Farayi Malek is a jazz and contemporary vocalist, a composer, and a passionate music educator. In high school she attended the Fresco Arts Academy, Eagle, ID and studied vocal jazz. She graduated from Berklee College of Music and is now an assistance professor at Berklee, a Pop Ensemble teacher at Berklee’s City Music Boston High School, a faculty member at New England Conservatory as R&B Ensemble coach and private studio instructor.
Justin Nielsen, piano, is a performer, composer, internationally recognized recording artist and mentor/teacher residing in Boise. He is featured on scores of recordings. He is a chartered member of the Kobie Watkins Grouptet whose last recording was named as one of the top 10 jazz records of 2018 by the Chicago Tribune. He is founder/owner of the online Sing Music Academy. Many of his former students are professional musicians. www.justinnielsenmusic.net
Tom Jensen, bass player, is a professional musician, recording artist, composer, arranger and orchestrator for shows in the US and Europe. As a bassist he has played throughout the US, Europe and in various jazz ensembles. He is a teacher residing in Boise.
Jens Kuross, drums, is a vocalist, songwriter, drummer and an “alternative producer“ residing in Boise. Jens spent his teenage years thrashing his way through Rage Against the Machine and Beastie Boys Covers in dive bars of his native Idaho. After graduating from Berklee, Jens moved to LA and within a few months he was touring the world as a drummer.
Robyn O’Donahue, vocalist, is a native Idahoan who has loved scatting since age 10. She was a high-school vocal jazz standout and placed first in the Idaho Music Educators State Classical Voice competition. As a social work major, Robyn was a participant in Northwest Nazarene University’s vocal jazz ensemble, the Northwesterners, University Choir and Orchestra. She is continuing her jazz performance career and education in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area, attending graduate school at the University of North Texas & Texas Woman’s University. https://www.facebook.com/robyn.odonahu
Justin Nielsen, piano (See above.) www.justinnielsenmusic.net
Troy Ferguson, upright bassist, attended Edmonds Community College performing with Soundsation, California State University/Long Beach and BSU. He is a sergeant with Ada County Sheriff’s Department, a member of Essential Jazz and performs with many well-known bands and artists in the Boise area.
Patrick Kurdy, drums, attended The New England Conservatory, Berklee College of Music and BSU. He a founding member of Onomatopia, is a member of Essential Jazz as well as many other Boise bands. He is the current president of the Idaho Jazz Education Endowment which raises funds then offers significant scholarships to local jazz artists. www.idahojazzeducationendowment.com
All That’s Jazz! Co-Chairs