Jazz Festival

Jazz Festival Logo

Snider Recital Hall & The Department of Music



Ralph Alessi (Trumpet)
Gary Versace (Piano)
Drew Gress (Bass)
Nasheet Waits (Drums)

Ralph Alessi Photo


The goal of the CSU Stanislaus Jazz Festival is to provide students and directors with a positive educational and musical experience in Jazz. Maximum interaction between students, directors, and guest clinicians will take place throughout the day, highlighted by various master classes from guest artists and clinicians as well as a performance by the CSU Stanislaus Jazz Ensemble (12:00pm) and an evening concert with the Ralph Alessi Quartet (7:30pm).

Festival Format

The festival is non-competitive. Clinicians will provide written and verbal feedback to the directors and students. Each band will receive a warm-up room for 30 minutes prior to their performance. Each band will be allowed approximately 30 minutes to perform (this includes setup and teardown), followed immediately by a 30 minute clinic.

Registration Deadline

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

Master Classes

Throughout the day, members of the Ralph Alessi Quartet, as well as other area jazz educators, will give master classes that deal with specific improvisational topics. A schedule of these master classes will be distributed a few weeks prior to the festival.


12:00pm CSU Stanislaus Jazz Ensemble

7:30 pm CSU Stanislaus Collective


w/Gary Versace, Drew Gress, & Nasheet Waits


Mike Galisatus College of San Mateo

Aaron Lington San Jose State University

Paul Lucckesi Buchanan High School/Clovis Unified High School

About the Guest Artist

Jazz Times magazine says Alessi has "drop-dead trumpet chops" and calls his music "as clean and airy and sophisticated and disciplined as post-modern progressive jazz gets. Ralph Alessi was born in San Francisco,CA, the son of classical trumpeter Joe Alessi and opera singer Maria Leone. But after taking degrees in jazz trumpet and bass he studied under the legendary Charlie Haden at CalArts he lit out for New York, where he swiftly became an ubiquitous presence on the downtown scene. He's been a frequent collaborator with such notable musicians as Steve Coleman, Jason Moran, Don Byron, Ravi Coltrane, Fred Hersch, Uri Caine and Dafnis Prieto. Alessi has recorded nine albums of original compositions which draw on everything from post-bop to neo classical music. Jazz Times named This Against That's debut outing one of the ten best recordings of 2002 and in 2010, Alessi releasedCognitive Dissonance which received a 4 star review from Downbeat magazine and was included in The New Republics top ten list of recordIn 2013, Ralph will release Baida, a quartet CD on ECM records and Only Many, a duo recording with pianist Fred Hersch on CAMJazz.

As an educator, Alessi has been a member of the faculty of the Eastman School of Music and is currently the founder and director of the School for Improvisational Music (www.schoolforimprov.org), a non-profit entity currently holding improvisational music workshops in New York City and abroad. Since 2002, he has been on the jazz faculty at New York University and this fall will begin teaching at New England Conservatory.