Andrew Oliver – piano, cornet
David Evans – clarinet, tenor sax
John Moak – trombone
Doug Sammons – guitar, banjo, vocals
Eric Gruber – bass
Tyson Stubelek – drums
Andrew Oliver is a pianist from Portland, Oregon, specializing in stride piano, 1920s jazz and blues, ragtime, and tango. His playing is energetic and authentic, drawing on the styles of pianists such as Jelly Roll Morton, James P. Johnson, and Earl Hines to deliver a stomping style which emphasizes the exciting groove and drive which brought jazz to the forefront of popular music in the 20th century and continues to excite and captivate audiences today. Andrew brings his love of 1920s jazz to contemporary audiences, bringing the diversity of styles within early jazz to life. Moving beyond bland recreationism and superficial imitation, he and his groups use their knowledge and love of jazz history to provide a dynamic and exciting experience for modern audiences.
David Evans is a native of Alabama. He lived in New Orleans throughout the 80s and 90s and was the musical director on the National Historic Landmark steamboat Delta Queen among many other performing and arranging gigs in the Crescent City. He relocated to the Northwest in 1994 and has become a highly sought-after clarinetist and tenor saxophonist on account of his versatile and lyrical sound. He has played with a pantheon of big names including Pete Fountain, Mose Allison, and B.B. King, and also works as an educator at Lewis and Clark College. David is one of Portland’s most in-demand musicians, performing across many styles of music with a highly crafted and historically informed melodic sensibility and swing.
John Moak has an abundance of playing and teaching experience across the U.S. with artists such as Aretha Franklin, Dave Brubeck, and Ella Fitzgerald, and displays a standard of virtuosity on the trombone rarely approached anywhere in the country. A winner of numerous International Trombone Association competitions, John taught at the University of North Florida and the University of Central Oklahoma (his native state) before relocating to Oregon in 2006, where he also has a successful career as the proprieter of Jazzy John’s Barbeque in Vancouver, WA.
Doug Sammons has been involved in a diverse range of roots music projects in Portland and elsewhere for years, including the well-known bluegrass band Sam Hill. A former NYC taxicab driver, he now teaches kindergarten and co-directs the popular Portland-based vintage bands the Midnight Serenaders, which has been playing since 2005, and the more recently formed Hot Lovin’ Jazz Babies, with his wife, vocalist and ukulele player Dee Settlemier. Doug specializes in the increasingly rare art of acoustic rhythm guitar and banjo and brings a unique blues and country based vocal style to the sextet.
Eric Gruber began his musical career as a teenager playing bluegrass in California and teaching himself jazz from Ray Brown records. After studying in Colorado, Washington, and Portland, he has become highly sought after among Portland jazz professionals and is also gaining national recognition. He is often seen performing with various notable Northwest musicians including Darrell Grant, Devin Phillips, Marilyn Keller and Dmitri Matheny; as well as playing frequently throughout Oregon and Washington with the folk group Skybound Blue. He is frequently recognized for his harmonically innovative solos, driving rhythms, and superb sense of time.
Portland native, Tyson Stubelek, began playing music at the age of 3 under the guidance of his father, also a drummer. Upon meeting and hearing Elvin Jones play live, Tyson, at age twelve, began to focus intently on being a jazz musician, studying with Portland drum gurus Alan Jones and Mel Brown, to whom he attributes much of his musical understanding. Tyson moved to Boston, Massachusetts in 2005 after rounding out his undergraduate studies at Portland State University, completing a triple major (BM, BS, BS), and continued on with 4 years of graduate level pursuits (MM, GD) at the New England Conservatory. In 2009 Tyson moved to New York City where he continued to work and live as a professional for 4 years. In 2013, Tyson returned home to Portland where he performs in a variety of stylistically diverse projects and teaches regularly, both privately and at the University of Portland. He remains entirely dedicated to learning new things, bettering himself as a person and musician, and passing on positivity through music community.