The Band

A Touch of Brass is an 18-piece band, including two vocalists, featuring some of the most talented musicians in the San Francisco Bay Area. Their extraordinary shows are enjoyed at corporate, private, and community events throughout Northern California.

Ed Morrison, Band Leader

Ed Morrison has 40 years of musical accomplishments as lead trumpet backing such notables as Larry Elgart, The Four Tops, The Temptations, Frankie Valli, Bobby Rydell, Fabian, as well as playing for jazz greats John Faddis, Steve Turre, and Kevin Mahogany. In addition, he also plays lead and directs his own 18 piece big band, 'A Touch of Brass'. He free-lances with many different types of groups playing styles from salsa to funk to Gospel and theater. Ed's biggest musical influence is trumpeter Doc Severinsen.

Roger Levinson

Originally from Sacramento, California, Roger started musical studies by learning to play piano at age 8, trumpet at age 10, and trombone at age 12! Roger later studied with Rich Bice in Silicon Valley. After high school, Roger attended UC San Diego as a pre-med student and played in their Jazz Band directed by the great Jimmy Cheatam. A year later he returned to Northern California and attended UC Davis, where he graduated with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering (BSEE) in 1986 and an MSEE in 1988.

Since moving to Silicon Valley, Roger has performed with many local groups and guest artists including Foothill College, De Anza Daddios, West Valley College (backing guest artists such as Dave Weckl, Wayne Bergeron, and Bobby Shew), the Black Tie Jazz Orchestra, the Redwood Symphony, the Peninsula Pops, Silicon Vibe, Silicon Valley Houserockers, Full Spectrum Jazz, and others.

Jeff Zias

Jeff played his college jazz with the U.C. Berkeley Jazz Ensemble, doing summer tours of Europe and Japan , appearing in the Pori Jazz Festival and Kyoto Jazz Festival line-ups along-side Dizzy Gillespie, BB King, Tim Hagans, Tony Williams, Sun Ra and Sonny Rollins. As a South-Bay resident jazz player for the past mumble years, Jeff has had the opportunity to perform with Bill Watrous, Quincy Jones, Stanley Jordon, Babatunde, Jerome Richardson, Rory Snyder, Gap Mangione and Earl ‘Fatha' Hines.

Pete Froeberg

Pete has been playing trumpet and flugelhorn for over 35 years performing diverse styles ranging from big band, jazz combo, rock, to classical brass quintet and soloist. As a young teen in the early 70’s Pete got his first taste of 'gigging' with the big band The Blue Velvet Sound. When Marriott’s Great America opened in 1976 he played there while getting his degree in geophysics at UC Davis.

Nowadays, Pete is a regular with San Francisco Bay Area big bands A Touch of Brass and DeAnza’s 8 O’clock Daddios and can be heard on the recent A Touch of Brass CD 'Doin’ It Right'. In the summer of 2006 Pete toured throughout China performing with the DVC Jazz Ensemble. Pete has played numerous musicals including West Side Story, The Wiz, Cats, Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, Guys and Dolls, Thoroughly Modern Millie, and Seussical the Musical. If you look down into the pit at the MVCPA you may find Pete playing in support of the local youth theater company PYT where his children sometimes perform.

Dave Brigham

David started playing the trumpet at the age of 9 when he was a student in the Palo Alto Unified School District. He has now returned to that district as a music teacher, directing the bands at Jordan Middle School for the past 15 years. In the intervening years he attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he studied jazz improvisation with Billy Pierce and John La Porta. He also attended San Jose State University where he received his Teaching Credential in 1990. David has spent the last 25 summers teaching improvisation at the Stanford Jazz Workshop where he has had the privilege of performing with such jazz greats as Victor Lewis, Bruce Forman, John Santos, Julian Lage and Louis Bellson. In addition to AToB, David has performed regularly with the De Anza Daddios, the West Valley College Big Band, The KA Wonton Little Latin Big Band and the Mike Cohen Sextet.

Jonathan Hostottle

Jonathan Hostottle is a saxophonist and educator based in the San Francisco Bay Area, and serves at Elementary and Middle School Band Director in Atherton, CA. Jonathan is an active classical and jazz performer, playing all over the country as a soloist and chamber musician. He previously held a private saxophone studio in Ann Arbor and the Metro Detroit areas. In the Spring term of 2019, he served on the faculty at Mansfield University teaching saxophone as a sabbatical replacement. Jonathan holds undergraduate degrees in saxophone performance and music education and a Master’s Degree in saxophone performance with a cognate in conducting from the University of Michigan.

Diana Tucker

Bio Coming Soon!

JOHNNIE BAMONT

A San Francisco native musician and surfer, he grew up in the musically diverse environment that the San Francisco Bay Area offers. Johnnie has performed with numerous jazz, classical, latin, R&B and funk groups. He earned his Bachelor's Degree in Music at San Francisco State University, and plays all saxes (soprano, alto, tenor, baritone ), flute and arranges.

Al Schmitt, multi Grammy Award winning sound engineer/producer has singled out Johnnie as “having one of the best baritone sax tones he’s ever recorded.”

Johnnie , a member of Huey Lewis and the News, has performed and toured with numerous artists including Boz Scaggs, Dr. John, The Temptations, Frankie Valli, Larry Carlton, Donna Summers, Third World, Four Tops, 2007 European tour with Sly & the Family Stone, Elvin Bishop, Tower of Power, The Sons of Champlin, Lydia Pence and Cold Blood, and the 2019 30th anniversary tour with Japan’s top pop group Dreams Come True.

Some of his recording credits include: Celine Dion, Sheryl Crow, Chris Isaak, Todd Rundgren, Toni Tony Tone, Dianne Schurr, Dreams Come True, Greg Adams, Elvin Bishop, motion picture soundtrack for "Duets" (Gwyneth Paltrow & Huey Lewis) as well as Huey Lewis and The News.

Johnnie is also an original member of the Greg Adams’ Band and the jazz andfunk band East Bay Soul. His current projects are the John Worley/Johnnie Bamont Jazz Quartet and co-founder of their 16 piece jazz group Loco Moco Jazz Orchestra.

Paul Degen

Paul Degen has been playing flute since Elementary School and saxophone since Middle School. He fell in love with Big Band Jazz when he heard the Woody Herman Orchestra perform at his local High School. In College Paul studied Classical Flute (Charles DeLaney) and Jazz Saxophone (Bill Kennedy) at Florida State University, and by his senior year sat in the coveted lead alto chair in the top FSU Jazz Ensemble. After College Paul moved to Los Angeles to begin his career as a professional musician and teacher. He has been performing and teaching ever since. He has also been active as a professional woodwind and brass instrument repair technician for over two decades. New to the Bay Area Paul has quickly become very active performing regularly with a variety of local acts.

Scott Hanan

Originally from the Chicagoland area, Scott's been playing jazz since the 4th grade. In college, he played combos and big bands directed by Thomas Wirtel, Chip McNeill (University of Illinois Urbana/Champaign), Steve Tyler, and John Russell (De Anza College 8 o'clock Daddios), and Lori Stotko (Footnotes). He also is a member of LowFat, a hip-hop funk group led by Chris Uiterwijk that plays throughout the Bay Area.

Mike Humphrey

Mike was born and raised in Chickasha, Oklahoma, studied trombone under Paul Enix in high school, obtained a B.A. and M.A. in Math/Psychology from Universities of California (Berkeley) and Oklahoma.

While living in Los Angeles, Mike studied music & trombone with Robert Marsteller, principal trombonist with the LA Philharmonic, and Bill Tole, studio player. He studied jazz improvisation with Britt Woodman, who was Duke Ellington's jazz trombonist for 20+ years. He worked in LA as a full-time professional for a number of years as a freelance recording artist, playing fusion, jazz, cartoon background music, and television commercials. He also played with the Hollywood Trombone Choir with Tommy Pederson, Bill Tole, Jim Sawyer, Dick Nash, Morris Repase, and George Roberts.

TOM MUNNS

Tom grew up in Castro Valley. Started trombone at 8 years old and was eager to play as much as possible. Attended Chabot college as a music major. Studied for two years under Frank Sumares. Played two years on the offensive line for the Gladiators as a center and guard. Transferred to Saint Mary’s College on a football scholarship. Played center and also played rugby as a prop for three years. Unfortunately, SMC did not offer music. After seven years of club rugby, Tom’s knees finally gave out and he resumed playing trombone.

Tom has played in pit orchestras and big bands around the bay area: Broadway by the Bay, Contra Costa Musical Theater, Hayward Little Theater, Full Spectrum Big Band, Chabot College Night Band, Bob Enos Big Band and The Livermore-Amador Symphony.

Tom credits several great musical mentors for re-igniting his passion for music: Bob Boring, Mike Humphrey, Bill Main and many others. Currently lives in Sunol with his amazing wife Jean and works in project management at Lawrence Livermore Laboratory.

Ken Rydeen

Ken is a San Jose native and attended San Jose State University earning a degree in Music Performance on Trombone. He currently works as a music teacher in the Franklin-McKinley School District. He plays trombone with several local bands, including Touch of Brass. He also performs with Zaney Swank and the 8 o'clock jazz band at West Valley College and the Nova Vista Symphony.

MIKE COULSON

Mike has played jazz trombone since middle school in Ontario, Canada. He took private lessons at university and continued to play in various orchestras, small ensembles, and big bands while studying in Canada, France, and the UK. In Toronto, he played with Swing Shift Big Band for nearly 15 years, making multiple recordings, including “Alive and Swingin’” and “One More, Twice”.

While pursuing a career in tech, Mike has moved to the SF Bay Area twice. In the early 2000’s a number of lessons with John Gove sparked his interest in improvisation, but family and career got in the way. Since moving back in 2017, he has devoted his time to improvisation, taking classes at the College of San Mateo and studying with Patrick Wolff.

In the Bay Area, he has played with numerous groups including the Warehouse Big Band with Louie Bellson, Ed Morrison and A Touch of Brass, the Michael Galisatus Big Band, the Stanford Jazz Workshops Alumni Band (Ray Brown), and others. Mike has two kids and a very, very supportive wife.

Jason Kneebone

Jason graduated with a degree in Trombone Performance in 2005 from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. There, he studied with Roy Main and performed with the University Jazz Band No.1 under the direction of Paul Rinzler. He completed his music education credential at San Jose State in 2007 and served as the Instrumental Music Director at Mountain View High School until 2020. Jason has performed with the Santa Clara Vanguard Drum & Bugle Corps and has enjoyed teaching the Vanguard Cadets since 2004. When not playing or teaching music, Jason enjoys mountain biking, video gaming, and relaxing with family and friends.

Carlos Almeida

Carlos was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil, grew up in Los Angeles, California. He came up to the Northern California to march snare with Santa Clara Vanguard A-Corps and has remained active in the Bay Area music scene. Carlos is the owner of Silicon Valley Music and Entertainment, leader of ensembles such as Silicon Vibe and Jazz by Design. He’s the drummer and co-leader for Full Spectrum Jazz, the drummer for the Black Tie Jazz Orchestra, Come Back Buddy (West Coast) and member of the California Pops Symphony Orchestra.

Carlos’s “day gig” is as VP, of Engineering for SPK and Associates.

ABRAHAM ARELLANO

Bio Coming Soon!

LES THOMAS

Les Thomas is a guitarist, arranger, composer, recording producer and engineer from the Bay Area. Les has a wide variety of performing experiences ranging from studio work, television, radio commercials, including West Coast tours with a variety of club bands and college big bands. He also had the privilege of playing with renowned jazz guitarist Gabor Szabo, Tom Coster (Santana), Michael Hossack (Doobie Brothers), John Tristao (Creedence Clearwater Revisited) and Larry Norman (People). Les also currently performs regularly with the popular Bay Area band East Side Funk. He studied jazz guitar with Warren Nunes, Chuck D’Aloia, Scott Henderson and Bruce Forman.

TOM TOMASELLO

Bio Coming Soon!

IRENE TRAPP

Irene Trapp has been performing in the Bay Area for over 40 years. A violist, violinist, Voice-Over talent, theatre and vocal director, Irene has been involved in a variety of venues including local theaters, San Jose Symphony, worship leader at church, music teacher and choir director. Lots of activities keep her ADHD at bay. As string player, she has backed up artists in concert like Smokey Robinson, John Denver, Kenny G, and even got to rock out with Jimmy Page and Robert Plant. She is one of the original Great America Singers and got to perform with Debby Boone (You Light Up My Life) in American Musical Theatre’s production of the King and I. Irene connected with A Touch of Brass while directing a holiday show for Tabard Theatre Company in San Jose and Ed Morrison invited her to be a permanent member in 2021. Singing with a big band has always been on her bucket list. Check!

LES THOMAS

Les Thomas is a guitarist, arranger, composer, recording producer and engineer from the Bay Area. Les has a wide variety of performing experiences ranging from studio work, television, radio commercials, including West Coast tours with a variety of club bands and college big bands. He also had the privilege of playing with renowned jazz guitarist Gabor Szabo, Tom Coster (Santana), Michael Hossack (Doobie Brothers), John Tristao (Creedence Clearwater Revisited) and Larry Norman (People). Les also currently performs regularly with the popular Bay Area band East Side Funk. He studied jazz guitar with Warren Nunes, Chuck D’Aloia, Scott Henderson and Bruce Forman.