Faculty – SMJ – ITALY 2017


Under the direction of, and joined by SMJ’s Artistic/Music Director NILSON MATTA , our faculty has a commitment to working closely with each student “wherever s(he) is at.”  Whether you’re a hobbyist, a classical player/singer transitioning to jazz, or a working professional wanting to further refine your technique, explore repertoire, enhance your style, our faculty is here to share their expertise and take you where you want to go!   

Chico Pinheiro:  “A Rising Star…” – Downbeat Magazine 

Virtuoso guitarist-vocalist, arranger and composer was voted as “Rising Star/Guitar” in 2012.   Since that time, he has achieved a remarkable presence in- and outside the Brazilian music scene.  He has performed and recorded with the “cream of the crop” of Brazilian artists such as Joyce, Ivans Lins, Rosa Passos, Dori Caymmi, Danilo Caymmi, Joao Donato, Johnny Alf, Luciana Souza, and more, while also making his mark internationally, recording and playing with Brad Mehldau, Esperanza Spalding, Bob Mintzer, Nilson Matta, Chris Potter, Eddie Gomez, and so many more!   About Chico Pinheiro latest album There’s a Storm Inside: throughout, Pinheiro’s charms as a guitarist, composer and vocalist are hard to resist. Imagine a young Chet Baker, with Luiz Bonfa’s chops and Marcos Valle’s aching sense of melody , and you get a record that will have you surrendering with a ‘Yes, yes, yes’.

Jay Clayton:  

Whether you are interested in developing technique and expanding your vocal range, scat singing, or Jay Clayton is an internationally acclaimed vocalist, composer, and educator, whose work boldly spans the terrain between jazz and new music. Jay has gained worldwide attention as both performer and teacher. With more than 40 recordings to her credit, she  has appeared alongside such formidable artists as Muhal Richard Abrams, Steve Reich, Kirk Nurock, Julian Priester, Jerry Granelli, Jane Ira Bloom, Gary Bartz, Jack Wilkins, George Cables, Fred Hersch, Gary Thomas, tap dancer Brenda Bufalino as well as fellow vocalists Jeanne Lee, Norma Winstone, Urszula Dudziak and Bobby McFerrin.

She has taught extensively throughout the world and was on the jazz faculty of Cornish College of the Arts for 20 years. She is currently on the jazz faculty at Peabody Institute in Baltimore. Her book, Sing Your Story: A Practical Guide for Learning and Teaching the Art of Jazz Singing, was published by Advance Music in 2001.


John Snauwaert

Belgian saxophone player, composer and educator is extraordinarily versatile instrumentalist.  He has played on international stages with Petar Elmazof (Bulgaria), Chergio de Susa and Pipo Fernandes (Cuba, the latter member of the B V S C), Mahbub & Satar Khan (India). He also played with jazz masters as Lowell Fulson, Isaac Hurley, Gene Bertoncini, Bob Mover, Gary Smulyan, Nilson Matta, Dick Oats and more.  As a composer and musician John worked for Koninklijke Vlaamse Schouwburg, het Muziek Lod, De Werf, Victoria, De Vieze Gasten and Circus Picolini.  He loves the the combination of music with images and has written music for animated movies ‘papa trumpet’ and ‘Meme’ by Eveline Verschorre and also for ‘The Bed’ by Luc Degryze.