Faculty

Centrum Faculty

This skilled creative collective could wrap their arms around the globe. Much respect, big hugs.

Photo of Jonathan Stout

Jonathan Stout

Guitar

Los Angeles-based guitarist and bandleader Jonathan Stout is well-known to swing dancers everywhere for the wonderful dance orchestra he leads, but any fan of swing guitar currently stalking the internet knows him for the beautiful touch he brings to relaxed swinging versions of standards played chord-melody style on an array of prized old archtop guitars

Photo of Kweku Sumbry

Kweku Sumbry

Faculty

Drums

Grounded in the traditions of the Djembe Orchestra, Kweku Sumbry is a multi-percussionist from Washington, DC. With the djembe, drumset, and a multitude of West African Percussion instruments, Kweku is bringing forth a new sound to the jazz world. He began his studies as a toddler under the tutelage of Mahiri Fadjimba Keita, Mamady Keita, and Djiali Djimo Kouyate.

Photo of Clay Swafford

Clay Swafford

Piano

Firmly rooted in the blues tradition, Clay Swafford was raised in the small rural community of Providence, Alabama. Born into a musical family; he was immersed in the sounds of Baptist Hymnals, Country and Bluegrass. He took interest in the piano at an early age and, after hearing the music of B.B King and Bobby Blue Bland at age 15, Clay was hooked on the blues.…

Photo of Heidi Swedberg

Heidi Swedberg

Past Faculty

When she was 5 years old Heidi received her first ukulele from the Hawaiian Easter bunny while living in Kailua, HI. She has fond memories of teaching herself chords and writing songs in her room in Albuquerque NM, the place she thinks of as home. She picked the instrument up again in 1992 in Hollywood, CA while playing a singer-songwriter for a network TV pilot. Now life imitates art, and she plays music full time.

Photo of Chris Symer

Chris Symer

Vocal Accompaniment

Bass

Born and raised in Southern California, bassist relocated to the Northwest in 2002 where he continues to make his living as a freelance musician. Equally comfortable in the classroom, stage or recording studio, Chris has stayed busy doing everything from teaching to playing on feature films. Notable projects have included recordings with Bill Anschell (“Rumbler” 2017), Johnaye Kendrick (“Here” 2014), James Knapp (“Scrape” 2013), and Nelda Swiggett (“Stringtet” 2014) as well as tours to South America with Anschell (2012, 2014) and Kendrick (2013).…

Photo of Angie Tabor

Angie Tabor

Faculty

Angie Tabor (they/them) is a performing musician, music educator and composer based in Port Townsend, WA. They are known for being highly versatile, performing with jazz ensembles, symphony orchestras, music theater productions, and Top 40 & tribute acts. They can also be heard performing on steelpans with their Caribbean-infused trio, Caribe. As a music educator, they have taught grades K-12 and college.…

Photo of Miss Tess

Miss Tess

Miss Tess has always been known for creating an eclectic array of vintage blues, country, and jazz sounds. Currently residing in Nashville, she finds no shortage of inspiration in the roots scene there. However varied Tess’ music can be, front and center sits her voice that has been described as “alternately seductive and sexy, and a pure joy to listen to” (Pop Matters).…

Photo of Katie Thiroux

Katie Thiroux

Faculty

Bass

Los Angeles-based bassist and vocalist Katie Thiroux has clearly established herself as one of the most exciting and in demand musicians today. Thiroux’s unique gift of simultaneously balancing sultry vocals and virtuosic bass playing leaves audiences worldwide in awe. Her most recent album, “Off Beat,” was awarded a “Best Album Of 2018” by Downbeat Magazine as well as “Rising Star” 2018 & 2019.…

Photo of Jay Thomas

Jay Thomas

Faculty

Trumpet & Sax

Jay Thomas is a multi-instrumentalist, appearing on more than 60 recordings that run the gamut from hip-hop to acid-jazz, rock, Latin, and big band. Jay has performed in concert with numerous prominent musicians, including Mel Lewis,

John Clayton and Jeff Hamilton, Maria Schneider, Bill Holman, Bob Florence, and Frank Wess. He has also played at the Wolf Trap, Aspen, and duMaurier Jazz Festivals.…

Photo of Yoseff Tucker

Yoseff Tucker

Yoseff’s early life exposure to traditional bluegrass and American roots music came courtesy of his grandfather who moved to Central California from the Ozarks in the early 20th century. His first guitar came to him while he was still in diapers and an appreciation for music laid a great foundation in his life.