Led by Paul Ferguson, CJO promotes jazz in its historical and contemporary forms, through concerts with gifted jazz musicians, arrangers, composers and educators in Northeast Ohio.
Paul Ferguson, Artistic Director, Lead Trombone
Paul Ferguson has been director of Jazz Studies at Case Western Reserve University since 1988. A graduate of the University of Akron and the Eastman School of Music, Paul has traveled with the Tommy Dorsey and Glenn Miller bands as lead trombonist and arranger and currently fills those functions with the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra. Paul was principal trombonist of the Canton Symphony from 1989-98 and at various times has also performed with the Cleveland Orchestra, Cleveland Opera, the Ohio Chamber Orchestra, Apollos’s Fire, the Cleveland Chamber Brass, the New Hampshire Festival Orchestra and various groups across Northeast Ohio. In 1995, Paul was the recipient of the Gil Evans Fellowship in Jazz Composition.He has two recordings–”Blue Highways”, recorded with the RIAS Big Band of Berlin, and “Friends”, recorded with his own orchestra. Last summer, Paul taught at an International Jazz Seminar in Zarautz, Spain, wrote three arrangements for the Glenn Miller Orchestra and wrote three arrangements for the Cleveland Pops for use on the Drew Carey show.
Chris Anderson, Director, Jazz Discovery Ensemble and Education, Trombone
Chris Anderson has played trombone with fine musicians in idioms spanning classical, Latin, jazz and gospel. In addition to writing and performing many different styles of music, Chris has won various local and national competitions and has performed with groups including the Canton Symphony Orchestra, the Cleveland Chamber Symphony, the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra and the Jazz Heritage Orchestra. Chris currently works with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District through the All-City Arts Program. In addition, he is an instructor at The Music Settlement and Cuyahoga Community College. Among recordings Chris has contributed to Dave Morgan’s The Way of the Sly Man.
Chas Baker, Trombone
Trombonist Chas Baker recently retired from Kent State University where he was an associate professor of Jazz Studies and led the KSU Jazz Ensemble. His backround includes experience as a soloist for the Austrian Radio & TV Network Big Band in Vienna, Austria. In 1968-69, as a U.S. Army band man, he was trombone soloist with the 1st Air Cavalry Division Band, Viet Nam. Chas has been a very active player with the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra and in that capacity has performed behind guest artists including Bob Brookmeyer, Joe Lovano, Maria Schneider and John Hollenbeck. He also has worked in concerts starring the likes of Tony Bennett and David Sanborn. In 1997, the KSU Alumni Association and the KSU Foundation honored him with its Distinguished Teaching Award.
Dave Banks, Trumpet
Trumpet player Dave Banks has returned to northeast Ohio after a 20-year career in Las Vegas where he performed in more than 4,000 shows. In Las Vegas, Dave worked with many famous entertainers and was a member of the Lou Elias Relief Orchestra. Dave has also performed with the Nevada Symphony Orchestra, The Las Vegas Philharmonic and the Nevada Chamber Orchestra. He also was a trumpet instructor and assistant director of bands at the University of Nevada. He is a member of the faculty of Walsh Jesuit High School, where he teaches music and drama. Dave regularly performs with the Jack Schantz Jazz Unit and Ernie Krivda’s Fat Tuesday Big Band. He also leads his own group, the Dave Banks Big Band.
Johnny Cochran, Tenor Saxophone
A native of Cleveland’s southwest side, Johnny Cochran attended Cleveland School of the Arts and Cuyahoga Community College simultaneously during high school, studying saxophone with Ernie Krivda. He has had the opportunity to perform with artists such as Clark Terry, Carl Allen, Jason and Wynton Marsalis, Randy Brecker, Mike Lee, Billy Hart, and Rodney Whitaker. Johnny studied with Gary Bartz at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. While the saxophone is his primary instrument, Johnny also is proficient in piano, drums, and several other woodwind instruments.
Scott Garlock, CJO Booking Agent, Band Liaison, Trombone
Scott Garlock is a full professor of Music at Ashland University. He has a degree in music education from Kent State University, two master’s degrees from the University of Akron (music performance and music history) and a doctorate from the University of Iowa. In addition to teaching for over five years in the public schools, Scott has also taught at Mount Union College and at Knox College. Scott was cited by Benny Green at the Notre Dame Jazz Festival for this “positive, spirited leadership. He is also a member of the Cleveland Pops Orchestra and Mansfield Symphony Orchestra. Scott served as president of Ohio’s chapter of IAJE, and of JECO (the state jazz education organization) which he helped create.
Paul Hungerford, Bass Trombone
Cleveland Jazz Orchestra charter member Paul Hungerford received his undergraduate and master’s degrees in trombone performance from Cleveland State University along with his teaching certificate. He was a trombone student of James Taylor and a bass trombone student of Ed Anderson. A charter member of both the CJO and the Cleveland Pops Orchestra, Paul also is a member of the Heritage Brass Quintet. He has played with many big band performers including Tommy Dorsey and Glenn Miller. Paul is currently the band and orchestra director at Wiley Middle School in the Cleveland Heights/University Heights School District.
John Klayman, Lead Tenor Saxophone
Cleveland Jazz Orchestra charter member John Klayman is the CJO’s featured tenor sax soloist. He has toured with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra and has performed with the Jack Schantz Jazz Unit. A guest soloist and clinician at numerous regional universities, Klayman also has appeared with Tony Bennett, Johnny Mathis, Paquito D’Rivera, the Four Lads, Bob Hope, the Temptations, and Manhattan Transfer, among others. John’s tenor is featured on recordings by vocalist Barbara Knight and the CJO, Grupo Brasil, Paul Ferguson, the Cleveland Orchestra, and Janan. John also has worked on jingles for Higbee’s, the Glidden Corp. and the Plain Dealer.
Aidan Plank, Bass
Aidan Plank studied the double bass with bassist and composer Dave Morgan, as well as with Kevin Switalkski of the Cleveland Orchestra. During his studies with Dave Morgan he also developed an interest in composing.
Aidan has performed in a wide range of musical genres with many musicians. Some performances and collaborations include: Dan Wall, Carol Veto, Joe Maneri, Frankie Avalon, Grease, Chubby Checker, The Cleveland Jazz Orchestra, The Jazz Unit, Jack Shantz, Howie Smith, Bob Fraser, Sean Jones, Matt Perko, Bobby Selvaggio, Dominic Ferannaci, Jackie Warren, Tommy LiPuma, The Case Baroque Orchestra, The Oberlin Baroque Orchestra, The Oberlin Opera, The Houston Ballet, Andy Hunter, Kevin Jones, Kip Reed, The Cleveland Ballet, Joshua Smith, Collegium Musicum, Cynthia Kaay Bennett, Daniel Lippel, Daniel Bruce, Paul Samuels, Bobby Stevens, Debra Nagy, Mary Larew, Aurora Nealand, J. Scott Franklin, Karel Paukert, William Bolcom, Real Time Opera, Randall Woolf, The Bits, Ladia Yates, Alexis Cole, Oblique Orchestra, The Jack Cameras, Gerald Clayton, Janis Siegel, Jim Rupp, Tom Tallitsch, Joe Lovano, Judi Silvano, Carmen Castaldi, Roderick Dixon, Curtis Taylor, Nancy Kelly, Tia Brazda, Bruce Johnstone, Nia Drummond, Kenny Davis, Vanessa Rubin, John Jennings, Paul Roth, Wayne Bergeron, Jimmy Mulidore, Michael Stryker, Mike Lee, Nadav Remez, and many others.
Aidan has performed at Carnagie Hall, Severence Hall, The Knitting Factory, The House of Blues, The Beachland Ballroom, The Bop Stop, Blossom Music Festival, and other venues throughout the United States.
Jim Rupp, Drums
Jim Rupp has toured extensively with the bands of Woody Herman, Maynard Ferguson and Glenn Miller. He is the drummer on three Woody Herman CDs: The Fiftieth Anniversary Tour, which was nominated for a Grammy Award, Legacy and Live In London. Jim spent eight years with Grammy Award-winning jazz singer Diane Schuur, and also has performed with artists such as Ray Charles, Tony Bennett, Joe Lovano, Hank Marr, Buddy DeFranco, Clark Terry, Joe Williams, Rosemary Clooney, and Natalie Cole. Jim presents workshops and educational clinics all over the country, currently teaches jazz drumming at The Ohio State University and has taught at the University of Michigan. He also is past chair of the drum set committee for the Percussive Arts Society and is the resident of Columbus Pro Percussion, Inc.
Jack Schantz, Trumpet
Jack Schantz was artistic director of the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra from 1994 to 2009. Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Akron, Jack has toured with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, the Glenn Miller Orchestra, the Artie Shaw Orchestra, and Woody Herman. He also has worked in the pickup bands of Jimmy Dorsey, Larry Elgart and Guy Lombardo. Among shows he worked: Miss Saigon, Annie Get Your Gun, Guys and Dolls, Kiss of the Spider Woman, The Color Purple and The Sound of Music. He also has performed with artists such as Mel Torme, Sarah Vaughan, Tony Bennett, Cleo Laine, Jack Jones, Nancy Wilson and Diane Schuur. He has played trumpet and flugelhorn with the Cleveland Pops Orchestra, the Blossom Festival Orchestra, the Blossom Festival Band, and the Akron Symphony Orchestra. He led the Jack Schantz Jazz Unit in the ‘90s, and in 1993 recorded Speechless under the Jack Schantz Jazz Quartet name. He also contributed to the Paul Ferguson Jazz Orchestra’s Big Band Christmas album and to Dave Morgan’s The Way of the Sly Man. Schantz earned a bachelor of arts degree in theory from the University of Akron as well as a master’s degree in trumpet.
George Shernit, CJO Librarian and Personnel Manager, Baritone Saxophone
Baritone saxophonist George Shernit has performed with the Cleveland Orchestra and the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra. He also has worked numerous Broadway shows and is featured on records by the CJO, the Cleveland Orchestra and Cleveland Symphonic Winds. Shernit earned a bachelor of arts degree in music theory and composition, as well as a master’s degree in performance, from Cleveland State University. Shernit has taught at Cleveland State, Case Western Reserve University, Ashland University, University of Akron, and Muskegon University. A charter member of the CJO, he also is the band’s personnel manager. He is a district sales manager with Jupiter Band Instruments.
Howie Smith, Lead Alto Saxophone
Saxophonist and composer Howie Smith has presented concerts and workshops throughout the United States, Canada, South America, Europe, and Australia, and has performed and/or recorded with musicians/organizations as diverse and renowned as John Cage, the Cleveland Orchestra, Dizzy Gillespie, Elvis Presley, and the Tone Road Ramblers. In 2009, Howie was designated Professor Emeritus at Cleveland State University, where he was coordinator of jazz studies from 1979 to 2005, and served as Chair of the Art Department from 2003 through 2007. Visit www.howiesmith.com.
Brad Wagner, Alto Saxophone
Saxophonist and Composer Brad Wagner originally hails from Akron, Ohio. In June of 2003, Brad received his B.M. in Jazz Studies from the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music. Brad has studied with Rick VanMatre, Brad Goode, Phil DeGreg, John Von Ohlen, Marc Fields, Ernie Krivda, and others. Brad Wagner has been a member of many jazz groups including The Cincinnati Contemporary Jazz Orchestra, Ernie Krivda at the Fat Tuesday Big Band, The Hendectet Jazz Collective, The Cleveland Jazz Orchestra, and more. Brad leads his own quartet and sextet and stays busy composing and arranging for various groups and projects. Visit his website at www.bradwagner.net.
Jackie Warren, Piano
One of the best jazz and Latin jazz pianists and arrangers in northeast Ohio, Jackie Warren has been called the “first lady of jazz” and has released three recordings of her own: Near You, Live at the Wi-Fi Cafe and Oblivion. A native of the Colorado plains, Jackie earned a bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College and a master’s degree—in classical piano—from Cleveland State University. A specialist in merengue and salsa, Jackie also has worked on recordings by the Jazz Heritage Orchestra and by Impacto Nuevo, the area’s leading Latin band. Visit www.jackiewarren.net.