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Alton Merrell

Dr. Alton Merrell is a world class pianist, composer, and educator based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His musical artistry is a unique blend of lyrical melodies, rich harmonies, and fluid technique that spans multiple music genres including jazz, gospel, classical, pop, and rhythm and blues. His music is known to take listeners on spirit-filled excursions that deeply touch the soul. Currently, Dr. Merrell leads his own instrumental jazz group, "The Alton Merrell Quartet," as well as his own gospel jazz vocal group “Dr. Alton Merrell & Impact.” In both groups, Dr. Merrell incorporates diverse musical styles in the repertoire to minister love to people worldwide. Dr

MUSICIAN Born:

Rich Zabinski

Jazz drummer/band leader with Jazz Trio, Quartet and Sextet with performances throughout Western Pennsylvania. Studied at Duquesne University under Dr. John Wilson and Lenny Rogers.

Mark Jackovic

Mark Jackovic, M.M., Jazz Education and Archives Manager at MCG Jazz, is an award-winning jazz performer with more than a decade of teaching experience. Jackovic holds a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Music Education from Duquesne University, with a major in K-12 general, choral, and instrumental music education. He also holds a Master in Music degree from Rutgers University, with a major in jazz saxophone performance.

MUSICIAN Born:

DK Anderson

DK [Darnell Kenneth] Anderson was born on November 19, 1979, a mill town kid from the city of Monessen, Pennsylvania. He began his musical studies on tenor saxophone at the age of 11. At the age 16 he started playing the piano and became interested in composition. DK Anderson graduated from Duquesne University School of Music having studied with saxophonist James Houlik; composition and orchestration with Mike Tomaro and David Stock; counterpoint with Dr. Robert Shankovich; and jazz studies later with Sean Jones of the Lincoln Center Jazz Band. In 2001, Anderson premiered his first work for big band at Pittsburgh's Mellon Winterfest Jazz Festival

MUSICIAN Born:

Maureen Renihan

Maureen is a native Pittsburgher who recently returned to the area from Boone, NC. She acquired a love of old standards through her experience performing in theatre. Later she turned to jazz for creative expression and began performing professionally in 2012.

MUSICIAN Born:

Mike Tomaro

Mike Tomaro has been the Director of the Jazz Studies Program at the Mary Pappert School of Music at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA since 1997. This saxophonist, composer, arranger and educator earned his B.S. degree in Music Education from Duquesne University and his M.A. degree in Saxophone Performance from George Mason University in Fairfax, VA. Prior to his appointment at Duquesne, he lived in the Washington, D.C. area for seventeen years as a member of the Army Blues Jazz Ensemble, a unit of the prestigious “Pershing’s Own” U.S. Army Band. While a member of this group, he served as its Enlisted Musical Director and performed for Presidents Reagan, Bush and Clinton as well as heads of state from around the world

MUSICIAN Born:

Jeff Grubbs

Jeff Grubbs, a native of Cleveland, Ohio, is a jazz bassist who is also a veteran member of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. He received his musical training at Youngstown State University, The Cleveland Institute of Music and the University of Southern California. In 1986, Jeff won one of Downbeat Magazine’s “Dee Bee” awards for Best Collegiate Bass Soloist, and has since performed in the local jazz scenes of Cleveland, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Miami and Pittsburgh with a number of internationally recognized jazz artists including Nat Adderly, Mose Allison, Terrence Blanchard, Kenny Burrell, Donald Byrd, Kurt Elling, Roger Humphries, Ramsey Lewis, Joe Lovano, Ellis Marsalis, Chris Potter, Diane Schur, Lonnie Smith, Ira Sullivan, Billy Taylor and Joe Williams


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