Joey Berger – Guitar
Joey Berger has been playing guitar and teaching around the Reno/Tahoe area for the past 9 years. He graduated with a bachelor in music from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2008. Joey has performed with Greg Adams, Randy Brecker, Ralph Alessi, Little Anthony and the Imperials, and is currently a member of the Reno Jazz Orchestra.
Julien Knowles – Trumpet
Julien Knowles is currently a freshman at the University of Nevada, Reno, studying for a BM in Jazz Performance. He currently plays in numerous settings in and out of school, performing various sub-genres of jazz, including his original compositions.
Zachary Teran – Bass
Bassist, composer, producer, and instructor Zachary Teran lives in the Reno/Tahoe area, where he graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2010 with a Bachelor’s of Music in Jazz and Improvisational Music. While in the Northern Nevada area he had the opportunity to study and play with the likes of Peter Epstein, David Ake, Hans Halt, Drew Gress, Ben Wendel, Esperanza Spalding, Ben Street, along with other notable jazz figures. After graduating, he moved to Boulder, Colorado where he quickly became a contributing force in the local jazz community. During his time in Colorado, Zack was fortunate enough to be able to play with Art Lande, whom he could eventually call a friend and mentor.
His career as a touring bassist has yet to slow down since 2006. Some of the more notable groups Teran has toured, recorded, and played with include: The Novelists, AZTeC, Chris Clark Quintet, Sol Jibe, Nico’s Mystery, Fiscus, and The Reno Jazz Syndicate. With these groups, Zachary Teran has had the opportunity to travel the world, extensively so in the United States.
Along with his career as a performer, Teran’s career as a composer has gained momentum as well. He has recently written, performed, and produced an entire score for a feature length documentary, Inspire Hope. He is now working on composing music for a television series that highlights the work of filmmakers Joe Ness and Bryon Evans.
Miguel Jimenez-Cruz – Drums
Miguel Jimenez-Cruz, born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico has studied drums ever since he was a child. His father Pepe Jimenez (drummer for Carlos Santana) influenced him to pursue music as a career. After moving to Las Vegas he studied jazz and percussion at the Las Vegas Academy School of the Performing Arts in Las Vegas, Nevada, receiving numerous awards and scholarships and graduating in 2012.There he studied under the direction of Patrick Bowen. While attending high school he had the chance to play with numerous artists such as trumpeter Randy Brecker, pianist Benny Green, bassist Nat Reeves and saxophonist Tom Scott. In 2012 he was a member of the Reno Jazz Festival High School All-Stars where they chose the top high school jazz musicians who applied and performed on the main stage of the Reno Jazz Fest.
Miguel is currently attending the University of Nevada, Reno where he studies Jazz and Improvisational Music under the direction of Peter Epstein, Ed Corey, Hans Halt, and Andy Heglund. While at UNR Miguel has been a member of the University’s premier jazz ensemble as well as the percussion ensemble. During his stay at UNR Miguel has had the chance to play in numerous ensembles both in and out of school. He has performed with trumpeter Dave Douglas, trumpeter Avishai Cohen, and the UNR jazz faculty. He was featured in a Tedx Talk along with his professors Peter Epstein and Hans Halt. Outside of school he can be seen performing with country music artist Michael Grimm (season 5 winner of America’s Got Talent) and the 15th and 16th annual Latin Grammies with latin pop artist Aneeka and Matisse. Miguel is currently involved in numerous projects around the Reno/Tahoe area such as, Drop Theory, Rapplesauce, Bayberry Cast, Reno Jazz Syndicate, Reno Jazz Syndicate Big Band, Bazooka Zoo and Nico’s Mystery.
Peter Epstein – Saxophone
Peter Epstein began his career in 1984 in Portland, Oregon. After several years apprenticing with many of the region’s top jazz artists, he relocated to Los Angeles, California to study jazz saxophone and various world music genres at California Institute of the Arts. After receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from CalArts in 1992 he moved to Brooklyn, New York and has since appeared on more than 60 recordings and toured in 20-plus countries with artists including Brad Shepik, Ralph Alessi, Bobby Previte, James Carney, Joao Paulo, Jim Black, Scott Colley, Ravi Coltrane, Medeski, Martin, & Wood, Peter Erskine, and many others. Peter has recorded seven critically acclaimed albums as a leader: Staring At the Sun (MA), The Invisible (MA), Solus (MA), Old School (MA), Lingua Franca (Songlines), Abstract Realism (Origin), and his latest, Polarities (Songlines 2014) which was included among the Boston Globe’s top ten jazz albums of 2014.
He is a founding member of the School for Improvisational Music in New York City and has taught numerous workshops at universities, conservatories, and music festivals around the United States (Eastman School of Music, California Institute of the Arts, New England Conservatory) and the world (Nepal, India, Slovenia, Poland, Sweden, Germany, Portugal, Colombia). He received his Master of Music Degree in Saxophone Performance from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2004. Currently, Professor Epstein is enjoying his twelth year teaching at the University of Nevada, Reno where he is the Music Department Chair and Associate Professor of Jazz Saxophone. Peter is a member of the Jazz Studies faculty ensemble, The Collective, and has appeared with the Reno Philharmonic Orchestra, Reno Chamber Orchestra, and Reno Jazz Orchestra. Recent honors include the 2013 Nevada Regents’ Award for Creative Activities and a 2014 Nevada Arts Council Artist Fellowship.