Artistic Directors

Comprised of esteemed jazz artists from Western New York, our creative team is dedicated to planning first-rate performances, educational offerings, and projects.    


George Caldwell

Grammy Award-winning pianist, George Caldwell has led a brilliant career as a performer, composer, arranger, conductor, educator, and actor.  For over 30 years, George has toured the world with groups such as the Count Basie Orchestra and Duke Ellington Orchestra. He has performed with an extensive list of legendary artists that includes Dizzy Gillespie, Bobby McFerrin, and Nancy Wilson, and can be heard on over 15 albums.

In addition, George has served as Pianist and Musical Director for dozens of Broadway and Off-Broadway touring shows. Though still touring and performing extensively in New York City, we are lucky to have George residing and performing in Buffalo where he currently serves as Director of Jazz Ensembles at the University at Buffalo. To read more about George, visit:   


Mark FILsinGER

Trumpeter, educator, and composer, Mark Filsinger has been a staple of the jazz community since returning to Western New York in 2012. His groups, including the Mark Filsinger Eleventet, have been featured at various venues throughout the area including the Historic Lewiston and Queen City Jazz Festivals. In addition to leading his own groups, Mark has performed with national touring Broadway shows, ensembles, and artists including The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Don Menza Big Band, and Johnny Mathis.      

After earning a Ph.D. from the Eastman School of Music, Mark joined the faculty at SUNY Buffalo State. As a leader in the field of jazz education, he has presented jazz education workshops around the United States and Europe for the National Association for Music Education, International Society for Music Education, and Jazz Education Network.


John Hasselback Jr.

Trombonist, John Hasselback Jr., has been an active force on the jazz scene in Buffalo for 30 years. He was named "Top Jazz Trombonist in Western New York" in both the inaugural 2014 and 2015 JazzBuffalo poll. In addition to performing locally, John has performed across the United States and Europe with many noted jazz artists including Jaki Byard, Don Menza, Maynard Ferguson, Steve Davis, Lester Bowie, Roswell Rudd, Aretha Franklin, Gap Mangione, and Chuck Mangione. He is a featured soloist on recordings with Gap Mangione, Kenny Wheeler, and Don Menza.

In addition to performing, John is very active as a music educator and clinician. He is currently in his 17th year teaching at West Seneca Central Schools, and has served as clinician, chairperson, and conductor for numerous collegiate and high school honors jazz festivals.


Bobby Militello

Internationally acclaimed jazz saxophonist, Bobby Militello is one of the most prolific jazz artists from Buffalo, NY. His tremendous list of accomplishments includes a 30-year tenure with the Dave Brubeck Quartet in which he recorded over 20 albums and performed throughout the world. Bobby has also performed, toured, and recorded with a long list of ensembles and artists including Maynard Ferguson, Doc Severinson, Bill Holman, Bob Florence, and Emiel van Egdom, as well as with most major symphony orchestras in North America and Europe. In total, Bobby has recorded more than 250 albums, television, and film scores.

In 1991, Bobby returned to his hometown of Buffalo, NY where he continues to be a dominant force on the jazz scene. In addition to being a featured artist with many area groups, he leads his world-class Bobby Militello Quartet. This fall, Bobby will join the music faculty of the University at Buffalo. For complete information and discography, please visit:

Board Members

Phil DiRe

Mark Filsinger

Andrew Fried

Christie Joseph

Rico Tribuzzi