Dr. Simon Rowe is a distinguished educator, entrepreneur, and artist in the jazz field. Along with leading the Simon Rowe Trio, Rowe has played with many greats including Dizzy Gillespie, Dave Leibman, Tim Hagens, John Fedchock, Mulgrew Miller, Jimmy Heath, Stephanie Nakasian, Lucia Newell, Debbie Duncan, Willie Akins, Jeanne Trevor, Bob Mintzer, Luqman Hamza, Marvin Stamm, Dianne Schurr and Claudio Roditi. In his first year as Executive Director, Rowe established a new Brubeck Degree Track (at the University of the Pacific), created an innovative jazz club (Take 5) through a private/public partnership and is developing local, national and international coalitions to forward the mission of the Institute.
In 1997, Dr. Rowe founded "Catalyst Productions", a record label dedicated to documenting and championing the work of some of the Midwest's most outstanding jazz artists. To date he has played on and produced four national releases for Catalyst, featuring St. Louis' Willie Akins and Jeanne Trevor and Kansas City's Luqman Hamza . The CD, "Flamingo", features the work of his Indianapolis-based trio and his 2007 release "Live at The Hodo" features his current group. As a native Australian, Dr. Rowe has strong international ties, in his homeland and as far afield as Torino Italy, where he performed as musical director for esteemed St. Louis vocalist Jeanne Trevor. Having studied at Northwestern University and the New South Wales Conservatorium of Music, Dr. Rowe completed his undergraduate degree in Jazz Studies at Eastern Illinois University. Moving to the St. Louis area, he completed his Masters work at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville and has recently completed a Doctorate at the University Of Illinois.
Nick Fryer is a guitarist, composer, and an educator. Nick has performed throughout the United States, Canada, and South America with appearances at jazz festivals that include the JVC Jazz Festival NYC, Iowa City Jazz Festival, and Jazz in Peru International Jazz Festival. Nick has performed with many jazz greats including Peter Erskine, Anthony Cox, Mike Clark, Red Holloway, Dennis Mackrel, Rufus Reid, Billy Hart, David Bixler, Bob Mintzer, Pete McCann, and George and Ed Schuller. Nick Fryer recorded his debut CD, Homespun, in 2011 and has also recorded with the Nick Fryer/Doug Stone Quartet, and the Chicago post-rock quintet Algernon. His composition "Broken Lady" was featured on Algernon's latest record, Ghost Surveillance, and was released on Cuneiform Records in 2010. Nick's most recent recording is an album of jazz standards with NYC jazz guitarist, Pete McCann.
Nick received a B.M. in Jazz Performance from the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati and a M.M. in Jazz Performance/Pedagogy from Northern Illinois University. Studies also include New York University and the School for Improvised Music in New York City. Nick has studied privately with Steve Cardenas, Brad Shepik, Pete McCann, Bruce Arnold, Fareed Haque, and Tony Moreno.
Nick has over fifteen years of teaching experience and is currently the Associate Director of the Brubeck Institute in Stockton, CA. Prior to working at the Brubeck Institute, Nick Fryer was an Associate Professor of Music at Minnesota State University Moorhead where he coordinated the guitar program and directed jazz combos, taught jazz history, and directed the jazz guitar ensemble. Nick also previously taught at Harold Washington College and the Chicago Academy for the Arts in Chicago, IL. A D'Addario Performing Artist, Nick Fryer also performs and presents clinics on guitar and jazz to colleges and high schools throughout the United States.
Briana Ezzell became the Director of Development for the Brubeck Institute in early 2013. For information on giving to the Brubeck Institute, please contact Briana at 209.946.7635 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Melissa Riley was born and raised in the San Joaquin Valley area. She joined the institute in 2011 and brings with her several years of experience in the administrative field. She has been married to her husband Jerry since 2006 and they reside in Galt.