Paul Contos, SFJAZZ High School All-Stars Orchestra
Paul Contos has been involved in jazz performance and education for over 40 years. His mentoring and teaching have touched hundreds of lives. Students he has tutored includes Donny McCaslin, Hafez Modirzadeh, Remy and Pascal LeBoeuf, David Valdez, Kyle Athayde, Chase Baird, Milton Fletcher, Tanya Darby, Eric Crystal, Pat Carroll, Alex Han, and a host of others. His work for the Monterey Jazz Festival’s Education Program since the 1980s as Saxophone Clinician and Director of both The Next Generation Jazz Orchestra and Monterey County All-Stars is distinguished and thoroughly comprehensive.
Contos is a faculty member at University of California, Santa Cruz and California State University, Monterey Bay. He also conducts, performs, and judges at college and high school jazz festivals, and serves as Artist in Residence for many school jazz programs. Contos singularly developed the curriculum for the Music Recording/Technology Concentration at California State University, Monterey Bay. Contos has received performer grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. He also serves as Artist In Residence for the California Arts Council, and is on the council's touring roster. In 2009, Contos was the featured saxophone soloist at Carnegie Hall as part of New York City’s Distinguished Concerts International, performing a jazz concerto by composer Jeff Beal.
Mr. Contos helped form the Kuumbwa Jazz Center in Santa Cruz, and has played and recorded with many of the Bay Area’s finest jazz artists, including Ray Drummond, Eddie Marshall, Kenneth Nash, Vince Lateano, Madeline Eastman, Mark Levine, Rebeca Mauleón, Bruce Forman, Tee Carson, Dave Eshelman, and Ray Brown. He has also shared the stage such luminaries as Dizzy Gillespie, Clark Terry, the Heath Brothers, Wynton and Branford Marsalis, Christian McBride, Kurt Elling, Regina Carter, Gary Burton, Wayne Shorter, Terence Blanchard, John Faddis, David “Fathead” Newman, and many others.
Dann Zinn, SFJAZZ High School All-Stars Combo
As a world-class saxophonist/flutist, Dann Zinn is renowned for being a passionate soloist, composer, arranger, and educator. As a performer, Dann has worked with Peter Erskine, Taylor Eigsti, Joe Henderson, Jeff Tain Watts, Freddie Hubbard, Chuck Findley, Mary Wells, Martha and the Vandellas, and Barry Finnerty. He has produced four albums of his own: Ten Songs, Wish, Grace's Song, and Shangri La. Dann has toured the United States playing venues that include the Monterey Jazz Festival and Yoshi's.
Dann's resume as an educator includes Director of Jazz Studies at California State University East Bay, Director of Jazz Studies at Chabot College, faculty at the University of California at Berkeley, the California Jazz Conservatory, and the Brubeck Institute. Dann's private studio is home to multiple winners of full scholarships to the nation's top college jazz programs. His series of six technique books, Zinn and the Art of the Saxophone, is based on Dann's thirty years of teaching experience.