Current Members

Eric Staffeldt (Director)

Eric Staffeldt joined the faculty of the University of Colorado Denver in January 2012.  An Indiana native, Eric received a Bachelor of Music degree from Butler University in Indianapolis and a Master of Arts degree in composition from the University of Denver. As an active freelance trombonist, he performs regularly with many Denver area swing and traditional jazz bands. A member of the nationally recognized Queen City Jazz Band, Eric also travels as a performer and clinician at classic jazz festivals across the United States.

Christie MacFarlane Piano

Christie MacFarlane (Piano)

Christie started playing piano in South Africa at the age of six, and moved to America when she was 14 years old. She enrolled at Highlands Ranch High School, and wanting to embrace the American culture, joined the music program, becoming part of Marching Band, Winter Percussion, Jazz Band, Orchestra and Belle Voix Choir. She accompanied vocalists for their All-State auditions in Colorado Springs, and percussionists at the CSU I&E Day of Percussion. She competed at state level for Marching Band and at international level for Winter Percussion. She received the school’s Bernstein Musicianship Award in her junior year, and won her high school’s annual concerto competition in her senior year, where she performed the Third Movement of the Grieg Piano Concerto in A minor. She was a member of the Denver Jazz Club Youth All-Stars, directed by Dr. Cannava, performing at the annual Sacramento Jubilee Jazz Festival, The Evergreen Jazz Festival in Colorado, as well as at the International Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, and Kongsberg Jazz Festival in Norway. They also performed as the opening act at the CMEA Conference in the Broadmoor, Colorado Springs, and as opening acts for professional jazz bands at various gigs. She is currently in her first year at Metropolitan State University of Denver majoring in music performance, studying under Dr. Jooeun Pak, and taking jazz piano as her secondary instrument, studying under Mr. Solomon Chapman.

Ryan LaVellee (Drums)

Ryan LaVallee Drums

Drummer for the Claim Jumpers, Ryan is a second year student at UCD from Colorado Springs, Colorado majoring in Recording Arts.

Genavieva Sandoval Vocals

Genavieva Sandoval (Vocals)

Vocalist for the Claim Jumpers, Genavieva is a third year student at UCD from Alamogorgo, New Mexico majoring in Recording Arts with a minor in Philosophy.

Hudson Adams Trumpet

Hudson Adams (Trumpet)

Trumpet player for the Claim Jumpers, Hudson, is a first year student at UCD from Anchorage, Alaska majoring in Music Business.

Ben Wilkin Trombone

Ben Wilikin (Trombone)

Trombonist for the Claim Jumpers, Ben is a transfer student from Arapahoe Community College.  Ben has traveled and performed with the Denver Jazz Club Youth All-stars.