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The Fresno City College City Jazz Festival

24th Anniversary Edition!

You can now purchase your tickets to the City Jazz Festival here!

Schedule of Performances

Thursday March,20 2014

 city jazz 
Since its inception in 1991, the City Jazz Festival has grown to an event hosting dozens of student jazz groups from throughout California, performing in three different venues at Fresno City College. The emphasis has always been on education. A panel of jazz educators critiques the students’ performances, and they attend a variety of workshops presented by some of the greatest professional jazz performers in the country. Scholarships to the Berklee College of Music, FCC, and many summer music camps are awarded to outstanding student performers. The event culminates with a performance by the featured guest artist, accompanied by the FCC Jazz Ensemble. Here are a few facts and figures based on the 20 year history of the festival: 

  • Over 750 student jazz groups have participated
  • Over $100,000 in scholarships have been awarded
  • Featured guest artists have included a who’s who of jazz:
    • Saxophonists Bob Mintzer, Ernie Watts, and Bob Sheppard
    • Trumpeters Bobby Shew, Ingrid Jensen, and Gilbert Castellanos
    • Guitarists Anthony Wilson and Mark Whitfield
    • Drummers Jeff Hamilton and Steve Houghton
    • Trombonists Conrad Herwig and Andy Martin
    • Vocalists Tierney Sutton, Kevin Mahogany, Kristin Korb, and Sunny Wilkinson
    • Mark Levine and the Latin Tinge

City Jazz 2014

This year’s festival will include performances and workshops by jazz trumpet legend and Grammy nominee Wayne Bergeron. Highlights of City Jazz 2014 include:

    •  Thursday, March 20: Student performances from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
    •  Thursday, March 20: Jazz workshops (times TBA)
    •  Thursday, March 20: Wayne Bergeron, FCC Jazz Ensemble (FCC Theatre, 7:30 p.m.)

Jazz at FCC

City Jazz is part of a strong jazz studies program offered at Fresno City College, directed by festival founder and jazz ensemble director Mike Dana. FCC’s jazz program is the most diverse in central California, and has earned a national reputation. Performance groups include the Jazz Ensemble, Latin Jazz Ensemble, Vocal Jazz Ensemble, and Jazz Combos. Courses in jazz improvisation, theory, history, and arranging are also offered. Jazz faculty members include Mike Dana, Larry Honda, George Ramirez, Julie Dana, Nye Morton, and Dale Engstrom. In addition to the festival, the jazz program at FCC has brought many other performers to perform at work with students. These include The Langston Hughes Project, guitarists Nguyen Le, Frank Gambale, and John Stowell, and most recently the Grammy-nominated University of North Texas 1:00 Lab Band.

Featuring Guest Artist Wayne Bergeron

Wayne Bergeron is enjoying a career as one of the most active players in the world. With studio dates, international touring, jazz concerts, guest soloist appearances and clinics, he has no intention of slowing down.

In 1986, Bergeron landed the lead trumpet position with the Maynard Ferguson Band. He can be heard on such MF recordings as “Body & Soul,” “Big Bop Nouveau,” “Brass Attitude” and “The One & Only Maynard Ferguson.” Remarking on the talented trumpet player, Maynard Ferguson had this to say during a radio interview: “Wayne is the most musical lead trumpet player I’ve ever had on my band.”

As a sideman, Bergeron’s list of CD credits reads like a who’s who in contemporary jazz and pop, running the stylistic gamut from Ray Charles to Green Day. Other stellar names include Beyoncé, Michael Buble, Diana Krall, Tito Puente, Christina Aguilera, Dianne Reeves, and a host of others. His TV and motion picture soundtracks include Toy Story 3, Despicable Me, Percy Jackson, Star Trek, Superman Returns, Pirates of the Caribbean 1-3, Ratatouille, Spiderman, the Emmy Awards, Grammy Awards, Family Guy, King of the Hill, and hundreds more.

After being behind the scene for so many years, Bergeron stepped out on his own with his first solo effort “You Call This a Living?” This debut project earned him a Grammy nomination in 2004 for Best Large Jazz Ensemble as well as rave reviews from fans and press worldwide. Wayne’s latest recording “Plays Well With Others" was released on the Concord Jazz label in 2007 is being met with the same acclaim.

Bergeron’s passion for big bands has led to his inclusion in some of Los Angeles’ most well respected bands. He has recorded with Quincy Jones, Gordon Goodwin, Arturo Sandoval, Sammy Nestico, and many others.

Bergeron is a National Artist for the Yamaha Corporation of America and is co-designer of the YTR-8335LA trumpet and YFH-8315G Flugelhorn. Bergeron enjoys his work as a clinician/educator and feels it’s important to “give back” by mentoring young musicians. We are thrilled to have him at City Jazz 2014!



Barb Catlin

CatlinBarb majored in music education on woodwinds at California State University at Fresno and completed her Master’s in Music Education with an emphasis in Jazz Studies on piano from Arizona State University. Barb recently returned to California, where she is the director of jazz at Pomona College and the California Institute of Technology.

She is looking forward to her new appointment as Director of the California State University Northridge Youth Honor Jazz Orchestra. During her 18 years in Arizona, Barb was the Director of Jazz Studies at Mesa Community College in the Phoenix-metro area and had eight highly successful years as Musical Director of the award-winning youth honor jazz program, The Young Sounds of Arizona. Her students have been featured in the Grammy Jazz Bands, Wynton Marsalis’ All-American Jazz Ensemble, the Dave Brubeck Institute, and the Mancini Institute. Her enthusiasm for playing, “real-life” approach to education, and expertise in the rhythm section has made Barb a popular clinician and adjudicator at the high school and college levels.


Jimmy Emerzian


Jimmy Emerzian is a freelance saxophonist, composer, and educator who currently teaches Jazz Theory and Improvisation at CSU Long Beach's Bob Cole Conservatory while maintaining a busy performing schedule. Jimmy's tenor solos with GLEE star Matthew Morrison have been featured on network TV shows such as The Tonight Show, Today Show, and The View. 

In addition to his sax work, his compositions and arrangements have been featured live and on recordings with the Elliot Deutsch Big Band, Matthew Morrison, and Backstreet Boy AJ McLean, with whom he has also toured extensively. His other credits include performances and recordings with Dianne Schuur, New York Voices, Jordin Sparks, and Swing Out Sister among others. Jimmy received his formal education in jazz from Fresno City College, UCLA (B.M.) and CSULB (M.M.), and published a Master's Thesis that has reached jazz fans and scholars across the globe.

His teachers and mentors include Mike Dana, Mark Ribera, Paul Shaghoian, Larry Honda, Gary Foster, Tom Rainier, Kenny Burrell, Harold Land, Billy Higgins, Bobby Rodriguez, Jeff Jarvis, Sal Lozano, Jay Mason, and Bill Liston


Rob Klevan


A graduate summa cum laude from the Conservatory of Music at the University of the Pacific, Robert B. Klevan pursued his post-graduate studies at DePaul University, University of the Pacific, and the University of Texas in Austin. He is Director of Bands at UC Santa Cruz, Jazz Education Director Emeritus for the Monterey Jazz Festival, and currently serves as Jazz Studies Director for the York School and Community Relations Specialist for CSU Summer Arts in residence at CSU Monterey Bay. Rob is Past President for CMEA and Past Vice-President for the California Alliance for Jazz.

He currently serves as a Board member for the Santa Cruz Jazz Festival and as an Advisory Board member for Jazz Bash Monterey. The Monterey Jazz Festival named Dr. Klevan Jazz Educator of the Year for 2003-04. CMEA selected Dr. Klevan as the Jazz Educator of the Year for 2006-07. In the spring of 2009, Dr. Klevan received Downbeat Magazine’s Education Achievement Award. His articles on music teaching have been published in JazzEd Magazine, The Jazz Education Journal, The Instrumentalist, CMEA Magazine, The Journal for Texas Music Education Research, and many others.


Chris Stevens


Chris began teaching at Long Beach Poly High School after many years as a full-time professional drummer and percussionist, performing regularly at Disneyland as well as freelancing in a wide variety of musical styles throughout southern California. Much of his early musical training came through private study with Henry Bellson (drumset), Wally Snow (mallets and percussion), and Charlie Shoemake (jazz improvisation).

Chris currently directs the award-winning jazz program at Long Beach Poly, which includes over 120 students in 4 different classes. He continues to play and perform, as well as maintain a private teaching studio. He recently presented his clinic on “The Mental Side of Preparation and Performance” at both the 2014 SCSBOA and CASMEC conferences. Chris has served as the conductor of the 2007 SCSBOA All-Southern Junior High Jazz All-Stars, and he directs the jazz session at Arrowbear Music Camp. He is also on staff at the Woodshed Studios and currently serves as president of the California Alliance for Jazz (


Contact Information:
Mike Dana -
Fresno City College Music Department
1101 E. University Ave.
Fresno, CA. 93741
559.442.4600 x.8463

Last updated: 3/11/2014 12:16:24 PM