The Professional Instructors

Fort Pierce Jazz Camp 2020- Instructors Biographies


Claudio Berardi, drummer, has been drumming his whole life--from NYC, Vegas, LA, the Caribbean, to the Mike Douglas Show with Kaye Ballard and Gene Hull. There was musical theatre, and many jazz and pop groups with extended tours including Vic Damone and the Sandler & Young singing duo. After spending time mid-life in the business world and gig­ging part-time, he retired to Florida in 201 O with his wife. Since then, Claudio has been loving his full-time music career once again.

He was only nine when he started playing the trumpet, but even then James Suggs was destined for a storied career in music. By 15, he was playing professionally, and he's entertained around the world, including Europe, Central and South America, and at powerhouse US venues like the House of Blues in Orlando, B.B. King's in NYC, and Yoshi's in San Fran­cisco. He's played with musical legends like Kenny Burrell, Chuck Mangione, John Lamb, Robin Eubanks, and far too many others to list. Long overdue, Suggs received his Masters Degree in Jazz Performance in 2018 and released his first solo album while continuing to perform and enchant audiences at the Newport Beach, Suncoast and Sarasota Jaz Festivals. He currently teaches jazz trumpet and leads jazz ensembles at the University of South Florida.

David Mundy earned his Bachelor of Music degree in Bass Performance from the Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA, studying with bass greats Oscar Stagnaro and Ed Lucie. David embraced the hip smooth jazz scene performing at the King Center, Melbourne Jazz Festival, Titusville Jazz Festival as well as numerous local and statewide venues. David's groups have performed with Art Porter, Marion Meadows, Warren Hill, Steve Reid, Mindy Abair, and Ken Navarro. He continues to perform locally with his trio, Soulfege, FDO, an 18 piece Big Band, and with the Ft. Pierce Jazz and Blues Society. David continues to be in demand both in studios and with popular artists. He is privileged to be a longstanding musician for the Treasure Coast Chorale, the John's Island Singers, and the Sea Oaks Chorus. He also is well versed in music production. David currently serves as Director of Jazz Studies at the Indian River Charter High's Schumann School of Visual and Perform­ing Arts.
GENE BRUNO I Saxophonist

Gene Bruno, saxophonist, started his musical career at the age of eight playing trumpet. At twelve, he moved over to saxophone. He was a student of the world famous Joseph Allard of NYC. He worked the Catskill vacation circles, includ­ing the Concord Hotel, with many bands, in the entertainment field, and with and for many entertainment acts. Currently, Gene performs with a 17 piece Latin orchestra and an 18 piece American Jazz orchestra, traveling between NY and Florida to make himself available to the Fort Pierce Jazz and Blues Society and stay active in the music industry. His passion is to encourage young people to be involved in the field of music and entertainment.
Don Bestor, a pianist/keybordist with 27 years of "on the road experience, 17 years of producing shows, and 16 years as a studio owner/engineer brings his talent to the Ft. Pierce Jazz and Blues Society. Don was an arranging major at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts.
Don is committed to sharing his experience and talent with the Fort Pierce Jazz and Blues Society whose mission is to create greater awareness and enjoyment of jazz in the community through education and performance.