B.A. Theory/Composition, California State University, Fresno
M.M. Theory/composition/jazz performance, University of Nevada, Reno
Craig VonBergis an experienced jazz pianist, composer, published arranger, clinician and educator.
Earning his undergraduate degree in theory/composition from California State University,
Fresno, studying under Dr. Jack Fortner, and Dr. Robert Guerster, and his graduate
degree in theory/composition/jazz performance from University of Nevada, Reno, he
has been honored with numerous commissions for Jazz ensemble arrangements. He has
worked with a variety of jazz notables and entertainers including Bob Hope, Mel Torme,
Joe Williams, Eartha Kitt, Maynard Ferguson, Terence Blanchard, Arturo Sandoval, Bob
Mintzer, Peter Erskine, Tom Scott, Eric Marienthal, Tim Ries, Brian Lynch and many
He has taught various jazz-related subjects at California State University, Fresno
since 2000, including jazz ensemble, jazz theory/improvisation and jazz composition/arranging.
A significant part of his assignment is teaching an upper-division course, Popular
Music: Jazz & Rock, which identifies key trends in jazz, blues and rock. It focuses
on genres and significant figures of them, with a secondary emphasis on historical,
social and political context from which these genres emerged, improving student’s
writing skills through empirical description, analysis and critical thinking. As well,
VonBerg teaches courses at Valley community colleges in subjects as diverse as Computer
Music Production and Music Appreciation. He has an active private studio where he
teaches piano, composition and improvisation.
An active member of the Fresno area jazz community, he is called on to clinic young
jazz students, for organizations such as California Music Educators, Jazz Fresno,
and California Band Directors Assoc. and teaches at the Milestones Jazz Workshop Summer
Camp. As a performing musician, he has appeared with the Fresno Philharmonic on numerous
concerts, accompanied noted jazz guest artists at the Reno, San Joaquin, Cuesta College
and City Jazz (Fresno City College) Festivals, and has held recitals at Fresno State’s
Ellipse Gallery in the Henry Madden Library and Valley Music Center. He has headed
a successful jazz performance series and Jam session,Jazz Jam at Tokyo Garden, since 2003, the longest continuously running series of its kind in the Valley.