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Assistant Director Jazz/Trombone

University of Central Oklahoma


Jeff Kidwell is an instructor with the University of Central Oklahoma’s School of Music in Edmond. His duties include Trombone instructor, Trombone Ensemble director, Instrumental Music Education coordinator, director of Jazz Ensembles, assistant director of Jazz Studies, and assistant director of Jazz Lab Operations. From 1998 to 2006, Kidwell served as assistant director of Bands with the Edmond Public Schools. Here, his duties included Marching Band, Symphonic Bands, and Jazz Ensembles at the high school and middle school levels. Prior to coming to Edmond, Kidwell taught in the Norman Public Schools, The University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma City University. Kidwell is a third generation Oklahoma music educator. Both his father and grandfather were band directors in the state, and his mother was a vocal music teacher in rural Oklahoma. He credits his love of music and the trombone to his parents, public school and college teachers.

Kidwell is a highly sought after musician/clinician who has performed with the Count Basie Orchestra, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Aretha Franklin, Pete Fountain, The Supremes, Branford Marsalis, Randy Brecker, Clark Terry, Phil Woods, Toby Keith, Wayne Newton, Vince Gill, Amy Grant and many others. He also performs for “Lyric Theater," “The Oklahoma City Philharmonic Orchestra” and “The Civilized Tribe Dixieland Band." Kidwell has also been a musician for Norwegian Cruise Lines and played for National tours of Broadway musicals such as “Wicked," “Peter Pan," “Spam-A-Lot," “The Will Rogers Follies," “The Rat Pack," “Shrek," ”The Adams Family," “The Book of Mormon” and Oprah Winfrey’s “The Color Purple." Kidwell is a top call studio musician and functions as trombonist and arranger for one of the Southwest’s top party and show bands, Souled Out.

Kidwell is a Conn-Selmer Artist and has been a featured clinician and educator throughout North America including the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic, the Brandon Jazz Festival in Brandon Manitoba, the New Mexico State Jazz Ensemble, the OBA-OKJE All State Jazz Ensembles, the Tri-State Music Festival, and the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute Honor Jazz Ensemble.

Classes Taught

Applied Trombone

Graduate Applied Trombone

Jazz Ensemble

Graduate Jazz Ensemble

Brass Chamber Music

Advanced Chamber Music

Jazz Combo

Graduate Jazz Combo

Graduate Jazz Pedagogy

Junior Recital

Senior Recital

Graduate Recital 

Brass Techniques

Education and Certifications

Master of Music: The University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma (1991-93)

Bachelor of Music Education: University of Central Oklahoma, Edmond, Oklahoma (1982-86)

Oklahoma Department of Education state certification (teacher's certificate) (1993-present)



Director of Jazz Ensembles

University of Central Oklahoma (2006-present)

  • Duties include: Director of Jazz Ensemble II, The 5th Street Strutters Dixieland band as well as assisting with Jazz Ensembles I and III.

Instructor of Trombone

University of Central Oklahoma (2006-present)

  • Duties include; private instruction of trombone students, both undergraduate and graduate, as well as 20 piece Trombone Choir.

Instrumental Music Education Coordinator

University of Central Oklahoma (2008-present)

  • Duties include supervising student teachers and entry year teachers throughout Oklahoma as well as acting liaison between the School of Music and Education Department.

Assistant Director of Jazz Lab Operations

University of Central Oklahoma (2006-present)

  • Duties include: assisting director with day-to-day operations of lab facilities including artist acquisition, payroll procedures, facility scheduling, etc.

Private Instructor

Oklahoma City metro area (1982-present)

  • Instructor of trombone, baritone, and tuba in metro school systems including: Putnam City, Midwest City, Del City, Norman and Edmond.

Clinician and Adjudicator

United States and Canada (1990-present)

  • Band and contest clinician and adjudicator including solo and ensemble, concert, and jazz ensembles. Clinician/Presenter at the Brandon Jazz Festival in Winnipeg Manitoba (2012), Clinician for the Central Oklahoma Director’s Association (CODA) band (2011), Clinician and performer at the University of Oklahoma’s “Trombone Workshop” (1993-present).
  • Clinician for the Oklahoma Bandmaster’s Association All-State Jazz Ensemble (2008). Clinician and adjudicator at the New Mexico State University Jazz Ensemble Contest (2007). Clinician/coordinator for the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute Honor Jazz Ensemble (1992).

Assistant Director of Bands

Edmond Memorial High School, Edmond, Oklahoma (1998-2006)

  • Duties included: Assistant Marching Band director (200 members), Director Symphonic band (100 members), Assistant director Concert band (60 members), numerous ensembles including trombone choir, Director Jazz Ensemble II and assisting with Jazz Ensemble I.

Director of Bands

Cimarron Middle School, Edmond, Oklahoma (1998-2006)

  • Duties included: Eighth grade director (80 members), Seventh grade director (95 members), Sixth grade director (110 members), Middle school jazz ensemble (20 members), as well as numerous small ensembles (trombone choir, percussion ensemble, woodwind choir, etc.)

Director of Bands

Longfellow Middle School, Norman, Oklahoma (1997-1998)

  • Duties included: Eighth grade director, Seventh grade director, Sixth grade director, summer band, as well as numerous small ensembles.

Director of Bands

Whittier Middle School, Norman, Oklahoma (1993-97)

  • Duties included: Eighth grade director, Seventh grade director, Sixth grade director, summer band, as well as numerous small ensembles including Dixieland Jazz bands.

Assistant Director of Bands

West Mid-High School, Norman, Oklahoma (1995-97)

  • Duties included: assisting with concert band (ninth and tenth grade), directing jazz ensembles and Dixieland groups.

Adjunct Professor

The University of Oklahoma (1993-98)

  • Duties included: Private instruction of trombone, baritone and bass trombone.

Graduate Assistant

The University of Oklahoma (1991-93)

  • Duties included: private instruction of trombone, baritone, and bass trombone, assisting and directing the trombone choir, and Conductor of Jazz Ensemble II.
  • Assigned complete responsibility of the trombone studio, including private instruction, brass instruction, and trombone choir, during sabbatical absence of Dr. Irvin Wagner (Fall 1992).

Director of Jazz Studies

Oklahoma City University (1990-91)

  • Duties included: instruction and public performances of twenty piece jazz ensemble, Dixieland band, jazz improvisation classes, pit orchestra, and basketball pep band.


Freelance Musician

Southwest United States (1982-present)

  • Performances on trombone, bass trombone, euphonium, and tuba. Artists include: Count Basie Orchestra, Aretha Franklin, Wayne Newton, The Temptations, Frankie Avalon, President George Bush Sr., Lou Rawls, Phyllis Diller, Charlie Pride, Clark Terry, Phil Woods, Branford Marsalis, Randy Brecker, The Four Tops, The Grass Roots, Amy Grant, Vince Gill, Phil Driscoll, Glenn Campbell, Michael W. Smith, Sara Ferguson (The Duchess of York), and many others.

Pit Musician

United States (1983-present)

  • Trombonist for “Lyric Theater," “Ballet Oklahoma," “Dove Awards” (Christian Grammy’s), “Oklahoma Heritage Awards” (P.B.S.) and National touring productions such as “Peter Pan," “Will Roger’s Follies," “Wicked," “Monty Python’s Spam-A-Lot," “The Rat Pack," Oprah Winfrey’s “The Color Purple," “Chicago,” “The Addams Family,” “Legally Blonde,” etc.

Session Musician

Southwest United States (1984-present)

  • Recording session musician for Mardel’s, Christian World, Ackerman McQueen, and others with material ranging from commercials and Christian background recordings to individual album projects of varying styles and genres.


Oklahoma (1989-present)

  • Trombonist and arranger for “Souled Out”; pop, rock, and variety band.

Conductor/Music Director

Oklahoma (2000-present)

  • Conductor/Music Director/Arranger for the Oklahoma Hall of Fame Awards Ceremony, televised locally on OETA and nationally on PBS.

Orchestral Musician

Oklahoma (1986-present)

  • Substitute trombonist with the Oklahoma City Philharmonic Orchestra (all three positions) and the Lawton Philharmonic Orchestra (principal). Guest soloist with the Oklahoma Community Orchestra.

Guest Artist

Southwest United States (1986-present)

  • Featured artist and soloist with OMEA honor groups, CODA honor groups, regional orchestras, high school bands, and New Mexico State University Jazz Ensembles.

Jazz Musician

International (1982-present)

  • Trombonist, tuba and leader of “The Civilized Tribe” Dixieland jazz band.  Trombonist for “The Riverboat Jazz Kings” Dixieland jazz band. Trombonist and leader for the “Edmond Jazz Orchestra” (twenty-piece professional jazz ensemble).
  • Three European tours with performances at the “North Seas Jazz Festival” in Holland, the “Montreux Jazz Festival” in Switzerland, the “Perugia Jazz Festival” in Italy, and the “Jazz a’ Juan” festival in France.  Other performances in Canada, Mexico, and locations throughout Europe.

Cruise Musician

Caribbean (1988)

  • Two separate “tours’ as lead trombonist aboard Norwegian Caribbean Cruise Line’s “S.S Norway”

Contractor/Booking Agent

Southwest United States (1984-present)

  • Contractor – agent for numerous performing groups. Various events including: wedding receptions, recording sessions, theme park entertainment (Six Flags Inc.), charity black tie events (Mercy Foundation, Tulsa United Way), and national road shows (The Temptations, Don Rickles, Wayne Newton, Natalie Cole).
  • Continued associations with Box Talent and Gary Good Entertainment Bureau.

Honors and Awards

Group Awards and Citations

Festival Ratings

The University of Central Oklahoma (2007-present)

Superior ratings at the UNC Jazz Festival (Greeley Co.), New Orleans Jazz Festival, St. Louis Jazz Festival and Wichita Jazz Festival with Jazz Ensembles II and III

Citations/Outstanding Recognition

University of Central Oklahoma (2007)

Numerous outstanding soloist citations at the UNC Jazz festival, New Orleans Jazz Festival, St. Louis Jazz Festival, and Wichita Jazz Festival with Jazz Ensembles II and III

Citations/Outstanding Recognition

The University of Oklahoma (1991-93)

Outstanding jazz ensemble as well as outstanding jazz soloists at national contests including the Wichita Jazz Festival.


Numerous Certificate of Achievement and Collaboration Awards: The University of Central Oklahoma (2010-present)

Outstanding University Jazz Educator: Oklahoma Jazz Educators/Oklahoma Music Educators Association (2012, 2019)

Teacher of the Year: Norman Public Schools (1997-1998) Nominee and Site Finalist.

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