Jens Wendelboe - is internationally recognized award-winning composer, orchestrator, conductor and trombonist of jazz and symphonic music alike. Jens had the honor to be Music Director and conductor for Donna Summer for over 22 years. He joined the legendary group, Blood, Sweat and Tears in 2006 and was a featured member for 8 years. Jens lived in Europe for most of his life and held such prestigious positions such as Conductor and arranger of the Norwegian Radio Orchestra. He has released eleven CDs with his Big Crazy Energy New York Band as well as The Crazy Energy Orchestra. Mr. Wendelboe has performed with such artists as Shakira, Aretha Franklin, Al Jarreau, Jeff Lorber, David Foster, Paul Anka, Frankie Valli, Jimmy Webb, Roger Nichols, Johnny Mathis, Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil, Bruce Roberts, Bette Midler, Bill Watrous, Phil Woods, and more.
Stephanie Harrison - is a singer and voiceover artist based in the New York metropolitan area.
Stephanie has been the voice of Lord and Taylor, Gillette, Shiseido and others.
She is the voice of Mrs. Potato Head in several animated shorts by the Hasbro company.
Stephanie is a vocalist for several of the tri-state area’s most popular wedding and club bands.
Her influences include Janis Joplin, Aretha Franklin, Ella Fitzgerald and Tori Amos.
Jon Saxon - Lead alto saxophone and band personnel director of A Nordic Sound.
He’s been playing, teaching and leading bands in the New York tri-state area for over 30 years.
Jon’s versatility has made him much sought-after by groups ranging from large jazz ensembles and
musical pit orchestras to funk and rock bands. Noted musical artists Jon has performed with include
The Four Tops, The Temptations, Brian Torff, Sal Salvador, Larry Coryell, Larry Chance & the Earls, and The Belmonts.
Fred Scerbo - is an in-demand tenor saxophonist on the Tri-State music scene for the past forty plus years, enjoys performing in many different musical situations including recording and touring the U.S. and Europe with Joe Cocker, local r&b bands including Funk That and Third Shift, member of Shoreline Jazz Collective under the direction of James Antonucci for the past six years which brought in guest artists Dick Oatts, Scott Wenholdt, Phillip Michael Mossman, Mike Holober, and John Mosca, various jazz ensembles, and an endless number of private engagements with ETA and Swingshift. In addition to his performance schedule, Fred is a sought-after private instructor on the faculty of the Westport Music Center, teaching students for the past thirty years. Fred has studied with some of the best teachers, among them, Lou Stein, David Gross, Gary Campbell, Gary Keller, and Jerry Bergonzi
Joe Letizia– Joe passed up a full scholarship to the Berklee school of music, and instead went on to double major in music and business at North Texas State University, where he played with the grammy-award nominated 1:00 jazz band under the direction of Leon Breeden.After short stints with the touring big bands of Stan Kenton and Woody Herman, as well as the Nelson Riddle Orchestra, he spent several years as a freelance musician in the Dallas area recording studios. While there, he performed with a number of national artists, including Frank Sinatra, Barbara Streisand, Barry Manilow, Tony Bennett, and Phil Woods.
Keith Gurland – Saxophonist Keith Gurland is a Long Island native and a graduate of New York University. His long and diverse list of employers includes the big bands of Glenn Miller, Artie Shaw and Tommy Dorsey, pop icons Frankie Valli and Micky Dolenz, and original acts TriPod and the Blue Saracens. He has performed in 24 countries and most of the better oceans. Keith was awarded a 2013 fellowship from New York Foundation for the Arts.
Larry Nissman – Larry received his Bachelor of Music and Arts from the University of Michigan. He studied trumpet with the renowned Boston Symphony principal trumpet, Armando Ghitalla. He also holds a Master Degree in Environmental science. Throughout his career Larry played on the local NYC scene with a variety of small Jazz ensembles and big bands. He toured with the National Broadway production of Starlight Express and recorded music for TV jingles. A versatile musician, Larry is comfortable performing in a variety of musical genres. He has performed with the legendary founder of SKA music Carlos Malcom, Cumbia star Carolina La O and is a regular member of Grupo Arcano, an NYC based salsa band.
Erick Storckman is a NYC-based trombonist and composer/arranger whose music displays influences from a wide range of styles and has been described as deeply personal. His new album release with the band ES2 is titled AlgoRhythms. Erick’s two other album releases as a leader (Scrapbook and Chuckle Factor) feature Erick’s tunes arranged for a seven-piece band. Erick’s recent live performances have included that as a guest jazz soloist with the Northern Dutchess Symphony Orchestra (Rhinebeck, NY). As a sideman, Erick is currently the lead trombonist and a featured composer with Diane Moser’s Composers Big Band, is the lead trombonist for The Joe Elefante Big Band, and is a member of Willie Dalton’s The Real Deal Big Band. Erick is also the trombonist and horn arranger for the NYC -based band Beat Brigade, whose new album,Kings, was released in the spring. Erick has written horn arrangements for various recording artists, including Patrick Clark, Billy Cliff, and the great ska-band The Toasters, with whom he recorded two albums and toured North America and Europe for four years. Erick’s recent sideman recordings include the Grammy-Nominated release by Papo Vazquez and The Mighty Pirate Orchestra, Marooned/Aislado, Scott Grimaldi’s release The Color of Midnight (which made the Groove Jazz Top 100 list for 2012), and Willie Dalton’s The Real Deal Big Band. A veteran and prolific freelancer, Erick was born, raised, and educated in Indiana, where he studied at Indiana University.
Steve Bleifuss Trombone – Steve brings his wide experience with the bands of Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey (featured soloist), Nelson Riddle, Toshiko Akiyoshi (featuring Lew Tabackin), Chico O’Farrill, Aretha Franklin,Manhattan Transfer, Fifth Dimension,
Four Freshmen, The Mills Brothers, Bette Midler, Barry Manilow, Leading Jazz groups with artists Eddie Daniels, Randy Brecker, Steve Turre,
Frank Foster, Frank Wess, Gerry Niewood, Grady Tate, Bobby Shew, Allen Vizzutti, Jeff Tyzik, Gary Foster, Pete Christlieb, Steve Houghton, Dennis Mackrel.
on MTV with The Trans-Siberian Orchestra. On National TV with The Today Show, Good Morning America, Rachel Ray. Performed on Broadway,
also at Opryland, Disneyland, Disneyworld.
Louise Baranger is from Hollywood, CA where she played with the bands of Harry James, Nelson Riddle, Bill Berry, Jack Wilson, and Ray Anthony.
Louise has played at the Playboy, Concord, Kansas City, Boston, and Monterey Jazz Festivals, and performed live and/or on television with JJ Johnson, Clarke Terry, Plas Johnson, Buddy Collette, Ron Carter, John Pizarrelli, Joe Cocker, Dionne Warwick, Alan Broadbent, Buddy Greco, Barney Kessel, Mel Powell, and a host of others.
Television credits include The World Music Awards, The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, Swing Time w/Barry Manilow, Dallas, Falcon Crest and The Flash. Louise has appeared in music videos with Joe Cocker and Bobby Womack.
In the summer of 1984, Louise was the youngest member of the Olympic Jazz Festival house band which featured Shelley Manne, Louie Bellson, and a host of international jazz stars.
As a leader Louise’s 9 piece “little” big band has played at the Emmy Awards in Hollywood, CA, Boston’s Symphony Hall, and numerous private events. As a guest soloist she has performed with symphony orchestras and jazz bands in Germany, Japan, Argentina, Peru and throughout the U.S.
Her solo CD, Trumpeter’s Prayer, on Summit Records, features Arturo Sandoval, Tom Kubis, Carl Fontana, and Steve Allen.
In addition to teaching privately, Louise was a faculty member at the Litchfield Jazz Camp for seven years.
She hosts a jazz and wine show (www.wine-jazz.com) and leads a Connecticut based brass quintet (www.RevoltionaryBrass.com).
Jason Polise is multi-instrumentalist specializing in saxophones, woodwinds, and guitars.
A Stamford resident now, he grew up in Nevada and moved here after graduating from the
Eastman School of Music. Jason currently co-owns/operates Stamford Recording where he
creates/produces music for many local/regional artists as well as commercial and film music.
He performs regularly in the Connecticut/New York area with jazz, rock,
and pop groups including Joe Scarborough from MSNBCs band.
John Collinge - is a Saxophonist, Clarinetist, Flautist, composer, arranger and educator. John graduated from New School University in Manhattan with a BFA in Musical Performance and a BA in History. At New School, John studied with some of NYC’s best jazz musicians including, Reggie Workman, Jane Ira Bloom, Jim Snidero, Tim Price and Walt Weiskopf. An extremely sought after performer, John has experience with a wide array of genres such as Jazz, Blues, Rock, Reggae, Salsa, Merengue, Samba, Choro and Afrobeat. His talent has taken him to tour the United States and share the stage with such greats as the Heath Brothers, Bobby Sanabria, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Vernon Reid, Rachel Z, and Popa Chubby, just to name a few. John always welcomes the prospect to share his love for music with his audience.
Freddie Maxwell - has been a
professional trumpet player, arranger, composer and
music educator for the past three decades. Freddie has
toured the world with Alicia Keys, Lionel Hampton,
Jimmy Dorsey, and the Glen Miller Orchestra among
numerous other bands. His impressive versatility
has brought him to fans of nearly all music genres.
He has shared stages with iconic jazz and big band
stars such as Frank Sinatra, Dizzy Gillespie,
Wynton Marsalis, Clark Terry, Benny Golson, Jon Faddis,
and Frank Foster; rock stars Bon Jovi, The Eagles, and ZZ Top; pop/R&B stars Diana Ross, Barry White, The Temptations, The Shirelles, and Tina Turner; and Latin artists Mark Anthony, Tito Puente, Sérgio Mendes, the Chico O’Farrill Afro Cuban Jazz Orchestra and the Big 3 Palladium Orchestra. Freddie has also performed on recordings with Christina Aguilera and Alicia Keys. His national television performances include the Grammys, The David Letterman Show,
Art Triggs – Bass Trombone/Tuba – Studies at Berklee College of Music,Mannes College of Music, Freelance work in NYC Area, 1969 – Present, Art has performed with; Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra under Lee Castle, Warren Covington, Frank Foster, Larry Elgart Orchestra, Gerry Mulligan Concert Jazz Band, Mel Torme, Sauter Finnegan Orchestra, Souffert Band, Tours of “Pippin”, Bob Fosse’s “Dancin’”, Umano Orchestra, Village Light Opera, Philharmonic Symphony of Westchester, NY City Symphony,Westchester Symphony, Westchester Chamber Brass Players, Sarah Lawrence Chamber Orchestra, Music from Marlboro, Royal Dutch Ballet,Berlin Opera Ballet, Royal Canadian Ballet, D’Oily Carte Opera (in NYC), Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Gramercy British Brass, Bensen-Scott Big Band, Westchester Swing Band, Danbury Symphony, Ridgefield Chorale,Yonkers Philharmonic, Putnam Chorale, Clocktower Players.
John Lissauer is a composer and saxophonist. He has just completed his 30th Film Score as Composer and/or Orchestrator, and has also written music for Symphony, Chamber and Jazz Ensembles, TV and Radio. He was Composer-in-Residence for the acclaimed Westchester Jazz Orchestra and has written dozens of jazz charts for bands all over the world. As a saxophonist, he has played with or written for some of the finest jazz musicians in the world, including Michael and Randy Brecker,Lew Soloff, Marvin Stamm, Lou Marini, Walt Weiskopf, Jim Pugh, Dave Taylor, David Friedman, Dave Samuels, Mike Manieri, John Tropea, Steve Gadd, Chris Parker, Will Lee, Mark Egan, and Bakithi Kumalo.
Ken Nigro – Yamaha Performing Artist Ken Nigro has many years experience teaching music at the college level in Connecticut at CCSU, UCONN, and SCSU. A saxophonist, flautist and clarinet player, Ken performs with orchestras, jazz groups, and shows such as the premier performances of “Happy Days” at Goodspeed in Chester and the national companies of: “A Chorus Line”, “Chicago” and Disney’s “Newsies”. He’s worked with artists such as Aretha Franklin, John Pizzarelli, the Temptations, and Manhattan Transfer. Ken’s performance highlights include venues such as Friehofer’s Jazz Festival (Hartford) with the Ken Nigro Band, the Newport Jazz Festival (Saratoga, NY), Kennedy Center for Performing Arts (D.C.) and the White Nights Jazz Festival in Russia. He received his M.M. in Applied Music from the University of Miami as a graduate assistant teaching saxophone. He’s a featured soloist on the New Millenium Jazz Ensemble’s CD. Ken uses Yamaha instruments and AMT microphones.
Walter Barrett – Trombone – performs as a free-lance musician throughout the New York area on Alto, Tenor & Bass Trombones, Bass Trumpet, Euphonium, and Tuba. He is a Yamaha Performing Artist/Clinician, and is listed in “Who’s Who in American Music”. He has performed with the Bard College Conductors Institute, Walter has been featured as soloist with many local groups, including the Lehman College Community Band, White Plains Pops Band, Manhattan School of Music Trombone Ensemble. Walt regularly performs with the Bensen-Scott Big Band, bigBANG jazzGang. Recently, Walter performed the US Premiere of “Rapsodia Borealis,” a concerto for trombone and wind ensemble by Danish composer, Søren Hyldgaard. He has performed with artists such as Robert Goulet, Frankie Valli, Julius LaRosa, and Enzo Stuarti. Walter can be heard playing trombone on the Gary Portnoy CD, “Destiny.” Walt recently recorded tracks on trombone, euphonium, and tuba for the JD Coy CD, “Dusk to Dawn.”
Marshall Toppo is an in demand session and live bass player,
with hundreds of recordings to his credit. He has worked as a
performer, composer, arranger, producer and audio engineer
as well as a music educator.
plays bari sax, bassoon, contrabassoon and various other instruments. He is principal bassoon and personnel manager of the Greater Bridgeport, Ridgefield and Wallingford Symphonies and the Bermuda Philharmonic, and may often be heard performing with virtually every other orchestra in the area. He has appeared as a soloist with the Ridgefield Symphony, Chappaqua Chamber Orchestra and Western CT Youth Orchestra. As a music copyist, he has worked with Tony Bennett, Elton John, Celine Dion, Wynton Marsalis, Yo Yo Ma, Luciano Pavarotti, Vanessa Williams, Michael MacDonald, David Sanborn, the Boston Pops, National Symphony, Rob Mathes, the Grammy Awards, Kennedy Center Honors, Piglet’s Big Movie, Inauguration of Barack Obama, and others. In his spare time he owns and operates The Music Source, an online music store (www.TheMusicSource.org) He received his musical education at the Hartt School of Music and the State University of New York at Purchase. Mr. Ellis grew up in West Hartford, CT, where he was a member of the award-winning Hall High School Jazz Band, and currently lives in Waterbury, CT.
Al Orlo – Guitar – Al is currently performing with Soul Blues artist Vaneese Thomas in support of her 2014 CD “Blues For My Father” Most recent concert appearance at Blues Festival Baden, Switzerland. Al toured and recorded with the late Ben E. King for 25 years and was his Musical Director since 1996. Al has also performed with The Manhattan Transfer, Martha Reeves, Chuck Jackson, Jay and the Americans, and many Broadway Shows, including Hairspray, Aida, Smokey Joe’s Cafe, Catch Me If You Can, and Motown The Musical. Al currently writes and records music for The NFL on CBS, and as a studio musician has recorded for numerous Films, Television Shows and jingles over the last 30 years. Al also wrote and co-produced songs for 2 CD’s by The SOS All Stars which made airplay charts for contemporary jazz in 1988 – 2000 and featured many notable musicians; including Dave Weckl, Chris Botti, Bob Baldwin, Bob Franceschini, Fred Vigdor, Richard Tee, Will Lee, and Anthony Jackson.