2024 CJF Clinicians

Notre Dame is proud to welcome a world-renowned group of jazz musicians as guest performers/clinicians each year. Below are the bios of the distinguished panel for the 2024 Collegiate Jazz Festival at the University of Notre Dame. 

Emmet Cohen - piano
Bruce Harris - trumpet
Ruben Fox - saxophone
Philip Norris - bass
Joe Farnsworth - drums

Emmet Cohen

Multifaceted American jazz pianist and composer Emmet Cohen is one of his generation's pivotal figures in music and the related arts. Leader of the Emmet Cohen Trio and creator of the Masters Legacy Series, he is an internationally acclaimed jazz artist, a dedicated educator, the winner of the 2019 American Pianists Awards, and a finalist in the 2011 Thelonious Monk International Piano Competition. Cohen headlines regularly at Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Village Vanguard, and Birdland, and has appeared at the Newport, Monterey, and North Sea jazz festivals. His artistry has taken him to venues and festivals in over 30 countries. Cohen's entrepreneurial energies led to his developing "Live From Emmet's Place," a live-streamed "Harlem rent party" that unites a worldwide audience via tens of millions of internet views. Cohen has released over ten albums as leader and has performed or recorded with Ron Carter, Benny Golson, Jimmy Cobb, George Coleman, Jimmy Heath, Tootie Heath, Houston Person, Christian McBride, and Kurt Elling.

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Bruce Harris

Born and raised in the Bronx, NY, trumpeter Bruce Harris has earned a reputation as one of the most important and emerging voices in jazz today. Harris’s love for music began in his home where the sounds of his grandfather’s alto saxophone and New York's storied music traditions of bebop and hip-hop consumed him. Inspired by acclaimed director Spike Lee’s “Mo Better Blues,” Harris became enamored with the trumpet and at the age of 13 his musical journey started. Heavily influenced by Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Clifford Brown and Dizzy Gillespie, Harris performed in the “Essentially Ellington” jazz band competition as a high school junior, earning the opportunity to play alongside famed trumpeter and jazz historian, Wynton Marsalis.

Harris went on to earn a Bachelors Degree and Masters Degree in Jazz Performance at the Conservatory of Music at Purchase College, where he was mentored by trumpet virtuoso, Jon Faddis. Bruce Harris’s professional career as a performer has been defined by his infectious joy, undeniable passion and youthful energy. His chops were honed in many of New York's premier music venues and jazz clubs such as Smalls, Smoke Jazz Club, Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola, Ginny’s Supper Club, Minton’s, Rockwood Music Hall, among others. Harris has made appearances on CBS’s The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and NBC’s The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. In addition, he has appeared alongside a long list of legendary performers, including Wynton Marsalis & the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Dave Brubeck, Billy Taylor, The Count Basie Orchestra, Michael Feinstein, Barry Harris, Roy Hargrove, and Tony Bennett. In 2013, for Ebony Magazine, Wynton Marsalis highlighted Bruce as one of the five important young jazz musicians you should know.

In addition to well established reputation on the international jazz scene, Bruce Harris has made a name for himself in various musical worlds. Harris has been featured in two Broadway shows; After Midnight (2013) and Shuffle Along (2016), performing with the likes of Fantasia Barrino, Patti Labelle, KD Lang, Tony Braxton, and Audra McDonald. Harris has also compiled an eclectic list of collaborations with notable artists including Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Steve Martin, Seth MacFarlane, Prairie Home Companion, Harry Connick Jr, and hip-hop artist DJ Premiere. Harris’s career spans the globe, having completed multiple international tours as a performer and educator across Europe and Asia.


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Ruben Fox

Hailing from Brixton, London and residing in Harlem, New York, saxophonist Ruben Fox is one of the brightest young stars on the Jazz scene. Noted for his rich sound, tasteful compositions and sensitive ballad playing, Fox has performed with legends such as Wynton Marsalis, Barry Harris, Jon Batiste, George Coleman, Roy Hargrove, and Johnny O’Neill. He is also associated with many great artists of his generation, Mwenso & the Shakes, Jon Batiste, Russell Hall, Reuben James, Mark Kavuma, and Emmet Cohen to name a few of many.

His sound is rooted in the great tenors of the Jazz age, Coleman Hawkins, Don Byas, Lester Young and Ben Webster. It also hints across a broad spectrum of tenorist’s such as Benny Golson, Sonny Rollins, Wayne Shorter and George Coleman.

Ruben is also the Artistic Director of carnival youth group Kinetika Bloco, a group that was founded in 2001 by his father and has now impacted the lives of hundreds of young people in inner city London.

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Philip Norris

Originally from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Philip Norris currently resides in New York City, having recently graduated from The Juilliard School of Music with a Bachelors and Masters degree in Jazz Studies. He first began his path in music in his hometown of Raleigh, North Carolina, on the piano and french horn before developing his passion for bass at age 13. His collaborations encompass esteemed names such as Wynton Marsalis, The Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra, Joshua Redman, David Sanborn, Veronica Swift, and more recently Emmet Cohen. In a continuum of artistic expression, Philip perpetuates his affection for music, both in collaboration with celebrated peers and in his independent musical endeavors.

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Joe Farnsworth

One of the most highly regarded jazz drummers on the scene today, Joe is known for his blazing speed, precision, musical, and melodic playing.  Born in South Hadley, Massachusetts in 1968, Joe grew up in a musical family; his father was a music educator and he has four older brothers, two of whom became professional musicians.  

He studied with Alan Dawson and Arthur Taylor prior to attending and graduating from William Patterson College in New Jersey in 1994 where he began playing with saxophonist, Eric Alexander and guitarist, Peter Bernstein. Upon moving to New York City, he led the weekend jazz combos at Augie’s (now Smoke Jazz & Supper Club). He performed with Junior Cook, Cecil Payne, John Ore,  Big John Patton, Harold Mabern, Eddie Henderson, John Jenkins and his brothers, John and James.

Joseph’s career includes recording over 100 CD’s as leader and side-man, jazz festivals and world tours with Pharaoh Sanders, Horace Silver, Harold Mabern, McCoy Tyner, Cedar Walton, Diana Krall, Benny Golson, George Coleman, Johnny Griffin, Lou Donaldson, Benny Green, Barry Harris, Curtis Fuller to name a few. He is currently the drummer for McCoy Tyner and a member of the Pharaoh Sanders Quartet, Harold Mabern Trio, and is a founding member of the renowned One for All Quintet.

Recordings as leader include:  Drumspeak, Beautiful Friendship feat. Cedar Walton and Curtis Fuller, Prime Time, Super Prime Time and Make Someone Happy.

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