Ed Polcer Ed Polcer, Music Director—Cornet. Ed made his musical debut at age six as a xylophonist. He bought his first trumpet while in the 6th grade and as a teen became proficient to take over first trumpet chair of the Paterson Civic Bank in his NJ hometown. At Princeton University (where he majored in combustion engineering) he joined Stan Rubin’s Tigertown Five, the best known collegiate group of the day. He made several Carnegie Hall appearances and played at the wedding reception of Grace Kelly and Prince Rainer. If you dropped in at Eddie Condon’s Jazz Club on 54th Street in New York City, you likely ran across Ed who was the resident cornetist/bandleader and manager/co-owner.
After Midnight “After Midnight”—A sound and style modeled after the remarkable band “The Benny Goodman Sextet,” with a sophisticated and modern vibe. Our repertoire incorporates music from Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, Lionel Hampton to Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett. Our instrumentation is unlike any other band in the region and very few in the world—we feature Clarinet, Vibraphone, Piano, Bass, Guitar and Drums. You’ll hear great music made popular by the likes of Dianna Krall, Michael Buble, Harry Connick, Jr., and a long list of other musicians/vocalists. Over the years, we’ve done hundreds of concerts, weddings, events, festivals, and various clubs throughout the US.
Alvin Atkinson, Drums Alvin Atkinson, Jr.—Drummer. Educator and Clinician. Alvin Atkinson’s career highlights include his participation as a Jazz Ambassador for the U.S. for 7 years sponsored by the US State Department, Kennedy Center and Jazz @ The Lincoln Center. Atkinson has shared the stage with notable artists such as: Freddy Redd, Roy Hargrove, Ellis Marsalis, Jimmy Heath, Houston Person, Don Braden, Frank Wess, Vanessa Rubin and Wycliffe Gordon. He worked with Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Middle School Academy and The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York City. Currently, Alvin conducts music workshops through the Midori & Friends and Jazz at Lincoln Center Director’s Academy.
Jeff Barnhart Jeff Barnhart. Jeff began his professional career at age 14 playing/entertaining four nights per week in a restaurant near his home in Connecticut. From that early start, he has become an internationally renowned pianist, vocalist, arranger, bandleader, recording artist, composer, educator and entertainer. Jeff is a master of the classic swing, jazz and ragtime repertoire of the early 20th century. He has recorded as both pianist and vocalist on over 100 full length albums on various record labels in the US and abroad, both as a soloist and with a long list of jazz luminaries. Jeff takes his music to all corners of the globe as a pianist in All-Star Jazz ensembles or as a soloist and with his talented wife, flutist Anne Barnhart.
Dan Barnett, Trombone Dan Barrett, Trombone, Cornet. A native Californian, Dan began playing with some of the great New Orleans musicians who had settled in southern California. Dan and Laura moved to New York City in 1983 and was a frequent guest at Eddie Condon’s Jazz Club and a member of Benny Goodman’s orchestra. His own words describe his playing perfectly, “I try to sing through my horn…it’s an extension of my lifelong love affair with traditional jazz and the Great American Songbook.
Ron Bland Ron Bland has been a professional musician for over 30 years, playing virtually all styles of music in every setting from concert hall to theatre to the recording studio. At home performing on both the electric and double basses, Ron also has a particular fondness for teaching which he does at the University of Colorado at Denver, Colorado Christian University, and Metropolitan State College of Denver. Being a big softie when it comes to kids, Ron is part of the Junior Symphony Guild’s “Inside the Orchestra” and “Tiny Tots” programs as well as Denver Public School’s music mentoring program He teaches private applied lessons on acoustic and electric bass, ensembles, and a sightreading and improvisation class.
Stephan Doucette Stefan Doucette, Guitar. Stefan is a rhythm guitarist and bassist native to Colorado. He has spent more than a decade studying Gypsy Jazz and the music of Django Reinhardt. The jazz group Mango Fan Django has played at various venues in the Pikes Peak Region and throughout Colorado for more than 17 years. Stefan is also known throughout the US and Europe for his work with internationally acclaimed bands like the Hot Club d’Europe and the Grammy-winning John Jorgenson Quintet.
Eric Gunnison Eric Gunnison Pianist and composer has led a distinguished career establishing himself as one of the Mile-High City’s vibrant jazz scene musician. Raised in Buffalo and a graduate of Berklee College of Music in Boston, he continued playing the piano for The Lettermen, toured and recorded for the legendary jazz vocalist Carmen McRae including her tours of Switzerland and with Dizzy Gillespie in Cuba. Current associations include touring internationally as well as recording with several vocalists. As a pianist with the Dizzy Gillespie All-Stars Big Band and Sextet with which he toured the US, Europe and Asia. Eric has been the pianist and a composer/arranger for the cooperative band Convergence, one of Denver’s leading jazz ensembles since 1991. Active for more than 30 years as a sideman and studio musician on piano, synthesizers and other keyboards, Eric has also been a member of the adjust faculty of the University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music and on the faculty of the Colorado Conservatory for the Jazz Arts.
Dennis Lichtman Dennis Lichtman. Originally from Boston, MA and currently living in New York City, Dennis is a multi-instrumentalist who is deeply entrenched in early to mid-1900’s American music, from traditional jazz and swing to bluegrass and western swing. Since 2007, Dennis has been the clarinetist and bandleader of the famed Tuesday night traditional-jazz jam session at Mona’s in downtown New York, which was profiled in the New York Times, and has been described by the Wall Street Journal as “ground zero for an emerging late-night scene”. Lichtman has performed at Carnegie Hall, major festivals throughout the US and on stage in Europe, Brazil and China. He is on the faculty of the Welbourne Traditional Jazz Music Camp in Middleburn, VA and has led college master classes and workshops through the Midori Foundation, Lincoln Center’s Meet the Artist Series, and Beijing’s Ping-Pong Productions.
Eddie Metz, Drums Eddie Metz, Jr., Drums. Eddie received his first drumsticks at age three from the drummer in his Dad’s Dixieland band. He took lessons from Butch Miles and several others with his first professional job at age 12. Eddie spent six months traveling with the Count Basie Orchestra following receiving a Bachelor’s degree in Jazz Studies. He continues to work at Disney World as a seasonal performer and clinician. Eddie travels the world with a calendar full of concerts, festivals, tours, jazz cruises and recordings.
Richard Moten, Bass Richard Moten, Bass. Richard has been a professional musician since age 15, first playing electric bass with the William Houston Youth Orchestra. In 1989 Richard transitioned into jazz standards and straight ahead jazz requiring him to switch to the upright bass. In the early 90’s, he found his niche with a trio that became the Richard Moten Trio and continued to play at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in New Orleans. He travels to Europe and Japan for feature tours. Richard credits his mother, Marie Elise, a Juilliard graduate and life-long concert pianist as his inspiration.
Howard Paul Howard Paul—strikes an exhausting balance between performances, lectures, recordings, and running the day-to-day business as President/CEO of internationally renowned Benedetto Guitars. He’s performed extensively with guitar legends. He’s a 2011 inductee of the Coastal Jazz Hall of Fame, chaired the Savannah Jazz Festival for four years, and currently holds a three year presidency of the Coastal Jazz Association and again chairman of the Savannah Jazz Festival.  His most recent CD releases include “The Presidents” w/Jody Espina; “Tony Monaco & Howard Paul – New Adventures” 2014; “Just Friends – Bob James & Howard Paul” 2011; and “Jammin’ at the Jazz Corner w/Ali Ryerson Trio” 2009.  Originally from Atlantic City, NJ, he’s been a Savannah, GA resident since arriving there as a US Army officer in 1991.
Ken Peplowski, Clarinet Ken Peplowski, Saxophone. Ken played his first pro engagement when he was still in elementary school. From my first time performing in public, I knew I wanted to play music for a living.” Peplowski met Sonny Stitt while on the road with the Dorsey band, and studied with him. In 1980, Ken moved to New York City, and was soon playing Dixieland to avant-garde jazz.  In 1984, Benny Goodman came out of retirement and put together a new band, hiring Ken on tenor saxophone.  Ken travels at least half of every year, playing clubs, concert halls, colleges, and pops concerts. He has headlined at the Hollywood Bowl, Carnegie Hall, the Blue Note, and Dizzy’s Club at the Lincoln Center amongst many other venues.
Ben Polcer, Trumpet Ben Polcer, Trumpet. Ben’s love of jazz likely stems from his childhood experiences when he sat on a barstool at the famous New York City jazz club, Eddie Condon’s, where his dad (Ed Polcer) led the house band. Ben’s high school years were actually spent as director of a NY tennis camp. After graduating from University of Michigan, he became director of camp operations that involved ten sports. Music called and he was jamming on the side with various bands around Manhattan. When the band began to travel, he gave up his stable job with a great salary to go on the road. Ben moved to New Orleans where he has led a resurgence of young musicians playing jazz in venues all over the Big Easy.
Chuck Redd, Drums and Vibes Chuck Redd, Drums and Vibes. The ever popular drum and vibes musician began performing with the Charlie Byrd Trio and also joined the “Great Guitars” with Barney Kessel, Charlie Byrd and Herb Ellis. Chuck served as Artist-In-Residence at the Smithsonian Jazz Café and was a member of the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra for 15 years. In addition to leading his own groups, Chuck appears at clubs, festivals, cruises and concerts around the world, including a performance with the Dizzy Gillespie Quintet. He is on the faculty at the University of Maryland School of Music and presents Master Classes, workshops and lectures around the country. Chuck is featured on the soundtrack of the PBS television series “The Great Chefs” and NPR broadcast “Jazz Smithsonian.”
Todd Reid Todd Reid—Drum lessons began at age 9 and found a restaurant close by in Kettering, OH that had live jazz. After “sitting in,” youth orchestras, jazz bands, I completed a Bachelor of Jazz and Commercial Music degree and a Masters of Music in Percussion. Moving to New York City, I was able to perform with some of the greatest Jazz Musicians. Denver was my next stop, appearing and recording with a host of jazz musicians. Currently,l I am the Percussion Coordinator at the University of Colorado at Denver teaching drumset and classes in the Music and Entertainment Industry Studies Program. I am a Vic Firth and Aquarian Artist/Educator and am in demand as a clinician/performer in the U.S. and Europe.
Paul Romaine Paul Romaine felt drawn to music from the depth of his being throughout his childhood. He began playing drums professionally at age 14. Paul has led, recorded, or performed with countless combinations of the Denver area’s best players and with internationally acclaimed artists such as Eddie Harris, Benny Golson, James Moody, Larry Coryell, Gunther Schuller, Charlie Rouse, Eddie Gomez, Jack McDuff, Marlena Shaw, Dave Grusin, and Robin Eubanks. During his association with the Woody Herman Orchestra, Paul toured North America performing concerts and clinics. He studied jazz composition at the Lamont School of Music and, in 1991 received a degree in recording engineering from the University of Colorado. He serves as a mentor musician/clinician in several Denver area school districts. Paul saw the need for a jazz education program for students who are serious about the music and founded the Colorado Conservatory for the Jazz Arts (CCJA) which offers a program for middle school and high school students from throughout the Denver metropolitan area to play together and study with professionals.
David Siegel, Violin David Siegel, Violin. David graduated from the Colorado Springs Conservatory and, in 2012, earned a Bachelor’s degree in music in violin performance from the Manhattan School of Music. New York provided an opportunity to learn from some of the best, but the 23 year old musician and Palmer High School graduate was eager to return to his hometown. David is recognized as an outstanding musician, and, when he is not busy with responsibilities at the Bee Vradenburg Foundation, he plays throughout the region with Mango Fan Django.
Rosanno Sportiello, Piano Rossano Sportiello, Piano. Born in Vigevano, Italy, jazz pianist and began studying classical piano at age 9 and continued until graduation from the Conservatory. By age 16 Rossano was performing professionally at jazz venues and toured with one of Europe’s historic jazz bands. Rossano was introduced as a soloist with Dan Barrett’s all-star American band at the Ascona, Switzerland Jazz Festival. The following year, Rossano made his first trip to the US and amazed the American audience at Mat Domber’s March of Jazz Party in Clearwater Beach, Florida. Rossano received the prestigious Vittorio Ramella award which is bestowed upon native persons of Vigevano who have made a significant contribution to the world and international community through their profession.
Frank Tate Frank Tate. Born in Washington, D.C. Frank originally played trumpet and was a neighbor of pianist Art Hodes on Long Island, NY where he grew up. At age 23 he began doubling on bass, but still played trumpet professionally. When one of the bands he rejoined had an opening for bass, he made the switch. Frank had the great opportunity to work with Bobby Hackett on Cape Cod. “Bobby really knew what he wanted of a rhythm section, even down to the bass notes.” Later he helped organize the Dave McKenna-Scott Hamilton band, toured with Pearl Baily and the Louis Bellson Orchestra, as well as the Alden Barrett Quinter. Frank’s own stellar band recorded a wonderful CD for Nagel Heyer in Northern Ireland, “Frank Tate Live in Belfast”. He continues to delight audiences and fellow musicians with his participation in jazz festivals, parties, and recordings worldwide.
Wayne Wilkinson, Guitar Wayne Wilkinson, Guitar. Originally from San Antonio, Texas, Wayne has performed and throughout the U.S. and international venues. As the fuitrist for the premier Air Force Jazz Ensemble in Washington, D.C. and the “Falconaires” in Colorado Springs, Wayne entertained presidents and dignitaries at venues including the White House and Carnegie Hall. Wayne is a Benedetto Jazz Guitar Artist. He is a faculty member on the nationally accredited Colorado Springs Conservatory, where he helped establish the jazz program. He is an adjunct professor for Jazz Guitar at Colorado State University and conducts master classes and clinics.