This Year’s Guest Artist

The 2024 Elon University Jazz Festival welcomes award-winning jazz trumpeter, composer, and educator Kris Johnson, Director of the Michigan State Community Music School. Kris’s professional career has included playing in and arranging for the Count Basie Orchestra, directing the University of Utah Jazz Studies program, composing for musicals and films including the Emmy-nominated web series “King Ester,” and producing successful personal projects, such as his #looptherapy album and his Kris Johnson Big Band YouTube series.

Previous Guest Artists

Includes Performances with Elon University Jazz Ensemble and/or Classes/Workshops at Elon University Jazz Festival. University affiliations as indicated.

Trumpet:  Jim Ketch (UNC-Chapel Hill), Ingrid Jensen (University of Michigan), Ed Keifer (Pfeiffer University), Wade Weast (UNC-School of the Arts), Mark Clodfelter (University of Kentucky), LeRoy Barley (NC Central University), Vinnie Ciesielski, Liesl Whittaker (US Army Jazz Ambassadors), Paul Baron

Saxophone:  Jack Wilkins (University of South Florida), Joe Lovano, Ira Wiggins (North Carolina Central University), Glenn Cashman (Colgate University), Tamara Danielsson (University of Central Florida), Skip Gailes (Virginia Commonwealth University), Dann Zinn (Cal State East Bay), Bruce Swaim, Craig Whittaker, Doug Henry, Phillip Whack

Trombone:  John Jensen, Tom Brantley (University of South Florida), Carl Fontana, Keith Oshiro (University of Central Florida), Rick Simerly

Guitar:  Steve Abshire, Richard Roeder, Scott Sawyer (East Carolina University), LaRue Nickelson (University of Central Florida), Andy Page (Appalachian State University), Chris Robinson, Gene Bertoncini

Piano:   Bob Hallahan (Virginia Commonwealth University), Per Danielsson (University of Central Florida), Phil Markowitz (Manhattan School of Music), Keith Waters (University of Colorado at Boulder), Ron Elliston (University of Maryland), Ed Paolantonio (NC Central University), Mark Levine (University of California at Berkley), Freddy Cole, Jeff Phillips

Bass:  Carroll Dashiell (East Carolina University), James King, Tommy Cecil, Mark Izu, John Brown (Duke University), Elisa Pruett

Drums:  Howard Curtis (University for Music and the Dramatic Arts, Graz, Austria), Thomas Taylor (NC Central University), Jae Sinnett, Allison Miller (Kutztown University), Mike Smith, Tony Martucci (Virginia Commonwealth University), Adam Rudolph (CAL Arts), John Hanks (Duke University), David Via (University of South Florida), Bryan Carter

Vocals:  Ronnie Wells (University of Maryland)

Composer:  Chuck Owen (University of South Florida)