University of Vermont

Department of Music and Dance

Featured jazz alumni: What recent graduates are doing now

Alex Toth '06 - trumpet

Bachelor of Arts - music, jazz studies concentration
Minor - community development and applied economics

Alex Toth, trumpetA New Jersey native, the trumpeter, composer, and bandleader Alex Toth brought his unbounded energy and edgy soulfulness to Vermont. During his time at UVM Alex was the prime mover behind many ad hoc student groups as well as creative jazz and poetry projects in collaboration with the UVM English professors and renowned writers, Major Jackson and John Gennari.

As a member of the Burlington Discover Jazz Festival Big Band, he also performed the music of Frank Zappa with Ed Palermo, Sketches of Spain with Randy Brecker, and the music of Jim McNeely with the composer directing and playing piano. After graduation, Alex moved to Boston where he started touring with the popular ska/reggae band John Brown's Body and eventually founded the critically acclaimed Rubblebucket Orchestra, a contemporary Fela Kuti-inspired Afro-beat ensemble. He has recorded several CD's under his own name and recently released Rubblebucket's debut album. Alex can be heard all over the Northeast from New York City to Burlington and many places in between.

Annakalmia Traver '06 - alto sax, flute, voice

Bachelor of Arts - music, jazz studies concentration
Minor - community development and applied economics

Annakalmia Traver, trumpetA woodwind player and vocalist from Woodstock, Vermont, Kal Traver now resides in Boston where she plays with the nationally recognized reggae band John Brown's Body and is a member of the acclaimed Afro-beat ensemble Rubblebucket Orchestra. She also composes for her own groups, and works as a freelance saxophonist, singer, and web-designer for artists and musicians.

Her compositions, she explains, "are inspired by sounds in nature, old-time music, chorales, loud drums, shouting, dancing, and all kinds of tiny, big and ancient vibrations," and her saxophone playing "comes from the alto spirit: quick, mischevious, and dirty at times; but fruity too, searching and emotionally exuberant." While at UVM Kal played and sang with the 15-piece funk band Soulvation Army and performed and recorded with other UVM jazz students in the jazz group, the Lazybirds. Fluent in several languages including Spanish, Kal gained valuable musical experience during UVM-sponsored trips to Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico.

Rob Duguay '05 - bass

Bachelor of Science - international business management

Rob Duguay, bassAlthough he graduated with a degree in business, Rob took advantage of opporunities to perform in multiple jazz ensembles each semester. He was the UVM big band bassist for four years and had the chance to perform with Clark Terry, Paquito D'Rivera, and Arturo O'Farrill. Rob performed with many of Vermont's busiest jazz ensembles, including the Red Thread Trio, Dan Silverman Quartet, Big Joe Burrell and Friends, Cam Cross Trio, Justin Purdue Trio, Guagua Latin Jazz, and the Geoff Kim Trio. He also led many groups of his own and started a jam session every Friday night for local jazz musicians.

After graduation, Rob headed off to graduate school in New Orleans. Unfortunately the Katrina disaster cut short his plans and he soon found himself relocated to the prestigious jazz program at William Paterson University in New Jersey. From there he spent a productive year working as an intern at the Smithsonian Institution under Dr. John Hasse. Currently, Rob is laying down his infectious grooves all over New York City. Check out to find out where he's playing....

Russell Flynn '08 - bass, composition and arranging

Bachelor of Music, jazz studies concentration

Russell Flynn, bassA multi-instrumentalist and composer from Huntington, Long Island, Russ Flynn has contributed to numerous musical projects both on-campus and in Burlington's thriving music scene, including performing in popular bands such as Roku and Premarital Sextet in downtown clubs likeNectar's and the Radio Bean.

Russ has developed a sophisticated yet naturally flowing compositional style. In fall 2008 he began graduate study with acclaimed composer Michael Philip Mossman at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College in New York City. Listen to some of Russ's compositions at

Last modified October 27 2009 06:31 PM