2022 CLINICIAN BIOS!

Miles Griffith

Vocalist, Educator, Composer, Lyricist, Leader 

Music is holistic.  It has the power to move people on a multitude of levels. Through my voice I want to be able to probe people to think and expand their preconceived conceptions about the voice. The voice is the one instrument which can communicate to all, crossing any existing barriers; language, sex, age, class or race.

Miles Griffith’s non-traditional use of the voice as a percussive instrument, combined with an uncanny harmonic sense has made him a prime choice for many musicians. He also brings his performance energy to the education realm to excite, encourage and empower his students, making him a respected and sought-after jazz vocal educator for 35 years. 

After earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Long Island University and a Masters of Jazz  Vocal Performance Degree from Queens College, Miles taught on and off for 22 years at the New School of Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York City. Other early teaching gigs(as Vocal Jazz Professor/Instructor) include Columbia University (2005-2008), Queens College Jazz Department (2008-2009), New York Jazz Academy (June 2011-June 2012), the New York Pops organization (2012-2013), and for seven years in the City College Jazz program. His international teaching credits include a year at the Groningen Conservatore in the Netherlands, and in Slovenia at both Jazzinty in Novo Mesto (six years) and at the Plesni Dance School in Izola (one year).

Griffith is also a powerful, expressive and versatile performer who during his celebrated career has performed with scores of jazz greats on variety of projects, from residencies to award-winning CDs to major jazz premieres. In 1994, he played the lead role of “Jesse” in Wynton Marsalis’ celebrated jazz oratorio Blood On The Fields, which premiered at Lincoln Centers’ Alice Tully Hall. Griffith also participated on the official cast recording, which was released on Sony Music in mid-1997 to end Marsalis’ Pulitzer Award- and Grammy winning- world tour.  Other collaborators include Max Roach, Reggie Workman, Carl Allen, Bill Lee, T.S. Monk, and many more. Miles Griffith and the Tony Pancella Trio have been playing and touring Europe for over 24 years. Onstage they share a dynamic chemistry; offstage they've collaborated on three albums (I Found You, Smile Again, and 2008's The Struggle Never Dies); a fourth CD is now in the works. 

 In December of 2019 Vocalist/Composer Miles Griffith, Organist/Composer Greg Lewis and Drummer Extraordinaire Taru Alexander formed a group and the MG Organ 3-O was born. This is a new group comprised of jazz artists with the common lineage of being born and/or raised in the musical family of NYC. Collectively, they have been sidemen with Wynton Marsalis, Max Roach, James Williams, Jon Hendricks, Cindy Blackman, Sam Newsome, Roland Alexander, Abbey Lincoln and Roy Hargrove. MG Organ 3-O’s standards and original compositions have a lot of jazz, soul, groove, beauty, space, freeness and a little bit of everything like a spicy hot pot of brown stew chicken with some cook-up rice. On June 9, 2022 Miles performed with the famous Orpheus Orchestra for their 50 Year Anniversary Gala as a group.   

In August 2022 Miles will begin teaching as the new adjunct jazz vocalist instructor at Western Connecticut State University. Whether in the classroom or on stage, everything Miles does seeks to “put the voice back on the scene as the ultimate first instrument.” 

Amy Biondo

Vocalist, Composer, Dancer, Vocal Empowerment Coach

Amy Biondo specializes in Latin, jazz, pop, French, Brazilian, and more. Amy currently performs with the bands Amy Biondo Ensemble, Los Bohemios, and Milestone. Her voice is featured on Los Bohemios’ self-titled album and on countless studio projects as a backing vocalist. Amy also writes custom love songs for special events such as weddings, birthday parties, anniversaries, and memorial services. 

Amy has trained extensively in music and improvisation with Art Lande, Rhiannon, Mark Miller, Barbara Dilley, and others, and she holds a Master of Arts degree from Naropa University. But her greatest teacher has been in her own personal journey to find her voice. As a child and teenager, Amy suffered from such acute stage fright that she almost gave up performing for good. Finally, through a 20+ year journey, she healed her relationship with her voice by learning everything she could about the physiological process of stage fright, understanding shame and how it manifests in the creative process, identifying and overcoming her own triggers and responses, and developing the strength and flexibility of her voice. 

Amy's unique approach to training the voice, using contemplative practices and improvisation to unleash the full power of the body and emotions of the student and integrate them into the voice, has made her a go-to vocal coach for those seeking a more holistic approach to vocal training. More information about Amy, including her online course, The World Needs Your Voice, can be found on her website.  amybiondo.com

Greg Tanner Harris

Percussionist, Marimba & Vibes Player, Musicologist, Educator

Greg Tanner Harris plays guitar, vibes, marimbas and drums of all kinds, and has no limits on his musical styles: jazz, R&B, soul, funk, bluegrass.  

Greg earned his BA degree in Music Education and Music Performance at Fort Lewis College in Durango, then continued his music education at CU Boulder, where he earned a Master of Music in music performance and percussion. Greg earned his Doctorate in music at CU Boulder as well, studying with Jeff Jenkins and Doug Walter. 

During his tenure in Boulder, Greg picked up the vibes, and had the unexpected great fortune to meet African scholar Kwasi Ampene, who became his mentor and brought Greg to West Africa for an entire summer. Under Ampene's guidance, Greg learned Kpan Logo (drums), Gyil (a xylophone), Dundun (drums), Kalimba, and other instruments; this experience led him to recognize African music as the root of all music. 

One day while working as a professional vibes player, Greg got a call from Pete Wernick, who was looking for a vibes player to come to Ireland with his bluegrass group Flexigrass. Through that tour, Greg became a part of the group and continues to play 8-10 gigs a year with Flexigrass, 18 years later. Stream “Pete Wernick & Flexigrass” and give them a listen. You’ll have fun! 

Greg has 5 CDs out in his name: Glass Gold, Frames (recorded live), Memory of Pilots (featuring Ron Miles), and Open Space, all with his Greg Harris Vibes Quintet; and World Citizen with West African master xylophonist Aaron Bebe Sukura. 

Greg was also a regular with the band SuperCollider, and has played piano all over Europe and drums in Africa. Locally, he plays vibes for many combos in all the metro area jazz clubs. 

In addition, Greg has taught jazz and percussion for ten years at the Denver School of the Arts and is the piano professor at Red Rocks Community College. At CU Denver he teaches music production and drum sets. He is also on the faculty at CCJA and Rocky Ridge Music Center. Greg chooses to stay in Colorado for the richness of the music scene here, the teaching, and his pure love of Colorado. gregtannerharris.com

Jeff Jenkins

Pianist, Composer, Arranger, Producer, Recording Artist

Omaha-based jazz pianist, composer, and educator Jeff Jenkins has recently worked as a professor of music in the Thompson Jazz Studies Program at the University of Colorado Boulder. Grounded in a wide range of jazz styles, Jenkins has released seven original CDs in the last 15 years while appearing as a featured player on dozens more.  

Throughout his career Jenkins has appeared locally, nationally, and internationally in festivals and clubs with his eponymous ensembles or as a guest artist with jazz greats including Freddie Hubbard, Eddie Harris, Clark Terry, the New York Voices, Bubby Hutcherson, and John Abercrombie, among others.

A product of the acclaimed jazz program at the University of North Texas, Jenkins continued his piano studies in the New York City studios of Fred Hirsch, Richie Beirach, and Kenny Barron. Based in Manhattan in the 1980s, Jenkins performed in noted jazz venues throughout the city and appeared as principal pianist for several Broadway musicals (including the original run of Little Shop of Horrors).

A gifted bandleader and in-demand sideman across Nebraska, Colorado, and the western US, Jenkins also mixed and produces musical professionally in his Mixdown Soundrecording studio. 

 Kate Emerich 

Vocalist, Singing Voice Specialist, Voice Pathologist 

Kate A. Emerich, B.M., M.S., CCC-SLP, has specialized in care of the professional voice as both a Voice Pathologist and a Singing Voice Specialist for 29 years.  She is also a Voice Instructor - previously at The University of Denver's Lamont School of Music and at the National Theatre Conservatory (NTC) - and is a certified Franklin Method Level 2 Educator. 

Kate holds an undergraduate degree in Vocal Performance and a graduate degree in Communicative Disorders, both from from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and sings professionally throughout the metro area.

Prior to starting her own practice, Kate worked as a Voice Pathologist, Singing Voice Specialist and Researcher with Robert T. Sataloff, M.D., D.M.A., FACS and Ingo R. Titze Ph.D. at the National Center for Voice and Speech. She has written numerous articles and book chapters on professional voice topics, and has served on the Journal of Voice editorial board for 26 years. She continues to be an active researcher on the biomechanics of breathing and phonation.  kateemerich.com