Sarah M. Greer (www.sarahmgreer.com) is a vocalist, improviser and instructor who loves performing and co-creating with other singers and musicians. She sings in a number of collaborative projects including: Jay Young & The Lyric Factory (Jay Young, Thom West, Ian Young, Kevin Washington, Judi Donaghy Vinar & Rachel Holder-Hennig); Give Get Sistet (Mankwe Ndosi and Libby Turner-Opanga); and Sara Thomsen’s Echoes of Peace Choir.
Based in the Twin Cities, Sarah has studied vocal improvisation for over a decade and has invented and improvised music on local and international stages. This past February, working with Aimee K. Bryant, Nathan J. Greer, Bruce A. Henry and Libby Turner Opanga, she debuted her improvised vocal composition Between: A Journey Through the Middle (http://between.sarahmgreer.com) at the Mixed Blood Theater.
Sarah teaches singing and vocal improvisation to students in the Twin Cities through lessons, improv workshops and monthly Songtaneous community singing gatherings. She is a member of the music faculty at Minneapolis Community & Technical College.
John Iden (bass) began his career in Florida, playing with Jay Whitney in a variety of R&B and blues bands, and recording original music. He has had the pleasure of sharing the stage with Katie Webster and James Cotton. Since moving to Minnesota in the early ’90s, John has worked steadily with Willie Murphy, Joe Juliano, Tom Hunter, Paul Mayasich, Jim Ouska and Scottie Miller. John currently plays in RAMM and BLU-7.
Jim Ouska (guitar) has been writing, singing, and playing for over four decades, specializing in acoustic roots music, electric blues, and straight ahead jazz. Jim won the WBSM/Jerome Foundation Jazz Composer Grant in 1991. He has been featured in Twin Cities Jazz Society and Guitar Society concerts, and has been nominated for Minnesota Music Academy Guitarist of the Year and Band of the Year awards in the Jazz, R&B and Bluegrass categories. (www.jimouska.com)
Doug Rohde (piano) has been playing jazz gigs in the Twin Cities since moving here in the late ’80s. Lately, in addition to BLU-7, he is playing and recording with The Auto Body Experience, the Tommy Bentz Band, and the Blue Eyes Band and is looking forward to shows this fall with Collide Theatrical Dance Company. Recently, Doug served as music director and bandleader for Candid Theater productions of Hair and The Rocky Horror Show. He also spent two years as music director at Interact Center for the Visual and Performing Arts. In addition to his playing career, Doug teaches piano and improvisation at Center For Performing Arts in south Minneapolis and just finished writing a first-of-its-kind popular music lesson and exam program for the Minnesota Music Teachers Association. (www.dougrohdemusic.com)
Dean White (drums) moved to Hollywood to attend Musician’s Institute after graduating from UW–Superior with a bachelor’s degree in percussion performance. Halfway through the first year in California, Dean was offered a main showroom gig at the Imperial Palace in Las Vegas. Subsequently he joined Tony Axtell and Toshi Hinata in Tokyo to write and play original music. Since returning to the Twin Cities, Dean has performed with The Good, the Bad and the Funky, The Auto Body Experience, Century Big Band, The Nova Jazz Orchestra, The Big Time Jazz Orchestra, sHorn hortZ, Power of 10, Jack Knife and the Sharps, Tubby Esquire, Hennessy Brothers jazz, and many others. He has studied privately with Gordy Knudtson to learn his Open/Close hand technique. Dean feels blessed to be part of the rich music scene that exists in the Twin Cities.