Jazz Faculty

Thurman Barker


Thurman Barker began his professional career at the age of 16 playing for Blues singer Mighty Joe Young. Classically trained at the American Conservatory of Music, his reputation as a professional drummer was quickly established.


He has played backup for Billy Eckstein, Marvin Gaye, Bette Midler and Vicki Carr. He was the house drummer at the Schubert Theatre in Chicago for 10 years where he played for national touring companies in Hair; The Wiz; The Me Nobody Knows l; Promises, Promises; 1776; Bubblin Brown Sugar; A Raisin in the Sun; Grease; One Mo’ Time; and Ain’t Misbehavin. Mr. Barker is a charter member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), an organization with which he continues his association to this day. He has performed and is known worldwide. He has recorded with Cecil Taylor, Muhal Richard Abrams, Amina Claudine Meyers, Anthony Braxton, Roscoe Mitchell, Sam Rivers, Billy Bang, Joseph Jarman, and Henry Threadgill. [more] He has produced four recordings under his own record label, Uptee Productions with a fifth currently under production. His first album Voyage, was reissued in CD form in November ’99. The Way I Hear It was released in January of ’99. Time Factor was released in December 2001 and his fourth CD Strike Force was released in February, 2004. In 1994, his work “Dialogue,” commissioned by the Mutable Music, was premiered at Merkin Concert Hall in New York City. He has since completed a second commission by the Mutable Music as well as two commissions by the Delaware Valley Chamber Orchestra in Sullivan County, New York. The Woodstock Chamber Orchestra premiered a chamber piece of his entitled “Expansions” in May of ’99. In the fall of ’99 Thurman Barker was given the honor of being a lecturer at Smolny University in St. Petersburg, Russia. He has taught and developed the jazz program at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York since 1993 and is an Associate Professor of Jazz Studies there.

Erica Lindsay


Erica Lindsay, tenor saxophonist and composer, currently leads her own quartet featuring Francesca Tanksley on piano, and co-leads a quartet with pianist Sumi Tonooka that features Bob Braye and Rufus Reid.


Two new recordings with these ensembles respectively are, “Yes – Live at the Rosendale Cafe” and the soon to be released, “Initiation”. She also currently performs with the Oliver Lake Big Band, the Baikida Carroll Quintet, the Howard Johnson, Hojo 5 Quintet, the Jeff Siegel Quartet and the San Francisco-based group, Trace Elements. Her most recent recordings with these ensembles are, “Cloth” (Oliver Lake Big Band), “Magical Spaces” (Jeff Siegel Quartet), “Marionettes on a High Wire” (Baikida Carroll Quintet) and “Parallel Universe” (Trace Elements). Lindsay is presently working on releasing two duo projects: one with percussionist Ricky Carter (“Soulcatcher”) and the other with drummer Bob Braye. Royal Stokes, writing for the Jazz Times has called her “a player of enormous gifts and a composer and arranger of striking originality”. Nat Hentoff states, “Erica Lindsay plays with such an emotional spontaneity that she is very much in the tradition of those jazz makers who were so evidently taking joy in surprising themselves each night, each song, each bar”. “She has a distinctive clarity and fullness of sound as well as an acute sense of dynamics. Her compositions are also characterized by an invigorating clarity of form and direction”. Bob Margolis for the Kingston Freeman says “Her profound, soul-searching technique straddles Coltrane’s spirituality and Joe Henderson’s fiery versatility, making hers a name to watch”. Lindsay’s parents were educators who moved to Europe in the sixties, raising their family in various European cities. She began her compositional studies at the age of fifteen with Mal Waldron in Munich, where she spent her high school years. She deepened her experience of the music through her exposure to Jazz expatriates Mal Waldron, Dexter Gordon, Slide Hampton, Jimmy Griffiths, Jimmie Woode, and Benny Bailey as well as the continuing flow of visiting Jazz greats. Upon graduating from high school she continued her studies at Berklee College of Music in Boston.When she returned to Europe, Lindsay focused on her compositional work, writing and arranging for various big bands and composing for the many different smaller groups she performed with. She was involved in the vibrant, Free-Jazz scene that existed then in Europe and was an original member and composer of the Unique Munich Saxophone Choir. During this period she formed her first quintet and also did guest performances with Frank Zappa and Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. In 1980 Lindsay moved to New York City. Referred by her saxophone teacher at Berklee, Andy McGee, she began performing and touring with Melba Liston & Co. During this time she performed with many Jazz legends: Dizzy Gillespie, Joe Williams, Al Grey, Britt Woodman, Mary Lou Williams and others. After leaving Melba Liston’s group in 1984, Lindsay performed with other leaders such as McCoy Tyner, Clifford Jordan, Reggie Workman, Ted Curson, George Gruntz and Amiri Baraka at Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher, Merkin Hall, La Mama Theatre and other Jazz venues. Lindsay at this time also became involved in performance art, and has collaborated with poet/playwright Carl Hancock-Rux, poets Janine Vega, Janice King, Mikhail Horowitz and painter Nancy Ostrowski. She composed the book for two off-Broadway plays,Carl Hancock-Rux’s “Song of Sad Young Men” , John Carter’s “Feed the Beast” and has written for television and modern dance. While living in New York City she also received a degree in Psychology from NYU. She now resides in the Woodstock area and is Visiting Full-Time Assistant Professor and Artist-In-Residence at Bard College.

John Esposito


John Esposito is an American pianist/composer/drummer/producer who works on a wide array of creative music projects.  His technical skills and the range of his artistic palette extend across the stylistic boundaries of the Stride Piano, Swing, Bebop, Modal and Free Music movements.


He has performed and recorded with artists including Nick Brignola, Dave Douglas, Dave Holland, Carter Jefferson, Franklin Kiermyer, Joe Lovano, J.R. Monterose, David “Fathead” Newman, Eric Person, Arthur Rhames, Sam Rivers, Roswell Rudd, Pharaoh Sanders and John Stubblefield. John is the owner/executive producer of Sunjump Records. He has created music for theater, dance, film, TV commercials, and multimedia performance art. He is a Visiting Full-Time Assistant Professor and Artist-In-Residence at Bard College and resides in New York State’s Hudson Valley.  After attending SUNY Albany John worked as house pianist at the Gemini Jazz Cafe for several years leading his own group with guest soloists including Nick Brignola and John Stubblefleld and spent a year working in saxophonist J.R. Monterose’s band. He moved to New York City in 1980 and met the phenomenal, young saxophonist/pianist/guitarist Arthur Rhames while playing on guitarist Steve Geraci’s Beat City label record date Aliqae Song with John Stubblefield and Rashied Ali. John worked in the Arthur Rhames Quartet for the next five years. In 1985, John formed Second Sight – a quintet with trumpeter Dave Douglas, saxophonist Jeff Marx, and drummer Jeff Siegel. They recorded Flying With The Comet in 1986, an album of John’s original compositions released on John’s independent label Sunjump Records followed by Tiger Tracks (1987). This five year period marked the beginning of John’s work as a producer and in addition to Second Sight’s music, Sunjump released a Jose Chalas record, Living On Avenue F and Marc Wagnon’s, Shadowlines. Throughout the eighties John also worked with saxophonists Carter Jefferson, John Stubblefield, J.R. Monterose, Hugh Brodie, Greg Abate, Nick Brignola, Bobby Johnson Jr, Roswell Rudd, Beaver Harris, and many others. In 1987 John moved to Woodstock, NY and in 1989 formed the FM Artists Coalition with saxophonist Erica Lindsay and bassist Anthony Cox. The group lasted three years beginning with a series of monthly house concerts, continuing with two years of co-productions with the Woodstock Guild in the Kleinert/James Gallery, culminating in August 1992 in a three day Jazz, Poetry and Visual Arts Festival at the Byrdcliff Barn. John produced 25 concerts for the FM Coalition and the 160 artists presented included Karl Berger, Tim Berne, Cindy Blackman, Baikida Carrol, Dave Douglas Tiny Bell Trio, Marilyn Crispell, Santi DeBriano, Jack DeJohnette, Dave Holland, Howard Johnson, and Wadada Leo Smith. From 1990-92 John played regularly with the Glen Richmond trio at Fat Tuesday NYC, and solo piano at the Village Corner, Bradley’s, NYC and the United Nations. Beginning in 1993 John began working with the groups of Franklin Kiermyer and Eric Person as pianist and arranger. He recorded four albums with Kiermyer : In The House Of My Fathers (1993 Konnex) with Dave Douglas and John Stubblefield ; the critically acclaimed Solomon’s Daughter (1994 Evidence) with tenor saxophonist Pharoah Sanders and bassist Drew Gress; Kairos (1996 Evidence) with the saxophonists Sam Rivers, Eric Person, Michael Stuart; and Sanctification (1999 Sunship) with saxophonist Michael Stuart and bassist Fima Ephron. Gigs included Sweet Basil, NYC with Joe Lovano, Eric Person and Drew Gress; tours of the US including the San Francisco Jazz Festival at Yoshi’s in Oakland, California; the Panasonic Jazz Festival at the Knitting Factory, NYC; Lincoln Center, NYC; a ten concert tour of Canadian Jazz Festivals including Montreal, Quebec, Toronto, Edmonton and Vancouver. John also played on four albums with Eric Person’s Meta Four beginning in 1996 with Eric’s More Tales to Tell (Soulnote) with Dave Holland and Gene Jackson. Gigs included NYC club appearances at the Blue Note, the Knitting Factory, and Visiones; tours of Jazz festivals and clubs including the Montreal Jazz Festival; Fresno CA Billy Higgins Festival; Savannah Jazz Festival; Texaco Jazz Festival, NYC; Newport/Friehoffer Jazz Festival Saratoga Springs, NY; Detroit Ford/Montreux Festival; Newport Jazz Festival, NYC ; and the Bell/Atlantic Festival, NYC. Media performances included broadcast of the Detroit Montreux concert on Branford Marsalis’ Jazz Set on NPR. John appeared on three more Eric Person CDs: Extra Pressure (2000) ; Live At Big Sur (2003); and Reflections (2006) with Dave Douglas and Kenny Davis. John toured with Eric Person’s Meta Four in performances at the Guimaraes Jazz Festival, Portugal; the Blue Note, NYC; Big Sur Jazz Festival; Blues Alley, Washington, D.C.; Savannah Jazz Festival, GA; Jazz Factory, Louisville, KY; the Brooklyn Academy of Music; dozens of clubs and concerts and workshops at twenty colleges across the US. Featured media performances include a Knitting Factory concert and interview on BET Jazz and webcasts from the Bluenote and the Knitting Factory. In 2002 John renewed his collaboration with saxophonist Jeff Marx on two CDs: The Great Unknown (Naugual) and Treading Air…Breathing Fire (Soluna). John continued his work with Jeff Marx contributing four compositions to Jeff Marx/Jeff Siegel CD Dreamstuff (2005 Ayler Records) and playing piano and writing compositions for Esposito/Marx/Siegel Inyo (Sunjump 2009). In 2006 John revitalized Sunjump Records which had been inactive since 1988 releasing John Esposito Down Blue Marlin Road, a deconstruction/reconstruction of some of Jazz’s most over-played standards. The second was a quintet date of nine Esposito originals, The Blue People. He followed this in 2008 with John Esposito A Book Of Five Rings ; Sangeeta Michael Berardi Earthship; and re-released Second Sight Flying With The Comet, on CD with three bonus tracks. In 2009 John produced three releases: Steve Geraci’s Aliqae Song, an archival recording of that first meeting with Arthur Rhames in 1980; the previously mentioned Inyo; and Mitch Kessler’s Erratica. During this period John began experimenting with music/video duet improvisations with video artist/photographer Laura Steele, culminating in a concert at University of Chapel Hill, NC. In April 2009 John presented a multi media concert with Laura Steele at Bard College, Annandale-On-Hudson, NY which combined through-composed and freely improvised music with Steele’s real time video mixing using pre-recorded images and live video feeds projected on four walls. Audience seating was configured in various geometric shapes throughout the space. The septet was divided into three segments placed in different parts of the hall. John produced two Sunjump Records releases in 2010: flutist Jayna Nelson’s Bloom Of Creation; and Orisha, his second trio CD with nine new originals. 2011 brought the release of Mitch Kessler’s Der Erlkonig. Other recording projects in 2011 include the Esposito/Marx/Siegel trio CD Tahrir (released in March 2012) and the mixing/mastering of Sangeeta Michael Berardi’s Calling Coltrane (released in January 2012). Current undertakings include production of a four CD boxed set- Second Sight: Complete Studio Recordings; a CD release of A Book Of Five Rings: Ground; and a collaboration with Sangeeta Michael Berardi on the music for a record date featured in the upcoming film Playing With Parkinson’s by the noted Jazz documentary filmmaker Burrill Crohn. This documentary film of Berardi’s life’s work as a painter/poet/musician is undergoing the editing process. The double CD titled The Mr P Sessions, is a February 2014 Sunjump release.

Private Teachers:

Ira Coleman (Bass)


Mike DeMicco (Guitar / Sight Reading Workshop)


Akua Dixon (Cellist)


Greg Glassman (Trumpet)


Larry Ham (Piano—Jazz and Improvisation)


Gwen Laster (Violinist, Composer)


Eric Person (Saxophone, Flute & Improvisation)



Steve Raleigh (Guitar)