For well over a decade, Don Byron has been a singular voice in an astounding range of musical contexts, exploring widely divergent traditions while continually striving for what he calls "a sound above genre." As clarinetist, saxophonist, composer, arranger, and social critic, he redefines every genre of music he plays, be it classical, salsa, hip-hop, funk, rhythm & blues, klezmer, or any jazz style from swing and bop to cutting-edge downtown improvisation. He has been consistently voted best clarinetist by critics and readers alike in leading international music journals since being named "Jazz Artist of the Year" by Down Beat in 1992. Acclaimed as much for his restless creativity as for his unsurpassed virtuosity as a player, Byron has presented a multitude of projects at major music festivals around the world, including recent performances in Vienna, San Francisco, Hong Kong, London, Monterey, New Zealand, and on New York's Broadway.
The Players: Don Byron - clarinet, saxophone, Aruán Ortiz - piano, Gonzalo Teppa - bass, and Dru Heller - drums
Pianist, violist, and composer Aruán Ortiz – born in Santiago de Cuba, and resident of Brooklyn – has been an active figure in the progressive jazz and avant-garde scene in the US for more than 15 years.
In the Jazz genre, bassist Gonzalo Teppa has participated with such Jazz luminaries as trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, trombonist Slide Hampton, saxophonist John Gunther, percussionist John Hadfield, drummer John Von Ohlen, pianists Dave and Don Grusin, saxophonist, flutist and trumpeter Ira Sullivan, pianists Chip Stephens and Pat Bianchi, pianist Michael Pagan, trumpeter Tom Harrell, saxophonist Chris Potter, trombonist Jiggs Whigham, flutist and saxophonist Nelson Rangel, and guitarist Bill Kopper, among others.
Originally from Spokane, Washington, jazz drummer Dru Heller moved to Colorado in 2013 to pursue a Master’s degree in Jazz Performance and Pedagogy at the University of Colorado-Boulder. Since graduating, Dru has maintained a busy schedule as a freelance musician in the Denver jazz scene, playing in bands led by Don Byron, Art Lande, Jeff Jenkins, and many others.