The Headliners & Staff

The Headliners and Staff of the Iowa Lakes Community College University of Okoboji Summer Jazz Camp are truly a family that believes in what they do and strives to teach and share with you their years of knowledge and experience.

You will study with them in private lessons, theory, improvisation, software classes, combo and big bands rehearsals as well as listen to their jazz artistry during master classes and performances.

Check out their complete bios below.

Tony Gulizia

Born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska, Tony Gulizia started his music career early, at the age of 8, working with his father, and, later, with Joey, his brother. Tony studied music at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. It was there the Gulizia Brothers were formed. In 1979, the talented musical duo began working, in conjunction with the Nebraska Arts Council, in the Artists in Schools program. By 1990, their involvement in music programs for youth had escalated to leadership in the Mid-America Arts Alliance, involving themselves increasingly in Artist in Schools programs spanning a 7-state region. 

Tony worked the very first jazz camp and hasn’t missed a one! He’s always a favorite with the students and the audiences. He’s an incredible teacher, a great player and a marvelous crooner. (plus a good schmoozer!)

Gulizia Brothers have completed well over 250 residencies, and have worked with well over 100,000 students, grade levels K through 12, as well as with college and university students. In 1992, Tony, his wife, Liane, and their three sons moved to Edwards, Colorado. Tony works as a music educator with the Eagle County School District. Tony, a superbly talented musician and composer, maintains a busy schedule, performing virtually every day of the week in Beaver Creek. In 1997, Tony and Joey received the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Education. Also in 1997, Tony started Jazz Goes To School and it’s still going strong today. In 2002, Tony started touring annually to Austria and Switzerland with Joey and Roger Neumann. Early in 2013, Tony finished his 500th radio show on his “Jazz at its Peak” radio show. His passion is his music—and, of course, working with young people. Tony has a great love for music. “Viva la musica!!!” says he. 

Joey Gulizia

Joey has been performing since the age of ten, and continues to perform as a professional musician. He has proven diversity by working in many musical situations such as a featured artist with the Omaha Symphony, Nebraska Jazz Orchestra, Nebraska Brass, and countless other musical groups including his own. He has entertained on many cruise ships and has performed in Japan, Europe and the Caribbean. Joey tours with Mannheim Steamroller.

Since 1979, Joey has done hundreds of week-long residencies in schools sponsored by the Nebraska Arts Council. He has been involved teaching music at the Nebraska Scholars institute since 1982 and works as a jazz clinician in schools and universities throughout the Midwest.

Joey started working the very first jazz camp and has only missed 1 – the summer his wife has his baby daughter. Joey is always amazing with all the new percussion information he has to teach us every day. He’s so inventive and talented. 

Joey began studying music at the age of six and plays many instruments. He specializes in the field of percussion and has acquired a collection of instruments from around-the-world. He also performs as a soloist using soprano sax and a MIDI wind controller. Joey can be heard on many CD's, commercials, and soundtracks. 

Andy Hall

Andy Hall is a professional bassist on both the acoustic and electric bass. Versatility is the key to his success playing with a wide variety of groups and in many different styles. His favorite style of music, "Jazz" is the style of choice. He finds this style the most challenging, yet the most musically rewarding. Jazz improvising pushes the players to their highest level of musical communication.

Hall is a graduate of the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, with a Bachelor of Science in Music Education. He is currently the jazz bass instructor at The University of Nebraska Omaha.

For the past twenty-three years, Hall has played bass with the nationally known jazz vocalist, Marilyn Maye. In addition to performing, he spends a great deal of time teaching at jazz workshops, jazz camps, artist-in-residence programs and acts as an adjudicator for jazz festivals. Hall has performed concerts and taught workshops in Japan, Germany and Denmark.

Andy has currently recorded with Marilyn Maye, The Nebraska Jazz Orchestra, The Headliners and The Jazz Factory. He performs each year with a host of players. His past performance credits include Jay McShann, Clifford Jordan, Chuck Berry, The Four Lads, The Four Freshman< Mose Allison, ED Shaughnessy, Russell Malone, Doc Severinson, Freddie Hubbard, Ritchie Cole, Bob Mintzer, The Count Basie Orchestra, Rosemary Clooney, Peter Nero, Don Menza, Pete Christlieb, Bobby Shew many numerous others.

Scott Hesse

Scott Hesse grew up in Sioux City, Iowa, where he began playing the guitar at age fourteen.  A year and a half later he began performing in his father’s 12-piece territory big band throughout the Midwest.  After graduating from high school in 1989, Scott attended Eastern Illinois University.  There he studied for three years with New Orleans piano legend Henry Butler.  In 1994, Scott moved to New York City to attend Manhattan School of Music where he continued his music education with renowned guitarist/recording artist, Rodney Jones.

During the better part of 10 years spent living in New York, Scott performed at many of the city’s top jazz venues including Visione’s, Sweet Basil, Small’s, Smoke, Augie’s, Cleopatra’s Needle, and in Central Park.  He also shared the stage with many jazz artists including Pete Yellin, Benny Powell, Harold Mabern, Dennis Mackrel, Mark Egan, Akira Tana, Grady Tate, Brad Mehldau, Ira Coleman, Mark Turner, Myron Walden, Stefon Harris, Regina Carter, Cameron Brown, Judi Silvano, Andy Bey, Phillip Harper, Teodross Avery, and David Amram.

Scott held faculty positions at Dutchess Community College in Poughkeepsie, NY, The State University of New York (SUNY) in New Paltz, and The New School in Manhattan.  Students from Manhattan School of Music, Berklee College of Music, City College of New York City, Swarthmore College in Philadelphia, and Wesleyan University in Connecticut also sought Scott out for instruction.  In addition, Scott has been a faculty headliner at the University of Okoboji Reggie Schive Summer Jazz Camp in Iowa since 1997.

In 2001, Scott was invited to take part in the prestigious Steans Institute for Young Artists.  Along with twenty-three other up-and-coming young jazz artists, Scott was handpicked to participate in the Jazz at Ravinia Festival outside of Chicago.  During the weeklong festival, Scott played with such jazz luminaries as James Moody, Danilo Perez, Rufus Reid, Dr. David Baker, and Nathan Davis.  The week culminated in a concert during Jazz Week at Ravinia’s summer music festival.

Scott moved to Chicago in late 2004 and is now active in the city’s vibrant jazz scene.  As a member of drummer Isaiah Spencer’s Quartet, Scott plays regularly at Fred Anderson’s legendary club, The Velvet Lounge.  He has also played at Chicago’s top jazz spots including The Jazz Showcase, The Green Mill, Andy’s, Hothouse, Katerina’s, The Cultural Center, and The Chicago Jazz Festival.  Other collaborations in Chicago have included performances with Fred Anderson, Ari Brown, Greg Ward, Vincent Davis, Edward Wilkerson, Malachi Thompson, Harrison Bankhead, Tatsu Aoki, and John Goldman among others.

Scott holds a BA in music from Empire State College in New York and is currently working towards his master’s degree in jazz composition from DePaul University in Chicago.

Scott has two critically acclaimed recordings:  Intuition (1998) and The Flame Within the Fire (2000), which are opens in a new windowavailable at  Another recently released recording with Scott’s group in New York, the In Spirit Quartet, can be ordered at Scott’s website.  Todd Barkan produced the recording, entitled Contrast to the Madness, in 2004.  Scott can also be heard as a sideman on a host of other recordings. 

Learn more at 

MIchael Gurciullo

Michael “GOOCH” Gurciullo has been associated with big bands ever since he was a kid in Omaha, NE.  All through Jr. high and high school he played in the usual school programs, but also worked outside of those settings in professional big bands in the local area.  Upon completion of high school, Gooch chose North Texas State University for his continuing education.  There he got to work with great jazz educators Rich Matteson, Dan Haerle, and Jack Peterson.  Outside of the university, Gooch studied privately with world famous trumpet virtuoso, Don “Jake” Jacoby.  While attending N.T.S.U., Gooch formed his own big band called, “The Arctic Muther’s.” It was comprised of some of the best young talents in the music program at the time. Gooch also co-led a big band with Don Jacoby called, “The Swing of Things.”  While still in college, Gooch did some touring with Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians under the direction of Art Mooney.

Upon completion of N.T.S.U., Gooch gigged for a year as the featured soloist with the world-famous Glenn Miller Orchestra.  After that, Gooch moved west to Monterey, California. While there, he founded The Monterey Jazz Orchestra, and played Monday nights at Clint Eastwood’s Mission Ranch.  After several years, Gooch set forth for the Entertainment Capital of the World: Las Vegas. 

During his fifteen years spent in Vegas, Gooch worked most of the major showrooms with the headliners. He also carried the lead/jazz trumpet spot in the Wayne Newton Orchestra for 4 years.  He traveled exclusively with Mr. Newton all over the US, Canada, and the 2006 Australian Tour.  Gooch also founded the Las Vegas Big Band.  He had the top-call players meet with him on Monday nights to bring some of the hottest big band jazz to the people of Las Vegas. 

In 2008, Mike returned to his hometown of, Omaha, NE., where he married the “hometown sweetheart.” They live happily together with their two children, and of course the Golden Diva, Sophie, in West Omaha.  Once again, he assembled, Gooch & His Las Vegas Big Band, (the Midwest version).  Gooch and his band found a home to play on Monday nights at The Ozone.  They have been performing there for over four years.  They also just recently released their first CD entitled, “The Other Half Of Me.” Mike still works with many of the cats from Vegas in two shows called, “Drinkin, Singin, Swingin” and “Sinatra Forever.”  In addition to Laughlin and Vegas, the shows tour throughout the U.S. In 2010, they capped a successful tour of Chile, South America, returning just days before the big earthquake struck.

CJ Kocher

Dr. C.J. Kocher is associate professor of saxophone and jazz studies at the University of South Dakota, where he has taught since 1999. Kocher, who is active as both a performer and educator, has an extensive background in both classical and jazz saxophone.

As a classical saxophonist, he has performed with the South Dakota Symphony, Sioux City Symphony, Colorado Music Festival Orchestra, and others. He is a member of the Kocher Duo with his wife Stephanie, which specializes in literature for flute and saxophone. He also performs with the Sempre Saxophone Quartet, which recently released a CD on Centaur Records. Kocher has premiered new works at the World Saxophone Congress and other North American Saxophone Alliance events.

As a jazz performer, he regularly plays with his own quartet, the South Dakota Jazz Orchestra, the USD Faculty Jazz Quintet, and others. He has also played with Frank Mantooth, Steve Wiest, Denis DiBlasio, Al Jarreau, Mercedes Ellington, the Temptations, Wayne Newton, the Les Brown Orchestra, and the Jimmy Dorsey Big Band. Kocher completed the Doctor of Arts degree in Saxophone Performance and Pedagogy at the University of Northern Colorado and also holds degrees from Wichita State University (M.M., Saxophone Performance) and Washburn University (B.M., Music Education & Saxophone Performance). He has studied the saxophone and jazz with top performers and educators such as Roger Greenberg, Eugene Rousseau, Jean Lansing, Ken Ticknor, Gene Aitken, Chuck Tumlinson, Tom Fowler, and Dan Haerle. C.J. performed at the 2012 World Saxophone Congress with Roger Neumann, where they premiered Roger’s new work Monktasia for flute, alto sax, tenor sax, and piano.

Dan Cassady
Dan Cassady is sales associate and brass instructor at West Music in Coralville, and adjunct professor of music at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids.  Previously he taught music and directed band programs at Fort Dodge Senior High School, Iowa Central Community College, and St. Edmond High School.  Dan also works as a clinician with school band programs throughout Iowa.
He is a multiple-year honoree in Who’s Who Among Americas’ Teachers and the recipient of the NCIBA Distinguished Service Awards, The University of Texas Excellence Award, and the Fort Dodge Chamber of Commerce Golden Apple Award.  He holds the Bachelor of Music and Master of Arts degrees from The University of Iowa with additional work at VanderCook College of Music-Chicago, Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa.
As a trombonist Dan has performed all styles in many area bands.  He currently plays with the Jive For Five Brass Quintet, Cedar Rapids Municipal Band, East Side Jazz Team, Nova Jazz, and the Jan Garber Orchestra.  Dan is an adjudicator for the Iowa High School Music Association and other festivals.  His professional memberships include the American School Band Directors Association, Iowa Bandmasters Association, Jazz Educators of Iowa, and the International Trombone Association.  He has taught at the Reggie Schive Jazz Camps since 1985.    
Dan and his wife, Lori have two sons and one daughter - Michael, Nathan and Megan.