Guest Artists 2018



Vocal Guest Artist

Harmonic Convergence is a 6-member vocal ensemble with rhythm section fromThe School for Music Vocations in Creston, Iowa.  The group sings a wide variety of musical styles, including jazz, latin, r & b, and a cappella music.  Along with performing and touring nationally each year, Harmonic Convergence also co-hosts the SMV Real Group Festival each spring, and will be on staff at the 15th Annual SMV Vocal Jazz Camps, in Northern California this summer from July 16-20th (

Dr. Jeremy Fox Bio: Grammy-nominated Dr. Jeremy Fox is a highly in-demand clinician, and has presented clinics and served as guest conductor of All-State and Honor choral and instrumental ensembles throughout the U.S. and Canada.  He earned his B.M. degree in Piano-Jazz Studies from Western Michigan University, and his M.M. and D.M.A. in Jazz Composition from the University of Miami.  Jeremy served as a Visiting Professor of vocal jazz at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, and has now returned as Full-Time Instructor at The School for Music Vocations. This summer, Jeremy coordinates the 15th Annual SMV Vocal Jazz Camps in Iowa, Northern California, and in Winnipeg, Manitoba( He also co-conducts weeklong workshops in the U.S. and Canada each summer designed to empower music educators called the Jazz Harmony Retreat ( And this April, Jeremy will direct the inaugural SMV Real Group Festival in Creston, Iowa.

Jeremy has received 10 awards from Downbeat magazine, including ones for: Best Written Song, Best Arrangement, Studio Engineering, and for his small vocal ensemble. Jeremy’s arrangements are published with Alfred Music, Sound Music Publications, UNC Jazz Press, as well as on his website.  He has written for such artists as: Kate McGarry, Take 6, Kevin Spacey, Theo Bleckmann, The Real Group, Cadence, m-pact, Terence Blanchard, John Secada, and Metropolitan Opera singers Eric Owens and Denyce Graves. He is the musical director for “Bossa Nova Sinfónico”, which sets to orchestra the bossa nova music of Antonio Carlos Jobim.  He has conducted the show with the Costa Rican National Orchestra, the Symphonic Orchestra of Campeche and Coyoacán, and the National Symphonic Orchestra of Cuba.  He has also twice acted as the guest conductor for the Henry Mancini Institute Jazz Orchestra, based in Miami. Jeremy’s inaugural album “With Love” (Jazzbill Records) was released to iTunes and Amazon in April 2014 to rave reviews.  It features his big band and orchestral arrangements for a phenomenal line-up of singers, including Rose Max and Ramatis Moraes, Kevin Mahogany, Kate Reid, Kate McGarry, Lauren Kinhan and Peter Eldridge (from the New York Voices), Anders Edenroth, Derek Fawcett, Wendy Pedersen, and Sunny Wilkinson.  His arrangement of “All My Tomorrows” featuring Kate McGarry was nominated for “Best Arrangement – Instruments and Vocals” at the 57th Annual Grammy™ Awards.

Instrumental Guest Artist

John Daversa is a versatile and internationally respected performer (Trumpet/EVI), composer, arranger, producer, bandleader, educator, and BFM Jazz recording artist. He is a winner of the Herb Alpert Award, David Joel Miller Award, the National Trumpet Competition, the ITG Jazz Soloist Competition, and finalist in the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition, and a 3-time Grammy nominee.

Daversa’s celebrated and distinctive musical perspective has been a passport to performances on world stages such as The Today Show, Late Nite with David Letterman, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Live 8 (Berlin), Hamburg Music Festival, Java Jazz Festival, Monterey Jazz Festival, Montreal Jazz Festival, Montreux Festival, and the Playboy Jazz Festival.  He has also had the opportunity to perform or record with artists such as Fiona Apple, Michael Bublé, Dori Caymi, Andraé Crouch, Sheryl Crow, Herbie Hancock, Bob Mintzer Big Band, and The Yellowjackets.

In 1996, he founded the John Daversa Progressive Big Band, which is one of the leading forces of modern jazz today.  Junk Wagon: The Big Band Album (2011), won Best in Show and Awards of Excellence in Creativity/Originality and Production in The Global Music Awards. “Daversa’s fearless exploration…takes him off the beaten path, as he creates bold and ballsy big band music for the modern epoch.”– Daversa’s latest big band release, Kaleidoscope Eyes: Music of the Beatles(2016), reverently twists and melts the iconic Beatles songbook with a 40+ orchestra featuring vocal artists Renee Olstead and Katisse Buckingham. Terence Blanchard states, “This is art. This is what music should be. No re-creation. No mimicking. Just honesty. Fearless honesty.”

In addition, Daversa leads the John Daversa Small Band consisting of tenor saxophonist Robby Marshall, alto saxophonist/flutist/vocalist Katisse Buckingham, keyboardist Tommy King, bassist Jerry Watts and drummer Gene Coye.  This powerhouse ensemble transitions with ease from sections of incredible sensitivity to vignettes of intensity rivaling that of his own Big Band.  The Small Group’s latest album Artful Joy features Bob Mintzer and Gretchen Parlato. “This band sounds huge. And let’s not forget modern. “New” is in rare supply these days, but you’ve found yourself some new right here.” –Peter Erskine.

Daversa earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from The University of California, Los Angeles, a Master of Fine Arts degree in Jazz Studies at California Institute of the Arts, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Jazz Studies at the University of Southern California.  After teaching at both USC and California State University Northridge, he is now the chair of Studio Music and Jazz at the Frost School of Music at University of Miami.



Guest Artists from Past Festivals

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