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School of Music

Jazz Studies

Jazz Faculty

Steve Roach has been the Director of Jazz Studies at Sacramento State University since 2001. He has also served as Director of Jazz Studies at Baylor University and has held teaching positions at the University of Northern Colorado and Northern Illinois University. Steve's duties at Sacramento State include directing large jazz ensembles and teaching courses in jazz pedagogy and jazz history. In addition, Roach directs the annual Sacramento State Winter Jazz Festival and The Traditional Jazz Youth Band Festival. Steve holds a Bachelor of Music degree in trumpet performance from Indiana University, a Master of Music degree in trumpet performance from Northern Illinois University, and a Doctor of Arts degree in trumpet and jazz pedagogy from the University of Northern Colorado. more info
Gaw Vang Williams is a jazz-pop vocalist and educator native to Sacramento, California. She she earned her Bachelors of Music in Jazz Studies and Masters of Music in vocal performance from Sacramento State, and became the director of Vocal Jazz Ensembles at Sac State in 2014. She began teaching in 2004, serving as a music instructor at VAPAC (Visual and Performing Arts Charter), C.K. McClatchy High School, Folsom High School, and with the Mandarins Drum and Bugle Corps. Under Williams’s direction, the Sac State Vocal Jazz program has won over 20 Downbeat Magazine Student awards. In addition, the Vocal Jazz Ensembles took First Place at the Next Generation Monterey Jazz Festival in the collegiate vocal jazz ensemble category in 2016 and 2017. more info
Mike McMullen is a professionally working musician with over 45 years as a performer, composer, arranger, and educator. He has worked throughout North America, Europe, and Scandinavia, in a wide variety of musical settings. In addition to his work with the Jazz Studies program at Sac State, Mike currently leads his own jazz groups, collaborates on intriguing creative projects, performs in the pit for California Musical Theater downtown, and works with Sacramento Jazz Orchestra. As an educator, past activities and roles include work with Mondavi Center jazz education, Director of Jazz Ensembles at UC Davis for 11 years, 15 years adjunct instruction at ARC, the 1986 founding and directing the Newpark Jazz Program in Dublin, Ireland, and 3 years on staff at the Dick Grove School in Los Angeles. more info
Carlos McCoy has been directing the Sacramento State Latin Jazz Ensemble since 2012. He received his Bachelors of Music degree as well as his Masters degree from California State University, Sacramento, and he also holds a performance certificate from the Berklee College of Music in Boston. Carlos has studied woodwinds with such prominent artists as Harry Skoler and Dan Zinn. He also had the opportunity to back up many prominent performers including Bob Florence, Wayne Bergeron, Marcus Printup, Bobby Shew, Mike Vax, Ingrid Jensen, Rebecca Mauleon, Dann Higgins, Conrad Herwig, Pete Christlieb and others. more info
Phil Tulga received his Bachelor of Music degree in trombone performance from the Eastman School of Music. In addition, he earned a Performer's Certificate and was awarded first place in the school's concerto competition. Phil continued at Eastman to complete a Master of Music degree in Jazz and Contemporary Media. He has performed live concerts and studio sessions with Johnny Mathis, Dionne Warwick, Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennett, Natalie Cole, the Tonight Show Band, Paul Anka, and the Ray Charles Band. In addition, he has performed on various television recording sessions at Burbank Studios for HBO and ABC. more info
Joe Gilman is a full-time professor of music at American River College in Sacramento, an adjunct professor of jazz studies at Sacramento State, and a longtime associate of the Brubeck Institute and the Stanford Jazz Workshop. Joe was the music director of Capital Jazz Project from 1997 to 2011. He has received bachelor's degrees in classical piano and jazz studies at Indiana University, a master's degree in jazz and the contemporary media from the Eastman School of Music, and a doctoral degree in education from the University of Sarasota. He won the 1998 Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission Emerging Artist Award and the 2000 Sacramento News and Review SAMMIES Critical Achievement award for contribution to the arts community. more info
Steve Homan has performed professionally for over 30 years with such jazz artists as Howard Alden, Herb Ellis, Jimmy Smith, Joe Williams, Ed Thigpen, Hugh Masakela, Art Van Damme, Anita O'Day, Joey Calderazo, Mel Martin, Diane Schuur and The Nelson Riddle Concert Orchestra. Steve has also appeared on recordings with Anita O'Day and Pete Jolly and Vibraphonist Gene Estes. In addition, Homan has performed, composed and arranged music on CDs featuring The Delbert Bump Jazz Organ Trio and a tribute to the great jazz guitar/piano duets in collaboration with Joe Gilman. Steve currently holds adjunct teaching positions at Cosumnes River College and American River College in addition to his duties with the Sac State Jazz Studies program. more info
Gerry Pineda received his Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies and Master of Music in Double Bass Performance from California State University, Sacramento. He has studied with: Richard Topper (University of Cincinnati), Bill Rene (UCLA), Carl Stanley (CSUS) and Tom Derthick (Sac State). Gerry encourages his students to value the importance of fundamentals and solid instrumental technique. This includes: solo transcriptions, music history, repertoire, discography of groundbreaking jazz recordings and performance experience. Along with his duties at Sacramento State and private teaching studio, he also serves as an educator/clinician in jazz studies at regional music camps and festivals. more info
Rick Lotter began drumming at age four, when his family lived in Malawi, Africa. He later studied drumset, timpani and mallet percussion with Stanley Lunetta in Sacramento . He began playing professionally in his teenage years and has enjoyed a varied career in the music business as a drummer, educator, bandleader, producer, and record label manager. Best known for his work with eclectic roots music group Mumbo Gumbo, Rick's credits include recording and performing with Capital Jazz Project, Dave Liebman, Jim Snidero, Bobby Shew, Richie Cole, Jessica Williams, Carl Anderson and Maria Muldaur, as well as numerous radio and television commercials. more info