Ramsey Castaneda. tenor saxophone
BA University of North Texas
MA Cal State Long Beach
PhD USC Thornton School of Music
Mission Jazz' strength is that it corrects so many issues that are present in modern day education through typical universities.
Winnie Swalley – La Doña (that's Spanish for, The Doña) – is a writer, opera singer, educator, visual artist, filmmaker and software interface designer. She received her education from numerable sources and experiences, but the bulk of her street credentials continue to be agonizingly earned from the Universe of Trial and Error.
In the Summer of 2013, after her miserably failed attempt to place a new and original educational model in a traditional college, she took the lessons and made them the building material of Mission Jazz. From those ashes rose the founding philosophy of our program. The results went beyond what can be taught in traditional colleges, conservatories and universities. Mission Jazz is a whole artist; whole person; whole journey approach.
Winnie pushes you to another level... another level and I've never been really been pushed like that.
Rodney Dominick Rocques Jr., drums
Berklee College of Music
Presidential Scholar at McNally Smith College of Music
Mission Jazz was one of the best experiences of my life, and I can't wait to go back when I'm not swamped with school! It was amazing to get to be mentored by one of today's best jazz artists and make music with some of the most talented young people on the scene today. I still play with my fellow Mission Jazzers and can't wait to put together projects in the future.
The business classes were top notch and very practical and address needs that other programs never touch on. Mission Jazz is all about love and respect- for each other, for music, for life, set by the tone and personal care of Winnie Swalley. I'm so grateful that I got to experience such a wonderful program; it was one of the best times of my life!
Mercedes Beckman, saxophones
BA University of North Florida
MA Manhattan School of Music
Founder and Director
It's all love... Mission Jazz is ALL LOVE.