Singer and pianist. Andrew Walesch is a new and exciting voice in the national jazz scene. Whether recording jingles, producing shows, composing and arranging, or singing as a solo artist and with big bands all over the country, Andrew is known for his unique approach to The Great American Songbook. He has recorded two albums and has sung and played on the stage of The Bluebird Cafe in Nashville and the the legendary Chicago Theater. He also has appeared on the nationally syndicated broadcast Mountain Stage on NPR. Andrew is currently working with Grammy Award winning songwriter Jon Vezner on a new project of standards and originals. In May of 2010, he graduated with a music degree from St. John's University, in Collegeville, MN.
Alongside with Andrew,
One of these two bassists:
GORDON JOHNSON (bass)
Eastman School of Music graduate, Gordon Johnson toured extensively throughout the ‘70s & ‘80s with the Maynard Ferguson Orchestra, Chuck Mangione, Doc Severinsen, Roy Buchanan and the Paul Winter Consort. Back home in the Twin Cities in recent times, he has performed with many great jazz artists, including Joanne Brackeen, Rosemary Clooney, Herb Ellis, Curtis Fuller, Scott Hamilton, Slide Hampton, Sean Jones, Stacey Kent, Delfeayo Marsalis, Jay McShann, Maria Muldaur, Dewey Redman, Jim Rotondi, Diane Schuur, Ben Sidran, Freda Payne, Marlena Shaw, Toots Thielemans, plus many Minneapolis, St Paul musical artists from many genres. Gordy has produced five critically acclaimed jazz piano trio CDs which include a multitude of local and internationally known pianists and drummers: Gordon Johnson TRIOS, TRIOS V.2, TRIOS Version 3.0, TRIOS GJ4 and Trios No. Five.
GARY RAYNOR (bass)
Minnesota resident since 1977, Gary Raynor (bass) toured with Sammy Davis Jr., performed with the Count Basie Band, the Rupert's Orchestra, and dozens of Broadway touring shows — including the first presentation of The Lion King. He regularly performs at local jazz clubs. Raynor is featured on Janet Jackson's hit single "Again" and the original Rio Nido album, I Like to Riff. Gary teaches across the street from the Fitzgerald at McNally Smith College of Music.
One of these two drummers:
JAY EPSTEIN (drums)
Jay started playing music professionally in the early 1960's. He spent the 1970's touring with many different jazz artists, including tenor man Bob Rockwell. In the 1980's he played in house bands for five years on several cruise ship lines. He has been on seven European tours with pianists Bill Carrothers & Giacomo Aula. Jay has played with many jazz legends including Barney Kessel, Roseanna Vitro, Manfredo Fest, Sheila Jordan, Terry Gibbs, Greg Abate, Claudio Roditi, Gary Foster, Eric Alexander, Richie Cole, JoAnne Brackeen, Ernie Watts, Wayne Johnson, Karrin Allyson, Kenny Werner, Howard Levy, Toots Thielemans, Avashai Cohen and Sarah Vaughan. His CD's, 'Long Ago' and 'Easy Company', featuring bassist Anthony Cox and pianist Bill Carrothers, have garnered luminous reviews in the international press. Currently, he plays with many groups including, but not limited to, Red Planet, Klezmerica, Framework, Firebell, Dean Granros Quartet, & Five By Design.
MAC SANTIAGO (drums)
Mac Santiago has been playing music professionally since the age of sixteen. Mac grew up on the West Coast (Los Angeles and the Bay Area), attended Sonoma State University for three years, and graduated from Idaho State University in 1980 with a Bachelor of Music. After a year or so back in L.A., he began touring in an effort to further his nonacademic experience. In 1983, he settled in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. Always a purveyor of jazz music, Mac has played in just about every musical configuration possible. Mac has toured with the British rock band Badfinger and played regularly with the best Jazz, Salsa, Country, and R&B groups in the area. He has performed in the pit orchestras of the world famous Guthrie Theater and the Minnesota Opera as well as with blues legend Mojo Buford. Also, successful "one-offs" with the likes of Grover Washington Jr., Doc Severinson, The Dallas Brass, Savion Glover, Jack McDuff, Paul Bollenbeck and Dick Oatts, to name a few.
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