José Antonio Díaz, recently selected as a 2017 Grammy Educator of the Year Finalist and a recent recipient of the John LaPorta Educator of the Year Award, is founder and artistic director of the Díaz Music Institute and director of bands at MacArthur High School in Houston, Texas. Newly inducted into Down Beat Magazine’s Jazz Education Hall of Fame and a recipient of the City of Houston Mayor’s Hispanic Heritage Award. Díaz’s groups have performed with such artists as Carl Allen, Alvin Batiste, Shelly Berg, Ignacio Berroa, Nick Brignola, Ndugu Chancler, Jon Faddis, Conrad Herwig, Brian Lynch, Jimmy Owens, Danilo Perez, Patrice Rushen, David Sánchez, Arturo Sandoval, Nestor Torres, and Bill Watrous to name just a few. José’s ensemble has performed multiple times at some of the most prestigious international events including but not limited to the Midwest Clinic, Jazz Education Network, Texas Music Educators Association, Oregon Music Educators Association, Texas Bandmasters Association, and National Association for Music Education.
Under José’s leadership the Díaz Music Institute to be become internationally recognized as a premier organization for presenting, developing, and teaching Latin jazz and Salsa music. Díaz’s innovative programing is enjoyed by the Houston community through the institute’s annual presentation of Noche Caliente at the Miller Outdoor Theatre. Performing in Noche Caliente is the Institute’s repertoire ensemble “Caliente”, recognized as America’s premier Afro-Latin Youth Ensemble, in musical dialogue with some of Latin music’s biggest stars such as Alex Acuna, Jimmy Bosch, Candido, Pete Escovedo, Larry Harlow, Ismael Miranda, Johnny Pacheco, Eddie Palmieri, Poncho Sánchez, Roberto Roena, Adalberto Santiago, Brenda K Starr, Michael Stuart, and Bobby Valentín.
Díaz’s success with the institute and his career as a music educator were the subject of a featured cover story in SBO Magazine and Band Director’s Guide Magazine. José received a Down Beat Magazine Award for Achievement in Jazz Education and was selected by FOX 26 and Univision Television stations as a Hispanic Hero. Proudly in 2007, Díaz was inducted into the Texas Christian University Band of Fame. In June 2008 José received the prestigious Jefferson Award for his work with Díaz Music Institute. As an artist, Mr. Díaz has received four grants from the Houston Arts Alliance to support his creative writing in Latin Jazz music compositions. In addition, Díaz Music Institute was twice selected by the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities as finalist for the 2010 and 2011 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards.
One of music education’s most sought after clinician, Díaz has presented workshops for organizations such as the Midwest Clinic, Jazz Education Network, Berklee College of Music, Jazz Institute of Chicago, Conservatorium aan Zee in Oostende (Belgium), California Music Educators Association, Oregon Music Educators Association, University of Missouri at St. Louis, Texas Bandmasters Association, Texas Music Educators Association, Virginia Music Educators Association, the Western International Band Clinic, National Association of Black School Educators, Texas Music Symposium, Music Education National Conference, and the National Association of School of Music.
José is on the board of Directors for The Midwest Clinic and was a member of Jazz Education Network Board of Directors. Díaz is also member of Texas Bandmasters Association, Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Music Adjudicators Association, Phi Beta Mu, Kappa Kappa Psi, and Phi Mu Alpha.
J Richard Dunscomb is one of the leading authorities in the field of Jazz music and music education. He has been recognized nationally and internationally as a guest conductor, author, adjudicator, clinician and consultant. He has presented more than 200 workshops including conducting and Jazz clinics throughout the United States, as well as Australia, Europe, Canada, Sweden, Japan and South America.
Throughout his career, Professor Dunscomb has been recognized with numerous honors and awards. The International Association of Jazz Educators elected Dunscomb to its Hall of Fame. The Midwest Clinic, an international band and orchestra clinic awarded Dunscomb the prestigious Medal of Honor. He also received numerous awards for his outstanding conducting, teaching and service from several universities. He was the North American Coordinator for the Montreux (Switzerland) International Jazz Festival for 18 years and has served as Executive Director of the Chicago Jazz Ensemble. His most recent publications include, with Dr. Willie Hill, Jr. Jazz Pedagogy: The Jazz Educator’s Handbook and Resource Guide, a publication designed to provide a foundation and structure to plan and implement a successful Jazz program.
Professor Dunscomb was Professor of Music and Chair of the Music Department at Columbia College Chicago, the nation’s premiere visual, and performing, media and communications arts’ college located in Chicago, Illinois for the past 11 years. He is Vice President of the board of directors for the Midwest Clinic, an annual event in Chicago, Illinois with more than 17,000 participants. He also serves on the advisory board for the Chicago Jazz Institute.