Josh Murray has been a tireless band teacher and musical mentor at Rio since 1998. Mr. Murray grew up in New York City where he studied saxophone under Daniel Wilensky and David Mann. He attended the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, learning from Reggie Workman, Jimmy Cobb, Ira Gitler, Kenny Werner, and Joanne Brackeen, among others. Mr. Murray’s performing credits include shows with Phil Woods, Jimmy Smith, Peter Erskine, Bobby Shew, Gary Foster, the Jim Widner Big Band, and the Drifters. He is a member of the Sacramento Jazz Orchestra and The New Originals. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in History from UC Davis and a Masters in Education from Chapman University. During the 2012-13 school year, Mr. Murray will teach Instrumental Ensemble, Advanced Concert Band, Honors Concert Band, AM Jazz Band, and FM Jazz Band.

Max Kiesner, a native of Green Bay, Wisconsin, had his first exposure to the Rio program when his high school shared the same stage at the 2001 Essentially Ellington jazz competition in New York City. Mr. Kiesner went on to pursue his studies in Jazz and Music Education at Northern Illinois University, home of Professor Ronald Carter. At NIU, he had the opportunity to tour and perform with Bobby Shew, Byron Stripling, Claudio Roditi, Eddie Henderson, Allen Vizzutti, Donald Harrison, Rodney Whitaker, Red Halloway, Conrad Herwig, Russell Gunn, and Charles McPherson. He is a member of the Sacramento Jazz Orchestra. This year at Rio, Mr. Kiesner is looking forward to teaching the PM Jazz Band, Jazz Workshop, Intermediate Concert Band, Honors Concert Band and Music Appreciation.


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