|2012 UAB Jazz Summit Clinician Bios|
Chip McNeill, Saxophone
Chip McNeill is a jazz saxophonist, composer, arranger, and educator. In addition to his responsibilities as a tenured associate professor and chair of jazz studies at the University of Illinois, Professor McNeill is a former musical director and jazz tenor saxophonist for Grammy award-winning recording artist Arturo Sandoval. Professor McNeill has recorded with Sandoval on his Grammy award-winning CD, Hot House and on Americana. The Hot House CD won a Grammy award for Best Latin Jazz Performance. Professor McNeill is a former musical director/player/producer for legendary jazz trumpeter Maynard Ferguson. He produced, wrote, and performed on six CDs with Ferguson including his final one The One and Only Maynard Ferguson and has toured with Ferguson, Sandoval and many other notable jazz performers. Professor McNeill has performed at countless jazz festivals and clubs around the world, including the Montreux Jazz Festival (Switzerland), Monterey Jazz Festival (U.S.A.), and Noto Jazz Festival (Japan), as well as performing at Carnegie Hall (U.S.), Town Hall (Sydney, Australia), the London Palladium, and on numerous jazz radio and television productions in Europe, Japan, U.K., India, and Indonesia. In addition to recording with Sandoval and Ferguson, Professor McNeill has recorded with such musicians as Nat Adderley, David Liebman, Duffy Jackson, Ira Sullivan, The Woody Herman Orchestra, Ted Shumate and Larry Willis, and has performed with such entertainers as Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Joe Williams, Dizzy Gillespie, Billy Eckstine, and Wynton Marsalis. Professor McNeill's latest CD release "Four Steps-3" is on the Capri Record label featuring all original music by Professor McNeill. Prior to coming to the University of Illinois, McNeill held similar academic positions at Florida International University and at Virginia Tech University.
Dr. Steven Roberts, Trumpet
Dr. Steven Roberts is Assistant Professor of Jazz Studies at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Previously, he was professor of trumpet and jazz at Mars Hill College after holding a similar position at Iowa State University. Roberts has judged the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame Competition since 2008, and served as the director of the 2009 Alabama All-State Jazz Band. He is an active teacher and freelance musician and has performed with such greats as Jon Faddis, Cecil and Deedee Bridgewater, Maria Schneider, Chip McNeill, Jim Pugh, and Charo. He has been a member of the Steve Roberts Jazz Quartet, various jazz ensembles aboard Holland America and Royal Caribbean cruise ships, the Mountain Empire Brass Quintet, the Johnson City Symphony, the Champaign-Urbana Symphony and Sinfonia da Camera. Roberts received his Doctorate of Musical Arts in trumpet performance and jazz at the University of Illinois in 2005, where he also received his Masters degree in 2001. He was a soloist with the University of Illinois Wind Symphony, served as principal of the University Orchestra, and filled the jazz chair in the top jazz band. At Illinois he studied trumpet with Ray Sasaki, Michael Ewald, and Ronald Romm, and jazz with Chip McNeill, Vern Sielert, Ron Bridgewater, and Thomas Wirtel. Roberts received his Bachelors in Music in 1999 from Oberlin Conservatory of Music where he studied classical music with members of the Cleveland Orchestra and Detroit Symphony, Al Couch and Bill Lucas respectively, and studied jazz with Kenny Davis, Robin Eubanks, Wendall Logan, and Neal Creque, freelance musicians from Cleveland and New York.
Dr. David Phy, Trombone
David Phy received his DMA in Jazz Studies from the University of Illinois as the Teaching Assistant and a student of Jim Pugh in 2010. He has performed with The 4 Tops, The Temptations, Monica Mancini, Marvin Hamlisch, Chip McNeill, Tom Garling, Jim Pugh, Roger Ingram, Glen Wilson plus as a cast member of “Blast!” and has toured as the Lead Trombone and featured soloist for the national tour of “In The Mood”. He has been a guest clinician at the University of Southern Mississippi and the University of Alabama, Birmingham. David is currently an adjunct professor at Delgado College in New Orleans, Louisiana and he performs regularly in and around the New Orleans area including the French Quarter Jazz festival, New Orleans Oyster Festival and Gretna Festival.
Daniel Western, Saxophone
Daniel Western has performed throughout the United States with acts such as The Temptations, The Four Tops, The O'Jays, Mary Wilson and the Supremes, Wayne Newton, Joan Rivers, Lou "Blue Lou" Marini, Lew Soloff, Bob Mintzer and The New South Jazz Orchestra. He has toured nationally and internationally as an arranger and saxophone soloist with The Temptations Review featuring Dennis Edwards, with notable performances including the White House and multiple appearances on the nationally broadcasted Tom Joyner Morning Show. The Birmingham Seven is a jazz septet that Western runs. More information can be found at www.birminghamseven.com. He holds a Master of Music in arranging from The University of Alabama, and is currently pursuing a doctorate in saxophone. Western has served as adjunct saxophone instructor at UAB since 2008.
Michael Glaser, Drum Set
Michael Glaser is a versatile, supportive and extremely musical drummer as well as an engaging, dedicated teacher, and his fans and students will confirm these statements with only the slightest amount of prodding, even if you don’t pay them first. A first-call drummer in the Birmingham music community, Glaser is an integral part of a diverse group of bands & sounds, ranging from 1940’s country music (Bo Butler & The Niceboys) to a Charles Mingus/Thelonious Monk tribute (Mingusphere) to a pop cover band consisting only of a string quartet, bass and drums (Blue Galaxy String Project) to some of Birmingham’s finest original jazz and rock (The White Oaks, The Chad Fisher Group). His love of playing many different styles is reflected in past sideman work with artists like John P. Strohm (Blake Babies, Lemonheads) and Johnny O’Neal (Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, Ray Brown, Lionel Hampton), and gigs with jazz artists Victor Atkins (Elvin Jones, Headhunters, Nnenna Freelon), Jean-Yves Jung (Bireli Lagrene, Billy Cobham, Dee Dee Bridgewater), and Phil DeGreg (Woody Herman). His project, The Prudent Traveller, for which he does the majority of transcribing and arranging, pays tribute to some of his favorite jazz sounds and composers/performers, from Wayne Shorter to Dave Douglas. Glaser holds a Bachelor of Arts in music from Davidson College, and in his role as an instructor to drummers from ages 5 to 45 in the Birmingham area, he enjoys finding out what makes the music fun for his students, as well as helping them build a foundation that will help them no matter what musical or creative direction they pursue.
Matt Wiley, Piano
Matt Wiley is one of the most sought after keyboardists in the region. High in demand as a sideman, his work ranges from jazz to salsa, funk, pop/rock, urban gospel and country. Wiley spent his early childhood and high school years studying piano performance at Birmingham-Southern College. He holds a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies from the University of Alabama and has studied privately with Amanda Penick, Tom Wolfe, Bruce Dudley and world renowned jazz educator Jerry Coker. Wiley is now a full-time musician and resides in Tuscaloosa, Alabama with his wife and daughter. His career has taken him all over the United States and abroad, including a presidential performance at The White House.
Abraham Becker, Bass
A graduate from the Alabama School of Fine Arts, bassist and composer Abe Becker is a musician in demand. Having received his Bachelor of Music from Indiana University in Composition, Becker has performed and/or recorded with Eric Essix, Victor Atkins, Mark Lanter, Kevin Wooten, Taylor Hicks, Blue Galaxy, the Bonus Round, Ray Reach, Sonny Harris, Keith Williams, Mike Creager, and many others. He currently teaches as an adjunct instructor for the UAB Department of Music in Applied Bass.
Carlos Pino, Guitar
Carlos Pino received his Bachelor of Arts in Music Technology from UAB and a Masters in Music in Jazz Studies from Rutgers University. He has studied guitar with Tom Wolfe, Vic Juris, and Brian Lutterbie. He is a well sought after guitarist in the Birmingham area music scene and a regular in musical productions such as Summerfest Musical Theater, the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, and the Rubicon Theater Company in Ventura, California. In addition to performing, Pino has been teaching private guitar lessons for nearly a decade.