2020 Guest Artists


Vocal Guest Artist – American River College Vocal Jazz Ensemble

The AMERICAN RIVER COLLEGE VOCAL JAZZ ENSEMBLE is entering its 22nd year under the direction of Dr. Arthur Lapierre. This acclaimed ensemble has garnered countless accolades locally and nationally. The American River College Vocal Jazz Ensemble has

performed frequently for the state, divisional, and national conferences of such organizations as the International Association of Jazz Educators, the American Choral Directors Association, and the Jazz Educators Conference. These performances have afforded American River Community College students the opportunity travel to Salt Lake City, Tucson, Chicago, Santa Barbara, Toronto, New York, Long Beach, and New Orleans. The American River College Vocal Jazz Ensemble most recently received our 19th DownBeat Award for our many recordings. We hope you enjoy our newest CD available from any of our members after tonight’s show.

Dr. Art LaPierre is currently Professor of Music, and Director of the Vocal Jazz Ensembles, at American River College, where he also teaches studio voice, jazz history, and voice classes. Dr. LaPierre’s ensembles have been featured performers for the International Association of Jazz Educators (IAJE), Jazz Education Network (JEN), American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), California Music Educators Association (CMEA), New York State Music Teachers Association (NYSMTA) and at other regional and international conferences, and jazz festivals. DownBeat Magazine has awarded his ensembles with 21 Student Achievement Awards.

Previously, Dr. LaPierre directed vocal jazz ensembles at the Berklee College of Music; California State University, Long Beach; California State University, Los Angeles; Rancho Santiago Community College; and, Long Beach Polytechnic High School. Dr. LaPierre is active as an adjudicator, guest conductor, and clinician and also operates a music studio in Carmichael, California.

Instrumental Guest Artist – Bria Skonberg

Photo credit Krista Stucchio

To most of us, the adventures of trailblazing trumpeter, vocalist and songwriter Bria Skonberg are borderline unbelievable. 

Learn more about Bria at https://www.briaskonberg.com/

Guest Artists from Past Festivals

Many more instrumental and vocal artists have performed in the past 30 years and we thank them all.