Juan Rollan (saxophone) has had the privilege to perform with such legendary artists as Al Green, Diane Schuur, Bernadette Peters, Ellis Hall and Jimmy Cobb (Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue). Additionally, he has worked with and/or studied with a wide variety of pop, R&B, classical and jazz artists such as Ben Folds, Arturo Sandoval, Kevin Mahogany, Joe Lovano, Maria Schneider, Bob Mintzer, Kevin Bales, Marcus Printup, the Noel Friedline Quintet, the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra and the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra.

“I consciously fell in love with music around the age of six, when I was given a Fisher-Price record player for my birthday and an accompanying record of Kool & The Gangs hit single, “Celebration”. It was love at first listen. I was completely smitten by deep, funky, soulful music and it’s been my life’s passion ever since.”

Josh Kravette (saxophone) co-founded the Hilton Head Jazz Camp in 2011 with camp director James Berry.   He is a virtuosic jazz saxophonist who has studied with the esteemed Dick Oatts at Temple University.  Josh has toured Eastern Europe with his jazz combo and has performed through out the east coast with several different bands exploring many different genres.  After taking a full year off to hike the full 2000+ mile Appalachian trail, he is back with us again at the HHJC.  He currently resides in Denver, Colorado. 

Michael Nestor (saxophone) heads up the music department at Savannah Arts Academy where he’s taught jazz, concert band and percussion ensembles for the past five years. Nestor, the son of a military family, decided to stay in Savannah after his father retired from the Army at Fort Stewart. He went to Armstrong State initially to study bassoon but soon found he liked the tone and versatility of the baritone sax better.

“Jazz is a community thing,” says Nestor, “it’s an oral tradition, you learn to speak by first listening to it. By trying to speak like the greats, that’s how you find your own voice.” To help his students find their voices, Nestor often asks local jazz players to sit in with his classes.

“I reach out to my friends and mentors like Teddy Adams, Randy Reese, Marc Chesanow, Eric Jones. These players come in as often as I can get them. Students can put faces with names and understand that jazz really is about community and conversation.”

An excerpt from Connect Savannah – Sept. 19, 2018