College of the Mainland Jazz Combo pianist David Jarkey, left, and bassist Nathan Hanna earned Outstanding Musician Awards for their performances at the Gulf Coast Intercollegiate Consortium Jazz Festival.Impressed judges honored College of the Mainland Jazz Ensemble members Dean Artall, Ed Hooven and Kim Chavez with Outstanding Musician Awards at the Gulf Coast Intercollegiate Consortium Jazz Festival.

Improvising new variations on the music of the masters, six College of the Mainland students won Outstanding Musician Awards at the Gulf Coast Intercollegiate Consortium Jazz Festival. 

In the COM Jazz Ensemble, Ed Hooven won for his guitar solo on “Salt Peanuts” while Kim Chavez earned the award for her trumpet solos on “Take the A Train” and “Birk’s Works.” Judges recognized bassist Steve Rader for his solid playing on all selections and honored Dean Artall for his overall performance as lead trumpeter.

In the COM Jazz Combo, pianist David Jarkey, trumpeter Kim Chavez and bassist Nathan Hanna won Outstanding Musician Awards. Hanna also received the award for “Outstanding Soloist Musician” for the day.

“Musicians were awarded an Outstanding Musician Award if the judges heard something special from their performance,” said Sparky Koerner, director of the COM Jazz Ensemble and the COM Jazz Combo. “I am very proud of all the musicians. They have spent many hours developing their instrumental skills, and the soloists work very hard on their improvisational skills to be creative in developing new melodies.” 

Each group performed four selections in various styles and was judged on ensemble precision, time/interpretation, intonation, sound quality, balance/blend and rhythm section. 

The COM Jazz Combo and Jazz Ensemble are open to student and community musicians wanting to hone their skills in a collaborative environment.

For more information on the COM Jazz Combo or Jazz Ensemble, visit or call 409-933-8348.