American Trombone Workshop
The American Trombone Workshop features recitals, concerts, workshops, and competitions for musicians of all ages.
Apr 3, 2021
ATW Events Location
A link to live events can be found on Facebook. To watch and keep up with the latest ATW news, please visit our Facebook Page.
2021 Featured Artists
Guest Artists for the 2021 American Trombone Workshop include Nicole Abissi, Joseph Alessi, the Capitol Bones, Omar Dejesus, Dr. Martin McCain, Bob McChesney, and Harry Watters
All Featured Artists
American Symphony Orchestra
American Symphony Orchestra
Nicole Abissi is a professional trombonist and teacher living in New York City. She is Second Trombone of the historic American Symphony Orchestra, Principal Trombone and Mentor of the Montclair Orchestra, performs on Broadway and with professional orchestras around the world.
Nicole is also an inventor. She has created an extension handle for the trombone called, Extendabone. As a short trombonist, she knew this is a tool that needs to be available for herself, and other students around the world.
Nicole received her Bachelor of Music degree from The Juilliard School under the instruction of Joseph Alessi, Principal Trombonist of the New York Philharmonic. She received her Master of Music Degree from Stony Brook University under the instruction of Michael Powell, Principal Trombonist of the Orchestra of St. Luke’s and member of the world renowned American Brass Quintet. Nicole’s other teachers include Per Brevig, Warren Deck, Glenn Dodson, Ian Bousfield, and Thomas Riccobono.
In September of 2007, she began the first of two seasons as a fellow the New World Symphony. While there, she had the opportunity to work with one of the premier conductors of our time, Michael Tilson Thomas. Nicole won her first professional position as the Second Trombonist of the Alabama Symphony for the 2009-2012 seasons. In September of 2012 she joined the Colorado Symphony as the acting Principal trombonist for the 2012-2013 season. In the same year, she also filled in as acting Principal Trombone in the Macon Symphony under the direction of Ward Stare. Nicole has also had the pleasure of performing with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony, Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra, and Huntsville Symphony Orchestra.
In addition to her performance experience, Nicole is a passionate teacher. Nicole is an instructor of trombone at Montclair State University in New Jersey as well as Mannes Prep. She has given clinics at many fine universities as well as music festivals, such as, Georgia State University, University of Alabama, Interlochen Arts Camp, Southeast Trombone Symposium, University of Kentucky, Jackson State University, and Youngstown State University. Her students have gone on to study trombone performance at such schools as The Juilliard School, Northwestern University, New England Conservatory and Lynn University.
Nicole Abissi is an Antoine Courtois Sponsored Artist.
Principal Trombone, NY Philharmonic
Principal Trombone, NY Philharmonic
Joseph Alessi was appointed Principal Trombone of the New York Philharmonic, The Gurnee F. and Marjorie L. Hart Chair, in the spring of 1985. He began musical studies in his native California with his father, Joseph Alessi, Sr., as a high school student in San Rafael, California, and was a soloist with the San Francisco Symphony before continuing his musical training at the Curtis Institute of Music. Before joining the Philharmonic, Mr. Alessi was second trombone of The Philadelphia Orchestra for four seasons, and principal trombone of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra for one season. He has performed as guest principal trombonist with the London Symphony Orchestra in Carnegie Hall, led by Pierre Boulez.
Mr. Alessi is an active soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician. In April 1990 he made his New York Philharmonic solo debut, performing Creston’s Fantasy for Trombone, and in 1992 premiered Christopher Rouse’s Pulitzer Prize–winning Trombone Concerto with the Philharmonic, which commissioned the work for its 150th anniversary celebration. He performed the World Premiere of Melinda Wagner’s Trombone Concerto, conducted by Lorin Maazel in February 2007. In July 2013 he appeared with the Philharmonic as soloist in Bramwell Tovey’s The Lincoln Tunnel Cabaret for Trombone and Orchestra, written for Mr. Alessi, at Summertime Classics and at Bravo! Vail, both performances conducted by the composer. In June 2016 he gave the World Premiere of William Bolcom’s Trombone Concerto, a Philharmonic co-commission, conducted by then Music Director Alan Gilbert as part of the NY PHIL BIENNIAL; Mr. Alessi and the Philharmonic, led by Alan Gilbert, reprised the concerto in the 2016–17 season.
Mr. Alessi has been a guest soloist with the Lincoln, Colorado, Syracuse, Virginia, Alabama, Santa Barbara, Puerto Rico, Hartford, and South Dakota symphony orchestras; New Japan, Seoul, Hague, and Helsinki philharmonic orchestras; National Repertory Orchestra; Orchestra of Teatro Massimo Bellini in Catania, Sicily; Mannheim National Theater Orchestra; and National Symphony of Taiwan. Mr. Alessi has also participated in numerous festivals, including the Festivale Musica di Camera in Protogruaro, Italy; Cabrillo Music Festival; Swiss Brass Week; and Lieksa Brass Week in Finland. He was featured in the 1997 International Trombone Festival in Feldkirch, Austria, and the International Meeting of Brass Instruments in Lille, France. He is a founding member of the Summit Brass ensemble at the Rafael Mendez Brass Institute in Tempe, Arizona. In 2002 Mr. Alessi was awarded an International Trombone Association Award for his contributions to the world of trombone music and trombone playing.
Joseph Alessi is currently on the faculty of The Juilliard School; his students now occupy posts with many major symphony orchestras in the U.S. and internationally. As a clinician for the Edwards Instrument Co., he has also given master classes throughout the world and has toured Europe extensively as a master teacher and recitalist. He has performed as soloist with several leading concert bands, including the U.S. Military Academy Band at West Point, U.S. Army Band (“Pershing’s Own”), and the U.S. Marine Band (“The President’s Own”).
Mr. Alessi’s discography includes many releases on the Summit record label, including Trombonastics and Fandango, with retired Philharmonic Principal Trumpet Philip Smith. He also recorded New York Legends on the Cala label, Return to Sorrento on the Naxos record label, and conductor/composer Bramwell Tovey’s Urban Cabaret. His live recording with the Philharmonic of Christopher Rouse’s Pulitzer Prize–winning Trombone Concerto, commissioned for the Orchestra’s 150th anniversary project, can be heard on Volume II of An American Celebration, on New York Philharmonic Special Editions, the Orchestra’s own recording label.
Mr. Alessi was invited by the International Trombone Association to record a solo disc of newly composed works, which was distributed to the Association’s membership of 5,000 trombonists in early 1999 and is now available as Beyond the End of the Century through Summit Records. His recording of George Crumb’s Starchild on the Bridge record label, featuring Mr. Alessi as soloist, won a Grammy Award for 1999–2000. Other recordings featuring Mr. Alessi are with the Canadian Brass (Sony Classical and Philips Records). Further information about Mr. Alessi can be found on his website, www.slidearea.com.
SSG Omar Dejesus
SSG Omar Dejesus
Palm Bay, FL
Group: The U.S. Army Concert Band
Joined the Band: 2016
Alum: Florida State University / Yale University
Originally from Palm Bay, Florida, SSG Omar Dejesus graduated from Florida State University in 2014. He won his position with the Ceremonial Band of Pershing’s Own one year after graduating Florida State and while pursuing his Masters Degree at Yale University. Dejesus went on to win the American Trombone Workshop National Solo Competition held by Pershing's Own just months before leaving for Basic Combat Training. He has been a multiple event competitor at the International Trombone Festival. He has also been tasked to be the newest ATW National Solo Competition Coordinator as of November 2017. Dejesus performs with multiple elements within the unit, including the Herald Trumpets and the Army Brass Quintet. His newest position in The US Army Concert Band will start by the end of the 2018. His teachers include John Drew and Scott Hartman.
Professor of Trombone, Texas State
Professor of Trombone, Texas State
Bass trombonist Martin McCain’s career spans an impressive range of musical genres. He is a four-time winner of the Global Music Awards and was featured as their “Emerging Artist” in Billboard magazine. A third-generation musician, Martin maintains a versatile performance schedule as a soloist, recording artist, chamber, orchestral, jazz/commercial musician and educator. With performances described as "solid and masterful," (International Trombone Association Journal) with a “warm and beautiful,” tone (Glissando Magazine).
McCain’s international recital credits include concerts at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory (Singapore), Mahidol University in (Thailand), the Zagreb Academy of Music in (Croatia), and the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. His performances and arrangements have been broadcast on CKWR Toronto, Radio Television Hong Kong, and NPR's "Performance Today."
As a soloist, Martin has performed with the Croatian Army Wind Band, United States Army Concert Band "Pershing's Own" and the United States Army Brass Quintet. He is a prizewinner in multiple competitions including the International Trombone Association's Donald Yaxley Solo Bass Trombone Competition, the Kai Winding Jazz Trombone Ensemble Competition, in addition to the American Trombone Workshop's National Bass Trombone Solo Competition and Jazz Trombone Ensemble Competition.
As a recording artist, Martin has released three solo CDs, Trombone Czar: Russian Treasures Recorded Live! (2012), Shades (2014) and Trombone Czar: The Extended Version (2015). He can be heard on Summit Records, Naxos and numerous film and videogame soundtracks. As an orchestral musician, McCain is a member of the IRIS Orchestra and regularly performs with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, the San Antonio Symphony, and the Memphis Symphony Orchestra. He has also performed with the Utah Symphony Orchestra, and the Houston Symphony Orchestra.
McCain is the leader of the award-winning jazz trombone ensemble, JazzBonez and a member of the Minor 4th Trombone Quartet and the Rodney Marsalis Philadelphia Big Brass. Martin regularly performs with his wife, pianist Artina McCain as the McCain Duo. As a jazz/commercial musician, he has performed with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, Frank Sinatra Jr. Orchestra, Memphis Jazz Orchestra and several Broadway touring shows including Hello Dolly, the Lion King, Wicked, the Color Purple, and Motown.
Martin is an Artist/Teacher of Trombone and the youngest faculty member to hold the rank of full professor at Texas State University. He held similar positions at Henderson State University and Huston-Tillotson University. Dr. McCain’s students have also been extremely successful in solo and ensemble competitions including those hosted by the International Trombone Association, the American Trombone Workshop, and the Big 12 Trombone Conference and are regular winners of the Texas State University concerto competition. In recognition of his teaching, Martin received the College Achievement Award in Teaching and the Presidential Distinction Award for Excellence in Teaching. His students have been accepted into some of the nation's most prestigious graduate programs such as the Juilliard School, Eastman School of Music, Yale University, Northwestern University, Manhattan School of Music and the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. In addition to his duties at Texas State, Martin has spent summers on the faculty of the Austin Chamber Music Festival, the Interharmony International Music Festival (Italy), the PRIZM International Chamber Music Festival, the SliderAsia Music Festival (Hong Kong) and the English Brass Academy (Croatia).
Martin McCain is a performing artist for S.E. Shires, Reunion Blues Gig Bags and plays on the "McCain" signature mouthpiece series manufactured by Pickett Brass. In his spare time, Martin is an avid BBQ pitmaster and sports enthusiast.
LA Studio and Jazz Trombonist
LA Studio and Jazz Trombonist
Bob McChesney was born in Baltimore, Maryland, and began playing the trombone in the fourth grade as part of his public school music program. He has since evolved into a world-renowned trombone soloist and an authority on trombone pedagogy. Bob McChesney's trademark as a trombonist is the beauty of his sound, a lightening-fast technique, and his emotional connection to the music. With complete mastery of the instrument and extensive knowledge of jazz harmony, McChesney has distinguished himself as one of the pre-eminent soloists in the world, not only in the realm of jazz and improvisation, but as an interpreter of the most difficult and highly technical Classical repertoire, as well.
Primarily self-taught, at a young age, Bob discovered a unique way of articulating on the slide trombone, called "doodle tonguing". He has since authored what is considered to be the definitive treatise on the subject, called, "Doodle Studies and Etudes". The method book has been critically acclaimed and endorsed by trombonists and music educators all over the world.
A resident of Los Angeles, Bob is a fixture in the recording studios, where he has enjoyed a long career with studio orchestras scoring hundreds of films and television shows. He can also be heard on CDs for Barbra Streisand, Shakira, Michael Buble', Natalie Cole, Rod Stewart, Chicago, Michael Bolton, and the following Grammy-winning CDs: "Ray Charles: Genius Loves Company", Diana Krall's "When I Look in Your Eyes", and most recently, Arturo Sandoval's "Dear Diz", where he was a featured soloist. Legendary composer and conductor Lalo Schifrin exclaimed, "Bob McChesney is a virtuoso and has the gift to bring us the joy of music at the highest level."
A pre-eminent jazz educator and clinician, Bob has been a welcomed guest artist all over the US and Canada. Bob has been featured twice with his Quartet at the International Association of Jazz Educators convention, and The International Trombone Festival, where he has spoken and performed for audiences as large as 5000 in attendance of his demonstrations, workshops and performances.
Bob is thrilled to have worked with legendary composer and entertainer Steve Allen before his death in 2000. McChesney and Allen co-produced what would be the last CD from Allen's prolific songbook, resulting in the highly acclaimed and perennial favorite on Top Ten Jazz CD Lists, "No Laughing Matter - The Bob McChesney Quartet plays Steve Allen".
Washington DC Jazz Trombonist
Washington DC Jazz Trombonist
Jazz Trombonist Harry Watters travels nationally and internationally as a Jupiter Artist. His numerous Summit Records releases include the popular Love Songs and the three critically acclaimed Brothers discs with trumpeter Ken Watters.
After graduation from the University of North Texas, Harry spent four years touring and recording with the renowned Dukes of Dixieland. While working at night on Bourbon Street, a sleep-deprived Watters attended the University of New Orleans by day, serving as the graduate assistant to Professor Ellis Marsalis.
Watters has performed with Doc Severinsen, Al Hirt, Pete Fountain, Erich Kunzel, Kevin Mahogany, Wycliffe Gordon, Lou Rawls, Maureen McGovern, Bill Watrous, Carl Fontana, Jiggs Whiggam, James Moody, Peter Erskine, Conrad Herwig, John Fedchock and the Boston Brass. In addition, Harry has appeared as a featured soloist with the Syracuse Symphony, the Baton Rouge Symphony, the Louisiana Philharmonic, the Tulsa Pops, the West Virginia Symphony, the University of North Texas One O'Clock Lab Band, the Janacek Philharmonic, the Moldovan Festival Orchestra and the U.S. Army Orchestra.
Harry is constantly in demand as a Jupiter Artist and Clinician. He has presented his "Power Practicing" seminar at the American Band College, the Jazz Education Network National Conference, the Association of Concert Bands' National Convention, the University of North Texas, New Mexico State University, the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Tennessee, East Carolina State University, Texas Christian University, Baker University, the University of Central Florida, Virginia Commonwealth University, the University of New Orleans, Louisiana State University, the University of Montana, Utah State University, Kent State University and in high schools throughout the United States.
Harry is married to violist and keyboardist Holly Watters of the U.S. Army Strings. They reside in Alexandria, Virginia with their three children Harry V, Katherine the 1st & Lady Caroline.
The Capitol Bones
The Capitol Bones
Founded in 1991, the Capitol Bones are the Premier jazz trombone ensemble in the Washington DC area.
From the nation's capital comes a new voice. The Capitol Bones, Washington, DC's premiere jazz trombone ensemble, offers something exciting and new for jazz lovers everywhere, with an added treat for those treasured listeners who appreciate and seek out great trombone playing.
Group founder and leader Matt Niess brought together the best jazz trombonists in DC, an area known for the depth of its trombone bench, to participate in a group dedicated to promoting not only great ensemble playing but the expansion of the repetoire of this unique medium. Since its inception in 1991 The Capitol Bones have played throughout the country to include performances at The International Trombone Workshop in Las Vegas-Nevada & Rochester- NY, jazz clubs, Universities and an annual appearance at The Eastern Trombone Workshop in Washington, DC. In addition to the standard arrangements The Capitol Bones have added several new works to the jazz trombone ensemble repetoire by such notables as Conrad Herwig, Mike Tomaro, Mark Taylor, Jim Roberts and Matt Niess.
Schedule of Events
Livestreaming will begin at 9:00am EST on Saturday, April 3
Group Warm-Up Session- Dr. Martin McCain will lead an interactive warmup focused on intonation.
ATW National Solo Competition Winners Showcase- Hear the winners of the Tenor and Bass trombone competitions over all three divisions.
"Intro to Improv"- One of the finest jazz trombonists in the world, Harry Watters will lead a masterclass to address pitch matching, ear training, basic improvisation, melody vocalizing, and chord analysis.
ATW National Trombone Quartet Competition Winners- Hear the winners of our trombone quartet competition, The Outer Loop Quartet from the Eastman School of Music. Students of Professor Larry Zalkind- Jeff Dunn, Vincent Huang, Miriam Snyder, and Evan Silloway
Highlights from ATW Guest Artist Recitals- Hear highlights of some of the world's best trombonists presenting solo performances in our Guest Artist Recital favorites.
"Practice Like It's Your Job"- Nicole Abissi shares her insights into effective practice techniques.
ATW National Jazz Solo Trombone Competition Winners Showcase- Hear the winning submissions for solo jazz trombone artists with members of The United States Army Blues.
Capitol Bones- The nations leading jazz trombone ensemble presents an energy packed concert for 5 trombones and rhythm section.
Grand Finale Concert- Featuring Joseph Alessi, Omar Dejesus, and Bob McChesney.
Service Member Seminar
The American Trombone Workshop’s Service Member Seminar is an opportunity for Active Duty, National Guard, And Reserve Military Personnel to experience the Workshop to its fullest potential. Seminar attendees will attend a prescribed number of the workshop’s events, attend dress rehearsals and gain special access to the visiting artists including exclusive question and answer sessions and a private one hour lesson, all free of charge. All seminar members will receive a certificate upon completion.
Who is Eligible: Active Duty, National Guard, and Reserve Military Personnel
Requirements: Seminar members must attend the required events as listed on the "Required Event Planning and Signature Sheet" and obtain signatures from the designated United States Army Band representative or designated visiting artist at each event.
To register and for more information contact
SSG Katy Thigpen ATW Contacts