As Jazzistry’s bandleader, Vincent York uses a wealth of professional artistry to unveil the story of jazz to audiences of all ages, time and again, each time with different twists and fresh interpretation.
Every artist performing in Vincent York’s Jazzistry has a distinguished career as an independent professional jazz musician. The personality of each musician and the character of each instrument contribute to the collective voice that tells this historic and American story.
Trumpet & Flugelhorn
Dwight Adams (Detroit) was marked as a gifted musician from his work with the Teddy Harris New Breed Be-Bop Society Orchestra at the age of 16. Winner of Metro Times 1993 and 1996 Spirit of Detroit awards, he leads The Dwight Adams Quartet, is featured in many Detroit bands, has toured with Stevie Wonder, and has played and recorded with Vincent York’s New York Force.
John Douglas (Detroit) began his career while studying at the University of Michigan. In 1991, Douglas and five others formed the band Jazzheads and earned great success and were bestowed with 3 awards in 1999: the Detroit Music Award for Best Jazz Recording, Best Jazz Group Deserving Wider Recognition, and Best Modern Jazz Group. Douglas continued to tour the U.S., Canada and Europe with fellow prominent performers, such as Gladys Knight, Marshall Allen and the Chi-lites. Returning home to Detroit, he formed the John Douglas Quintet, known for bringing energetic bebop and powerful funky jazz style to audiences all over the world
John Dana (Detroit) is a respected musician, educator and composer. His working experience is wide-ranging and includes stints with Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, Rita Moreno and the Glenn Miller Orchestra as well as Storytellers, a Detroit-based group teaching ethnomusicology to youth. Dana has been a fixture in Detroit’s jazz scene since the 1960’s.
Guitar & Banjo
Ron English (Detroit) is a performer, composer, educator, clinician and adjudicator. He has taught at universities, worked with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and Motown groups and recorded with the Lyman Woodard Organization and Rahsan Roland Kirk. An integral part of Detroit’s jazz scene since the 60’s, he was awarded Metro Detroit’s Best Guitarist 1991 and 1993.
Jesse Kramer (Ann Arbor) One of the most promising young drummers in Metro Detroit, Kramer has already performed at clubs, theaters, and festivals with some of the top local and national jazz musicians. Born and raised in Ann Arbor, Jesse studied with local masters such as saxophonist Vincent York and drummer Sean Dobbins. While still in high school, Jesse was awarded a Downbeat Magazine Student Music Award for best group, and his trio performed at Detroit Jazz Festival. Jesse’s career has taken off from there.
Gary Schunk (Detroit) Based in Detroit, Schunk has earned much acclaim as both an acoustic pianist and as electronic keyboardist for his own electric jazz trio Schunk-Starr-Dryden.In 1995, Schunk was chosen as one of ten winners in JAZZIZ magazine’s “Keyboards on Fire” contest. His composition, Backward Glance, is featured on the JAZZIZ compilation CD as well as his independently produced debut CD, The Key Player.Schunk has played with numerous jazz greats, including Joe Williams, Earl Klugh, Pepper Adams, David “Fathead” Newman and many others.