sultry voice has graced virtually every jazz venue in Chicago.
the late 1980's she performed and co-wrote, with pianist, John
Roothaan and bassist, Steve Hashimoto, all the material for
the popular latin-jazz group, "Abril".
“Abril,” she developed a following for her jazz quartet, the
April Grilly Band, and continued to work
in local clubs, private and corporate events, and festivals.
her vocal talent, April has composed a sizeable body of original
music (over 45 compositions to-date). Her work has been featured on the John Roothaan & Terry Sullivan cd, “Acapulco Stomp,” and
she currently is composing music for a soundtrack that will
be featured on “HBO” and released as a DVD.
with singing with our band, Swing Odyssey, April performs as
a duo in local clubs with pianist, Jeff Kier. She performs jazz
standards and much of her of her original material.
April also does voice-overs, and is composing a piano book of original material for piano students that will be released in the
–- Drums/Business Manager
career goes back to the 1960's when he worked and toured with
his father, famed entertainer, Russ Holliday. His work with
Russ brought him to the attention of Kim Martell and they forged
a long association as the premier jazz trio in Chicago. They
also toured the country and made a home at the "Desert
Inn" show lounge in Las Vegas where they rotated with other
acts between the "Desert Inn" and "La Costa Country
Club." At those casinos they backed such a diverse group
of stars - from Hoagy Carmichel to Harry James to Robert Goulet.
the early 1980's, Lanny formed a jazz quintet with his brother
Dave, "The Grilly Brothers," which featured such local
greats as bassist, Mike Arnopol, and vibist, Kathy Kelly. The
"Grilly Brothers" talented ensemble was featured at
the 1980 Chicago Jazz Festival, where they opened for Ahmad
1980 through 1984, Lanny was also the owner of a popular jazz
club and restaurant, "Benchley's." Jazz was featured
7 nights a week and virtually every jazz performer (Judy Roberts,
Frank D'Rone, Laurel Masse, Howard Levy) in Chicago played there.
Some of the regular performers went on to famous careers such
as: Bill Lamphrey (Madonna) and Paul Wertico (Pat Metheny).
recent years, Lanny has led groups such as the "Rio Brothers,"
and co-led, with his wife April, "Abril" and the "April
new venture is
Orchestra Hall Recording Studio, Besides acting as chief recording engineer, Lanny, also
does drum tracking, and with his son Max, films, edits, and
produces music videos. Lanny's partner, Jeff Kier is also an on-site composer & pianist nLa
is our renaissance man in the group. He has made his mark as
a stellar jazz & classical musician, recording artist, lecturer,
clinician, author, and
as award-winning educator. His trumpet soloing also kicks
touring with the Maynard Ferguson Orchestra, Nick has played
for such entertainment superstars as:
Davis, Jr., Bill Cosby, Melissa Manchester, Rich Little ,John
Denver ,The Spinners ,The Temptations , Gladys Knight and the
Pips, Patti Page, Frankie Lane , Della Resse , Carole Lawrence,
Robert Goulet, Steve Lawrence and Edie Gorme, Fred Rogers (Mr.Rogers),
Bobby Vinton, Vic Damone, Frankie Avalon, Diahann Carroll, Cyd
Charisse and Tony Martin, Rosemary Clooney, Helen O'Connell,
Pat Boone, Lawrence
Welk All Stars (Myron Floren and Company), Dick Shawn, George
Kirby, Jack Jones, Liberace, Julie Budd,Tex Beneke and these
are just to name a few.
few quotes about Nick and his Music:
Ferguson:"Nick is one of today's stongest players."
Kart, Chicago Tribune:
"a powerful lead trumpeter..."
Cordle, Downbeat Magazine: "soaring trumpet work..."
Winograd, WXRT Radio:
“Nick Drozdoff is one of Chicago's most versatile and
further info about Nick and to hear some his original music
go to: http://www.ampcast.com/music/23689/artist.php
Kier – Keyboards
and his quartet have been a star attraction at every major jazz
venue in Chicago, as he has lead one of the area’s longest running
and most original jazz groups.
addition to performing on acoustic piano, organ,
and various electric keyboards/synthesizers, Jeff is
a prolific composer. His compositions which currently number
over 100 to date, have been inspired by such jazz greats as
McCoy Tyner, Bill Evans, and Chick Corea utilizing the idioms
of mainstream jazz, blues, and rock.
versatility of Jeff’s musical talent captures a far reaching
number of jazz enthusiasts.
Sandstrom - "One of the busiest bass players working in
the Chicago area." Chicago Tribune.
sideman on more than 25 CDs, has toured Europe with free jazz
pioneer Hal Russell. He has also recorded and played locally
& nationally with
such notables as Doug Blake, Frank Portolese, Willie Pickens,
Ken Vandermark, Kent Kessler, Rusty Jones, Robert Shy, Mars
Williams, Ed Pertersen, Von Freeman, Ira Sullivan,
and Frank Catalano.
is well-known in the area for his excellent big-band work. His
chartreading and soloing are among the best in business.
Among the top names he has worked for or along side of,
include the following:
Bellson, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Conte Candoli, Clart Terry
Schuur, Pete Christlieb, Barrett Deems, Art Farmer, Terry
Gibbs, Bunky Green, Steve Houghton, Pat LaBarbera, Kevin
Mahogany, Frank Mantooth, Rob McConnell,
Bobby Shew, Ed Soph, Bobby
Watson, and Jiggs Whigham.
Brusin is famed for his incredible technique and his scorching
guitar solos. He has been playing guitar and bass for 30 years
and has been teaching for the past 20. His education includes
private studies in Europe and in Chicago at the Chicago
Musical College of Roosevelt University Jazz Studies Program,
majoring in Jazz Performance - guitar.
credits include international jazz festivals, network and
local TV performances in Europe and the U.S.A. Sasha is
currently working with a variety of Chicago based ensembles
whose recordings have been featured on WXRT, WBEZ, and WNUA.
is also an associate engineer at our Orchestra Hall Recording Studio.
has performed with such greats as the Escovedo Brothers, drummer
Duffy Jackson, and saxophonist Hal Melia. Since relocating to
the Chicago area in 1999, along with freelancing with many jazz
and fusion groups in the city - Bob has opened for Grateful
Dead percussionist Mickey Hart and violinist Jean-Luc Ponty
at Chicago's "House of Blues."
famed career goes back to the 1960’s when he was an on-call
session musician during the height of the Chicago recording
scene. Eddie lent his “fat groove” to many records,
demo’s, and jingles.
was a favorite of producers since his versatile musical talent
spanned R&B, Be-bop, Modern Jazz, Rock, Latin, Disco, and
also toured with such groups as:
Tooth & Nail, Circle of Capricorn, backed up the Mo
Ming Dance Group,
the Columbia Dance Troup, and
he was with Don Stroud’s “Rockestra” for 10
years. Eddie also played with every member of the Miles Davis
Band during the late ‘80’s, either as a group or on
the last 15 years, Eddie has been devoted to his work as a
in nursing and rehab centers. He now owns his own music
therapy company, Mason’s Music Workshop, LLC. Eddie loves
healing and making others happy with his music. His philosophy
is “Music is an expression of freedom for me.”
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