teaching middle and high school band for the past 20 years, she recently retired to devote more time to composition. In 2014 she received a Jerome Foundation JFund award from the American Composers Forum to create and write music for the Freedom of Jazz Orchestra which has the unique mission of connecting original big band jazz composition with musicians in the community whose lack of formal musical education opportunities may have prevented them from participating in this genre of music. This endeavor is a direct extension of Ms. Musil’s long time passion for teaching adolescent and adult students to read music in order to become independent musicians. She is currently playing tenor saxophone with the Swing Sisterhood Big Band.
John W. Baumgartner is a trombonist, educator, and composer/arranger based in the Twin Cities. His compositions have been performed by the University of Northwestern–St. Paul, North St. Paul High School, and Eden Prairie High School (commissioned by Chris Bates’ Red Five). John regularly records and performs across the US and Canada with dark cinematic rock band Marah in the Mainsail – with appearances at SXSW in Austin, TX, Summerfest in Milwaukee, and First Ave in Minneapolis – and is also active in the Twin Cities music scene with various other bands. When not on the road, he works with elementary-high school brass players, including through Hopkins High School and the Mt. Olivet School of Music.