THE BAND- Trumpets
The Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra (SRJO) is an award-winning, 17-piece big band comprised of many of the region's leading jazz soloists and band leaders. The SRJO is the Northwest's only permanent ensemble dedicated to the accurate and historically observant performance of the great works of big band jazz. Drummer Clarence Acox nationally recognized former director of bands at Seattle's Garfield High School, and saxophonist/arranger Michael Brockman, a long-time faculty member at the University of Washington School of Music, founded the SRJO in 1995. As early as 1988, however, many of the players had assembled for a now-annual concert of the Sacred Music of Duke Ellington, presented by Seattle's Earshot Jazz Society. A 1992 "Evening of Ellington" program, presented by Brockman at the University of Washington's Meany Theater, brought together players not normally included in the sacred concerts and featured new transcriptions by Brockman of classic Ellingtonia.
Jay Thomas (trumpet) is among the leading jazz soloists in Seattle, appearing with his own group and as a member of groups far and wide. Jay’s career spans decades beginning with a recording in NYC with James Moody In 1970 and his most recent with Down Beat Poll winner Gary Smulyan in 2015. He has recorded with and performed alongside numerous luminaries of the jazz world, among them George Cables, Charles McPherson, Machito Latin Jazz Orchestra in NYC, Harold Land, Cedar Walton, Billy Higgins, Herb Ellis, and Slim Gaillard. He recorded with Slim in London on a record featuring Jay McShann and Buddy Tate. Jay also travels regularly to Japan to perform and teach. As Nat Hentoff said in the Wall Street Journal “Thomas improvises with the joyous élan of his vintage progenitors”
Brad Allison began playing professionally when he was 19 years old as lead trumpet on tour with the Jimmy Dorsey “ghost band” directed by Lee Castle. He was then hired to play the split-lead trumpet book at the Dunes Hotel in Las Vegas, and a year later moved to the first trumpet position in the Las Vegas Hilton Hotel Orchestra, then spent two years touring with Tom Jones. Since moving back to the Northwest in 1986, he has performed in the bands of Count Basie and Woody Herman, toured with the Glen Miller Orchestra, and for over 25 years has played lead trumpet in the Pt. Townsend Jazz Festival Big Band.
He is the first call trumpet player at both the Fifth Avenue and Paramount Theaters and is busy in the Seattle region playing as a free-lance musician. Brad also teaches Elementary school band in the Edmonds School District.
Nathan Breedlove (trumpet) was born in Tacoma and raised in Memphis. He studied classical piano and began playing trumpet at age twelve. He is a sixteen-year veteran of the NYC music scene and has been nominated twice for a Grammy award after recording and performing around the world with jazz legends that include the Lionel Hampton Orchestra, Wynton Marsalis, Lester Bowie, Monty Alexander, David Murray, Skatalites, Roy Hargrove, Frank Morgan, and many others. He currently resides in the Seattle area and leads "The nu Trio" which features SRJO bassist Phil Sparks and drummer Brian Kirk.
Michael Van Bebber (trumpet) was raised in Seattle, graduated from the University of Washington and then earned two M.A. degrees in classical trumpet and composition at Truman State University. He earned his doctorate in Jazz Studies from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY, where he was a member of the renowned Eastman Jazz Ensemble. He has shared the stage with many notable jazz artists including Lee Konitz, Walt Weiskopf, John Pizzarelli, the Woody Herman Band, Chuck Mangione, Jeff Beal, Walter White, John Fedchock, Pat LaBarbara, Marvin Stamm, and Bill Dobbins. He directs two Jazz Bands at Roosevelt High School and has led a “transcription club” since 2011. In addition to the SRJO, he regularly appears the Jay Thomas Sextet, the Jim Knapp Orchestra and the 5th Avenue Theatre pit orchestra, among other ensembles.