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Milestones Summer Jazz 2018 Guest Artists

Our Summer Jazz Camp guest artists include Adam Benjamin, Matt Otto, Tomas Fujiwara, Storm Nilson, and Richard Giddens.


photo by Amy Touchette

Tomas Fujiwara is a Brooklyn-based drummer and composer. Described as “a ubiquitous presence in the New York scene…an artist whose urbane writing is equal to his impressively nuanced drumming” (Troy Collins, Point of Departure), Tomas is an active player in some of the most exciting music of the current generation, with his bands Triple Double (with Gerald Cleaver, Mary Halvorson, Brandon Seabrook, Ralph Alessi, and Taylor Ho Bynum), Tomas Fujiwara & The Hook Up (with Jonathan Finlayson, Brian Settles, Halvorson, and Michael Formanek) and The Tomas Fujiwara Trio (with Alessi and Seabrook); his collaborative duo with cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum; the collective trio Thumbscrew (with Halvorson and Formanek); and a diversity of creative sideman work with forward thinking peers like Tomeka Reid and Matana Roberts. READ MORE


Matt Otto

Matt Otto is currently the Assistant Professor of Jazz Studies at Kansas University (KU) teaching Jazz Theory and Performance, Jazz Combo 1 and private lessons. Matt is also an Adjunct Professor at the Rutgers New Brunswick teaching online courses in jazz improvisation, theory and performance.

Matt Otto studied music performance and composition at Indiana University, Berklee School of Music, New School Jazz (BFA) and California Institute of the Arts (MFA). Having lived in Japan for 5 years, New York City for 7 years and Los Angels for 6 years, he has performed with a variety of artists including Anthony Wilson, Larry Koonse, Rashid Bakr, Ben Monder, Wadada Leo Smith, Willie Jones III, Alan Ferber, Mark Ferber, Albert “Tootie” Heath, Gregory Hutchinson, Jonathan Kreisberg, Charlie Haden , Joe La Barbera, Leroy Vinegar, Jimmy Smith, Paul Jackson, Ari Honig, Ben Street, Mike Moreno, Sara Gazarek, Josh Nelson, Danny Weiss, William Parker, Matt Wilson, Steve Cardenas, Bobby Watson, Bob Weir, Deborah Brown, Larry Goldings, Jerry Bergonzi, Eric Harland, Sheryl Bailey, Darek Oles, Erik McPherson, John Stowell, Ralph Peterson, Alan Pasqua, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Reggie Workman and many others. READ MORE


Adam Benjamin

Adam Benjamin is a Grammy-nominated and critically acclaimed pianist, keyboardist, composer and writer. Recognized as a “Rising Star in Jazz” in DownBeat magazine’s critic’s and reader’s polls, his unmistakable sound crosses stylistic boundaries and challenges traditional notions of jazz. Adam maintains a humble and humorous approach that connects him with his audiences worldwide.

Adam is a founding member of the Grammy-nominated Kneebody, an electric quintet widely recognized as one of the most unique ensembles in jazz today. In addition to his schedule as a performer, he is currently an assistant professor of jazz and improvisational music at the University of Nevada, Reno. Read more.


Storm Nilson

Storm Nilson is widely considered one of the finest guitarists in the Pacific Northwest and has been teaching and performing extensively throughout the United States and Canada for the past 15 years. As an educator, Storm has taught at McGill University, California Institute of the Arts, Monterey Jazz Festival and Monterey JazzMaster’s Workshops, and the University of Idaho, Moscow. He has released multiple albums under his own name and is a founding member of Red Oak Duo — his longstanding collaboration with Grammy-nominated pianist and Reno Jazz Fest Associate Director, Adam Benjamin.