Saxophonist Jeff Antoniuk is an internationally respected jazz composer and musician whose concerts and recordings are consistently well received by critics. His CD’s, including "The Blind Watchmaker" with The MARS 4-tet and "Brotherhood" and "Here Today" with The Jazz Update have been lauded by jazz critics around the world. They note his exceptional compositions as well as the his peerless technique. Antoniuk has shared the stage with US masters including Ray Charles, Natalie Cole, Jimmy Haslip, Najee and Marcus Miller. He's also worked with Canadian greats PJ Perry, Senator Tommy Banks, big band leader Rob McConnell, pop icon David Foster and trumpet sensation Ingrid Jensen. In 2017, Jeff was the featured soloist with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in the world premier of their "Swingin' Nutcracker," a jazz reinvention of the 25 movement Tchaikovsky classic. Antoniuk’s widely popular "Digging Deeper Jazz" You Tube channel is approaching 500,000 views. A dedicated teaching artist, Antoniuk has been a featured performer and educator at numerous festivals, including Juneau Jazz & Classics, The Jazz Educator Network (JEN) Annual Convention, the Edmonton International Jazz Festival, the International Saxophone Symposium, MacEwan Summer Jazz, and at The White House. He is the founder and artistic director of Maryland Summer Jazz, and directs two other adult music programs in the USA: Jazz Band Masterclass and the Capital City Voices. In 2018, Antoniuk launched Jazz Wire, the global home for adult amateur and semipro jazz musicians.
Jazz Trombonist Harry Watters travels nationally and internationally as a Jupiter Artist. His numerous Summit Records releases include the popular Love Songs and the three critically acclaimed Brothers discs with trumpeter Ken Watters. Harry is constantly in demand as a Jupiter Artist and Clinician. He has presented his "Power Practicing" seminar at the American Band College, the Jazz Education Network National Conference, and many more. After graduation from the University of North Texas, Harry spent four years touring and recording with the renowned Dukes of Dixieland. While working at night on Bourbon Street, a sleep-deprived Watters attended the University of New Orleans by day, serving as the graduate assistant to Professor Ellis Marsalis. Watters has performed with Pete Fountain, Carl Fontana, James Moody, Peter Erskine and many more. In addition, Harry has appeared as a featured soloist with the Syracuse Symphony, the Baton Rouge Symphony, the Louisiana Philharmonic, the Tulsa Pops, the West Virginia Symphony, the University of North Texas One O'Clock Lab Band, the Janacek Philharmonic, the Moldovan Festival Orchestra and the U.S. Army Orchestra.
Amy Shook is one of the most in-demand acoustic bassists in the mid- Atlantic, coveted for her huge sound and infectious, driving groove. In addition to being a premier performing and recording artist, she is an accomplished composer and music educator, co-leads the Shook/Russo 5tet, and performs regularly with the Fred Hughes Trio, as well as the all women powerhouse trio the 3Divas. Amy has performed with Maurice Hines, Sherrie Maricle and the DIVA Jazz Orchestra, Lionel Hampton, Larry Willis, George Mesterhazy, Wessell Anderson, Ali Ryerson, Jim Snidero, Walt Weiskopf, Bruce Barth, Steve Nelson and Lewis Nash, to name a few. She has performed at the Kennedy Center, Blues Alley, Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola, Birchmere, Arena Stage, off-Broadway at New World Stages in NYC, the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival, the Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival, and the Cape May Jazz Festival, and performed at the White House twice by special invitation.
From the drum set Sherrie leads The DIVA Jazz Orchestra, her quintet FIVE PLAY and co-leads the 3Divas. From Carnegie Hall, she performs with The New York Pops and from celebrated stages everywhere, she is music director and drummer for Broadway star Maurice Hines. Sherrie is also a busy freelance performer and a published composer/arranger. The DIVA Jazz Orchestra’s 25th Anniversary Project (2018, ArtistShare) is the band’s most recent Cd, featuring original music composed by band members. With her bands Sherrie has performed at many of the world’s most acclaimed music venues and festivals; from Lincoln Center to the Kennedy Center and the Hollywood Bowl, to Jazz Festivals in Europe, Japan, Israel and beyond. Additionally, DIVA was featured on CBS Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood, on TCM’s televised broadcast of the 25th Anniversary of the Kennedy Center and NHK Japan’s New York Jazz. Sherrie has received several awards and honors, including the New York City Music Educator’s Award for Outstanding Contributions to Education. As an educator, Sherrie runs a private drum set and percussion studio. She is also a clinician for Yamaha Drums, Sabian Cymbals, Aquarian Drum Heads and Vic Firth Drum Sticks. After earning her Bachelor of Arts degree in 1985 from Binghamton University Sherrie moved to New York City and attended New York University, where she completed a Masters of Arts in Jazz Performance in 1986 and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Jazz Performance/Composition in 2000.
A native of Colorado, pianist Jackie Warren originally came to Ohio upon the recommendations of her teachers to study classical piano at Oberlin Conservatory with Sedmara Zakarian Rutstein, where she graduated with a B.M. in performance. While at Oberlin, she also studied jazz arranging, composition, and theory with Wendell Logan, who became a mentor to her, and encouraged her to study jazz piano with Neal Creque and jazz improvisation with Kenny Davis. Jackie received a M.M. from Cleveland State University in classical piano performance, studying with Andrius Kuprevicius and Daniel Barber, but continued her lessons with Creque, and has been based in Cleveland ever since. Jackie performs regularly as a soloist, but has her own jazz trio, arranges and plays salsa and Latin jazz with percussionist Sammy Deleon y Su Orquesta. In addition to these groups, Jackie has performed locally and nationally with such artists and groups as David Fathead Newman, Clark Terry, Jimmy Heath, Tito Puente, Jr., Percy Sledge, and many more, as well as the Tuscarawas Philharmonic, the Jazz Heritage Orchestra, the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra, and the Afro Cleveland Orchestra. Jackie can be heard regularly at local venues. Jackie is also an educator and clinician, and has taught jazz arranging and composition and coached jazz combos at Oberlin; she is currently on the Jazz Studies Faculty at Cuyahoga Community College, Metro Campus, where she coaches jazz ensembles, and teaches piano class and private lessons. She is also on the faculty at the Cleveland Music School Settlement.
Kenny Rittenhouse has led his own jazz quartet for the past 20 years, performing in and around the Washington, DC area. He has performed with many great jazz artists including Larry Willis, Ralph Peterson, Don Braden, Buck Hill, and Steve Wilson. He is a member of The Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra and The Army Blues Jazz Ensemble. He is also Adjunct Professor of Jazz Trumpet at George Mason University in Fairfax, VA. The Kenny Rittenhouse Ensemble is one of the hardest swinging jazz groups in the greater DC metro area. The group, under the direction of trumpeter Kenny Rittenhouse, was formed several years ago and has appeared in such venues as Blues Alley, Bohemian Caverns, and Twins Jazz Club. The group recorded their first release (a sextet) in 2006 titled “The Francis Suite”. Their second release, recorded in February 2013 is titled “New York Suite”. It’s a hard swinging septet playing mostly original songs highlighting traditional straight ahead jazz with a bit of Funk & R&B in the mix.
Donato Soviero has been working in and around the DC area for twenty years as a performer. Noted for his superb artistry as a guitarist and composer, Donato's versatility affords him equal comfort in many venues, both as bandleader and sideman. While his roots are firmly planted in the tradition of mainstream jazz, his scope of musical interest is nonetheless wide. As composer and arranger, these influences can often be heard shaping his own unique voice. As a teenager, Donato's inspiration to play the guitar came from Wes Montgomery, Jimi Hendrix, Joe Pass, Howard Roberts, and Emily Remler. A resident of the Washington D.C. area since 1982, Donato has appeared with top local and national artists, as well as leading many of his own groups in the United States, Europe and the Caribbean. Locally, Donato has played at the Kennedy Center, Blues Alley, The One Step Down, Corcoran’s Hammer Auditorium, Twins Jazz, Bohemian Caverns, and The Smithsonian's Imax Jazz Cafe. At the Carter Barron Amphitheater Donato opened for Poncho Sanchez and Tito Puente with a program of all original Latin music composed for the occasion. He has appeared with national artists at Wolftrap, the Convention Center, and RFK Stadium. Donato has also played for Presidents, and at the State Department for the Thelonious Monk Institute. Mr. Soviero has been the recipient of several awards, including a 1994 TAP Award from the D.C. Commission of the Arts and Humanities and a 1995 GIA Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.
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