• Adjudicators


  • Festival Director

    Dan Davey

    Dan Davey

    Dan Davey is the Director of Jazz Studies and Music Instructor at Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham, Oregon where he directs all jazz ensembles and teaches core music courses. He serves on the board of the Oregon Music Educators Association as the Jazz Chair. Dan received a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from the Berklee College of Music and his Master of Music in Instrumental Conducting from the American Band College of Sam Houston State University. He taught high school for eight years in Massachusetts before moving into higher education at Stonehill College and now at MHCC.

    Dan works as a pianist, organist, and trumpet player and has performed at several notable venues around the country. He has played in several musical pit orchestras and also with the Southcoast Jazz Orchestra, the John Allmark Jazz Orchestra, Herb Reed and the Platters, Doc Severinsen, Bobby Shew, and Allen Vizzutti. In addition, Dan has performed and collaborated with several leaders in the industry, including Tiger Okoshi, Dominick Farinacci, Earl MacDonald, Chris Vadala, Patrick Sheridan, Col. Arnold Gabriel, Anthony Maiello, Col. Lowell Graham, Peter Boonshaft, Paula Crider, Canadian Brass, and Boston Brass.


    Administrative Coordinator

    Kelly Gernhart

    Kelly Gernhart is the Performing Arts Administrative Assistant at Mt Hood Community College.


    Adjudicators & Clinicians

    Gary Hobbs

    Gary Hobbs

    Drummer Gary Hobbs is a native of the Pacific Northwest and lives in Vancouver, WA. He has played professionally for over 4 decades and appears on over 60 recordings. Gary played with The Stan Kenton Orchestra from 1975 through 1977. Through the years Gary has played with Randy Brecker, Bud Shank, George Cables, Ken Peplowski, Pete Christlieb, Greta Matassa, Anita O'Day, Dan Siegel, Glen Moore, The New York Voices, Eddie Harris and many more. Randy Brecker, Bill Mays, Kurt Elling, Dave Frishberg, David Freisen, Bobby Shew, Bobby Watson, Bob Florence, Carl Saunders, The Woody Herman Orchestra,Terry Gibbs, Jaquie Naylor, Jim Widner Big Band, Stan Kenton Alumni Big Band and Tom Grant are just a few of the artists that Gary has recently performed with.

    Carnagie Hall, Royal Festival Hall, Tivoli Garden, Kennedy Center and Wolf Trap are among the venues Gary has played along with scores of festivals and clubs all over the world. Gary is very active in Jazz Education teaching at The University Of Oregon and traveling all over the US doing clinics, concerts and jazz camps with the help of Crescent Cymbal Company and Yamaha Drum Company.

    Gary is on the private lesson faculty at Mt. Hood Community College.

    Tim Gilson

    Tim Gilson

    Tim Gilson has been a mainstay in the Northwest for many years. In 1985 he joined the Mel Brown Quintet with which he recorded the award winning 'Gordon Bleu' CD. During this time Tim had the opportunity to play with many nationally acclaimed artists including Mose Allison, Ritchie Cole, Bud Shank, Herb Ellis, Julian Priester, John Handy, Ernestine Anderson and many others. In 1988 Tim won 2nd place in an international bass competition in Los Angeles and shortly thereafter substituted for John Clayton with 'Slide Hampton and the New Jazz Masters' in a concert in Sacramento. He toured Japan in 1993 with the Mel Brown Quintet with special guest artist Chuck Findley on trumpet; then in 1994 he moved to Madison Wisconsin where he served as Principal Bassist with the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra and substituted on a regular basis with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. Since returning to Portland in 2002 Tim plays regularly with the Oregon Symphony backing guest artists such as Dee Daniels, Byron Stripling and Herbie Hancock. Tim has also accompanied several guest artists including Wycliff Gordon, Antonio Hart, Matt Wilson, Ingrid Jensen and Wynton Marsalis during their tours of the Pacific Northwest.

    Tim is on the faculty at Mt. Hood Community College where he directs the Orchestra, Jazz Combos, and teaches applied lessons.

    Jessika Smith

    Jessika Smith

    Jessika Smith is an award-winning jazz composer, saxophonist, and music educator. She teaches K-8 Music at Prairie Mountain School in Eugene, and she directs the Eugene Composer's Big Band, the Jessika Smith Big Band, and plays frequently with other jazz groups in the Eugene area. Jessika studied Jazz Composition/Arranging with Steve Owen at the University of Oregon (MM Jazz Studies), and received her Bachelor of Music Education from Eastern Washington University.

    Originally from Spokane, Washington, Jessika has played professionally with many groups, including the Bob Curnow Big Band, Spokane Jazz Orchestra, the Columbia Basin Jazz Orchestra, and has played with the Portland Jazz Composer’s Ensemble. Her first album, “Tricks of Light” was released with PJCE records in December 2015 and was recorded by the Jessika Smith Big Band.

    Don Norton

    Don Norton

    Don Norton is a saxophonist who has performed in a variety of styles that include jazz, classical, world music, and musical theater. He has performed throughout the United States and abroad, including a tour of Costa Rica with world music group Panoramic. His research interests include jazz history and pedagogical methods for jazz and saxophone performance, and he has presented research at conferences of the Jazz Education Network and the North American Saxophone Alliance. Don previously taught at Gustavus Adolphus College, Minnesota State University-Mankato, Spoon River College, and Laramie County Community College. He also served as a graduate assistant in the jazz studies department at the University of Northern Colorado. Additionally, he has taught at the Northern Illinois University Community School of the Arts, as well as the summer jazz camps of Northern Illinois University, Western Illinois University, and the Birch Creek Music Performance Center. He is a clinician with the Vandoren Regional Artist Program. Don holds degrees from the University of Northern Colorado, the New England Conservatory of Music, and Northern Illinois University. Outside of music, Don’s interests include running, reading, watching sports and other television shows, and spending time with his dog.

    Jason Palmer

    Jason Palmer

    Drummer Jason Palmer is a percussionist and educator who is active throughout Oregon, the United States, and internationally. His performances include appearances at St. Peter's Church and the Knitting Factory in New York, the Rochester Jazz Festival, the High Sierra Music Festival, The Sitka Jazz Festival, and Jazz Festival Calgary. Regionally, he has performed at The Waterfront Blues Festival, the Cathedral Park Jazz Festival, the Portland Jazz Festival, and the Oregon Festival of American Music.

    Since 1995, Jason has performed and recorded with such artists as Danilo Perez, John Clayton, Ben Monder, Ron Miles, Dave Frishberg, Bucky Pizzarelli, John Zorn, Steve Wilson, Lizz Wright, Sheryl Bailey, Chuck Redd, Dick Hyman, Ken Peplowski, Randy Porter, and George Colligan. His recordings have been reviewed in Cadence, All About Jazz, and the All Music Guide.

    He attended the University of Oregon, where he received both a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree in Music. As a student, Jason had the opportunity to perform in a variety of student ensembles as well as with guest artists such as Nancy King, Bobby Shew, John Hollenbeck, and Gary Versace. His pop and rock music experience includes work with Allen Toussaint, Mason Williams, Sonny Turner of the Coasters, Ruth Brown, and Satin Love Orchestra.

    Active in education, Jason is currently the Department Chair of Music, Dance, and Theater at Portland Community College's Rock Creek Campus in Oregon. Recently, he has also taught at Western Oregon University, Umpqua Community College, and Lane Community College.

    Susie Jones

    Susie Jones

    Susie Jones is a jazz educator recently retired from Mt. Hood Community College. Under her direction, the MHCC Jazz Band I performed at the IAJE convention in New York in 2007, received an IAJE award for “top ten campus CDs”, and has toured Taiwan six times on government sponsored tours. Susie served as the Jazz Chair for the Oregon Music Educators Association for 8 years, is past president of the Oregon Unit of International Association for Jazz Education, and is president of the Board of Directors for the Mt. Hood Jazz Festival, producing that festival in 2008, 2009, 2013 and 2014. Susie directed the Community College All-Star Band at the IAJE convention in Toronto in 2008, and contributed a chapter in the book “Teaching Music Through Performance In Jazz”, GIA Publications. Prior to her appointment at Mt. Hood Community College, she taught for 9 years in the North Clackamas School District and 8 years in the David Douglas School District. Susie served on the Board of Directors at Mt. Hood Community College, and currently serves on the Board of Directors of Multnomah Education Service District.

    Jim Sisko

    Jim Sisko

    Jim Sisko has become one of the most sought-after teachers, and performers in the Northwest. The Jim Sisko Quintet has been featured at countless festivals and concert venues, including the Port Townsend Jazz Festival, Bumbershoot, The Art of Jazz Series and Jazz Under the Stars. He has performed with The Glenn Miller Orchestra, Natalie Cole, Barry Manilow, The Manhattan Transfer, and the rock band Yes to name a few. Jim has served as principal trumpet for the Yakima Symphony and has performed with the Seattle Symphony as well. He can be heard on over 40 motion picture soundtracks, and many independent c.d. projects. Sisko’s trumpet students are well versed in both classical and jazz styles and are consistently recognized as some of the strongest players in the region. Jim has served as a Camp Director for Jazz camps throughout the Northwest and is currently the director of the Shoreline Jazz Camp. In addition to his home teaching studio, Jim is the director of the Instrumental Music program at Bellevue College and is the director of the award-winning Bellevue College Jazz Bands.

    Clay Giberson

    Clay Giberson

    Music Faculty
    Clay.Giberson@mhcc.edu

    Clay Giberson - An innovative voice in the contemporary jazz scene of the Pacific Northwest, keyboardist and composer, Clay has released five recordings on the premier jazz label Origin Records. He has taught music technology and jazz piano for fifteen years and likes to help students investigate the possibilities of electronic and acoustic music.

    Ryan Meagher

    Ryan Meagher, Music Faculty/Guitar

    Music Faculty/Guitar
    Ryan.meagher@mhcc.edu

    Ryan Meagher (pronounced Marr) is a jazz guitarist and composer who launched his international reputation in New York City in 2003 after completing his bachelor of music degree at San Diego State University. During his years in New York, Ryan launched his debut jazz album Sun Resounding, followed by his second album entitled Atroefy on Fresh Sound New Talent Records. His third album Tone, received international critical acclaim.

    After completing his master's degree at University of Reno, Meagher relocated to Portland, Oregon where he became a recognizable force in the creative music community. He is a co-founder and Programming Director of the Montavilla Jazz Festival, Director of Operations of the Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble, Director of Portland State University's The Shed Summer Jazz Workshop and editor of Jazzscene Magazine. Ryan's teaching credits include Lower Columbia College, Portland Community College, West Valley College (Saratoga, CA), and San Diego State University. He teaches guitar at MHCC and is a valued faculty member of our music program. His fifth album, Mist. Moss. Home. will be available in October of 2016.

    Kevin Woods

    Kevin Woods

    Trumpeter/composer Kevin Woods is quickly emerging as one of the most melodic and emotive voices in improvised music in the Northwest. His passion for both performance and education have made him in demand as a leader and a sideman as well as a composer, arranger and clinician. Woods lives in Bellingham, Washington where he is active as a performer, educator and composer/arranger, and serves as Director of Jazz Studies at Western Washington University. He leads the Kevin Woods Quartet, the Black Woods Duo, and co-leads the Malmo, Sweden based Woods/Axelsson Quartet.