Saxophonist, flautist, composer and arranger Russ Miller is currently an Assistant Professor of Jazz Studies at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, where his duties include teaching jazz improvisation, jazz lab bands and jazz arranging and orchestration classes. His 30-year professional music career includes performances with Dizzy Gillespie, Buddy DeFranco, J.C. Heard, Rob McConnell, Jon Faddis, Joe Williams, Milt Hinton, Rosemary Clooney and Sammy Davis Jr. among others. In addition Russ has performed with his own group and with others at the Detroit International Jazz Festival, the Michigan Jazz Festival, Music on the Plaza in Grosse Pointe and at various local venues. Recorded performances include: J.C. Heard Orchestra - Some of This, Some of That (Hiroko Records), Bill Heid - Wet Streets (Savant Records), John Cooper Orchestra - Baecker Jazz Worship Service (Baecker Music Productions) and on Jeannine Miller’s recently released recording Two For The Road (PKO Records) which in addition to featuring Russ on sax and flute, features his arrangements of classic jazz standards for big band, woodwinds, brass, strings and jazz quartet.
Mark Byerly's career as a trumpet player, composer, and arranger has spanned over 20 years, with experience in a vast array of genres including Jazz, Latin, Pop, Rock,and R&B music. As a student of Western Michigan University's School of Music, Mark became one of the top call trumpeters for bands traveling through the Midwest. The Temptations, Cab Calloway, Leslie Gore, Johnny Mathis, and Bobby Vinton are but a few names in the entertainment business to utilize Marks talents at an early age.
Upon graduating with a degree in Jazz Studies, Mark toured the United
States and Sweden with the Artie Shaw Orchestra. Moving to New York City, he found success as a freelance trumpeter on the Latin music scene working with the late Puerto Rican vocalist Frankie Ruiz, percussion legend Papo Pepin, and the late Latin Jazz pianist Hilton Ruiz. His abilities as a creative improviser have led him to perform with many jazz notables including Abbey Lincoln, Buddy DeFranco, and David Liebman. Mark has also recorded and performed numerous live engagements with former RCA recording artists The Verve Pipe, and appeared on front-man Brian Vander Ark's debut solo recording for Brash Records, Resurrection, playing a variety of instruments.
Relocating to the Detroit area in 1997, Mark quickly became one of the most desired musicians in town. His sound has been used on countless record dates and television and radio commercials produced in Detroit. He is also a driving force behind the jazz group Bop Culture, which features a number of Mark's original compositions and has met with critical acclaim from the media and jazz radio.
In 2003, Mark began playing trumpet and writing horn arrangements for Jive recording artist Justin Timberlake. As part of the '03/'04 Justified World Tour, he has performed in over 10 different countries worldwide, and appeared on numerous television shows including Austria's Wetten Das?, MTV's Live From London, The Tonight Show With Jay Leno, Saturday Night Live, Ellen Degeneres, NBC's Justin in Memphis featuring Al Green, and the 2004 Grammy Awards with trumpet master Arturo Sandoval. Other television appearances include Jimmy Kimmel Live! with Virgin Records recording artist Dwele.
Mark and the Motor City Horns have recently joined legendary Hall Of Fame rocker Bob Seger and The Silver Bullet Band as part of the hugely successful '06/'07 Face The Promise Tour.
In addition to touring and recording, Mark holds the position of Jazz Trumpet Instructor at the University of Toledo. Through his studio, Longview Sound, he has also engineered and produced recordings for Bop Culture, JazzStage Productions, Urban Transport, and the latest Unknown Records release from pianist Rick Roe, “Sphere”, featuring bassist Rodney Whitaker. Well known for the versatility and personal approach he brings to any situation, Mark Byerly has become one of the most sought-after musicians to be found anywhere.
Mark uses Keeley modified Mello Wah and Boss DD3 effects pedals. The Motor City Horns use Audio Technica microphones.