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Band Biographies

Primary Musicians:

Alan Gaumer

Craig Kastelnik

Gary Rissmiller

Nelson Hill

Tom Kozic

FIRST CALL Guest Artists:

Alan Gaumer Alan Gaumer

Alan Gaumer has been playing trumpet since 1958. As a young trumpeter heappeared on the national television show “the Ted Mack Amateur Hour”.As featured Jazz trumpeter in US Navy Show Bands he performed in over 70 countries throughout Europe, Africa, Asia and South America.

He is currently in his twenty fourth year as jazz trumpet artist/lecturer @ MoravianCollege. He serves as director of the Moravian College Fusion Ensemble and is very active in local jazz education adjudicating regularly at regional school jazz festivals.

Several of his students have won positions in the prestigious Pennsylvania State HighSchool Jazz Band.-trumpet section / jazz chair.

Alan regularly performs with several ensembles including, the Quintet- Co-op Bop,in duet with Robin Bryan (Body and Soul). He also appears with the Moravian College Faculty Jazz Quintet and continues to free-lance in a variety of genres.

Alan is the founder of and Artistic Director of the Lehigh Valley based, non-profitorganization: The Pennsylvania Jazz Collective. Its mission is to educate and expose community members of all ages to the richness, the history, and the diversity of American jazz. www.pajazzcollective.org

He performs with a “Who’s Who” list of jazz personalities including: RandyBrecker, Bob Dorough, Bill Goodwin, Tony Marino, Craig Kastelnik, Nelson Hill, Gary Rissmiller, Tom Kozic, Skip Wilkins, Dave Leonhardt, Tom Schuman, Tony Gairo, Paul Rostock, Neil Wetzel, Bill Washer, Matt Vashlishan and many more.

As a young trumpeter he played with the big bands of: Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey& Harry James. He was a featured soloist with the US Navy Show Band, a 15 piece big band that toured South America. Most recently (2013 – 15) Alan performed with the Phil Woods Big Band and the COTA Festival Orchestra.

A short list of recording credits include: “Co-op Bop”, a jazz quintet; “Caught inthe Web” with Rob Stoneback; “Introducing” the Moravian Jazz Faculty; his own compilation of original compositions, “One To Go” and just released, “Cowboys and Capes” a Neil Wetzel project. Co-op Bop II will be recorded and released in 2016 on Minsi Ridge records.

COUNTRIES VISITED and PERFORMED IN:
EUROPE (18)

Andorra
Belgium
Denmark
England
France
Germany
Greece
Holland
Italy
Lichtenstein
Luxembourg
Monaco
Portugal
Spain
Switzerland
Turkey
Yugoslavia
Austria
Malta

AFRICA / ASIA (21)

Afghanistan
Bahrain
Cameroon
Ethiopia
Ghana
Gabon
Iran
Ivory Coast
Kenya
Lebanon
Liberia
Madagascar
Morocco
Nigeria
Pakistan
Senegal
Sierra-Leone
Thailand
Tunisia
Togo
Vietnam
Congo
Cape Verdi Islands

CENT. AMERICA & CARIBBEAN (15)

Aruba/Curacao
Bahamas
Barbados
Cuba
Costa Rico
Dominican Republic
Antigua
Haiti
Martinique
Mexico
St. Lucia
St. Marten
St. Kitts / Nevis
Trinidad & Tobago
Virgin Islands

SOUTH AMERICA (11)

Argentina
Bolivia
Brazil
Chile
Columbia
Ecuador
Panama
Peru
Paraguay
Uruguay
Venezuela

TOTAL = 70

UNITED STATES (35)

New York, Michigan, New Jersey,
Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Maine,
Connecticut, Vermont, Rhode Island,
New Hampshire + CANADA, Delaware,
Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia,
North, Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee

 

EQUIPMENT:

Brass:
Yamaha 8310ZS custom Bb trumpet.
Bach 37 lightweight, silver-
          plated Bb trumpet(vintage)
Bach Stradvarious flugelhorn
Amborg piccolo trumpet


Percussion:
Remo drum set
misc. cymbals - Zildjian & Paiste
Extensive hand percussion collection
          ex: multiple whistles (Brazil)
Keyboards/Synths:
Korg Triton Workstation
Korg N5 Synthesizer
Korg M1 Workstation (vintage)
Yamaha QY300 Sequencer
Akai wind controller/synth.


Sound Re-inforcement + misc.:
Mackie power amp M1400
Behringer mixer UB1222FX-Pro
EV Speakers
EV endym series mics

Nelson Hill Nelson Hill is a saxophonist, clarinetist and flutist from Mt. Bethel, Pennsylvania. He has studied privately with Phil Woods, Hal Galper, Eddie Daniels and James Caruso. Nelson graduated from the Eastman School of Music in 1981 with a B.M. in saxophone performance. At Eastman, Nelson studied with Ramon Ricker, Bill Dobbins, Rayburn Wright, William Osseck and Mardelle Marcellis. He performed with the National Jazz Ensemble. Upon graduation, he toured for three years with Maynard Ferguson, playing lead alto saxophone. During his stay, he recorded on the albums Storm and Hollywood.

After he left Ferguson in 1984, Nelson worked at Tamiment Resort, Harrah's Marina and Mount Airy Lodge where he performed with Tony Bennet, The Spinners, The Temptations, Wayne Newton, Jay Black, Frankie Valli and many others.

In the late 80's he formed his own band, The Nelson Hill Quartet and worked in the New York and Philadelphia regions. He also performed with Bob Dorough, Tom Schumman (of Spyro Gyra), Anita O'Day, Manny Album, Bill Mays, Urbie Green and J.A.R.O. (Jazz Artists Repertory Orchestra). Nelson has also performed with Phil Woods on such projects as The Phil Woods Big Band and Phil's Little Big Band recording such albums as Celebration, Real Life and Evolution. Along with these, Nelson has been recorded on many other CD's with various artists.

In 2002, Nelson released his first solo CD entitled Lethal. He is currently working with his quartet and with pianists Eric Mintel. Nelson will be releasing his second solo CD in the Fall of 2004. Nelson has also taught saxophone and jazz improvisation at Lafayette College, Blair Academy, and privately. His students have enrolled in schools such as Eastman, Berklee, Ithica, NYU and Manhattan School of Music.

In 2002, Nelson became an Artist Representative and Clinician for the Yamaha Corporation of America. He performs on and endorses the YAS-82Z alto saxophone, the YTS-82Z tenor saxophone and the YSS-62 soprano saxophone.

EQUIPMENT & WEBSITE:

Saxophones:
Yamaha YAS-82Z alto saxophone
(endorsee)
Yamaha YTS-82Z tenor saxophone
(endorsee)
Yamaha YSS-62 soprano saxophone
(endorsee)
Website:  www.nelsonhilljazz.com

Craig Kastelnik Craig Kastelnik, organist, performs a wide variety of musical styles. Although Craig lives and performs regularly in the Lehigh Valley (Northeastern Pennsylvania), he has played clubs and concerts throughout the U.S. as well as cruise ships. Craig’s wide ranging musical experience included performing and touring with singer Eddie Rabbitt for three years as a musical director, where he accompanied Anne Murray, Gladys Knight, The Pointer Sisters, Bob Hope and many others. On organ (with bass pedals), he has played with many well known jazz artists such as Phil Woods and Randy Brecker, including with drummer Bill Goodwin and saxophonist Nelson Hill and jazz legend Bob Dorough.

Craig was featured at the Jazz Masters Series at East Stroudsburg University, 2001. As a composer for television and film, Craig has scored for A&E’s award winning BIOGRAPHY series, THE HISTORY CHANNEL, PBS and others. Some of the other jazz artists Craig has performed with include: Larry Coryell, Vic Juris, Bill Dobbins, Tim Hagans, Brian Lynch, Keith Copland, Bill Watrous, George Young, Gerry and Adam Neiwood, Kim Parker, Bobby Routch, Howared Alden, John Swana, Bob Grauso Big Band, Bill Washer, Howard Roberts, Jeff Hamilton and many others.

EQUIPMENT:

Keyboards:
M1, Triton (W/Moss board)
Trinity

(KORG endorsee)
Multiple Hammond B3 organs
+ several wood cab. leslies
Fender Rhoades Elec. Piano
 

Tom Kozic Tom Kozic, guitarist, has been playing the guitar since age 7. Having been schooled privately by such greats as Joe Pass, Kenny Burrell, Howard Roberts, Harry Leahey, Jack Wilkins and Tal Farlow, Tom had the opportunity of being assistant clinician to Howard Roberts seminars in the 70’s. In 1978, in fact, Tom won 1st Place in the Kenny Burrell National Jazz Guitar Competition at the young age of 19.

In addition to being a great performer, Tom has 25 years teaching experience, both privately and at the College and University level including 5 years at Lehigh University, 7 years at Moravian College (Behthlehem, PA) and 9 years at Muhlenburg College (Allentown, PA).

Tom has performed with: Brian Lynch, Tim Hagens, Steve Gilmore, Pjil Woods, Bill Goodwin, Bill Watrous, and Don Patterson.

Tom also is a major contributor to the repertoire of the Nelson Hill Quartet.

Gary Rissmiller Gary Rissmiller, drummer extraordinaire, is a musician’s musician. For over 25 years, Gary has been performing with the greatest players in the jazz genre. Rooted firmly in the experiential foundations of jazz music, Rissmiller began playing in clubs while still in high school, catapulting him into an education more valuable than any school walls via the same path as many giants of jazz.

Phil Woods, Stanley Turrentine, Randy Brecker, Charles Fambrough and David Liebman evoke respect and awe for their mastery of the jazz idiom. Rissmiller has accompanied each of them in concert halls and on festival stages. Furthermore, he has been the opening act for popular jazz greats Lionel Hampton, Cab Callaway, Joe Henderson and Spyro Gyra.

A native to Pennsylvania as well, Rissmiller is a resident performer at the Delaware Water Gap Celebration of the Arts (COTA) and Bethlehem's Musikfest. He has also been featured at the Central Pennsylvania Mellon Jazz Festival, The Scranton Jazz Festival and the Wichita Jazz Festival, among many others.

Rissmiller’s experience in club venues is extensive, with some of the more famous being The Village Gate and Tavern on the Green (NYC), The Deer Head Inn (Delaware Water Gap, PA), Ortlieb’s Jazz Haus, The Five Spot, Chris’ Jazz Club and the Blue Moon Jazz Club (Philadelphia, PA). Gary’s very own Pacific Street Records release, entitled In Time, promoted saxophone-great Phil Woods to say “Gary Rissmiller is a world class drummer with a world class working band.” In addition to traditional jazz settings, Rissmiller has played in pit orchestras off-Broadway with the Allentown Symphony led by conductor Diane Wittry and with the famed Yellow Jackets at the Zollner Arts Center in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Along with all of this, Rissmiller is quite busy teaching at Lehigh University, Muhlenburg College, Moravian College (all in Pennsylvania) as well as recording numerous jazz CDs which are distributed world-wide.