C.E. Askew is a widely renowned jazz drummer. He was the drummer for the prestigious U.S. Air Force Airmen of Note from November of 1983 to June of 2004. He led the group for fifteen years and has been the drummer on many of their releases including Bone Voyage, Children of the Night, Blues and Beyond, Somewhere Out There, Legacy, Invitation and many others. He has also played with the Mike Tomaro Big Band, the Bruce Gates Jazz Consortium Big Band, and has shared the stage with countless jazz greats such as Michael and Randy Brecker, Bill Watrous, Kirk Whalum, Clark Terry, Conrad Herwig, David Liebman, Rosanna Vitro, Kevin Mahogany, Eric Marienthal, and more recently Lou Marini. He currently teaches full time at UAM as percussion instructor and plays jazz concerts regularly all around the country.
Paul Henry is a graduate of St. Olaf College with a B.A. in Music Education. He has been the bassist for the U.S. Air Force Airmen of Note since 1988. Preceding his work with the Airmen of Note, he was a full time substitute with the Minnesota Orchestra from 1978 to 1985 and was a member of the San Antonio Symphony from 1985 to 1988. He is a very versatile player on both upright and electric bass. He has been an adjunct bass instructor at the University of Mary Washington since 2008. Paul has performed with Peter Erskine, Randy Brecker, James Moody, Doc Severinson, Jon Faddis, George Benson, Diane Schuur, Dave Liebman, Nicholas Payton, Pat Martino, Slide Hampton, Paquito D’Riverra, Joey Defransesco, Al Jarreau, Kirk Whalum, Allen Vizzutti, Butch Miles, the New York Voices, and many others.
David Kane has been a fixture on the US music scene since 1975 both as a pianist and composer. He is equally comfortable in Jazz and Classical settings. He has performed with notable Jazz Artists such as Woody Shaw, Steve Kujala, Dave Liebman and Dizzy Gillespie. He has also performed extensively with the National Symphony Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony and the Twentieth Century Consort. He is active as a composer of both Classical Music and Film Music with hundreds of Film and TV scores to his name. Since 2006 he has been writing for Cadence Magazine. He currently lives in the DC area with his wife Cynthia and their two daughters, Celeste and Ariel.
Don Marchand was born in Houston, Texas on March 29, 1961, and began music at the age of eight. After graduating from Clarkston High School, Georgia in 1979, Mr. Marchand studied music at the University of North Texas and Middle Tennessee State University. Mr. Marchand has an Associate Degree in Applied Sciences from the Community College of the Air Force and a Bachelor of Music Performance with a concentration in jazz and commercial music from McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana. He has been a teacher and professional musician for over 30 years, 23 of those years he served active duty in the USAF Band career field and retired in 2012 as a Master Sergeant. Mr. Marchand has taught in the Texas public school system at the elementary music level and as a head middle school band director in the Edgewood ISD in San Antonio, TX. He has also taught as an adjunct trombone instructor at Texas A&M Laredo while active duty in the Air Force band. Mr. Marchand has been an adjudicator for the Texas All-State Jazz Ensemble auditions for the past 3 years. He is an active member of the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA), the Texas Jazz Educators Association (TJEA), the Arkansas Band and Orchestra Association (ASBOA) and the International Trombone Association (ITA).While living in Nashville, TN Mr. Marchand was a member of Danny Davis and the Nashville Brass, the Nashville Contemporary Pops Orchestra and a music contractor with Ross Productions. Mr. Marchand has appeared professionally with such artists as Burt Bacharach, Natalie Cole, Bob Hope, The Four Seasons, Frank Mantooth, Bob Mintzer, Jim McNeely, Rob McConnel, Al Vizzutti, Lori White, Andy Williams, Rufus Reid, and Toni Tennille. He has performed on 10 recordings with the USAF Bands and was a featured soloist on 3 recordings with the USAF “Dimension in Blue” jazz ensemble of which he was a member of for 13 years and the musical director for 7 years. Mr. Marchand can also be heard on the soundtrack to the motion picture “Rocky IV”. Mr. Marchand enlisted in the United States Air Force in August of 1989 and has served with the Air Force Band of the Gulf Coast, Keesler AFB, Mississippi, the Band of Flight at Wright-Patterson AFB, Dayton, Ohio, the Band of the United States Air Forces in Germany, the Air Force Band of the West at Lackland AFB, San Antonio, Texas and his final tour was at the USAF Band of Mid-America in Belleville, IL where he retired in 2012. Mr. Marchand’s additional duties in the USAF band have included jobs as Musical Director, Chief Musical Arranger, Director of Operations and Director of Outreach and Strategic Communications. His military awards and decorations throughout his career are many, culminating in being selected as the AFSOUTH Band Senior Enlisted Leader for the first Air Force Band to be deployed onboard the USNS Comfort in support of Continuing Promise 09 throughout Central and South America. Mr. Marchand is presently an instructor of music at the University of Arkansas at Monticello teaching low brass private instruction, jazz improvisation I, brass class and serves as musical director for Jazz Combo I and Jazz Ensemble III. He is presently finishing a Masters of Music in Jazz at UAM Monticello.
Alex Norris grew up in Columbia, Md. where he began studying music at the age of 9. After graduating high school he received a scholarship to the Peabody Conservatory of Music to study trumpet. He graduated from the Conservatory in 1990. In 1992, Norris moved to New York City to pursue a career as a jazz trumpeter.. Here, he found work with the Village Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Toshiko Akiyoshi's Jazz Orchestra, and Maria Schneider's Band. From 1994-1998, Norris was a member of Betty Carter's Jazz Ahead, becoming musical director in 1998; the final year of Carter's life. Norris has also performed and recorded extensively in the bands of Lonnie Plaxico, Jason Lindner, and with Ralph Irizarry's Timbalaye. Norris has worked with many noted jazz musicians such as Slide Hampton, Joshua Redman, Brad Mehldau, Chris Potter, Carl Allen, John Patitucci, Mulgrew Miller, and Brian Blade. Norris is very active in Afro-Cuban jazz, as well, having worked with Andy and Jerry González, Manny Oquendo, Paquito D’Rivera, and Chico O’Farril. In 1995, Norris received a master's degree from the Manhattan School of Music. He has served on the music faculties at the New School of Jazz and Contemporary Music, Towson University, and the City College of New York. In 2007, Norris received a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Miami Frost School of Music. From 2005-2008, Norris was also a teacher at the University of Miami. Residing in New York City, Norris performs all over the world with his own jazz group and with the Ron Carter's Great Big Band, the Mingus Big Band, Alan Ferber's Big Band, Kyle Eastwood, Helen Sung, Miguel Zenon, Amina Figarova, and many other jazz and Latin jazz artists. He performs regularly at top New York Jazz Clubs such as the Jazz Standard, Smalls, Smoke, Birdland, and the Blue Note. He is also a member of the Jazz Studies Faculty at the Peabody Conservatory of Music.
Alex Norris has one CD released on the Fresh Sounds/New Talent Label entitled “Alex Norris Quintet- A New Beginning". His most recent recording, “Alex Norris Organ Quartet- Extension Deadline' , will be released in February on Brooklyn Jazz Underground Records. As a sideman, Alex has recorded on over 80 CD's; several of them for labels such as Blue Note, Verve, Impulse, Steeplechase, and Sunnyside. Alex has several of his Latin jazz compositions published by 3-2 Music in Fresno, CA. Additionally, he has a video masterclass available on www.mymusicmasterclass.com.
Les Pack is a highly demanded and respected guitarist, private instructor, clinician, and composer of both jazz and concert music. He earned his B.A. in Music at Henderson State University and a masters degree in conducting from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. Additionally, he attended Berklee College of Music in Boston where he studied jazz guitar. He is part owner of the music publishing company Twin Towers Music Publications along with his friend and colleague Brian Rhodes. Twin Towers specializes in concert band literature for young bands and ensembles but also offers material in various styles and difficulty. Les is a very accomplished composer, with his most recently released work being on the album "Haunted America Suite". In the jazz world, Les Pack is in high demand as a guitarist for both combo and big band settings. He is currently the instructor for all music theory classes offered at UAM as well as improvisation and private guitar.
John Webb has been symphonic band director and high brass instructor at UAM for the past 7 years. Prior to that, he taught in Arkansas public schools in for 34 years. He served as President of the Arkansas Bandmasters Association and the Arkansas School Band and Orchestra Association. He was selected Arkansas Bandmaster of the Year in 2000 and UAM Alpha Chi Teacher of the year for 2015. He is a member of Phi Beta Mu National Bandmaster Fraternity, International Trumpet Guild, College Band Directors National Association, and the Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society. Mr. Webb, a Jupiter performing artist, currently performs in the South Arkansas Symphony, Arkansas Brass Quintet, and Mass Brass Choir. He has also performed with celebrities including Brenda Lee, Patti Page, Donald O’Conner, Phyllis Diller, BJ Thomas, James Brown, and Sammy Davis, Jr.
Mike Williams is currently the lead trumpet player for the Count Basie Orchestra. He earned his degree of Bachelor of Music Education at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. Beginning in 1983, Williams attended the University of North Texas where he held the lead trumpet position in the One O'Clock Lab Band. After three years at UNT, he went on the road with the Glenn Miller Orchestra. Within two months, he was asked to be the full time lead trumpet player for the Count Basie Orchestra. He has been with them ever since. With the Basie Band, he has recorded over 15 CD's, three of which were Grammy winners. He has performed in all 50 states and over 40 countries as well as performed for the King of Thailand, presidential inaugurations, and also in jazz festivals in several countries. He has also been broadcast in numerous live television and radio shows across the world. When off the road, Mike teaches privately and performs as guest soloist and clinician with universities and high schools across the nation. He teaches at jazz camps and free lances in the Detroit area and has traveled with the Steve Lippia Big Band, "Simply Sinatra" for several weeks at a time. He is heard playing lead with the Steve Wiest Big Band on "Excalibur" through the Arabesque label. He also plays lead trumpet with the Charles Tolliver Big Band and has been the lead player with Christian McBride's Big Band "A Tribute to Marvin Gaye." For many years, Mike has made appearances as the lead trumpet and featured soloist with the Shreveport based big band "Super Sound" directed by his good friend and fellow trumpet player Bill Causey.
Allen Won is a musician who has embraced a diverse career. A graduate of the Mannes College of Music (NYC), Allen trained under saxophonist Harvey Pittel and the legendary Joe Allard. While in college Allen made the most of his evenings involving himself in as many opportunities to sit in at jam sessions around NYC. Allen’s eclectic performance itinerary has encompassed playing with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, many of the orchestras in and around New York including the New York Philharmonic, the New York City Ballet, the City Opera, The New Jersey Philharmonic and various jazz and experimental groups (including Mario Pavone, Barbara Sfraga, Mala Waldron, Steve Bernstein). Among the many venues he has performed in a few are CBGB’s, the Blue Note in NYC and in Japan, the Knitting Factory in NYC, the Caramoor Festival in Katonah, NY, Carnegie Hall, NYC, the 92nd Street Y, NYC, Jacob’s Pillow in Massachusetts, Stamford College Palo Alto, CA, the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and also several Broadway shows. He has recorded along with Kenny Garrett, Thomas Chapin, John Hollenbeck, Theo Bleckmann, Jerome Kitzke, Benny Rietveld and Tiger Okoshi. The “Jewel in the Lotus” is his first solo recording featuring his own compositions. Allen is based in New York.