Guest Artists

2014 Day of Percussion Guest Artists
Bret Kuhn

Bret graduated with a Bachelor's degree from Northeast Missouri State University where he studied percussion under the direction of Dan Petersen. He was a member of the Disney World All-American Band in 1980 and marched with the Cavalier Drum and Bugle Corps in 1981. In 1984, Bret began teaching the Cavalier Drum and Bugle Corps serving as both the Percussion Caption Head as well as the Percussion Arranger. During this time, the Cavaliers won six World Championships and five High Percussion Awards. After retiring from the Cavalier's, Bret joined the Bluecoat Drum and Bugle Corps as a Design and Percussion Consultant for 2005 - 2008.

Bret is the Percussion Coordinator for the Prospect High School music program from Mt. Prospect, Illinois who are a BOA band. He is active as a Percussion Arranger/Clinician for numerous colleges and high schools across the nation and abroad and wrote the percussion arrangement for LD Bell from Hurst, Texas who are the 2007 Bands of America Grand National Champions. He is currently an Adjunct Faculty member for the Northern Illinois Marching Band with Director Tom Bough, and is consulting with Director Jim Hudson of the Arizona State University Sun Devil Marching Band. He arranges for two of the top marching groups in Japan. One is Aimachi from Nagoya, Japan who were the 2006 Champions at the All Japan Championship. The other is Vivace from Tokyo, Japan, who are a semi-professional all girl marching band.

Bret consulted with the Texas State Indoor Percussion ensemble from San Marcos, Texas who competed at the 2006 PASIC Convention, and the Oklahoma Centennial Band who performed for the 2007 Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California. Bret composed an original piece called "Renegade Highway" for Plano East High School, under the direction of John Brennan and was a guest performer with their band at a showcase concert at the 2006 Percussive Arts Society Internation Convention in Austin, Texas.

Bret has written articles for publication in Percussive Notes Magazine and is currently on the PAS Board of Directors. He is a member of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP). Serving as a clinician for Yamaha, Innovative Percussion, Zildjian and Remo, he has had the opportunity of traveling extensively presenting clinics across the United States, Japan and Europe. He is a freelance drum-set artist in the Chicagoland area and has performed with Rich Matteson, Bobby Shew, Gloria Estefan and Nexus.

Bret has designed and developed two drumsticks through Innovative Percussion, both the FS-BK and the AS-BK.

Bret Kuhn Website

Ignacio Berroa

Grammy Award Winner and international drum star Ignacio Berroa, the son of a renowned violinist with the National Radio & Television Orchestra in Havana, Cuba, began his musical education as a classical violinist. His life changed the day his father brought home albums by Nat King Cole, Glenn Miller and other great jazz musicians. It was love at first hearing! Ignacio soon realized that he wanted to be a jazz drummer and at age 11, he took his first drum lessons to pursue that dream. The rest is history.After graduating from the National School of Arts in Havana, Ignacio began his professional career and became Cuba's most sought-after drummer.

In 1980 he moved to New York. In less than a year, the late jazz master Dizzy Gillespie chose Ignacio to be his drummer, a relationship that lasted until Dizzy's death a decade later. Dizzy Gillespie best defined Ignacio as "...the only Latin drummer in the world, in the history of American music who intimately knows both worlds: his native Afro-Cuban music as well as Jazz...." From 1991 to 1994, Ignacio was an adjunct faculty instructor at Florida International University. He also served as the coordinator of the South America Chapter of the International Association of Jazz Educators (IAJE).In 1995, he released, under the DCI label, his highly acclaimed video "Mastering the Art of Afro-Cuban Drumming" in which Ignacio demonstrates the ins and outs of applying Afro-Cuban rhythms to trap drums in an easy-to-understand way. This video was deemed by Down Beat magazine as the best instructional video of the year.

Ignacio has recorded and played with the world's greatest musicians, including: Wynton Marsalis, McCoy Tyner, Freddie Hubbard, Clark Terry, Jackie McLean, Ron Carter, Randy Brecker, Jaco Pastorius, Jack Bruce, Milt Jackson, George Benson, The Carnegie Hall Big Band, Tito Puente, Gilberto Gil, Gonzalo Rubalcaba,Gal Costa, Michael Brecker, Jack Bruce, Joao Bosco and Ivan Lins, just to name a few. Along with these artists, Ignacio has been part of the small group of musicians that have set new musical trends for the 20th century. He currently resides in New Jersey and has performed on several high profile engagements with four-time "Grammy Award nominee" Gonzalo Rubalcaba, as well as done clinics throughout Europe, Japan and the United States. He also performs with the Ignacio Berroa Quartet and his debut CD Codes was nominated for a Grammy award in 2007.

Ignacio Berroa endorses products made by the following companies: Yamaha drums, Sabian cymbals, LP Music Group, Evans drumheads and Vic Firth sticks.
Ignacio Berroa Website



Lynn Vartan
Percussionist Lynn Vartan is an international performer and educator who is an advocate for diversity in music. As a new music percussionist Lynn has worked with Michael Colgrass, Vinny Golia, Arthur Jarvinen, Ursula Oppens, Joan Tower, Glen Velez, Xtet, James Newton, Chinary Ung, the Hilliard Ensemble, the Tambuco Percussion Ensemble and Grammy Award-winning Southwest Chamber Music, and is known for her dynamic athleticism and exciting energy on stage. She has commissioned and/or performed countless new works for percussion by composers such as Donald Crockett, William Kraft, Steve Hoey, Veronika Krausas, Erica Muhl, Arthur Jarvinen, Sean Heim, Jeff Holmes, Keith Bradshaw and Shaun Naidoo.

As a recital soloist, Lynn has been featured on the Los Angeles Philharmonic Green Umbrella Series, the Different Trains Series, at universities in residence all over the United States and on the Music at the Court series in Pasadena, California, where she produced her own solo percussion concerts. As a concerto soloist Lynn has performed with various orchestras including the Hubei Opera and Dance Company of Wuhan, China, the Sierra Wind Symphony, the Helena Symphony, The Orchestra of Southern Utah, Southwest Chamber Music, The Helena Symphony, as well as premiering new concertos by both American and Chinese composers. She has participated in cultural exchange projects such as the “Ascending Dragon” Project in Vietnam, “The Dream of Helen “project and China and the “East Meets West” project designed around her as a soloist in Wuhan, China for the Spring of 2014. As a recording artist, Lynn has appeared on the ECM New Series, Albany Records, Cuneifroms Records, Bridge Records, New World Records, Lian Recor ds, Yarlung Records and Cambria. She was three times Grammy nominated on the Cambria label with Southwest Chamber Music in the "Best Classical Album of the Year" and "Best Small Ensemble with or without a conductor” for The Complete Chamber Music of Charlos Chavez, Volume III and the for “Latin Classical Album of the Year” for William Kraft’s Complete Encounters Series.

A devoted ensemble musician, Lynn is the percussionist for Southwest Chamber Music, the violin/percussion duo 61/4 which she founded with Shalini Vijayan, and a duo percussion group Exacta that she formed with Tambuco's Miguel Gonzalez. Lynn is currently the Director of Percussion at Southern Utah University. Lynn is endorsed by the Paiste Corporation, Remo Inc. and Marimba One.