Board of Directors
The Board of Directors makes decisions about selecting musicians to feature at MJC events based on a number of factors which include quality musicianship, musical genre, diversity of MJC programming, and financial viability.
Meet Our Directors
Frank Consola, known as “the walking encyclopedia of jazz,” was born in Brooklyn, New York, but a move to Philadelphia in the late 50’s put him in one of the most influential cities for R&B and Rock & Roll. He didn’t catch the jazz bug until 1963 when a romance interest played a record by Herbie Mann at the Village Gate. From that moment on, he was hooked, forgot about the girl, and went crazy buying jazz records. Philly was strong on jazz in the 60’s with great clubs like Peps and The Showboat, where Frank saw many of the legends in person, including Miles, Monk, Bill Evans, Roland Kirk, Sun Ra and Charles Mingus.
A job offer brought Frank to Miami in 1982 where he discovered WDNA. Becoming sort of a station groupie, he befriended the hosts and programmers and eventually began guest-hosting their shows . By this time, Frank was deeper into the jazz spectrum, from mainstream to the avant gard, from blues, R&B, and progressive rock to soul and latin music. In 1989, he began hosting jazz once a week as a volunteer in the afternoon. This led to the daily morning show which is now the longest running jazz show in Miami.
Frank has seen jazz constantly re-invent itself and his passion for it continues today.
As a young child in Vineland, New Jersey, Joe Donato had a keen interest in music which was whole-heartedly fostered by his parents who were Sicilian immigrants. In 1948, at age 5, when Joe wanted to take accordion lessons, his parents told him that he would study saxophone instead because a neighbor who had just gotten out of the army was available to teach saxophone. Joe took to the saxophone and, by the time he was 8, he was playing with adult musicians at gigs in the Vineland area and joined the American Federation of Musicians Union at age 12.
When Joe was 15, in 9th grade (and, he freely acknowledges, on the verge of flunking out of school), the leader of a touring band, the Honeycombs, heard him play in Vineland and invited Joe to tour with the band. With his parents’ blessing, Joe dropped out of school and went on tour making his debut with the Honeycombs in Pensacola, Florida. For more than ten years, Joe toured primarily in the South with the Honeycombs, the Jazz Bombers, and an assortment of other bands.
In 1968, a music teacher at Houston Baptist College asked Joe to play a piece of music at a public gig and Joe readily confessed to not being able to read music, but offered to play the piece “by ear”. The teacher invited Joe (who had earned his GED in Atlanta in 1960) to take music classes at the college which was yet to be accredited. This invitation would turn out to be, in the parlance of Joe’s parents, “Il fare casualmente piacevoli e inattese scoperte.” [Pure luck in discovering things you were not looking for.] In 1969, Bill Lee, then Dean of the University of Miami School of Music, was part of an accreditation team visiting Houston Baptist College. Dean Lee heard Joe play and offered Joe a scholarship to study music at the University of Miami. Joe arrived in Miami on New Year’s Day, 1970, and has lived, studied, performed, and taught in South Florida for four decades.
In the forty years since he arrived in Miami, Joe earned a B.A. in music from the University of Miami and later an M.A. in jazz performance from U.M. But, more significantly, Joe has become widely recognized in the region not only as a saxophonist but as a band leader, composer, lyricist, and one of the most active and innovative musicians working in the field of jazz. Through the years, Joe has performed or jammed with luminaries such as Dizzy Gillespie, Art Blakey, Carmen McRae, Nina Simone, Jack Jones, and Arturo Sandoval. His two recordings, For Friends and Live at the Tuscany, were collaborations with Randall Dollahon and Brian Murphy, both gifted musicians and close friends. Joe performs as a saxophone soloist with the Jerry Fischer Jazz Orchestra, has toured throughout the Americas, Europe, and Asia, and has served as an adjunct faculty member or lecturer at the University of Miami, Miami-Dade College, and Florida International University.
Equally versatile in the entire woodwind family, Joe’s unique performance style and approach to improvisation reflect a wide variety of musical influences and confirm his deep commitment to the varied and profound nature of his musical heritage.
Glenn Dryfoos has enjoyed a long career as a lawyer and media industry executive. From April 2008 through December 2021, he worked for Univision Communications, Inc., the leading Hispanic media company in the U.S. At Univision, Glenn served as EVP-Business Affairs and Interim General Counsel. In this role he has overseen the legal and business aspects of Univision’s content acquisition and production transactions, including scripted and reality programming, news, music specials (such as the Latin Grammys), and major sporting events (including the World Cup). Prior to his time at Univision, Glenn was the General Counsel & EVP-Business Affairs for Telemundo Communications Group, Inc. (2001-2008), which operated the Telemundo broadcast television network and other Spanish-language media properties, and the SVP & General Counsel for Cisneros Television Group (2000-2001), which owned and operated a suite of pan-regional pay television channels in Latin America. He started his career as an associate and then partner with the Los Angeles law firm Greenberg Glusker Fields Claman & Machtinger, LLP (1987-2000), where he specialized in bankruptcy and corporate reorganization law, sports and entertainment law and general business matters.
Glenn graduated from Princeton University with an A.B. degree in economics (1983) and NYU Law School with a J.D. degree (1987). He is married to Adriana, and they, with their two children, Louis and Sabrina, live in Miami Beach. Glenn is an avid jazz listener and occasionally writes short essays and reviews about the music. He has researched and written extensively about his musical hero, the saxophonist, composer, and arranger, Benny Carter.
Jim Gasior is a consummate musician and educator, with a BM in Studio Music and Jazz Performance and an MM in Jazz Pedagogy from the University of Miami.
A frequent accompanist for the Jazz at Wolfson Presents series, pianist Jim Gasior is a jazz educator based in South Florida who performs regularly with Ed Calle, Wendy Pedersen, Fernando Ulibarri and Aaron Lebos. Having taught at the New World School of the Arts (NWSA) for more than 10 years, Gasior is an inspiration to his students and the ensembles that have excelled under his direction. New World School of the Art’s Jazz Ensemble has repeatedly been honored as a finalist band at the Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Essentially Ellington competition in New York City. In addition, students of the NWSA jazz program have been regular recipients of Student Music Awards by DownBeat magazine.
Gasior has performed with jazz greats such as Freddie Hubbard, Benny Golson, Slide Hampton, Terell Stafford, Robin Eubanks, Duffy Jackson and The Jaco Pastorious Reunion Band as well as pop and Latin music artists such as Kelly Clarkson, Alih Jey, Smokey Robinson, Jose Feliciano, Raul Diblasio, Jane Oliver and Ben Vereen.
Gasior was the initial recipient of the prestigious Jazz Education Network Ellis Marsalis, Jr. Educator of the Year Award.
Rick Katz’s professional career began in 1973 when he was hired by Janet Reno to serve as a law school intern in the State Attorney’s Office. After graduation from the University of Miami in 1975, he continued in that office as an Assistant State Attorney. Between 1975 and 1979, Rick served as a senior trial counsel in the Career Criminal and Major Crimes divisions. During this time, Rick had first chair responsibility on numerous first degree murder and other complex cases. Rick was the senior prosecutor on the prosecution of Ronny Zamora, the first modern day criminal case to receive gavel-to-gavel television coverage.
In 1979, Rick resigned from the State Attorney’s Office to open his own law firm in Coral Gables. By the early 1980’s, Rick’s practice was concentrated in commercial and administrative litigation. Rick developed an expertise in the federal Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act and has represented an international list of clients in the produce industry. From 1986 to 1989, he served as U.S. general counsel to the Albert Fisher Group PLC, a UK firm which engaged in an unprecedented flurry of U.S. produce industry acquisitions. From 1990 to 1992, Rick was retained by the U.S. State Department’s Agency for International Development to conduct seminars throughout Central and South America for produce companies doing business in the United States.
Rick was a long-standing member of the Criminal Law Section of the Florida Bar. He served on Criminal Rules of Procedure Committee from 1980 to 1989, the Executive Council from 1981 to 1989, and chaired the Florida Bar’s Ad Hoc Committee to Review the Insanity Defense from 1984 to 1985 which was formed following the Hinckley assassination attempt on President Reagan.
Rick has handled trials and appeals in numerous federal districts and circuits as well as the state courts in Florida. In September 1996, Rick tried and won a $1.3 million jury verdict in the Southern District of New York in favor of actress Cicely Tyson (who was, by then, divorced from Miles Davis) against Elizabeth Taylor.
In 1995, Rick founded The Fresh Software Company, a startup firm which developed an acclaimed parental control software program, Time’s Up! The program was described as “ingenious” by the Chicago Tribune and “one of five utilities every parent should have” by PC Magazine. Notwithstanding the favorable press, the company closed in 1998 when its sales did not warrant re-engineering the software for Windows 98.
Since 1998, Rick has practiced as a sole practitioner, representing the business and litigation interests of varied clients such as medical groups, high-technology firms, private real estate investors, trust beneficiaries, and other lawyers. In 2006, Rick was appointed by a creditor’s committee to serve as Chairman of the Board of Sunny Industries, Inc., a distressed Wisconsin printing firm with over 350 employees.
Rick is rated AV from Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings, the most-recognized objective indicator that a lawyer has the highest ethical standards and professional ability.
Rick has a passion for jazz. He regrets that he has no musical talent but is honored to be collaborating with such an esteemed group of musicians to establish the Miami Jazz Cooperative.
Gary Keller is perhaps best known as the professor of saxophone at the University of Miami, where he has been a member of the faculty since 1982. In addition to his teaching he maintains an active performance schedule and he has toured/recorded/performed with a wide diversity of jazz artists and ensembles including Woody Herman, Frank Sinatra, Dave Liebman, Ira Sullivan, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Jaco Pastorius, The Jaco Pastorious Big Band, Maria Schnieder, Jim McNeely, Manny Album, Billy Hart, Kenny Werner, Adam Nussbaum, Chico O’Farrill, Kenny Wheeler, Clare Fischer, and the University of Miami Concert Jazz Band. He has also performed/recorded with the Florida Philharmonic, New World Symphony, Naples Symphony, St Petersburg (Russia) Symphony, Chamber Music Palm Beach, and the American Jazz Philharmonic.Gary Keller is the leader and founder of the Miami Saxophone Quartet and a Conn-Selmer endorsed artist. He has both written and been the subject of articles in publications including the Saxophone Journal, Woodwind Player, IAJE Journal, and the Saxophone Symposium. His Jazz Chord/Scale Handbook (Advance Music) is in use at universities worldwide.
Dr. Jamie Ousley
DR. JAMIE OUSLEY has been one of the most in-demand bassists in South Florida since he moved to Miami in the fall of 1998 from his native home of Tennessee. After earning his doctorate from the University of Miami Frost School of Music in 2008, he was appointed Assistant Professor of Jazz Bass at Florida International University and continues to teach and perform world-wide. Jamie’s dynamic contributions to our community include creation of the FIU Festival of Jazz Bands featuring South Florida high school musicians, founding Executive Director of the Jazz Archive, a nonprofit which creates video recordings of local jazz artists, and Founder and Director of the Miami Jazz Cooperative. Jamie’s most recent CD, “A Sea of Voices,” was produced to benefit a nonprofit project committed to preservation of the environment.
Wendy Pedersen is one of South Florida’s favorite performers. Her high-energy vocal delivery, with deep, convincing emotion has been impacting audiences for many years.
A graduate of the University of Miami’s Studio Music and Jazz Vocal program, Wendy began her singing career in high school, but her earliest memory is poring through her mom’s record collection, practically wearing out the vinyl on Elton John and Beatle’s records. Eventually, her heart found it’s way to jazz and it has felt like home ever since.
Wendy has won many awards including the Southern Bell/Pace “Jazz Artist of the Year” and a Miami New Times “best vocalist” . Leonard Pitts of The Miami Herald said, “when she sings, her voice an elegant melismatic instrument, evokes the standard emotions, yes, but deeper longings and muted desires.” Doug Adrianson, also of The Miami Herald said, “..she can steam up your contact lenses from 100 feet away.” The Miami New Times said, “Wendy can shake the rafters or break your heart…” Wendy Pedersen’s discography includes her debut CD, “Me + Three”; a Holiday CD, “Ho Ho Ho”; and her brand new release, “Under The Influence”, a tribute to the many women who inspired and influenced her.
Matt Wigler is an entrepreneur and musical artist based in Miami, Florida. He is Founder & CEO of two successful companies, MHW Live Music and Wigler Group. Matt has an active career as a musical artist and performs with his group, the Matt Wigler Band at venues and jazz/blues festivals around the world. He also speaks on topics including entrepreneurship and B2B business development.
Originally from Baltimore, Maryland, Matt began his music career at the young age of 13, with the release of his first studio album. In 2009, Matt’s second album, “Epiphony”, was nominated for Best Jazz CD by the Washington DC Area Music Association. As a musical artist Matt has performed at major venues including The Kennedy Center, Strathmore Music Center, Adrienne Arsht Center, Detroit Music Hall, Blues Alley, Birdland Jazz Club, Monterey Blues Festival, and Motor City Blues & Boogie Woogie Festival.
In 2016, Matt founded MHW Live Music, which has become the leading provider of live entertainment for luxury hotels around the United States. In 2020, Matt founded Wigler Group, which provides outsourced business development services for a wide range of clients including private equity firms, advertising agencies, software companies, and business schools.