Faculty Bios

ARTURO O’FARRILL is a Grammy-winning pianist and winner of the 2003 Latin Jazz USA Outstanding Achievement Award. Born in Mexico and raised in New York City, he founded and directed Lincoln Center’s Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra and has played piano with the Carla Bley Big Band and performed as a solo performer with a wide spectrum of jazz greats like Dizzy Gillespie, Wynton Marsalis, and Harry Belafonte. A recognized composer, O’Farrill has received acclaimed commissions from Meet the Composer, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and the Big Apple Circus. A master jazz educator, he has taught teachers and students of all ages around the world. BIO  
ALEX STEWART is a jazz saxophonist and ethnomusicologist from New York City, Alex Stewart performed with many leading jazz and popular musicians before coming to Vermont in 1999. He has just returned from a nine-month Fulbright fellowship in Mexico where he was researching Afro-mestizo music on the Pacific coast. Besides jazz and African American music, his interests include Spanish language, Latin music, and music copyright law. BIO  
RICK DAVIES is the founder and director of Jazzismo, the Summertime Jazz ensemble-in-residence program based in New York that has featured bassist Harvie Swartz, trumpeters Chocolate Armenteros and Ray Vega, and many of the finest salsa and Latin musicians. A trombonist and teacher, Davies earned his Ph.D. in jazz history from New York University. BIO  
TOM CLEARY was a finalist in the competitive Kennedy Center Jazz ambassadors program and studied jazz at Hampshire College, UMass, and UVM before becoming an accomplished educator and jazz pianist. He has taught students ranging from the elementary school to college level in schools and music programs in Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Vermont. BIO  
STEVE FERRARIS is a drummer and arts educator, has performed and taught rhythm and drumming for all ages nationally and internationally since 1985. He has been involved with the New Hampshire Council on the Arts, Very Special Arts New Hampshire, Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College, and UVM, among other institutions.BIO  
JEFF SALISBURY is a drummer, has played with Albert King and Cold Blood, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Linda Tillery, and many other artists in rhythm-and-blues and jazz. A former artistic advisor for the Discover Jazz Festival, Salisbury was commissioned by the Flynn to compose and perform original percussion quartet music in 2003.BIO  
JOHN RIVERS is an active free-lance bassist throughout the region. John is currently teaching applied Jazz bass at the University of Vermont, Johnson State College, as well as running a private teaching studio through Advance Music in Burlington, Vermont. John peforms in Garuda, Jazzismo, the Juliet McVicker Trio, and the James Harvey Two. John has performed the world over with artists including Arturo Sandoval, Othello Molineaux, Ira Sullivan, Karl Berger, Kim Pensyl and Phillip Hamilton. BIO