Gene Dobbs Bradford, President & CEO
Gene Dobbs Bradford started as the Executive Director of Jazz St. Louis in February 1999. During that time he has built the organization’s contributed and earned income from $375,000 to $2.8 million today, as well as led the organization through a $10 million capital campaign. Mr. Bradford has received many honors, including the St. Louis Business Journal’s “40 Under 40,” “Most Influential People in St. Louis,” “Non-profit Executive of the Year,” and “Inclusive Leadership” awards. Under his direction, Jazz St. Louis received the 2006 “Excellence in the Arts” award from the Arts and Education Council of St. 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. In addition to Jazz St. Louis, Bradford directs the Arts Management and Leadership department at Webster University. 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.
Michael Carson, Chief Financial Officer
Michael joined Jazz St Louis in October 2013 as Controller & Director of Administration. Prior to joining Jazz St. Louis, Michael enjoyed a successful career in commercial lending in a variety of Controller, Finance, and General Manger roles. He has an undergraduate degree in Business Administration from the University of Missouri – St. Louis and an MBA from St. Louis University.
Michael lacks any musical talent whatsoever, except the ability to enjoy a wide range of music, and is excited to have the opportunity to work with the talented and dedicated staff of Jazz St. Louis. He considers himself a native St. Louisan, having grown up here after moving to St. Louis at a very young age, and remains a diehard Cardinals fan. In his off time, Michael enjoys spending time with family and running, most recently completing the 2013 Chicago Marathon.
Bailey Dolenc, Development Associate – Events Manager
A former trombone player and actively involved in the arts, Bailey Dolenc brings to Jazz St. Louis her passions for jazz music, the arts, and event planning. After a visual arts internship at Gallery 210 and receiving a Bachelor’s degree in Art History from the University of Missouri-St. Louis in 2012, she has served as a fundraising event committee member, and is now a board member, of the nonprofit Critical Mass for the Visual Arts. She is currently pursuing a Masters degree in Arts Management and Leadership at Webster University and recently completed an arts management internship at Jazz St. Louis, planning the National Donut Day event in June 2015. Following the internship, she was hired as a Development Associate, managing fundraising and donor events. Bailey is excited to revisit her passion for jazz and have the opportunity to work with the Jazz St. Louis team. When she’s not studying or in the office, Bailey enjoys being outdoors, traveling, reading, collecting vinyl, cooking, and running any chance she can get.
Phillip Dunlap, Director of Education & Community Engagement
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.
Keith Ford, Development Associate – Database & Donor Services Manager
Bio coming soon
Connie Peña-Cervantes, Executive Assistant
Bio coming soon
Wendy Rosenblum – Director of Development
Wendy Rosenblum joined the Jazz St. Louis team in July 2014 as the Director of Development. Wendy comes to Jazz St. Louis with almost 20 years of development experience in annual, capital, and endowment fundraising. Most recently she oversaw all planned giving efforts and back-office management for the Jewish Community Foundation of St. Louis, a service of the Jewish Federation of St. Louis, which has assets of over $100 million. Prior to that, Wendy worked as the Development Director at Forest Park Forever in St. Louis, and began her career as a Development Associate at the Jewish United Fund in Chicago. Wendy holds a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Indiana University and a Graduate Certificate in Non-profit Management from Washington University.
Like Michael, Wendy also lacks any musical talent but has been known to sing in the car. With the windows up. She spends her free time with her husband and infant daughter, and enjoys traveling, cooking, reading, gardening and yoga. She is involved with the St. Louis Planned Giving Council and Jewish Family & Children’s Service.
Kerrie Schaefer, Production Manager
Kerrie joined Jazz St. Louis in 2013 as a Production Assistant. She was promoted to full-time Production Manager of the Harold and Dorothy Steward Center for Jazz in September 2015. Kerrie has worked as a stagehand and audio technician for the Touhill Performing Arts Center, COCA, STAGES St. Louis, New Line Theatre, Stray Dog Theatre, and a variety of academic theaters. Prior to joining the field of event production, Kerrie worked in radio as an on-air host/show producer and in a variety of odd jobs (some more odd than others). Kerrie has always loved music, but didn’t start her “jazz education” until joining the Bistro staff, and loves being exposed to artists and musical styles that are new to her. When she’s not working, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, exercising, and spoiling her dogs.
Adam Stefo, Box Office Manager
Adam Stefo joined Jazz St. Louis in October 2014 as a part-time Box Office Associate and was promoted to Box Office Manager in August 2015. He previously gained ticketing experience working with MetroTix and The Fabulous Fox Theatre. Adam earned his Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance from Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois, and his Master of Music in Opera Performance from The Boston Conservatory. He has performed operatic and oratorio roles throughout the United States and abroad. Locally, he has been heard with Winter Opera St. Louis, Union Avenue Opera, the St. Louis Symphony Chorus, and the Chancel Choir of Ladue Chapel Presbyterian Church. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, cooking, live music, and attending the cinema and theatre performances.
Stacey Valle, Accountant
Stacey Valle has been working in the accounting field for more than 20 years. Before that, she lived in Chicago while attending the School of the Art Institute, focusing on painting, and has also lived in Santa Fe, Las Vegas, and Phoenix. She is an avid music lover, enjoys growing vegetables in her garden, and also makes jewelry, crocheted items and other items which she sells online through Etsy and occasional craft shows. She has two dogs who keep her company in a small house she recently rehabbed right down the street from the Bevo Mill.