The Hot Shim Sham Orchestra features an impressive roster of talented musicians. Get to know the musicians below, come out dance and and say hello to the musicians next time you see the orchestra!
Jessie Bunting grew up Sacramento California where he was immersed in a traditional jazz heritage. While completing his MS in mathematics and BS in music from Brigham Young University, Jessie studied saxophone and clarinet with Ray Smith and Daron Bradford, and played in Synthesis (1998 Siberia/Finland Tour), My Man Friday (Albums: Monkey Business, Night of the Exotic Tiki Gods), and The Joshua Payne Orchestra. While in college he stumbled on a pile of vintage big band sheet music at the local thrift store and has been collecting charts ever since. After graduating in 2000, Jessie moved to New York City and shortly began playing with Michael Arenella and the Dreamland Orchestra and later toured in Japan with Karikatura in 2011 (Albums: Muzon, Departures). In 2012 out of an interest to play big band swing he formed the Hot Shim Sham Orchestra, a dance orchestra playing carefully selected classic arrangements from the 1930s and 1940s including some of his own methodical transcriptions.
Woodwind artist/ afro-latin percussionist Evan Francis was born and raised in Venice, Ca. Since graduation from the USC/Thornton School of music on a full music scholarship, he has played with the likes of Billy Higgins, Dr. Art Davis, John Clayton, Stevie Wonder, Michael Buble, Sheila E. and many more. In 2013 he was featured on the Grammy winning debut album by the Pacific Mambo Orchestra. The same year, his name appeared in the Rising Star- Flute category of the Downbeat Critic’s Poll.
Alto Saxophonist Keith Curbow earned his Bachelors of Music in Jazz Studies from New York University where he had the opportunity to study with some of the great saxophonists such as Joe Lovano and Lenny Pickett. Originally from the Boston area, Keith now plays and teaches saxophone around the New York City area, enjoying his time playing classic swing music with Jessie Bunting and the Hot Shim Sham Orchestra and more contemporary jazz with his own ensemble, the Keith Curbow Ensemble. Keith greatly enjoyed playing his instrument but is also very passionate about music education, serving as Deputy Director for Feed Your Mind Music, a non-profit based in Brooklyn NY that offers free weekly music lessons to children in the under served areas of Brooklyn
Eric started playing clarinet at 10, guitar at 12 and saxophone at 17. He performed regularly in Top 40 bands while in college in Reno, NV, and studied jazz saxophone with Ron Legg and Frank Perry. Eric played with Jonz, and with jazz-fusion group Gotham City, who opened for Stanley Clarke and the Rippingtons. After moving to NYC in 1989, Eric formed his own group called the New World Jazz Quartet and for the next seven years, played in a wide variety of venues and events. In 2000, Eric released his first CD as a leader called “I’m in Love” which featured original music and jazz standards. Recently, Eric was a featured soloist in the horn section backing actor/singer Danny Aiello on the CW11 morning television show. In addition to leading his own quartet, Eric plays weekly with the Hot Shim Sham Orchestra led by Jessie Bunting, and with soul-jazz group Score! led by Andy O’Neill, among others. Eric’s repertoire of instruments includes the entire family of saxophones, clarinets, flute, and jazz guitar.
A native of Salisbury, N.C., James has been residing in the N.Y.C. area since 1993. An active freelancer, James has performed in classical, jazz and commercial settings. He has worked in the pit orchestras for various Broadway shoes, e.g., The Fully Monty, and was a member of the band Burning Spear. James earned his B.A. in Music from Catawba College and has been working toward a master's degree in jazz performance at NTSU. There he studied with Jack Petersen and Don Heicle.
Born and raised in Eugene, Oregon, Aaron moved to New York in the fall of 2010 to study music at New York University, where he earned his Bachelor's Degree in Jazz Studies. While there, he had the opportunity to study with greats including Dave Pietro, Brian Lynch and Michael Rodriguez.
He has performed at venues nationwide, including The Hult Center, The John G. Shedd Institute for the Arts, Jimmy Mak's, Jazz at Lincoln Center's Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola, The Blue Note, and at Macys Philadelphia with the Wanamaker Organ.
Owen Caprell began his appreciation of music at a young age, due to his mother, Holly, being a musician herself, and his father, James, having a deep love for it. It was not until sixth grade band however, until Owen first picked up a trombone. Through high school, he played in the local youth orchestra, as well as the school jazz band. Owen earned his Bachelor of Music from the Lamont School of Music at the University of Denver in 2009. Afterward, he attended the University of Utah, earning his Masters of Music in performance in 2011. Since then, Owen has been a freelancer on both bass trombone and tenor trombone throughout the New York City area.
Lauren Lee is a creative vocalist, pianist, and composer hailing from the rural midwest, and has made New York City her home base since 2009. Her eclectic brand of jazz borrows diverse harmonic, melodic, and technical traditions from all over the globe, with heavy dashes of contemporary classical and pop music for good measure. Lauren believes that conceptualized, creative, even academic music can be appealing on a mass scale if presented in a light-hearted way, and this belief is realized through her two main personal projects: her "Space Jazz" piano trio (with fellow Shim Sham member Andy O'Neill, drums) and her vocal/bass "Velocity" duo. Her debut EP "Makebeliever" (with the "Space Jazz" trio) is now available on iTunes, Spotify, and Bandcamp, or through her website.
Ken is active in the NYC Jazz and Creative Composition Scene, playing in Ensembles and as a Soloist which range from totally free improvisation to composed music, Jazz Standards and Swing. Mr. Silverman has released a number of CDs to Critical acclaim. In 2012 Ken released "Visionaries" a work focusing on solo compositions. Allaboutjazz.com said was "an attestation that Mr. Silverman is a consumate musician and an accomplished artist." In 2011 he released "The Ken Silverman Septet - From Emptiness," which featured Kossan, a Japanese Buddhist Monk chanting and the great late Trumpeter Roy Campbel, Jr. Allaboutjazz.com called it "a Deeply Spiritual work...a Near Masterpiece..." Prior to that Silverman released "Macroscopia", featuring Reeds great Daniel Carter, for which a reviewer said "One begins to appreciate the subtlety and brilliance of this work."(Jazz Record). Currently, Ken is working on a Trio Cd featuring Hot Shim Sham band members Andy O'Neill (Drums) and Sam Mcpherson (Bass). He hopes to keep swinging to infinity.
Bassist Andrew Grau attend college at SUNY Oneonta, where he received a Bachelor of the Arts in Music. While attending his undergraduate, he received Faculty Award of Excellence in Music, and help start the SUNY Oneonta Jazz Festival, which has been an annual event since 2009.
He then attended the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College, where he received a Master of the Arts in jazz bass performance. While attending, Andrew worked extensively with David Berkman, Michael Mossman, and Jim McElwaine.
Being an upright and electric bass doubler, Andrew has lent his sound to a number of groups and stages throughout the area. Has worked with Lonnie Plaxico, Bob Sabin, and Linda Oh, and has played with Don Hahn, Ray Vega, Guido Gonzales, Jim McElwaine, and Igor Atalita.
Originally from St. Louis MO, Andy O'Neill moved to the East Coast in 1996 to attend William Paterson University. Upon receiving a Bachelor's Degree in Jazz Performance, he began his career freelancing and teaching around New York and New Jersey. He has performed at numerous renowned and dubious venues through out the tri-state area and beyond. Andy currently performs with Jessie Bunting and the Hot Shim Sham Orchestra and leads his own band Score!
Born in Canada and raised in Argentina, Michael Sarian is a trumpeter and composer whose work has been heard throughout the United States, South America and Europe. Introduced to music early on, Michael began playing the piano at the age of six, was handed his first trumpet at 13, and was touring the United Kingdom by age 18. Never one to turn down a gig, Michael has performed and toured professionally with several groups: from progressive rock bands in empty basements, 12 piece disco bands playing by the beach in Uruguay, rock bands in packed sports arenas, to big bands at the Teatro Colón, and everything in between.
Michael earned his bachelor’s degree in classical composition and theory from Muhlenberg College, where he studied with Charles Fambrough and Douglas Ovens. After returning to Buenos Aires for four years, he relocated to New York City in 2012 to pursue a master’s degree in Jazz Studies at New York University, where studied with great musicians such as Laurie Frink, Alan Ferber, Ralph Alessi and Mike Rodriguez. Michael performs regularly with his own projects and as a sideman in venues throughout New York City, teaches trumpet, theory & composition, and leads workshops on composition/songwriting.
Robby hails from the Chicago area, where he is a featured soloist in the Jazz Community Big Band and a member of Johnny Burnett’s New Band. He also leads performances with his own groups. He has performed around Chicago area at venues including Jay Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park, Harris Theater, Ravinia Festival, Pick Staiger Concert Hall, and the Peoria Civic Center. He also has studied with Chicago saxophonist Mark Colby. At NYU Steinhardt, Robby is pursuing his bachelor’s degree in jazz studies with a minor in music therapy. He is currently a member of the NYU Jazz Orchestra and has participated in a number of ensembles during his time here. While in New York he has studied with Chris Madsen and at NYU with Professor Dave Pietro, and Artist Faculty members Don Friedman, Joe Lovano, Jean-Michel Pilc, Stefon Harris, and Ralph Lalama. He has also worked closely with music consultant, Nick Schneider.
Robby has had the privilege of working with such jazz icons as Steve Turre, Blue Lou Marini, Terell Stafford,and Rufus Reid. He has performed at historic New York venues such as the Bitter End and Jazz at Lincoln Center’s; Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola.