Gene Dobbs Bradford, Executive Director
Gene Dobbs Bradford has been the Executive Director of Jazz St. Louis since February 1999. During that time he is credited with building the organization’s contributed and earned income from $375,000 to $1.2 million today. Mr. Bradford has received many honors, including the St. Louis Business Journal’s “40 Under 40,” “Most Influential People in St. Louis” and “Inclusive Leadership” awards. Under his leadership, Jazz St. Louis received the 2006 “Excellence in the Arts” award from the Arts and Education Council of Saint Louis and its flagship program “Jazz at the Bistro” was named one of the ten great jazz clubs in the country by Wynton Marsalis in USA Today. He holds a bachelor’s degree in double bass performance from the Eastman School of Music and an MBA from Washington University. From 1994-99, he was Director of Operations for the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra.
Bob Bennett, Artistic Director / Director of Operations
Bob Bennett joined Jazz St. Louis as Director of Operations in June 2000. Mr. Bennett is a graduate of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, with a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in jazz performance. He has helped Jazz at the Bistro broaden its artistic presentation and worldwide reputation as one of the leading jazz clubs in the United States. In September of 2004, Bennett helped the organization successfully launch their “All-Star Student Ensemble,” a group featuring the best high school jazz talent in the St. Louis area. Under his direction, the program expanded to feature two ensembles in each of the following two years. In 2007, Mr. Bennett became the sole talent buyer for the Jazz at the Bistro series, programming the most financially successful season in the club’s history. Subsequent success led to his being named Director of Artistic Administration in 2010. That same year, Bennett programmed the most highly anticipated season in Jazz St. Louis’ history and set a new bar for ticket and subscription revenue. With the continued growth of the organization, he is now programming not only the Jazz at the Bistro series, but additional Jazz St. Louis performances at the Touhill Performing Arts Center and other area venues.
Phillip Dunlap, Director of Education
Born in Mason City, IA, Phil Dunlap moved to the metro area in 2000 to study jazz at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. While there, he studied with pianist Reggie Thomas until he graduated in May of 2007, earning bachelor’s degrees in jazz performance as well as music theory/composition, and a master’s degree in jazz performance. He was hired by Jazz St. Louis to head their growing portfolio of education programs in April of 2007.
Outside of the office, Phil remains active as a teacher, lecturer and performer. In 2010, he became an Adjunct Professor of Music at the University of Missouri – St. Louis. He has given pre-concert talks for the St. Louis Symphony, presented clinics at MMEA and MBA, and is the host and writer for Building Blocks of Jazz, an education segment that appears as part of HEC-TV’s I Love Jazz. In 2009, he traveled to Kabul, Afghanistan with American Voices as an artist in residence at Kabul University and the National Institute for Music.
As a performer, Phil has presented numerous concerts in St. Louis, performing along side musicians such as Terell Stafford, Houston Person, Jimmy Cobb, and Christine Brewer at venues such as the Sheldon Concert Hall, Powell Hall and Jazz at the Bistro.
Most recently, Phil received the Certificate of Merit Award from St. Louis Suburban Music Educators Association and was named “30 Under 30” by the St. Louis Business Journal.
Kate Francis, Director of Development
Kate joined Jazz St Louis in January 2012 as Director of Development and Marketing. Prior to joining Jazz St. Louis, Kate was president and managing director of the Orpheum Theatre in Galesburg, Illinois, which enjoyed double- and triple-digit growth in contributed income, earned income, and attendance under her leadership. Kate is a St. Louis native and began her fundraising career as campaign manager for the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra during the Taylor Family Endowment Challenge. Kate obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree from Monmouth College in Monmouth, Illinois. She graduated with honors and a major in Philosophy and minor in English. A classically trained soprano, Kate participated in every vocal ensemble on campus and performed regularly in recital. After graduation, Kate had the distinct honor of singing with the St. Louis Chamber Chorus under the direction of Philip Barnes. Kate also plays a number of instruments including flute, saxophone, and guitar. She has been known to sing for her supper on occasion in Soulard.
Daniel Hodges, Development Associate
Daniel Hodges joined Jazz St. Louis in September of 2012 as the organization’s Box Office & Administrative Assistant and was quickly promoted to Development Associate in April 2013. He graduated from the University of Sioux Falls in 2009 where he received his bachelor’s degree with a double major in Communication Studies & Theatre (CST) and English. Originally from South Dakota, Daniel has worked as an actor, director, choreographer and theatre instructor with a focus on musical theatre and acting training for children and teens. In addition to his work for Jazz St. Louis, Daniel works as an actor and theater teaching artist for several companies in the St. Louis area.
Devin Rodino, Communications & Operations Manager
Devin Rodino began with Jazz St. Louis as an intern in May 2008. Upon completion of his summer internship, Mr. Rodino was hired as a part-time employee while finishing his senior year at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville where he graduated in May 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in music business. Now with JSL full-time, Mr. Rodino’s wide range of duties include marketing, managing JSL’s website, e-newsletter, and social networking sites, managing front and back of house for Jazz at the Bistro concerts, audio engineering, coordinating volunteers, and heading the Young Friends of Jazz St. Louis.