THE GIFT of JAZZ is a Colorado 501(c)(3) Non-Profit organization established in 1995.
Executive Board of Directors
The Executive Board of Directors for The Gift of Jazz is responsible for setting policy for the organization, and assumes the fiscal and fiduciary responsibility for the financial health of The Gift of Jazz.
David Froman – President/Executive Director
Serving on the Board since March of 2008, David brings a diverse business and music background to the Gift of Jazz board. He has been involved in nearly every aspect of the music business, playing professionally for the past twenty-five years in addition to various stints as a jazz festival producer, jazz critic and radio personality. He founded, and for ten years, operated a successful Internet marketing company - and has presided over other Colorado non-profit boards.
Donald Rossa – Vice President/Program and Events Director
Serving on the Board since January of 2008, Donald has been Vice President of “for profit” organizations such as Piatti and Sfuzzi restaurant groups for a period of ten years. The Owner and President of Dazzlejazz, Inc. for the past eight years - Dazzlejazz, Inc. operates Dazzle Restaurant and Lounge in Denver, and is considered being one of the “Top 100 Jazz Clubs in the World”.
Josh Quinlan – Director of Education
Josh is a saxophonist, composer, and educator who holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Jazz Studies from the University of Colorado, and is a graduate of the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music (BM) and DePaul University (MMA). Josh is currently an Instructor of Jazz Studies at the University of Colorado, and a music faculty member at Denver School of the Arts, Director of the Dazzle Recordings label, and Co-Director of the Telluride Jazz Celebration Educational Program. In addition, he has conducted master classes and residencies at institutions including the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, National University of Costa Rica, Minnesota State University, the National Institute of Music (Costa Rica), Hope College, University of Colorado and Shepherdstown University. Josh most recently performed on tour throughout the US, Taiwan, Costa Rica, Panama and more. In addition, he has conducted master classes and residencies at institutions including the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, National University of Costa Rica, Minnesota State University, the National Institute of Music (Costa Rica), Hope College, University of Colorado and Shepherdstown University. We feel extremely fortunate to have this wealth of experience heading up our educational programs.
Toni Riggio – Treasurer/ Finance Director
Serving on the Board since January of 2008, Toni has been providing Mortgage Services and Home Consultation to Colorado residents since 1982. She is currently with Catalyst Lending Inc. Previously she managed staff and developed Mortgage Products, Compliance Training, Marketing and Budgets for Bellco Credit Union and other Credit Unions throughout the State. Toni comes from a musical family and has a passion for jazz. She has been involved in the jazz community since arriving in Denver in 1981.
Kay Ueno, Fundraising Coordinator/Director of Development
Kay’s background includes work during the past 22 years as a developmental editor/manager on university level textbooks in the sciences, and in economics & finance. Prior to retirement in mid-2007, Kay was serving as Director of Development at Pearson Education, Inc., in both their San Francisco and Boston offices. Her expertise as an editor and manager, and the necessarily related experience in the marketing aspects of publishing, lends itself to her current role in guiding our fundraising efforts. A past student of jazz piano at the New England Conservatory in Boston, Kay currently lives and studies jazz piano and composition/arranging in Denver.
Robert Karow – Secretary
Robert is responsible for attending, recording, and transcribing all Board Meetings, in addition to preparing correspondence for The Gift of Jazz organization as requested. Growing up in southeastern Minnesota, where his musical education began in grade school and continued through junior college, Robert played snare drum, timpani, and drum set. He moved to Denver in 1963, and his association with music was limited primarily to radio, stereo, TV, and Drums Along the Rockies. Upon retiring from legal administration, however, he followed up on his 35- year interest in the vibraphone (listening primarily to the George Shearing Quintet) by acquiring a used vibraphone and beginning lessons. He now heads his own group, The Polite Jazz Quartet. Robert believes he is a prime example of the opportunities music provides individuals of all ages, whether performing, teaching, or just listening, and generously devotes his time to The Gift of Jazz because its guiding philosophy reflects his own.
Board Members at Large
Wendy Fopeano – Program Coordinator
Wendy is a jazz vocalist and jazz photographer, who brings her thoroughgoing acquaintance with the jazz scene—both historically and locally—on the Colorado Front Range, to the Board of Directors. While introduced to jazz as a child, Wendy studied and played a number of instruments, ultimately majoring in classical guitar, before choosing voice as a means to pursue her love of jazz. She has sung professionally since the mid-eighties, and served as an “on-air” host at KUVO, one of the nation’s top jazz stations, for 10 years. In addition to her responsibility for the coordination of our bi-monthly Blind Tiger Party events, Wendy’s professional experience as a performer, as well as her broad acquaintance with the local jazz scene and its musicians, provides a highly valued, significant viewpoint in our events and educational planning efforts overall.
Marc Sabatella – Director at Large/Advisor – Adult Education Courses
Marc’s expertise and talents as a jazz pianist, composer, and educator makes him ideal as an adviser in planning our adult education courses. He received an MM in Composition (Jazz Emphasis) from the University of Denver, and currently teaches Jazz Theory and Aural Skills at DU. He also leads the jazz ensemble and teaches music at Regis University, and, in addition, teaches and leads ensembles for Colorado Jazz Workshop and other organizations. Marc’s experience as a musician includes work with jazz greats Delfeayo Marsalis, Bobby Shew, John Fedchock, Allan Harris, Greg Abate, Red Holloway, Pete Christlieb, Marcus Printup, Wessell Anderson, Javon Jackson, Chico Freeman, Mel Martin, Sunny Wilkinson, and others.
Frank Nichols – Director at Large/Video Coordinator for GOJ programs and events
Serving on the Board since January of 2013, Frank has a long history of music appreciation. When he was six, his parents bought a piano for his older sister to learn to play. But after a few months, she lost interest and Frank begged his parents for lessons. He went on to study classical piano for ten years. But he soon became interested in jazz and has followed that interest throughout his life. After obtaining a degree in electrical engineering and working in industry for 20 years, he and his wife Kay made a major career change and started producing travel documentary films. Frank did all the filming while Kay wrote the narratives, all the time pursuing their common interest in jazz. Today he is involved in audio and video production.
Tenia Nelson Director at Large/Adviser/Jazz music for elementary school children
Tenia is a graduate of Metro State College of Denver, with a Music Education degree. In 2010, Tenia received her Masters of Music degree with an emphasis in Jazz Pedagogy at the University of Colorado at Boulder. She is a freelance jazz pianist and percussionist, playing throughout the Denver Metro area, and also teaches General and Instrumental Music at Cheltenham Elementary School. Her education and work with elementary children in music make her ideally suited to play an important advisory role in our Jazz for the Schools Program.
Kelly Long – Director at Large/Adviser/Education and the arts
With over 33 years of teaching experience, Kelly teaches history at the university level and previously taught humanities, language arts, and theater at the high school level. She specializes in American cultural and intellectual history, and history education. Kelly regularly conducts professional development institutes and workshops for teachers. A deep commitment to public education and the arts informs Kelly’s work with the Gift of Jazz. A life-long resident of the Front Range area of Colorado, she is dedicated to educational outreach that connects students and with teachers with jazz.
Ned Avery – Director at Large
A music educator with 21 years of directing school bands, Ned’s formal education includes degrees in music from UNC, WWU and UNT. Semi-retired, he remains active as a part-time instructor. Ned also conducts, and plays the trumpet with both the Rocky Mountain Brassworks and the Thornton Community Band, while also serving on both non-profit boards of same. Ned joined The Gift of Jazz board in 2010, and continues to lend both his experience as an educator and musician to serve the interests of jazz music and musicians in the Denver community.
Shyrel Hosseini – Director at Large
Serving on the Board since January of 2008, Shyrel brings to the board qualifications and experiences in higher education academic leadership, campus management, program development, and organizational development in community college administration. Her broad involvement in the Denver jazz community for many years includes programming and collaborations with jazz organizations and artists including Donnie L. Betts, Eric Gunnison, the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce, Creative Music Works, Jazz on Film, and many others.
Jerry Fredericks – Founder
The Gift of Jazz organization was the inspiration of Jerry, who was dedicated to keeping the spirit and the benefits of jazz alive for both local musicians and jazz enthusiasts in the surrounding community. While she no longer lives in the Denver community and has gone on to other endeavors, the Board remains committed to keeping her goals and spirit alive and flourishing.