Posts Tagged ‘matt henninger’

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

Saxomble “Empty Room” Review on

Thursday, October 27th, 2011


Ignore the scary album cover. Those who long for the heyday of jazz-funk horn bands such as Dreams or Tower of Power will find much to like on the CD within. Best of all, it was recorded live, in a Michigan nightclub.

After a dreamy, languid sax-section intro reminiscent of Don Ellis, Saxomble’s tight, competent rhythm section lays down a solid Latin-funk groove propelling the horns through a fairly standard head that somehow manages to keep itself above the cliche waterline. It’s an energetic, polished live performance. Michael Hiemstra delivers a solid tenor solo, fueled by spirited comping from Jonathan Ovalle, the locked-in drive of Henninger’s electric bass and Nick Adams’s crisp drums. But the ensemble really takes flight with Mark Kieme’s intense soprano harangue, which builds to a lofty, explosive conclusion.

Back in my salad days on the road in the ’70s, I found that the Detroit area had the best jazz radio in the country and some of the best musicians to be found anywhere. These young players are living up to that legacy.

Reviewer: Bill Barnes