William Flynn - Co-Founder
A Midwest native, William Flynn is a young guitarist and composer emerging onto the contemporary jazz community with an increasingly original musical voice. As a performer, William has spent years playing and freelancing in the Columbus, OH and Dallas, TX areas. As an educator, he has experience teaching both privately and at the collegiate level. As an author, his writing has been featured in Just Jazz Guitar magazine. William holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Studies from Capital University in Columbus, Ohio; and a Master of Music degree from the University of North Texas, w!here he held a position as a Teaching Fellow. As a member of the One O’ Clock Lab Band, he can be heard on Lab 2012. William currently serves as assistant professor of Jazz Guitar at Wichita State University.
Joel is an active saxophone player and educator based in Sioux Falls, SD. After completing high school he attended the McNally Smith Conservatory of music in the Twin Cities and studied with Pete Whitman. There he earned an Applied Associates degree in music performance, as well as an Artists Diploma. He spent some time after that performing and studying in Kansas City. Joel later attended the University Of South Dakota where he received his bachelors degree in education, and studied with Dr. CJ Kocher. Mr. Shotwell spent 5 years teaching high school band in Beresford South Dakota, and is currently in his first year of teaching at the new Harrisburg North Middle School. Joel has had the pleasure of performing with Wayne Newton, Les Browns Band of Renown, Tim Ries of the Rolling Stones, The South Dakota Symphony Orchestra and many others. He also performs regularly with The Dakota Jazz Collective, Main Avenue Warehouse, The Jazz Diversity Project, The Icarus Factor, and many other groups in the area.
Andrew Reinartz is an area bass player and is currently the Executive Director of the Dakota Sky International Piano Festival. He has has been a member of the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra bass section since 2001, and is a past member of their Board of Directors. Additionally, Reinartz is heavily involved in the local Jazz and live music community, playing bass with a variety of ensembles including the Dakota Jazz Collective, JAS Quintet, Main Avenue Warehouse, the Icarus Factor trio, and Holiday Jam with the Hegg Brothers. As a member of the Jazz Diversity Project, he appears in performances and presentations on the musical, social, and historical aspects of Jazz in schools throughout South Dakota, under the auspices of the Sioux Falls Jazz and Blues Society. Andrew is also a Producer with the video production firm Passenger Productions, based in Sioux Falls, SD.
Ryan Stahle - Co-Founder
Ryan Stahle a graduate of the University of South Dakota where he completed a music education degree. Ryan started his teaching career in the Waterville-Elysian-Morristown district south of Minneapolis. Soon after finishing his first year teaching, he became the assistant director at Farmington High School (Minneapolis suburban school district). In 2003, Ryan moved back to his hometown of Mitchell and has been the director of bands at Mitchell High School for 14 years. He is the director of the South Dakota All-State Jazz Band organization, serves on the music advisory committee for the South Dakota High School Activities Association and is a member of the South Dakota Bandmasters Association. HIs groups at MHS have traveled to New York City in 2005/2011, Disney World in 2009/2013 and San Francisco in 2007.
Mr. Jim McKinney joined the South Dakota State University Music Faculty in 1973, as Assistant Director of Bands and Percussion Instructor. He served in that capacity through 1975, when he accepted a similar position at Iowa State University. He returned to SDSU in 1983, as Associate Director of Bands and Director of the “Pride of the Dakotas” Marching Band. He became Director of Bands in 1985, and served in that role until his retirement in May, 2009. Mr. McKinney also worked with the jazz ensemble program. He not only served as director for several of these ensembles but he conceived and developed, with the Brookings Optimist Club, the Brookings Optimist Jazz Festival. This annual event has brought major jazz artists/educators to campus to perform with SDSU Jazz Ensemble I, and to present clinics and adjudicate attending school jazz bands. In addition, Mr. McKinney maintained an active schedule as a performer in both classical and jazz traditions. He was co-founder of the New Ensemble for Clarinet and Percussion (NECAP), a member of the faculty chamber music ensemble known as “Wind Power,” and for twenty years presented annual jazz and classical recitals. Mr. McKinney has also served the state and region as a clinician (holding sponsorships by both Ludwig and Selmer), as honor and all-state band conductor, as conductor for the revitalized Brookings Area Community Band, and as co-conductor of the Dakota Wind Ensemble.