Performers include Seattle's finest professional jazz artists comprising a diverse group of young and veteran performers. Trumpeter Jay Thomas has been named Earshot's Best Instrumentalist and has recorded with Cedar Walton, Herb Ellis, and others. Saxophonist Bill Ramsay is a touring veteran of the Count Basie Orchestra. Phil Sparks is the most in-demand bassist in Seattle, named Earshot's Musician of the Year in 1996. Trumpeter Thomas Marriott has burst onto the national scene with acclaimed CD recording that have consistently topped the radio airplay charts. The list of local jazz luminaries who regularly perform with the SRJO continues to expand.
S a x o p h o n e s / R e e d s
Michael Brockman (Co-Artistic Director, lead alto saxophonist) has been a faculty member of the UW School of Music since 1987, instructing saxophone performance and jazz 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 and the Clarence Acox Sextet. Brockman was presented the Champion of the Arts Award from the Kirkland Performance Center. He is director of the UW’s highly regarded “Jazz in Paris” program.
Alex Dugdale (saxophone) is a graduate of Roosevelt High School and holds a Bachelors Degree in Jazz from the Eastman School of Music and a Masters Degree in Education from Seattle Pacific University. He first performed with SRJO in 2006 in the Duke Ellington Sacred Music Concert, and looks forward to this concert every year. Alex instructs in the music department of Bishop Blanchet High School, and teaches band at six different Catholic grade schools in the Seattle area. He also works as a private instructor with Edmonds-Woodway High School bands, and continues to perform in the greater Seattle area with his group FADE, giving regular performances at local clubs, Tula’s and Capitol Cider.
Sidney Hauser (saxophone) is a musician and artist from Whidbey Island. In June of 2016 she graduated from UW with a minor in music performance and a BA in fine arts. She is very musically involved in Seattle and plays in bands such as SWOJO, folk band High Turnover and her own band Schuff. She has been very fortunate to study under the tutelage of incredible musicians such as Neil Welch, Mark Taylor, Michael Brockman and Steve Treseler. She works as a teacher’s assistant and aftercare lead for Pacific Crest Montessori, a caregiver on the weekends and a freelance illustrator for a book educating children about Alzheimer’s. You can visit her website at sidneyhauserart.com.
Travis Ranney (tenor saxophone) is a Seattle-based saxophonist with a stylistic emphasis on bop and swing jazz. He has been performing and touring since 1990 and has played with many jazz greats as well as with top local bands. His work includes performances with John Pizzarelli, Doc Severinsen, the Ramsay/Kleeb Orchestra with Pete Christlieb, and he toured in the Northwest region with the Duke Ellington Orchestra (under the direction of Paul Ellington). He has also been featured many times in the Port Townsend Jazz Festival Big Band.
Mark Taylor (alto/tenor saxophone) is a prominent voice in the Seattle jazz community both on the stage, and in our schools. In addition to being a versatile and much sought after sideman in numerous creative groups and projects, Mark can be heard regularly with two critically acclaimed groups he co-leads: LineUp! (with pianist/vocalist Dawn Clement), and Human Spirit (with longtime friends and musical partners Thomas Marriott, and Matt Jorgensen). Among his achievements, Mark has been honored by Earshot Jazz as “2008 NW Instrumentalist of the Year,” and for “2009 Jazz Recording of the Year” for his second quartet release: Spectre (Origin Records). An active educator, Mark works extensively as a private teacher, ensemble coach, festival clinician/guest artist, and recently joined the faculty at Cornish College of the Arts. He holds a B.M. from the UW School of Music and M.M. from Manhattan School of Music.
T r u m p e t s
Thomas Marriott (trumpet) is a seven-time winner of the Earshot Golden Ear Award and winner of the 1999 Carmine Caruso Jazz Trumpet Competition. He has released 10 albums as a leader on Origin Records, five of which have made it to the top-ten on the national radio airplay chart JazzWeek. He has toured, recorded and performed with Maynard Ferguson’s Big Bop Nouveau, The Tito Puente Orchestra, Les Brown and his Band Of Renown, Rosemary Clooney, Bebo Valdez, Joe Locke, Brian Lynch, Orrin Evans, Ivan Neville, Deltron 3030, Spanish Harlem Orchestra, Steve Wilson, Eric Reed, Charlie Hunter and Kenny Kirkland among many others. He has produced albums for Hadley Caliman and Ray Vega, and has served on the Board of Directors of Earshot Jazz and the Board of Governors of the National Academy of Recording Arts And Sciences. Thomas is a Yamaha Performing Artist, and has been featured on NPR’s “Morning Edition,” Jazz Times and Downbeat Magazine.
Andy Omdahl (trumpet) has distinguished himself as a top call lead and jazz trumpet player and is very active throughout the Pacific Northwest. He began playing trumpet in 1968 while in New York, and in Southern California he pursued trumpet studies with great Claude Gordon and was a weekly student of Claude’s for seven years. He is a twenty-one year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps music program where he was a trumpet instrumentalist in the Marine Band (El Toro in Anaheim). He became a warrant officer and the Marine Band in El Toro and in New Orleans, afterwards commanding the Marines at the AF School of Music. He retired from the Marine Corps in 1996 with the rank of captain. In addition to the SRJO, Andy is a member of “Nearly Dan” a twelve-piece group performing the music of Steely Dan. He maintains an ambitious teaching roster, and is a regular participant of the annual Jazz Port Townsend in addition to performing in countless shows and concerts throughout the Seattle-Tacoma area.
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”
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.
T r o m b o n e s
Bill Anthony (trombone) has been a professional trombonist for 40 years. In that time he has performed with the Glenn Miller Orchestra, J. J. Johnson, and many others. In addition to the SRJO, he locally appears with the with the Full Circle Jazz Ensemble and has a very busy private teaching schedule in Bellevue and Issaquah.
David Bentley (bass trombone) is director of bands at Mercer Island High School and Islander Middle School. He is a graduate of both the University of Washington and the University of Miami. His bands are frequent finalists and award winners in regional festivals. David was chosen last year as a “Teacher of the Year” in the Mercer Island School district. As a Bass Trombone player, he can be frequently heard in the area with many ensembles, including the Jazz Police and Daniel Barry’s Celestial Rhythm Orchestra. He and wife Cathy are the proud parents children of Jake and Anna.
Scott Brown (trombone) is a graduate of the University of Washington, and is the nationally recognized di–rector of bands at Seattle’s Roosevelt High School. He is the recipient of many awards in education, including the Washington State Golden Apple Award for excellence in education. Scott is a faculty member for Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Band Director Academy and serves as an adjudicator for the Essentially Ellington regional competitions.
Dan Marcus (trombone/tuba) started playing semi-professionally at age nine alongside his father in several Bay-area Dixie bands. He toured extensively with the Ray Charles and Woody Herman Orchestras, among others. Dan performed for a number of years in Teatro Zinzanni and now appears regularly with the Oliver Groenewald “NewNet,” Jay Thomas’ “Cantaloupes,” “The DNA Trio” with his brother, Michael, and son, Max; along with extensive arranging, freelancing, studio and Broadway musical work at the 5th Avenue and Paramount Theatres.
R h y t h m S e c t i o n
Clarence Acox (Co-Artistic Director, drummer) 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 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 and he can also be heard around Seattle as the leader of the Legacy Quartet. He serves on the teaching faculty of Seattle JazzED, and appears annually as a faculty artist for the renowned Centrum Jazz Workshop.
Randy Halberstadt (piano) has appeared with national artists such as Terry Gibbs, Buddy DeFranco, Herb Ellis, Grace Kelly, Mimi Fox, Kevin Mahogany, Sheila Jordan, Bobby Shew, Marlena Shaw and Jeff Hamilton. He is featured on numerous recordings with the top names in NW jazz, including singers Jay Clayton, Gail Pettis, and Greta Matassa, and the Clarence Acox Sextet. He has recorded four CDs of his own, and is the author an instructional text, Metaphors For The Musician: Perspectives From A Jazz Pianist (Sher Music Publishing). Randy is a professor at Cornish College of the Arts.
D’Vonne Lewis (drums) is the grandson of the ‘Godfather’ of rock and roll/soul, 1950s-1960s Northwest organ legend, Dave Lewis. Lewis graduated from Seattle’s Roosevelt High School in 2002 and was a member of the award-winning jazz band, directed by SRJO trombonist, Scott Brown. While in high school, D’Vonne received the Essentially Ellington Drum soloist award for the years 2000, 2001 and 2002. Lewis resides in Seattle, WA, and extensively tours and performs various gigs in styles ranging from jazz, funk, hip-hop, rock, Brazilian and African. He teaches privately and is currently teacher-adjunct at Cornish College of the Arts. He has recorded with Hadley Caliman; Marc Seales; Larry Fuller; McTuff and a number of other local and national artists. Lewis composes for his own bands: ‘D’Vonne Lewis’ Limited Edition’ and ‘Industrial Revelation’. In 2006, D’Vonne received the Earshot Golden Ear Award for ‘Emerging Artist of the Year’ and has also received the 2013 Earshot Golden Ear Award for ‘Instrumentalist of the Year.’
Milo Petersen (guitar) is a Seattle native, active in the regional jazz scene since the late 1970s. He spent four years performing in New York City, after which he returned to Seattle, leading groups and working as a sideman ever since. In addition to guitar, he plays drums, and is also a composer and educator. He can frequently be heard backing touring acts at Jazz Alley and other local clubs, appearing with such great artists as Mose Allison, Larry Corryell and Eartha Kitt. His bands, The Jazz Disciples and The Milo Petersen Trio, appear regularly around town, and have released recordings on Passage Records.
Phil Sparks (bass) is among the leading bassists in Seattle, having performed with nearly every top jazz group in the city. He records extensively with many of the Northwest’s top names, and received a special mention as a star of the Seattle scene in Down Beat Magazine. Sparks has performed and recorded extensively with many of the Northwest’s top names in jazz, and appears on dozens of award winning compact discs.