Bootsie Barnes, of Philadelphia, started playing music at the age of six, but found his niche at nineteen when his grandmother gave him a saxophone. Bootsie has an extensive history with the famed Philadelphia and Atlantic City night club circuits of the 60’s and 70’s, and he was an early leader in the organization that is now the Philadelphia Clef Club. He has toured with Bill Cosby, many acclaimed big bands, the Al Grey ‘Count Basie All-stars’ among them, and played at Manhattan’s Birdland and in the Newport Jazz Festival.
Another native Philadelphian, Larry McKenna’s impressive performance roster includes touring with band leader Woody Herman, and appearances with Clark Terry, John Faddis, Buddy DeFranco, Rosemary Clooney, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Johnny Mathis, Mel Torme, and Peter Nero & the Philly Pops. Larry is a devoted teacher, has an extensive recording history, and is a prolific musical arranger. His arrangements have been played on Johnny Carson’s ‘The Tonight Show’, and in the movie ‘Birdy’, starring Nicholas Cage (which Larry also played in and appeared).
Tim Warfield, Jr., a native of York, Pennsylvania, began studying the alto saxophone at age nine. He switched to tenor saxophone during his first year at William Penn Sr. High School where he participated in various musical ensembles, winning many jazz soloist awards including second out of forty competitors at the Montreal Festival of Music in Canada. After high school, Warfield attended Howard University in Washington, D.C. for two years before leaving to lead and co-lead groups in the Central Pennsylvania and Baltimore/Washington areas.
Warfield has appeared on several GRAMMY-nominated recordings such as Stefon Harris' "The Grand Unification Theory," as well as "Dear Louis" and "Sonic Trance," both under the leadership of trumpeter Nicholas Payton.
Matthew Parrish, a Bucks County resident, plays jazz acoustic bass throughout the world. He has performed and recorded with many greats, such as Al Grey, Harry ‘Sweets’ Edison, Clark Terry, Marian McPartland, Etta Jones, Houston Person, Paquito D’Rivera, Bobby Durham, Mickey Roker, Shirley Scott, Winton Marsalis, Regina Carter, Stefon Harris, Jackie Terrason, Orrin Evans, and Kenny Barron. Matthew also enjoys composing and arranging music.
Pianist and composer Vana Gierig has shared the stage with jazz stars including Winton Marsalis & the Lincoln Jazz Center Orchestra, Regina Carter, Lena Horne, Paquito D’Rivera, Ute Lemper, Carmen Lundy, Miroslav Vitous, and Will Downing. Vana also was the executive producer, artistic musical director, composer, and pianist on Regina Carter’s #1 album, ‘Paganini: After a Dream’ (Verve/Universal), a historic moment where a non-classical musician was allowed to perform on Paganini’s priceless violin.
Byron Landham, drummer, born in Philly, excels with a fine Philadelphia reputation as exemplified by his work with organist/trumpeter Joey DeFrancesco, and the late organist/pianist Shirley Scott. Byron’s musical passion is with hard bop and soul-jazz. Byron has also left the Philly scene to play with Betty Carter, Lee Ritenour, Randy Johnston, Russell Malone, and Houston Person.