Tom Peterson - Tenor Sax
Originally from Minneapolis, Tom served in the U.S. Army Field Band for three years before landing in Los Angeles in 1970. He was a member of Doc Severinsen’s famous Tonight Show Orchestra for 18 years and has since played with numerous big bands. Last year he joined John Beasley’s “MONKestra,” playing at the new San Francisco Jazz Hall with plans to record this summer.
Tom has worked in television, motion pictures, radio and TV. His recording credits include work with Elton John, Leon Russell, B.B. King, Kenny Loggins, Blood Sweat & Tears, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Ed Shaughnessy, Stevie Wonder, and Paul McCartney/Wings. Tom has performed with Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Sammy Davis, Jr., Dizzy Gillespie, the Glenn Miller Band, Linda Ronstadt, Lyle Lovett, The Supremes, Aretha Franklin, Natalie Cole, and many other musical greats. He enjoys studying music composition and orchestration and likes to read biographies of great historical figures.
Clay Jenkins - Trumpet
Clay Jenkins began playing at an early age with the Stan Kenton Orchestra, recording three live albums and teaching at the orchestra’s residence jazz camps. Clay moved to Los Angeles in 1978, where he was in demand as a live performer and studio-recording musician. He toured with the big bands of Buddy Rich and Count Basie and was a charter member of the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra (with whom he still performs and records).
Since moving in 2000 to Rochester, NY to join the Eastman School of Music faculty, Clay has maintained a busy performing, recording, and teaching schedule. He has his own quartet and is co-leader of an ensemble with Kim Richmond. Clay has headlined 12 albums, the newest being “Good Signs” and “Joy,” in a trio with guitarist Gene Bertoncini. He has recorded with many jazz greats including Milt Jackson, Diana Krall, Lyle Mays, Ray Brown, Joe LaBarbera, Kurt Elling, Dr. John, Eric Reed, Bill Cunliffe and Ernestine Anderson.
Ira Nepus - Trombone
Ira Nepus was raised in Los Angeles on the jazz heritage of his father, one of the key founders of the Hot Club of France in Paris during the late ‘30s. Ira played his first jazz concert at the age of 15. He currently performs with his own quartet and with the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, of which he is a charter member (26 years!). He teaches trombone and is in high demand for recording and touring with a wide variety of great musicians. These include Paul McCartney, Elton John, Leon Russell, Elvis Costello, B.B. King, Greg Allman, Ray Charles, Peggy Lee, Diana Krall, Aretha Franklin and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy.
In 2013 Ira released three new albums: “Together” with Steve Moore; “Music Minus One: Standards for Trombone”; and “Motown Trombone,” a double CD that includes an instruction book. His invention, the Softone mute, has found its way to brass players all over the globe. Ira is an avid surfer, skier and fisherman.
Rich Eames - Piano
Pianist and composer Rich Eames, who grew up in Iowa, is now a major force in the L.A. music scene. He has long been associated with top jazz combos such as Bill Holman Big Band, Joe La Barbera Quintet, Bill Watrous, Ed Shaughnessy and Rick Braun. He has played on many scoring dates for TV and films and has written music for many TV specials, network series, feature films, documentaries and live theater. This includes 11 years as co-composer for the hit series “Saved by the Bell.”
His CDs “Sky Language” and “Upstream/Downstream” showcase his compositions, and feature great performances by Clay Jenkins, Dick Weller, Bob Sheppard and others. He has performed with such diverse musicians as Patti Austin, the Pointer Sisters, Jack Jones, Lou Rawls, Doc Severinsen, Cheryl Bentyne, Willie and Lobo, Angela Bofill, Alphonso Johnson and the Jazz Tap Ensemble. Rich likes foreign languages and history.
Jeff D'Angelo - Bass
Originally from Columbus, Ohio, Jeff D’Angelo is a self-taught musician who has played in a variety of musical settings from country rock to jazz and has composed music for television and radio. He began a 13-year association with Doc Severinsen in the early ‘80s that brought him from New York to Los Angeles, where he has lived ever since, and led to his role as bassist for the L.A.6. He played and wrote for Doc’s fusion band, Xebron, and appeared alongside Doc with nearly every pops symphony orchestra in the U.S.
Today Jeff is an active member of the L.A. jazz scene, playing with such artists as Tom Scott, Rodger Kellaway, Billy Childs, Bob Sheppard, Bill Cunliffe and Larry Willis. He has performed all over North America as well as in Scotland, England, Italy, Lithuania, Australia, Japan and Israel. Jeff is an avid ocean swimmer who has been in several open water races including Sharkfest, the annual race across San Francisco Bay from Alcatraz Island to Fisherman’s Wharf.
Dick Weller - Drums
Dick Weller is one of the most electrifying drummers in the California area today. His virtuosity has gained him recognition from some of the top jazz musicians in the United States and has earned him the reputation of being one of the most versatile, hard-driving, solid groove players around. Recent accomplishments include two tours of Japan in 2013, one with the Billy Vaughn Orchestra and one with the Percy Faith Orchestra. Dick also released his own “Tunes Remembered” CD on Primrose Lane Records, which climbed to #49 nationally on the JazzWeek charts. Dick performed on the L.A.6 CD “Frame of Mind,” also released in 2013, which has been hitting the charts recently. The L.A.6 were the guest clinicians at the Wenatchee Jazz Workshop earlier this year. Dick was also recording in the studio with the Ladd McIntosh Big Band in 2013. In the studio, Dick has performed with many musicians, including Alan Pasqua, Bob Sheppard, John Beasley, Alfonso Johnson, Jeff Beal, and Bob Florence. He also appeared on an instructional tape with singer Judy Niemack that featured pianist Fred Hersch and bassist Scott Colley, and he’s appeared on the Jazz Network with the Weller Bros. Dick was an affiliate faculty member at the State University of New York at Purchase, teaching undergraduate level jazz composition, and now enjoys a similar position at California State University, Northridge.