Musician Gallery

CLAUDIO BERARDI - Jazz Drummer

 

At ten years old, Claudio discovered the excitement of playing the drums … and he hasn't stopped playing yet.  By his early teens, he began playing professionally; and, by his late teens, began touring the USA and Caribbean with various musical organizations, gaining valuable experience backing up or touring with Sandler and Young, Vic Damone, Bob Hope, and many others.  As a member of the pop combo "The Hi Lights," Claudio performed on the Mike Douglas National TV Show with Kaye Ballard.  In Las Vegas, he played main show rooms at the Sahara and Frontier Hotels.  He's played the Playboy Club hotels and many of the Caribbean's best resorts.  After moving to Florida, he's had the pleasure of playing with some of the greatest musicians around--Bill Cunliffe, Ken Peplowski, Jeff Rupert, Bobby Lee Rodgers, Don Coffman, among many others.  Claudio considers himself a very lucky and happy musician indeed

DON BESTOR - Jazz/Commercial Pianist

Don Bestor, a pianist/keyboardist with 27 years of "on the road" experience, 17 years of producing shows, and 16 years as a studio owner/engineer brings his talents to the Ft. Pierce Jazz and Blues Society. Don was an arranging major at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts.

Don is committed to sharing his experience and talent with the Ft. Pierce Jazz And Blues Society whose mission is to create greater awareness and enjoyment of jazz in the community through education and performances.

 
LARRY BROWN - Pianist
 

Pianist Larry Brown leads one of the most accomplished straight-ahead jazz groups in the Mid-Atlantic area, having performed at An Die Musik, Blues Alley, the Meyerhoff,  the Kennedy Center, the Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival, East Coast Jazz Festival, Baltimore-Washington Jazz Fest, Alexandria Jazz Festival, Martha’s Vineyard Jazz Festival, Twins Jazz, Bohemian Caverns, the King Of France Tavern, Montpelier Arts Center, Chris’ Café, the New Haven Lounge, Caton Castle, Strathmore Mansion, and the Black Rock Center for the Arts.

JazzReview.com describes The Larry Brown Quintet as "Straight-ahead jazz at its best, with a forthright approach to well chosen material, supported by first rate soloists and a rock-solid rhythm section." The group’s four CDs receive airplay all over the country, as well as in Brazil, Canada, Russia, and Japan. The band, which reprises the hard-bop style of the legendary Blue Note era, was recognized by the Washington Area Music Association (WAMA) as the Best Jazz Group for 2009. The group’s celebrated release, “Hard Bop Café” was recognized by WAMA as the Best Jazz Recording for 2006 with a Wammie award.

As an undergraduate at Towson University, Larry studied with Stan Kenton’s favorite arranger/composer, Hank Levy. He performed with and composed for the lauded Towson University Jazz Ensemble. With a Bachelors Degree in Music Theory Larry attended graduate school at Catholic University, where he received his Master of Music degree after studying Composition and Electronic Music with the legendary Emerson Myers. 

Recognized with Wammie Awards for Best Jazz Group for 2006, 2008, and again for 2009, Larry also received a Wammie for Best Jazz Recording in 2002 for his CD “The Long Goodbye”, recorded at National Public Radio, npr. Larry has appeared on the national jazz cable channel BET On Jazz show “Jazz Discovery” where he won in the instrumentalist category, and has appeared on their show “Jazz Scene” as a featured artist. Larry has also received several Wammie nominations for Best Jazz Instrumentalist, and Best Jazz Recording (“Peace”, “Dryden Street Sessions”).

Washingtonian magazine says, “Larry Brown is a pianist whose rendering of ballads is particularly moving”. The Washington Post calls him “an artist deserving of greater exposure” and says Brown “evokes the master touch”. A post be-bop jazz pianist, Larry lists his major influences as Bill Evans, Wynton Kelly, and Miles Davis. 

GENE BRUNO - Jazz Tenor/Alto Saxophonist
 

A graduate of the High School of Performing Arts, in NYC where I majored in Music.

Started my musical career at the age of 8 playing Trumpet.

At the age of 12 moved over to saxophone. I was a student of the famous virtuoso Mr. Joseph Allard of NYC. 

Throughout my years as a musician I worked the Catskill vacation circles, worked with many bands, in the entertainment field, personally worked with and for many entertainment acts.

Worked at the well known Concord Hotel in upstate NY, where I did shows for various entertainment celebrities.

In the past 40 or more years I did the Wedding and Bar Mitzvah circuit with the top NYC offices. Steve Scott, Hank Lane, Dwight Howard, to mention a few.

I presently play with and perform concert activities with a 17 piece Latin orchestra and an 18 piece American jazz orchestra.  I travel between NY and Florida to make myself available to the Fort Pierce Jazz and Blues Society. I continue to be active in the music industry.

My passion is to encourage youngsters to be involved in the field of music and entertainment.

DAVID EINHORN - Jazz Bassist

Double bassist David Einhorn is best known for his recording “Strings Attached” with legendary multi-instrumentalist Ira Sullivan. He currently is a member of the Palm Beach Atlantic Symphony and tours and records with Haitian pianist Reginald Policard. He has performed with many well-known jazz and pop artists including Mark Murphy, Susana McCorkle, Johnny Hartman, Anita O’Day, Mose Allison, John Gary, Etta Jones, Ken Peplowski, Dick Morgan, Paquito d’Rivera, Kai Winding, Nat Adderly, John Hicks, Eddie Higgins, Hank Jones, Red Rodney, Doc Cheatham, Eddie Cleanhead Vinson, Ray Mantilla, and Al Grey. 

 

MARK GREEN - Jazz Trumpet/Flugel/Flute
 

Mark Green performs regularly with the Jazz Society at the Black Box Theatre in Ft. Pierce. Originally from NY, where he played his trumpet on stage on Broadway as well as Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, Mark also travelled nationally and internationally accompanying such celebrities as Vic Damone, Neil Sedaka, and Mel Torme just to mention a few.

He moved to South Florida in 1988 and immediately formed his own Dixieland band known as the Rowdy Roosters. For the past 10 years he has directed, along with Al Hager, a 17pc. Big Band known as FDO-For Dancers Only, the Big Swingin’ Band.  Since 2001, Mark has written and presented 3 mixed-media shows, “A Tribute to Satchmo,” “The Genius of Duke Ellington,” and “Benny Goodman-The King of Swing.” The latter was performed on stage at the Sunrise Theater in 2013 with 19 musicians.

Mark has been a noted educator for as long as he’s been a musician, and was very honored to have received the Teacher of the Year Award for the State of Florida in 2004. This was presented to him by the Department of Juvenile Justice at Disney World, for his work with at-risk teenage youth. This summer will be the third year that he will direct and write the curriculum for the society’s Summer Jazz Band Camp program. This is designed to teach young music students, and recently older ones too, the techniques in improvising and performing jazz music in front of a live audience.

Mark states, “I’m happy to play a small part in attempting to keep this great American art form alive, by mentoring young people in the joy of performing jazz.”    

 
 
ED HUMPHRIES - Jazz Tenor/Soprano Saxophone
 

Eddie Humphries is a world-class saxophonist who has performed with music’s biggest names.  Early in his career, Eddie toured with Brenda Lee and the Dick Clark Caravan of Stars, and backed up groups like The Byrds and Paul Revere and the Raiders.  Eddie has shared the stage with top performers such as Cher, The Temptations, The Drifters, Johnny Mathis and Frankie Vallee.  During the 50’s and 60’s, dozens of local hit records released in Louisville, KY featured Eddie Humphries on his tenor sax.  

In 1997, Barb Polk joined Eddie Humphries to form the duo, “Barb & Eddie”.  As the house band at John E’s Restaurant in Louisville for 16 years, “Barb & Eddie” created a full band sound by utilizing instrumental backing tracks along with Eddie’s live performances on flute, tenor and soprano sax and the Yamaha Wind machine which simulates 500 different instruments.  

 
 
JUSTIN MANDELL - Bassist/Guitarist
 

Justin Mandell began playing violin at the age of 7 and was concert master of the Indian River Youth Symphonic at age 12.  He began playing guitar at 10 and bass at 16.  In high school Justin was awarded the Louis Armstrong award, which only one student receives per year. Justin received a scholarship from the University of North Florida and attended their jazz program.   Justin has performed with multiple jazz stars including Maria Schneider, Kurt Elling, and Wycliffe Gordon amongst others.   In The RnB world Justin performed with the award winning vocalist Lisa McClendon.  He has opened for Oteil Burbridge, Toots and the Maytails, Najee and countless others as well as music festivals throughout the country.  In 2015 Justin lived, played, and taught music in Lima Peru.


BRYAN CHAUNCEY MAYS - Professional Brass Performer
 

Bryan Chauncey Mays is a professional brass performer, arranger, composer, educator and author. His recent engagements include performances with the Little River Band, the Who, Hugh Jackman, and Weird Al Yankovic.
Chauncey has been a performing member of the Ft Pierce Jazz & Blues Society since 2000. Chauncey has also performed many Broadway shows including the Lion King, Motown, Pippin, and Chicago. He is currently arranging, writing, and performing with a trombone quartet that he organized and leads with Conrad Zulauf, Joe Columbo, John Gulinello, and pianist Jim VanVoorheis. Chauncey is the lead trombonist with FDO, the big swinging band.  Chauncey occasionally tours with the Irish Tenors, Gloria Gaynor, Johnny Mathis, and the Golden Boys. Chauncey teaches music at Redeemer Lutheran School and Immanuel Lutheran School. Chauncey also performs with the Jupiter First Singers at Jupiter First Church.

 

DAVID MUNDY - Jazz/Rock/Funk Bassist

David Mundy has been writing, performing and producing music professionally in the Central Florida area since 1991. He earned his Bachelor of Music degree in Bass Performance from the Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA, studying with bass greats Oscar Stagnaro and Ed Lucie. He currently performs locally with his jazz trio Soulfege, with the 18 piece FDO Big Band and, as a member of the Ft. Pierce Jazz and Blues Society, and freelances both live and in the studio with local and statewide artists. David currently serves as Director of Jazz Studies at the Indian River Charter High’s Schumann School of Visual and Performing Arts.

 
SAL PERLA - Jazz/Rock/Commercial Drummer
 

Salvatore Perla, a New York State native, began playing piano, organ and drums at age 10. He studied music at the State University of New York Fredonia, and the Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA.  During the '80s, Salvatore composed and produced music for broadcast and cable television as well as radio jingles.  Since that time various studio projects and playing situations have kept Salvatore busy while living in New York City and Philadelphia - including music director positions at several churches - prior to moving to Florida some years ago. A student of all styles of music - especially Jazz - Salvatore can be found playing regularly with a variety of top entertainers and musicians throughout southeast Florida. Salvatore – a professional photographer - also owns and operates PerlaVision Photography, www.perlavision.com.

 
MICHAEL SAGARESE - Jazz Reeds (all)!
Michael Sagarese, a native New Yorker , has been involved with the Jazz Society for over 5 years. He plays Sax ,Clarinet andFlute around town and at the  Black Box on the first Tuesday of the month this season.  A retired music educator and a graduate of Manhattan School of Music, I look forward to working again with my music contacts at the FPJBS.
 
VAL SCHAEFFER - Jazz/Rock Bassist
Val Shaffer, grew up in southern Indiana, and picked up the bass guitar in the early 80's, at age 14. Within a few years, he went on to play with professional rock bands in the area, and in 1991 moved to San Diego. There, he honed his playing working with Blues, Funk, and R and B groups, before moving to Los Angeles, in 1995. Once in LA, he added the acoustic upright bass to his arsenal, and became active in all genres of music, with a strong emphasis on jazz. After a break from music,(2002-2007) Val moved to NYC, (in 2008) and again became active in Jazz through 2011. Currently, Val resides in south Florida, and is again pursuing music full time. Over the years, he has had the pleasure of playing with: Kofi Baker, Cecelia Coleman, Alan Ferber, Chuck Flores, Rob Garcia, Ralph Lalama, Bill Perkins, Donald Vega, Anthony Wilson, and many others.
 
BUD SKILES -Jazz/Blues Pianist

Studied performance piano and music theory at East Carolina University with noted professor, Dr. Robert Carter.  In his early school years, he studied woodwinds as well as piano.  An accomplished jazz pianist he has played many venues throughout the east coast including with the Ft. Pierce Jazz and Blues Society.  Presently Bud has been teaching a number of piano students in the jazz genre to develop improvisation and jazz techniques.


JAMES TUCCI - Drummer
 

With drum lessons beginning at age 12, high school graduation, and becoming the drummer for Ray Rivera Jazz Trio, I found myself performing at most of the night clubs in New York City.  Enlisting in the Army forwarded my music career.  This was the most rewarding part of my music career performing for the troops from New York to Europe.

Upon military completion, I returned home to NYC where I continued to perform with the Ray Rivera Jazz Trio.  I’ve appeared with vocalists OC Smith, Lori White, Frank Sinatra Jr., Leslie Uggams, Pearl Williams, Julius LaRosa and many others.  I also played at many resorts in the Catskills Mountains.

Performing evenings throughout NYC became a sideline to my thirty-five year banking career at Deutsche Bank.  After retiring from banking in 1991, I began teaching to add to my already busy performing schedule.  In 2002 I relocated to Florida.  I met the Ft Pierce Jazz & Blues Society on my first week and worked with the area’s best musicians. I continue to play drums and/or congas.  The beat goes on…