The following is a partial list of the educators teaching at Milestones Summer Jazz Camp. Check back soon for more!
John Ayala is a retired FUSD music teacher. He received his B.A. and M.A. in Woodwind Performance from CSU Fresno. He is an active professional player, doing session work, Broadway shows, and symphony work.
John is also active in promoting jazz education through JazzFresno and FMCMEA. He has played with Frank Gambale, Alex Acuna, Mel Torme, Arturo Sandoval and many others.
Bio coming soon
Bassist Richard Giddens has performed throughout the world with such artists as Charlie Haden, STOMP, The Lost and Found Orchestra, Robert Glasper, Wadada Leo Smith, Larry Goldings, Ideal Bread, Burning Ghosts, Joe LaBarbara, Mary Halvorson and many others. He is also a current faculty member teaching Jazz Studies and Bass at Fresno State. Giddens is a Tzadik, and Orenda Records recording artist. His debut album “Mimosas” featuring Matt Otto, Adam Benjamin, Storm Nilson, and Tomas Fujiwara is out now on Orenda Records.
Bio coming soon
Joe Lizama is a drummer/percussionist, holds a bachelor’s degree in percussion performance from Fresno State and was the drummer for the Fresno State Jazz Band ‘A’ in 1979 when they performed at the Montreal Jazz Festival and recorded the Voyage To Switzerland record album. As the touring drummer for Johnny Mathis for the last 35 years he has appeared live in numerous countries, on TV, on radio and with most of the major symphony orchestras throughout the United States.
He played drums on the gold record, Tribute To Nat King Cole, with Natalie Cole and Johnny Mathis as well as on the Johnny Mathis album, Live, recorded in London. He has performed with numerous jazz greats and is in demand as a clinician and soloist. He played percussion on the Scott Lavender big band CD, Prime Time; played all the drums and percussion and produced the Faye Reese jazz CD, In A Mellow Tone. He plays locally with numerous bands and is the president of JazzFresno.
He teaches percussion at Fresno City College, has been an adjudicator for multiple jazz festivals, has been a percussion specialist in the Clovis, Fresno and Hanford School Districts, and is one of the coaches for We Got the Beat.
Bio coming soon
Les has taught music 32 years and instructs three jazz bands, concert band and brass ensemble at Clovis High and Clark Intermediate. He is also the Jazz Trombone teacher at Fresno State and has taught at as an adjunct professor at Fresno Pacific, Fresno City College, and West Hills College. Les has hosted hundreds of jazz clinicians and concerts at his schools including Plas Johnson, Ed Thigpen, Charlie Shoemake, Gary Smulyan, Bill Cunliffe and other world class jazz musicians. His school groups consistently receive high superior ratings at every festival they attend.
In addition to working as a freelance trombonist throughout California, Les runs a weekly jam sessions for students at Ooi Japanese Cuisine in Clovis and is the Vice President of JazzFresno. He is the director and founder of The San Joaquin Valley Trombone Ensemble and the retro Folk Rock group Fire and Rain. He has directed the Fresno /Madera County Honor Jazz band and the Tulare/Kings County Honor Jazz band and been named the Jazz Educator of the year in Fresno-Madera County as well as the State of California.
Mark Prather is new to the Valley where he teaches elementary music in Fresno Unified.
He attended the University of North Texas and played lead in the jazz bands there, including the prestigious One O’Clock Lab Band. While living in the Dallas area, he played in numerous big bands, latin bands and shows, most notably playing lead trumpet for several years in the Dallas Cowboy Stadium band at all home games, accompanying the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders on national broadcasts.
He studied jazz with Dan Hearle, Ron Stout, and Bobby Shew, and currently studies with renown jazz educator and vibes legend Charlie Shoemake.
Eva Scow was born in Fresno, California to a Oaxacan mother and an American father. She began playing music at a young age, starting on the piano at age 4. Soon after, she began studying mandolin with Evo Bluestein and classical violin. She began playing in orchestras and various groups, exploring different kinds of music from bluegrass to Brazilian.
In 2007 she released her debut CD as a co-leader with guitarist Dusty Brough “Sharon By the Sea.” Ms. Scow is also a member of the contemporary jazz quartet Espacio, and the group Lyquid Amber with Hans York and Evo Bluestein. She has also recorded with the Anthony Wilson Nonet, and can be heard on their CD “The Power of Nine” which also features Diana Krall. She is equally at home in the classical, folk and jazz idioms.
Tim Shaghoian is a freelance musician, composer, and educator based in Clovis, CA. He holds a Bachelor of Music Degree in Jazz Performance on the saxophone from the University of Nevada, Reno, where he studied with Peter Epstein. Tim manages a private teaching studio with over a dozen students and is the piano accompanist for the Kastner Intermediate School choirs.
He is on the board of directors for La Sierra Creative Arts Camp, where he teaches woodwinds and leads master classes and jazz workshops. Tim has performed in award-winning groups featured in Downbeat magazine and has performed at venues and festivals across the west coast, including the Monterey Jazz Festival. In 2016 he was a featured artist at the San Joaquin Valley Jazz Festival. As a performer and student, Tim has had the pleasure of performing with musicians such as Terry Riley, Gilad Hekselman, Mark Ferber, James Winn, and Peter Epstein.
Barb Shinaver is a trombonist native to the Fresno area. She is the jazz director at Bullard High School and an elementary music teacher in Fresno Unified. She holds a B.A. in Music Education from Fresno State and an M.M. in Trombone Performance from the University of Montana in Missoula, Montana.
She is passionate about jazz education and is involved with the California Alliance for Jazz and the California Band Director’s Association to serve the California All-State Music Educator’s Conference to promote jazz statewide.
Barb is excited to continue pursuing her career in both classical and jazz performance while maintaining an active teaching schedule.
Craig VonBerg is a jazz pianist, composer, arranger, gigging musician, audio engineer/sound designer and educator. He holds a Bachelors degree in composition/theory from Fresno State and a masters degree in composition/theory and jazz performance from the University of Nevada, Reno. He teaches full time at Fresno State where he has taught subjects including Jazz Piano, Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Improvisation & Theory, Jazz Arranging/Composition, Form and Analysis, Ear Training and History of Jazz & Rock. Craig also teaches Music Appreciation for West Hills Community College and Computer Music Production for Fresno City College, as well as maintaining a private piano studio.
Craig has worked with a variety of jazz notables and entertainers including Bob Hope, Mel Torme, Joe Williams, Eartha Kitt, Terence Blanchard, Bob Mintzer, Peter Erskine, David Garibaldi, Brian Lynch and many others.
The rest of his time is spent with his wife and two daughters and playing on his church’s worship team.
Tom Wilson is a saxophonist, composer, and educator from Madera, CA. In 2012 he graduated with a bachelors degree in Professional Music with a concentration in Global Jazz Studies from Berklee College of Music. He has performed and studied with such artists as Danilo Perez, Joe Lovano, John Patitucci, Ben Street, Earth Wind and Fire, Ralph Peterson and Wayne Shorter and many others.
For the past 3 years, he has worked at the Danilo Perez foundation teaching neighborhood youth in the heart of Panama. He currently attends graduate school at California Institute of the Arts.