Chuck Redd, noted for his tasteful playing on both drums and vibes, was born in 1958 in Takoma Park, MD, where he lives today. He joined the Charlie Byrd Trio in 1980 at the age of 21. He has played on tour many times in Europe and Japan. From 1991 to 1996, he played vibes with the Mel Torme All-Star Jazz Quintet. He has toured and performed with Dizzy Gillespie, Tommy Flanagan, Marian McPartland, Scott Hamilton, Bucky Pizzarelli and many other jazz greats.
Born in Pasadena in 1955, Dan switched from piano to trombone in the fifth grade. He performs at festivals worldwide and is on many recordings. He has led his own bands and has arranged and composed for others. He was featured in Benny Goodman's last band, and has played in many movies, including Cotton Club and Brighton Beach Memoirs. He lives in Costa Mesa, CA.
It was 1964 in upstate New York when Danny Coots began playing drums at the tender age of 6 years old. Since then, he has studied with Nick Baffaro, Rich Holly, Alan Koffman and Jim Petercsak in percussion. Danny attended The Crane School of Music and St. Lawrence University. He eventually served as adjunct faculty at St. Lawrence University, Clarkson University and Potsdam State University from the 1970s into the 1990s.He continued traveling and performing with David Amram, Ray Shiner, Daniel Pinkham, Herb Ellis, Will Alger, Jack Mayhue, Speigle Wilcox, Mimi Hines, Phil Ford, Bob Darch, Pearl Kaufman and Arthur Duncan. In 1996 Danny moved to Nashville, Tennessee and has lived there ever since. Danny has recorded extensively in Nashville, New York and L.A. and has appeared in over 100 countries. He has played on over 100 recordings, one of which won a Grammy in 2005.
Duke Heitger, one of the best classic jazz trumpet players today, is known worldwide for his warm sound, virtuosity, and unwavering devotion to early jazz styles. While in demand as an international soloist and recording artist, he reigns as one of the longest tenured bandleaders in New Orleans performing regularly on the Steamboat Natchez. Michael Steinman (Jazz Lives, NYC) says “Duke Heitger-playing or singing-makes special music, lyrical and hot.” Curt Beard (Jazz Soundings, Seattle) stated “A rare combination of musical characteristics. He plays hot... he plays sweet...he plays the blues as though there is a touch of pathos dripping from every note…”
Well known among jazz enthusiasts through many recordings, Heitger cemented his prominence as a specialist in classic jazz styles but with the versatility to be featured on recordings by artists such as John Cleary and Maria Muldaur. His trumpet-playing and arranging is a highlight of the million selling Squirrel Nut Zippers recording Hot, earning him both gold and platinum records.
Eddie, who was born in Allentown, PA, and grew up in Ann Arbor, MI, was three when the drummer in his father's Dixieland band gave him his first drumsticks. He played his first professional gig at the age of 12. Since then, he has played with the Woody Herman Orchestra, Chick Corea, Clark Terry, the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, Scott Hamilton, Ken Peplowski, Ralph Sutton and many others. He has recorded on many labels, including Arbors, Fantasy and Nagel-Heyer. He has lived in the Orlando area for the past 20 years, 14 of which he was a fulltime staff musician at Disney World. He travels the world playing at concerts, festivals and tours.
Evan Christopher explores the full range of possibilities in the New Orleans clarinet tradition with virtuosity, immaculate taste and enthusiasm. He strives to extend the legacies of early clarinet heroes such as Sidney Bechet, Barney Bigard and Omer Simeon. Critics remarking on his dynamic expressiveness have coined his style “close-encounter music” (NEW YORK TIMES) and have called his respect for the music of New Orleans, “a triumph, joining the present seamlessly to a glorious past.” (THE OBSERVER, UK). Mr. Christopher's journey on Clarinet Road began in 1994, when he left his native California to join the New Orleans music community. Diverse freelance work included gigs with musicians including Al Hirt and veterans of Preservation Hall to funk and brass bands including the New Orleans Nightcrawlers and Galactic. Original songs are the high point of acclaimed recordings including Delta Bound (Arbors, 2007) featuring pianist Dick Hyman, The Remembering Song (Arbors, 2010) featuring guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli, his fourth Clarinet Road CD, Bayou Chant & Other Textures (STR Digital, 2016) and a 2018 Chamber Music America commission entitled The Faubourg Variations. Evan currently lives in New York City where he raises his daughter, a budding cellist, with his partner, photographer April Renae.
Harry was born in Washington D.C. in 1966, and was raised in Los Angeles, CA and Burrillville, RI. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in music in 1988 from Rutgers University in New Jersey, and currently resides in New York City.Harry has performed at jazz festivals and clubs worldwide, frequently touring the United States, Europe and Asia. He has performed with Rosemary Clooney, Ray Brown, Hank Jones, Frank Wess, Flip Phillips, Scott Hamilton, Harry "Sweets" Edison, Kenny Burrell, Herb Ellis, John Pizzarelli, Bucky Pizzarelli, Gus Johnson, Jeff Hamilton, Terry Gibbs, Warren Vache, and has recorded with Tony Bennett, Johnny Mandel, Ray Brown, Tommy Flanagan, James Taylor, Sheryl Crow, Kenny Barron, Dave McKenna, Dori Caymmi, Larry Goldings, George Mraz, Jake Hanna, and Al Foster, among others.Harry is featured on many of John Pizzarelli's recordings including the soundtrack and an on-screen cameo in the feature film The Out of Towners starring Steve Martin and Goldie Hawn. He has also done a series of commercials for ESPN starring Robert Goulet.
Houston has recorded over 75 albums under his own name, and has also appeared on recordings with Etta Jones, Lena Horne, Lou Rawls, Dakota Staton and Horace Silver. He is a recipient of the Eubie Blake Jazz Award. Two recent recordings on the HighNote label are "Dialogues" with bassist Ron Carter and "Sentimental Journey." He has played at Lincoln Center and at many festivals here and in Europe. Born in 1934, Houston grew up in Florence, SC., and lives in Nyack, NY. Houston was recognized in 2012 as a SDJP Legend.
Jason was born in 1978 in Sacramento, and began playing and taking piano lessons at age 6. Later, he played classical music and ragtime, adding jazz in his teens. Johnny Varro took him under his wing at a music camp. Since then he has played with trade bands at the Sun Valley Swing and Dixie Jamboree, at Mammoth Lakes with the Sister Swing band, and at numerous festivals. He now makes his home in San Diego.
Born in Detroit in 1964, Jon began early, playing in a big band at age 11, in the International Youth Symphony at age 13, and in concert alongside Wild Bill Davidson at 17. He also played with the J.C. Heard Orchestra. After moving to New York in 1989 to join Vince Giordano's Nighthawks, he has played with Ralph Sutton, Dan Barrett, Howard Alden, Milt Hinton, Dick Hyman and many others. He plays in festivals and concerts and with bands around the globe, and he is on the soundtracks of several movies. He lives in New York.
"When you grow up in Cleveland, Ohio, playing in a Polish polka band, you learn to think fast on your feet", says Ken Peplowski, who played his first pro engagement when he was still in elementary school. From my first time performing in public, I knew I wanted to play music for a living. By the time Ken was in his early teens, he was experimenting with jazz by playing in the school stage bands, and also by jamming with many of the local jazz musicians. By the time I hit high school, I was teaching at the local music store, playing in our family band, and playing jazz gigs around town while still getting up early every day for school. In 1980, Ken moved to New York City,and was soon playing in all kinds of settings, from Dixieland to avant-garde jazz. Everything's a learning experience in jazz music there's always an element of the unpredictable. In 1984, Benny Goodman came out of retirement and put together a new band, hiring Ken on tenor saxophone.Peplowski signed with Concord Records, under the tutelage of Carl Jefferson, the founder and president, and recorded close to 20 albums as a leader, including "The Natural Touch" in 1992 which won Best Jazz Record of the Year by the Prises Deutschen Schallplatten Kritiken, and "The Other Portrait", recorded in Sophia Bulgaria with the symphony orchestra and highlighting Ken's classical side. He also recorded two records on the Nagel Heyer label, "Lost In The Stars" and "Easy To Remember", the latter of which features Bobby Short on his last recording. "I loved Bobby Short's approach to the American songbook, and we'd talked about doing a record together for a while". I'm glad we got this one in the can. Peplowski also does many workshops for students of all ages- "My goal is to get the students to learn how to teach themselves, and to learn how to bring out their own best qualities; after all, jazz is about individuality-first you learn the rules, then you break them. I would like to think of myself as a lifelong student!" Ken Peplowski is a Buffet-Crampon artist, and plays the R-13 clarinet,with a Portnoy mouthpiece and Van Doren German-cut reeds. He also plays a Yamaha tenor sax and a Berg Larsen mouthpiece.
Lia Booth is quickly establishing herself as one of Southern California’s most talked about young jazz vocalists. She has been making a strong impression and building a solid fan base with her fun, dynamic and heartfelt performances. Her daring yet effortless musical style is rooted deeply in the past but with a contemporary sensibility that breathes new life into classic jazz standards night after night.
Jazz string bassist Paul Keller wears many hats: He is a well-respected master of his instrument; he is a prolific composer and an outstanding arranger of music for small and large ensembles; he is an educator, an entertainer and impresario; he is a lover of, a student of, and a proponent of The Great American Songbook; he is a successful bandleader of several different groups and he is an in-demand sideman who has performed all over the world with a myriad of jazz luminaries.
He began studying the string bass at age 12. By age 16 Paul had played his first jazz gigs in his hometown of Grand Rapids, MI. He continued his classical music education at the University of Michigan and moved to Ann Arbor permanently in 1986.
Perhaps the most recorded bassist of his generation, Peter Washington has a discography of more than 500 recordings. Born in Los Angeles, he played classical bass as a teen and majored in English literature at UC Berkeley, where he became interested in jazz. In 1986, he was invited by Art Blakey to join the Jazz Messengers in New York. From there, he became part of two of the most celebrated trios in jazz: The Tommy Flanagan Trio (10 years) and, for the past 19 years, the Bill Charlap Trio. Mr. Washington’s work roster includes Dizzy Gillespie, Clark Terry, Milt Jackson, Johnny Griffin, Kenny Burrell, Hank Jones, Bobby Hutcherson, Don Grolnick, The Brecker Brothers, Tony Bennet, Freddie Cole, and the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band. In 2009 he was part of The Blue Note 7, a septet formed in honor of the 70th anniversary of Blue Note Records.
Born in the Midwest, Richard and his grandfather’s violin won a seat in the Kansas City Youth Symphony. In high school he put music on hold, earned an MA in English, and secured an English teaching position in Los Angeles in 1977. He ‘discovered’ jazz and, in his words, ‘eloped with a bass’ at age 30 and has not looked back. Not only is Richard an accomplished bassist, but also makes a great emcee, with his total grasp of the English language.
A widely acclaimed talent, Rossano graduated from the Italian Conservatory and began his musical career at the age of 18. He was born in 1974 and lives in New York. In 2002 and 2003, he played at the Ascona Festival in Switzerland with Dan Barrett's International Swing Party band. He has been a pupil of Barry Harris, and his piano hero is the late Ralph Sutton. Rossano has performed at New York's Town Hall and Lincoln Center and at the United Nations. He has played with a host of jazz notables, including Harry Allen, Scott Hamilton, Becky Kilgore, Warren Vach, Howard Alden and Joe Wilder. He has recorded solo piano albums for the Blue Swing and Arbors labels.
Trombonist Russ Phillips was born in Denver, but grew up and studied in the Chicago area after his Father, Russ Phillips, Sr. left Louis Armstrong’s All Stars as trombonist for 1-1/2 years. Continuing in the tradition, Russ has become a busy performer around Chicago and on the jazz festival and cruise circuit. Those appearances include The Chicago Jazz Festival, The Elkhart Jazz Festival, the Atlanta, San Diego, Colorado Springs and West Texas Jazz Parties, the Sacramento Jazz Jubilee and many more. At these festivals and in concerts, he has performed with Howard Alden, Doc Cheatham, Kenny Davern, the Four Freshmen, Bob Haggart, Lionel Hampton, Dick Hyman, Don Goldie, Bobby Lewis, Bucky Pizzarelli, Tom Saunders, Doc Severinsen, John Sheridan, Allan and Warren Vache and many others. Russ has several recordings under his own name, with the Windy City All-Stars, with the late Tom Saunders, the John Sheridan Dream Band and others.
Virtuoso guitarist Vinny Raniolo has built a widespread global fan base, thanks to his engaging approach to early jazz, his regular appearances on PBS specials, and his collaborations with six-string giants including Bucky Pizzarelli, Frank Vignola and Tommy Emmanuel. The Nassau County guitarist got interested in jazz at age 16 after a teacher introduced him to to records by masters of jazz guitar such as Joe Pass, John Pizzarelli, Bucky Pizzarelli, Herb Ellis and others. Vinny fell in love with the music immediately and realized, "That's what I want to do." He began gigging as a teen, and his career really took off when he paired up with fellow guitarist Frank Vignola at age 22.