Tucson Jazz Institute
Brice Winston, Scott Black, Doug Tidaback
photo credit: Jill Torrance AZ Daily Star
Founders, owners, and primary instructors at Tucson Jazz Institute:
Brice Winston, Scott Black, and Doug Tidaback.

improvisation and combo director
Brice Winston Saxophonist and composer Brice Winston is a native of Tucson, AZ, but cut his teeth learning jazz in the city where the music began, New Orleans. For more than 16 years he lived in New Orleans performing with numerous world-class musicians including such notables as Brian Blade, Ellis Marsalis and Nicholas Payton. After touring with Nicholas Payton’s band for a year, his acquaintance with band leader and composer Terence Blanchard led to a close musical relationship that continues to this day. Brice has been touring with Blanchard for over ten years, affording him the opportunity to perform and record with some of the greatest musicians in the world including Herbie Hancock and Dave Holland, as well as record for movies scored by Blanchard for film director Spike Lee. October 2014 marks the release of his second CD as a leader. Child's Play on Criss Record Records, recorded in New York with guitarist Mike Moreno, David Virelles on piano, Joe Sanders on bass, and drummer Marcus Gilmore. Brice currently finds himself back in his hometown of Tucson, running the Tucson Jazz Institute (TJI), and continuing to record and perform in jazz clubs and music festivals all over the world.

Read more about Brice on his website bricewinston.com

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big band director
Doug Tidaback grew up in Mendota, a small farm town in Central Illinois. Doug attended the University of Illinois on a scholarship and received a Bachelors of Music in 1982. While at the University of Illinois, Doug studied with one of the pioneers of repertory jazz, Professor John Garvey.

Mr. Tidaback was the tenured Bass Trombonist of the Monterey Symphony from 1985 to 1994 and was a lead trombonist with the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra for ten years. Mr. Tidaback has taught at Illinois Wesleyan University, Bradley University, the University of Illinois, Hartnell College, Heartland College, Lincoln College, The Birch Creek Music Center, the University of Arizona and the Catholic Schools of the Peoria Diocese. Ensembles directed by Mr. Tidaback have been featured and won 1st Place awards at The Notre Dame Jazz Festival, The Elmhurst College Jazz Festival, The Witchita Jazz Festival, The Eastern Illinois Jazz Festival, The Western Illinois Jazz Festival, The Pittsburgh Jazz Festival, The Monterey Jazz Festival, The Fullerton College Jazz Festival, The New Orleans Jazz Festival, The Montreal Jazz Festival, The Reno International Jazz Festival, IAJE Western Regional Conference, The Prescott Jazz Festival, The Teluride Jazz Festival, and many others.

Doug received a Masters of Music from California State University in 1992, and has completed course work and recitals and passed his oral and written exams towards a Doctor of Musical Arts at the University of Arizona.

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improvisation and combo director
Scott Black graduated from Indiana University (IU) with a degree in jazz studies focusing primarily on playing the trumpet with bass as a second instrument. All of Scott's classes at that time were taught by one of jazz education's pioneers and innovators -- David Baker (who is still at IU.) Six years in New York City followed, during which time Scott (motivated by a sore throat and a desire for more small group jazz work) switched from being primarily a trumpet player to being primarily a bass player. Being a vital part of NYC's music scene and working with another of the world's foremost jazz educators, Barry Harris, provided Scott the best possible jazz education and experience.

Moving to the Midwest in 1983, Scott directed a jazz school, taught private lessons and played bass with the many great jazz musicians in Chicago. A vacation in Tucson led to his now permanent vacation home (as he frequently tells people) and a very busy career as a professional musician. Scott is the director of AZJazzArtists.com and books jazz music for all occasions. He conducts workshops, adjudicates at jazz festivals, and is author of Bebop Scales - How to Understand, Practice & Use. Scott is also a board member of the Tucson Jazz Music Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization providing scholarships, sponsorships and presentations for students in Southern Arizona.

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vocal jazz and and big band assistant director
Gavin Tidaback Gavin Tidaback is a graduate of Northern Illinois University’s award winning jazz program. During his time at NIU he studied under the greats Ron Carter and Reggie Thomas as well as other Chicago jazz royalty such as Art Davis, Fareed Haque, Rich Moore, and Geof Bradfield.

His trumpet playing began with the Tucson Jazz Institute (then the Arizona Jazz Academy) in 2004 when he was in 5th grade and continued all the way through his high school years. By the time he was a freshman in high school Gavin was assistant directing big bands at TJI. In his time playing and teaching with the Jazz Institute, Gavin has played on the Jerry Lewis Telethon, in the Next Generation Jazz Festival, Monterey Jazz Festival, Fullerton College Jazz Festival, Essentially Ellington Jazz Festival, and many more including festivals across Switzerland, France, Spain, and Italy. At NIU, he studied classical trumpet under Dr. Mark Ponzo and jazz trumpet under Art Davis.

Gavin has been in organized vocal ensembles of every variety since he was 8 years old singing with the Tucson Arizona Boys Chorus as one of America’s Singing Ambassadors. In college, he was offered a spot in NIU’s top chamber choir as a freshman under the direction of Dr. Eric Johnson. Gavin now directs the choirs at Salpointe Catholic High School in Tucson.

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improvisation and combo director
Neamen Lyles is among the Arizona Jazz Institute's rising stars of jazz performance and pedagogy, Neamen Lyles burns as bright as any. An experienced teacher, clinician and performer in and around Tucson, Neamen brings a depth of training, expertise and experience that provides enormous benefits to the Institute and to every student he takes under his wing.

Neamen has studied with renowned jazz educator Jeff Haskell at the U of A, as well as with noted instrumentalists Dr. Kelland Thomas (saxophone) and Dr. Jean Louis Kashy (flute), receiving a Bachelor of Music Degree in Saxophone Performance (Jazz Studies) in 2003. Since then, he has built an impressive set of credentials, including regular performances with well-known Tucson R&B artist George Howard, and with the jazz/funk ensemble Chille Willie Grove. Presently collaborating on his first CD with nationally known pop recording artist Jay Soto, Mr. Lyles now stands on the threshold of breaking onto the national recording scene himself.

Additionally Neamen's well-established Christian Latin jazz-funk band, Cruz Control, continues its vibrant ministry in and around Tucson, and has earned high praise for its work: the band earned finalist honors in The American Christian Music Showcase in 2006.

In the last several years, Neamen has nurtured a growing studio of nearly twenty talented young students at every age and level of achievement. His students have earned notable placement in regional Jazz and Classical competitions, as well as top honors at Arizona's High School All-State Jazz competition. Most of Neamen's students hold first chair in their local school bands at both the elementary and high school levels.

The Arizona Jazz Institute is proud to count saxophone/flute instructor Neamen Lyles among its distinguished faculty.

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Tucson Jazz Institute, holding classes at Utterback Magnet Middle School, 3233 S Pinal Vista, Tucson AZ 85713
Mail: TJI, PO Box 87920, Tucson AZ 85754 Phone: (520) 514-0935