PAUL ARSLANIAN, piano, is co-founder of Jazz Tap Percussion Ensemble with colleagues Tom Dannenberg and Keith Terry. As Musical Director he created many original tunes for the Ensemble including “To Be Continued,” “Tone Poem,” “After Hours,” and “Jam with Honi,”. (disc 1, 2, 3)
TOM DANNENBERG, bass, co-founder of JTPE, created many original duets with his partner, Camden Richman, in addition to providing solid musical backing for the many adventures of the entire Ensemble. (disc 1)
KEITH TERRY, percussion/drums, is co-founder of JTPE, where from 1979 -1983 he created several original body percussion works with the dancers and musicians including “Tune for KB”(excerpt, disc 2) and “Hey Rube.”(complete, disc 2). Keith originated the term “body music” to describe his new inventions.
JEFF COLELLA, piano, studied at Berklee in Boston and with Dr. Guy Duckworth at U of Colorado where he graduated with a BA in Music. Special studies with noted jazz pianists Jimmy Rowles, Lou Levy, Alan Broadbent and more round out his versatility as pianist, composer, teacher in classical, contemporary, film and theater. Jeff joined JTE in 1984 and toured extensively, both nationally and internationally. He later joined Lou Rawls for many, many years.
ERIC VON ESSEN, bass, joined JTE in 1983 for the London debut, and continued for several years as Musical Director introducing the Ensemble to a rich repertory of jazz standards, and original compositions. A founding member of Quartet Music with Jeff Gauthier, Alex & Nels Kline, Eric was an innovative arranger of jazz for tap. He toured southeast Asia (USIA), performed with Gregory Hines at Carnegie Hall, kept the spirit of jazz alive in national and international tours. RIP Eric 1997.
JERRY KALAF, drums, joined JTE in 1984 contributing original compositions and a new sound for tap. He became Musical Director in 1990 and with JTE has toured Europe, Asia, South America, and the U.S. A graduate of Berklee College of Music where he studied with America’s great jazz artists, Kalaf toured extensively with the Pointer Sisters, and jazz artists including Eddie Harris, Gary Burton, Gary Foster, Frank Strazzeri, Bill Mays, Jimmy Cleveland, and Major Holley. He has accompanied Gregory Hines, at the Apollo Theater and in concert at Carnegie Hall. It was as a member of the JTE that Kalaf’s orchestration of Bach’s Italian Concerto was premiered in Lyon, France by the National Orchestra of France. He is the recipient of a grant for original compositions from Meet The Composer/California. Jerry is an active studio musician in L.A., on the faculty of the Colburn School, and has made several recordings of his originals and standards including Trio Music (onSeabreeze), Just Like Old Times, and his most recent, Welcome to Earth on Palm Mountain Records.Kalaf has the longest tenure with JTE as musician, composer, arranger, and is responsible for the musical education of many a tap dancer along the way.
DOUG WALTER (Pianist/Saxophonist), a graduate of the Eastman School of Music, Rochester, NY. is a published composer/ arranger, orchestrator, conductor and performer. A master of keyboards and woodwinds (saxophone, clarinet and flute), Walter has performed and/or recorded with such jazz artists as Dizzy Gillespie, Stan Getz, Phil Woods, Chuck Mangione, Gerry Mulligan, Chuck Israels, Jon Faddis, and Joe Williams, the big bands of Gordon Goodwin, Toshiko Akiyoshi/ Lew Tabackin, Bill Watrous, Les Brown, Ray Anthony, and Roger Neumann, as well as Bob Hope, Steve Allen, Michael Crawford, Barry Manilow, Wyclef Jean, Wynonna, Smokey Robinson, Michael Feinstein, Cher, Marvin Hamlisch, Ashford and Simpson, and Chaka Khan. He is a music director and arranger of Broadway shows for artists as diverse as Sally Kellerman, Connie Francis, Rita Moreno, Suzanne Somers and Carol Burnett. He also orchestrates and composes for network television, cable, videos and theatrical films. As instrumentalist and arranger, his contribution to JTE over the years has been immeasurable. Doug’s most recent tour with JTE was the unforgettable Tour in Africa, 2012.
ERIC AJAYE, bass, attended Columbia University in NY and Cal Arts in Valencia. He has toured nationally and internationally with Freddie Hubbard, Taj Mahal, the Doug Macleod Band, Barry White, Osamu Kitajama, the Pointer Sisters, Nancy Wilson, Della Reese, performing at Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, and numerous jazz festivals worldwide. He now lives, performs, and teaches in Melbourne, Australia.
STACY ROWLES, trumpet/fluegelhorn/vocals, daughter of celebrated pianist Jimmy Rowles, joined Jazz Tap Ensemble in 1989, toured the US and Europe, beloved for her compelling musicianship, her vocals, and her striking finale shim sham. (RIP Stacy 2009)
THEO SAUNDERS, piano, is featured on disc 1 and 2, especially in Monk repertory.
JOHN HEARD, bass, has a long, illustrious career performing throughout the world with America’s top jazz artists. He has recorded more than 150 albums with such great stars as Oscar Peterson, Freddie Hubbard, Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald, Ahmad Jamal, Joe Pass, George Cables, and Dexter Gordon. In addition to his musical talents, John Heard is an accomplished painter and sculptor. He made his first tour with JTE in 1991.
DAVID DUNAWAY (Bass) from San Francisco, California, grew up playing a wide variety of music ranging from rock to jazz and classical. Since 1979, David has lived in New York City where he has recorded numerous albums ranging from folk/new age to jazz. David has toured worldwide with Cleo Laine & John Dankworth, and the Duke Ellington Orchestra, and has performed with Chet Baker, pianist Fred Hersch, and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus. Ethnic music is also a big interest, and he has worked with Brazilian, Trinidadian, African and Turkish musicians. David has performed many seasons with JTE at the Joyce Theater, New York City, and toured Africa in 2012 teaching and performing in Kinshasa, Maputo, Bulawayo, and Harare.
Tom Garvin, piano
Henry Franklin, bass
Rob Lockart, sax
Rich Eames, piano
Dave Scott, piano, trumpet
Louis Durra, piano
Tom Warrington, bass
Leslie Lewis, vocals
Kate McGarry, vocals
Dominic Genova, bass
Kirk Smith, bass
Wayne Jones, piano
Dave Enos, bass
Scott Breadman, percussion