Posts Tagged ‘jimmy smith’

A Week in Motown

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

Last Thursday, I had the pleasure to travel to Morganton, North Carolina to play with THE CONTOURS. Lots of fun! My friends Takashi Iio, Phil Whitfield and Jimmy Smith were all on the gig as well. Great band! It was my first time getting to play with the group.


Saturday and Sunday nights were spent playing with the Temptations! Night #1 was in Elkhart, Indiana. Post gig, we drove through a crazy snow storm all the way up to Green Bay, Wisconsin. Seven and a half hours…. it was brutal. Luckily I had my friend James Hughes sharing a ride with me on the trip. Green Bay was really cold, but people came out in droves to sell out the theater. Always a pleasure to play with such a historic organization – whatever the circumstances might be.

House BB Release Concert was a Success!

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

The House Band officially released its debut album this week to a large and enthusiastic crowd at the St. Columban Concert Series.  They are such a great listening audience and a real treat to play for.  Andrew Bishop, James Hughes, Mark Kieme, Walter White, Jimmy Smith, Ben Jannson, Mark Berger, Chris Smith, Paul Finkbeiner, Brandon Cooper, Matt Martinez, Steve Hunter, Gary Hellick, Jonathan Ovalle, Matt Henninger, Kris Kurzawa, and Bob Mervak played their asses off!  Special thanks to the series staff and Penny Warmanen for the help.

A composer always treasures the opportunity to have his work performed by the caliber of talent and meticulous nature of the members of this band.  My music is hard, but I write what I want and find the players who can pull it off with grace, style, and bravada.  This was my philosophy with Saxomble, and it continues with the House Big Band.

Look for us to return to the Detroit scene very soon. has the House BB record up!

Saturday, January 7th, 2012

The House Big Band CD is now up at!!!

House Big Band 1/10/12 Final Line Up

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

Announcing the personnel for the 1/10/12 House Big Band CD Release Concert

Mark Kieme – alto sax
James Hughes – alto sax
Andrew Bishop – tenor sax
Ben Jannson – tenor sax
Mark Berger – bari sax

Walter White – trumpet
Jimmy Smith – trumpet
Brandon Cooper – trumpet
Paul Finkbeiner – trumpet

Chris Smith – trombone
Matt Martinez – trombone
Steve Hunter – trombone
Gary Hellick – bass trombone

Bob Mervak – piano
Matt Henninger -electric bass
Jonathan Ovalle – drums

7/29/11 with Melvin Davis and Pat Lewis

Monday, August 1st, 2011

I hit with the United Sounds at the Detroit Institute of the Arts Concert series on Friday. The group was fronted by Detroit soul singer legends Melvin Davis and Pat Lewis. It was such a treat to back up these icons of Motown history. The venue was way too small for the enormous crowd that came out for the rare homecoming concert. As an added bonus, the other half of the two piece horn section was my good friend Jimmy Smith on trumpet.

Stewart Francke album “Heartless World” is out!

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

Detroit guitarist and songwriter Stewart Francke just released his newest album, “Heartless World”. The first single, “Summer Soldier”, features Bruce Springsteen on vocals. Three of the tracks on the album feature my horn arrangements, including the last track “Boo Yah/Take My Mother Home”. In this one, Mitch Ryder tears it up in a guest vocal spot.

Featured playing on the record are my good friends Jimmy Smith (trumpet/leader), Carl Cafagna (sax) and Steve Wood (sax).

Search for it on iTunes and at