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Plays the music of Alec Wilder

Mark Masters – arranger
Bob Summers – trumpet
Don Shelton – alto sax
Jerry Pinter – tenor sax
David Woodley – trombone
Gary Smulyan – baritone sax
Ed Czach – piano
Putter Smith – bass
Kendall Kay – drums

The Mark Masters Ensemble consists of 8 world class musicians performing the music of composer Alec Wilder, arranged by Mark Masters.
Alec Wilder was a composer of popular and classical music, a rare combination, and also uniquely wrote both the music and lyrics for his own compositions. Wilder wrote the definitive book book, “American Popular Song” : The Great Innovators, 1900 – 1950. In his life Wilder wrote 12 operas, 4 musicals, 23 pieces of chamber music, including for solo instruments, and 19 albums to date have been recorded by various musicians of his compositional works. Talented arranger Mark Masters has assembled 8 exceptional musicians to creatively perform the music Alec Wilder, a 20th century music stand out. To his credit, Masters pays a tribute to Wilder who was a big contributor to modern day music with his own personalized style of contemporary arrangements. To date, Mark Masters has 15 recordings as a leader.

Trumpeter Bob Summers’ excellent playing has been heard in the best big bands, both live and recorded in Southern California. He plays emotional and understated solos. Summers has played on over 200 recordings in over a 5 decade career. Woodwind specialist and vocalist Don Shelton has played with many jazz and pop artists that include Les Hooper, Bob Florence, The Hi-Los, Johnny Mann, The L.A. Jazz Orchestra, The Singers Unlimited, Tom Talbert, Clare Fischer, Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, Rosemary Clooney, Herb Jefferies, Marty Patch, Oscar Peterson, and many others. Shelton has performed on nearly 200 recordings in his career.

Saxophonist Jerry Pinter has played on over 60 recordings, which includes being a member of The Woody Herman Band. A graduate of North Texas State University, Pinter has played in dozens of jazz bands and is a jazz educator at Saddleback College and Cal State University, San Marcos.

Trombonist Dave Woodley has performed on nearly 30 recordings and is active in several Jazz Orchestras.

Baritone Saxophonist Gary Smulyan from New York has performed and recorded with The Woody Herman Band, The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, The Mel Lewis Big Band, The Dave Holland Big Band, Dizzy Gillespie’s All – Star Big Band, Carla Bley’s Band,The Mingus Big Band, The Smithsonian Jazz Mastersworks Orchestra, and many others. Smulyan has 15 recordings as a leader and credits baritone saxman Pepper Adams as his biggest influence. Smulyan is the Artistic Director of The Berkshire Hills Music Academy. Smulyan has been voted the best Baritone Saxophonist numerous times by Downbeat, Jazz It, and Jazz Times Annual Readers and Critics Polls. Smulyan has played with many jazz greats and with 20 different big bands.

Pianist Ed Czach is a longtime member of Luther Hughes’ Cannonball – Coltrane Project, and plays in The Dave Slonaker Big Band. A wonderful accompanist and all around great player, Czach has performed on 16 recordings.

Bassist Putter Smith is a teacher, author and actor who has performed and recorded with dozens of jazz greats. A great session player with many jazz and pop musicians, Smith has taught at The Musicians Institute and The California Institute of The Arts, and has been performing since the 1960’s. A great improviser, Smith has played with Thelonious Monk, Duke Ellington, Gerry Mulligan, Alan Broadbent, Pete Christlieb, and many others. Smith has 6 recordings as a leader/co – leader, and has acted in 3 films, which includes James Bond’s “Diamonds Are Forever”.

Drummer Kendall Kay is a graduate of North Texas State University and has played with dozens of jazz artists in Southern California for over the last 30 years. Kay has been with vocalist Jack Jones and his group for several years and has performed on over 100 recordings.

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