Our Festival Directors
Steve Owen (conductor, composer, saxophonist) is a Philip H. Knight Professor of Music and director of the University of Oregon’s award-winning Jazz Studies Program.
Under Owen’s direction, the Oregon Jazz Ensemble has been selected the “Outstanding College Big Band” at the Reno Jazz Festival each year that the group has attended over the past 13 years. Most recently, this group toured Europe with featured performances at four of the continent’s most prestigious music festivals: the Montreux, Vienne, Umbria, and La Spezia Jazz Festivals.
Owen has presented clinics at MENC conferences nation-wide and has directed All-State jazz ensembles in Colorado, Connecticut, Arizona, Texas, Nevada, California, Nebraska, Kansas, New Mexico, and Min- nesota as well as Oregon. A composer and arranger of national prominence, Owen’s works have been performed by Bobby McFerrin, Dave Weckl, Anne Marie Moss, with recent commissions by the Hes- sischer Rundfunk Big Band (Frankfurt, Germany) and the Taipei Jazz Orchestra. Steve’s own CD, Stand Up Eight, was just released by Origin/OA2 Records in February 2013, featuring nine of his works for large jazz ensemble.
In 1991 Owen was one of two winners of the Ersted Award, the University of Oregon’s top faculty award for distinguished teaching and in 2007 was likewise honored with the university’s Excellence in Teaching Award. Steve is also a founder and co-director of the Oregon Jazz Festival and the University of Oregon Summer Jazz Improvisation Camp.
Originally from Lincoln, NE, Paul Krueger is a music educator, trumpeter and composer/arranger currently residing in Eugene, OR, where he is an instructor of Jazz Studies at the University of Oregon. Previously, Krueger served as the Director of Bands and Jazz Studies at Lane Community College from 2013-2016. In 2015, the Lane Jazz Ensemble was recognized as the community college winner in the large jazz ensemble category of the Downbeat Magazine Student Music Awards. He has also previously taught jazz/instrumental music at the University of Oregon and at Washington High School in Sioux Falls, SD.
A winner of a Downbeat Magazine Award and three ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Awards, Krueger’s works for large jazz ensemble have been performed around the world. His debut album, The Wayward Traveler, was released in 2011 and features eight of his original compositions performed by his quartet and his big band works are published by UNC Jazz Press and eJazzLines. Krueger holds a Bachelors degree in Music Education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a Masters degree in Music Performance (Jazz Studies) from the University of Oregon.