Scott Whitfield (trombonist, composer, arranger, and vocalist) is rapidly gaining international recognition for his work with contemporary big bands, including the Toshiko Akiyoshi Jazz Orchestra and the new edition of Johnny Griffin's Big Soul Band, as well as his own Scott Whitfield Jazz Orchestra, the Manhattan Vocal Project, and the Pied Pipers, with whom Scott sings bass and serves as Musical Director. His arrangements have been performed and recorded by such artists as Diva, Maurice Hines, The Pied Pipers, Bill Allred's Classic Jazz Band, and Pete Petersen's 23-strong Collection Jazz Orchestra. The discography of Scott Whitfield includes 5 albums as leader or musical director and more than 50 recordings with other artists.
A frequent clinician and guest artist for Bach Stradivarius trombones, Whitfield has appeared throughout the world, from Australia to Zurich, sharing his expertise on trombone technique, improvisation, composition, arranging, and jazz history. His "The J.J. Johnson Collection" (published by Hal Leonard) has inspired many trombonists, young and old. He is currently at work on "The Steve Turre Collection."
Upon settling in New York in 1993, Scott became a member of the Nat Adderley Sextet, which also included Jimmy Cobb, Walter Booker, Vincent Herring and Rob Bargad. The group's engagements at Sweet Basil led to fruitful associations with Nnenna Freelon, Frank Wess, and Steve Turre, among others.
From 1998 to 2002, Whitfield served on the jazz faculty at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, teaching trombone, composition and arranging, and improvisation, while also coordinating the school's combo program.
The Scott Whitfield Jazz Orchestra (first founded in 1986, while Scott was pursuing his Master's degree at North Texas State University) now has TWO incarnations: the SWJO East, based in New York; and the SWJO West, based in Whitfield's new home of Los Angeles. Both of these aggregations feature some of the top players in the business. Plans are in the works for a large project featuring the combined, bi-coastal orchestra.
For more than a year, the Scott Whitfield Jazz Orchestra East was in residence at New York's Birdland, the Jazz Corner of the World, culminating in an exciting live album, to be released later this year.
Although Scott now makes his home in Los Angeles, he continues to commute to New York for appearances. His writing has been compared to that of some of his biggest influences, including Thad Jones, Sammy Nestico, Bill Holman, Gerald Wilson, Rob McConnell, and Ernie Wilkins.
Multi-instrumentalist Scot Ray is an active and innovative musician/composer. Equally fluid on trombone, tuba, and dobro slide guitar, Ray has been featured on over five dozen recordings.
Mike has quite a bit of experience playing piano, along with the trumpet, trombone, and acordion.
Matt Finders is a bassist, composer/arranger and educator living in Livermore, CA. He spent 17 years as a member of the Tonight Show with Jay Leno Band (on trombone). During that period, Matt started his Jazz Labb programs to keep his students playing during the summer.
On the Tonight Show, Matt wrote over 400 arrangements for the band and continues to write for the Jazz Labb groups each session. Besides local instruction, Matt works as a guest clinician/adjudicator. Recent venues include San Ramon Valley, Campana, and Reno Jazz Festivals.
When he is not playing basketball down by the beach, Kerry can be heard playing trombone for numerous bands all over Los Angeles. He plays with Son Mayor and Bill Fulton among many others.
Joey Sellers is a highly regarded composer, arranger, trombonist and educator. Sellers, Director of Jazz Studies at Saddleback College, teaches improvisation, jazz ensembles, composition, and jazz history. An accomplished composer in both jazz and classical idioms, Sellers has written for Doc Severinsen, the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, symphony orchestras in Tulsa, Long Beach and San Antonio and several works commissioned by the St. Louis Brass.
Sellers has played and recorded with internationally recognized jazz musicians, including Dave Liebman, Joe LaBarbara, Bruce Fowler, Lew Tabackin, Kim Richmond, Allen Vizzutti, Conrad Herwig, Bobby Shew, Tony Malaby, Mike Formanek, Clay Jenkins, Toshiko Akiyoshi's Jazz Orchestra and the Kenny Wheeler Large Ensemble.
Sellers freelanced for years in New York City and Los Angeles and was Assistant Professor of Jazz Studies at Northern Illinois University. Recipient of the Gil Evans Fellowship in Jazz Composition, the Sammy Nestico Award, and most recently, the Julius Hemphill Composition Award, Sellers is the only artist in history to have received all three awards.
Isaac Smith has been playing trombone since the age of 13. Now based in New York City, her graduated from UCLA with a degree in Ethnomusicology. He has studied with George Bohanon, Slide Hampton, and Curtis Fuller.
In addition to the Luckman Jazz Orchestra, he has performed and recorded with Oscar Brashear, Francisco Aguabella, Charles Owens, Slide Hampton, George Duke, Freddie Hubbard, and the Clayton-Hamilton Orchestra, among others. Current work includes performing with the Mingus Dynasty Band.
George McMullen Professional Trombone player for over 25 years, and recorded artist on Trombone, Bass Trombone and Didjeridoo.
Live performances in Rock, Pop, Jazz and Latin Jazz, from small, intimate venues to large arenas, including Woodstock '99.
Taped performances for TV shows and commercials.
Recordings include CDs, TV and movie soundtracks, and commercial jingles.
Faculty member, University of California, Irvine.
Francisco Torres is a trombonist, bass trombonist, composer, arranger and clinician who hails from the state of Sonora, Mexico but calls Los Angeles, California home. He is equally at home with jazz, classical, latin, funk, reggae, ska, and studio work. He is the trombonist and musical director for the Grammy-Award winning Poncho Sanchez Latin Jazz Band, as well as a member of Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band. Francisco has in recent years produced and arranged for Poncho's albums garnering several Grammy nominations, as well as developing a small reputation for Latin Jazz arranging. He has performed with Latin greats Cachao, Celia Cruz, Arturo Sandoval, Spanish Harlem Orchestra, Gilberto Santa Rosa and Victor Manuelle, and can be heard on records by Michael Buble, Dr. Dre, Busta Rhymes, Spoon, and Los Lobos. As a jazz trombonist he has performed with Joey Defrancesco, Terence Blanchard, Natalie Cole, Nicholas Payton, Clare Fischer, Bill Holman and many others. Television credits include Saturday Night Live, Dancing With The Stars, America's Got Talent, The Latin Grammys, the ALMA Awards, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson and can be heard in the soundtracks of "Confessions Of A Shopaholic", "Charlie St. Cloud" and "Dance With Me".
As a Yamaha endorser, Francisco maintains a busy touring and clinic schedule, while fitting in studio work when at home. He credits jazz trombone greats Carl Fontana, Frank Rosolino, Andy Martin, and Hal Crook, as well as Latin greats Barry Rogers, Generoso Jimenez, and Leopoldo Pineda as influences. In Francisco's eyes there is only music, not styles. Ever a perfectionist, he strives to give each and every performance what it requires, in any genre. He is a firm believer that you must honor the music.
Eric Jorgensen is the most unusual trombone soloist I've even encountered. He's fearless, and he's in your face. He used to play in circus bands, and sometimes he plays circus music in his solos.