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Mark Berger

A first-call woodwind player in the Detroit area for over thirty years, Mark plays clarinet, flutes, and bassoon, and has performed with the Fox Theatre Orchestra and The Detroit Symphony Orchestra. He can frequently be heard with the orchestras at DTE, Meadowbrook, and Detroit’s Fisher Theatre. He has performed with some of the most respected names in music, including Dizzy Gillespie, B.B. King, Cab Calloway, Doc Severinsen, Deep Purple, Boz Scaggs, and Lynyrd Skynyrd. His recording credits include The Four Tops, The Temptations, Aretha Franklin, Neil McCoy, R. Kelly, and The Crystal Method.

Miles Brown

Bassist, composer, performer, and teacher Miles Brown comes from a musical family. He began playing the bass at an early age, and attended the Eastman School of Music, earning his bachelor’s degree in Music Education and Jazz and Contemporary Media. In 2003, he received a master’s degree in String Bass Performance from the Mannes College of Music, and a doctorate in Jazz Performance from the Eastman School of Music in 2012.  A versatile musician, he is the bassist for the contemporary music ensemble, Alarm Will Sound, and has had his compositions performed in Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. Miles has performed with Barbara Morrison, Ralph Lalama, John Mosca, Bill Goodwin, Bill Dobbins, Ben Monder, Joe Magnarelli, Walt Weiskopf, Gary Smulyan, Sam Rivers, Steve Wilson, and Harold Danko. In 2008, Miles was the interim Gussman Director of Jazz at Cornell University. Since 2009, he has served as the Jazz Program Coordinator at Oakland University. In this position, Miles teaches jazz band, theory, arranging, and combos. He is also Oakland University’s Applied String Bass Teacher.

Randall Hawes

Before joining the Detroit Symphony Orchestra as bass trombonist in 1985, Randall Hawes played with the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, the American Wind Symphony, and the Woody Herman Orchestra. He was a member of the Tanglewood Music Center fellowship orchestra, has performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and Boston Symphony Orchestra, and has been a member of the World Orchestra for Peace, founded by Sir Georg Solti in 1995 by. Randall Hawes has recorded two solo CDs with Ann Arbor pianist Kathryn Goodson.

Bob Jensen

Educated at Interlochen Center for the Arts and Central Michigan University, Bob Jensen is one of the Detroit area’s top lead trumpets. He has performed in a variety of genres with numerous musical artists, including Dizzy Gillespie, Jon Faddis, Phil Woods, Mel Tormé, Carl Fontana, Lena Horne, David Sanborn, Bill Watrous, Joe Williams, and Bobbie Shew.

In the pop and rock realms, Bob has toured and performed with Natalie Cole, Peabo Bryson, Aretha Franklin, The Four Tops, The Temptations, Chaka Khan, En Vogue, The Fifth Dimension, Yes, Kansas, Three Dog Night, The Moody Blues, Johnny Mathis, Wayne Newton, The O’Jays, and Frankie Avalon. He has contributed his lead trumpet skills to leading entertainers as well, performing with Bill Cosby, Don Rickles, Steve Lawrence, Jerry Lewis, Mitzi Gaynor, and Regis Philbin.

Mark Kieme

Mark Kieme graduated from the University of Michigan School of Music with a degree in Woodwind Performance. He studied jazz saxophone with Harry Meidema, and he has played on over 150 recordings for labels such as Atlantic, Knitting Factory, and Warner Bros. Mark also plays baritone sax with the Detroit Jazz Festival Orchestra, and can be found performing for many klezmer and orthodox Jewish events in the Midwest.

Ken Robinson

Ken Robinson graduated from East Detroit High School in 1986, attending Interlochen Center for the Arts in the summers. He earned a bachelor of arts degree in Music Education from Wayne State University. Ken currently performs with the International Symphony Orchestra, Broadway touring shows, and various big bands. His playing has been featured in numerous television and radio commercials, and he has recorded three full-length classical albums. Ken has also performed and/or recorded with the Rochester Symphony, Ann Arbor Symphony, Warren Symphony, Michigan Opera Theatre, Musica Sacra, The Moody Blues, Harry Belafonte, Jerry Lewis, Frankie Ruiz, Lalo Rodríguez, Sponge, ICP, Snoop Dogg, The Temptations, The O’Jays, Jem, Reggie Watkins’ A-List, and Maynard Ferguson and BBN.

John Rutherford

John Rutherford has performed and recorded with The Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Yo-Yo Ma, The Verve Pipe, and Bob Seger and The Silver Bullet Band. As a jazz musician, John has shared the stage with Ray Charles, Terence Blanchard, Patti Austin, and John Clayton, and he is a member of The Scott Gwinnell Jazz Orchestra and Dectet. John is the founder of The Motor City Brass Quintet and The Motor City Horns and a member of the Spectrum Brass Quintet, all signed to his Brassjar Music label. John has taught at the University of Toledo and Oakland University.

Gary Schunk

One of the finest classically trained jazz pianists you’ll hear anywhere, Gary Schunk amazes audiences wherever he appears. At his arsenal of keyboards, Schunk fuses his passionate energy with seasoned technical prowess. Based primarily in his hometown of Detroit, MI, Gary has earned acclaim as both an acoustic pianist and as an electronic keyboardist for his own electric jazz trio, Schunk, Starr, Dryden, for which he composes and arranges using synthesizers and electronic instruments.

When the name jazz stars come to town, Schunk is in demand. He has played with numerous jazz greats, including Joe Williams, Earl Klugh, Sonny Stitt, Kenny Burrell, Anita O’Day, Mark Murphy, Pepper Adams, Terumasa Hino, Dave Valentin, David “Fathead” Newman, and many others.

In November 1995, Schunk was one of ten winners in JAZZIZ Magazine’s “Keyboards on Fire” contest, which celebrates original piano jazz compositions from unsigned pianists. Schunk’s electrifying composition, Backward Glance, is featured on the JAZZIZ compilation CD, and is also one of four original pieces appearing on Schunk’s independently produced debut CD, The Key Player.

Bobby Streng

Ann Arbor, Michigan’s Bobby Streng is a saxophonist, composer, and arranger in all genres of music. Bobby has enjoyed the privilege of traveling with the Harry James Orchestra, led by trumpeter Fred Radke, and the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra featured Bobby in the lead alto role of Jimmy Dorsey on their 2009 U.S. tour. When not leading his own groups, such as Liquid Street, the House Big Band, Saxomble, and the Bobby Streng Group, he can be heard with Walter White & Small Medium @Large, the Paul Keller Orchestra, the Lucas Paul Band, and as a freelance musician around the Midwest. Bobby has been on the faculties of the University of Dayton and Albion College, and holds degrees from both the University of Michigan and the University of Dayton.

Jeff Trudell

jeff-tBorn into a musical family, Jeff Trudell began performing professionally at age ten with his father, renowned Motown trumpeter and bandleader Johnny Trudell. Within two years Jeff was an AFM union member, working with Dixieland great Tom Saunders, and shortly thereafter he was one of the “young lions” on Detroit’s musical scene. Jeff became—at age 21—the youngest owner of the oldest drum shop in the U.S., The Drum Shop. He has worked for over a decade as the drummer for the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, starring the world-famous Rockettes, and he has played for many Broadway and Off Broadway shows, including Dreamworks’ Shrek the Musical. Jeff plays with numerous jazz and Latin luminaries, and he is a GMS Drums Endorser.