Stanford Jazz Workshop Leadership

Staff Leadership

Jim Nadel – Founder and Artistic Director Emeritus

Alto saxophonist, composer, arranger, and educator Jim Nadel founded the Stanford Jazz Workshop in 1972. He continues to serve as the nonprofit organization’s artistic director. In addition to his work with the Stanford Jazz Workshop, Nadel designed the initial jazz studies curriculum for Stanford University’s academic jazz program and has served as a lecturer in the Department of Music since 1986. Nadel received a BA in Music from Stanford University and an MA in Nonprofit Administration from the University of San Francisco. He is a former member of the IAJE and a current member of JEN (Jazz Education Network) and the AFM (American Federation of Musicians).

Cory Combs – Executive Director

Cory Combs is an arts non-profit leader, music festival producer, lecturer, bassist, and composer from the San Francisco Bay Area. He has performed with many internationally known artists, recorded multiple CDs as a leader, and lectured frequently on the history of jazz at major cultural institutions nationwide. Prior to joining Stanford Jazz Workshop, Combs served as the Executive Director of InterMusic, a non-profit arts organization dedicated to supporting professional musicians in the San Francisco Bay Area. Additionally, he directed the Outreach, Music, and Enrichment departments at the Nueva School, and served as Director of Education at SFJAZZ. As an educator, he was the founding Music Director at Waldorf High School in San Francisco, taught music technology, performance, and music history classes at schools throughout the Bay Area, and directed the jazz program at the American Festival of the Arts in Houston, Texas. Combs earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the Eastman School of Music where he studied classical music performance and jazz composition.

Mark Hernandez — Development Director

Mark Hernandez (he/him) is a nonprofit professional with decades of experience as an administrator, fundraiser, community organizer, performer/creative, teaching artist, and philanthropy advisor. He served as SJW’s Development Director from 2016 to 2019, and rejoined in 2024. Mark has also had notable tenures at The Trevor Project, an organization committed to ending suicide among LGBTQ+ young people; the San Francisco Symphony, a forward-looking music ensemble; Success Centers, a San Francisco Bay Area organization that supports equity and workforce development; the Alliance for California Traditional Arts, a statewide organization for culture bearers; the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, a tertiary education institution (and Mark’s alma mater); and San Francisco Opera. As a freelancer, he has worked for dozens of nonprofits of various sizes and missions. Learn more about Mark by visiting his LinkedIn profile. 

David C. Miller – Executive Director Emeritus

David first joined SJW in 2009, and after a break of several years during which he and his family lived overseas, rejoined as Executive Director in 2017. David brings more than two decades of experience with education and performing arts organizations, and enjoys connecting the dots among different aspects of non-profit work, including program, fundraising, finance, and administration. Although he entered college as a music major with an emphasis on jazz composition and performance, by the time he graduated from UC Berkeley he knew that he was better suited to supporting the music rather than performing it. He has served on the boards of several non-profit organizations and has been an active volunteer leader for his local PTA, school district advocacy groups and committees, youth sports programs, the Boy Scouts of America, and other organizations. David lives in the East Bay with his family.

Steven Lugerner – Director of Educational and Festival Programming

Steven Lugerner first attended the Stanford Jazz Workshop as a student in 2002. After graduating from Burlingame High School in 2006, Steven moved to New York City to attended The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music on scholarship. From 2006 through 2013, Steven free-lanced in NYC as a woodwind doubler (Saxophones, Clarinets, Flute, Oboe) and collaborated with the likes of Fred Hersch, Jason Moran, Albert “Tootie” Heath, Myra Melford, John Hollenbeck, Matt Wilson and Jane Ira Bloom. Steven has released multiple albums of original music to critical acclaim and has been called “an impeccably trained multi-reedist” by the New York Times.

Yu-Chun Kuo – Director of Program Operations

Yu-Chun Kuo, native of Taiwan, received her Doctor of Musical Arts in Percussion from University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. As a freelance arts management administrator, she worked on various projects such as Play For The Vote, Youth Music Culture Guangdong with Yo-Yo Ma and Michael Stern, and served as the tour manager for Wu Man and the Huayin Shadow Puppet Band’s North American Tour. Prior to joining SJW, she was the Concert Hall and Recital Manager at Community School of Music and Arts in Mountain View where she oversaw the community concert series and the facility rental program. Yu-Chun lives in San Mateo with her husband and enjoys baking/cake decorating in her free time.

Ernie Rideout – Marketing Director and Experience Designer

Ernie has an extensive background in program and content development for the tech and music industries and the nonprofit sector. He served as longtime Editor-in-Chief of Keyboard Magazine, where he oversaw all aspects of the publication’s content design, production, and marketing, including print and digital. A Peninsula local, he’s attended many SJF concerts over the years, and was himself a piano student in our Jazz Residency program more than a few years ago. With a Master’s Degree in Music from UC Berkeley, years in the classroom as a jazz educator, and a deep love of jazz, Ernie brings a special insight to marketing both the festival and educational programming here at SJW.

Hilary Febbo – Registrar

With a decade of background in arts nonprofits, and a studio art/art history degree, Hilary brings her love of art and people to her role as registrar. To her, all art is a desire to communicate, and music is an especially synergistic and beautiful manifestation of that. She returned to Stanford Jazz Workshop in 2022 after a ten-year hiatus — time well-spent being a mother, learning to sew and make pottery, starting a garden, and soldering motor wires on antique sewing machines. Find her on the other end of the phone when you call, or at a show, wishing she hadn’t stopped playing the flute and piano in fifth grade.

MG Enad – Controller

MG joined SJW as Controller after spending decades as a management and finance professional in the tech and banking industries.  He is excited to apply his experiences and expertise in Financial Statement management and analysis to his initial career interest in jazz, having started out as a jazz saxophone performance major in college.  An alumni of the University of North Texas, MG became drawn into finance and accounting as a cool day job that ultimately became a rewarding career.  MG spends his other hours with his wife and teenage twins.

Board of Directors

Kären Nagy – Chair

Strategic Initiatives Director, Kronos Quartet

Fred Spitz – Vice Chair

Community Volunteer

Jim Nadel – President

Founder and Artistic Director, Stanford Jazz Workshop

John Monroe – Treasurer

Community Volunteer

Bob Murphy – Secretary

Music student, teacher, and performer

Cory Combs

Executive Director, SJW

Ralph Deadwyler

Community Volunteer

Anthony Diamond

CEO and Founder at Memory Maps Inc.

Taylor Eigsti

SJW Faculty Artist

Tomoko Funaki

SJW Faculty Member & Community Volunteer

Ronda Rosner

Retired biotech business manager

Stephen M. Sano

Professor of Music, Stanford University

Joan E. Talbert

Sr. Scholar Emerita, Stanford Graduate School of Education

Robert L. Yoerg, M.D.

Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Stanford University

Sharon Yoerg

Community Volunteer

Board of Advisors

John Calloway
Catherine Conway Honig
Larry Grenadier*
Julian Lage*
Victor Lin*
Bennett Paster*
Joshua Redman*
Steve Savage
Dee Spencer
Wayne Wallace

*SJW alumni

In their own words

SJW an excellent atmosphere where the kids could interact with the professionals.

We were the very fortunate recipients of generous financial aid, without which our son could not have attended. This was the first time he went to a music camp, and we are all so happy he did. Thank you!

Best experience imaginable. It far exceeded our expectations. Our daughter can’t wait for next year.

Thank you for offering this program, and helping my daughter grow in her confidence and her music abilities.

First thing he said when he got home was he wants to go back next summer and he wish he could go for two weeks next year.

SJW is an amazing and one-of-a-kind program.

SJW has inspired our girls to pursue their music through jazz bands, orchestra, pep bands, chamber groups, and musical theater. Thank you so much.

After the second day of camp, my daughter said ‘It’s getting easier.’ She described how jazz is different from classical music and how much she enjoys playing jazz with a group. And, of course, the concert on the final day was amazing!

My daughter said all the teachers are amazing, super supportive of students learning jazz for the first time.

She said it was awesome that the teachers appreciated how courageous the students were to try jazz for the first time.

The entire experience was wonderful! She had a great time learning music and making new friends. Thank you!

I wish it was longer than one week. I’d have my son in for the whole summer if possible!

Every time my son finished his rehearsal, he would tell me all about it with excitement.

I was impressed with everything from the communication, the level of professionalism, the enthusiasm, the ratio of coaches to students, the quality of the instruction, and that the students had fun and grew as musicians.

My daughter said she would never forget the performance. (Nor will I.)

I also loved the performance — the kids sounded terrific and they all looked intensely excited to be part of it.

At the end of each class, he was always upbeat and excited about all that he learned. And he said that the teachers were so nice and supportive, and that everyone just wanted to him to succeed.

The staff made all that hard work exciting and fun for the kids. I saw the last ten minutes of a couple of sessions and loved the energy, passion, and enthusiasm.

The staff had high standards for the kids, but did not make it grim. It was obvious that everyone was having fun. And, they sounded amazing!

Giant Steps had a profound impact on my daughter. It changed the way she saw herself.

She went in as a trumpet player in her middle school band and came out thinking of herself as a nascent jazz musician. Her playing and musicianship improved tremendously. Her love of playing jazz trumpet also grew.

Those 10 weeks stretched him as a musician and gave him a huge boost in confidence. He is now a freshman at Menlo-Atherton High, and he and a bunch of his friends in Intermediate Jazz Band have set up their own quintet and are working together on music selection, arrangement, rehearsals etc.

It surpassed our expectations in all respects. Thank you!

Giant Steps was a life-changing experience for my daughter. It empowered her and showed her what was possible if she challenged herself and continued to play jazz trumpet.

My favorite thing? Direct one-on-one teaching, exactly where I need to be taught and challenged in my artistic endeavors.

It’s an amazing opportunity to study from the greats, in a place where inspiration and electricity abound.

The total-immersion program of playing, listening, and learning has inspired me to continue making my own music until I can return to SJW next year.

I had no idea about the level of inspiration I would get, or the number of things it is now clear I need to work on.

This week has been an incredible learning opportunity for me as a student, and I can’t wait to apply all that I’ve learned here in my outside musical career. The level of skill and growth I attained this week is priceless. I love the Stanford Jazz Workshop.

My highlight was seeing my shy daughter perform her first public jazz solo and do an amazing job.

While here, my knowledge of theory, technique and musicianship improved immensely. I never thought I could learn what I did or do what I have achieved.

What makes the SJW community so special is that it creates an environment in which artists can readily share music and educational ideas with each other, with students, and with concert audiences. This interaction between people of different generations and backgrounds is so much of what jazz has always been about.

I wish the SJW Jazz Camp was longer than one week. I’d have my son in for the whole summer if possible!

All week I was able to interact with some of my greatest musical heroes and learn from their expertise. The master classes with Jason Moran, Joshua Redman, Mark Turner and Jeff Ballard changed the way I think about the music.

Simply put, Stanford Jazz Workshop changed my life that first summer.

When we picked our son up, he said ‘I was among giants’ and was very excited by the professional level of the musicians he met during the week.

You’ve got 200 eager kids there, and you’ve got your friends there who are also musicians. Every single year the Stanford Jazz Festival date is my favorite gig.