The Musicians of Octobop

Geoff Roach – Baritone, Alto, Tenor, Bass sax and Alto Flute. Geoff is a native of New Orleans where he first became addicted to great music, spicy foods, good times and still managed to obtain advanced degrees from Clemson University, the University of Missouri, and the University of Phoenix. Working in the United States and Europe, Geoff has performed with Mel Torme, Nelson Riddle, Tom Jones, Bob Hope, as well as many musicals, shows, and other productions. Geoff studied arranging and theory with David Baker, Don Haas, and Charles Barber. His primary influences in playing and writing include Gerry Mulligan, James Moody, Sam Butera, Bill Holman, Marty Paich, Nelson Riddle, and Henry Mancini. From 2005 through 2010, Geoff was also CEO of San Jose Jazz, producers of the San Jose Jazz Festival. He is still trying to create the perfect gumbo.

Jack Conway – Guitar. Starting on the guitar in 1962, Jack has studied with Bill Courtial, Jerry Hahn, Charles Gustavson, and Art Lande. Jack has played in many different groups and orchestras from folk groups, jazz groups and community theater. Among his influences are Groucho Marx, Pat Martino, Wes Montgomery, Father Guido Sarducci, Jim Hall, Freddie Greene and Alan Greenspan. Besides playing guitar in Octobop, Jack arranges and contributes his originals to the band library.

Eric Patience - Tenor and Alto sax. Picked up clarinet in 5th grade and began doubling on alto sax and flute in High School, where he received a several outstanding soloist awards at a number California jazz festivals. After receiving a B.A. in History, he worked for 5 years trading stock options in San Francisco while restoring vintage sports cars in his spare time. In search of adventure, he moved to Japan and spent the next 13 years living and playing professionally with a wide variety of jazz and funk groups.

Randy Smith – Trumpet and Flugelhorn. Randy, a native Californian, has played trumpet since 1960. A PhD from the University of California at San Diego, he has toured much of the United States and Europe playing in jazz, rock, and popular music groups. Randy also plays keyboards, and has written and arranged music for various ensembles.

Jon Schermer - Trombone. Jon grew up in St Louis, MO and started playing trombone in the 5th grade. After college he spent a few years playing music on cruise ships and moved to California in 1982. Before joining Octobop Jon played with Royal Society Jazz Orchestra, The Black Tie Jazz Orchestra, A Touch of Brass and Silicon Gulch Traditional Jazz Band.

Brian Brockhouse - Bass. Brian (the guy with the bass) grew up in the south -- primarily in New Orleans, with stints in Houston and Midland, Texas. As did so many of his contemporaries, he began playing guitar in his teens in order to meet girls. Eventually, rather than giving up guitar, he started playing bass in order to get gigs. He has lived in the Bay Area for more than twenty years, wielding both instruments in various combos, big bands, and pit orchestras. A recovering software engineer, he also teaches music, writes poetry and fiction, and occasionally works the game clock at his daughter's water polo games.

Jim Zimmerman - Vibes. After graduating from the San Francisco Conservatory, Jim spent the following years working in the Bay Area playing jazz, and doing recording, studio and show work. He became staff percussionist and drummer at the Circle Star Theater where he performed with everyone from Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett to the Temptations, Spinners, and Jackson Five. Jim left the Circle Star Theater to join the legendary jazz pianist Vince Guaraldi Trio with whom he recorded some of the Charlie Brown Peanuts specials. In 1982, he joined the British jazz singer Cleo Laine. He recorded five albums with Cleo including the Grammy winning "Live at Carnegie" double album. From 1992 to 2004 toured with jazz Grammy winning vocalist Dianne Schuur. Putting his reading skills to work, Jim transcribed the drum examples in volumes one and two of Chuck Sher's "The New Real Book." He has composed works for Cleo and has written pieces for vibraphone as well

Michael Henning - Drums. Michael is an up and coming young drummer on the Bay Area music scene. A recipient of both the prestigious Semper Fidelis Award for Musical Excellence and the Louis Armstrong Jazz Award, Michael is currently a Business Major at San Jose State University. Michael has studied drums with Mark Foglia, Tommy Igoe, and Omar Ledezma Jr. and has recorded and performed with the legendary Tom Scott, Terry Miller, Bob Athayde, and Mary Fettig, among many others. In addition to Octobop, Michael keeps busy playing for groups around the Bay Area, as well as headlining his East Bay group The Michael Henning Collective.

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