Musician Bios

Eddie Tobin ~ Piano/Vocals ~ Monday & Tuesday
Eddie is a native Floridian and has quite an impressive background. He was the musical director and pianist for Engelbert Humperdinck for 7 1/2 years. He also spent 15 years in Nashville accompanying Brenda Lee, the Forrester Sisters, and many other “names” for live performances and as a studio musician. He plays jazz, blues, standards, ragtime, classical, pop, and some country. Jimmy Buffet fans (Parrotheads) will dig him…and wait till you hear him channel Ray Charles.

Michael Royal ~ Piano/Vocals ~ Wednesday & Every Other Friday
His music uses cultural inheritances without re-creating them and draws upon a variety of elements from different sources. Feeling is always the generating force. One might even think of him as a fusion musician, not in the current marketing sense of the word, but rather in the common sense of blending and uniting. He was self-taught until studying formally with pianist Jacques Abram at the University of South Florida. Under the influences of Debussy, Ravel, Coltrane, Monk, and Bill Evans, his music continues to evolve into a mature simplicity – expressive, sensitive, and eloquent.  He has performed extensively throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. He has collaborated with many distinguished jazz artists including: Red Rodney, Mel Lewis, Clifford Jordan, George Garzone, Junnieh Booth, John La Porta, The Count Basie Orchestra, Larry Coryell, Emily Remler, Ira Sullivan, and Mark Murphy.

Debbie Keeton ~ Piano/Vocals ~ Thursday
A theory and composition major and native of Dayton, Ohio, Debbie has traveled extensively across the United States fronting bands for Top 40 clubs, stage shows, jazz festivals, and conventions. She traveled the Playboy Club circuit and her fusion band “Keeton and Company” has opened for Ricky Nelson, Blood Sweat & Tears, Grass Roots and the Turtles. Her repertoire covers the most current tunes back to the early 1920′s.

Gary DeMichele ~ Piano/Vocals ~ Every Other Friday
Gary DeMichele is a composer and arranger, songwriter and musician He has studied with notable composer arrangers Ray Wright, Manny Albam and Fred Sturm,(members of both Lawrence Conservatory and Eastman faculties).and holds a degree in music performance from Lawrence Conservatory of Music.  Much of his primary focus has been writing film scores, including having composed the scores for the indie hit film ‘Big Night’ Dir. Campbell Scott and Stanley Tucci),The Secret Lives of Dentists’(Dir. Alan Rudolph)and ‘Off The Map’ (Dir. Campbell Scott) amongst other film credits. Gary has composed original music for theatrical mediums, including having recently enjoyed collaborations with ‘The Actors Gang’ Theatre Co. (Artistic Dir. Tim Robbins, Dir. John Kellam)as composer and sound designer.  Gary has also been a keyboard faculty member at Musicians Institute in Hollywood Ca.  When not focusing on film or theatrical projects, Gary divides his time working both as pianist and drummer/percussionist, and vocalist, and has worked with numerous musicians ,including Kenny Drew Jr.,Richard
Drexler, Bob Brookmeyer, Walt Weiskopf, Kelly Sill, Larry Novak and many others.  Gary performs in many styles including jazz, latin jazz, blues, eclectic and original music.

Mike Markaverich ~ Piano/Vocals ~ Saturday & Sunday
Mike is a native of Nashua, NH. Born blind, but not deterred, he graduated from Darmouth College and the University of New Hampshire with degrees in music. Mike began his career on Cape Cod where he worked solo & in groups for major nightspots and concerts for over 10 years. Mike moved to Sarasota in November, 1988 and has been an integral part of the local jazz scene…in concerts, on radio & TV, school & college workshops, teaching Jazz piano and has 6 CD’s – the most recent release October 2007.

SPECIAL APPEARANCES

Ray Biscoglia and Glenn Stevenson Duo ~ Piano/Bass
Ray Biscoglia is a local retired businessman with a passion for music, particularly jazz.  Over the last several years he has performed on piano at various festivals in both the Tampa Bay and Sarasota Bay areas.  Ray has served on the Board of Directors of the Clearwater Jazz Holiday and was the Chairman of the Music Selection Committee.  He resides in downtown St. Petersburg.  Bassist, Glenn Stevenson, has performed with Ray for several years and records regularly in the Tampa Bay area as a studio musician.  The duo’s style is versatile but focuses primarily on straight ahead jazz.

Karen Benjey ~ Piano/Vocals
Pianist and singer Karen Benjey has performed as a solo artist and also with her trio at a wide range of topflight venues throughout the world, playing the standards made popular from the American Songbook and also bluesy hits from the 50′s and 60′s. Her style is based on the sophisticated swing, always relying on the best melodies and harmonies written for pop music. Raised in Toledo to a musical family, she moved to the Tampa Bay area to hone her craft at local hotels nearly twenty years ago and has been traveling and playing ever since.  www.karenbenjey.com

Matt Bokulic ~ Piano
Matt has been recognized by Jazz Times magazine for his Jazz composition and he has also written articles for Bass Guitar Magazine. He is currently the Director of Education at the Players School of Music in Clearwater, FL. Matt has performance and recording credits with Gayle Moran Corea, Bobby Hebb, Reeves Gabrel, Connie Hains, Livingston Taylor, Jack Brokensha, Henry Cuesta, Celine Dion, Jeff Berlin, Rick Derringer, John Laporta, The Nelson Riddle Orchestra, Duncan Lamont, and Jeff Kashiwa. Versatility in all these styles with such a wide range of international artists has provided Matt with a pallet of texture for Jazz, unique and exciting for the 21st century.

Eddie Fritz
Jazz pianist extraordinaire, Eddie Fritz, is St. Louis’ version of Art Blakey in that he hired many young players and vocalists who have moved along to varying degrees of fame. Drummer, Dave Weckl; clarinetist, Scott Alberici; bassist, Tommy Kennedy, Vocalist, Asa Harris. Because of high demand, Eddie seldom left St. Louis but was Entertainment Director for Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis for 10 years; led the house Band for Breckenridge Hotel Corporation for almost 20 years and has presented many Of St. Louis’ own musicians like the above plus Dave McKenna, Erskine Hawkins, Jay Oliver, Jim Mayer and many more. He also led the jazz bands in two of St. Louis “hot spots” for years: The Black Horse in Gaslight Square where fans heard the Smothers Brothers, Barbara Streisand, Irene Kral and more … long before they were famous and popular jazz lyricist, Fran Landesman along with husband, Jay owned the Crystal Palace at the time. Eddie’s playing is extraordinary …. (think Ahmad Jamal, Bill Evans, Ramsey Lewis rolled into one!).

Duncan Lamont ~ Sax
www.duncanlamont.com

Emily Miller ~ Vocalist
A 2009 graduate of Booker High School, has been in their Jazz Vocal Ensemble for 4 years…and they’ve won every year in the competition at Boston’s famed Berklee College of Music. In addition to being part of the First Place Vocal Jazz Ensemble, under the superior direction of Ned Rosenblatt, Emily has been voted (at Berklee) #1 Judges’ Choice for 3 years; 2 years as Outstanding vocalist and 1 year for Superior Musicianship. Emily also attended the Vocal Jazz Camp at the University of Miami in the summer of ’07 and studied with pianist, Brian Murphy and vocalist & former Sarasota resident, Lisanne.

Linda Nash ~ Flute
Sitting in with our popular jazz duo, pianist Ray Biscoglia and Bassist Glenn Stevenson is Linda Nash on flute. The Linda Nash Trio had been featured in several regional jazz festivals and has opened for several internationally renowned jazz headliners. Ray, Glenn, and Linda have appeared together twice at the Clearwater Jazz Festival and will be sure to add excitement to The Haye Loft.

Dick Reynolds ~ Piano
Dick Reynolds was a house pianist at the world-famous Mr. Kelly’s jazz club in Chicago in the 60′s and played for Mel Torme, Carmen McRae, Sarah Vaughn, and many more. Later, Dick started his own commercial studio in Chicago which had an impressive list of commercials written, filmed, recorded for international clients such as United Airlines, McDonalds and many more. Dick now spends 5 months at home in Saugatuk, MI and 7 months on Longboat Key playing concerts in the area and also stops by The Haye Loft frequently to “sit in”.

Rob Pronk
Rob is an international “name” in jazz circles…you may find a “feature” and/or “arts” hook regarding Mr. Pronk who was, for 23 years, musical director/principal conductor/arranger/composer for the multi award-winning 60-piece Metropole Orchestra in the Netherlands. Rob has guest conducted many major orchestras around the world (Los Angeles Philharmonic and the like) and is still actively playing piano in Munich, Germany and around Europe and continues to write arrangements for well-known jazz performers in the United States. He winters on Longboat Key January thru March and will be playing more nights at The Haye Loft. http://www.jazzmasters.nl/robpronk.htm

Carol Ettman ~ Piano and vocals
With great regret we have to inform you of our dear friend Carol’s passing on 4/8/09. She gave so much in life and is missed so much.

Carol, a St. Louis native, drew from a huge repertoire of jazz, jazz standards, blues, bossa novas, latin, and both familiar and obscure songs from Gershwin, Porter, Arlen, Ellington and other luminaries of the Great American Songbook. Her rich musical experience in jazz, pop and standards ranged from youth gigs with Ike & Tina Turner, Chuck Berry and David Sanborn, to concerts with Oliver Nelson Orchestra, opening for Johnny Mathis and others, jazz festivals, concerts, clubs in St. Louis, Reno/Tahoe, and Carson City with the 50-piece Chamber Orchestra and its 50 voice chorus, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, and the Sarasota area. Carol was also the Entertainment and Marketing Director for City of Reno’s annual, “Sports Cars & All That Jazz” event. As a jazz educator, she had facilitated workshops and clinics, coached singers in jazz stylings, taught jazz vocal ensemble at the University of Nevada, adjudicated festivals and was a state artist-in-residence for the Nevada Arts Council. Known for her phrasing, unique interpretation, and disarmingly rich sound, Carol brought an exciting air of sophistication to The Haye Loft.

If you would like to make a Memorial Contribution please do so for one of the following organizations:

Pancreatic Cancer Action Network • 2141 Rosecrans Ave, Suite 7000 • El Segundo, CA 90245

Please be sure to write Carol Ettman’s name on the check.

OR

Rhythmic Concepts, Inc. • 2501 Harrison Street • Oakland, CA 94612

Please be sure to reference Carol Ettman’s Memorial Scholarship Fund for Local Students for Jazz Camp West.