Multi-Grammy nominated pianist and arranger Christian Jacob first gained widespread exposure as music director for Maynard Ferguson and later as leader of the Christian Jacob Trio and co-leader of the Tierney Sutton Band. Christian is also the musical director for both Broadway legend Betty Buckley and American icon Jack Jones. He has toured and recorded with many of today’s jazz icons: Flora Purim and Airto Moreira, Randy Brecker, Miroslav Vitous, Benny Golson, Bobby Watson and Bill Holman to name just a few.
In 2016, the original score to director Clint Eastwood box-office smash, “Sully”, was created by Christian Jacob, The Tierney Sutton Band and Clint Eastwood. The following year, Eastwood asked Christian to compose the music for his next film “The 15:17 to Paris.” He has also been nominated 7 times for a Grammy, the most recent for his arrangment Linus & Lucy for the Phil Norman Tentet.
DICK WELLER (Drums)
Dick is one of the most electrifying drummers in
the California area today. Having earned his degree in music from New York
University, and playing in various jazz clubs in and around Manhattan with
musicians such as Charles Blenzing, Andy Laverne, Jeff Andrews, Rachel Z, Chuck
Loeb and Walt Weiskopt, he went on to tour with Diane Schuur and Bobby Shew.
Since then he has performed with such stars as Mike Stern, Bobby Lyle, Mike
Manieri, Bob Florence and Scott Henderson.
BRAD DUTZ (Percussion)
Brad started to study music at age seven. After high school he studied at the University of North Texas and Berklee College of Music. In 1982 he moved to Los Angeles and began freelancing until 1984 when he joined Maynard Ferguson and toured the United States. Beside his ten solo CDs: Nine Neds, Krin, Camels, Railroads, Grill, Making Ice, Obliteration Quartet, My Bongo, John Holmes-Brad Dutz Duos and the first Brad Dutz CD - he has co-produced twelve others and played as a sideman for 210 titles.
KEVIN AXT (Bass)
Kevin has performed on over 150 albums which have garnered a total of eight Grammy nominations. A versatile bassist who is equally at home on string bass or electric, his resume is as eclectic as it is impressive. Kevin's creative bass work has supported such artists as Placido Domingo, Natalie Cole and Shelby Lynne to name only a few
LARRY KOONSE (Guitar)
Since receiving his BM in Jazz Studies from USC, Larry has toured extensively as a member of the John Dankworth Quartet, backing up Cleo Laine. He has also toured with Mel Torme, Terry Gibbs, Bob Brookmeyer, Billy Childs, Warne Marsh and was a featured performer with the Percy Faith Orchestra. Larry has recorded with Cleo Laine, Al Hirt, Jimmy Rowles, Lee Konitz, Alan Broadbent, Bill Perkins, Mel Torme, Toots Thielemanns, Bob Sheppard and many other jazz artists. He is currently co-leading the LA Jazz Quartet, which just released their fourth CD, Conversation Piece (NAXOS Records). Larry is also a faculty member at the California Institute of the Arts and has been since 1990.
CARL SAUNDERS (Trumpet)
At age 18 Carl joined and traveled extensively with the Stan Kenton Band. Since then he has played with such big names bands as Sy Zentner, Maynard Ferguson, Harry James, Woody Herman, Louis Bellson, Benny Goodman, Buddy Rich and Tex Beneke. He has worked with such stars as: Tom Jones, Jack Jones, Julio Iglesias, Debbie Reynolds, Ella Fitzgerald, Harry Belafonte and the late Sammy Davis Jr. as well as having toured extensively with Robert Goulet, Paul Anka and Frank Sinatra. As a composer, Carl has written over 125 tunes, some are part of the Tentet's book.
RON STOUT (Trumpet)
Adept as either part of a big band, a small ensemble or to accompany vocal groups or stars, Ron has a long list of name musicians he has been associated with. In Los Angeles he has been heard with Bob Florence, Bill Holman and Bill Watrous big bands as well as having toured with the last Woody Herman band. Jazz legends such as Horace Silver and Pepper Adams found him to be a great addition, as have pop sensations like the Supremes, The Four Tops, The Temptations and The Righteous Brothers. He has also toured with such stars as Lou Rawls and Mel Torme to name a few.
SCOTT WHITFIELD (Trombone)
Scott is internationally recognized for his work with many contemporary big bands, including the Toshiko Akiyoshi Jazz Orchestra and the new edition of Johnny Griffin's Big Soul Band, as well as his own Scott Whitfield Jazz Orchestras (East and West). Whitfield's discography includes 7 recordings as leader and more than 50 recordings with other artists. In addition to his own recordings, his compositions and arrangements have been performed and recorded by such artists as Diva, Maurice Hines, The Pied Pipers, Bill Allred's Classic Jazz Band, and Pete Petersen's 23-strong Collection Jazz Orchestra.
RUSTY HIGGINS (Alto Sax)
He has been in Les Brown's Band of Renown for the last 20 years as featured alto sax soloist. He joined Captain & Tennille in 1979 and has been Toni Tennille's symphony orchestra conductor since 1984, having conducted over 60 symphonies. He recorded music for Bob Hope's TV specials for 17 years, played on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and Jay Leno and has performed with Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra, Mel Torme, Rosemary Clooney, Liza Minnelli, Dianne Warwick, Clark Terry's Band, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Louis Bellson and Jack Sheldon. As an arranger, Rusty's work can be found in the Tentet's book.
BRIAN WILLIAMS (Baritone Sax)
Brian Williams has been a fixture in the Southern California jazz scene for decades as a baritone sax specialist. He currently holds down the low end of the sax section in the Tom Kubis Big Band and the BBB Featuring Bernie Dresel (for which he is also a composer/arranger), and has performed with, among others, Jack Sheldon, Pepper Adams, Clark Terry, Nick Brignola, Anita O'day, and Rosemary Clooney. Brian received his Bachelor of Music degree from Berklee College of Music in Boston and has been active as a woodwind performer and composer/arranger/orchestrator ever since.
PHIL NORMAN (Tenor Sax/Clarinet)
Phil has made guest appearances with the Frank Capp Juggernaut, The Full Faith and Credit 19 piece Big Band, The Dave Pell Octet, and the Tom Lyles Trio. For many years Phil appeared on KMPC and KABC as those station's financial voice, appearing with such radio personalities as Gary Owens, Ken and Bob, Michel Jackson and Stu Nayhan. It's his financial success, his musical background and his desire to revive the cool contemporary sounds of Miles Davis, Gerry Mulligan, Dave Brubeck, Shorty Rogers, Dave Pell, et al, that led Phil to form his tentet, now one of the more respected jazz ensembles in Southern California.