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Casey Rafn

Located in the Twin Cities area, Casey Rafn currently holds positions at the Lundstrum Center for Performing Arts, Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists, and is the pianist for the Bloomington Chorale. An award winning performer and active freelancer, his upcoming season includes performances in Switzerland, Uruguay, and Shell Lake, WI. Originally from Two Harbors, MN, he received his bachelor's and master’s degrees in piano performance from The University of Iowa studying under Dr. Ksenia Nosikova.


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Born in Iowa, grown in Missouri, and sprouting throughout the Midwest, Joel Gordon is a cultivating saxophonist and music educator.  Most recently, Joel recorded and released a full-length album, “Along Those Lines,” with the Kansas City-based Matt Cook Collective in 2017.

As a saxophonist, Joel was selected as a resident of the 2014 David Liebman Saxophone Masterclass, named winner of the 2014 Missouri Music Teachers Association Woodwind Soloist Competition, and chosen as a semifinalist in the 2013 Naftzger Young Artist Competition.  In 2017, Gordon recorded and released an album with the Kansas City-based jazz quintet, the Matt Cook Collective.  The group went on a seven city Midwest release tour and is scheduled for a second tour on the West Coast in Summer 2018.  As well, Joel will be traveling to the East Coast in Spring 2018 to perform at the 40th International Saxophone Symposium with {tres}, a chamber ensemble devoted to bringing baroque and classical era compositions into the contemporary saxophone repertoire through recording and public recitals.  Joel can be heard playing jazz standards and original compositions throughout Missouri and Kansas as a leader of the groups Joel Gordon’s Happy Habitat and the Joel Gordon Trio.  Joel studied jazz improvisation with Tim AuBuchon and Matt Otto and classical saxophone with Randall Smith and José A. Zayas Cabán.  Additional instructors include Bob Long, Neil Ostercamp, and Tim Timmons.

Joel is passionate about advancing music through education.  In 2015, Joel was named a Presser Foundation Scholar and was a fellow in the TruScholars Research Symposium, exploring the development of jazz education in the midwest.  Joel coordinates school jazz clinics as Education Director of the Matt Cook Collective, having had performed for over 1500 midwest public school students.  As well, Joel continues to develop his teaching reference "The (Young) Adventure’s Guide to Jazz Improvisation."  Joel’s professional educational affiliations include the Jazz Education Network, Kappa Delta Pi, the Missouri State Teachers Association, the Missouri Music Educators Association, the Missouri Association for Jazz Education, the North American Saxophone Alliance, Phi Kappa Lambda, Phi Mu Alpha, and the National Association for Music Education.

Joel holds a Bachelor of Science in Music Education (2015) and a Master of Arts in Education of Music (2016) from Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri.  Currently, Joel is the Director of Bands at Platte City Middle School and coaches jazz combos at Platte County High School.  As well, Joel maintains an active private studio teaching jazz improvisation and classical saxophone.  Joel lives in Platte City, MO with his wonderful wife, Megan.


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Leah K. Siltberg

Pianist Leah Siltberg is an active and sought-after performer.  Based in Minneapolis, Siltberg has performed or recorded with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Weisman Art Museum's SONIC WAM, the James Sewell Ballet, Minnesota Public Radio, St. Paul’s Schubert Club, the Chamber Music Society of Minnesota, and the American Composers’ Forum.  In 2010, Siltberg was featured as a solo performer in Jerusalem’s Mozart and Chopin festivals and performed as part of a chamber music tour of the West Bank and the Golan Heights.  In 2008, she performed Beethoven’s Fourth Piano Concerto with Minneapolis’s Kenwood Symphony.  In 2007, she was part of the premier of a Colombian trio at the White House Conference on the Americas.   Although Siltberg most often concertizes as a collaborative pianist, she has performed both solo and collaborative recitals in the United States, Canada, Central America, the Middle East, Spain, and New Zealand. Siltberg graduated from Toronto's Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory of Music with a Performance Diploma, Bachelor of Music, and Artist Diploma under the tutelage of Boris Lysenko and Peter Longworth and completed a M.Mus. and DMA in collaborative piano and coaching at the University of Minnesota with Timothy Lovelace and Noriko Kawai.


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Colin Young is a concert saxophonist and educator living near Des Moines, Iowa. An active solo and chamber musician, Colin performs regularly with the piano trio Tres which recently performed in Costa Rica, Mexico City as well as throughout the United States. He also performs with the Des Moines Symphony and the Des Moines Metro Concert and Big Band as well a the Turner Center Jazz Orchestra and has recently played with the Minnesota Orchestra. As a member of the saxophone quartet Axius, Colin won prizes at the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition, the Music Teachers National Association Chamber Music Competition and the North American Saxophone Alliance Saxophone Quartet Competition. Colin currently serves on the faculties of Drake University and Grinnell College in Grinnell Iowa. As a soloist, Colin has given guest recitals and masterclasses at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, University of Mississippi,  Oxford, MS and the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Mr. Young is working towards his DMA in Saxophone Performance and Pedagogy at the University of Iowa where he studied with Dr. Kenneth Tse. His previous teachers include Matthew Sintchak and Eugene Rousseau. Before beginning his Masters degree with Eugene Rousseau at the University of Minnesota, Colin taught for three years in the public school system as a 5 – 12 grade instrumental music teacher. Mr. Young is still active in the public school music programs around central Iowa as a lesson teacher and clinician. Colin is a Yamaha Performing Artist as well as a Rousseau Mouthpiece artist.


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José Antonio Zayas Cabán

As a concert saxophonist and pedagogue, José A. Zayas Cabán has presented performances and taught master classes throughout Europe, the Caribbean and North America. These appearances include, among others, Trinity College and the Guildhall School of Music (England), the Scottish Saxophone Academy (Scotland), and the Conservatorio Real de Música de Madrid (Spain).

As a member of the trio {trés}, José has cultivated, advocated for, and developed his interest in the transcription and arrangements of chamber music by a wide range of composers, namely Villa Lobos, Fanny Mendelssohn, Poulenc, J.S. Bach, and Glinka. The original members of {trés}, Colin Young, Leah Siltberg, and José, as well as its newest members, Casey Rafn and Joel Gordon, have performed these transcription projects in Central America, the Caribbean, and throughout the United States. Some of these performances include a guest recital at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (México), the Puerto Rico Conservatory (Puerto Rico), as well as the Alianza Latinoamericana de Saxofonistas (Costa Rica).

José's interest in chamber music extends into his participation with several saxophone quartets and duos. Most recently, José has begun to collaborate with Joel Gordon and Shelley Washington, artists with whom he has performed duos by Mozart and Beethoven, as well as contemporary works like Shelley Washington's baritone saxophone duo Big Talk.

José’s involvement with saxophone quartets started at the University of Minnesota (2005-2007), where he played baritone saxophone with the Four Corners Saxophone quartet. This group was a finalist in the Coleman Chamber music competition and semi-finalist in the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition. Later on, while at Indiana University (2008-2009), José played baritone saxophone with the Panoptic Saxophone quartet, which was a semi-finalist at the MTNA chamber music competition. In addition, José played alto saxophone with the Missouri Saxophone Quartet (2009-2010) and played tenor saxophone while touring with Kenneth Tse’s saxophone quartet (2013).

José has also been part of several large ensembles, including the University of Iowa Saxophone Ensemble (directed by Kenneth Tse) and the World of Winds Orchestra (directed by Christian Lindbergh). As principal saxophonist, José toured parts of Norway and Germany with this ensemble.