Jazz Festival Band Bios


Maceo Parker


Since he began his professional career in 1964 with “The Godfather of Soul” James Brown, Maceo Parker has created a platinum-worthy list of associated acts and collaborations which has cultivated a following of all ages. Parker, a Kinston, North Carolina-born funk and soul-jazz saxophonist, has a timeless sound and a groove inducing inventive style. He has distinguished himself through a wide array of projects as a saxophonist, singer, composer and band leader. Parker’s music is a major source of inspiration, and he is one of the most sampled musicians in the world. He has been as close as it gets to some of the most exciting moments in musical history, delivering his sound as a constant point of reference. Whether he’s been alongside James Brown, George Clinton, Ani DiFranco, De La Soul, Prince, or Dave Matthews Band, Parker has shown boundless energy and passion for playing his horn. 

Maceo Parker’s band is made up of 8 musicians, including Parker. 



The Bria Skonberg Quintet
Bria Skonberg

 Award winning trumpeter/vocalist/composer, Bria Skonberg, hails from Canada, lives in New York City, and is laying down her jazz roots all over the world while leading a powerhouse quintet. Skonberg began her professional career at the age of 16, and has since performed as a bandleader and guest artist at over 50 jazz festivals in North America, Europe, China and Japan. Best known for her knowledge of classic jazz and instigative nature, she is now creating an adventurous style rooted in New Orleans jazz and blues, world percussion, soul and cabaret. In addition to two album releases, touring the world, headlining major clubs and festivals, she also facilitates music education workshops for all ages. You can’t argue why the Wall Street Journal said Bria is “poised to be one of the most versatile and imposing musicians of her generation.” Bria has assembled a group of unique individuals for the quintet collaboration, surely to excite all festival-goers.

The Bria Skonberg Quintet is made up of Evan Arntzen (clarinet/saxophone), Sean Cronin (bassist), Dalton Ridenhour (pianist), and Darrian Douglas (drums).


Mint Julep Jazz Band

High res MJJB

With their little big band lineup of 4 horns, rhythm section, and vocalist, the Mint Julep Jazz Band recreates the hot jazz sounds of the 1920′s, 1930′s, and early 1940’s through arrangements based on original recordings from the jazz age and swing era.  The Mint Julep Jazz Band is based out of Durham, NC and is led by trombonist Lucian Cobb and vocalist/swing DJ Laura Windley, who have put their collective knowledge and love of swing music together to create an ideal dance band for swing dancers.

Mint Julep Jazz Band is an 8 piece band made up of  Paul Rogers/Jim Ketch (trumpet), Keenan McKenzie (tenor saxophone/clarinet/soprano saxophone), Aaron Hill (alto saxophone/clarinet), Aaron Tucker (drums), Jason Foureman (bass), Ben Lassiter (guitar), Lucian Cobb (trombone), and Laura Windley (vocals).


The Monitors

pic_monitors group2

For over 50 years The Monitors have been producing music for a variety of occasions and provide a wealth of experience that creates an outstanding musical ensemble. Whether playing festivals or as the back-up band for artists like Otis Redding, or Millie Jackson, or opening a concert for Ray Charles and Roberta Flack, the band keeps audiences entranced with their veteran style jazz. Band leader, Bill Myers, was recently honored with the 2014 North Carolina Heritage Award.

The Monitors is made up of Robert “Dick” Knight (trumpet/alto saxophone/vocals), Gerald “Bishop” Hunter (guitar/vocals), Elvis Townsend (conga), Donald Tuckson (alto saxophone/vocals), Dale Bryce (bass), Sam Latham (drums/vocals), Mollie Hunter (vocals), Stephen Pender (pianist), Clark Mills, Jr. (pianist/vocals), and Bill Myers (pianist/saxophone/flute/vocals).  


First Flight High School Honors Jazz Band


First Flight High School Honors Jazz Band is made up of approximately 20 student performers. FFHS Jazz Band is directed by Bob Ebert.