About Us

Las Vegas Academy of the Arts

LVA is a public, magnet school that provides students with a twofold emphasis on academics and the arts.

  • LVA has received twelve GRAMMY Signature School Awards, an honor unparalleled by any other high school in the nation

  • LVA was named a 2018-23 Exemplary Arts School by the Arts School Network, the nation's largest professional membership organization of specialized arts schools

  • LVA was named a National Magnet School of Distinction by Magnet Schools of America in 2017

  • LVA received the 2014 Grammy Signature Gold status for outstanding accomplishments in the Fine Arts

  • U.S. News and World Report recognizes LVA as one of America's top high schools, awarding the school a Silver rating

LVA World Jazz Studies Awards

  • 2022 DownBeat Awards for Blues/Pop Performance and Outstanding Large Jazz Ensemble Performance (19-time DownBeat Award winner)

  • 2021, 2014 & 2009 performers at Midwest Clinic International Band and Orchestra Conference

  • 2020, 2016 & 2009 invited to perform at Monterey Jazz Festival

  • 2020 Finalist at the Monterey Next Generation Jazz Festival (13-time finalist)

  • 2020 YoungArts Merit winner (4 YoungArts winners since 2018)

  • 2020 & 2019 NAfME All-National Honor Ensemble participants

  • 2018 Berklee Summer Jazz Workshop full scholarship to LVA student

  • 2017 Vail Jazz Workshop full scholarship to LVA student

  • 2015 GRAMMY Camp Jazz Session participant

  • 'Best in State' at the Reno Jazz Festival every year in attendance

  • Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival - Best in Class for Big Band and Combo

  • Invitations to perform at Brandon Jazz Festival; Jazz Education Network Conference; and International Association of Jazz Educators Conference

Patrick Bowen has been the Director of the World Jazz Studies program at the Las Vegas Academy of the Arts since 2001. He is presently the Principal Percussionist with the Las Vegas Philharmonic and performed in a two-year run as a percussionist in “Showstoppers” at Wynn Las Vegas Hotel and Casino. He played in the Sinatra 100: An All-Star GRAMMY Concert with stars such as Celine Dion, Tony Bennett, Lady Gaga, Garth Brooks, Harry Connick, Jr., Seth MacFarlane, and Usher to commemorate Frank Sinatra’s 100th birthday. He has been a guest soloist with the Hartt Symphony, Henderson Civic Orchestra, and UNLV Percussion Ensemble. He has also played with Elton John, Clint Black, Sheila E, Wynona Judd, Lionel Richie, Dudley Moore, Boys II Men, Michael Bolton, Kenny G, Oleta Adams, Fleetwood Mac, Stevie Wonder, Don Henley, Tim McGraw, Brian McKnight, Andrea Bocelli, and David Foster.

Mr. Bowen has a Bachelor’s degree in Music Performance from the Hartt School of Music (Cum Laude), a Master’s degree in Music Performance from the University of Montana, and a Teaching Certificate from UNLV. He studied jazz under Jackie McClean, Nat Reeves, Jaki Byard, and Alexander Lepak. Patrick Bowen is proud to be endorsed by Crescent Cymbals, Grover Pro Percussion, Regal Tip by Calato, and Toca Percussion.

Julian Tanaka is Assistant Director of World Jazz Studies at LVA where he teaches Jazz and Music Theory. He graduated from LVA in 2006 as the first graduating class of the then newly formed World Jazz Studies program. Julian previously served as guest clinician for LVA Jazz, composing for large jazz ensembles, and coaching students in small groups. He is excited to be back to inspire a new generation of budding artists and creative thinkers!

As a composer, Julian has received commissions from jazz ensembles for many high schools across the country as well as for professional artists including Clay Jenkins, Andy James, Tom Schuman, and RJ and the Assignment. Julian is a professional musician and has performed on the Strip in shows like BAZ and BoyzIIMen. In 2019, Julian served as musical director and played clarinet and saxophone for Postmodern Jukebox. He played on the Come Fly Away International Tour and has also played with Hugh Jackman, Ben Vereen, Bret Eldridge, Ben Folds, The Buckinghams, Human Nature, Frankie Valli, Rita Moreno, Ricky Martin, Gloria Estefan, The Count Basie Orchestra, The Cab Calloway Orchestra, Bobby Shew, Bill Cunliffe, Doug Lawrence, Santa Fe and the Fat City Horns, Las Vegas Philharmonic, and Las Vegas Jazz Connection.

Mr. Tanaka has a B.A. in Jazz Composition from UNLV and an M.M. in Jazz Composition from the Eastman School of Music. His teachers and mentors include Bill Dobbins, Charles Pillow, Harold Danko, Joe Lano, Marina Sturm, and two Las Vegas innovators of jazz - Roy James and Walt Blanton.

Sue Mirman, our Jazz Department Instructional Assistant, is a native Chicagoan and retired optometrist. Inspired by her parents who developed homes for disabled children and adults, Sue has always incorporated volunteerism into her life. Throughout college and graduate school, while practicing optometry and raising her family, Sue volunteered at her children’s schools and with organizations such as Acts of Kindness and the I Have a Dream Foundation. She serves on the advisory board for Friends of LVA, the advisory board for Teach For America, and served on the executive board for Win Win Entertainment. Sue joined the LVA Jazz Department as a volunteer in 2011 and became an official member of the team in 2015.

Dr. Mirman earned her Doctor of Optometry (O.D.) degree from the Illinois College of Optometry. She also holds a Bachelor's degree in Vision Science from ICO and a Bachelor's in Education from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.