Meet Brass Rewind!

It’s all about that brass – so let’s start with…

Trombone

CHACKO FINN

trombone

Chacko Finn was born and raised in Kansas City. He received a Bachelor’s in Music Education from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance in 2018. 

Since starting college in 2014, Chacko has performed at prestigious venues around the country, having played with artists such as Jay Sollenberger, Christopher Bill, Marcus Lewis, Ryan Heinlein, Victor Trevino, Dominique Scott, and Kadesh Flow. Chacko has played in numerous pit orchestras, around the city including MTKC, MET-KC, Jewish Community Center, and in 2021 he had the opportunity to perform in The King in Concert at the New Theatre & Restaurant. He currently performs with a local prog-rock band Gekko, Back Alley Brass Band, and is the lead trombonist for the Kansas City Latin Jazz Orchestra.

In 2018, he recorded with Marcus Lewis Big Band album “Brass and Boujee” and has spent time in the studio with Kansas City musicians/bands including  Vela, Swoovi, Composer Nick Maluf, and Doobie N.M.. Along with the performing career, Chacko is an educator, He has worked in a variety of settings spanning middle & high school band programs, solo competition coach, marching band technician with notable schools from Liberty, Blue Valley, Olathe, Shawnee Mission, and Park Hill School Districts. He is currently on staff at Rockhurst High School as their low brass instructor. ​

Chacko is a B.A.C. Musical Instruments Performing Artist

 

Trumpets

NATE NALL

trumpet

Trumpeter Nate Nall has performed at Kansas City’s most prominent jazz venues, including the Blue Room at the American Jazz Museum and Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. He was a featured soloist with the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra and Deborah Brown on a 2018 tour to Germany and Poland. He has been featured on the nationally syndicated “12th st jump” jazz radio program. And a residency participant in “Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead” performing original music at Washington D.C.’s Kennedy Center. In 2016, Nall won 2nd place in the distinguished National Trumpet Competition Jazz Division.

Other highlights include performing with The Temptations, Michael Feinstein, Bobby Watson’s 18th and Vine Big Band with Jon Faddis, Jerry Bergonzi and KU All Star Big Band, The New York Voices and Kansas City Jazz Orchestra, and Paducah Symphony Orchestra w/ trumpeter Allen Vizzutti. Nate performs regularly around Kansas City with The Project H, Marcus Lewis Big Band, Chris Hazelton Quartet, Louis Neal Big Band, the David Basse/Joe Cartwright Septet, Clint Ashlock’s New Jazz Order Big Band and his own group, the Nate Nall Quintet, performing his original compositions and arrangements. Nate is a talented composer and arranger and former student of saxophonist Bobby Watson. Nate is a BAC Custom Performing Artist.

KELVIN GUNN

trumpet

Has a B.A. degree in music education from Graceland College in Lamoni, Iowa. He plays in several local Big Bands and combos that play music from the 1920’s – 1940’s. He has been tuning pianos for a living since 1982. He is also choir/music director at his church.

Saxophones

MAX LEVY

tenor saxophone

Max Levy leads his own straight-ahead jazz group and has been featured throughout the United States from the east coast to the Midwest. Max can also be seen playing with other prominent ensembles including The Sextet, Hard@Play, Son Venezuela, musical pit orchestras, and countless others. He currently resides in Kansas City, Missouri where he works throughout the region performing at various music venues. He has studied and worked with such legendary saxophonists as Bobby Watson, Dan Thomas, Dr. Frank Bongiorno, Benton Hill, and Rob Holmes of the Navy Jazz Commodores.

TATE BERRY

alto saxophone, bari saxophone

Tate is a junior at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, taking on a double-Major in Jazz Studies and Business Administration. He grew up in Lansing and Leavenworth Kansas. He plays eight different woodwinds, but specializes on the Baritone saxophone. He is also the Student President of the business school at UMKC, and enjoys many liberties and luxuries because of it. He plays in a few different groups, and one day hopes to run a rock-based 18-piece big band.

Vocals

BROTHER JOHN ANDERSON

lead vocals, background vocals

Not only is John “Br. John” Anderson a professional workshop leader of literacy empowerment skills and cultural history, but for 25 years he has also been a motivational storyteller. His avid, lifelong love of music (particularly the early sounds of Motown, Soul, Classic Rock and Pop have brought him to be an enthusiastic, vocal complement to the Brass Rewind. Br. John says, “It’s a grand honor and a dream come true to keep that great music alive and have great fun.”

Laura Barge

lead vocals, background vocals

Laura Warren Barge has been a professional musician for over 30 years. After learning the classics at S.C.I.  in Springfield, IL, she traveled to Boston, MA to finish her degree at Berklee College of Music in the late 1980’s. While attending Berklee she fell in love with the more contemporary forms of music. Contemporary Country/Pop/Folk, Standards and Rhythm & Blues are her favorites, but she loves most forms of modern Americana music. After touring for a decade she now resides in North KC where she performs for different venues, privately teaches and is the Administrator for Corbin Theatre Company in Liberty, Mo. Laura was nominated for Best KC Jazz Vocalist of the year for 2021 through KC Jazz Ambassadors (JAM Magazine) and was recently featured in an article for VoyageKC Magazine this past January. 

 

Rhythm Section

JERRY HOOPER

keyboards, band leader

Jerry is our leader, co-founder and keyboards player. He’s a native of the Kansas City area, attended Raytown South High School where he played in the much-awarded Jazz Lab Band and studied under Dr. Carroll C. Lewis.

He first attended Central MO State University where he played piano in the college jazz band, left to attend UMKC and subsequently left academia to begin a career in banking. He always had a piano and played for his own entertainment, while also following Joe Cartwright and his KC-area gigs. Jerry first retired in January 2015, acquired a Yamaha Motif and spent the next two years practicing. He studied with Dr Bob Lawrence (Dallas School of Music),

Rob Mullins (Los Angeles), James Dering (McKinney, TX) and Mr. Cartwright of Kansas City. Between his jazz work (solo, trio, quartet,etc) and the work of Brass Rewind he’s truly living his dream.

TRACY SMITH

electric guitar, vocals

Tracy retired from teaching in 2019. He was a band director for 28 years at Cass Midway Schools south of KC. While there he started a horn band with his high school students that performed extensively in addition to the normal band ensembles. A number of these students have gone on to perform professionally in KC and nationally.

He has a BA in Jazz/Commercial Music and an MA in Tuba Performance. Tracy has been performing in various ensembles and bands since before he started teaching including; The Independence Brass Quintet, The Skip Hawkins Big Band and Combo, Currently Dixie and The KC Chiefs Tailgate Band, The White Rose Band, The No Cash Value Band, and also as a solo performer and occasional Irish music gig.

He also performs folk music at historical reenactments and has an album of folk songs called “Taverns and Tall Ships” available on Amazon, Itunes, Spotify and Pandora.

BRIAN WIGTON

bass

Brian Wigton started out on low brass, playing baritone/euphonium. A combination of a small school and his ADHD had him branching out into all low brass (trombone, French horn, tuba/sousaphone), percussion, and saxophone, predominantly bari and alto sax. He had one instance where he got thrown into a sax trio because the 2nd alto player’s family moved out of the school district, and there were no other sax players. Using the band director’s alto, the trio got a “1”. Somewhere along the way, his expert bluegrass-playing aunt got him started on guitar.

Often for basketball games, he was the only low brass player (tuba), and the low end couldn’t be heard in the gymnasium. This gave him the idea to blend his guitar playing and low brass with an instrument that could be amplified. Bass guitar! Genius!

Mostly self taught on bass, Brian learned how to play rock, country, blues, jazz, bluegrass, and (gasp!) musicals! In addition to improvisation, he has a strong background in reading music, which comes in handy with Brass Rewind! With our drummer, he is one half of the driving force behind the band.

MARK OLSON

drums, media assistant/webmaster

Mark is a native of the Cleveland, Ohio area, where he started playing drums in 6th grade. By the time he graduated with a Music Education degree from Bowling Green State University in 1984, he had decided that he was not cut out to be a band director!

Moving to KC in 1984, he started gigging with some UMKC students and profs – and soon became the drummer for Paul Gray in the house jazz band at the newly-opened Vista Hotel (now Marriot). Mark taught drum lessons at The Musique company in Red Bridge for 5 years, while going back to school for teaching certification in math and computer studies. Mark started teaching high school math/computers in 1989 – for 14 years at Louisburg HS, and then Web design at Olathe Northwest High School for another 15 years before retiring in 2018.

During this time, he spent several years each as drummer for various jazz bands, Shining Light (variety – Tom Pender & Lori Tucker), Blackwater (country/southern rock), Retro(classic rock), JT & The Beercookies (indie originals & 90’s rock), and Reviver (variety). Mark is drumming for Brass Rewind and is helping out with the Brass Rewind website and other band media.

Sound

CHRIS MILLER

sound – performance and recording, webhost

Chris’ interest in Sound took off in 1993 when he attended a 15-week course for Studio Recording at UMKC.  An analog 48-channel board and 2-inch reel-to-reel tape is where it all began.  From there, he worked with several local reggae bands.  In 1998, he became soundman for an all-girl band.  And he spent the better part of 10 years working with a rock-n-roll band, honing his “live recording” skill.

My goal in recording live, is to capture those unrepeatable, spectacular performances that would otherwise only be a memory.”   C. Miller 7/2020