The Musicians
The musicians behind the music.

Saxophones/Winds


Robert A. Parsons, Writer/Arranger, Artistic Director

Arranger and woodwind performer Bob Parsons grew up in St. James, Minnesota and lived in the Twin Cities until 1990. In 1990, after receiving an M.A. in composition from the University of Minnesota, Parsons left the Twin Cities scene for a temporary position at Casper College in Wyoming. In 1991 he moved to New York City. He received a Ph.D. in music from New York University in 2004. He moved back to Minnesota in 2008. Parsons performs on saxophone, flute, clarinet, and piano.

(While in Minnesota, Bob played with just about everybody including three albums with the Wolverines. Other associations included Steve Wright, Bernie Edstrom, Red Wolfe, Cedar Avenue Big Band, and Ruperts.)

During the NYC years he was involved in composition, arranging, and production work for major label recording projects, jingles, and film scores. Parsons provided in-studio arranging services for Herbie Hancock, Joe Henderson, John Scofield, the Brecker Brothers, and many others. Bob has performed and arranged on four albums with New Jersey-based guitarist Dave Stryker. His arrangements are also in the library of the all-female Diva Jazz Orchestra. The UMO Orchestra in Helsinki, Finland, also recorded several arrangements. In 2001 Bob orchestrated a Stryker arrangement of Marvin Gaye’s “Pride and Joy” performed by the Carnegie Hall Big Band under Jon Faddis with Kevin Mahogany, vocal, and Russell Malone, guitar.

While in NYC, Parsons assisted Bob Belden in the recording of several Blue Note albums including Turandot and Black Dahlia. Also in New York, Parsons was co-leader (with fellow Minnesotan, trumpeter Charlie Caranicas) of the Blue Note Jazz Club late night band for several years.

Since returning to Minnesota, Bob Parsons joined the Acme Jazz Company. It is a natural association since Acme, unique on the Twin Cities scene, features original arrangements and compositions of its members giving Bob a forum for his personal eclectic style. Bob is also involved with the Chaska-based Bellagala Big Band led by Don George. Bob is assisting with the re-creation of a portion of the Les Brown big band library the group features in its performances.


Bruce Thornton
Dave Brattain
Mark Yannie
Mike Gartner

Trombones


Ben Link
Tim Roddel
Brooklynne Nelson 


Trumpets

Peter Davis


Peter Davis began *playing* the trumpet at the young age of 4 while living in a Mongolian prison camp with his family. Having found what is believed to be the very first example of a Chinese made trumpet, the young Peter was able to incapacitate his family's captors by playing (what would later be known as) the head to the Charlie Parker tune "Kim" at up tempo and up two octaves, and at a ridiculous volume. Over the next few years, Peter honed his skills on his instrument (as well as his habit/taste for fine Vodka) as the family worked its way across Asia and Eastern Europe. Known by many monikers, "Mr. Fabulous" got his most famous nick name at 18 while playing lead on his first cruise ship gig... The Titanic. (You do the math.) While many people are familiar with the story of the ship's tragic last voyage, what is less commonly known is that while the rest of the musicians were thrown overboard, numerous rich old ladies insisted that the young Peter be spared from Davy Jones' Locker. After his eventual arrival in the US, Peter enrolled simultaneously at M.I.T. and The Berkeley School of Music where he completed his two PhDs in Trumpet Performance and Computer Science (respectively). His thesis, "Practical Algorithms for Ultra-high Pitched Trumpet Soloing in Service Oriented Architectures" is widely regarded as the definitive tome on the topic, and is required reading for all incoming freshman at Hennepin County Community College. Following a brief stint with the CIA, Peter and his family relocated to the Twin Cities where he is currently leading the trumpet section (when he shows up) for the ACME Jazz Company. This bio has been approved by the CIA, DOD, and the International Society of Trumpet Owners/Operators. He can be seen the first Monday of each month at O'Gara's, in St. Paul, MN. Peter is the one playing the Chinese trumpet. (No, not that Chinese trumpet, the other one!)


Todd Matheson
Dave Smythe (Band Manager)
Phil Holm

Rhythm Section


Jesse Mueller - Piano



Geoff LeCrone - Guitar

Geoff's talent caught the attention of Acme Jazz Company leader Doug Rasmussen while Geoff was a student at Minnetonka High School.  Geoff was playing in the school's jazz bands and musicals, mostly under the direction of Miles Mortensen,  Geoff's performances with the Acme Jazz Company have, once again, proven Doug's ability to spot young talent.  Geoff's outstanding guitar work and musical maturity (which rivals that of even the most seasoned players) are featured on a number of Acme Jazz Company charts.  He is currently attending the University of St. Thomas.


Tony Guscetti - Drums