TNEK Jazz Quintet
Bassist Kent Miller, a graduate of Rockhurst University, also attended the University of Missouri at Kansas City (UMKC) Conservatory of Music. After returning to St. Louis, Miller enrolled in the St. Louis Conservatory of Music for continued music studies. He began private bass studies with Warren Claunch of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and with Wendell Marshall (former Duke Ellington bassist); enrollment into the legendary George Hudson Big Band soon followed. In 1984 Miller moved to New York and was recruited by Vanguard recording artist trumpeter Dave Burns. Miller continued his bass studies with bassist Rufus Reid and Ray Drummond and in later years with bassist Ron Carter. He has performed with the Brooklyn based Ray Abrams big band, Carl Allen, Chico Hamilton, Percy Brice, Jimmy Lovelace, Clifford Barbaro, Lynne Arriale, Eddie Gladden, George Coleman Jr., John Hicks, Eric Person, Bill Saxton, Talieb Kibwe, James Wiedman, Stanley Cowell and many others.
Saxophonist Benny Russell, a graduate of Morgan State University, at which time he started gigging for the Manhattans, the Four Tops, and Richard "Groove" Holmes in addition to several other artists who toured the area. Shortly after his college graduation, Benny moved to New York and quickly formed a jazz orchestra called the NEW YORK ASSOCIATION--a seventeen-piece ensemble that featured such noted jazz artists as trumpeters Cecil Bridgewater and Tom Harrell, saxophonist John Purcell, trombonists Steve Turre, Robin Eubanks, pianist Onaje Allan Gumbs, and drummer Mike Clark. Russell chaired the jazz division at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, where he also taught jazz history. While working at the Conservatory, he was able to launch a string of other cultural activities that served Brooklyn, including a program of workshops for high school students in the Brooklyn public school system, the Charlie Parker Birthday Festival, and regular performances with the Next Legacy Orchestra.
Saxophonist Antonio Parker, a graduate of Howard University where he received undergraduate and graduate degrees in jazz studies. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in music education from the University of the District of Columbia.
His many artistic achievements include serving as a USIA (United States Information Agency) Jazz Ambassador to Africa, where he performed and conducted jazz workshops in Nigeria, Ghana, Togo, Zaire, Congo, Morocco, and Tunisia. He has also toured and performed in Japan, London, Scotland, Paris, Spain, Canada, Austria, as well at the pyramids in Egypt with Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra. Antonio has recorded and/or shared the stage with many well-known artists and entertainers, including Go-Go legend Chuck Brown, The Blackbyrds, The O’Jays, Peabo Bryson, Ruben Studdard, Betty Carter, Illinois Jacquet, Jean Carne, and Christian McBride. His 2002 debut CD, “The Exchange,” was very well received.
His latest recording, the 2-disc “Steppin’ Out” Live @ HR-57 (released in 2012 on his Airegin Label), documents is constant growth as a performer, composer, and bandleader. His latest recording, “Planetentiary” was released in 2016 and shows the dynamic range of his artistry, as he explores a mixture of jazz, funk and groove, with collaborations from the likes of renown trumpeters Roy Hargrove and Russell Gunn.
Drummer/percussionist Greg C. Holloway, is a native of Washington, D.C. where he received an undergraduate degree in Music Education and Percussion Performance from Howard University. He also participated in the Jazz Studies summer program at Eastman School of Music. Greg later pursued Masters in Education with an emphasis in Jazz Drumming/Percussion Methodology and Masters in Science (Counseling Psychology) from University of LaVerne in Southern California. Holloway has performed with Hank Jones, Freda Payne, Carl Fontanna, Rob McConnell, Chuck Israel, Jim Pugh, Gene Bertincinni, Maguire Sisters, Blackstone the Magician, Sheri Lewis, Bruce Conti, Rich Little, sista Monica Parker, Aretha Franklin, Jimmy Heath, Master Chorale of Washington DC, Nena Freelon and Vanessa Rubin.
Pianist/composer Darius Scott, a graduate of Brown University, grew up in Boston and has been living in Baltimore since 1983. Darius didn’t begin trying to play piano until he was an engineering student and athlete in college. When an injury sidelined him from soccer for a season, he signed up for a “keyboard awareness” class and through a friend, discovered the ragtime piano music of Scott Joplin. Darius has worked regularly and recorded with several regional groups. These include 18 years with D.C.'s Grammy nominated Michael Thomas Quintet. Continually inspired by the important role that comping plays in a solid and sensitive rhythm section, Darius has drawn heavily upon the styles of legends Horace Silver, Red Garland, Wynton Kelly, Bobby Timmons, Bud Powell, Bill Evans, Barry Harris, Thelonious Monk as well as a host of local Baltimore and D.C. musicians who share the “joy of comping”.