Guest Conductors


Tommy Poole

Tommy Poole is Director of Jazz Studies and assistant professor of music at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma. He is an active saxophonist and woodwind doubler in a variety of genres. He has recorded as saxophonist on numerous commercially available CDs ranging in style from classical, to jazz, to pop. He has performed professionally with Ramsey Lewis, The Woody Herman Orchestra, Lionel Hampton, Andy Montanez, Glenn Monroig, Diane Schuur, Joe Williams, Mercer Ellington, and Dianne Reeves among many others.

Poole has composed and arranged works for a variety of settings from commercial showbands, to jazz big bands, to full-sized studio orchestras. His orchestrations have been featured on at least seven commercially available CDs. His first two CDs as producer, On Cue-the Music of Seamus Blake (2012) and Out Front (2015) featured arrangements, compositions, and performances by Poole and received critical acclaim from, JazzEd Magazine, Currentland, and Oklahoma Magazine.

Poole has presented workshops, or served as guest artist/performer, guest conductor, clinician, and/or adjudicator at California State University Long Beach, California State University Los Angeles, Eastfield College, Northeastern State University, Los Angeles Community College, Pittsburg State University, Slippery Rock University, Tulsa Community College, and The University of Arkansas (Fayetteville). He has served in similar fashion for countless regional high school conferences, honor bands, and jazz festivals. His research on metric modulations in jazz has been published in Jazz Inside Magazine. He serves as President of Oklahoma Jazz Educators (OKJE) and is a member of the Jazz Education Network, College Music Society, and the National Association for Music Education.

He received his B.M. and D.M.A. from The University of Texas at Austin and his M.M. from The University of Miami.


Solomon Parham

Trumpet Player Solomon J. Parham, a native of the Motor City itself, Detroit, MI, is an up and comer here in the Twin Cities and is one whose performances are not to be missed. Solomon began his musical education in Detroit at the age of 9, studying trumpet with Herbie Williams. Solomon knew at this early age that the trumpet would be his instrument of choice, and so it was with that he began to embark upon his musical journey that would later develop into a rewarding career. Time proceeded, as did Solomon’s desire to grow musically and to further cultivate his musical awareness.

Solomon graduated from Wayne State University, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Instrumental Music Education. He then served as mentor/member of the Civic Jazz Orchestra (CJO), a Jazz education youth outreach program funded by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Later he became Director of Bands in the Lansing (MI) Public School District.

He is a best kept secret here in the Twin Cities, as he is a man of many talents. He has been making his way throughout the Twin Cities for 5 years now, but it is only recently that Minnesota has opened their eyes and arms to him. He has played on stages with several well respected musicians such as Delfeayo Marsalis, Roy Hargrove, Eric Kamau Gravatt, Anthony Cox, Saxophonist Eric Alexander, Wess Anderson, and Bassist Christian McBride, to name a few. He has truly worked with the best of the best throughout his music career both in Michigan and Minnesota while maintaining healthy relationships with many of those great performers. As a musician, one has to be well rounded and Solomon has done just that and more. He is a Trumpet performer, trumpet instructor, Jazz band ensemble director, music educator and producer in digital music. His repertoire list is extensive, including everything from Hip Hop to Jazz. Though Jazz is a large part of his life, he has integrated music technology to enhance his musicianship. Solomon is a dedicated music educator and continues to uplift his music endeavors throughout the community.

Currently, you can find him on a regular basis teaching individual lessons and directing jazz ensembles at Walker West Music Academy and Minneapolis Community and Technical College . Catch him at one his performances in the Twin Cities and you won’t be disappointed!


John Kizilarmut

John Kizilarmut has performed with a wide range of artists and groups including Aretha Franklin, Doc Severinsen, Matt Wilson, Jimmy Heath, Branford Marsalis, Logan Richardson, Clark Terry, New York Voices, Ana Gasteyer, Conspirare, Shirley Jones, DJ Starscream, and the Des Moines Symphony. He is a frequent guest performer and clinician at percussion and jazz festivals throughout the midwest, including Texas, Iowa, and Nebraska Days of Percussion; Tallcorn, Cherokee, and Iowa City Jazz Festivals. In 2013, John was a featured artist along with with TOCA artist Jamal Mohamed and Marimba One artist Matthew Coley at the PASIC convention. He is also an active composer and arranger, and his works have been featured by many award winning music programs including the 2013 State Jazz champion Waukee High School Jazz Ensemble, Lake Central High School Band, several DCI Drum Corps, and the University of Texas percussion ensemble. As an educator, John has served as an adjunct faculty member at Drake University, Grinnell College, and Northwest Missouri State University. He currently resides in Kansas City, Missouri with his wife Nicole and son Evan.