Jazz

Philip Bynoe was encouraged to play his father’s upright bass, which developed into an amazing career in music. Philip attended Berklee College of Music and would play at night in clubs throughout New England. During the 1980s he helped form the band Flash and recorded with the likes of Steve Perry...
Vernon Porter can be heard playing bass on many Kenny Loggins recordings from 1981-1984, which is one of many crowning achievements of his career. It started when young Vernon was in the fourth grade and was encouraged to appreciate music by his Bluegrass playing uncle and father. He joined the...
Ira Sullivan was just three years old when he pulled his father’s trumpet out from behind the couch and began blowing into it. His father began teaching him how to play and by the time little Ira was five, he was playing in his grandmother’s church. His first professional gig came when he was only...
Johnny “Vatos” Hernandez is the long-time drummer for the rock band Oingo Boingo, playing on all of the band’s big hit songs including “Deadman’s Party” and “Just Another Day.” He played jazz drums for several years before the band was formed. Johnny has been involved with the NAMM community for...
Vail Johnson was the seventh son in his family, all of whom played a musical instrument. It was part of life, just like eating and sleeping. His great grandmother was an opera singer and Vail was always encouraged to sing and play. His professional career hit a milestone when Kenny G hired him to...
Raphael Semmes (pronounced Raf-yul) has fond memories of his mother singing as he was growing up. The feeling of her music became an inspiration for him and when he was given a Silvertone guitar, and he soon discovered that he could express himself with music as well. Switching to bass, Raphael...
David Schommer was playing in the Mississippi Community Symphonic Band when he approached the conductor, David Miller, and inquired about forming a swing band. David had the vision of a swing community band that would play the roots music of the area, jazz, and the blues, in the hope of keeping the...
Leo Adelman spent much of his life playing the jazz trumpet. In retirement, he spends a great deal of time playing and promoting jazz throughout San Diego County. When the NAMM Oral History Program was established in 2000, Leo was among the first to help arrange interviews with many of his friends...
Marshall Hawkins founded the Idyllwild Arts Jazz Program with the intention of giving young musicians the same kind of individual mentoring that he received while growing up in Washington, D.C., and later from jazz immortals like Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock when he played the standup bass with...
Jimmy Bruno has had a long and influential career as a jazz guitarist and played with many top performers including Buddy Rich and Joe Beck. Jimmy also wrote several method books for Mel Bay which have inspired and encouraged musicians for decades. Over the years he has also formed long lasting...

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