Gene Bertoncini is one of the pre-eminent jazz guitarists' active today. His fluid technique
and lyricism have won him international praise and accolades as the "Segovia of jazz." An
eloquent and versatile improviser, Mr. Bertoncini has been heard with an extraordinary
range of jazz greats, including performances and recordings with Benny Goodman, Buddy
Rich, Wayne Shorter, Hubert Laws, Paul Desmond among others, as well as such
distinguished singers as Tony Bennett, Lena Horne, Nancy Wilson, Vic Damone, and Eydie
The Washington Post proclaimed his solo appearance in New York City the best jazz concert of
the year 1999. Mr. Bertoncini's acclaim is hardly confined to this country. His CD, "Someone
to Light Up My Life" which features his own arrangements of the compositions of the great
bossa nova composer Antonio Carlos Jobim, won international raves. Brazilian critic's and
listener's polls also named him the best acoustic jazz guitarist. Gene Bertoncini has just
released a striking new solo CD, "Quiet Now" on the heels of his highly successful "Acoustic
Romance," which reached the top ten of the jazz playlists. Jazziz magazine's March 2004
issue ranked it Number 1 in their list of the top 20 acoustic guitar CDs.
His newest CD is called "Concerti" and features Gene with a string quartet and bass.
A prolific and popular studio musician, Bertoncini honed his professional chops as a member
of the Tonight Show band during Johnny Carson's tenure, and he has worked with
composers and arrangers such as Lalo Schifrin and Michael Legrand and has performed with
the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. According to the New Yorker magazine, "Bertoncini is an
affecting, highly original guitarist that moves easily back and forth between classical and
Mr. Bertoncini's teaching credits include William Patterson University, the Eastman School of
Music where he regularly performs and conducts summer workshops for jazz guitarists, the
New England Conservatory, New York University, and the Banff School of Fine Arts. He has
been a highly sought-after guest clinician in colleges and universities throughout the
Gene was just nominated as the best jazz guitarist of the year (08) by the New York Jazz
Born: April 6, 1937
Bertoncini's musical roots go back to his early years in the Bronx where he grew up in a
house filled with music. His love affair with the guitar began when he was seven, and by the
time he was sixteen, he was appearing on New York television.
His career took an unusual turn when he decided to fulfill another long-standing interest,
and took a degree in architecture at Notre Dame. He was quickly swept into the musical
scene at the university, and the first thing he did after picking up his degree was to work
opposite Carmen McRae in Chicago. He returned to New York to work with vibraphonist Mike
Manieri, and then with a quintet led by drummer Buddy Rich
Clay Jenkins' career as a jazz artist has covered a wide range of musical experiences. He attended The University of North Texas (then named North Texas State University) where he earned his Bachelor's Degree in Music Theory and studied trumpet with John Haynie.
Upon completion of his degree, Clay went out on the road, playing the jazz trumpet chair with the Stan Kenton Orchestra. He recorded three live albums with the Kenton Band, Artistry in Symphonic Jazz, A Time for Love, and The Lost Concerts, Vols. I & II, and was also involved with the Stan Kenton Orchestra in Residence Jazz Camps.
Clay moved to Los Angeles in 1978, where he continued playing in live performances and in studio recording sessions. He also studied with the renowned trumpet teacher, James Stamp for the next two years. From Los Angeles, he toured with the big bands of Harry James, Buddy Rich, and finally, the Count Basie Orchestra.
Clay earned his Master's Degree in Jazz Studies from The University of Southern California in 1993, studying trumpet with Boyde Hood. Clay began teaching at several schools, including The Foundation for the Junior Blind, The University of Southern California, California State University at Northridge, and The California Institute of the Arts. He also served as Chairman of the Music Theory Department at the Colburn School of Performing Arts from 1988 through the summer of 2000, and co-authored the theory textbook being used there and in other schools. His duties also include being on the staff of several Jim Widner Summer Jazz Camps.
Currently, Clay is an Associate Professor of Jazz Trumpet at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y. He also continues to be a very active performing and recording artist. He has performed and presented clinics all over the United States and Canada, and also abroad in Japan, Italy, Korea, Germany, Portugal, Russia, and South Africa. He is a charter member of the trumpet section of the Clayton/Hamilton Jazz Orchestra (which has included trumpet artists Snooky Young, Bobby Bryant, Chuck Findley, Oscar Brashear, Byron Stripling, and Bijon Watson). The C.H.J.O. was the Jazz Orchestra in Residence at the Hollywood Bowl from 1999-2001.
Clay's solo recordings include: Rings, Give and Gather, Yellow Flowers After, Azure Eyes, Blues State, and the soon to be released Good Signs on the Jazz Compass label. His ensemble with co-leader Kim Richmond, has released two recordings: Range, and Look at the Time. Other artists Clay has recorded with include Milt Jackson, Harold Danko, Rich Perry, The Clayton/Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, "Trio East," Billy Harper, Lyle Mays, Peter Erskine, Ray Brown, Dr. John, Bob Sheppard, Jim Widner, Eric Reed, Moacir Santos, Gary Hobbs, Bill Perkins, Joe La Barbera, John La Barbera, Pat La Barbera, Bill Cunliffe, Billy Childs, Steve Houghton, Lennie Niehaus, Ernestine Anderson, Kurt Elling, Diana Krall, and Miki Coltrane.
Ike Sturm is a bassist, composer and bandleader in New York. He serves as Music Director for the Jazz Ministry at Saint Peter's Church in Manhattan (the "Jazz Church"), celebrating a deep tradition of weekly jazz services and memorializing visionaries such as Duke Ellington, John Coltrane, Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk.
Raised in a musical home in Wisconsin, Ike learned from his father, gifted composer and arranger, Fred Sturm. Ike has been fortunate to perform with Gene Bertoncini, Donny McCaslin, Bobby McFerrin, Ben Monder, Ingrid Jensen, Steve Lehman, Maria Schneider, Kenny Wheeler and many others. He has played on four Downbeat award-winning recordings as well as Steve Reich's releases on Canteloupe and Nonesuch Records. He has appeared with the International Contemporary Ensemble, Alarm Will Sound, Signal and plays regularly with creative bands in New York and around the world.
Ike studied jazz and classical bass, music education and composition while earning Bachelors and Masters degrees at the Eastman School of Music. In addition, he drew inspiration from studies with legendary bassist Dave Holland.
Commissioned by Saint Peter's Church, Ike composed Jazz Mass as a large-scale work featuring choir, string orchestra and GRAMMY-nominated saxophonist Donny McCaslin. The recording received an outstanding 4 1/2 star rating and was named among the "Best of 2010″ in DOWNBEAT magazine. Jazz Mass was premiered in Europe in 2011 at the historic Gedächtniskirche in Berlin, followed by Ike Sturm Ensemble tours of the U.S. and Scandinavia in 2012 and 2013.
Ike and Misty Ann Sturm live in Croton on Hudson, NY with their two daughters, where they enjoy many outdoor activities together.