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Women in Jazz Retreat

Join Walker West for a Women in Jazz Retreat, with Twin Cities Jazz Festival performers, Claudia Medina and Ivanna Cuesta!

Women in Jazz Retreat

Join Walker West for our first ever Women in Jazz Retreat, with Twin Cities Jazz Festival performers, Claudia Medina and Ivanna Cuesta! This is a week-long comprehensive experience for women, non-binary and trans musicians to hone their performing skills, connect with other like-minded players and receive mentoring and coaching from leading women jazz faculty. Culminating in a live performance at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival!

Open to intermediate to advanced jazz instrumentalists and vocalists ages 14+, with prior jazz experience.
Tuition assistance available.
Register by May 29th

Monday, June 17 – Friday, June 21 (Off 6/19) 9:30am-4pm


Walker West Music Academy. Final Day & Performance (Friday June 21) at Creator’s Cup (218 E 7th Street, St. Paul, Minnesota 55101).


High School & College-age Women, Non-binary and Trans instrumentalists and vocalists.

Public Performance:

Friday, June 21 2pm (1:30 sound check) at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival on the “Walker West Youth Stage” at Saint City

Meet our Teaching Artist

Claudia Medina

A Los Angeles-based saxophonist, multi-instrumentalist, film/TV/media composer, producer, educator and entrepreneur, Medina is committed to playing and never giving up. It’s the message she’s disseminated throughout her compositions, education programs & artistic career. An esteemed musician in her own right, Medina has collaborated with Grammy Award-winning artists including Paquito D’ Rivera, Berta Rojas, Susana Baca, Aida Cuevas, Oscar Stagnaro, Tia Fuller, Diego Torres, El Gran Combo, and opened for Juan Luis Guerra’s Boston concert in 2019.

Ivanna Cuesta

Dominican drummer and composer. She graduated from the Dominican Republic Conservatory of Music in 2015 and from Berklee College of Music in 2020, where she studied with some of the most renowned musicians such as Neal Smith, Terri Lyne Carrington, Francisco Mela, Tia Fuller, among others. Ivanna has performed at major jazz festivals around the world such as the Dominican Republic, Monterey, Mary Lou Williams at the Kennedy Center, Monheim Treinnale, Santo Domingo, and The Hamptons among others.

Beth Varela

Beth Varela is a touring drummer and cellist based in Minneapolis, MN. She performs, most regularly with the Rebel Queens, Katia Cardenas, Juliet and the Montegues, and Miss Myra & the Moonshiners. Beth is an alumnus of Berklee College of Music. She's one of the most in-demand clinicians in the Twin Cities, serving Walker West, McPhail, various libraries, and schools.

Sophia Kaufmann

Sophia Kaufmann is an upright and electric bassist from Oakland, California now based in Minneapolis. Kaufmann graduated from Macalester College in 2023 with degrees in music and sociology and now teaches private lessons and workshops around the Twin Cities. At Macalester, Sophia was the manager and upright bassist for the big band Mac Jazz and she plays in numerous jazz ensembles around the Twin Cities.

Sophia Kickhofel

Sophia Kickhofel is a 20 year old multi-instrumentalist and composer from Apple Valley, Minnesota. She has performed around the world at venues including Jazz at Lincoln Center Shanghai, Carnegie Hall, the Library of Congress, Dizzy’s Club, the Dakota and New World Center for the Arts. Furthermore, Sophia studies jazz performance at the Juilliard School under the direction of saxophonist Dan Block and pianist Marc Cary.