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Program Faculty


John AyalaJohn 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.


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.


Richard-GiddensRichard Lloyd Giddens Jr. (bass) is the Director Of Jazz Studies at Fresno State. Giddens was awarded a grant from the California Arts Council naming him Jazz Artist in Residence at Arte Américas where he introduced the Jazz Fellows Program. As a bassist and percussionist he has performed throughout the world with such artists as Charlie Haden, Wadada Leo Smith, STOMP, Robert Glasper, Mary Halvorson, Larry Goldings, Burning Ghosts, Walter Smith III, Ben Wendel, and many others. Giddens is a Tzadik, and Orenda Records recording artist. His debut album “Mimosas” is out now on Orenda Records along with recent releases from Mathew Yeakley and Burning Ghosts.