Mark Lewis Music

Mark Lewis

 

Short Version

Mark Lewis is master of the alto sax, baritone sax, flute and piano; author of approximately 1,700 compositions; and has recorded and produced more than twenty albums on various labels. Rotterdam, Holland was Mark's home base for many years. He toured and played in the better clubs throughout Europe, and taught jazz theory and improvised music classes in several music conservatories. Mark lived and performed for several years in San Francisco and Victoria, BC as well. Mark's CD "In The Spirit," recorded at Music Annex in Menlo Park, CA, made the Top 40 on Billboard Magazine's Jazz Albums chart. Jazz musicians Mark has performed and recorded with include pianists Willem Kühne, Mark Levine, Overton Berry and Ted Gioia; drummers Candy Finch, Frans van Grinsven and Eddie Moore; bassists James Long, Hein van de Geyn, David Friesen, Larry Grenadier and Chuck Metcalf; saxophonists Johnny Griffin, Noah Howard and Art Foxall; trumpet player Randy Brecker; and vibraphonists Bobby Hutcherson and Lodewijk Bouwens. Mark often subbed for Stan Getz and John Handy during his time in San Francisco.

Long Version

Music is a way of life for Mark Lewis. As an instrumentalist, composer, producer, engineer, and teacher, he has earned the reputation of being a dynamic and innovative force in music today.

Mark was exposed to music at an early age. On one side, his grandmother, Elaine Lewis, was a concert pianist while on the other, his grandfather, Ray Street, played saxophone. Mark was influenced by his parents' extensive record collection, which included artists like Count Basie, Lester Young, Art Tatum, and Duke Ellington. His mother recalls that from a very young age, Mark had little interest in games and activities that attract most children, preferring to listen to records over any other activity. Though he had serious visual impairment, he was very careful with the record albums and was allowed to play and change albums himself.

At age nine Mark began to play on his grandfather's C melody sax, and at the age of ten was given his uncle's old alto to begin his formal musical education. Mark's playing was soon highly regarded in the school jazz and concert ensembles. His first group was formed at age 14 to play at dances and local sporting events. At South Kitsap High School, Mark played lead alto in the stage band, sang in concert and jazz choirs, played alto clarinet in the concert band, and performed music in school plays.

He worked with his own groups professionally while attending Western Washington University and The Cornish Institute of Allied Arts in Seattle. Some of his most noted instructors included Dr. Edwin La Bounty (composition), Gary Peacock (advanced music theory), and Americole Biasini (concert band and electronic music). He took private lessons on classical flute with Mark Sanders, who played with the Seattle Symphony. He studied classical piano with Corey Celli, who found large print piano scores so that Mark could see the music.

Upon moving to Seattle, not far from his birthplace of Tacoma, Mark hooked up with great players like Candy Finch, Art Foxall, Bea Smith, Dee Daniels, and Buddy Catlett to become a regular feature in Norm Bobrow's "Jazz at the Cirque." But even though he was becoming successful in the Seattle area, Mark felt the need to broaden his horizons. Following the advice of Dizzy Gillespie's veteran drummer, Finch, he left Seattle in 1978 with a one-way ticket to Amsterdam, an alto saxophone, and 500 dollars in his pocket.

Rotterdam became Mark's home base for many years. He toured and played in better clubs throughout Europe with great success, and with some of the finest musicians in Europe. His music is so diverse that in Holland he used three different groups: The Mark Lewis Quartet with Willem Kühne, James Long, and Frans van Grinsven; for neo-bop and experimental works, the Mark Lewis Trio featuring Carlo de Wijs (an organ trio); and for music based on traditional ethnic rhythms, the Mark Lewis International Quintet, featuring musicians from India, Holland, Africa, and South America.

His record company, Audio Daddio, recorded several albums in Rotterdam and Seattle. Artists recorded on the Audio Daddio label include Art Foxall, Vonne Griffin, Al Hood, Art Lande, and David Friesen. Mark frequently traveled back and forth between Europe and the US, recording and promoting Audio Daddio albums, and performing along the way. The last European Audio Daddio recording was "The Rotterdam Session" featuring legendary jazz drummer Philly Joe Jones and tenor saxophonist Clifford Jordan. It was the last album Philly Joe Jones recorded before he died.

Mark arranged several European tours for American musicians and American tours for Dutch musicians. He worked as a commercial studio musician for Dutch radio and television, and produced an annual Audio Daddio New Music Festival in Rotterdam. He taught improvised music and jazz theory classes at several music conservatories in Holland.

Mark returned to North America and played up and down the West Coast for a year until he was "discovered" by musician/author Ted Gioia. Mark was asked to audition for a record deal in the San Francisco area. At the end of the audition he found out that he was playing for the great tenor saxophone master Stan Getz, who loved his playing. His first album with this record label, "In The Spirit," reached into the top 40 on the jazz charts and sold over 900,000 copies.

During his time in the Bay Area, Mark recorded and/or performed with many top jazz musicians such as pianists Mark Levine and Ted Gioia, vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson, trumpet player Randy Brecker, and drummer Eddie Moore. He frequently subbed for saxophonists Stan Getz and John Handy. He performed at jazz festivals and opened for Carmen McRae at the Palo Alto Jazz Festival. He was called back to Seattle to perform at Dimitriou's Jazz Alley.

Mark also lived for a year and a half in Victoria, British Columbia. His music was very well received throughout British Columbia. He was a fixture at Hermann's Jazz Club in Victoria, and he played for the inauguration of Michael Harcourt, former Premier of British Columbia.

As a musician and composer, Mark's music is filled with sensitivity and change. The musicians involved with his work understand that the music he shares with them represents his life. This can be felt in the way the members of the groups interact to perform concerts that are both intelligent and exciting. Musical technique moves from simplicity to complexity and back again creating textures influenced by bop, blues, classical, and ethnic music. It is music of the moment.

Although Mark performs predominantly original music in concerts, he is also master of a vast repertoire of jazz standards, as well as popular music of the last 50 years.

As a teacher, Mark Lewis has helped many people discover their musical potential. He began giving improvised music workshops in 1981 when his bass player, Hein van de Geijn, recommended him to an organization in Nijmegen. Mark now teaches privately in Bremerton, WA, where he lives to be near family and at college clinics. Mark's teaching begins with the physical properties of sound and the ways in which music has developed from them. It is based on understanding and unifying melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic concepts in order to realize music's intention. He shows that through being sensitive to these concepts and developing the needed technique, one's essence can pass through music more easily. He places much emphasis on listening and being aware of the moment.

Mark has to his credit more than twenty album productions, over 1,600 compositions, and his own record company and studio.

Mark Lewis is dedicated to creating positive human interaction through the music he composes, performs, and records. His standards are high and he is considered by many to be one of improvised music's most important artists.

Mark was born completely blind due to congenital cataracts. He had surgeries until the age of two to allow light into his eyes, then had to learn to “see” because his brain didn’t develop the ability to process visual information at the normal time. One eye sees very little because his surgeries as an infant were staggered from one eye to the other, and one eye became dominant in the process. He has also experienced retinal detachments in both eyes. He is legally blind, which limits his options for reading music on stage, but he is partially sighted and makes the most of what he has. He doesn’t see everything at once when he walks into a room the way most people do, but he does hear and process everything at once, a skill that helps him interact with music at a very advanced level.

Living a life devoted to music first and allowing the music to lead him, and living with a visual disability has provided Mark with an extremely interesting life story.

Guest Musicians

Check the schedule page to see who's playing this week. Regulars and special guests:

Mark Lewis, a native of Kitsap County in Washington State, USA, is one of the most lyrical saxophonists of his generation. Mark lived for years in Holland, where he gained renown as one of Europe's leading instrumentalists. Mark lived and performed for several years in San Francisco and Victoria, BC as well. Mark has recorded or produced over 20 albums on various labels and composed over 1000 songs. Mark's CD "In The Spirit," recorded at Music Annex in Menlo Park, CA, made the Top 40 on Billboard Magazine's Jazz Albums chart. Jazz musicians Mark has performed and recorded with include pianists Mark Levine, Overton Berry, and Ted Gioia; drummers Candy Finch, Eddie Moore and Billy Higgins; bassist David Friesen; saxophonists Johnny Griffin and Art Foxall; trumpet player Randy Brecker; and vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson. Mark often subbed for Stan Getz and John Handy during his time in San Francisco.

Allen Alto graduated from Central Kitsap High School with many awards for his musical abilities. He was invited to attend Central Washington University where he studied music and played in the prestigious Jazz Ensembles there. He has done extensive road and studio work with many well-known artists, such as John Sebastian and Jerry Jeff Walker, in almost every style of music. This shows in his playing as he blends all those influences into a truly unique style of guitar virtuosity.

Bill Anschell, a Seattle native, returned to the Emerald City in 2002 after spending 25 years studying, composing, and performing across the country and around the world. Anschell has played and/or recorded with a host of jazz greats including Richard Davis, Ron Carter, Benny Golsen and Russell Malone. In 2005, 2010 and 2011 Bill received Earshot Jazz Golden Ear Awards as the "Northwest Jazz Instrumentalist of the Year," and his solo piano CD "Figments" was named 2011's "Northwest Jazz Recording of the Year." Since 2003, Anschell's original compositions have received widespread cable and network exposure, appearing on programs including NBC's "The West Wing" and HBO's acclaimed series "The Wire."

Norm Bellas holds a Master of Music degree in composition. He won the Washington State Blues Society "BB" for Best Keyboard and was nominated for best songwriter. Norm's eclectic style is a synthesis of jazz and blues with bursts of funk, R&B, Latin and country. He might be said to play bluesy jazz or jazzy blues. Norm's CD of original jazz compositions "Out of the Norm" was played on heavy rotation for six months on the Seattle jazz station, KPLU. Norm has played with jazz artists such as Tutti Heath, Don Lanphere, Jessica Williams, Frank Wess, and Art Lande, and has played and/or recorded with many blues and R&B legends including Big Momma Thorton, Buddy Miles, Carlos Santana, and the Temptations.

Overton Berry, a Northwest jazz legend and recent inductee into the Seattle Jazz Hall of Fame, has played piano extensively in venues around the world including Japan, China, Viet Nam, Thailand and Egypt. Overton is a voting member for the Grammy's, music director for the TOBE School of Music, and regular performer at major Northwest jazz festivals. Overton has worked with such jazz greats as Carmen McRae, Joe Pass, Dave Brubeck, Vonne Griffin and Peggy Lee.

Brad Boal studied percussion at the University of North Texas and privately with numerous master drummers including Jeff Hamilton and Mark Ivester. Brad has performed, recorded or toured with: The Count Basie Big Band, Benny Green, Sam Rivers, and many others. He has worked on staff or as a clinician at several music workshops and colleges throughout the country, including Jamey Aebersold's Summer Jazz Workshops, Day Jams Rock Music Camps and Cornish College of the Arts.

Butch Boles began playing guitar professionally when he joined the U.S. Air Force band in 1980. In his professional career he has played guitar in more than 22 countries on four continents, radio and television, and performed for heads of state and dignitaries from several countries. He has played guitar with musicians such as John Stowell, Tony Rizzi, Tom Kubis, Carl Verheyen and Wilford Brimley.

John Butler is a Fulbright Scholar in music with extensive experience performing and teaching guitar nationally and internationally. He has lived and worked as a professional musician in New York, Holland and Peru, and now is based out of Portland, Oregon. John has recorded albums of original jazz compositions, and was the guitarist on the 1987 Audio Daddio album featuring Art Foxall, "Art's Back in Town," recorded in Holland. John has performed with Jack McDuff, Jim Pepper, Wilbur Little, David Friesen, Essiet Essiet, and others.

Frank Clayton studied music at the Berklee College of Music and the Manhattan School of Music. He studied Bass with Dave Holland and Cecil McBee, and percussion with Alan Dawson and Morris Goldenberg. Frank has performed nationally and internationally with some of the top names in jazz, including Jaki Byard, Herb Ellis, Lee Konitz, Charles Mingus, Sam Rivers and Albert Ayler.

Jim Day plays fingerstyle on an acoustic jazz guitar with a bit of amplification. Jim has played with many jazz legends, including Miles Davis, Freddy Hubbard, Stan Kenton, Della Reece and Henry Mancini. In his early rock and roll days he played with Jerry Lee Lewis, Chubby Checker, Connie Stevens, and Brenda Lee. Jim has three CDs of his own and has been on numerous recording sessions with national and regional recording artists.

Dan Duval began studying vibraphone at age 10. As a young musician in Portland he was changed by an intense week of instruction with renowned jazz vibist Gary Burton, who inspired him to see the unlimited musical possibilities of his instrument. He went on to graduate from Western Washington University with degrees in Music Performance and Music Education, and currently performs around the Puget Sound with his Good Vibes Trio. He's known for a unique vibraphone style, which combines an old school jazz feel with modern mallet technique.

Ted Enderle was originally from Philadelphia where he studied double bass with noted jazz bassist Al Stauffer and with Roger Scott, principal bassist with the Philadelphia Orchestra. Ted is one of the Olympic Peninsula's busiest jazz bassists, and has performed on both coasts of the US with musicians that include Larry McKenna, Chuck Anderson, Darryl Brown, Hadley Caliman, Art Foxall and Paul Moen.

Chuck Easton, a multi-instrumentalist, performs with Mark on guitar. Chuck graduated from Boston's Berklee College of Music and plays bass in the Pt. Townsend Orchestra and other groups. Chuck teaches guitar, flute, trombone, saxophone, bass, piano, and clarinet. For many years he has been on faculty for Centrum's Jazz Pt. Townsend and the Elderhostel NW Big Band. He often joins local groups, playing a variety of instruments. Chuck is also a composer, and was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts grant for jazz composition.

David Friesen has recorded over 65 CD's as a leader/ co-leader and appeared as a sideman or featured artist on more than 100 recordings. Born in Tacoma, David now lives in Portland, Oregon where he performs, teaches and records. He regularly tours in the US and Europe where he performs as a solo artist (one of two or three bassists in the world that is able to play a solo concert and keep an audience riveted) and with his own groups. "Once in a great while, a musician emerges with such authority and such seemingly effortless originality that his place in the front ranks of his instrument is unquestioned. So it is with David Friesen." - Nat Hentoff

Charles Gaines is known for bringing influences to his work as a percussionist from all musical styles. Drawing from his experience in blues, pop, R&B and jazz, Charles displays an eclectic mix of rhythms and colors with each performance. Recently, he has devoted more than 1000 hours within a one year period to develop his Master Drumworks Approach to Drumming.

Karin Kajita has degrees in music, piano performance and music education from the University of Washington. She went on to pursue a career in jazz, traveling to contracts in Japan, Denver, Canada, New York, Kansas and Utah. She has played at all the major hotels in Seattle, including the Westin, Hilton, Warwick, Sheraton, Alexis and Sorrento, and frequently performs as leader of her own quintet.

Brian Kinsella, a Seattle native, has degrees in Jazz Studies and Philosophy from the University of Washington. He studied jazz piano with Barney McClure, Marc Seales and Marius Nordal. Brian has been the primary accompanist for the vocal jazz department at Cornish College of the Arts; a clinician and resident artist at the Ketchikan Jazz Festival; and a private teacher in the Olympia area. Brian is also an active member of the Seattle Pianist Collective and Olympia's Jazz Senators and has worked with many Northwest jazz luminaries including Jay Thomas, Mark Taylor, Mark Ivester, Phil Sparks, Bert Wilson and Denney Goodhew.

Brian Kirk is the Professor of Jazz, Percussion, and Music Theory at Seattle Central Community College. He received a Master of Arts Jazz/Contemporary Music Studies from New York University and also studied at Indiana University. Brian Kirk spent ten years in New York City performing Jazz drums locally and on several European tours with Lou Donaldson, Jack McDuff, and Little Jimmy Scott, in addition to accompanying Dizzy Gillespie, Bobby Hutcherson, The Lionel Hampton Orchestra, and The Count Basie Orchestra (under the direction of Grover Mitchell). He was also first call on New York's Broadway show scene performing in Ain't Misbehavin' (featuring The Pointer Sisters), Five Guys Named Moe, Fiddler on the Roof, Les Miserables, and other shows. He has made numerous recordings including the soundtracks from "Philadelphia" starring Tom Hanks, "The Money Train" "A Rage in Harlem" starring Forrest Whitaker, and the original soundtracks of David Lynch's' "Twin Peaks - Fire Walk with Me", "Five Guys Named Moe" and The Pointer Sisters "Ain't Misbehavin" on Sony Records.

Chuck Kistler is a graduate of the Berklee College of Music where he studied with Garrison Fewell, Donny Nolan, Mitch Haupers & Phil Wilson. He's played bass professionally in the Northwest since the late 90's and has been described as a first call instrumentalist by the Seattle Times (January 4th, 2013). Chuck has worked with many notable musicians including Hadley Caliman, Ernie Watts, Ernestine Anderson, Eartha Kitt, Kevin Mahogany, Petula Clark and Diane Schuur, among others. In Seattle he works regularly with most of the stars of the local scene. Chuck has given clinics at high schools and colleges throughout the Northwest.

Trent Leurquin studied music at Olympic College and music performance at Western Washington University. He is an accomplished composer and bassist, and has performed with several different groups including Jazz Junkies and Chain Reaction. Trent performs most frequently in jazz, fusion and R&B styles.

Steve Luceno is a highly respected Northwest acoustic bassist for a number of regional artists, and has produced CDs of his own original jazz compositions. Steve's playing experience includes many trips to Mexico with the Jerry Michelsen Trio and working with a variety of artists in the Northwest, including Obrador, Bert Wilson, Jack Perciful, John Stowell, Slim Galliard, Sonny Simmons, Mose Allison, Ocho Pies and Hadley Calliman.

Josh Mason has been performing as a jazz pianist in the Pacific Northwest for the past 20 years. During that time he has opened or performed with the Yellow Jackets, Diana Krall, Diane Shuur, Joe Williams w/Louie Belson, and many well-known Seattleites such as Greta Matassa, Hadley Caliman and Jay Thomas. You can hear a mixture of influences in his sound from greats such as Gene Harris, McCoy Tyner, Michael Brecker, Keith Jarrett, and the master of simplicity and space, Count Basie.

Robert Matthews has performed nationally and internationally with some of the top names in jazz. He was the original bass player with Sergio Mendes and Brasil 66, and in the Willie Bobo Band, the Woody Herman Band, and the Tex Beneke-Glen Miller Band, to name a few. Robert has performed in numerous major jazz festivals, and in venues such as Caesar's and Harrah's in Tahoe, Harrah's in Reno, and the Playboy Clubs in Chicago and Los Angeles. Robert has performed with a long list of famous musicians, including Duke Ellington, Errol Garner, Roger Kellaway, Shelly Manne, Lenny Breau, and Antonio Carlos Jobim, and singers Sammy Davis Jr., Tony Bennett, Al Jarreau, and Lou Rawls.

Barney McClure is one of the most respected jazz pianists in the Northwest. He has performed and/or recorded with too many jazz legends to mention, including Zoot Sims, Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson, Joe Pass, Herb Ellis, Barney Kessel, Larry Coryell, Milt Jackson and Gary Peacock, and backed such notables as Bob Hope, Bob Newhart and Steve Allen. He spends many hours a day in his studio composing original music from Reggae to jazz to classical to... He has written a popular book on jazz improvisation and is involved in managing a number of music festivals. You can also hear Barney in the movies "Officer and a Gentleman," and the soundtrack of "Mr. Holland's Opus."

Bob Merrihew is one of the Northwest's most tasteful and sensitive drummers. Bob and Mark started working together over 30 years ago, and their long association is obvious when you hear them perform together in a quartet.

Steve Nowak has been a well-respected guitarist in the Pacific Northwest for many years. After touring nationally in the 1970's and '80's, Steve has spent the past two decades in Seattle, honing his formidable jazz and rhythm and blues skills. Steve has played and recording with talented performers such as Lonnie Williams, Jay Thomas, Norm Bellas, Seattle Women in Rhythm & Blues, Jay Roberts, the Drifters and numerous others.

Ray Ohls teaches jazz piano at Olympic College and is retired from the US Navy Band where he was Chief Protocol Piano Player for Navy Band Washington DC and first call pianist for the vice-president under two administrations. Jazz artists Ray has performed with include Marcus Belgrave, Wendell Harrison, Bobby Shew, and Andy Martin.

Richard Person picked up his dad's trumpet at age five and was fronting dance bands by age thirteen. In his high school years he also studied saxophone and piano, and worked in bands playing all styles. Drafted after three years of college, he played in the army concert band and big band performing swing and jazz. After his time in the military he went on the road with several different types of groups, and played almost all fifty states. Finally landing in southern California, Richard hooked up with several influential players while fine-tuning his musical style. There he worked in the recording industry and in clubs. His credits include Hollywood studio stints with Billy May, Les Baxter and the Della Reese Big Band.

Milo Petersen is currently on the affiliate faculty at Seattle Central Community College and was recently honored by the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts. In 1993 he was awarded a composition grant by the Seattle Art's Commission. Milo Petersen and the Jazz Disciples were featured in the Encyclopedia Of Northwest Music by James Bush. Milo has performed with a wide array of artists including Eartha Kitt, Ernestine Anderson, Julian Priester, Cedar Walton and Mose Allison. He has also played for a variety of shows including The Fifth Dimension, The Bob Hope Show, The Coasters and The Drifters.

Derick Polk is a Bassist and retired Navy Musician. While in the Navy, Derick performed all over the world including high profile events for World Leaders. Derick has also performed with artists including Ernestine Anderson, Fred Anderson, Rosemary Clooney, Lou Donaldson, Von Freeman, Eddie Harris, Dizzy Gillespie, Bunky Green, Milt Jackson, Henry Johnson, Delfeayo Marsailas, Ronnie Matthews and Clark Terry.  Derick has performed in the national tour of Ain't Misbehavin and in productions of Anything Goes, Chorus Line, Godspell, The King and I, My Fair Lady and Oklahoma. He has also performed with the Bremerton Symphony, Ravenswood Community Orchestra and Lake Shore Symphony Orchestra.

Michael Powers graduated Magna Cum Laude from Seattle's prestigious Cornish College of the Arts with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Composition and Performance. One of the Northwest's most popular guitarists, Michael has performed with, recorded with or shared billings with Herbie Hancock, Eddie "Clean Head" Vinson, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Ray Charles, Diane Schuur, and R&B greats Gladys Knight and the Pips and Atlantic Starr, among others.

George Radebaugh holds a bachelor's degree in music composition from the University of California, Santa Barbara, but is currently most interested in the spontaneity of jazz improvisation. Originally from the East Coast, he now resides in Port Townsend and can be heard throughout the Northwest playing jazz, funk and other styles. He has worked with Chuck Easton, Pete Toyne, Rickey Kelly, Phil Sparks, Bud Shank, and many other Northwest jazz greats. George frequently plays solo piano and is a preferred accompanist for jazz singers.

Mikel Rollins, a multi-instrumentalist, will perform with Mark on bass - and maybe guitar, and maybe even some sax … Mikel has performed throughout the Western U.S. and Japan, and has shared his broad musical knowledge with children by teaching instrumental music classes at Seattle's Cooper Elementary and Stevens Elementary schools. Mikel currently leads his own Momentum Jazz Quartet, and has performed with a number of well-known Northwest jazz groups, including the Lonnie Williams Group, Clarence Acox Group and Hadley Caliman Ensemble.

Paul Sawyer, a Seattle guitarist, has played professionally for over 20 years and is on the adjunct music faculty at North Seattle Community College. He studied at the Berklee College Of Music in Boston and privately with master bassist Gary Peacock. His credits include performances with Petula Clark, Lonnie Williams, Sam Andrew (of Big Brother/Janis Joplin) and Steve Smith (Drummer for Journey and Vital Information).

Bud Schultz holds a Bachelor of Music degree from University of Puget Sound. Bud has played and recorded with such greats as Milt Hinton, Larry Bunker, and Martin Denny. He is the accompanist for Makini Magee, the former accompanist for Patti Suzuki, and has accompanied such jazz notables as Mel Torme, Johnny Desmond, Dorothy Dandridge, and Helen O'Connell.

Christina Shinkle is a keyboardist, composer, and improviser with strong roots in jazz and African American gospel music. After growing up in Bremerton, she trained as a jazz musician at the Interlochen Arts Academy and the University of Miami. She moved back to Seattle and played in various local venues with various musicians in various permutations. She has played for jazz groups, avant-garde groups, improvisational theater groups, a variety pack of vocalists, blues bands, an Elvis impersonator, Latin bands, and a local African American gospel composer and psalmist. She has also toured and recorded as a side person.

Michael Stoican is an Emmy award-winning composer and performer. He studied music with jazz/fusion virtuoso Don Mock and legendary jazz guitarist Howard Roberts, and has been a guitar and electric bass instructor at Olympic College for more than 20 years. Michael has composed and recorded for numerous televised programs, many of which have won Emmy or International Telly awards for their musical scores. He can be heard on PBS productions such as "Over America," "America's Historic Trails with Tom Bodett," and Rick Steves' "Travels in Europe."

John Stowell is a highly acclaimed Portland-based jazz guitarist who tours, records and teaches internationally. He has been Artist-In-Residence at schools in Germany, Indonesia, Argentina, and in the United States and Canada. He served as assistant director and performer in Oregon Public Broadcasting's PDX Jazz Summit in 1991, and since 1995 has been a contributing columnist for a number of magazines, including "Downbeat," "Guitar Player" and Canadian Musician." His album, "Through the Listening Glass" with David Friesen, was chosen one of the "Ten Best Jazz Albums of the Decade" by the Los Angeles Examiner. John has performed or recorded with a number of famous jazz musicians, including Milt Jackson, Lionel Hampton, Art Farmer, Herb Ellis and George Cables. "In the age of mediocrity and clones, John Stowell's uniqueness and originality are a breath of fresh air." - Paul Horn

Nelda Swiggett, pianist, is an active performer and composer on the Seattle music scene. She formed her first band in 1990, and has since performed at many of Seattle's leading clubs, concerts and festivals, including the Earshot Jazz Festival, Bumbershoot, and a KPLU-FM Summer Jazz Cruise. Her CD of original compositions, No Time for Daydreams, received extensive airplay on Seattle's jazz stations as well as national and international airplay. In 1998, her talent for composition was recognized by an Artist Trust Fellowship from the Washington State Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts. In addition to performing and composing, Nelda keeps a busy schedule teaching jazz and classical piano.

Rick White is a classically trained composer and jazz bassist, which combine to make both his compositions and his playing truly unique. His first experiences as a bassist were in R&B bands playing clubs all over the Western U.S. giving him strong roots in groove oriented music. After this he chose to pursue a more formal music education and received a masters degree in Music Composition from Northern Illinois University, where his compositions received top awards each year he attended. While in school Rick maintained a busy schedule as a sideman as well as back up to many guest artists such as Tito Puente, Clark Terry, Mark Murphy, and Bob Mintzer to name a few. Currently, Rick is the Director of Instrumental Music at Olympic College where he teaches music theory, jazz theory, bass lessons, and conducts both the Jazz and Wind ensembles.

Lonnie Williams is known in the Seattle music community as one of the leading tenor and alto saxophone players in the Northwest. Originally from Texas, Lonnie has performed with many blues legends including Charlie Musselwhite, Otis Rush and Robert Cray. Lonnie is the great saxophone player for whom Mark Lewis wrote the popular song "Lonnie Knows."

Ray Wood has played the guitar professionally for over half a century and has performed around the world. He plays everything from bebop to doo-wop and has toured with acts such as The Coasters, and the Louvin Brothers. As one of the most revered guitarists in the Northwest, Ray is a regular instructor at the Puget Sound Guitar Workshop and the Wintergrass Academy.