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Bios



   Left to Right: Art Davis, John Wojochiechowski,Eric Hochberg,Tim Davis,Bill Overton,Dave Onderdonk,Pat Brady

    Art Davis

    One of Chicago's leading jazz trumpet artists, Art Davis has been a busy performer and teacher in that city since the early 1980s.  He has been a member of the NIU jazz faculty for ten years. As a performer, Davis has had a varied career.  He has toured with Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra, and Rosemary Clooney.  As a charter member of the Chicago Jazz Orchestra (formerly Jazz Members' Big Band), he has appeared with Joe Williams, Kurt Elling, Dizzy Gillespie, Clark Terry, Nancy Wilson, and Jimmy Heath, among others.  He has also performed with such notables as Maynard Ferguson, the Woody Herman Orchestra, Natalie Cole, Diane Shur, Bill Cosby, Sammy Davis, jr., Tony Bennett, and Michael Feinstein.  Art Davis appears on many recordings, including those with Frank Mantooth, Janice Boria, Jackie Allen, Rob Parton, Tommy Meullner, Kelly Brand, and the Chicago Jazz Orchestra. Art Davis has degrees in Music Education (B.M., University of Illinois) and Musicology (M.M., University of Illinois).  As a graduate student, he specialized in ethnomusicology with an emphasis in African music.  For over fifteen years, he has been mentored by such master drummers as Gideon Foli Alorwoyle and Abubakari Luna.


    John Wojochiechowski

    Saxophonist John Wojciechowski, of whom the Chicago Tribune’s Howard Reich wrote: “…technically accomplished, musically profound and harmonically daring” currently lives and performs in the Chicago area. Besides being an active performer, John is a jazz educator noted for his versatility and innovation. He has taught at the public school as well as university levels and has extensive experience as a guest artist/clinician in a variety of educational settings. He is currently on the music faculty at St. Charles North High School in St. Charles, Illinois where he teaches Music Theory and Jazz Bands. A finalist in the 1996 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition, some of the groups he has performed or recorded with include The Woody Herman Orchestra, Nancy Wilson, Clark Terry, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Dianne Reeves, Kurt Elling, Jimmy Scott, The Detroit Symphony Orchestra, The Chicago Symphony Orchestra and The Chicago Jazz Orchestra.


    Larry Kohut (not pictured)

    Chicago bassist/pianist plays with a number of the city's better jazz groups, and has performed with Randy Brecker, Ed Thigpen, Paul Smoke, Clark Terry, Von Freeman, Paul Wertico, Steve Turre, Kenny Werner, Ramsey Lewis, Barry Manilow, Michael Brecker, Vinnie Calliuta, Larry Coryell, David ?Fathead? Newman, and Hank Crawford.


    Tim Davis

    Tim Davis hails from Kansas City, Missouri, where he was one of the more active drummers on the music scene. A move to Chicago In 1992 He studied music at the University of Missouri - Kansas City Conservative of Music. His teaching credits include: Adjunct faculty member at the University of Missouri - Kansas City, 1982-1986; Instructor at the Charlie Parker Academy for the Performing Arts, 1987-1990; Consultant to the Kansas City Magnet Schools Music Department, 1990-1991. Adjunct Faculty at Concordia University in River Forest IL, 1994 - Tim has performed with the Nat Adderly Quintet, Mose Allison, Randy Brecker, Nick Brignola, Steve Cardenas, Richie Cole, Rodney Dangerfield, Kurt Elling, Herb Ellis, John Fedchock, Von Freeman, Eddie Harris, Carmell Jones, Barney Kessel, Sheila Jordan, Dave Liebman, Kitty Margolis, Mike Metheny, James Moody, Carol Sloane, Tiny Tim, Bill Watrous, Claude “Fiddler” Williams, and Larry Willis. Tim currently performs with many resident Chicago jazz artists including Steve Million, Jim Gailloreto, Dennis Luxion, Jeremy Kahn and is resident drummer for the Chicago Human Rhythm Project.


    Bill Overton

    Bill Overton (woodwinds, guitar, bass and vocals) was born in Memphis in 1954 and grew up there immersed in its blues, jazz and soul music .  After receiving his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Music Education from the University of Illinois at Urbana,  he moved to New York City in 1981 where he performed with such artists as Mel Lewis, Doc Cheatham, Ron Carter, Kenny Burrell, Mickey Roker, Major Holley, Vic Dickinson, Rosemary Clooney, Howard Alden, Bo Diddley, the Temptations, the Spinners, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s and many others while teaching at the Brooklyn Conservatory, William Patterson College, and the Aebersold Jazz Clinics, as well as in the public schools.  He has conducted clinics, master classes and adjudications throughout the country and abroad.  Bill and his family moved to Libertyville, Illinois, in 1998 and he now teaches band, guitar and digital recording at Oak Grove School in Green Oaks,IL, and with Midwest Young Artists and continues to perform with the Ravinia Festival Orchestra, Symphony II, the Chicago Jazz Orchestra (performing for the Kennedy Center Honors each December), JKO Chicago and many others. Last January, Bill performed with the Chicago Jazz Orchestra in a program of world premiers of newly discovered Billy Strayhorn compositions.


    John McLean (not pictured)

     John grew up on Long Island, went to high school in Detroit (where he started playing gigs at 16), and then moved on to Boston – where he attended the Berklee College of Music – before heading for Florida to get his master’s degree (from the University of Miami, in 1988). And then he headed to Nova Scotia for three years to teach, before finally moving to Chicago to concentrate on making his own music. So John gets around. He just doesn’t get into the studio that much, at least not to lead his own dates: But he has appeared on more than 20 recordings, including albums led by Chicago vocalists Terry Callier, Grazyna Auguscik, and Patricia Barber. Beyond that, he has performed with a wide variety of artists – among them Randy Brecker, Jane Ira Bloom, Arthur Blythe, Kurt Elling, and Jerry Granelli – while becoming one of the leading figures on the Chicago jazz scene. Neil Tesser, writing in the Chicago READER, put it like this: “No jazz musician in Chicago can more quickly electrify a tune or galvanize an audience; for that matter, only a few jazz guitarists throughout the country can match the focused intensity of his playing."


    Pat Brady

    Pat studied Music and Astronomy at University of Illinois in Champaign. He was a student of classical piano from Krystyna Rola-Ryczysky who was taught by Alfred Corteau at the Paris Conservatory. Pat also studied jazz piano from Steve Million in Chicago. Ping Tree is Pat’s first group as a leader and features his compositions. The group is composed of some of the best jazz musicians in Chicago. Assembled and co-lead by music director Art Davis, Ping Tree is a vehicle for expressing new music.