Jazz Studies Student Profiles

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Jazz Studies Student Profiles

Student Profiles

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Kyle Crouchelli (class of 2021)


A saxophone player born and raised in Bergen County New Jersey, Kyle began learning the saxophone in the 4th grade. Taking an interest in Jazz in high school, he picked up the trombone for the school’s jazz band. Kyle studied with saxophonist Richard Reiter and now studies with Prof. Jim Snidero. He plays in Nathan Eckland’s Discovery Quintet and is also a sub for the NJCU Big Band. He has performed at venues such as Zinc Bar, The Hilltop Tavern, Cool Beans Coffee Shop, and Moore’s Lounge. In the future, Kyle’s goal is to become a full-time performer and to eventually own his own jazz club. He also hopes to mix his love of jazz and hip-hop to create his own original music.



Vania Walker (class of 2020)


Vania is a vocalist from Newark, New Jersey, she fell in love with music watching her family’s Gospel singing group, “The Morgan Singers.” As a lover of R&B music and divas such as Diana Ross and Toni Braxton, she began voice lessons at Newark Community School of the Arts at age eleven. Vania was later accepted into the New Jersey Performing Arts Center’s Jazz for Teens program. Under the tutelage of Roseanna Vitro, Vania blossomed into an impressive vocalist. Studying the likes of Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald and Nancy Wilson, she developed her own sound. Vania has performed at NJPAC’s Victoria Theater, Trumpets Jazz Club, and performed on the Harry Connick Show. Vania aspires to become a professional background vocalist and hopes to venture into radio broadcasting.



Nicolas Valencia (class of 2020)


Nicolas is a piano player from North Bergen, New Jersey. Playing since the age of six, he was exposed to multiple instruments early in life, playing as many as eight instruments in many different ensembles. Originally majoring on Tuba when he first came to NJCU, Nicolas is currently a member of The Imperial Brass Band, a band that regularly plays with well-known musicians such as Phil Smith, Joe Allesi, and Warren Vache. Nicolas currently studies jazz-piano with Allen Farnham and also plays in the NJCU Big Band. He has performed in venues such as Lincoln Center, Zinc Bar, Trumpet's Jazz Club, as well as NJCU's Margaret Williams Theater. Nicolas hopes to become an educator and performer in the future.

Chris Paredes (class of 2021)
Chris is a drummer who was born and raised in Paterson, New Jersey. He first started playing in 8th grade and began to develop a strong passion for music around his sophomore year of highschool. Around that time he began to seriously consider pursuing music as a career in the future and so he began to take the necessary steps to turn that dream into a reality. He enrolled at New Jersey City University as a Jazz-Performance major. He studies with Tim Horner and continues to grow and expand his playing style and vocabulary in jazz as well as other genres. Chris plays for the NJCU Big Band, Nathan Eklund’s Discovery Ensemble, and Dr. Gabriel Alegria’s Afro-Peruvian Septet.

Amanda Dumas (class of 2020)
Amanda is a drummer born and raised in Newark, New Jersey. Falling in love easily with the sound of drums and she knew she belonged to the music. Going to high school with no music program, the only experience she had was in the church in which she grew up. A self-taught drummer eager to learn, she has a love for all kinds of music. Studying with Tim Horner and learning from her fellow drummers has increased her musicianship. She plays with NJCU Big Band. After graduating with her bachelors in performance she plans on going to Bloomfield to acquire her Masters in Music technology. In which she can pursue her career as a producer so she can be able to produce her own music in her years.

Contact Us

Dr. Amparo Fabra, Department Chair
Location: Rossey 234