Jazz I Faculty Biographies

2017 faculty is listed below. List will grow throughout the Spring with more faculty updates!

2014 Jazz I Faculty

Jeff Campbell

Jeff CampbellProgram Director; Academy Band Director; Bass, Rochester, N.Y.
2017 marks Jeff Campbell’s 29th year at Birch Creek and his 20th as Jazz Program Director. Mr. Campbell is an Associate Professor and Chair of Jazz Studies & Contemporary Media at the Eastman School of Music. Mr. Campbell has carved out an impressive career as bass player of extraordinary artistry, fluent in both the jazz and classical idioms. As a jazz bassist, he performs with Marian McPartland, Gene Bertoncini, Rich Perry, Trio East, Harold Jones, and the Eastman Jazz Quartet featuring Harold Danko, and has appeared on McPartland's Piano Jazz program on National Public Radio. In high demand across the globe, Jeff has performed at such prestigious European musical events as the Nice, Montreux, North Sea, Riga, and Parnu jazz festivals and has also appeared in the former Soviet Union and the Baltic Republics. Additionally, Jeff is a member of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra bass section. Mr. Campbell has numerous CDs to his credit.
Web site: Jeff Campbell

Gil Wukitsch

Lab Band Director, Trombone, St Charles, IL
Mr. Wukitsch currently teaches symphonic band, jazz band and advanced placement music theory at St. Charles East High School in St. Charles, Ill. Mr. Wukitsch holds a Bachelor of Music Education from De Paul University, Chicago, Ill., and a Masters of Educational Leadership Degree from Aurora University, Aurora, Ill. He has been involved with Birch Creek for more than 20 years, attending as a student, a Teaching Assistant and faculty member. Along with his busy teaching schedule, Mr. Wukitsch is active around the Chicago area as a clinician and trumpet player and has performed with artists such as Clark Terry, Harold Jones and The Manhattan Transfer.


Jim Stombres

Studio Band Director, St Charles, IL
Mr. Stombres is retired after more than 30 years as director of bands in three suburban Chicago high schools, finishing his career at St. Charles North High School, St. Charles, IL. He holds a diploma in sacred music from the Moody Bible Institute, a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Illinois State University, and Master of Music Education degree from Northwestern University. He is active in the Illinois Music Educators Association and the Illinois Chapter of International Association of Jazz Educators. Under Mr. Stombres’ direction, the Naperville North Wind Ensemble performed at the Bands of America National Concert Band Festival and received the DownBeat Award for Outstanding Wind Ensemble. This is Mr. Strombres’ 28th season with Birch Creek.


José Encarnación

Jose EncarnacionAdvanced Combo Director (Ambassadors), Appleton, Wis.
A native of San Juan, Puerto Rico, José currently is a faculty member at the Lawrence Conservatory of music where he coordinates the jazz performance program, leads jazz improvisation classes, jazz combos and teaches jazz saxophone. He holds degrees from Berklee College of Music and Eastman School of Music where he served as Assistant Professor of Jazz Saxophone. Among many others, José has performed with Tito Puente, Giovanni Hidalgo, and Danilo Perez.
Web site: José Encarnacion


Larry Brown

Larry Brown
Guitar, DeKalb, Ill.
National recording artist, educator, entrepreneur, and writer, Larry brown Jr. is paving his way as a rising star in jazz. Graduating with his Masters in Jazz Studies from Northern Illinois University, he is considered a standout composer and future torchbearer for jazz.


Scott Burns

Birch Creek faculty member Scott Burns, tenor saxophoneTenor Saxophone, Chicago, IL.
Mr. Burns is currently a faculty member at DePaul University, Loyola University Chicago and Columbia College Chicago, where his collective duties include jazz ensemble director, applied saxophone instructor, jazz combo coach, jazz history lecturer, and woodwind coordinator.  A native of Dayton, OH, Mr. Burns holds degrees in jazz studies from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (B.M.) and DePaul University (M.M.).  As a leader of his own groups or as an in-demand sideman with the Chicago Jazz Orchestra and many other projects, he is frequently heard performing in greater Chicago’s leading jazz venues.  Scott has performed alongside several international jazz artists, including McCoy Tyner, Ahmad Jamal, Clark Terry, Ira Sullivan, David Hazeltine, Tom Harrell, Eric Alexander, and Harry Connick Jr.  His latest recording, Passages (Origin Records), features his original compositions and received critical acclaim across the nation.
Web site: http://scottburnsjazz.com/



Mike Lee

Tenor Saxophone, Montclair, NJ.
Mike Lee has been a part of the greater New York Jazz Scene for almost 30 years. Since his early associations with Dave Douglas and Joe Lovano in the 80's, through his stint with the Woody Herman Orchestra and regular gigs with The Village Vanguard Orchestra and Maria Schneider Orchestra in the 90's to his current associations with Oliver Lake's ensembles, Wallace Roney Orchestra, and Michele Rosewoman's New Yor-Uba, Lee has a proven track record as a versatile soloist and a consummate ensemble musician. As a leader, he fronted the renowned Cecil's Big Band for six years and co-leads the ground breaking quartet, New Tricks. He performs with his trios regularly at his weekly Hat City Kitchen Jam Session as well as Trumpet's Jazz Club and other area venues. This is Mike's 20th year at Birch Creek.


Bob Chmel

Bob ChmelDrum Set, Las Vegas, Nev.
Mr. Chmel graduated from Kent State University with a B.S. in education and a M.A. in performance. Mr. Chmel was awarded Alumni of the Year by Kent State in 2003. He is currently performing with Frank Sinatra Jr., Jerry Lewis and Nevada Pops.  This is Mr. Chmel’s 27th year at Birch Creek.



Tom Garling

Tom GarlingTrombone, Chicago, IL.
Mr. Garling toured with Buddy Rich at the age of twenty. He currently teaches at Elmhurst College, Roosevelt University and Northern Illinois University. He performs with numerous jazz groups including the Chicago Jazz Orchestra, Frank Sinatra Jr. and the Chicago Yestet.
Web site: http://www.tomgarling.com



Joey Tartell

Joey TartellTrumpet, Bloomington, Ind.
Mr. Tartell is Associate Professor of Music at Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University. He has played with Maynard Ferguson, Woody Herman and the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra. He is currently performing with Tromba Mundi, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. This is Mr. Tartell’s 20th year at Birch Creek. Web site: http://joeytartell.com/


Audrey Morrison

Trombone, Chicago, Il.

Ms. Morrison is the Director of Jazz Studies at the Music Institute of Chicago. She performs and teaches with the Ravinia Jazz Mentors, and plays with the jazz sextet, SHE, Ars Viva, and the Lake Forest Symphony. She teaches at Columbia College and North Park University. Ms. Morrison is a clinician for Conn-Selmer.
Web site: Audrey Morrison


Michael Stryker

Piano, Macomb, IL
Dr. Stryker is Associate Professor of Jazz Piano in the School of Music at Western Illinois University. Dr. Stryker's doctoral studies at the Eastman School of Music were completed fall of 2009 with the degree awarded spring of 2010. . Past degrees include a B.S. in Biology from Purdue University in 1985 and both the B.M. and M.M. in Jazz Performance from DePaul University in 1996. Previous teaching positions include Eastern Illinois University, DePaul University, and the University of California at Berkeley. Web site: Michael Stryker


Lennie Foy

Trumpet, Zionsville, IN
Mr. Foy is Professor of Trumpet at DePauw University in Greencastle, IN. teaching trumpet, jazz history, jazz combo, jazz improvisation, trumpet pedagogy, brass quintet, and brass techniques. He earned his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees and the Performer’s Certificate from the Eastman School of Music. He began doctoral studies in brass pedagogy at the Indiana University School of Music and has studied trumpet with Charles Gorham, Barbara Butler, Vincent DiMartino, Louis Davidson, and Stanley Friedman. His jazz studies instructors include David Baker, Ray Wright, Bill Dobbins, and Raymond Ricker. He maintains an active professional career in jazz and classical performance arts as a trumpeter, teacher and clinician.