COVID-19 Information

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Clark Terry/Phi Mu Alpha Jazz Festival

southeast jazz band assembled on stage playing their instruments

After much consideration, we have decided to cancel the 2021 Clark Terry - Phi Mu Alpha Jazz Festival. With many uncertainties surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, we feel it is in the best interests of participating schools, students, faculty, and staff to err on the side of safety. This was not an easy decision because we very much enjoy hosting you at this event each year. However, we feel this is a necessary decision in the wake of the pandemic to protect the nest and all our students.

With your help, this festival has grown in size every year, becoming known as a premier student jazz event in the region. We don’t want to miss the chance to collaborate with you, so we will be providing directors and students with video resources from some fantastic guest artists and clinicians. These materials will be available in February 2021 here on this page. These resources should help aid you in the development of your jazz ensembles and professional development as jazz educators.

We look forward to hosting you back on our beautiful River Campus for the Clark Terry - Phi MuAlpha Jazz Festival in February 2022. We are excited about future guest artists, clinicians and masterclasses that we are already planning to bring to the region.

We hope you and your families stay safe during this unprecedented time in our country.

For more information about Southeast’s response to COVID-19, please visit If you have any questions, please contact Joseph Jefferson at or call 573-651-2398.

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(Virtual) Clark Terry/ Phi Mu Alpha Jazz Festival 2021 - Resources

*Livestreamed Jazz Quintet Performance from New Orleans on Feb 5, 2021, at 6:00pm. (The link information will be sent out to band directors the week of the performance.)

*Jazz Instructional Videos (Will be available online starting Feb 5, 2021)

Virtual Jazz Festival Biographies

Ashlin posing on stage with his trumpet, there are bright and colored lights in the background

Ashlin Parker

A versatile jazz trumpeter based in New Orleans, Ashlin Parker is sought after for big band, small ensemble, and solo performances. He has played with various ensembles at jazz festivals and clubs in Australia, Barbados, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, England, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Italy, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Norway, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, and Wales. Ashlin leads the Trumpet Mafia and plays regularly with ensembles in New Orleans, such as the Ellis Marsalis Quintet, The New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, and Bill Summers and Jazalsa. He has played with musicians such as Ellis Marsalis, Jason Marsalis, Delfeayo Marsalis, Herlin Riley, Roland Guerin, Leroy Jones, Derek Douget, Adonis Rose, Dr. John, Karl Denson, Igor Butman, and Nicholas Payton, as well as vocalists Rafael Saadiq, the O’Jays, Anthony Hamilton, PJ Morton, Aretha Franklin, Quiana Lynell, Tiffany Austin, and Dee Dee Bridgewater. Ashlin has played on more than 30 albums with other musicians and has featured solos on albums such as the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra’s Songs: The Music of Allen Toussaint (2019) and Live at Newport (2017), Tiffany Austin’s Unbroken (2018), Ellis Marsalis’ Ellis Marsalis Quintet plays Ellis Marsalis (2017), and Jason Marsalis’ Heirs of the Crescent City (2016).

In addition to teaching private lessons and leading master classes at many high schools, colleges, and universities throughout the U.S., Ashlin teaches children and teenagers at the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music (2015-present), teaches applied jazz trumpet lessons at the University of New Orleans (2011-present), and serves as a visiting assistant professor of jazz studies at Tulane University (2018-2020).

Honors include sharing in the 2009 Grammy Award for Best Large Jazz Ensemble for the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra’s debut album, entitled Book One. Trumpet Mafia won the OffBeat Magazine’s 2017 Best of the Beat Award: Emerging Artist of the Year. Ashlin won the French Quarter Fest, Inc. 2018 Spirit of Satchmo Award for his musical contributions to New Orleans. He holds the Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies from Shenandoah University Conservatory (2005) and the Master of Music in Jazz Studies from the University of New Orleans (2009).

TJ posing for a generic portrait photo with a smile

TJ Norris

Award winning musician TJ Norris is a jazz trombonist and bassist with one foot firmly planted in the past and another leading to the future. The Student and The Teacher: In personal and professional spectrums TJ is both student and teacher. A master musician, Norris graduated with a Bachelor’s in Jazz and performed alongside legends like Stevie Wonder, George Clinton, Ellis Marsalis and Kirk Franklin. Under the guidance of Paul McKee and Robert Griffin TJ’s evolved into both maestro and master instructor. When he isn’t hitting the stage as member of the Uptown Jazz Orchestra, he’s on stage with the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. TJ understands the eb and flow of progress and knows that in order to influence the conversation you must continue your education.

Ryan posing for a generic portrait photo, looking quite serious

Ryan Hanseler

Born in Boston MA, Ryan Hanseler learned to play the piano at age six. Although classically trained, his interest gravitated towards jazz at an early age. By his early teens, he was fortunate to study with one of the finest educators in jazz, Mr. Charles Banacos. After several years of studying under him, Ryan Hanseler went on to earn a degree in Jazz Theory from the Crane School of Music in upstate New York. To complete his formal music education, he would later earn his Masters degree in Jazz Composition and Arranging from North Carolina Central University. Performing nationally and internationally, Ryan Hanseler has shared the stage with numerous artist including Rene Marie, Branford Marsalis, Tim Green, Nnenna Freelon, Lenora Helm and Terrence Blanchard. His current projects include a duo album with trumpeter Lynn Grissett, and a quartet album, to be released in the fall of 2014. Ryan Hanseler currently serves as a faculty member at East Carolina University in their jazz studies program. Ryan Hanseler's influences include Erroll Garner, Thelonious Monk, McCoy Tyner, Nat King Cole, Cannonball Adderley, James P. Johnson, Jellyroll Morton, Gene Harris and Freddie Hubbard.

Amina posing for a marketing photo. She is pictured full-body, standing with her instrument

Amina Scott

Amina Scott, born and raised in Oakland, CA, is an upright and electric bassist, composer, and arranger. Her interest in music began at an early age when her grandmother began giving her piano lessons. From then, her love and passion for music has yet to cease, playing electric bass at the age of twelve, and was soon playing gigs with local bands in Oakland.

In Oakland, Amina has ties to the Oakland Public Conservatory of Music (OPCM) which was started by trombonist Angela Wellman to provide arts and music classes the Oakland community with an economical way. Through OPCM, Amina was able to take her skills to Lima, Peru to be part of a group that represented the United States at the first Festival of Music and Dance in the African Diaspora where she played various concerts around Lima and held seminars discussing the music of the African Diaspora in the United States.

In 2012, Amina relocated to New Orleans, LA where she studied at Loyola University New Orleans under Allen Nisbet, Roland Guerin, and Ed Wise. She graduated from Loyola in 2016 with a Bachelor of Music in Music Industry Studies. In 2017, Amina began her studies at Florida State University (Tallahassee, FL) studying with Rodney Jordan, Leon Anderson, Marcus Roberts, and Bill Peterson. In 2019, she obtained her Masters in Music in jazz studies. In 2017, Amina joined the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra led by Adonis Rose. With them, she has performed at festivals such as the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, Detroit Jazz Festival, Ascona Jazz Festival (Ascona, Switzerland), and the Detroit Jazz Festival as well as with the small group, NOJO 7, performing at venues and festivals such as the St. Lucia Jazz Festival (St. Lucia) and the Exit Zero Jazz Festival (Cape May, NJ). Additionally, she also led her own quartet at the 2019 Jacksonville Jazz Festival (Jacksonville, FL).

Gerald posing for a headshot portrait against a dark background

Gerald Watkins

Gerald Watkins Jr is a drummer/percussionist originally from Norfolk, Va, and is now residing in New Orleans, LA. He has degrees in music from both Norfolk State University (B.S) and Florida State University (M.M). He performs locally with many of the area's finest musicians and also tours abroad. He has performed with members of the Marsalis family (Ellis, Delfeayo, and Jason), The New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Eric Benét, Ledisi, and many others. Aside from performing, Gerald loves to teach and mentor many of New Orlean's young creative minds at The Ellis Marsalis Center for Music.

Jazz Instructional Artists

Gerald Watkins

Topic: Jazz Drumming (Large to Small Jazz Ensembles)

Jared posing for a generic headshot photo holding his instrument

Jarrad Harris

Topic: How to Approach Improvisation

A native of Louisville, Kentucky, saxophonist and educator Jarrard Harris attended the Youth Performing Arts School in high school and attended the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music to further his jazz studies. At CCM he studied with Rick VanMatre, Pat Harbison, and Marc Fields. Upon Graduation from CCM Harris moved to Chicago in 1998 to further his studies at DePaul University where under the tutelage of Bob Lark, Tim Coffman, and Marc Colby he earned his master’s degree in jazz studies. Harris currently lives in Chicago, where he is on the jazz faculty of Northwestern University, Columbia College Chicago and the City Colleges of Chicago. He also serves as the director of jazz studies with the Chicago Public Schools Advanced Arts Education Program at Gallery 37. He maintains an active private teaching studio in addition to adjudicating and performing at college and high school festivals, giving master classes, and lecturing, he has performed with musicians in the United States and abroad. Jarrard was a founding board member of the Jazz education Network and serves as a current board member for the Jazz Institute of Chicago.

Bennett posing for a generic headshot photo holding his instrument

Dr. Bennett Wood

Topic: Identifying good jazz transcription projects for the beginner - intermediate levels.

As a professional musician, Wood has established himself as a bandleader and an in-demand sideman. In addition to leading his own groups at nationally recognized venues, including Jazz at the Bistro and the Elephant Room, he has performed alongside internationally acclaimed musicians including John Clayton, Maria Schneider, Sean Jones, Terrell Stafford, Kenny Werner, Allison Miller, Russell Gunn, Scott Whitfield, Houston Person, Nat Adderley Jr., Andre Hayward, Bruce Saunders, Greg Osby, Doug Lawrence, Butch Miles, Ralph Bowen, Reggie Thomas, Red Young, Conrad Herwig, Serafin Aguilar, and Lukas Graham.

Wood earned a Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Texas at Austin in 2014. He holds a Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

Joseph posing with his trombone and laughing for a full body portrait shot

Dr. Joseph L. Jefferson

Topic: Approaching Jazz Ballad Playing

Dr. Joseph L. Jefferson is the Asst. Professor of Trombone/Euphonium and Director of Jazz Studies at Southeast Missouri State University. As a soloist, chamber musician, educator, and adjudicator, Joseph maintain's an active schedule in Classical, Jazz, and commercial musical settings. Dr. Jefferson has been a guest artist and presenter at the International Trombone Festival, International Horn Symposium, University of Nevada, Reno, Texas A & M - Kingsville Trombone Day, University of Evansville Brass and Percussion Day, Mt. Hood Community College, Mineral Area College, and Three Rivers College. As a performer, Dr. Jefferson has shared the stage with a variety of groups and artists such as The Colour of Music Orchestra, The Irish Tenors, The Cab Calloway Orchestra, Zoltan Kiss (Mnozil Brass), Sean Jones, Randy Brecker, and international R&B artists Dwele and Raheem Devaughn among others. Internationally, Dr. Jefferson has had performing and teaching residencies in Bermuda and Asia at the College of Music, Mahidol University in Thailand.

Dr. Jefferson has earned degrees from Norfolk State (B.M), Shenandoah Conservatory (M.M.), and West Virginia University (D.M.A.) under the tutelage of esteemed faculty; including, Dr. Keith Jackson, Dr. Wayne Wells, Dr. Mike Hall, and Mr. Paul Adams. He has also studied with Joseph Alessi, Amanda Stewart, Andre Hayward, Dr. Natalie Mannix, Delfeayo Marsalis, David Vining, and Donna Parkes. Joseph is an S.E. Shires and Giddings Mouthpieces Performing Artist.



River Campus Seminary 254
Department of Music
One University Plaza, MS 7800
Cape Girardeau, Missouri 63701