University of Minnesota Duluth

Jazz Faculty


Billy Barnard – Guitar & Jazz
Office: 171B Humanities
Office Phone:726-6570

Billy Barnard teaches guitar in private lesson, ensemble, and class formats. He is well-known at UMD for his immensely popular course in Jazz Studies, in which over one thousand students enroll each academic year. In addition, he directs one of the UMD Jazz Combos. Mr. Barnard graduated first in his class from the Guitar Institute of Technology, Los Angeles and has performed with such greats as Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and Rufus Reid. He has been for many years and remains in constant demand at local and regional levels as a clinician and guitarist in all styles.



Adam Booker – Jazz and Bass
Office: Humanities 231
Office Phone: 726-8335

Dr. Adam Booker has had a remarkable career. Having began playing bass professionally at the age of 16 in San Antonio with local jazz luminaries Small World and Ron Wilkins, he has since gone on to become a sought after bassist in the world famous Austin, Texas music scene. In 2001 Adam enlisted in the US Navy, where he was assigned to US Navy Band New Orleans until the end of his enlistment in 2005. During his enlistment, Adam had the opportunity to delve into New Orleans' rich musical culture. He became a member of The Hot Club of New Orleans, The Rob Block Quintet, and The Devin Phillips Quintet. He has performed with a wide variety of today's modern jazz up-and-comers, including Patrick Cornelius, Davy Mooney, and Maurice Brown. Adam Booker has also shared the stage with several of jazz's great masters, including Al Grey, Frank Foster, John Fedchock, Russel Malone, Butch Miles, Ignacio Berroa, Arthur Latin, and Diana Krall, as well as pop music icon, Elvis Costello. Dr. Booker has also had the privilege of studying with many great bassists, including Eric Revis of the Branford Marsalis Quartet and the legendary Milt Hinton, as well as members of the San Antonio Symphony, Austin Symphony and the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra. Dr.
Booker completed a Doctor of Musical Arts in Jazz Double Bass Performance at the University of Texas, Austin in May of 2012. He also holds a MM in Composition and a BM in Jazz Studies from Texas State University, San Marcos.



James Cooper – Guitar
Office: 81 Bohannon
Office Phone:726-8208

A graduate of UMD's Jazz Studies program with a Masters degree in Music Peformance from the University of Minnesota, Mr. Cooper is a performing musician/instructor. He has performed with a wide variety of groups and area bands including The Duluth Bigtime Jazz Orchestra, The Dukes of Hubbard, Clockwork Jazz, No Wait Wait, Hattie and the Black Frames, The Hoot Owls, and currently performs weekly with his band The Fractals. Mr Cooper performs a variety of styles including rock, fingerstyle, rockabilly, blues, jazz, folk, and country.



Ryan Frane – Jazz Piano & Jazz
Office: 224 Humanities
Office Phone:726-6327

Ryan Frane is the Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Minnesota Duluth, where he oversees the jazz studies major and jazz studies program, teaches Jazz Ensemble I, Jazz Combo I, Jazz Theory, Jazz Pedagogy, Jazz Piano and other courses. Ryan also coordinates the annual Head of the Lakes Jazz Festival at UMD, drawing internationally known artists and high schools from throughout the state. Under his direction the UMD Jazz Ensemble I has performed in Italy, Switzerland and Holland at the Montreux and North Sea Jazz Festivals, as well as performing at the MMEA and WMEA annual conferences, UNC/Greeley Jazz Festival and throughout the region. As a pianist, Ryan has performed throughout the country as well as in Switzerland, Germany, Russia, Holland and France. Ryan has performed with the Green Bay Packers band and was a member of the Denver Nuggets house band. He has performed locally with the Big Time Jazz Orchestra, Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra, Arrowhead Chorale, Lake Superior Youth Chorus and many others including his own small groups. Ryan's most recent trio recording entitled "People We Know" features all original compositions with the exception of one standard. Also, Ryan has backed or performed with many musicians including The Mills Brothers, Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, Bobby Vinton, Steve Lippia, Tom Harrell, Wes Anderson, Rex Richardson, Ingrid Jensen, Jim Snidero and many others. Ryan has been an active clinician and performer at several colleges across the country including the University of Northern Colorado, University of South Dakota, University of Wisconsin Green Bay, Tiffin University, Lawrence Conservatory, University of Wisconsin Stevens Point, University of Wisconsin Eau Claire and the University of Southern Colorado. Ryan has conducted numerous honor bands in Minnesota and Wisconsin and has been a section coach for the MMEA All State Jazz Ensemble. Internationally, Ryan has performed master classes at the Conservatoire à Rayonnement Régional de Boulogne-Billancourt (Paris, France), Conservatoire National de Région Lyon (Lyon, France) and Petrosovadsk State Conservatory (Karelia, Russia). Under Ryan's direction, graduates of the UMD jazz studies program have gone on to become collegiate level teachers, performers and graduate students at some of the nation's strongest jazz schools while also becoming great contributors to society. Ryan holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music from the University of Wisconsin Green Bay and a Masters of Music in theory and composition from the University of Northern Colorado.



Tom O'Hara – Guitar & Jazz
Office: 113 Humanities
Office Phone: 726-8681

Tom O'Hara is a graduate of Jazz Studies from the University of Minnesota Duluth. He has more than 20-years of experience teaching guitar to students of all ages and abilities. Tom has played at numerous and varied venues throughout the Twin Ports including outdoor concerts, festivals, fundraising events, the Duluth Home and Builders Show, and many others. Tom has performed different styles of music such as rock, blues, jazz, funk, country, and classical--with jazz being his preference. He is currently a worship leader at Freshwater Vineyard Church in Superior, WI, where his wife, Denise, and son, Nolan, also attend.



Thomas Muehlenbeck-Pfotenhauer – Trumpet & Jazz
Office: Humanities 245
Office Phone: 726-8176

Dr. Thomas Muehlenbeck-Pfotenhauer is Assistant Professor of Trumpet and director of the second jazz ensemble. He also teaches Jazz Improvisation and Brass Techniques and coaches Jazz Combo and Brass Quintet. Dr. Muehlenbeck-Pfotenhauer studied trumpet with Armando Ghitalla at the University of Michigan, completing a Masters degree in 1993, and holds a Bachelors degree in music from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in trumpet performance from the University of Kansas. While at the University of Kansas, Dr. Muehlenbeck-Pfotenhauer studied with William Campbell and Christopher Moore and was a member of the Kansas Brass Quintet, one of the country's most active faculty brass quintets. Prior to his appointment at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, he held positions at the University of Wyoming and the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.

Dr. Muehlenbeck-Pfotenhauer's performance experience is extensive and varied. He has performed Baroque trumpet with the New York-based early music group The Spiritus Collective, and with the Musica Raritana Baroque Orchestra at Rutgers University, the New York Collegium, Tempesta di Mare, the American Opera Theater, and at the Colorado Music Festival. From 1994-2002 he performed for numerous professional productions presented at the critically acclaimed Weidner Center for the Performing Arts in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Dr. Muehlenbeck-Pfotenhauer has played lead trumpet and section trumpet in pit orchestras and in back-up bands for such shows as: West Side Story, Some Like it Hot, the Sound of Music, Copacabana, Fiddler on the Roof, Camelot, South Pacific, the Scarlet Pimpernel, Saturday Night Fever, and Parade; and artists such as: Robert Goulet, the Manhattan Transfer, Peabo Bryson, Bernadette Peters, Johnny Mathis, and Shirley Jones. In April 2008, he was a featured soloist at the Beijing International Congress on Women in Music and performed a program of works for trumpet written by French female composers.

Dr. Muehlenbeck-Pfotenhauer has also performed with numerous professional and regional orchestras, including the Colorado Music Festival Orchestra, the Cheyenne Symphony, the Fort Collins Symphony, the Kansas City Symphony, the Battle Creek Symphony, the Green Bay Symphony, the Pamiro Opera Company, the Green Bay Civic Symphony, and the Fox Valley Symphony. Dr. Muehlenbeck-Pfotenhauer has appeared as a soloist and clinician in Wyoming, Colorado, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Kansas, Missouri, and Texas.



Tina Thielen-Gaffey – Vocal Jazz
Office: 242 Humanities
Office Phone: 726-8212

Tina Thielen-Gaffey is an Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Minnesota-Duluth and has recently completed her doctoral coursework in the Choral Conducting program at the University of Iowa. At UMD, she conducts Concert Chorale, two Vocal Jazz Ensembles (Lake Effect and Chill Factor), teaches elementary music, aural skills, and applied voice. A mezzo-soprano, she completed the M.M. degree in Choral Conducting at Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI and her B.M. in music education at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.

Prior to her studies in Michigan, the Wisconsin native taught for eight years in the public schools of her home state, where she was responsible for choral ensembles, band ensembles, vocal jazz and show choirs, musicals, madrigals and madrigal feasts, festivals, and touring. At WMU, Ms.Thielen-Gaffey soloed with the Treble Chorus, University Chorale, Opera Workshop, and the award winning vocal jazz ensemble, Gold Company. Ms. Thielen-Gaffey is a past president of WMU's student chapter of the American Choral Directors Association. At the 2003 and 1999 national conventions of that organization, she was a national finalist in the graduate student conducting competition.



For Information about music department programs and upcoming concerts, please call 218-726-8877