TRUMPET- Jeff Carver is one of the most dynamic and entertaining trumpet artists in the Twin Cites, well known for his command of all spectrums of trumpet performance. Jeff can not only perform beautiful, laid back smooth jazz in duos or trios, but can also “let loose” on powerful, screaming lead work in top level big bands, funk and rock & roll groups. Jeff is a sought after studio recording musician as well as an ‘in-demand’ live solo artist, regularly performing more than 20 shows per month. He also conducts numerous trumpet and brass educational master classes in schools, and maintains his own private studio, teaching nearly 30 students per year. Jeff is currently working on his first record under his own name, produced by world-class producer, arranger and performer, Ricky Peterson, and featuring some of the top musicians in the United States. Release is scheduled for late 2011. Jeff is an Artist/Educator for Jupiter Instruments, and plays the Jupiter i1600 Trumpet and the Jupiter Pro Flugelhorn exclusively. Jeff can be reached through his website, www.jeffcarvermusic.com, or Facebook.
ALTO SAX - Aaron Moe is on faculty at Normandale Community College in Bloomington, MN, where he directs the Jazz Ensemble and combos, teaches jazz improvisation, jazz history, and serves as chair of the Music department. In the past, Aaron was Director of Jazz Performance Studies at the University of Missouri - Columbia, where he taught and oversaw all aspects of the jazz program. Additionally, Moe taught as an associate band director at the nation’s first Grammy Signature School, Valley High School, in West Des Moines, IA. In 2002, he was commissioned by Hamiet Bluiett to arrange a piece by the composer for big band. Aaron has appeared on Fox Television – Chicago, with the Wynton Marsalis Septet, and has performed behind such artists as Carl Allen, Reggie Thomas, Rufus Reid, Frank Wess, Billy Kerr, Bluiett, Steve Turre, Dave Pietro and Randy Brecker. He holds a master of music from Northern Illinois University in Jazz Pedagogy/Performance and a bachelor degree in music education from the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point.
TENOR SAX - Mark Yannie, from Cleveland, Ohio, has been playing saxophone, clarinet, and flute professionally in the Twin Cities area since 1999. His ensembles - the Swing Trio, Jazz Quartet, Small Big Band, and Classical Duo - can be heard locally in a variety of settings at www.livemusicjazz.com. In the past, Mark freelanced in the Orlando/Tampa, Florida area and has performed nationally with Melissa Manchester, Wayne Newton, the Glenn Miller Orchestra, and the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra. He has had steady engagements with Norwegian, Princess, and Scandinavian World Cruise Lines, The Grand Floridian, and Seaworld Renaissance Hotels. He has worked as a pit musician in Tampa, Orlando, Minneapolis, and St. Paul, and as an auxiliary member of the Jacksonville Symphony. Mark has taught as an adjunct at the College of St. Benedict/St. Johns University, and teaches privately. He is currently an adjunct at Crown College.
TROMBONE - Steve Pikal, Steve has been playing music professionally for many years and is highly regarded as a first call trombonist and bass player from the Minnesota twin cities area jazz scene. He has had the pleasure of working with many top performers and bands over the years including the Jim Cullum Jazz band, Butch Thompson, Artie Shaw, the Barbary Coast Dixieland Show band, Cab Calloway, the Wolverines, the Bill Evans Jazz band, Dick Hyman, and Butch Miles.
BASS - Jim Bierma is from Des Moines, Iowa, and had a five night a week jazz gig at the Hotel Savery with the Irene Myles Trio for fourteen years. He currently plays with various jazz and church musicians in the Twin Cities area. Jim also is a counselor in schools and homeless shelters, and teaches counseling at the University of Minnesota and the University of Wisconsin - River Falls.
DRUMS - David Stanoch has performed with a truly diverse list of respected artists in the Twin Cities and around the world as a freelance and studio musician. A partial listing includes: jazz and r&b musicians - Jack McDuff, Ben Sidran, Richard Davis, Ed Shaughnessy, Bernard Purdie, Clyde Stubblefield, Herb Ellis, Hiram Bullock, Scott Henderson, Stanley Jordan, Anthony Cox, John Carter and Bobby Bradford; Pop artists - Butch Vig, Freedy Johnston, Timbuk 3, Col. Bruce Hampton, Mary Wilson, Katy Tessman, Sometimes Y, and the New Kids On The Block; Broadway and television stars - Shirley Jones, Robert Goulet, Charo, Martin Short, Don Rickles, Bob Newhart, Joan Rivers, and Shari Lewis; and also classical ensembles - The Minnesota Orchestra and the Empire Brass. David attended the University of Wisconsin - Madison, and also studied with Max Roach, Elliot Fine, Alan Dawson, Jeff Hamilton, Ignacio Berroa, and Chad Wackerman. He endorses Paiste Cymbals, EV Microphones, and products by GK Music and Gauger Percussion Inc. David is also an active clinician and author. He has been on the faculty of the McNally Smith College of Music (formerly Musictech) for over a decade.
PIANO - Sam Reeves started Playing the piano at age 15. Since then he's worked with such luminaries as Stevie Wonder, Jennifer Holiday, R. Kelly, Kim Burrell, Robert Robinson, and more.
ARRANGER - Dave Budimir attended the University of Minnesota - Duluth, then spent the next ten years working for the Walt Disney Corporation in Florida. His experience included arranging and playing music for many different bands at the Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, and MGM Studios. In 1996, he moved back to Minnesota, and now lives in St. Paul. After four years as a freelance musician in the Twin Cities area, Dave began touring with Lorie Line and her Pop Chamber Orchestra He has also performed with many bands and national acts including: Natalie Cole, Aretha Franklin, Wayne Newton, Johnny Mathis, The Four Tops, and Bobby Vinton. Dave arranges and composes music for his own music projects as well.
ARRANGER - Steve Devich
Berklee College of Music 1961-1964Las Vegas house bands 1965-1972Sahara Hotel, Caesar’s Palace, The Flamingo Played for such stars as; Johnny Carson, Liberace, Judy Garland, Andy Williams, Henry Mancini, Ella Fitzgerald. Recorded, Connie Frances “Live at the Sahara”Freelance musician Toronto, Canada 1972-1976Percy Hughes orchestra, Royal York Hotel Royal Alexander Theater, Various Broadway shows Motion picture soundtrack “Sunday in the Country” CBC summer series with David Clayton Thomas of Blood Sweat & Tears. TV special with Anne MurrayTwin Cities 1976 to presentMember of Mpls. Trombone choir, Como Park Pops, Century College Jazz Ensemble Arranger for Doug Snapp’s Jazz MN Big Band Arranger, Wolverines Classic Jazz OrchestraLeader of Cedar Avenue Big Band (25 years)
ARRANGER - Doug Rasmussen graduated from the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire in 1981 with a degree in saxophone performance, and cut his teeth in the professional musical world in the Seattle Jazz scene from 1981-1991. A pivotal moment came for Doug one Monday night at Jazz Alley, when he went to hear Sir Roland Hanna play a solo act. After a conversation with Hanna, Doug set a personal goal that night to write 10 big band charts. In 1986 Doug helped form the Jazz Police Big Band and it is still in existence in Seattle. Doug wrote extensively for them and has charts on 3 of their CDs. In 1991 Doug moved back to the Twin Cities. He soon joined the Stan Bann Big Band and had his charts played on two albums they recorded. Due to his sustained success writing and arranging and at the urging of his fellow musicians, Doug founded his own big band, the Acme Jazz Company, in 2008.
ARRANGER - Kevin Mills has Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Music Education from the University of Minnesota, and has completed his coursework toward a PhD in Music Education, also from the University of Minnesota. Kevin serves as an Associate Professor of music at North Central University, Minneapolis; he teaches Jazz Band, Concert Band, and music classes, and is helping to develop North Central’s new instrumental music education program. Kevin is an accomplished drummer, saxophone player, conductor and composer/arranger. He is the founder and music director of KCGO Big Band and is a published composer of big band charts with Increase Music. Kevin has been with the Plymouth Concert Band for three years, and is serving his first term on the board.
- Shaun Johnson is currently not on the road.
Keep checking back for updated tour dates.