Clarence Acox (co-artistic director and drummer) was voted the 1992 Earshot Jazz "Musician of the Year." He directs the award-winning Garfield High School jazz ensemble and is among Seattle's busiest drummers. A native of New Orleans, he graduated from Southern University in Baton Rouge. Acox was recently honored with the Outstanding Achievement in the Arts Award from ArtsFund in 2011, Seattle's 2007 Mayor's Arts Award, and he was also the recipient of the 2005 Educator of the Year award from Downbeat Magazine. His own sextet has won numerous awards for its CD recordings "Joanna's Dance" and "Indigenous Groove." Acox can also be heard as the leader of the Floyd Standifer Legacy Quartet every Wednesday night at the New Orleans Creole Restaurant. He serves annually as a faculty artist for the renowned Centrum Jazz Workshop.
Michael Brockman (co-artistic director and lead alto saxophonist) has been a faculty member of the UW School of Music since 1987, instructing saxophone performance and jazz composition and arranging. He studied saxophone and composition at the New England Conservatory, the Berklee College of Music and the Musikhochschule at the University of Cologne. He has recorded with groups in Washington D.C. and Boston, and in Seattle with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, the Clarence Acox Sextet, new music ensembles, and chamber groups. Brockman is featured on the recent SSO recording of works by Shostakovich, and on recordings with the Simple Measures chamber music ensemble with SSO soloists including former SSO cellist Joshua Roman.
A researcher and historian, Brockman's doctoral dissertation is titled "Orchestration Techniques of Duke Ellington" and can be viewed at the library of the University of Washington (national publication is forthcoming). Also a researcher in woodwind acoustics, Brockmans is the inventor of a patented octave key device for woodwinds named the "Broctave Key." A two-part article on his experiments in new saxophone designs appears in the Nov. 07 and Jan. 08 editions of the nationally published Saxophone Journal (he was also featured on the cover of the Sept '99 edition, along with a lengthy feature article about him). Brockman was presented the Champion of the Arts Award from the Kirkland Performance Center. He is director of the UW's highly regarded, annual "Jazz in Paris" program. For more information about Michael Brockman, including photos and links to magazine articles and interviews, go to http://faculty.washington.edu/brockman/.