Bill Prince, wind instruments
Bill is a professor emeritus at the University of North Florida comes from a background rich in music. He has performed with numerous bands and orchestras including Buddy Rich, Billy Maxted, Pee Wee Hunt, the NORAD Band, the Denver, Ft. Lauderdale, Palm Beach, and Jacksonville Symphonies, and the American Wind Symphony Orchestra. He has also performed with a number of well-known big bands including Xavier Cugat, Ray Anthony, Tex Beneke, Les and Larry Elgart, Harry James, Tommy Dorsey, and Louis Bellson. He has appeared on TV shows in the United States, Canada, Japan, the Philippines, Costa Rica, Colombia, and Ecuador. Bill has performed on over 70 albums including his “The Best Kept Secret in Jazz.” He can currently be heard on Duffy Jackson’s CD, “Swing! Swing! Swing!,” Buddy Rich’s CDs, “Mercy Mercy,” and “The Best of Buddy Rich.” In more recent years Bill has developed a cabaret show that he performs on cruise ships around the world.
One of Bill’s most unique talents is his ability to perform professionally on several instruments. For example, although he played trumpet with Buddy Rich, he was first offered a chair in the saxophone section. His performing instruments include trumpet, flugelhorn, trombone, flute, clarinet, saxophone, piano, and electric bass. Bill produced his own CD, “Happy Thoughts,” on which he composed, arranged and performed all parts.
Bill holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree with a major in Theory and Composition from the University of Miami. He has taught at Florida Atlantic U, the U of Colorado/Denver, St. Francis Xavier U, Nova Scotia, the U of North Florida, and served as a visiting lecturer at Cape Town U and Natal U, South Africa. Music has taken him to all 50 states and 80 countries of this world.
Bill has received Undergraduate Teaching and Outstanding Teaching Awards and student groups under his direction have twice won national Jazz Band competitions. He was also awarded first place in an IAJE Jazz Composition Contest. Bill’s compositions and arrangements have been performed and recorded by professional, college and university jazz ensembles throughout the United States and Canada. In 2000, his Concertino for Jazz and Legit Clarinets was recorded by the Warsaw (Poland) National Philharmonic and is available through ITunes and Ravello Records.
Lisa Kelly, vocals
A multi award winning vocalist, composer, arranger, Lisa Kelly is regarded among the true jazz vocal song stylists. She has been featured nationally and internationally in jazz clubs, festivals, important venues, and for jazz societies including the Montreux Jazz Festival, the Kennedy Center, Festival Vien at the Vienna State Opera House, and the Van Wezel Performing Arts Center. Lisa has been the featured vocalist with the Larry Elgart Orchestra, the St. Johns River City Band, UNF JE 1, and appeared with many notables including Ed Calle, Jane Monheit, Arturo Sandoval, Danny Gottlieb, and John Lee. Earning her B.M. and M.M. at UNF, she taught music theory, vocal jazz, and other music courses at LaVilla Middle SOTA, Douglas Anderson High SOTA, in interim at UNF, and at the First Coast Community Music School. A popular guest artist / clinician, camp clinician, and adjudicator, Lisa is a regarded vocal jazz pioneer in the state of Florida. She was profiled in the 2010 book, “The New Face of Jazz”, and inducted into the 2013 Jacksonville Jazz Festival “Hall of Fame”. Lisa and trumpeter JB Scott co-lead small groups and big bands and have released 6 successful CD projects.
Jeff Phillips, piano
A much in demand pianist, accompanist, jazz artist/clinician, and adjudicator, with a B.M. in Music Education, Jeff Phillips serves as adjunct faculty of the acclaimed Harrison High School for the Arts in Lakeland, FL, working with rhythm section and band students. He has presented state-wide jazz clinics for high school to collegiate music programs, at FMEA and other music conventions and seminars, and has served in the writing of audition materials and in audition selections for the annual All-State competitions.
Jeff is a pianist at the Walt Disney World Theme Parks, appearing weekly as a soloist and with the jazz band at the Grand Floridian, with years of playing tuba or keyboard in seven different Disney groups, including the Rhythm Rascals, and with Bill Allred and the Hollywood Hit Men. His combination of organ and piano techniques, playing bass pedals with his feet and keyboard with his hands, became a signature presentation. Jeff has performed with many notables, including Clark Terry, Buddy DeFranco, Bob Mintzer, Louis Bellson, Allan Vache, Bob Draga, Bill Allred Classic Jazz Band, Linda Cole, the St. Johns River City Big Band and others. He has worked consistently with Lisa Kelly, duo to quartet, and with the Lisa Kelly/JB Scott groups. He has been featured on many CD recordings, radio and TV shows.
Jay Mueller, bass
Jay has been a professional musician for over forty years. In the summer of 1978, Jay was chosen to perform in the WDW All American College Band in Orlando, Florida. Soon after, he relocated from his home town in Louisiana to Orlando. The opportunities to learn from professional musicians while getting paid was just too good to pass up. Jay remained in Orlando until 1987, when he spent a year traveling with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. In the fall of 1988, Jay took up residence in Los Angeles to study the upright bass. After four years in California, Jay moved back to the Orlando area and has maintained an active playing schedule ever since. As a jazz upright and electric bassist, Jay has performed at jazz festivals around the world and played with many jazz artists, most notably, Doc Cheatham, Eddie Higgins, Ira Sullivan, Warren Vache, Bill and John Allred, Milt Hinton, Harry Allen, Jake Hannah, Chuck Flores, and Butch Miles, to name a few. On tuba, he has played with the FSO, the FSO Brass Quintet, the Orlando Brass Quintet, the Rich Shemaria Band, and the WDW Candlelight Orchestra. On tuba and bass, he has played Broadway shows that include Annie, Chicago, Barnum, A Chorus Line, and Man of La Mancha. He was also a member of Rosie O’Grady’s jazz band and the Bill Allred Classic Jazz Band. Big band experience includes the Tommy Dorsey band (led by Buddy Morrow) the bands of Tom Kubis and Bill Holman, the Mammoth Lakes Jazz Festival All Star Big Band, the Sun Valley Jazz Festival All Star Big Band, and the Disneyland Big Band. Since 1983, Jay has been a staff musician for the Disney Company in Florida and California, and has maintained an active freelancing career as a tubaist and bassist, performing with artists in all styles of music.
Clyde Connor, drum
Clyde J. Connor, a native of Oklahoma, graduated with a Bachelors of Music Education from the University of Central Oklahoma in 1988. He then attended the University of North Texas as a graduate student in the Jazz Studies Masters Degree program. Clyde successfully auditioned for the United States Navy Band Commodores Jazz Ensemble and in the fall of 1989, moved to Washington, D.C. During his stint in the Navy, Clyde was utilized not only as a performing musician, but also as composer and arranger, with many charts to his credit.
Civilian musical opportunities were abundant, and Clyde took full advantage performing regularly at the notorious Blues Alley in Georgetown, at the Big Apple Circus in Reston, Virginia and in countless festivals and shows in Baltimore, Maryland including two seasons as the “Pops” drummer with the Baltimore Symphony.
After leaving the Navy, Clyde headed south, settling in the Northeast Florida area. Artists Clyde has performed with include Jeff Andrews, Louie Bellson (drum duet), Randy Brecker, Pete Christlieb, Ritchie Cole, Bob Curnow, Eddie Daniels, Curtis Fuller, Jon Faddis, Terry Gibbs, Don Grolnick, Milt Hinton, Billy Hunt, Steve Kahn, Barney Kessel, Dave Liebman, Brandon Marsalis, Rich Matteson, Jack McDuff, Don Menza, Tommy Newsome, Dick Oats, Claudio Roditi, Arturo Sandoval, Diane Schurr, Doc Severinsen, Bobby Shew, Lou Soloff, Marvin Stamn, Clark Terry, Stanley Turentine, Chris Vadala, Ernie Watts, Joe Williams, and Snooky Young…