Our Staff & Board

CCJA Staff

Chris Romaine, Executive Director

As the Executive Director for CCJA, Ms. Romaine provides executive leadership and manages its daily operations. She wears many hats in this position and relies on a passion for jazz and youth, a varied background, a love of learning, and resourcefulness to do so. Ms. Romaine participates with the Artistic Director, the Board, and the faculty in planning and establishing program policies, objectives, and priorities as well as directing the development of CCJA’s strategic action and fundraising plans.

Ms. Romaine received her Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Public Policy from the University of Denver, where she also minored in music at the Lamont School of Music. She later received her secondary teaching certification, and taught Social Studies (and some music) in Cherry Creek public schools for five years. Chris was then bit with the entrepreneurial bug she grew up with, and started a tea shop/restaurant/mail order/catering business which she ran with her mother and sister until its sale in 1999. As soon as it was sold, she and Paul decided to give their idea for a jazz education program a try, and CCJA (the Colorado Conservatory for the Jazz Arts) was born.

There seemed to be a need for CCJA in the community, and it continued to grow to the point that it made sense to change it to a non-profit organization, and bring in a board, volunteers, and more people from the community. As it turns out, Ms. Romaine finds that her personal experience of finding her voice through jazz as a teen and her teaching background, combined with the real-life lessons and experiences of owning a business, serve her well in her position as Executive Director.

Paul Romaine, Artistic Director

Throughout his childhood, Paul felt magnetized to music from the depth of his being. He began playing drums professionally at age 14 and in 1976 performed with an all-star high school big band at the Montreaux Jazz Festival. Paul has led, recorded, or performed with countless combinations of the Denver area’s best players and with internationally acclaimed artists such as Eddie Harris, Benny Golson, James Moody, Larry Coryell, Gunther Schuller, Charlie Rouse, Eddie Gomez, Bobby Watson, Anita O’Day, Jack McDuff, Marlena Shaw, Rufus Reid, Clark Terry, Dave Grusin, and Robin Eubanks. Paul is also a member of the sextet Convergence, where he writes originals for the group, has recorded four critically acclaimed CD’s, and has performed at venues such as The Blue Note, The Knitting Factory, Jazz Aspen Snowmass, and the 2004 IAJE Conference in New York. He is featured on the Ken Walker Sextet CD Terra Firma, which landed at #56 on JazzWeek’s Top 100 Jazz CDs of 2005. During his association with the Woody Herman Orchestra, Paul toured North America performing concerts and clinics. In between gigs, he studied jazz composition at the Lamont School of Music and, in 1991 received a degree in recording engineering from the University of Colorado. He has served as a mentor musician/clinician in several Denver area school districts, as well as in the Jazz Aspen Snowmass Education Program. While mentoring, he saw the need for a jazz education program for students who are serious about the music, and he founded the Colorado Conservatory for the Jazz Arts. As the Artistic Director, he has developed unique programs for middle school and high school students from all over the Denver area to play together and study with professional musicians. Paul also serves on the music faculty at the University of Colorado at Boulder. In the Spring of 2005, Paul was honored to travel to Washington D.C. to receive a Presidential Scholars Program Teacher Recognition Award from the U.S. Department of Education.

Annie Booth, Program Assistant

Annie Booth is a pianist, composer, and educator based in Denver, CO. Growing up in a musical family in Westminster, CO, she began the piano at a young age and started playing jazz in high school, her passion for the art form took off when she began playing in the CCJA Small Group Program in 2005. She went on to study music at the collegiate level, earning a BM in Jazz Piano Performance minor in French Language at the University of Colorado-Boulder in 2011.

Since her college graduation, she has remained busy as a performer, composer, arranger, educator, and administrative assistant for the Colorado Conservatory for the Jazz Arts. A product of CCJA’s profound educational and personal impact Annie is 100% passionate about the work CCJA does and is proud to be a part of the organization.

Bu the African Grey, Office Manager

Beloved yet mysterious by all who know her, Bu takes great pride in being at the center of all CCJA administrative and creative decisions at CCJA HQ. Whether she is politely asking for you to give her an almond (Love Bu?) or emphatically agreeing with a comment you just made (Yeah, man!) she is constantly engaged with CCJA happenings and making sure all staff are staying focused and on task. (CCJA staff admit that Bu may be exploring some form of advanced mind control too sophisticated for human understanding…) She loves bobbing her head and dancing to groovy music, eating eggs and almond butter on toast, and most importantly, CCJA!


CCJA Board of Directors

Greg Wills, President  (Touchtone Business Advisors)

Nili Abrahamsson, Vice President

Kira Spivak, Treasurer   (President of CFO Services)

Vivienne Alvarez (City of Denver)

Glenn Booth (Booth Marketing)

Ann Bowar (University of Denver)

Visda Carson (CU Leeds School of Business)

Michael Fitts  (Kerja LLC)

John Gunther (Thompson Jazz Studies Director – CU Boulder)

Greg Kishiyama (Engineer)

Jason Rupe (Engineer)

Jack Twining (Student Member)