Kevin Kozol (Owner/House Call Music): Piano, Jazz Improvisation, Composition B.M, M.M
Kevin Kozol is a pianist, composer and educator living in Chicago, IL. He received his bachelor’s degree in theory/composition from Southern Illinois University and his master’s degree in jazz performance from DePaul University. Kevin has studied with world renowned musicians and composers such as Heidi Louise Williams, Frank Stemper, Larry Novak, David Baker, Dan Haerle, David Hazeltine, Tom Matta, Phil Brown, Robert Allison,and Kathleen Ginther to name a few. Kevin currently plays piano/keyboards in the original jazz-fusion group known as Spare Parts and also leads his own trio and quartet. Kevin has performed at premier venues and festivals across the United States as well as South America. He has shared the stage with artists such as Lenny Pickett, Fareed Haque, Wayne Krantz, Keith Carlock, George Clinton, Marco Benevento, Stanton Moore, Liquid Soul, The Jazz Mandolin Project and Snoop Dogg. Kevin’s original compositions can be heard on six Spare Parts’ albums and two Kevin Kozol Group recordings. Spare Parts is signed to Ropeadope Records, along side artists such as Christian McBride, Snarky Puppy, and Charlie Hunter. Kevin is currently an adjunct professor at Harold Washington College where he teaches music theory, group piano and private lessons. Outside of the college, Kevin is an active clinician and has worked with the Illinois Music Educators Association for many years. He has given numerous master classes at some of the most highly acclaimed schools across the country. Kevin is the owner and founder of House Call Music LLC, which is a music teaching service that offers in home lessons throughout the Chicago-land area.
Jonah Wei-Haas: Piano, B.M
Jonah Wei-Haas was born in St. Louis, Missouri, but spent most of his formative years growing up in Tulsa, Oklahoma. At an early age Jonah would sing melodies that he heard which eventually led to singing and performing with choirs and numerous operas productions around the Tulsa area. Jonah began playing the piano at 8 years old, learning mostly from a classical discipline, while building a strong foundation of technique. Throughout middle and high school, he performed regularly leading up to both junior and senior solo piano recitals. During high school, he also became extremely interested in different styles of music in particular jazz, funk and rock. This led to his interest in learning to play other instruments as well. Over the course of high school Jonah taught himself how to play drums, guitar, and bass and in addition performed eagerly with bands all around Oklahoma, many of which received local awards and reviews. At around the same point in his life, Jonah joined the school jazz band, which introduced him to improvised music and the music of jazz as a language. Jonah immediately began a close relationship with improvisation which led to him performing regularly with various jazz combos including his own trio/quartet. During high school Jonah received various awards including both OMEA and OMTA All-State and All-City pianist. In order to continue to grow and expand musically, Jonah auditioned to attend Berklee College of Music and was accepted on scholarship. In 2012 he graduated with honors and a dual degree Jazz Piano Performance and Electronic Production & Design (Music Synthesis). While at Berklee, Jonah had the honor and privilege to study with many great players and performers including: Joanne Brackeen, Ray Santisi, Leo Blanco, Eldar Djangirov, Dave Limina, Jamey Haddad, Neil Olmstead, Laszlo Gardony, Mark Whitfield, Tiger Okoshi, and others. While at Berklee, Jonah joined the viral electronic rock band, PINN PANELLE. After 5 years of playing and writing, Jonah left the band for artistic reasons and has been pursuing a solo career. Currently living in Chicago, IL, Jonah plays with several groups, teaches private lessons in piano and production, and does studio session work. Jonah Wei-Haas is endorsed by Moog, Ableton Live, Source Audio, and Lewitt Microphones.
Kyle Liss: Piano B.M
Kyle Liss is a pianist, composer, electronic music producer, and teacher hailing from Oak Park, IL and now living in Chicago. His first introduction to the piano came at age 7, and since then he has grown ever closer to his instrument and craft. He was first educated in classical music and technique, where he developed a strong foundation as a pianist. At age 12 Kyle began blues lessons with Chicago legend Erwin Helfer, and quickly moved forward by studying jazz piano, improvisation, and theory with Chicago Academy of the Arts instructor and principal Jason Patera. Finding incredible freedom of expression in improvisation, he decided to follow the jazz path, going on to complete a Bachelors of Music in Jazz Studies from the Chicago College of Performing Arts. Eager to continue exploring new genres and musical frontiers, he dived headfirst into electronic production in 2010, and has never looked back. Now well versed in the foremost digital production programs, he has written over 20 original songs for his current group, IndigoSun, whose boundary bending music combines elements of electronica, jazz, and funk, to the delight of constantly growing audiences. IndigoSun has performed at several of the Midwest’s top music festivals—Chicago’s own North Coast Music Festival, Summer Camp Music Festival, and more—and plays shows every weekend, touring college towns throughout the Midwest all the way to New York City, Boston, and beyond. The group has also recorded 2 studio albums, and has released numerous live recordings for free download. In addition, Kyle was the long-time leader of Lissin’ Jazz Quartet, which recorded 2 studio albums and one live record, and gigged consistently all throughout Chicago Land from 2006 to 2008. He has had over 7 years of performance and bandleader experience, and is happy to now have the opportunity to transmit this road-tested knowledge to his students.
Alejandro Cortes: Piano, B.M
Alejandro’s first step into the music world was joining the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra’s Jazz program at the age of fifteen after several years of private study. During his second year of performing with one of the program’s small ensembles, he approached the director of MYSO with an idea that would expand the organization’s focus. He proposed the plan to create a Latin-Jazz ensemble within the program and found the musicians to direct it. MYSO now has two large Latin-Jazz ensembles and a curriculum to educate its students on the history and performance practices of the music. On his own, Alejandro also led a Latin ensemble made up of young musicians from Milwaukee and performed at various events and venues throughout the area.
Alejandro received his bachelor’s degree in Jazz and Contemporary music studies at the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University, where he was accepted as a Jazz piano major with a full scholarship. During his time at the CCPA, he had the opportunity to study with top local musicians such as Jim Trompeter, Edwin Sanchez, and Ruben Alvarez. He has steadily been making his way into Chicago’s Latin-Jazz and Salsa scene and can be seen playing regularly at Sabor a Café, La Humita, LaGuardia Cuban Café, and Siboney. Over the past few years, Alejandro spent time in Milwaukee giving improvisation lessons to students in the Latino Arts Strings program at the United Community Center in preparation for their annual summer concert with MYSO’s Latin-Jazz ensemble. This collaboration represents Alejandro’s vision of his future as a musician, hoping to serve as a bridge between genres and cultures.
Spencer Jenich: Piano, Guitar B.M
Spencer Jenich is a Chicago-based pianist, arranger, and teacher fluent in a variety of different musical styles. He graduated from Columbia College Chicago in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in Jazz Studies and minors in Composition and Classical Piano Performance. It was at CCC that Spencer had the opportunity to share the stage with Christian McBride, Terence Blanchard, Joan Osborne, and many other renowned artists. Since then, he has performed with Smashing Pumpkins and Morrissey drummer Matt Walker and Stones Throw recording artist Alex Brettin. He currently studies classical piano privately with University of Chicago piano program director Svetlana Belsky, and is the piano accompanist at Holy Cross Parish in Deerfield and a member of several pop and jazz groups in the city. Spencer is a strong proponent of cultivating a well-rounded musical education in his students. From performance practice to ear training, theory to composition, he strives to give his students all of the tools they need to develop an original voice that can express what they love most about music.
Allison Grischow: Voice, Piano, Clarinet, B.A.
Allison Grischow is a musician, teaching artist, and actor with Bachelor of Arts degrees in Music and Theater from Valparaiso University. She greatly enjoys performing and teaching students voice, clarinet, and piano. Allison is currently an assistant teaching artist with Emerald City Theater Company in Chicago, working with students from age 3 to 13 years old to gain confidence through music and theater. In Valparaiso, she assistant directed productions of three new devised musicals, aiding in composition and conducting. Additionally, she served as a student conductor to the Kantorei Choir. Some of her favorite performance experiences include singing Johann Sebastian Bach's Mass in B Minor with the Valparaiso University Chorale, and performing an evening of combined monologues and musical theater selections as her capstone project. Allison also is a music improviser in the Chicago community, and loves bringing energy with her wherever she performs or teaches.
Jeff Poindexter: Piano, B.M, M.M
Since moving to Chicago in 2002, Jeff has been active as a pianist and teacher around the Chicagoland area. He has served as music director/pianist for many theatre productions including shows with Fox Valley Repertory, Theatre Nebula, Three Cat Productions, Up and Coming Theatre, Music on Stage, Steel Beam Theatre and St. James Theatre. Jeff is also a frequent collaborator at Second City and the Annoyance Theatre in Chicago, where he wrote original music for the shows Champeero and Streeterville, respectfully. Jeff has worked many years as a high school accompanist and church pianist in the NW suburbs, playing for numerous choir concerts, voice recitals, weddings, funerals and church services. Jeff holds a bachelor's degree in music education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a master's degree in jazz piano performance from DePaul University. Jeff has studied piano extensively with Larry Novak, Tom Larson, Oana Rusu, John Carlini and Jim Koudelka, and has had the privilege to take lessons with jazz greats Jim McNeely, Michael Kocour and Jeff Jenkins.
Collin Clauson: Piano, Guitar, Clarinet B.M
Collin Clauson is from Minneapolis, MN and has now become a transplant to the Chicago area. He started playing piano at an early age and later learned how to play the clarinet, saxophone, and guitar. Collin previously studied at Northern Illinois University, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in 2012 in Music Performance. Collin is an in-demand piano player who regularly works both in the Chicago area and all over the country. He has performed with such artists as Nick Colionne, Gerald Albright, and Norman Brown. This year Collin was selected as a backing musician on the highly successful Smooth Jazz Cruise 2017. He is also a member of the experimental rock group Monobody, a 5-piece band blending their different influences into a unique sound. Collin began teaching piano and guitar privately when he was 16 years old. He has experience with all ages and loves passionate students. Collin teaches with an emphasis on learning the fundamentals of music through music theory, learning songs, transcribing, and rhythm exercises. He wants lessons to be fun but challenging for his students. Collin continues to write his own music on piano, guitar, and many other instruments, and is continually building his solo work. Without music in his life, he would not know where he would be!
Ben Sullivan : Guitar, Piano, B.M
Ben is a Guitarist, Pianist, Composer, and Arranger from Chicago. Ben has received his Bachelor's degree in Classical Guitar Performance from DePaul University, and is currently in pursuit of his master's degree at Northwestern. He has studied under Chicago's leading pedagogues and performers such as Mark Maxwell, Steve Vazquez, Anne Waller, Peter Aglinskas, Denis Azabagic, and Oscar Ghiglia; he has a wealth of influence, technical ability, and musicality to draw from. Having started playing guitar at the age of 15, Ben has put in tireless effort ever since picking up his instrument of choice. Some of his first musical influences were Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughn, and David Gilmour. A fan of rock, blues, jazz, and everything in between, his musicality encompasses all genre's of teaching and performing. While Classical is his strong suit, any genre or style is under his repertoire. Currently playing in a Violin/Guitar Duet with House Call Music Employee Diana Ortiz, their duet, "Duo Del Mar" focuses on Romantic Era Spanish pieces from composers like Manuel De Falla, and Astor Piazzolla. Ben is an experienced teacher, having taught music to children since he was 16 years old. He himself starting late in life understands the hard work and dedication it takes to succeed at any task, and encourages students of all ages and levels to join him in his journey through the gift of sound.
Ben Thompson: Piano, B.M
Ben Thompson is a pianist with a varying range of styles primarily stemming from classical and jazz. He was born in Boulder, Colorado, and started playing piano at age 6. Through the efforts of CCJA (Colorado Conservatory for the Jazz Arts), he began playing jazz at the age of 12. Through CCJA, he won a Downbeat award his senior year of high school for Outstanding Secondary Level Small Jazz Group and now works as a peer mentor through CCJA. During that same year, Ben was also a pianist in the All-State Jazz Band as well as the UNC Greeley Jazz Festival Honor Band. He was also awarded the BAMTA (Boulder Area Music Teachers Association) Senior of the Year Award for his efforts in Jazz and Classical. Ben is currently pursuing his BM in Jazz Piano Performance at the University of Colorado in Boulder and intends graduate in 2020. During time at CU, he has played with the National Repertory Orchestra where he worked with Michael Stern, Chris Deviney, and She-e Wu. He is currently working with The Strange Parade as well as playing around the Boulder/Denver area with musicians such as Gabe Rupe, Alex Heffron, Julian Archer, Michael Topping, Leo Arguello, and Colin Hill.
Megan Volk: Flute, Piano, B.A, B.M
Megan Volk is a musician, teaching artist, and conductor with a Bachelor of Music degree in Flute Performance, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Business from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is originally from southeastern Indiana, and first moved to Chicago in the Fall of 2013. During her time at UIC, she has been able to study extensively under flutist Donna Milanovich, has studied piano with Ivana Bukvich, and held a Conducting Apprenticeship position studying under the direction of Dr. José Riojas. Since her time in Chicago, she has been an active performer with the UIC Wind Ensemble, UIC Orchestra, UIC Woodwind Quintet, UIC Summer Winds, Ensemble Prime, and Lakeshore Orchestra. She has also been able to conduct and rehearse both the Wind Ensemble and the Symphonic Band while at UIC. She also works as a Concert Assistant for the Chicago Philharmonic Orchestra. She has taught multiple flute masterclasses, has been a proctor and judge for honors band festivals, and teaches private flute and piano lessons. Megan is currently completing her Music Teaching Certification at DePaul University, learning how to teach all instruments from the ground up in an academic setting. After working with elementary or high school bands over the next few years, she plans on returning to graduate school to pursue a Masters in Wind Conducting. Megan holds affiliations with the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic, and is an alumni member of the National Band Service Fraternity, Kappa Kappa Psi.
Evan Salvacion: Electric and Upright Bass, B.M, M.M
Originally from New Jersey, Evan Salvacion Levine has played music professionally since he was 16 years old. He received his Bachelor's Degree from Oberlin Conservatory and his Master's in Music and Improvisation from the University of Michigan. He has shared the stage with artists such as Jamey Haddad, Carl Allen, Benny Golson, Tal Cohen, Nicole Yarling and many others. He was a cruise ship musician on the famous Queen Mary II and is known for his versatility on Upright and Electric bass. Evan released his debut album, Unsolvable Problems, in 2016, featuring his own compositions. He is also a member of Echoes, which will be releasing it's debut album in 2018. He recently moved to Chicago from Miami and is an active freelance musician
Colin Scott: Electric Bass, Upright Bass, Guitar B.M, M.M
Born and raised in the Chicago area, Colin began playing bass and guitar at the age of 14 and has been an active musician ever since. He holds a bachelor’s degree in music business from Southern Illinois University, as well as a master’s degree in jazz studies from DePaul University. Colin has been teaching bass and guitar for 10 years. In addition, he has performed and /or shared the stage with notable musicians including bassist Victor Wooten, SNL bandleader Lenny Picket, funk legend George Clinton, and hip-hop superstar Snoop Dogg to name a few. Colin can be seen performing on a weekly basis with his band Spare Parts, which has performed across the country as well as internationally. He is also bassist for the longtime Chicago band Underwater People which specializes in private events. Colin is endorsed by David Eden bass amplification.
Ethan Moll: Guitar, Voice B.M, M.M
Ethan Moll was born in Blacksburg, Virginia where he started singing as a passion and hobby before moving to Stillwater Oklahoma. In Sillwater, he participated in choir and began taking voice and guitar lessons. Popular music such as Rock, Funk, Blues, Country, Hip Hop, R&B, and Soul dominated his musical taste before college, which led him to later pursue music as a career. Ethan holds a Bachelor of Arts in vocal music from the University of Arkansas and a Masters in Jazz Performance and Pedagogy from the University of Missouri. While attending these universities, Ethan expanded his music pallet by studying and performing Jazz, Choral, Gospel and Opera. During his masters Ethan was privileged to study and perform with world-renowned artists such Christian McBride, Randy Brecker, Sean Jones, Jimmy Green, Greg Carol, Dave Dickey, and Meshell Ndegeochello during artist residencies. Ethan now resides in Chicago, IL and is an active musician in the Chicago jazz scene as well as an educator.
Kim Hasara: Voice, B.M, M.M
Pittsburgh native Kim Hasara embarked on her musical journey when she sang the Star Spangled Banner in her high school for their sporting events. She started taking private voice lessons at the age of 15 and participated in her school's musical theater productions. Kim holds a Bachelor's degree from Westminster College and Master's degree from Duquesne University in Vocal Performance. Originally classically trained, Kim placed first in the National Association of Teachers of Singing for two consecutive years and was a semi-finalist for the national Classical Singer competition held in Los Angeles in 2010. She can be found in the Chicagoland area teaching studio voice/piano lessons, mentoring for the music program Guitars Over Guns, writing music, and performing live locally.
Lara Madden: Violin, B.M, M.M
Lara Madden has had the pleasure of performing throughout the United States and Europe. As an enthusiastic orchestral musician, she has performed in venues at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, Bowdoin College’s Studzinski Recital Hall, and Carnegie Hall. She has performed with the Jacobs School of Music’s Concert Orchestra, Chicago’s Salt Creek Chamber Orchestra, and Bowdoin Music Festival’s Orchestra. She has collaborated with artists such as Steven Doane from Eastman School of Music and conductors Gustavo Dudamel and Cliff Colnot of DePaul University. Last summer she attended Bowdoin Music Festival where she had the honor of studying with Olga Kaler and Frank Huang. She has attended Casalmaggiore Music Festival in Italy, as well as Meadowmount School of Music in New York. Lara has received numerous awards for violin performance including Jacob’s School of Music’s Emerging Young Artist Award from the Fall of 2012 to the Spring of 2016. She has performed repertoire ranging from Bach’s Solo Violin Sonatas to orchestral world premier compositions by Jay Hurst at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music. Lara has been coached by members of the Pacifica String Quartets and the Ying Quartets. Her principal teachers have included Guillaume Combet and Gerardo Rebeiro of Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music. She has been studying under the tutelage of Grigory Kalinovsky from 2013 to present. Lara, hailing from River Forest, Illinois, began studying the violin at the age of three, and attended music programs throughout the Chicago area during her teen years. She is an avid chamber musician, and was featured on Chicago’s WFMT radio station performing the Arensky Piano Trio in 2010. Lara has a passion for physical fitness and practices yoga and running in her spare time. She is a firm believer in holistic wellness, and supports that music making corresponds with physical and mental well being.
Diana Ortiz: Violin, B.M
Diana Sofia Ortiz has a Bachelor's Degree in Violin Performance from The College of Saint Rose, where she pursued Music Education classes for two years; a Master's Degree in Violin Performance from DePaul University, and is currently pursuing her Certificate Degree in Violin Performance from DePaul and a Teaching Certification in the Suzuki Violin Method. She has taught private violin lessons to kids from 4 to 17 years old, as well as adults, in Colombia and in the U.S. since 2010.
Neil Carson: Saxophone, Flute, Clarinet, Piano, B.M, M.M
Neil Carson is a saxophonist and composer/arranger whose musical ventures span many genres and disciplines. At 24 years old Neil has had the fortune of collaborating with some of the biggest names in jazz, pop, rock, and other genres. Neil holds bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Miami's acclaimed Frost School of Music, attended by such luminaries as Pat Metheny, Maria Schneider, Ben Folds, Bruce Hornsby and others. During his studies Neil spent three years as a member of the award-winning Frost Concert Jazz Band, and has played with artists such as Chick Corea, Bobby McFerrin, Terrence Blanchard, Steve Miller, Benny Golson, Arturo Sanoval, Dave Liebman, Lucie Arnaz, Maria Schneider, Barry Manilow, and others. Neil's musical influences are diverse, ranging from Earth, Wind and Fire to Sonny Stitt, from Cannonball Adderly to Metallica, and from Peter Gabriel to Paul Motian. As a composer/arranger, Neil's work has been featured in Frost performances, notably his arrangement of "Caravan" for big band, vocal ensemble and solo vocalist. His arrangement of the Harry Warren tune "I Had the Craziest Dream" was performed by the Downbeat award-winning collegiate vocal ensemble Pacific Standard Time at California State University Long Beach, and by Frost Extensions at the Next Generation Jazz Competition in Monterey, CA, where the group took first place. Most recently Neil completed a project arranging, performing, and recording his versions of 80's pop songs for 9-piece jazz ensemble.
Pooja Deshpande: Piano, B.M
Pooja’s love for music began at the age of 4 when she began to seek training in Indian classical music: Vocals and harmonium. She has successfully completed Madhyama (Grade 4)from Gandharva Mahavidyalaya, Hyderabad. While pursuing a Computer Science Engineering degree, she performed on keyboards at sought-after venues as a part of classic rock bands. During this time, she recognized her growing passion for music. She has successfully completed Grade 6 in music theory from ABRSM and Electronic keyboard from Trinity College of London. She moved to Sydney, Australia to study music at a Bachelor’s level from Academy of Music and Performing Arts. After graduating, she had the opportunity to train students of all ages and levels at different music organizations in Sydney. Continuing her passion for teaching music, she currently trains several students in classical and contemporary styles in the Chicago suburbs. She actively performs as an accompanist. She loves to improvise and create new arrangements of popular songs. She encourages her students to pursue their own musical interests. In addition, she believes in having her students learn at their own pace; thereby instilling a strong passion for music.
Rachel Nash: Piano, Composition, B.M
Rachel Nash is a Chicago composer, musician and dancer. Immersed in the arts from a very young age, Rachel realized her passion for music very early on. While growing up in her hometown near Cleveland, she spent the majority of her time practicing, writing, and performing. In 2017, she received a BA in Music Composition from Columbia College Chicago, where she studied composition, piano and voice under the direction of Kenn Kumpf, Philip Seward, Lon Ellenberger and Jeff Morrow. Rachel has had multiple choral and instrumental pieces performed, and spent a over a year composing a full length opera for SATB choir, strings and piano, which premiered in early 2016. Additionally, she has been a dancer for over 18 years, and currently dances for a Chicago-based company called the Kate Jablonski Statement. Rachel enjoys being able to build relationships with her students and is grateful she can share her passions for the arts and education.
Lindsie Katz: Violin, B.A
Andrew Bukowinksi: Cello, B.M, M.M
Andrew Bukowinski grew up in Oklahoma, where he began playing cello in the public school system. He earned his Bachelor of Music, summa cum laude from Arizona State University, and his Master of Music with distinction from DePaul University. He has performed in master classes for such luminaries as Andres Diaz, Bernard Greenhouse, Phillipe Muller, and Menahem Pressler, as well as the St. Lawrence, Orion, and Brentano string quartets. His principal teachers were Thomas Landschoot, Stephen Balderston, and Jeffrey Lastrapes. Andrew has played with the Illinois Symphony, Rockford Symphony, Southwest Michigan Symphony, and Chicago Chamber Orchestra, and maintains an active performing and teaching schedule in the Chicago area. In his spare time, Andrew enjoys drinking coffee, bicycling, and exploring Chicago's diverse neighborhoods.
Alex Murphy: Piano, B.M
Alex Murphy grew up in St. Charles IL. From a young age, Alex had shown an interest and passion for music. Alex started taking piano lessons in first grade and picked up bass and drums in elementary school. Alex came back to piano at the age of 14 and became interested in jazz. While in High School, he was given many opportunities that grew his passion for jazz and led him to decide to pursue music in college. He is currently in school at DePaul University studying jazz piano and composition. He will graduate in the spring of 2019. In the short time he has been in Chicago Alex has slowly established himself as a young musician with a lot of potential and has a bright future in music.
Gail Gallagher: Piano, Voice B.M
Originally from Iowa, Gail has worked in Chicago as a freelance musician, actor, and composer for seven years. She has experience facilitating music and theater classes with people of various ages and learning abilities and has a passion for finding ways to creatively teach music and adapting lessons according to the needs of individual students. Gail loves helping her students find what inspires them. She is a music director for many improv and sketch comedy groups including Storytown- an improvised musical for children. She has also composed music for various theatrical productions including two musicals,"Feathers- A Superhero Musica"l and "The Forgiving & the Forgetting". She has trained in music directing at Second City, Comedy Sportz, iO, as well as taken a private workshop with Laura Hall (music director of Who’s LIne Is It Anyway). Gail has a BA from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in Theatre Performance & Theatre Management/ Directing.
Stephen Boi: Piano, Composition, B.M
Stephen Boi is a pianist and composer from Richmond Illinois. He has over 20 years of performance experience at the piano, performing solo and ensemble repertoire from the Baroque era to New Music. With three years of involvement in the DePaul Ensemble 20+, under the baton of Michael Lewanski, Stephen has the experience of approaching a diverse range of contemporary compositions, involving extended performance techniques, prepared-piano, and the use of various keyboard instruments, such as celesta and synthesizers. Stephen was a member of the Chicago band, Books, and recorded keyboards on their 2018 EP, Novella. He also has accompanied extensively with soloists of the string, wind, and brass families, as well as vocalists, performing recitals, competitions, and auditions. During his time at DePaul University, Stephen performed in the Chamber Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, and Baroque Ensemble, receiving instruction from Jason Moy, and participating in the 2015 WFMT Bach Keyboard Festival. He received a Music Performance Award Scholarship and the 2015 Faculty/Staff Scholarship Award. Actively collaborating with musicians around Chicago, Stephen has had the enjoyment of playing with the ensemble Mocrep and the Chicago Arts Orchestra. His primary instructors of the instrument have been George Vatchnadze, Kyomi Sugimura, and Donald Miller. He has also received chamber instruction from Larry Colmbs, Dr. Clifford Colnot, and Alban Bridges. Stephen holds a B.M. in composition from DePaul University.
Connor Bernhard: Trumpet, Guitar B.M
Connor Bernhard is an in demand trumpeter in Chicago, Illinois where he plays every genre, from esoteric creative music, to simple and tight groove-based hits. He started playing at the age of 10 and was mainly self-taught until college when he studied trumpet with Art Davis and learned the roots and rhythm of blues and swing music from reknown jazz educator, Ronald Carter at Northern Illinois University. Later, he would study with Victor Garcia at Roosevelt University's Chicago College of Performing Arts where he received his Bachelor's in Music Performance in 2017. While finishing his degree, Connor auditioned numerous times to be selected as one of the 5 recipients of 2017 Luminarts Jazz Fellowship. He plays/has performed with groups such as Mike Zabrin's Funktastic, Infrared, Hush Train, The New Lionel Hampton Band Feat. Jason Marsalis, The Chicago Jazz Orchestra, Eryn Allen Kane, Sir the Baptist, Anthony Pavel, Zoofunkyou, The Right Now, Cameron Phifner's Marco Polo, Neil Carson's New Nostalgia, and many others in addition to his own ensemble.
Matthew Martin: Trombone, B.M, M,M
After growing up in Tennessee, Matt Martin moved to Chicago to study Trombone Performance at DePaul University with Mark Fisher of the Lyric Opera and Charlie Vernon of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Since leaving school, Matt has performed with symphonies across the Midwest including the South Bend, Kenosha, and Battle Creek Symphonies. In addition, Matt has performed a range of styles from classical symphonic works to big band jazz to musicals in the Chicagoland area. Matt is also a founding member of the Tune Squad Brass Quintet, a burgeoning chamber music group dedicated to expanding repertoire and performance opportunities for chamber music. Aside from performing, Matt is a Low Brass Instructor at the People’s Music School and has a growing private studio. Most recently, Matt participated in a world premiere for Jim Stephenson’s “Glissin’ Up”, as a member of the solo trombone quartet in Nashville, TN. As a teacher, Matt believes music should be fun first and foremost and can enrich one’s life. Brass instruments are instruments of discovery, control, then efficiency and Matt loves to share his passion for music with everyo
Lauren Hayes: Piano, Harp, Basson: B.M, M.M
Lauren Hayes is a pianist, harpist and bassoonist who has performed, studied and successfully
competed from Paris to Los Angeles. As an up and coming young artist, she has distinguished herself in the areas of contemporary music, chamber music, ensemble performance, and harp instruction. Most
recently, Lauren was selected through national search to be a Harp Fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center for the summer of 2018 and worked with conductors including Andres Nelsons, Thomas Ades, and
Stefan Asbury. Lauren received her Master of Arts in Harp with Distinction from the Royal Academy of Music (RAM) in 2016, under the tutelage of Karen Vaughan and Skaila Kanga. While at RAM, she also pursued an emphasis in Music Business as well as studying for the LRAM teaching certificate. After finishing her Masters, she accepted a position as a Teaching Artist with the Urban Youth Harp Ensemble in Atlanta, GA where she worked with more than 80 harp students. In 2017, she began her studies at the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University pursuing a Professional Diploma degree in orchestral studies in harp with professor Lynn Williams. In Chicago, Ms. Hayes is an extra musician with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, performing in their productions of Siegfried and Die Walkure in 2017 & 2018. Additionally, Lauren is serves as a Teacher for the Chicago Harp Ensemble, a piano and harp instructor at the American Music Institute and served as a teacher in the Harp Column Academy’s 2017 Summer Camp. Following her 2012 Carnegie Hall solo debut, Ms. Hayes was awarded third prize in the 2013 American Harp Society National Competition. In 2015 she was named as a finalist in the London Philharmonic’s “Foyle Future Firsts” Fellowship Program for up and coming orchestral musicians. Prior to commencing her studies at RAM, she was selected to participate in the festival MusicAlp in Tignes, France for two summers. As a 2012 winner of the University of Arizona President’s Competition, Ms. Hayes appeared as soloist with the Arizona Symphony. Also in 2012, Ms. Hayes was selected to be a participant at the International Harp Master’s Academy in Bern, Switzerland. During 2011, she was selected as a finalist in the Coeur d’Alene Symphony Young Artists Competition.
Trevor Shandling: Guitar, Piano, Drums
The guitarist, drummer, piano player, composer and piano technician, Trevor Shandling is Highland Park native and UIC alum. He learned the drums at a young age by studying with his father, Rick Shandling, who is an underground staple of the Chicago jazz scene. Trevor studied drumset with Ernie Adams at UIC and jazz piano with Dave Flippo. Trevor is a well accomplished jazz pianist as well as a drummer and guitarist. Trevor currently plays in many different performance groups throughout the Chicagoland area and holds a residency with Frank Catalano at the Green Mill every Wednesday evening.
Drew Hansen: Trumpet, B.M
Drew Hansen is a trumpet player, composer, and educator living in Chicago. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Jazz Studies from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana where he spent time as a featured soloist with the Concert Jazz Band as well as the Latin Jazz Ensemble. Drew has been lucky enough to study with Tito Carrillo, Dana Hall, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s Mike Myers, Mark Olen, Canadian Brass founding member Ronald Romm, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s Charles Daval, Jim Pugh, and Chip McNeil, among many other excellent musicians. Drew has also had the privlige of playing alongside luminaries such as Bob Mintzer, Wayne Bergeron, Orbert Davis, Jeff Coffin, Jon Faddis, John Wojechiowski, Larry Gray, Dennis DiBlasio, and Chris Martin, principle trumpet of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Drew is an active freelancer in jazz, afro-beat, classical, commercial music, and more. He also leads his own small groups, playing in various venues throughout the city.