Katie Thiroux Trio Performs at Kuumbwa Jazz in Santa Cruz, January 29, 2018

MJF Traveling Clinician’s Group Trio Features Pianist Justin Kauflin and Drummer Matt Witek

Monterey, CA; January 2, 2018; Kuumbwa Jazz in Santa Cruz will present the Katie Thiroux Trio on Monday, January 29 in a special show that features the award-winning bassist and vocalist Katie Thiroux, pianist Justin Kauflin, and drummer Matt Witek

Tickets are $22/advance purchase and $27 at the door, with a half-price discount for students available at the door. Tickets can be ordered by calling 831.427.2227, in person at Streetlight Records in downtown Santa Cruz, or by visiting www.kuumbwajazz.org.

Katie Thiroux, a Los Angeles native, is currently a Traveling Clinician for the Monterey Jazz Festival’s Jazz in the Schools program, where professional musicians visit Monterey County schools once a month to provide professional instruction and guidance for music students. Katie was also a 2006 Next Generation Jazz Orchestra member, and has participated in MJF’s Next Generation Jazz Festival, both as a high school and graduate student. She has additionally performed at the Monterey Jazz Festival in 2007 with the Berklee-Monterey Quartet and again in 2015 with the Justin Kauflin Trio. 

Thiroux’s second release, Off Beat, was released on Capri Records in the fall of 2017, and has been cited by DownBeat as one of the “Best Albums of 2017.” Katie attended the Berklee College of Music on a Presidential Scholarship, and received her masters from California State University of Long Beach on full scholarship in 2012. Katie was also the subject of a recent interview on the Monterey Jazz Festival’s website.

Justin Kauflin is a critically-acclaimed pianist and composer, who has been performing professionally since age six. Justin lost his vision from exudative retinopathy by age 11, and after receiving a Presidential scholarship to attend William Paterson University, he became student of the legendary trumpeter, Clark Terry. A documentary film about their relationship, Keep On Keepin' On, produced by Quincy Jones, won many awards for best documentary in 2014, and was shortlisted for an Academy Award nomination. Justin played the Monterey Jazz Festival (in a quartet that featured Thiroux and Witek) in 2015. Kauflin was also a selected as semifinalist at the 2011 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition. 

Drummer Matt Witek lives in Los Angeles and is a graduate of the Berklee College of Music, and completed his masters on full scholarship at California State University Long Beach in 2012. A student of world-renowned drummer Jeff Hamilton, he has been a member of Thiroux’s Trio for a number of years, and has performed and toured across the United States and Europe with John Pizzarelli, Larry Fuller, Justin Kauflin, and many others. Matt also performed with the CSU Long Beach Jazz Orchestra at the 2011 Next Generation Jazz Festival.

About Kuumbwa Jazz
Since 1975, Kuumbwa Jazz has grown from small beginnings to one of the most highly respected jazz-presenting institutions in the country, attracting artists of national and international renown. The nonprofit organization is dedicated to preserving the history and legacy of jazz through weekly concerts in their intimate 200 seat venue and education programs for all ages. Kuumbwa (pronounced koo-um-baa) is a Swahili word, meaning “act of spontaneous creativity.” 

About Monterey Jazz Festival
The Monterey Jazz Festival celebrates the legacy of jazz, expands its boundaries, and provides opportunities to experience jazz through the creative production of performances and educational programs.


For more information, bios, interview opportunities, and high-resolution pictures, please contact:
Timothy Orr
Marketing Associate
Monterey Jazz Festival
Direct Line: 831.646.8670


Bennett Jackson
Marketing Director
Kuumbwa Jazz