Jeffrey Kunkel, Director
Guest composer and saxophonist David Bixler performs his works with the MSU Jazz Ensemble. The Director of Jazz Studies at Bowling Green State University and noted Cali School alumnus, Bixler has released numerous recordings featuring his own compositions, including his Grammy nominated collaboration with pianist Arturo O’Farrill, and his latest “Auction Project” recording of 2014 entitled Slink.
Dr. Jeffrey Kunkel (D.Ed., Penn State University; M.M., New England Conservatory; B.S., Penn State University) is Coordinator of Jazz Studies and Director of the MSU Jazz Ensemble. Jeff previously served as the Associate Director for Faculty of the Cali School, and as Coordinator of Undergraduate Music Education. Jeff won the prestigious New Jersey Jazz Education Achievement Award in 2008. His personal musical endeavors focus on the unique music styles of Brazil. He has presented workshops and classes at the Federal University of Parana (Curitiba), UNIRIO (Rio de Janeiro), and has performed for several years at TribOz, a jazz club in the Lapa entertainment district. He released his first solo recording, Meu Coração Brasileiro (Delira Música) in 2013. The CD was recorded in Rio with Mauro Senise (flute/sax), Vika Barcellos (vocals), Alex Rocha (bass), Haroldo Mauro (drums and co-producer), José Arimatea (trumpet), and Mariana Bernardes (vocals), with lyrics being contributed by Ms. Barcellos, Fernando Corona, and MSU colleague Holli Ross. A long time board member and four term president of the New Jersey Association for Jazz Education, Jeff frequently appears as a clinician and adjudicator, and directed the 2010 New Jersey All State Jazz Ensemble, along with numerous region jazz ensembles.