Adjunct Faculty, Jazz Studies, Jazz Guitar

Robert Ferrier playing jazz guitar in a music classroom.
Robert Ferrier holds a BM in Performance from Berklee College of Music and an MM in Jazz Composition/Arranging from UMass Amherst. A freelance guitarist and teacher, Ferrier has performed with Jon Faddis, Randy Brecker, Eddie Bert, John Fedchock, Claudio Roditi, Yusef Lateef and Peter Erskine. His teachers have included John Laporta, William Leavitt, Herb Pomeroy, Bill Pierce and George Garzone.
Robert Ferrier playing jazz guitar in a music classroom.

Senior Lecturer, Jazz Studies, Drum Set

Thomas Giampietro holding a cup and about to play a cymbal outside on the UMass Amherst campus.
As a drummer, Giampietro was an original member of Grammy-winning saxophonist Jeff Coffin's eclectic jazz group the Mu-tet. Giampietro has played on 31 commercially released recordings, and has recorded or performed with such artists as Tim O'Brien, Casey Driessen, Rod McGaha, Scott Robinson, Lee Konitz, Tom Harrell, The Middle Tennessee Jazz Orchestra, Victor Wooten, Beegie Adair, Ben Monder, Chris Walters, Liz Johnson, Pat Bergeson, The Chris Merz X-tet, Ricky Woodard and Peter Erskine. He has also been active in leading his own group in and around the Nashville area.
Thomas Giampietro holding a cup and about to play a cymbal outside on the UMass Amherst campus.

Adjunct Faculty, Jazz Trombone

Ben Griffin playing trombone.
A native of Springfield, MA, Ben Griffin has led a varied musical career spanning several genres and styles. Ben first came to prominent attention as low brass soloist for the Tony Award winning theater show Blast! after attending the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. A member of the Original Cast in West End of London in 1999, he continued with the first national tour and Broadway run of the show until 2001, in addition performing on 7 different instruments.
Ben Griffin playing trombone.

Professor, Director of Jazz & African American Music Studies, Composition, Conductor

Jeffrey W. Holmes.
Holmes plays keyboards with the Paul Winter Consort, leads the Jeff Holmes Big Band featuring his wife, vocalist Dawning Holmes, and plays lead trumpet with the New England Jazz Ensemble. Recent recordings as performer and/or composer/arranger include the Jeff Holmes Quartet release "Of One's Own," the New England Jazz Ensemble’s “Peter and The Wolf“, HGTS’s “…and then they played…” and projects by Paul Winter, colleague Felipe Salles, and Earl MacDonald. He continues to appear as a guest conductor/clinician/adjudicator and performer/composer/arranger.
Jeffrey W. Holmes.

Senior Lecturer II, Vocal Jazz, Undergraduate Composition & Arranging

Catherine Jensen-Hole in front of a rock wall.
A nationally published composer and arranger,
Catherine Jensen-Hole's compositions and arrangements have been performed and recorded by university and college ensembles across America. A sought-after clinician and adjudicator in vocal jazz, she has conducted All-State Choirs including the 2001 MENC All Northwest Jazz Choir and has been a faculty member at the North Texas Summer Vocal Jazz Workshop. Presently she co-teaches at the Jazz in July Summer Workshop (UMass Amherst) with Sheila Jordan, working with singers from the USA, Canada, Europe and Asia. Jensen-Hole is also a regular performer in the IAJE Music Educator Vocal Jazz Group that performs new vocal jazz music at the yearly conference. Her own UNC Jazz Press arrangements and compositions are regularly featured at these sessions.
Catherine Jensen-Hole in front of a rock wall.

Adjunct Faculty, Jazz Trumpet

Haneef Nelson holding a trumpet.
Born in Brooklyn, NY and raised in Uniondale, NY, Haneef N. Nelson has been a lifelong lover of music. His original music and Big Band arrangements have been featured around the world and on the records of the New London Big Band as well as Dr. Emmett Goods album Another Level.
Haneef Nelson holding a trumpet.

Professor, Jazz Studies, Composition, Conductor, Saxophone

Felipe Salles holding three music instruments including a saxophone.
A native of São Paulo, Brazil, Felipe Salles has been an active musician in the US since 1995, where he has worked and recorded with prominent jazz artists, including Randy Brecker, Paquito D’Rivera, David Liebman, Melissa Aldana, Lionel Loueke, Jerry Bergonzi, Chico Pinheiro, Magos Herrera, Sofia Rei, Yosvany Terry, Jovino Santos Neto, Oscar Stagnaro, Luciana Souza, and Bob Moses. He has toured extensively in Europe, North and South America, India and Australia, as a sideman and as a leader of his own group.
Felipe Salles holding three music instruments including a saxophone.

Associate Professor, String Bass (Jazz)

Fumi Tomita holding a bass instrument.
Bassist, composer, and educator Fumi Tomita was active in the New York jazz scene for over fifteen years. His 2019 recording, The Elephant Vanishes: Jazz Interpretations of the Short Stories of Haruki Murakami, was released to critical acclaim by Origin Arts records and was listed in the top ten records of 2019 by Jazziz. He also appears as a member of HGTS on their debut release And Then They Played… released in April 2020 by Summit Records. Celebrating Bird: A Tribute to Charlie Parker, a collaboration with saxophonist David Detweiler, was released in September 2020 by Next Level Music.
Fumi Tomita holding a bass instrument.