The 2017-2018 Brubeck Fellows

Evan AbounassarEvan Abounassar
Trumpet Player Evan Abounassar was born and raised in Southern California. Through his music, Evan has toured Japan and much of the US with the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra, the Grammy Band, and the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz. He has performed on stages such as the Hollywood Bowl, the Dolby Theatre and the Walt Disney Concert Hall and worked with the likes of Wynton Marsalis, Terri Lynn Carrington, Walter Smith III, Antonio Hart and the legendary recording engineer, Rudy Van Gelder. Evan is in his first year as a Brubeck Fellow.




Isaiah CollierIsaiah Collier
Saxophonist Isaiah Collier is a native of Chicago, Illinois and attended ChiArts High School. With his parents' encouragement, Isaiah began playing the saxophone at age 12. Isaiah has participated in the Monk institute for two years. During this time he has toured with Bobby Watson, Antonio Hart and Kelly Lee Evans. He has played with The AACM and many renowned and local artists. Isaiah is in his second year as a Brubeck Fellow.



Tony MilanoTony Milano
Pianist Tony Milano was born and raised in Chicago and has been studying music since 5 years old. He first studied blues, classical and then studied jazz with the mentorship of Willie Pickens, Chuchito Valdes, Jon Faddis, Dan Wall, to mention a few. Tony was a part of the Jazz Institute of Chicago's Student Jazz Council, which included performances all around the city. Tony continued to study jazz piano at the Oberlin Conservatory from 2014-2017. Tony has performed at places such as: Green Mill; Room 43; Andy's Jazz Club; Millenium Park; Hyde Park Jazz Fest; Jazz Showcase; Chicago Jazz Fest; Chicago Blues Fest. Tony has also opened up for acts such as James Carter, Willie Pickens, Ari Brown, Jamila Woods, and many more. Tony is in his first year as a Brubeck Fellow.


Gabe RupeGabe Rupe
Bassist Gabe Rupe is from Lafayette, Colorado. While attending Denver School of the Arts, Gabe found his voice through the Denver Jazz Scene and has played out in many venues throughout his home state in a variety of groups. Throughout his time as a musician, Gabe has won multiple awards of excellence for his playing. Gabe has participated in the 2016 Vail Jazz All-Stars, the 2016 Telluride Jazz All-Stars, the 2017 Jazz Band of America and is the 2017 YoungArts finalist in Jazz-Double Bass. Gabe is in his first year as a Brubeck Fellow.

Maya StepanskyMaya Stepansky
Drummer Maya Stepansky is from Montclair, New Jersey. Maya began drumming at age 9 with Hillside's Drums of Thunder nationally-touring precision drum corps, followed by studies at Jazz House Kids, NJPAC, and Litchfield & Juilliard Jazz summer workshops. Awarded full merit scholarships to 2015 NY State Music Festival, 2016 NYU Jazz Workshop, and 2017 Berklee Newport Jazz Festival Institute, Maya was named a 2015 Stanley Kay Scholarship national jazz drums winner, 2017 GRAMMY Jazz Combo drummer, and honored to perform with and/or be mentored by such inspirational jazz artists as Billy Drummond, Oliver Lake, Sherri Maricle, Dave Liebman, Terri Lyne Carrington, Linda Oh, Wayne Escoffery, Tony Moreno, Billy Hart, Carl Allen, and Jeff Coffin. Maya is in her first year as a Brubeck Fellow.