Meet The Band
Artistic Director Chad Eby
Saxophonist and composer Chad Eby teaches applied jazz saxophone, Jazz Ensemble I, and Jazz History in the Miles Davis Jazz Studies Program at UNCG. Chad released his third studio album, "New Business", in December 2012, and his 2010 album "Broken Shadows" (Cellar Live) featured Steve Haines and Jason Marsalis, with guest appearances by Doug Wamble and Branford Marsalis. A Newhall, Iowa native, he has earned widespread critical acclaim as "a consummate improviser" (Jazz Times), "has tremendous poise and natural melodic sense" (Ottawa Sun), and his "tone is boundless, blues-inflected, and wholly satisfying" (AllAboutJazz.com). He is active as a composer, and received the Ohio Arts Council and North Carolina Arts Council awards for jazz composition in 2003 and 2009, respectively. Highly in demand as an arranger (with over 75 works to his credit), his commissioned works have been performed or recorded by Bill Charlap with Kurt Elling, Wynton Marsalis with Willie Nelson and Norah Jones, the Columbus Jazz Orchestra, the Dallas Jazz Orchestra, the L.A. All-Star Big Band, and many collegiate jazz ensembles. He joined Jazz at Lincoln Center's Essentially Ellington program as a clinician in 2012. Visit chadeby.bandcamp.com to order or download his work. He is a D'Addario Woodwinds Performing Artist.
"...there is a movement in jazz that embraces a once taken-for-granted model: modernity thru authenticity. Here is where we find Chad Eby." - Branford Marsalis
"Chad Eby, a consummate artist, is a superb saxophonist and a highly skilled arranger. He is in the top echelon of the worlds finest musicians." - Bill Charlap
"I once heard a master musician say 'if you want to genuinely create, know all the decades'. Chad Eby is one of those musicians who carries all the decades of jazz along as he creates. So much so you'd think he be more stooped over. Rather, we hear him reaching back, standing straight up and moving the musical ball up the field. So refreshing to hear in a time of wandering around the creative process. A pleasure to encounter. A thrill to listen." Gary Walker – WBGO, New York
Administrative Director Wally West
Saxophonist Wally West is an award-winning and critically acclaimed musician who embraces a unique and deep-rooted passion for the performance and teaching of music. Wally has been "on the scene" in North Carolina for umpteen years as a performer, educator, contractor, band leader, and a consummate sideman. He is Professor of Jazz Studies at Gardner-Webb University, where he teaches jazz improvisation, jazz saxophone and directs the Jazz Collective. He’s traveled the world playing with all kinds of groups that play all kinds of music. For more info on Wally, please visit his website, www.wallywest.com.
“West himself has recorded and toured with many top acts as a saxophonist...Who knew there was anybody this good right here in town?...If you ever get a chance to hear Wally West, don't pass it up.”
- Orson Scott Card
“...soulful and burly playing from saxophonist Wally West.”
- Owen Cordle
“One of the ‘swingingest’ jazz musicians anywhere.”
- Greensboro News and Record
“He’s a good boy.”
- Wally’s mom
From 1990 to 1994, he toured internationally as a member of the Harry Connick, Jr. Orchestra. Recording credits include Blue Light, Red Light, When My Heart Finds Christmas, and The New York Big Band Concert (Video). Dr. Campbell has performed with artists such as Marvin Stamm, Randy Brecker, Bobby Shew, Pete Christlieb, Aretha Franklin, Frank Sinatra, Jr., Doc Severinsen, Louie Bellson, and ensembles such as The Glenn Miller Orchestra, Charlotte Symphony, Charlotte Philharmonic Orchestra, and Tulsa Philharmonic Orchestra.
Dr. Campbell was awarded a UNC Charlotte Faculty Research Grant in 2007 to record Think Tank (Cellar Live Records), his debut release as a leader and composer. In a review of Think Tank for All About Jazz, Raul d’Gama Rose stated, “Campbell is always meticulous in his pace, letting his warm, fat tone sing out as he constructs solos of breathtaking resonance.” In 1995, he was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Fellowship Grant, which allowed him to study privately with renowned saxophonist Dick Oatts in New York City. Since 1999, he has been a member of the University of North Texas Summer Jazz Workshop Faculty and has also been invited to direct All-State Jazz Bands in New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and North Carolina. Dr. Campbell has performed at conferences for the North American Saxophone Alliance, International Association for Jazz Education, and the World Saxophone Congress. He has published articles in the Jazz Education Journal, The Saxophone Journal, and The Saxophone Symposium. His arrangements and compositions are now available through University of Northern Colorado Jazz Press and Dorn Publications. Dr. Campbell is an Artist/Clinician for the Conn-Selmer Company and a Performing Artist for Rico Reeds and endorses these products exclusively.
Robert Faub is an accomplished classical soloist, chamber musician and jazz artist, as well as a life-long educator who passionately shares his expertise and experiences with students of all ages. As a founding member of the Red Clay Saxophone Quartet he has performed and recorded extensively over the past ten years, contributing to the commissioning and premiers of dozens of new works. Prior to the formation of RCSQ, Robert toured and recorded with the New Century Saxophone Quartet, appearing on the critically acclaimed recordings Standards and A New Century Christmas.
Like many young jazz musicians Robert was inspired by his band director, Al Longo, an accomplished jazz saxophonist himself. As a senior in high school he was chosen to play in the McDonald's Tri-State Jazz Ensemble (NY, NJ, CT) under the direction of Clem DeRosa and Justin DiCioccio. In this ensemble he collaborated with artists such as Mel Lewis and Lionel Hampton, including an appearance with the latter at the opening of the 1986 Kool Jazz Festival in Carnegie Hall.
Robert is currently the director of the Jazz Ensemble and saxophone instructor at High Point University. He is the Director of Instrumental Music at Caldwell Academy in Greensboro, NC, a K-12 Classical Christian school. Prior to his current positions, Robert taught at SUNY Potsdam's Crane School of Music, UNC Greensboro, Radford University, UNC Chapel Hill and Guilford College. He holds the DMA and MM in saxophone performance from UNC Greensboro and a BM in Music Education from SUNY Potsdam. When not performing or teaching music Robert enjoys spending as much time as possible with his wife Paula and daughter Eleanor.
Drew Hays is the baritone saxophonist in the New Century Saxophone Quartet and has performed with Lou Rawls, Bernadette Peters, Larry Elgart, Al Martino, the Winston-Salem Symphony, the Charlotte Symphony, the Roanoke Symphony, and The Eastern Music Festival Orchestra. With the New Century Saxophone Quartet, he has toured throughout the U.S. and in the U.K. and can be heard on their upcoming 8th studio album, "Songs for the Weekend Traveler". He can also be heard on pianist Mark Freundt’s upcoming debut release, "A Jazz Prayer". Drew’s own debut album, "Saxophone Premiere: The Saxophone Music of Sherwood Shaffer" was a joint project with tenor saxophonist James Houlik and released in 2011.
Drew serves as an Assistant Professor of Music at Guilford College in Greensboro, NC, where he teaches saxophone and jazz studies. He grew up in a musical family in rural, southern Ohio where he studied saxophone and oboe and played guitar and bass in local rock bands. He completed a DMA in saxophone at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA. When not performing and teaching, he is an avid cyclist and runner.
Dr. Christian McIvor is active as a performer in the classical and jazz/commercial styles. He is a member of Market Street Brass, a brass quintet that regularly performs throughout the eastern United States. He has held the position of lead trumpet with the North Carolina Jazz Repertory Orchestra and he has toured the South with The Soul Brothers, a James Brown tribute band. McIvor appears frequently as a soloist and as a section player with symphonies, chamber orchestras, big bands, and horn sections across the eastern U.S. He often plays for pit orchestras at theaters and universities throughout North Carolina and he has also played lead trumpet in the showbands for four different Carnival Cruise Lines ships. As a jazz/commercial performer, he has shared the stage with artists such as Dave Holland, Robin Eubanks, Wynton Marsalis, Branford Marsalis, Conrad Herwig, Bryan Lynch, Arturo Sandoval, Lee Konitz, and The Temptations, among others. An avid composer and arranger, McIvor publishes with C. Alan Publications. He also plays guitar and performs occasionally around the Piedmont Triad as a singer/songwriter in the folk/rock style.
McIvor is currently the Director of Bands at Southwest Guilford High School in High Point, where he directs the award-winning marching band, concert band, and jazz band. He has previously held teaching positions at High Point University, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and The North Carolina Leadership Academy. McIvor holds a B.A. in music from the State University of New York at Potsdam, a teaching certificate (K-12 Music) from Western Connecticut State University, and M.M. and D.M.A. degrees in Trumpet Performance (cognate in Jazz Studies) from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
Piedmont Triad Jazz Orchestra musical director Chad Eby describes McIvor’s playing style as, “not quite there,” and, “a little flat... like, all the time. It’s disappointing.”
Brandon Lee was born and raised in Houston, Texas. Growing up in a musical family, Brandon began playing piano at an early age and by age 9 he started his formal training on the trumpet. Brandon excelled on the trumpet throughout his schooling and during his senior year at the Houston High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Brandon was selected by Wynton Marsalis to perform with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra for a Louis Armstrong PBS special. In 2001, Brandon would become one of 18 students selected to become a part of the inaugural class of the Jazz Studies program at the Juilliard School. While at Juilliard, Brandon performed with many of the jazz giants including Benny Golson, Kenny Barron, Ray Brown, Clark Terry and Hank Jones, just to name a few. Brandon represented the jazz program as he has
traveled to Ireland, England, Italy, Japan, and Costa Rica, and El Salvador. On many occasions, he taught master classes and performed in major concert halls with the Juilliard Jazz Orchestra. In 2005 Brandon completed his Bachelors of Music degree and in 2007 he completed his Masters of Music degree at The Juilliard School.
In August of 2007 Brandon released his debut album, From Within, and in March of 2010, Brandon released his second CD entitled Absolute-Lee, which featured all original compositions. Both recordings continue to be featured on local radio and satellite radio stations throughout the US and abroad. Soon after the March 2010 CD release, Brandon was asked to perform his first major concert under his own billing at the Wortham Theater in Houston, TX. An overflowing crowd of more than 800 people was in attendance. To add to his recording vitae, Brandon has also recorded with a plethora of jazz artists including the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Eric Reed, Carl Allen, Rodney Whitaker, Vincent Herring, Kirk Whalum, Jazz Conceptions Orchestra, David Berger Big Band, and Fat Cat Big Band, and Shirley Crabb.
In the fall of 2008, Brandon became the youngest to join the faculty at The Juilliard School. As jazz faculty, Brandon primarily worked as the assistant conductor and conductor of jazz orchestra. Brandon conducted the Juilliard Jazz Orchestra and showcased the orchestra in many venues including Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola and Alice Tully Hall in New York City, Snow College in Utah, and University of Osaka in Osaka, Japan. Brandon also worked in other roles throughout the school year including improvisation instructor. In addition to his jazz faculty position, Brandon served on staff at the Juilliard School as the Artistic Coordinator of Educational Outreach from 2010-2012.
Brandon plays frequently with his own group and as a sideman in several other groups. Some of the more recent groups include; Tommy Igoe and the Birdland Big Band, The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Kenny Barron Quintet, Kurt Elling, Christian McBride Big Band, David Berger Big Band, Fat Cat Big Band, Alon Yavnai and Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra.
Presently, Brandon is Assistant Professor of Jazz Trumpet for the Miles Davis Jazz Studies Program at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
Dr. James E. Armstrong, Jr. holds a Bachelor of Science degree in music education from Winston-Salem State University, a Master of Music Education degree from Jackson State University and a Doctorate of Musical Arts degree in trumpet performance from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
Dr. Armstrong has taught instrumental and general music in North Carolina public schools as well as serving as Graduate Assistant teaching applied trumpet while attending Jackson State University. He is active in the MENC: National Association for Music Education, International Association of Jazz Educators and the North Carolina Music Educators Association. Dr. Armstrong currently is Associate Director of Bands at Winston-Salem State University, a position he has held for the past ten years. Dr. Armstrong’s teaching responsibilities in the music department at Winston Salem State University area involve teaching applied trumpet, instrumental conducting, marching band techniques, brass methods, assist with marching band and pep band and conduct the jazz ensemble II, trumpet ensemble and brass ensemble.
As an active professional musician, Dr. Armstrong has performed in the classical and jazz arenas nationally and internationally. He has performed classical repertoire with the Bermuda School of Music on three occasions and performed with several big-bands throughout the country. He also have performed solo repertoire and have been invited to perform with college and professional bands throughout the country, including, The Blues Brothers Revue, the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, West End Mambo, The Alpha Collective, and Envision.
Michael Hackett is a graduate of the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where he earned the BM and MM in Jazz studies as well as a DM in Brass Pedagogy. He has toured, performed or recorded with a wide variety of jazz and pop artists including Natalie Cole, Perry Como, Frank Sinatra Jr., Ben Vereen, Aretha Franklin, Wayne Newton, Larry Willis, Sir Roland Hanna, Larry Coryell, Keeter Betts, Steve Novosel, Ron Holloway, Vincent Herring, and many others.
An Oregon native, Mr. Hackett lived for a number of years in Washington, DC and then New York City where he appeared with many well known jazz organizations including the The Anita Brown Jazz Orchestra, The Scott Whitfield Jazz Orchestra, The Toshiko Akioshi Jazz Orchestra, and Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks, as well as with pop groups such as Frankie Valli, The Temptations, The Four Tops, The O'Jay's, Bobby Caldwell, and LaBamba and the Big Band. Mr. Hackett has performed with the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra and prior to moving to the Charlotte area was a member of the Buselli/Wallrab Jazz Orchestra in Indianapolis.
As a recording artist Mr. Hackett can be found on numerous recordings, including two recordings of the Scott Whitfield Jazz Orchestra East on Summit Records, Live at Birdland (2004), and Diamonds for Nat (2006), with the Buselli/Wallarab Jazz Orchestra on Owl Studios Carol of the Bells (2006), Basically Baker (featuring the compositions of David Baker – 2007), An Old Soul (2009), and Mezzanine (2010). Circles, his first recording as leader, was released on Summit Records in 2005 and a follow up disk New Point of View was released in April of 2013 topping out at #36 on the JazzWeek Charts in July of this year. Dr. Hackett's playing has also been featured in numerous television and radio commercials as well as in the Hollywood Blockbuster The Aviator as a member of Vince Giordano's Nighthawks. Michael Hackett is an endorsing artist for Powell Trumpets trumpets and flugelhorns and has served as a member of the jazz faculty at Butler University, The Ohio State University, and Indiana State University prior to arriving in his current position as Assistant Professor of Trumpet and Jazz Studies at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
"Extremely enjoyable and irrefutably potent…hard-hitting jazz……this is jazz music driven by emotive qualities, substantiated by hearty doses of charm, and tenacity. (Vigorously recommended....)" - Glenn Astarita-Jazz Review
"Michael Hackett has clearly paid his dues....... the trumpeter serves notice here that he's a self-possessed interpreter and a composer with a true sense of proportion." -Jay Harvey-The Indianapolis Star
"A fresh and vibrant take on mainstream jazz……his is an engagingly lyrical voice…a start-to-finish inspired effort…first rate and forward-looking straight through!" - Dan McClenaghan-All About Jazz
"Hackett does indeed have a beautiful tone suggesting the clarion and lyrical tone of prime-time Freddie Hubbard…….One can well assume that Hackett's recording future will progress nicely and that we can look forward to his future ventures." - Michael P. Gladstone-All About Jazz
"Michael Hackett's modern jazz sextet offers an exciting performance that sizzles with intensity. Several originals and a few standards provide plenty of room for the kind of ensemble interplay that brings out the best in each artist. The trumpeter's sextet drives with a fierce spirit......Hackett displays a warm, clarion tone that communicates dedication to his audience. What he has to say pours forth with ready acceptance. “Never Let Me Go” ends the program with Hackett's best individual interpretation. He pares the unit down to a quartet for this melodic adventure. For this session ender, he unleashes the kind of heartfelt passion that can only come through decades of serious regard for the music. - Jim Santella - All About Jazz
“A magnificent album of straight ahead jazz…” – Brian Foster – The International Trumpet Guild Journal, Oct. 2013
“Hackett’s sound is pure hard bop pleasure and ballad finery…” – George Fendel, Jazz Society of Oregon, CD Reviews July 2013
Evan Ringel, a sophomore jazz studies major at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, is one of today’s finest up and coming jazz trombonists and arrangers. In his second year as lead trombonist in the UNCG's Jazz Ensemble I, Evan is also a member of the Spartan Jazz Collective, UNCG's collaborative faculty/student septet. Outside of UNCG, he is anactive performer, frequently playing with groups across the state, and has been heard on North Carolina Public Radio's "The State of Things" and WFDD's "Triad Arts Weekend".
Evan has performed with artists such as Slide Hampton, Randy Brecker, Russell Malone, Rodney Whitaker, Vincent Gardner, Cyrus Chestnut, Herlin Riley, Carmen Lundy, Kevin Mahogany, and Nnenna Freelon. As he pursues his degree, he is currently studying under several fine teachers including Brandon Lee, Randy Kohlenberg, Chad Eby, and Steve Haines.
David is currently in pursuit of his Doctorate of Musical Arts in Trombone Performance at UNCG where he has studied improvisation with Chad Eby and currently plays 2nd trombone with Jazz Ensemble I. David earned his Master of Trombone Performance degree from the University of Missouri – Kansas City Conservatory where he played lead trombone in the 11:00 O’Clock Big Band, and was featured as a soloist. He graduated with his Bachelor of Music Education from Virginia Commonwealth University where he also studied jazz trombone with Antonio Garcia and played in the VCU jazz orchestras.
As a versatile performer, David has appeared with the Roanoke Symphony Chamber Brass, the Palladium Brass, the Triangle Brass Band, and the Greensboro Opera. He is a member of the Agoge Brass Quintet and the G-Bones Trombone Quartet. David is also an alumnus of the internationally-acclaimed Fountain City Brass Band, the Kansas City Puccini Festival, and the Lee’s Summit Symphony where he played principal trombone in the Kansas City Metro Area. He was also a founding member of the Upper East Side Big Band in Richmond, VA where he played lead trombone.
As an educator, David was the founder and director of the music program at Alta Vista Charter School, where he taught high school music and band, delivering bilingual music instructions, and incorporating research-based Content Area Literacy strategies into original lessons in the classroom. He also taught grades K-5 music at University Academy Charter School, where he developed the elementary music curriculum, founded the 5th grade beginning band, and collaborated with the Kansas City Symphony to bring in a series of programs for young children. While teaching band and music, David maintained a private low brass studio of up to 15 students.
In the meantime, David enjoys fitness and recently ran a half-marathon with his wife Lindsay.
At the age of 16, Charlie Sothcott is the youngest member of the PTJO. Currently a junior in high school, he has played with the North Carolina School of the Arts Jazz Band, Triangle Youth Jazz Ensemble, multiple all state honor bands, and was selected to take part in the inaugural Summer Jazz Academy with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, under the leadership of Wynton Marsalis.
He draws his inspiration from Louis Armstrong, Jack Teagarden, and Wycliffe Gordon, and has attended masterclasses with Steve Turre, Michael Dease, Rodney Whitaker, Rosewell Rudd, James Burton III, and Etienne Charles. Charlie hopes to one day make a name for himself in the greater jazz community.
Rusty McKinney, a native of Greensboro, has played in just about every genre of mainstream music. Educated as a symphonic bass trombonist at the Peabody Conservatory, he was the bass trombonist of the Utah Symphony Orchestra for 22 years. During that time, he appeared with that orchestra on PBS for Great Performances and on NBC for the Opening Ceremonies for the 2002 Winter Olympics. He has performed and recorded with many well-known artists in Classical, Jazz, Broadway, Country, and Pop music including Yo Yo Ma, Ithzak Perlman, Mel Torme, Tony Bennett, Ben Vereen, Bernadette Peters, Audra MacDonald, LeAnn Rimes, Barry Manilow, and Sting. Rusty was active in the recording studios that flourished in Salt Lake City in the 90’s and played for many TV and movie soundtracks including the TV series’ “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys” and “Zena: Warrior Princess,” and movies “From Dusk til Dawn,” “Serial Mom,” and “The Mask” to name a few.
Rusty has played as a guest musician in the Baltimore Symphony, the National Symphony of Washington D.C., and the Kennedy Center Orchestra. He was a long term guest musician in the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra and can be heard in many recordings with the Saint Louis Symphony and the Utah Symphony under the direction of Leonard Slatkin, Joseph Silverstein, Keith Lockhart, and John Williams.
Rusty has played in many jazz ensembles beginning with his father’s Greensboro based band the Russ McKinney Big Band in the 80’s. He played with Zim Zemaral’s Big Band in Baltimore and The New Deal Swing Orchestra in Salt Lake City, backing artists such as Nancy Wilson, Arturo Sandoval, Clark Terry, and John Pizzarelli. Other notable performances were a lengthy run of Duke Ellington’s “street opera,” Queenie Pie at the Kennedy Center with members of the Duke Ellington Orchestra and playing in the 2007 BYU Crescent Jazz Festival Maynard Ferguson Tribute Band featuring Eric Miyashiro, Bobby Shew, Wayne Bergeron, and Denis Diblasio. Rusty was a featured soloist for 76 +4 Trombones at University of Nevada Las Vegas in 2003. At the time, he was the only other bass trombonist soloist, besides the legendary George Roberts, to be featured at the annual event.
Rusty was a faculty member at the Eastern Music Festival and member of the Eastern Philharmonic. He has taught at a number of Colleges and Universities across the country. He was the Director of Low Brass Studies at Snow College in Ephraim, Utah, Assistant Lecturer of Bass Trombone at Brigham Young University, and the Orchestra Director at Westminster College of Salt Lake City. While in Utah, Rusty held church music positions as Music Director at Mount Tabor Lutheran Church and then the First Presbyterian Church of Salt Lake City, where he established a concert series anchored by the FPC Choir.
In 2011, Rusty returned to North Carolina to become the Director of Music and Arts at White Plains UMC in Cary. Since that time, he has given trombone masterclasses at UNC School of the Arts and UNC Chapel Hill and regularly performs as a guest musician in the North Carolina Symphony. Rusty plays in the North Carolina Opera Orchestra and has recently been a guest musician with the Pittsburgh Symphony and the Alabama Symphony. In 2015, Rusty was appointed as Minister of Music at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Cary where he directs eight ensembles (children to adults), including the St. Paul’s Choir, in services and concerts each year.
Ariel Pocock, Piano
24-year-old Ariel Pocock has received international acclaim as an equally captivating jazz pianist, vocalist, and composer. Known for her "sinewy jazz piano [and] breezy, achingly plain-spoken vocal chops" (Seattle Times), Ariel's notable performances as a headline act include the Montreal International Jazz Festival, the Tokyo Jazz Festival, the Gilmore International Keyboard Festival, the Iowa City Jazz Festival, the 2014 Jazz Cruise, the Twin Cities Jazz Festival, the Quebec City International Jazz Festival, the Stanford Jazz Workshop, and many more.
Ariel is signed to Justin Time Records and has released two albums as a bandleader: Touchstone (2015) and Living In Twilight (2017). Both records were critically acclaimed by publications including Downbeat Magazine, Jazz Times, and All About Jazz. Recently, Living In Twilight spent two weeks at #10 on the Jazz Week radio charts.
Ariel is a passionate educator and believes in the importance of passing on the jazz tradition to the next generation. She is an adjunct faculty member of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro's Miles Davis Jazz Studies Program, and teaches privately at the Russell Lacy School in Durham.
Will Goble, Bass
Hailing from Durham, NC and beginning his musical career in communities rich with mentorship, Will Goble is steadily carving out a unique space for himself as a bassist, composer, bandleader, and educator.
Will became interested in Jazz and related art forms after effectively growing up within the creative music scene that still thrives around the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area in North Carolina. Upon departing Durham for Florida State University in Tallahassee, FL in the early 2000s, Will quickly flourished under the tutelage of bassist Rodney Jordan and famed pianist Marcus Roberts. His relationship with Roberts extended onto the bandstand as Marcus invited Will to perform with his trio on a number of performances through the years. Through Roberts, Will met drummer and vibraphonist Jason Marsalis, eventually joining Jason’s quartet in 2008. He can be heard on three of Jason’s most recent studio releases, Music Update (2009), In a World of Mallets, (2013), and The 21st Century Trad Band (2014).
Upon relocating once again, this time to Atlanta, GA, Will set about documenting his work as a bandleader. His first album, Some Stories Tells No Lies (2012), features his own trio (drummer Dave Potter and Pianist Austin Johnson) joined by trumpeter Marcus Printup and saxophonist Chad Eby. His second album, “Consider The Blues” was released in 2016 on OA2 Records (Origin Arts). Consider The Blues highlights Will’s growth as a composer and is bolstered by strong performances from Potter, pianist Louis Heriveaux, and saxophonist Gregory Tardy.
Currently based in Durham, NC, Will continues to tour with Marsalis and perform frequently as a sideman and bandleader. Along with Marsalis and Roberts, Will has performed with Marcus and Joan Belgrave, Wessell Anderson, Vincent Gardner, Eric Reed, Gregory Tardy, Warren Wolf, Martin Bejerano, Nick Finzer, Eric Rasmussen, George Colligan, Lew Soloff, Etienne Charles, Michael Kocour, Fred Wesley, and many others. An active educator, Will spent several years faculty at Scottsdale Community College in Scottsdale, as the coordinator of the College Prep Program at the Phoenix Conservatory of Music where he taught jazz ensembles and music theory, and as a community teaching artist at The Nash, the performance and education home of Jazz In Arizona.
Daniel Faust, Drums
Daniel Faust is a drummer who has never been able to settle on a single genre. He traveled to Romania for the Bucharest International Jazz Competition with the jazz piano trio Unit Three, where they were awarded Best Band. He has also toured the Southeast with the James Brown cover band, The Soul Brothers, as well as New York-based theatrical New Orleans rock/soul band Brother Joscephus and the Love Revival Revolution Orchestra.
Faust received his BM in Jazz Studies from the Miles Davis Jazz Studies program at UNCG. While there, he played in the UNCG Jazz Ensemble, through which he had the opportunity to perform and record with artists such as Delfeayo Marsalis, Lee Konitz, Seamus Blake, Joey Calderazzo, and Eugene Rousseau. He can be heard on albums such as saxophonist Chad Eby's New Business, pianist Antonio Truyols' Alive!, and on several recordings with the UNCG Jazz Ensemble.
Faust continues to be an in-demand drummer in the Southeast for performing and recording projects ranging from be-bop, swing, funk, and fusion, to contemporary gospel, country, and pop. When not playing music, Daniel enjoys the seemingly futile challenge of teaching himself how to cook.