2022 Pensacola JazzFest Headliners
David Spencer enjoys an international reputation as a true cross-over artist and soloist, spanning the diverse musical landscape from jazz and pop music performance to orchestral and chamber music. Fanfare magazine recently said of him: “There must be trumpeters as fine as David Spencer, but listening to him play you would never think so.”
As a jazz artist, Spencer has performed with legends Freddie Hubbard, Michael Brecker, James Moody and Marvin Stamm among others. He is a former member of the internationally acclaimed North Texas One O’clock lab band. Spencer has been heard worldwide for more than 30 years on tour backing some of the most recognized talent in both the Jazz and Pop music worlds, from Natalie Cole to the O’Jays and Pavarotti to the WHO! He leads his own quartet in Brazil making frequent appearances in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Recife, and João Pessoa.
Spencer is one of the few musicians that have made Carnegie Hall appearances as both a classical and jazz soloist and has held the position of principal trumpet with numerous orchestras worldwide including the Seoul Philharmonic, Manhattan Chamber Orchestra (NY) and the Orquesta Sinfonica de Asturias in Spain. He is a founding member and principal trumpet of The Memphis Brass Quintet and tours frequently as soloist and guest artist throughout the world. He currently is professor of trumpet at the University of Memphis Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music.
His recorded work has been praised by critics and can be heard on the Origin, New World, Summit, Pro Organo, Jigu and Meari labels. Spencer is a four-time nominee of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences Premier Player Award and is a past member of the academy’s Board of Governors. His most recent work is heard as a featured artist with the Mike Waldrop Big Band on the Origin label.
Mike Vax is an International Artist for the Warburton Co. He is also a Summit Records recording artist. Vax performs exclusively on Warburton trumpets, cornets, flugelhorns and mouthpieces. He has played lead and solo trumpet with the Stan Kenton Orchestra, the Clark Terry Big Bad Band, and the U.S. Navy Show Band.
Vax has also performed and/or recorded with such greats as Art Pepper, Gene Krupa, Cab Calloway, Al Grey, Freddy Hubbard, John Handy, Don Ellis, Don Jacoby, Louie Bellson, Joe Williams, Anita O’Day, June Christy, Barbara McNair, the Four Freshmen, The Glenn Miller, Harry James, and Jimmy Dorsey Orchestras, the Beverly Hills Unlisted Jazz Band, and the Dukes of Dixieland in New Orleans.
He has appeared as guest lead trumpet and soloist with symphony pops orchestras around the United States, and in Europe, as well as the All-American Collegiate Orchestra at Disneyworld. As a recording musician, he has performed on more than 75 albums, including 20 under his own name.
Vax is founder and Chairman of the Board of Friends of Big Band Jazz, a 501c3 nonprofit corporation that has given over $65,000 in scholarships to jazz camps, funds to jazz programs in schools, donations to help musicians in need, and a donation to Habitat for Humanity for the Musicians Village in New Orleans. He is also founder and director of the Prescott Jazz Summit, an annual jazz festival in Prescott, Arizona.
Currently, Vax is leading his own groups: The Stan Kenton Legacy Orchestra, The Mike Vax Big Band, TRPTS (Trumpets), The Mike Vax-Ron Romm Collaboration, The Great American Jazz Band, and the Mike Vax Quartet, Quintet and Sextet.
Vax has done workshops and concerts for over 3,000 high schools, colleges and universities all around the world over the past 50 years. He has presented clinics at many state music conventions including California, Oregon, Arizona, Washington, Louisiana, Tennessee, Florida, Idaho, Utah, Arkansas, and Texas. Mike as also done clinics at such national conventions as: MENC, International Trumpet Guild, IAJE, JEN and others. He is very active as a clinician and soloist in both the classical and jazz idioms. He has written articles for such magazines as: The Instrumentalist, The Brass Herald, The ITG Journal, The IAJE Journal, and the Texas Jazz Educators Journal.
Allen Beeson & Jonathan Martin: Trumpets No End!
Allen Beeson has had a long career performing with such jazz artists as Clark Terry, Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Bellson,Conte Condoli, Bobby Shew, John Faddis, Marvin Stamm, Pete Christlieb, Bill Watrous, Gary Foster, Randy Brecker, Bobby Watson, John Fedchock, and Conrad Herwig.
As a working commercial trumpet player, some entertainers Beeson has performed for include Ray Charles, Tom Jones, Mel Torme, Jack Jones, Olivia Newton-John, Bob Hope, Wayne Newton, The Four Tops, The Temptations, The O’Jays, The Beach Boys, and the Manhattan Transfer. Beeson is a former jazz trumpet Instructor for the University of Missouri-St. Louis and Columbia Music Departments. He also is a faculty member of the University of Missouri-St. Louis Jazz Camp and former faculty at Drury College Jazz Camp. In 2004, Beeson released his first recording as leader entitled “First Time Out” on the Chase Music Group Label. Allen’s second solo album was released in October of 2019 entitled “Tell Me Again”
Jonathan Martin has had a diverse career as an educator and performer. He has held trumpet and jazz positions at a number of colleges and universities including Northeastern Illinois, Eastern Kentucky, and Oklahoma State University. As a performer, Martin has held positions in the U.S.A.F. “Band of the West,” the Quad Cities Symphony, the Owensboro Symphony, the Lexington Philharmonic, and he is currently a member of the Pensacola Symphony Orchestra. Martin has worked and performed with many musicians during his career: including Aretha Franklin, Dizzy Gillespie, Bob Hope, Dionne Warwick, Bobby Shew, Wayne Bergeron, Andy Martin, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Johnny Mathis, Bernadette Peters, Randy Brecker, Maria Schneider, Bob Sheppard and Conrad Herwig. Along with a number of classical recordings he has been involved with, Martin has one jazz release entitled “Standard Jazz.”
AC3 is comprised of three brothers — Austin Paul Jr., Andrew Conner and Aundre Conner — who started their careers at a very young age. The leader of the band is Austin Paul Jr., a five-time winner of the Apolli Theatre Award in Harlem, New York. He has also performed at the world-famous Carnegie Hall. Andrew and Aundre are twins who currently attend Florida A&M University and have made great strides in the jazz community. The group has performed with significant artists including Gerald Albright and Kenny G. All AC3 members are members of the world-renowned Marching 100. Having traveled across the country, AC3 is now working with Grammy Award-winning producer Mike Will Made It (Michael Len Williams II) and was recently featured on Alicia Keys’ new album “Keys.”
Jensen Cadenhead Quintet
Headed by percussionist Jensen Cadenhead on vibraphone, this quintet brings the new mixed with the old. From Milt Jackson to Steps Ahead, and Horace Silver to Robert Glasper, this Pensacola-based group brings a unique, energized show that’s sure to get you moving. With an ensemble full of previous Student Jazz Competition finalists, Cadenhead is backed by Michael Lett, sax; Andrew Gregg, piano; Max Levesque, bass; and Fred Domulot, drums.
Red Bar Jazz Band
The Red Bar Jazz Band has presented the house gig at the Grayton Beach restaurant of the same name for 25 years running. The band is known for its eclectic repertoire of jazz, R&B, Country and Latin. Long-time member Wayne Burkholder spent his youth in England and later in the United States playing guitar with various Blues, Jazz, and R&B groups, including a road tour with The Innovators. He also plays with local legend Jones & Company. Tenor man Chuck Schwartz, also a longtime member of the band, shows equal ability on flute and clarinet and has played gigs with Bernard Purdy as well as a Japan tour with the James Brown band, the JBs. Drummer Jeff Stidham has been with the band for five years and originates from Wichita, Kansas, and previously spent time on the LA music scene as well as a stint in New York City with jazz legend Benny Golson. Newest member Tom Latenser played bass with the United States Air Force, entertaining presidents and dignitaries in California as well as overseas.
Sabroso was formed in 2021 to bring Caribbean and South American musical flavor to the Emerald Coast. Ideal for dancing and creating a festive atmosphere, Sabroso’s sound is musically sophisticated yet broad in its appeal. Inspired by various artists from Cuba (the Afro-Cuban All-Stars and the Buena Vista Social Club), Brazil (Arry Barroso and Antonio Carlos Jobim), and the USA (Dizzy Gillespie and Camila Cabello), the band’s repertoire includes everything from traditional folk songs to classic jazz to unique arrangements of contemporary pop songs. Sabroso features some of the area’s finest jazz musicians, including Lukas Hein, saxophone; Jackson Miller, trombone; Jim Green, guitar; Mark Hayden, bass; Lawrence Young, percussion; and Fred Domulot, drums.
Sharon Carroll Quartet
Sharon Carroll has been singing jazz for more than two decades. After performing as a musical theatre actress throughout the Southeast in regional and dinner theatres, she returned home to Panama City to start her family and began performing with the Swing Set Big Band, the Swing Shift jazz band and formed the band, Sharon Carroll & Company. She became a regular in local Concerts in the Park, Holly Fair and special events, enjoyed long term gigs at Firefly and GFoley’s and performed at both Kaleidoscope Theatre and The Martin Theatre. Carroll recorded two jazz CDs, “Tell Me This Day Won’t End,” with Amanda Matthews, for which she wrote the title track and “Sharon Carroll & Company Live at Backstage Pass,” both available on Apple Music and several other platforms. She performed for three years in the Backstage Pass series at the Panama City Marina Civic Center, multiple times in the Gulf Jazz Society’s Jazz by the Bay concert as well as several jazz gumbos. She was honored to headline the Celebrate Hope Gala at Mitchell Cancer Institute in Mobile. Carroll has performed with the Panama City Pops Orchestra under the direction of two maestros. She was proud to be one of the women featured in the Pensacola Women in Jazz night, “Divas Galore” with the Big Band of Misfits. She performed recently in Jazz Night at The District in downtown Pensacola. She has sung the national anthem at NSA Panama City for Gov. Rick Scott, as well as at the grand opening of the Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport and many area events.
Turquoise Tango, a five-piece ensemble, will perform a mix of contemporary and traditional jazz. Mary Chavez (vocals, keys) and Lukas Ali Hein (saxophone), both recent transplants from the Pacific Northwest. share a love of Latin music. Hein has toured and taught around the globe. Chavez was a local favorite in the Pacific Northwest with smooth vocals blending a mix of jazz, Reggae, Americana, Latin and pop styles. Steve Douglas (upright bass), a seasoned musician, bandleader, and Django Reinhardt enthusiast is a recent transplant from Sedona, Arizona to Navarre. Douglas leads and performs with many well-known bands in our area. Russ Everett (trombone) recently located here from Atlanta and has performed in traditional jazz ensembles big and small. Jensen Cadenhead (drummer) is the junior member and an in-demand local jazz percussionist. Together this group brings a jazz sensibility that is both global and current.
Zazu was formed in Flagstaff, Arizona, in January 2005, to create a band that was true to the gypsy swing that was popularized by Django Reinhardt. Zazu delivers infectious swing, melancholy ballads, French waltzes fronted by a lead guitarist, backed by a solid rhythm section and featuring soloists on accordion, violin and clarinet. For the Pensacola performance, members include founder Steve Douglas on bass; Marcelo Damon, lead guitar; John Saavedra, rhythm guitar; and special guest on clarinet, Bob Maksymkow. Since its inception, ZAZU has performed for numerous French events, museums, headlined wine, art, jazz and film festivals throughout Arizona and hundreds of live performances. Zazu’s CD, “The Soul of Paris “will be available at the festival’s Merchandise Tent.