Purtle Brass Conference 2010
Jeff Purtle - Claude Gordon's Teachings and How To Use Them
Dr. Keith Amstutz - Video Fluoroscopy and The Tongue in Brass Playing
Susan Slaughter - Lessons from An Orchestral Musician
Joe Marcinkiewicz - Video Presentation of How Brass Instruments Are Made
Participant Brass Choir Rehearsal - Directed by The Monarch Brass Quintet
Harry Kim Concert
Rich Ita - Antique Brass Instruments
Harry Kim - Life Lessons From The Music Business
Participant Brass Choir Performance
Susan Slaughter with The Monarch Brass Quintet Concert
Social Time with Guest Artists and Presenters
Guest Artists and Presenters:
Susan Slaughter joined the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra in 1969 and four years later became the first woman ever to be named Principal Trumpet of a major symphony orchestra. A graduate of Indiana University, where she received the coveted performer’s certificate in recognition of outstanding musical performance, Ms. Slaughter has studied with Herbert Mueller, Bernard Adelstein, Arnold Jacobs, Robert Nagel, Claude Gordon, and Laurie Frink.
Prior to accepting a position in St. Louis, Ms. Slaughter spent two years as Principal Trumpet of the Toledo Symphony. She appears regularly in area recitals and religious programs, and has been a frequent soloist with the SLSO as well as with several other ensembles throughout the country. Her work is represented on a number of SLSO releases including the highly acclaimed recordings of Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 5, Gershwin’s Piano Concerto in F, Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, and Barber’s Capricorn Concerto.
In recent years, Ms. Slaughter has performed as soloist with the Bay Area Women’s Philharmonic in San Francisco, with the Marrowstone Music Festival Orchestra in Seattle, and the Women’s Art Museum in Washington, D.C.
Ms. Slaughter has been on the faculty of the Grand Teton Orchestra Seminar and the National Orchestra Institute. In addition, she has served as lecture/recitalist at the National Trumpet Symposium and has served as lecture/recitalist at the International Trumpet Guild and also served on its board of directors.
Some of the awards and recognition Ms. Slaughter has received over the years include nomination by Ladies Home Journal for its annual Woman of the Year award, a special Leadership Award in the Arts from the Young Women’s Christian Association, and, at the invitation of then baseball commissioner Fay Vincent, she performed the National Anthem for game three of the 1991 World Series.
In 1992 Ms. Slaughter founded the International Women’s Brass Conference, an organization dedicated to provide opportunities and recognition for women brass musicians. As a fund-raising effort to support the International Women’s Brass Conference, Ms. Slaughter organized and produced the very popular Holiday Brass Concerts, which are now in their second decade, and are performed each December in the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis. Other cities in the United States are starting their own Holiday Brass Concerts to help support the ever-growing International Women’s Brass Conference.
In 1996, Susan Slaughter founded Monarch Brass, an all-women’s brass ensemble, which has toured in the U.S. and Europe to critical acclaim.
Harry Kim was born and raised in New York City where he attended High School For The Performing Arts and prepared for a career as a classical trumpeter. After high school however, he relocated to Los Angeles and soon discovered the world of funk and jazz. After several years touring throughout the U.S. with various show groups, R&B revues and big bands, including the Harry James Big Band, he returned to Los Angeles to further his career.
Latin music took a front seat during the disco era, a time when live music was rarely featured in discotheques but was in strong demand by salsa audiences. It was at this time that he began working with artists such as Tito Puente and Celia Cruz, and also began honing his arranging skills by writing and performing on many disco productions.
Soon he joined Stevie Wonder’s Wonder Love which opened the doors of opportunity to perform and record with such artists as Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin, The Four Tops, The Temptations, and Smokey Robinson. He was on stage for the Emmy Award winning 25th Anniversary of Motown performing with many of Motown’s greatest stars. It was an evening highlighted by Michael Jackson’s introduction of his now legendary moonwalk.
In 1985 he joined the Phenix Horns, the celebrated horn section of Earth Wind and Fire. Together they performed with various artists throughout the U.S., Europe, and Asia. Included were two tours in 1987 and 1988 with French icon Michel Berger and vocalist France Gall.
In 1989 he participated in the making of Phil Collins’ multi award winning CD ...But Seriously. A world tour followed in 1990 marking the beginning of a long association with Collins. The multi platinum live concert CD Serious Hits Live was released soon after.
Realizing the many advantages of being part of a high performance horn section, Kim founded The Vine Street Horns. He called together musicians with whom he had worked for many years. Numerous productions with various artists were to follow.
In 1994 Phil Collins called on The Vine Street Horns to join him on his Both Sides Tour, an extensive 18 month world tour.
In 1996 he was asked by Collins to organize a big band featuring adaptations of his music and the music of Genesis in a jazz setting. The Phil Collins Big Band was born. As musical director and arranger, Kim and The Vine Street Horns took center stage performing at all the major European jazz festivals, with Tony Bennett as vocalist and Quincy Jones as guest conductor.
This was also the year they recorded Phil Collins’ Into The Light CD, which toured the world in 1997.
The year 1998 saw another Phil Collins Big Band tour resulting in a live CD entitled A Hot Night In Paris.
Later that year an introduction to France’s legendary singer Johnny Hallyday led to 3 sold out performances at the Stade de France, five successful tours from 1998 to 2009 and numerous top selling concert CDs and DVDs.
In the new millennium Harry Kim continues to enjoy a well balanced schedule of studio recordings and live performances. Although he continues to tour throughout the world, with Johnny Hallyday and Phil Collins, he also manages to add to his long list of credits while at home. Recently he has acted as horn section leader and arranger for the 2005-2010 seasons of American Idol as well as for America’s Got Talent and Celebrity Duets.
Films: Evolution, El Dorado, Chicken Run, The Stick Up, The Italian Job, X-Men 3, Robots, Ice Age 2, Ice Age 3, The Poseidon Adventure, Out of Time, Love In The Time of Cholera, Happy Feet, Horton Hears a Who?, Jumpers, Hancock, Bolt, Kung Fu Panda
Television Specials and Award Shows:
Muhammad Ali 60th Birthday Celebration - Performing with Paul Simon and Natalie Cole
Jennifer Lopez - NBC Concert Special from San Juan, Puerto Rico
Grammy Award Winning MTV Unplugged with Spanish pop artist Alejandro Sanz
The Kennedy Center Honors Performing with Herbie Hancock
The 45th Anniversary Special of Motown
The 75th Anniversary Special of the Apollo Theater
Ray Charles... A Night of Genius.
The Black Film Awards
UNCF... An Evening of Stars (Annual)
The NAACP Image Awards (Annual)
The TVland Awards (Annual)
The BET Awards - Performing with Prince and Chaka Khan
BET Celebration of Gospel Music.
The World Music Awards - Performing with Stevie Wonder
The Billboard Awards - Performing with Diana Ross
The Grammy Awards - Performing with the Backstreet Boys
The Grammy Awards - Performing with Usher and James Brown
The Grammy Awards - Performing with Christina Aguilera
The Grammy Awards - Performing with Alicia Keys
The Grammy Awards - Performing with Beyonce and Tina Turner
The 2011 Grammy Awards - Opening Feature Tribute to Aretha Franklin with Christina Aguilera, Jennifer Hudson, Yolanda Adams, Martina McBride, and Florence Welch
Super Bowl XXXVIII - Performing the National Anthem with Beyonce
Super Bowl XXXIX - Performing with Alicia Keys
Super Bowl XXXXII - Performing the National Anthem with Jennifer Hudson
American Idol 2005-2010 seasons
Presidential Innauguration Ceremony For Barack Obama - Performing My Country Tis Of Thee with Aretha Franklin
Recently recorded with: Chaka Khan, Alicia Keys, Lyle Lovett, Chris Botti, Marc Anthony, Joe Zawinul (Faces and Places), Shakira.
Playing trumpet professionally since the 10th grade, skill and reputation have enabled Mr. Marcinkiewicz to compile credits with bands and orchestras throughout the world including Stan Kenton, Arthur Fiedler, Don Ellis, Ray Charles, Portland Festival Symphony, Roger Williams, and The Portland Pops, to mention a few, giving him a vast understanding of the performing arts. He continues as an active player, and leads his own big band, The TV Jazz Orchestra.
Mr. Marcinkiewicz has acquired diverse instruction. His Music studies include work at The University of Washington, San Francisco State University, San Francisco Conservatory of Music and the US Naval School of Music, Norfolk, Virginia. In addition, he has studied with such notables as Johnny Coppola, Dr. Don Reinberg, Dr. Renold Schilke, Uan Rasey, Roy Stevens, Bob Findley and Carmine Caruso.
In the field of brass technology, Marcinkiewicz Co. Inc. Is recognized as a manufacturer of the world's highest quality brasswind mouthpieces and hand crafted high brasswind instruments. Beginning brass Instrument repair in 1965, today Mr. Marcinkiewicz is regarded as a master designer of mouthpieces and upper brass instruments. His mouthpiece design studies began in 1973 under the tutelage of legendary master designer and craftsman Burt Herrick. Manufacturing of the Marcinkiewicz Brasswind Mouthpiece began In 1983. The company produces models for many of the top players In the world today.
The Marcinkiewicz Co. Inc. is housed in their new state-of-the-art facility in Canby, Oregon. The operation is equipped with the latest computer aided design software and single point cutting technology, with CNC (Computer Numeric Control) lathes. The results are a wide range of brasswind mouthpieces that are unrivaled in quality, precision, efficiency and choice.
The company produces a full line of hand crafted high brasswind instruments. All fabrication, assembly and plating are done on site. The finished product, whether a mouthpiece or horn, reflects the perfect blend of "old world" craftsmanship and modern technology.
Knowledge, Choice, Quality and Precision are the reputation of Joeseph W. Marcinkiewicz and the Marcinkiewicz Co. Inc.
Dr. Keith Amstutz
Dr. A. Keith Amstutz, Professor Emeritus at the University of South Carolina, received his Bachelors and Masters degrees from Michigan State University and his doctorate from the University of Oklahoma. He studied trumpet with Byron L. Autrey, Col. Earl D. Irons and John J. Haynie. Prior to joining the USC faculty, Dr. Amstutz taught at the University of Texas, Arlington, the University of North Texas, and the University of Kansas. A nationally-known recitalist/clinician, Dr. Amstutz has appeared at universities and music conferences in 29 states. For fourteen years he performed as Principal Trumpet of the South Carolina Philharmonic and Chamber Orchestras, the Columbia Lyric Theatre Orchestra and as a member of the Jimmy Farr Big Band.
“A Videofluorographic Study of the Teeth Aperture, Instrument Pivot and Tongue Arch and Their Influence on Trumpet Performance”, Dr. Amstutz’s videofluorographic research, remains the most in-depth study of the functions of the oral cavity organs during trumpet performance. Dr. Amstutz holds the patent on BRACEGUARD, the orthodontic shield for instrumentalists with braces. BRACEGUARD was introduced in 1983 is distributed world-wide. His publications also include two commercial albums of trumpet solo literature.
Rich Ita is a trumpet and cornet player and avid collector. He began his apprenticeship as a brass instrument repair technician in 1971 at ATEC Music Service in the suburbs of Washington, DC, collaborating with military band repairmen Conrad Brown, Ed Simmons and Art Accardo. The shop was involved in an effort by the Smithsonian Institute to put together a Civil War period band for recording purposes. It was then that a fascination with 19th century brass making took root. After a four year stint in the Army as a trumpet player, he accepted a job at the Schilke factory in Chicago, where he worked for several years until Mr. Schilke's death. He then freelanced as a repairman in the Chicago area doing work for Nappe Music House and Evanston Band & Orchestra. Rich gained experience in the recreation of older instruments in the shop of Ron Collier, making reproductions of natural trumpets and Sacbutts and doing other historical restoration work. A move in 1990 to the warmer climate of Atlanta brought him to an area starved for experienced repairmen. After six years at the areas largest retail music store, Ken Stanton Music, he opened his own shop - the Brass Instrument Workshop - and suddenly found himself hanging on for dear life and loving every minute of it! Rich would like to sincerely thank all of the wonderfully talented brass musicians who have placed their trust in his skills and have given him the opportunity to do the work he truly loves - making their prized instruments perform and look their best.
The Monarch Brass Quintet
Susan Slaughter - Trumpet
Stacy Simpson - Trumpet
Stacy Simpson lives in Louisville, Kentucky, where she performs regularly with the Louisville Orchestra and performs regularly as lead trumpet at Derby Dinner Playhouse. She continues to be one of the busiest freelance artists in the area. Stacy is a former member of the St. Louis Symphony performing full time as Second Trumpet from 2002-2003. Ms. Simpson has also served as a member of the Cincinnati Ballet Orchestra, Aronoff Center Broadway Series, Louisville Bach Society, Owensboro Symphony, Evansville Philharmonic, Columbus Indiana Philharmonic, and Springfield Ohio Symphony and has performed with many other ensembles such as the Choral Arts Society, Lexington Philharmonic, Cincinnati Symphony and Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, and the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra.
Stacy has won numerous awards and competitions including, first place at the International Trumpet Guild's Mock Orchestra Audition; won the prestigious Fischoff Chamber Music Competition with the Canterbury Brass; twice won the University of Louisville's (UL) Solo Competition performing the Arutunian Concerto and Tomasi Concerto with the UL Symphony Orchestra; won the Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music's (CCM) Solo Competition performing the Haydn Trumpet Concerto with the 18th Century Orchestra; and has been a featured artist on WGUC of Cincinnati, Ohio after winning the WGUC Solo Competition.
In the summer of 2000, 2003 and 2006, she recorded and toured with the professional all-women's brass ensemble, Monarch Brass and Monarch Brass Quintet at the International Women's Brass Conference in Cincinnati, OH, Normal, IL, and the International Trumpet Guild Conference in Glassboro, NJ. She toured in Germany and South Carolina giving master classes and concerts with the Monarch Brass Quintet.
Ms. Simpson loves sharing her passion for music making by maintaining a full trumpet studio. She is currently the Teaching Assistant at the University of Kentucky, teaching studio trumpet, coaching the trumpet ensemble and teaching brass methods. She also maintains a trumpet studio at her home in Louisville. Stacy has held the position of Adjunct Trumpet Instructor at Campbellsville College, Central State University, Sinclair Community College and Associate Instructor of Trumpet at Indiana University (Bloomington).
Ms. Simpson has received her Bachelor’s of Music degree in trumpet performance from the University of Louisville, where she was a student of Michael Tunnell. While attending U of L she received the Leon Rapier Award. Stacy received her Master’s of Music in trumpet performance with a cognate in brass repertoire from Indiana University (Bloomington) studying with John Rommel, Stephen Burns and William Adam. At IU, she was awarded with the position of Associate Instructor of Trumpet. Stacy then received her artist diploma from University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music, where she was a student of Marie Speziale. Stacy is currently pursuing her Doctorate in Music Performance at University of Kentucky under the direction of Mark Clodfelter.
Laurel Bennert Ohlson - French Horn
Laurel Bennert Ohlson, Associate Principal Horn of the National Symphony Orchestra since 1980, has appeared as a soloist with the NSO, and in numerous solo engagements in Washington, DC; Boston, Massachusetts; Long Island, New York; and across South America. Ms. Ohlson is an active performer and teacher through the NSO’s Fellowship Program, Summer Music Institute, and annual State Residencies. She is a member of the Eclipse Chamber Orchestra and the Capitol Woodwind Quintet, premiered Truman Harris’ Concertino for Horn and Chamber Orchestra with Eclipse in 1999, and recorded the Concertino for Naxos in 2006.
Ms. Ohlson has delighted both young and not-so-young audiences with her “History of the Horn” lecture/ demonstrations in which she performs on eleven different horn-related instruments including the Alphorn and ever-popular garden hose. She has also presented Wagner tuba clinics and horn recitals at International Horn Society Workshops and International Women's Brass Conferences across the U.S. Ms. Ohlson has been on the Board of Directors of the IWBC since 1991, and is Vice-President of that organization. A graduate of Boston University's School for the Arts, Ms. Ohlson majored in horn performance with a minor in mathematics. The accomplishment closest to her heart is having raised a beautiful daughter, currently a physics major at MIT.
Jeannie Little - Trombone
Jeannie Little, trombone professor at Louisiana State University received her degrees from Northwestern University and The Florida State University. Her principal teachers include Jay Friedman, Frank Crisafulli, Charles Vernon, Arnold Jacobs, John Marcellus, John Drew and William Cramer. Ms.Little has served as principal trombonist of the Long Beach Symphony Orchestra, Charlottesville Symphony Orchestra, the Illinois Chamber Symphony, Chicago Sinfonietta, Elgin Symphony orchestra, and the FSU Marching Chiefs. In addition, she has performed with the Detroit, Honolulu, Alabama, Chautauqua, and New Mexico Symphony Orchestras, and has toured and recorded with the Chicago Symphony under Leonard Bernstein. Ms. Little was a founding member of the highly acclaimed, award-winning trombone quartet, PRISMA, which toured extensively throughout the United States and Europe, and has been featured at International Trombone Workshops and the International Women's Brass Conference. She is currently a member of the Monarch Brass Ensemble, an ensemble of outstanding women brass players from North America’s top symphony orchestras and universities. As a clinician, Ms. Little is active organizing trombone workshops and presenting recitals and master classes throughout the country, with recent performances and clinics at the International Trombone Festival, the International Women's Brass Conference, the Eastern Trombone Workshop, Trombone Day LA 2005 & 2007, the Oberlin Conservatory, and the Arizona Low Brass Symposium. She has also appeared as guest conductor and performer in the International Women's Trombone Choir at the International Trombone Festival. Previous teaching positions include Music Specialist with the Los Angeles Unified School District, Trombone Professor at James Madison University, and Instructor of Low Brass at the Interlochen Arts Academy, and the University of Hawaii. Ms. Little resides in Baton Rouge with her partner Eliese, their baby girl Annalise, and their three dogs and two cats.
Velvet Brown - Tuba
Velvet Brown is professor of tuba and euphonium at the Pennsylvania State University and the brass area coordinator. Prior to joining the faculty at Penn State in 2003, she taught at Bowling Green State University (Ohio), Ball State University (Indiana), and served as an associate director of University Bands at Boston University. Currently Ms. Brown is a member of the ITEA Board of Directors and has served as the secretary of the Executive Committee for the International Tuba and Euphonium Association (2001-2007). She is also a board member of the International Women’s Brass Conference. Ms. Brown is noted for receiving the 1999-2000 William Fulbright Fellowship Vinciguerra Award. She has had many successful students who have won prestigious playing and teaching positions as well as prizewinners at various regional, national and international competitions. Velvet Brown also enjoys a professional career as an international soloist and chamber ensemble performer, recording artist, conductor and orchestral player. She has made regular appearances throughout Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Finland, France, England, Hungary, Slovenia, Russia, Japan, Canada and the United States. Ms. Brown is currently the principal tubist of the Altoona Symphony Orchestra and the New Hampshire Music Festival Orchestra. She has served as principal tuba with the River City Brass band, and as substitute or additional tubist with the Detroit Symphony, Saint Louis Symphony, San Francisco Women’s Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Fort Wayne Philharmonic. In 2004, Brown joined Howard Johnson’s “Gravity” Tuba Jazz Ensemble as lead tuba. She has also garnered high praise as a founding and current member of the Monarch Brass Quintet and Brass Ensemble, the Junction Tuba Quartet, and the Pennsylvania Brassworks (Faculty Brass at Penn State). She has released three solo CDs on the Crystal Records label, and a CD for the Nicolai Music Label. Velvet Brown can also be heard on Albany Records in her interpretation of John Williams’ Tuba Concerto. Velvet Brown is a Meinl Weston Performing Artist performing on the MW 2182 F tuba and the MW 2000 C tuba.
The Band for Harry Kim:
Harry Kim - Trumpet
Matt Olson - Saxophone
A native of Racine, Wisconsin, Matt Olson is Associate Professor of Saxophone and Director of Jazz Studies at Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina. He holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a Master of Music degree in Jazz Pedagogy and Bachelor of Music degree in Saxophone Performance from Northwestern University. Matt’s teachers have included Frederick Hemke, Debra Richtmeyer, Mike Kocour, Don Owens, Paul Bro, and Jonathan Helton.
Matt’s professional work includes performances with Randy Brecker, Kurt Elling, Benny Carter, Ken Peplowski, Kevin Mahogany, Chris Vadala, Doc Severinsen, Manhattan Transfer, Aretha Franklin, Natalie Cole, Lou Rawls, Johnny Mathis, Wayne Newton, the Temptations, the Four Tops, children’s entertainer Shari Lewis, the Chicago Jazz Ensemble, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, and the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra. His performances have taken him to the Montreal Jazz Festival as well as to Chicago’s Jazz Showcase and Orchestra Hall. Matt has performed at numerous national and regional conferences of the North American Saxophone Alliance and the 2003 World Saxophone Congress. He has also been a featured guest artist and clinician at Northwestern University, Arizona State University, the University of North Carolina-Charlotte, Samford University, and high schools throughout the United States. His article on Jerry Bergonzi’s approach to intervallic improvisation appeared in the January 2006 issue of Downbeat magazine. Matt’s debut jazz recording, Vortex was released in March 2006.
Matt is active nationally as a clinician and adjudicator. He presented a clinic on playing "both sides" of the saxophone at the 2009 Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago. He also serves as instructor of saxophone for the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities and previously as summer instructor of jazz saxophone and jazz combos for the National High School Music Institute at Northwestern University. He also conducted one of two 2005 South Carolina Band Directors Association All-State Jazz Ensembles. He holds memberships in a variety of professional music societies including the North American Saxophone Alliance, BMI, Pi Kappa Lambda, MENC, Music Teachers National Association, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.
Miguel A. Torres - Trombone
Miguel A. Torres was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico, studied at PR Conservatory and Berklee College of Music, was a member of Hector Lavoe's Band, have performed with salsa legends Tito Puente, Ismael Miranda, Tito Allen, Papo Lucca, Isidro Infante just to name a few, have recorded with Orquesta La Terrifica, Salsa con Clase, Foto Rodriguez, Cuco Valoy, active member of the US Army Bands since 1987, currently resides in Evans, GA.
José Manuel Garcia - Piano
José Manuel Garcia, born in Caracas, Venezuala, graduated from Emil Friedman Conservatory in 1992. He received his BM in piano performance from Clayton State College. While at Clayton, he studied with George Lucktenberg and Michiko Otaki. Mr. Garcia earned his Master of Music in piano performance from Georgia State University in 2001, while a student of Geoffrey Haydon. Mr. García holds a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree from the University of Georgia, from the piano studio of Evgeny Rivkin. His prizes include the Spivey Foundation Scholarship, the 1991 Harriet Serr Piano competition, the second prize at the 1994 Moisés Moleiro National Piano competition, the 2004 UGA Franz Liszt Award, and the Madge Johnson Weir Award at the 2005 Beethoven Club International Piano Competition.
A Steinway Artist, Mr. García is also actively involved as a jazz pianist in Atlanta and throughout the United States. He has performed with internationally acclaimed artists such as Michael Philipp Mossman, Ray Vega, Bill Summers, Kemba Cofield, Jennifer Holliday, El “Cano” Estremera, Luisito Rosario,Paquito Guzmán, Anthony Cruz, Willie González, Marlon Fernández, Oswaldo Román, Darmon Meador, Joe Jennings, Ilona Knopfler. Luisito Carrión,Ignacio Berroa, María Teresa Chacín, y Juan Carlos Salazar. Mr. García is a founder of International Groove Conspiracy, an Atlanta- based jazz trio which received great reviews by giants in the industry such as pianists Ahmad Jamal and Chucho Valdés, while also performed at major venues in the nation, including the Atlanta Jazz Festival, the Montreaux Jazz Festival, The National Black Arts Festival, the Rialto Center for the Arts, Callanwolde Fine Arts Center, Mable House Barnes Amphitheatre, and the Blue Note in New York City.
Gerardo Colón Ortiz - Bass
Gerardo Colón Ortiz has over 26 years experience playing bass and over 18 years arranging and composing salsa and Latin jazz music. Born in Barranquitas, Puerto Rico, he received a Bachelor's Degree in Music Education from the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico in 1988. While attending college, he could also be found playing in such groups as the Musician's Association of Puerto Rico's Jazz Ensemble. Following graduation, Colón began teaching in the public schools of Puerto Rico, while gaining recognition among local salsa and jazz musicians by playing with such bands as Marvin Santiago, Eriguá, Mickey Cora, Joey Hernández, Cuto Soto, Sammy González and Yambaó. Later on, he joined the National Guard Band and led its Latin jazz ensemble. Since 1994 until present he works as a bass player for the US Army Band program. His resume also include advanced bass studies with bass player Jeff Berlin. Also he was the bass instructor for seven years for the “Armed Forces School of Music”.
His works accompanying jazz artists include; Frank Mantooth (big band), Terell Stafford and Richie Cole. Currently, he lives in the Evans, GA area and plays professionally with his group The Latín Jazz Note . He also gives private music lessons, (bass, cuatro, theory and improvisation). Also he is a contributing writer for the e-magazines SalsaJazz, The Latin Beat, ABI (https://abi.army.mil/resources/Default.asp?q=claves) and El Boricua.com. Books of his authorship; Ritmos Sight Reading for bass, LatinJazz duets for bass,Grooving Low Ultimate Grooves for Bass and Mambos for the Salsa and Latin Jazz horn section.
Jorge Santa - Drums and Percussion
Jorge Santa, a native of San Juan, Puerto Rico, began his musical career at the age of 13, and attended Miami Dade College on scholarship to begin his first formal music training. He was a sought-after performer in the Miami music scene, where his versatility enabled him to perform with diverse groups, ranging from rock, country, blues, gospel, R&B, traditional & Cuban salsa, Jazz and pop bands. In 1998, he was busy in the cruise ship entertainment industry, musician on several ships. He has also performed with many artists and music groups in his native Puerto Rico. Artists such as Valle Verde (Latin Rock), Havana Son (Cuban music), Danny Rojo (Cuban music), Puerto Rico Symphonic Orchestra featuring Roy Brown, La PVC (Cuban music), Michael Angelo (Pop), Songwriters Workshop (Puerto Rico Institute of Cultural Affairs), Juan Jose Hernandez (Salsa).
After the 911 attacks Jorge joined the Air Force as Security Forces, later becoming a Police officer, first in PR and currently in Atlanta, Georgia. Jorge Santa is currently a member of the Air Force National Guard Band of the South, while a full time police officer. Jorge is active in the Metro Atlanta music scene and has worked with; Serenata Band-latin jazz (2008 Atlanta Jazz Festival), Orquesta Intl. Labor (Salsa), Orquesta Lirica (Salsa), Rob Garrido (Contemporary Christian), Brookwood Split (funk and R&B), Sally Blandon (jazz/ R&B).
Jose Muñiz - Congas
Jose Muñiz, a native from Caguas, Puerto Rico, began into the music world at age of 9 years old attending classes at the escuela libre de musica. While after he joined the school music band in Gurabo, Puerto Rico playing electric guitar under the direction of Mr.Semiday. After that he joined the salsa band La orquesta Juventud Latina for about a year then he moved to play with famous salsa musical director Roberto Perez y su Merensalsa group, playing with them for about 2 years. He also took one year of the preparatory music course at the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico. After that he dedicated most of the time to play gospel music at church. When he moved to Florida he joined another church and also joined the salsa group “el conjunto candela” touring with them around the Florida area. He was one of the founders of the group “Positivo” and spent two years with the group playing a variety of musical styles . After relocating to South Carolina he was invited to play with the Rock Band “Haven” located in North Augusta, South Carolina. Currently he is an active member of the Puerto Rican Folk Music group”Mejor que Nah” from Augusta, Georgia.