THE JAZZ HERITAGE ORCHESTRA
The artistic director is Dennis Bradley Reynolds, a former lead trumpet player with the Count Basie Band directed by Frank Foster, a former member of the Lionel Hampton orchestra and a former lead trumpeter with the Clark Terry Big Band. Mr. Reynolds has performed with such stars as Dizzy Gillespie, Steve Lawrence and Edie Gormé, Rita Moreno, Patti Austin, Roberta Flack, Rosemary Clooney and Ella Fitzgerald. A resident of Warren, Ohio, Reynolds has assembled this group of artists who make up the Jazz Heritage Orchestra not only because they are excellent performers and teachers, but also for their ability to relate to young people and to serve as role models. Reynolds is a graduate of the Lamont School of Music.
The virtuoso saxophonist and flutist, Vincent L. York, formerly with the Duke Ellington Orchestra (directed by the late Mercer Ellington) has performed with some of music and entertainment's all-time greats. Some of the performers he has accompanied include the Temptations, the Four Tops, Aretha Franklin, Ella Fitzgerald, Sammy Davis, Jr., Wayne Newton, Bob Hope, George Burns, Patti Page, Natalie Cole, Johnny Mathis, Liberace, and Jerry Lewis. He also held the title of musical director for Martha Reeves and the Vandellas. Vincent has performed across the United States, Europe, and Japan, including appearances on the Mike Douglas and Ed Sullivan Shows, and at presidential dinners for Gerald R. Ford and Jimmy Carter. He brings his big band experiences with Cab Calloway, the Ray Charles Orchestra, Bob Crosby Orchestra, Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, Doc Severenson & The Tonight Show Band, and the Jimmy Wilkins Orchestra to the Jazz Heritage Orchestra. He has two CDs currently available, "Blending Forces", and "Focusing the Vision". York has a masters degree in music from the University of Michigan.
James A. Anderson, Jr. bring a wealth of experience to his post as bassist. Over the past 30 years, he has toured and performed with such artists as Nat Adderley, Johnny Hartman, Joe Henderson, Della Reese, Clark Terry, and Bobby Watson. He's also played and toured as a part of the Art Farmer/Clifford Jordon Quintet and the Pharoah Sanders Quartet. When not performing with the Jazz Heritage Orchestra, Anderson serves as the co-founder and co-leader of the Cohesion Jazz Ensemble. Anderson, a native Cincinnatian, studied at the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati and the Berklee College of Music in Boston.
As a jazz trombonist and vocalist, Earlie Braggs has extensive professional performing experience, having performed throughout Europe and the United States dating back to 1975. He has played with some of the biggest names in jazz and entertainment, including trumpeters Cat Anderson and Clark Terry, clarinetist Henry Questa, jazz violinist Claude "Fiddler" Williams, jazz pianist Jay "Hootie" McShann, Della Reese, Steve Allen, Cab Calloway, and the New York Voices. From 1997 through 1999, he went on jazz tours with the Illinois Jacquet Big Band to France, Germany, Holland, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Belgium, Kansas City's Jazz Festival, Chicago's Jazz Festival, and Lincoln Center. Earlie is currently working on a soon-to-be released recording with the New Kansas City Seven featuring Kansas City's most well-known baritone saxophonist Kerry Strayer, Los Angeles studio recording artist saxophonist Gary Foster and composer, arranger, and pianist Frank Mantooth. Braggs has a masters degree in music from Western Michigan University.
Michael Wade began playing trumpet in his pre-teen years. During his career he has been named one of the top ten unsigned jazz, brass players as rated by Jazziz Magazine (1997). He has performed and/or recorded with such artists as Bootsy Collins, Teddy Pendergrass, The O'Jays, Earth, Wind & Fire, and Bobby Watson. He has performed on Black Entertainment Television (BET) Jazz Discovery show and WOSU Jazz Voices television series. He has performed on numerous compilation CDs and has two of his own, "Be Truthful" and his latest CD, "Reality," a blend of funky hip-hop, smooth jazz and R&B.
Pharez Whitted is a national recording artist and the Director of Jazz Studies at Chicago State University. Whitted is a jazz trumpet artist who has an extensive and impressive background. He has worked with Bradford Marsalis, George Duke, John Mellencamp, Lou Rawls, The O'Jays, The Dells, and the Temptations -- just to name a few. Pharez also performed on the Arsenio Hall Show, the Billboard Music Awards, MTV, BET, and BET on Jazz. Pharez is a producer, composer, and is known for his musical arrangements. He has two solo CD recordings under the Motown/Mojazz record label, "Pharez Whitted" and "Mysterious Cargo," from which cuts can still be heard on jazz stations throughout the country. Whitted has a masters degree from Indiana University.
SteepleChase recording artist Brad Goode is a double threat; he is an impressive talent as a trumpeter, as well as a jazz bassist. Goode led his own combo from 1986 until 1998, appearing at major festivals, and night clubs around the world, including a twelve year weekly stint at the famous Green Mill jazz club in Chicago. Having studied with Cat Anderson, Vincent DiMartino, Larry Gray and Donald Garrett, Goode has learned techniques from some of the contemporary jazz greats. Goode, in turn, has served on the faculties of the American Conservatory of Music, New Trier HS, Cuyahoga Community College, and the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music, where he is currently an Assistant Professor of Jazz Studies. When not making frequent appearances as a soloist and clinician at colleges and high schools throughout the country, he records music for the Delmark, Sunlight, and Steeplechase labels. Goode has a masters degree in Bass from DePaul University.
John Olsson is one of the great orchestral trombonists in the Cleveland area. Olsson has performed with the Pittsburgh Opera, Cleveland Light Opera, Cleveland Opera and Ballet Orchestra, Akron, Youngstown, and Westmoreland Symphony Orchestras. He has played with such notables as: Jerry Lewis, Keith Lockhart, Doc Severenson, The Temptations, Toni Tenille, and Frankie Valli. He is currently an instructor of Trombone/Euphonium at West Liberty State College, Malone College, Mount Union College, and is Artist-In Residence of Low Brass at Kent State University-Stark Campus. Olsson holds a Masters degree in Trombone Orchestral Performance from Carnegie-Mellon University.
Eddie Bayard is a very gifted and exciting reedman. With over ten years experience, he has become one of the most talented young lions in the nation. He has toured Europe with various jazz groups, and has recently shared the stage with the likes of Marlon Jordan and Gary Bartz. Edwin has played with alto saxophonist Wes Anderson (Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra), the late great jazz vocalist Betty Carter, and Jazz Heritage Orchestra trumpeter Pharez Whitted among others. Eddie is currently gearing up for his first recording as a leader as well as playing with various groups around the country.
Christopher Burge, saxophonist, has toured much of the United States, Europe, and Asia, and has performed with artists such as Stanley Turrentine, Barry White, David Sanborn, The Temptations, Louie Bellson, Frank Foster, and Bobby Caldwell. Christopher currently performs and teaches in Cleveland, and can be seen on the television show, "Live with David Lynch."
David Kay is a renowned saxophonist and instructor in and around the Cleveland area. As a musician, he has performed with players in the New Tonight Show band and the Saturday Night Live band on jazz recordings that have been reviewed in Down Beat and Fanfare magazines. He has performed in concert with (among others) Aretha Franklin, Mel Torme, The Temptations, the Four Tops, Lou Rawls, Nancy Wilson, Gary Burton, and Nelson Riddle. Kay has also been on the faculty of several local and regional colleges, including St. Mary's, Case Western Reserve, Baldwin-Wallace, Indiana, and Purdue Universities. Currently, Kay is on the music faculty at University School, a private school in suburban Cleveland, an instructor in the East Cleveland School System, and a member of the faculty at the world-renowned Interlochen Arts Camp in Michigan. Many of his students have gone on to study music/jazz at such elite institutions as Interlochen, the Cincinnati Conservatory, the University of Southern California, and the Berklee School of Music (Boston). Kay is currently working on his Ph.D. in Music Education from CWRU.
James Pisano has a national reputation as a soloist, clinician, freelance musician, adjudicator, teacher, and instrument repair person. He has performed as a soloist with noted jazz artists Clark Terry, Phil Woods, Louie Bellson, Milt Hinton, Frank Foster, Frank Wess, Carl Fontana, Jon Faddis, Arturo Sandoval, Marvin Stamm, Gerry Mulligan, Frank Mantooth, and Kenny Werner. In addition, he has performed with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, the Artie Shaw Band, the Coasters, the Miami City Ballet, the New World Symphony, and the award-winning University of Miami Concert Jazz Band. Mr. Pisano has performed throughout the world in Italy, Germany, South Africa, and the United Kingdom, as well as numerous occasions in Carnegie Hall under the direction of John Rutter. He has performed at such events as the International Association of Jazz Educators' convention, twice as a featured soloist, and the 80th birthday celebration for Clark Terry. Pisano has studied under such artists/pedagogues as Joe Viola, Frank Wess, and Kenny Werner while receiving his Masters degree from the University of Miami.
Dave Thomas is the orchestra's talented piano player. A native of Youngstown,
Ohio, Thomas was an original member of the R&B group, "Sweet
Thunder". He has also performed with numerous artists including the
late James Cleveland, Dizzie Gillespie, Albert Ayler, Jean Carre, David
Ruffin, and Grover Washington. His musical involvement also includes musical
theater as a writer, performer, and musical director in performances such
as "The Living Cross," "The Audition," and "Black
Nativity," which have played throughout the United States and Canada.
He is also a gifted educator, having worked at The Cleveland School of
the Arts, Cuyahoga Community College, Cleveland State University, and
Case Western Reserve University. He is the co-author of a book entitled,
"A Child's First Book of Spirituals," which is the recipient
of the Coretta Scott King Award. Presently, he is a music teacher with
the Cleveland Board of Education School District, Musical Staff member
of The Southeast Seventh Day Adventist, Faculty member of The Cleveland
State University, and Minister of Music at St. Timothy Baptist Church.
He earned his undergraduate and graduate Music degrees from Cleveland
State, Cleveland Institute of Music, Case Western Reserve University,
and postgraduate work at the Royal Holloway College in London, England.
Gary Adams is a talented orchestral tubist and educator. Adams has worked with the area's top orchestras including the Cleveland Orchestra, the Cleveland Opera Orchestra, the Erie Philharmonic Orchestra, the Canton Symphony Orchestra, and Metropolitan Brass Quintet, which he also directs. Currently, Gary is on the faculties of Kent State University, Cleveland State University, and the Cleveland Institute of Music. He presently performs as principle tubist of the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra, the Cleveland Chamber Symphony, and the Metropolitan Brass Quintet as well as an extra with the Cleveland Orchestra. Adams has his M.M. in Tuba performance from the University of Akron.
Dean Hullet is a talented up and coming classical bassist. Playing since
the age of ten, Hullet has played with numerous jazz bands. Currently,
he is playing with Muvment, a band directed by the great James Gaiters.
Hullet is majoring in jazz at the Ohio State University.
Jesse Dandy, Jr. is the orchestra's accomplished Double Bass player. A member of the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame, Dandy has performed throughout the northeast Ohio area for the last fifteen years. He has also performed with the renowned jazz performers Cab Calloway, Little Jimmy Scott, Glen Covington, and Eddie Harris. Jesse and his wife, Elanor Dandy, are founders of Keep Vintage Jazz Alive (K.V.J.A.), a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of standards and jazz tunes from the 1930's to the 60's. Currently, Jesse serves as the Education Director for the Northeast Jazz Society, (N.O.J.S.). Dandy is a graduated of Alabama A&M University and has studied under Mr. Harry Barnhoff of the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra and later with internationally known jazz bassist and recording artist Rufus Reid.
An inspiring music educator as well as a Grammy nominated drummer, Greg
Bandy is a musical treasure. Bandy has performed with Joe Henderson, Betty
Carter, Pharoah Sanders, Freddie Hubbard, Stanley Turrentine, George Benson,
Yusef Lateef and many more, securing his status as a living legend. Of
Greg, the New Yorker, wrote, "...one of those rare old-school drummers
who remind you what the art of jazz percussion is all about, adds class
as well as rhythmic friction to Bartz's band." His playing is described
as "progressive, not nostalgic, employing music from all over the
globe." Bandy is a staple of jazz festivals the world over.
Jerome Jennings, a native Clevelander, is the Orchestra's up and coming drummer. Jennings has studied with some of the Cleveland's finest, such as Dave Drotis, Ralph Jackson, Greg Bandy, and Bill Ransom. Although only 21 years of age, Jerome has an impressive portfolio of playing experience. In 1999, Jennings received a musical-based scholarship to attend The Ohio State University working towards a bachelor degree in Jazz Studies. Soon after his arrival in Columbus, he began what would become a two-year gig with Mojazz recording artist and trumpeter for the Jazz Heritage Orchestra, Pharez Whitted and world-renowned trombonist Slide Hampton, including a performance at the Indy Fest, held in Indianapolis, Indiana. Jennings brings a wealth of talent to the Orchestra.
Marion Hayden is the orchestra's critically-acclaimed acoustic bassist.
She has received rave reviews from publications ranging from the Detroit
Free Press to the Boston Globe to the New York Times. As a freelance artist,
Hayden has performed with a variety of jazz and popular artists including:
Lionel Hampton, Ellis Marsalis, Kirk Lightsey, Martha Reeves (of Martha
and the Vandellas), Michael Feinstein, Josh White Jr., Geri Allen and
Curtis Fuller. Marion is also a co-founder of the jazz quintet Straight
Ahead - a five woman ensemble that has recorded 3 records for Atlantic
Jazz. As a bassist, Hayden's playing displays openness and mobility, tempered
with an unwavering sense of time and a lyrical solo style. Hayden received
formal training in music through private instruction and has done Masters
studies at Michigan State University.