Christian Dillingham: Upon graduation, Dillingham was invited to play in the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, and moved to the city to perform with them for the next two seasons. Since then, he has made frequent appearances in Chicago’s vibrant classical scene, playing with the Lyric Opera, the Grant Park Symphony, and the Chicago Opera Theatre. Dillingham is also a member of the Chicago Sinfonietta, Fulcrum Point New Music Project, and the Chicago Philharmonic. He appears on albums by the Chicago Sinfonietta and Camerata Chicago. At the same time, he became a regular presence in Chicago’s rich jazz community, performing at Fred Anderson’s iconic Velvet Lounge, the Green Mill, the Jazz Showcase, Constellation Chicago, Andy’s Jazz Club, Elastic Arts and other Chicago venues as well as at the Chicago Jazz Festival. Dillingham has played and recorded with dozens of musicians, including John Legend, Kirk Franklin, Melvin Butler, Kevin Mahogany, the late piano master Willie Pickens, Dee Alexander, Victor Goines, Bobby Broom, Sean Jones, Jim Gailloreto, Nick Mazzarella, Greg Ward and Mike Reed. He is a collaborator with violinist James Sanders in the Dark Matter String Band.
The decision to move to Chicago came into being on January of 2014, and since then, Greg Artry has become one of the premier drummers in the city. “My goal upon moving here has been to play with as many of my musical community as possible, to perform with excellence for the people, and to settle in to this amazing town”, Greg confesses. All this and much more...from the Willie Pickens Trio, the Allyssa Allgood Quartet, and his years in the Victor Goines Quartet, to his membership in Jeff Swanson’s CaseFitter, The Joe Policastro Trio, and his original project titled “4OUR”....in every setting, Greg projects his passionate, experienced, and joyful energy infectiously towards all witnesses. He now enjoys his life gratefully in the city of Chicago, residing in the Rogers Park neighborhood.
Richard Johnson Born in Pittsburgh, home to jazz greats Art Blakey, Ray Brown, Jeff "Tain" Watts and Ahmad Jamal, Richard D. Johnson has strong territorial jazz roots. After receiving a scholarship and graduating from the Berklee School of Music in just two years, Richard entered the Boston Conservatory where he earned a Master’s degree in Jazz Pedagogy. He then went on to receive an Artist Performance Diploma at the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance at New England Conservatory under the direction of the influential Ron Carter. Richard was invited to become a member of Wynton Marsalis' Septet and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, which he did from 2000-2003. He also played as part of the Russell Malone Quartet, Delfeayo Marsalis Quintet & The Bobby Watson Quartet. After completing his tenure with those groups Richard started the Reach Afar program for young people ages of 7-17, educating them about elements of jazz in hip-hop. Currently Richard is the leading Jazz Piano instructor at Peabody Conservatory of John Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD. Richard also serves as the piano instructor for the Ravinia Jazz Program located in Chicago, IL. Richard is an accomplished composer and arranger with five musical releases as a leader.Richard is a Yamaha endorsed piano artist!
Jeremey Boettcher Bio:After starting on piano at age 5, moving onto double bass and electric bass in high school, and expanding with keyboard and synth bass in college, Jeremy Boettcher has your basses covered. He received his degree in Music Education at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, where he is now a guest lecturer in Jazz Bass and maintains a studio of undergraduate bassists. He also maintains a full schedule of performing throughout the world. He has extensively toured the United States, Europe, the UK, Canada, China, and has also performed in Doha, Qatar. Based in the Midwest, Jeremy is at home in a wide array of musical genres, ranging from jazz to folk to indie rock. He routinely performs with the top jazz artists in the Midwest, as well as top musicians who travel in from NYC and New Orleans. His playing can be heard on a number of recordings, including S. Carey albums, Kathleen Edwards’ “Voyageur," and Anna Tivel’s “The Question,” which NPR toted as, “one of the most ambitious folk records of 2019.”
With six consecutive appearances on Downbeat’s Rising Star Alto Saxophone list, Sharel (pron. shuh-Relle) Cassity has been touring the world performing with her quintet as well as her latest project Elektra. She has had the honor of sharing the stage with legendary artists Aretha Franklin, Natalie Cole, Wynton Marsalis, Christian McBride, Roy Hargrove & James Moody to name a few. Having released three albums as a leader, Sharel also maintains an impressive sideman roster of Cyrus Chestnut, the Dizzy Gillespie Afro Cuban Experience, Jimmy Heath’s Big Band and many other NYC based ensembles. With a passion for her art and an unwavering will to evolve, Sharel continues to write and perform music that is constantly pushing boundaries and surprising her listeners. Originally from Yukon, Oklahoma Sharel was inducted into the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame in 2011 and graduated from the Juilliard Jazz program under full scholarship with a Masters degree in 2007.