Meet The Band
Artistic Director Chad Eby
Saxophonist and composer Chad Eby teaches applied jazz saxophone, Jazz Ensemble I, and Jazz History in the Miles Davis Jazz Studies Program at UNCG. Chad released his third studio album, "New Business", in December 2012, and his 2010 album "Broken Shadows" (Cellar Live) featured Steve Haines and Jason Marsalis, with guest appearances by Doug Wamble and Branford Marsalis. A Newhall, Iowa native, he has earned widespread critical acclaim as "a consummate improviser" (Jazz Times), "has tremendous poise and natural melodic sense" (Ottawa Sun), and his "tone is boundless, blues-inflected, and wholly satisfying" (AllAboutJazz.com). He is active as a composer, and received the Ohio Arts Council and North Carolina Arts Council awards for jazz composition in 2003 and 2009, respectively. Highly in demand as an arranger (with over 75 works to his credit), his commissioned works have been performed or recorded by Bill Charlap with Kurt Elling, Wynton Marsalis with Willie Nelson and Norah Jones, the Columbus Jazz Orchestra, the Dallas Jazz Orchestra, the L.A. All-Star Big Band, and many collegiate jazz ensembles. He joined Jazz at Lincoln Center's Essentially Ellington program as a clinician in 2012. Visit chadeby.bandcamp.com to order or download his work. He is a D'Addario Woodwinds Performing Artist.
"...there is a movement in jazz that embraces a once taken-for-granted model: modernity thru authenticity. Here is where we find Chad Eby." - Branford Marsalis
"Chad Eby, a consummate artist, is a superb saxophonist and a highly skilled arranger. He is in the top echelon of the worlds finest musicians." - Bill Charlap
"I once heard a master musician say 'if you want to genuinely create, know all the decades'. Chad Eby is one of those musicians who carries all the decades of jazz along as he creates. So much so you'd think he be more stooped over. Rather, we hear him reaching back, standing straight up and moving the musical ball up the field. So refreshing to hear in a time of wandering around the creative process. A pleasure to encounter. A thrill to listen." Gary Walker – WBGO, New York
Administrative Director Wally West
Saxophonist Wally West is an award-winning and critically acclaimed musician who embraces a unique and deep-rooted passion for the performance and teaching of music. Wally has been "on the scene" in North Carolina for umpteen years as a performer, educator, contractor, band leader, and a consummate sideman. He teaches Jazz Studies at Gardner-Webb University, and UNC Charlotte. He’s traveled the world playing with all kinds of groups that play all kinds of music. For more info on Wally, please visit his website, www.wallywest.com.
“West himself has recorded and toured with many top acts as a saxophonist...Who knew there was anybody this good right here in town?...If you ever get a chance to hear Wally West, don't pass it up.”
- Orson Scott Card
“...soulful and burly playing from saxophonist Wally West.”
- Owen Cordle
“One of the ‘swingingest’ jazz musicians anywhere.”
- Greensboro News and Record
“He’s a good boy.”
- Wally’s mom
From 1990 to 1994, he toured internationally as a member of the Harry Connick, Jr. Orchestra. Recording credits include Blue Light, Red Light, When My Heart Finds Christmas, and The New York Big Band Concert (Video). Dr. Campbell has performed with artists such as Marvin Stamm, Randy Brecker, Bobby Shew, Pete Christlieb, Aretha Franklin, Frank Sinatra, Jr., Doc Severinsen, Louie Bellson, and ensembles such as The Glenn Miller Orchestra, Charlotte Symphony, Charlotte Philharmonic Orchestra, and Tulsa Philharmonic Orchestra.
Dr. Campbell was awarded a UNC Charlotte Faculty Research Grant in 2007 to record Think Tank (Cellar Live Records), his debut release as a leader and composer. In a review of Think Tank for All About Jazz, Raul d’Gama Rose stated, “Campbell is always meticulous in his pace, letting his warm, fat tone sing out as he constructs solos of breathtaking resonance.” In 1995, he was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Fellowship Grant, which allowed him to study privately with renowned saxophonist Dick Oatts in New York City. Since 1999, he has been a member of the University of North Texas Summer Jazz Workshop Faculty and has also been invited to direct All-State Jazz Bands in New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and North Carolina. Dr. Campbell has performed at conferences for the North American Saxophone Alliance, International Association for Jazz Education, and the World Saxophone Congress. He has published articles in the Jazz Education Journal, The Saxophone Journal, and The Saxophone Symposium. His arrangements and compositions are now available through University of Northern Colorado Jazz Press and Dorn Publications. Dr. Campbell is an Artist/Clinician for the Conn-Selmer Company and a Performing Artist for Rico Reeds and endorses these products exclusively.
Robert Faub is an accomplished classical soloist, chamber musician and jazz artist, as well as a life-long educator who passionately shares his expertise and experiences with students of all ages. As a founding member of the Red Clay Saxophone Quartet he has performed and recorded extensively over the past ten years, contributing to the commissioning and premiers of dozens of new works. Prior to the formation of RCSQ, Robert toured and recorded with the New Century Saxophone Quartet, appearing on the critically acclaimed recordings Standards and A New Century Christmas.
Like many young jazz musicians Robert was inspired by his band director, Al Longo, an accomplished jazz saxophonist himself. As a senior in high school he was chosen to play in the McDonald's Tri-State Jazz Ensemble (NY, NJ, CT) under the direction of Clem DeRosa and Justin DiCioccio. In this ensemble he collaborated with artists such as Mel Lewis and Lionel Hampton, including an appearance with the latter at the opening of the 1986 Kool Jazz Festival in Carnegie Hall.
Robert is currently the director of the Jazz Ensemble and saxophone instructor at High Point University. He is the Director of Instrumental Music at Caldwell Academy in Greensboro, NC, a K-12 Classical Christian school. Prior to his current positions, Robert taught at SUNY Potsdam's Crane School of Music, UNC Greensboro, Radford University, UNC Chapel Hill and Guilford College. He holds the DMA and MM in saxophone performance from UNC Greensboro and a BM in Music Education from SUNY Potsdam. When not performing or teaching music Robert enjoys spending as much time as possible with his wife Paula and daughter Eleanor.
Drew Hays is the baritone saxophonist in the New Century Saxophone Quartet and has performed with Lou Rawls, Bernadette Peters, Larry Elgart, Al Martino, the Winston-Salem Symphony, the Charlotte Symphony, the Roanoke Symphony, and The Eastern Music Festival Orchestra. With the New Century Saxophone Quartet, he has toured throughout the U.S. and in the U.K. and can be heard on their upcoming 8th studio album, "Songs for the Weekend Traveler". He can also be heard on pianist Mark Freundt’s upcoming debut release, "A Jazz Prayer". Drew’s own debut album, "Saxophone Premiere: The Saxophone Music of Sherwood Shaffer" was a joint project with tenor saxophonist James Houlik and released in 2011.
Drew serves as an Assistant Professor of Music at Guilford College in Greensboro, NC, where he teaches saxophone and jazz studies. He grew up in a musical family in rural, southern Ohio where he studied saxophone and oboe and played guitar and bass in local rock bands. He completed a DMA in saxophone at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA. When not performing and teaching, he is an avid cyclist and runner.
Dr. Christian McIvor is active as a performer in the classical and jazz/commercial styles. He is a member of Market Street Brass, a brass quintet that regularly performs throughout the eastern United States. He has held the position of lead trumpet with the North Carolina Jazz Repertory Orchestra and he has toured the South with The Soul Brothers, a James Brown tribute band. McIvor appears frequently as a soloist and as a section player with symphonies, chamber orchestras, big bands, and horn sections across the eastern U.S. He often plays for pit orchestras at theaters and universities throughout North Carolina and he has also played lead trumpet in the showbands for four different Carnival Cruise Lines ships. As a jazz/commercial performer, he has shared the stage with artists such as Dave Holland, Robin Eubanks, Wynton Marsalis, Branford Marsalis, Conrad Herwig, Bryan Lynch, Arturo Sandoval, Lee Konitz, and The Temptations, among others. An avid composer and arranger, McIvor publishes with C. Alan Publications. He also plays guitar and performs occasionally around the Piedmont Triad as a singer/songwriter in the folk/rock style.
McIvor is currently the Director of Bands at Southwest Guilford High School in High Point, where he directs the award-winning marching band, concert band, and jazz band. He has previously held teaching positions at High Point University, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and The North Carolina Leadership Academy. McIvor holds a B.A. in music from the State University of New York at Potsdam, a teaching certificate (K-12 Music) from Western Connecticut State University, and M.M. and D.M.A. degrees in Trumpet Performance (cognate in Jazz Studies) from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
Piedmont Triad Jazz Orchestra musical director Chad Eby describes McIvor’s playing style as, “not quite there,” and, “a little flat... like, all the time. It’s disappointing.”
Tennessee-born jazz trumpeter Thomas Heflin has been hailed as "a fluent trumpeter with a bright tone and a forward-looking style" by jazz writer Scott Yanow. He has been featured or mentioned in Italy's Jazz Magazine, Pittsburgh Tribune Review and The International Trumpet Guild Journal among others. A recording artist for Blue Canoe Records, Heflin has released three albums on the label. His 2007 debut album "Symmetry" was dedicated to the memory of pianist James Williams, who is featured on half of the recording. In 2009, Heflin produced and performed on "Introducing the New 5" by the cooperative group, The New 5 and In 2011, he released his third album, a collaborative CD with Ron Westray, former lead trombonist with Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. The album also featured drummer Adonis Rose and bassists Eric Revis and Neal Caine. Heflin has also recorded five albums with the Knoxville Jazz Orchestra as well as toured Europe with the ensemble, performing in France, Spain and Switzerland.
Heflin has served as an instructor or lecturer at Roane State Community College, the University of Texas Jazz Department, the University Outreach and Continuing Education Program at the University of Tennessee, the Manhattan School of Music Summer Music Camp and The Jefferson Center Jazz Institute. Heflin also served as the Central Greenough Artist-in-Residence in Western Australia as well as the Always on Stage festival in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada.
From 2009 to 2014, Heflin lived and performed in New York City where he performed with a variety of ensembles including the Smoke Big Band, led by trumpeter Bill Mobley. During his time there, also served as Program Manager and Jazz Faculty member at the Manhattan School of Music Precollege Division. In 2014, he moved back to the south to take the position of Assistant Professor of Jazz at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton, GA. Heflin currently serves as Assistant Professor of Jazz Brass at the Miles Davis Jazz Studies Program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
Dr. James E. Armstrong, Jr. holds a Bachelor of Science degree in music education from Winston-Salem State University, a Master of Music Education degree from Jackson State University and a Doctorate of Musical Arts degree in trumpet performance from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
Dr. Armstrong has taught instrumental and general music in North Carolina public schools as well as serving as Graduate Assistant teaching applied trumpet while attending Jackson State University. He is active in the MENC: National Association for Music Education, International Association of Jazz Educators and the North Carolina Music Educators Association. Dr. Armstrong currently is Associate Director of Bands at Winston-Salem State University, a position he has held for the past ten years. Dr. Armstrong’s teaching responsibilities in the music department at Winston Salem State University area involve teaching applied trumpet, instrumental conducting, marching band techniques, brass methods, assist with marching band and pep band and conduct the jazz ensemble II, trumpet ensemble and brass ensemble.
As an active professional musician, Dr. Armstrong has performed in the classical and jazz arenas nationally and internationally. He has performed classical repertoire with the Bermuda School of Music on three occasions and performed with several big-bands throughout the country. He also have performed solo repertoire and have been invited to perform with college and professional bands throughout the country, including, The Blues Brothers Revue, the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, West End Mambo, The Alpha Collective, and Envision.
Evan Ringel, a sophomore jazz studies major at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, is one of today’s finest up and coming jazz trombonists and arrangers. In his second year as lead trombonist in the UNCG's Jazz Ensemble I, Evan is also a member of the Spartan Jazz Collective, UNCG's collaborative faculty/student septet. Outside of UNCG, he is anactive performer, frequently playing with groups across the state, and has been heard on North Carolina Public Radio's "The State of Things" and WFDD's "Triad Arts Weekend".
Evan has performed with artists such as Slide Hampton, Randy Brecker, Russell Malone, Rodney Whitaker, Vincent Gardner, Cyrus Chestnut, Herlin Riley, Carmen Lundy, Kevin Mahogany, and Nnenna Freelon. As he pursues his degree, he is currently studying under several fine teachers including Brandon Lee, Randy Kohlenberg, Chad Eby, and Steve Haines.
High Point based trombonist, vocalist, and songwriter, Clarice Sigsworth grew up in Akron, Ohio and graduated from High Point University in May of 2019 with degrees Strategic Communication and Trombone Performance. She infuses her classical background with the expressive power of jazz on the bandstand: after studying with Dr. Brian Meixner at HPU, she enrolled in graduate studies with the outstanding faculty and staff at UNCG’s Miles Davis Jazz Studies Program.
Sigsworth has been performing in the Triad since 2015, and in 2016 won High Point University’s concerto competition on trombone for the debut of the High Point University Community Orchestra. She has played in the pit orchestras for collegiate and professional theater productions and performed classical and contemporary vocal repertoire internationally. In 2019, she was awarded Outstanding Senior Music Major, the HPU Department of Music’s highest accolade. Sigsworth has performed with nationally recognized party bands like Simply Irresistible, and has studied with educators and artists like Steve Haines, Carmen Eby, Scott MacLeod, Jackie Warren, and Bobby Sanabria – not counting all of the teachers surrounding her in this ensemble.
Sigsworth joined the PTJO as a sub in December of 2017 and now is the acting Media and Communications Coordinator. She credits her interest in a career in jazz to this ensemble.
Currently, Sigsworth is working full time as an AmeriCorps VISTA through High Point University. She works around the corner from where John Coltrane grew up, in the neighborhood where he discovered his passion for jazz. Her mission there is to support existing youth programs with music education so the children living there have access to healthy self-expression.
At the age of 16, Charlie Sothcott is the youngest member of the PTJO. Currently a junior in high school, he has played with the North Carolina School of the Arts Jazz Band, Triangle Youth Jazz Ensemble, multiple all state honor bands, and was selected to take part in the inaugural Summer Jazz Academy with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, under the leadership of Wynton Marsalis.
He draws his inspiration from Louis Armstrong, Jack Teagarden, and Wycliffe Gordon, and has attended masterclasses with Steve Turre, Michael Dease, Rodney Whitaker, Rosewell Rudd, James Burton III, and Etienne Charles. Charlie hopes to one day make a name for himself in the greater jazz community.
Jared Gilbert is finishing up his DMA at the University of North Carolina Greensboro. He is an active performer in North Carolina and enjoys playing in a variety of musical styles; including musicals, classical, pop, and jazz. He has played with the Durham Symphony Orchestra, Greensboro Opera, Bel Canto Company, and Piedmont Wind Symphony. He recently toured throughout North Carolina with the musical group Hot Horns. Jared teaches several students in the triad area and in the UNCG Trombone Studio. He is an adjunct faculty member teaching music theory and low brass at Averett University in Danville, Virginia.
Ariel Pocock, Piano
26-year-old Ariel Pocock has received international acclaim as an equally captivating jazz pianist, vocalist, and composer. Known for her "sinewy jazz piano [and] breezy, achingly plain-spoken vocal chops" (Seattle Times), Ariel's notable performances as a headline act include the Montreal International Jazz Festival, the Tokyo Jazz Festival, the Gilmore International Keyboard Festival, the Iowa City Jazz Festival, the 2014 Jazz Cruise, the Twin Cities Jazz Festival, the Quebec City International Jazz Festival, the Stanford Jazz Workshop, and many more.
Ariel is signed to Justin Time Records and has released two albums as a bandleader: Touchstone (2015) and Living In Twilight (2017). Both records were critically acclaimed by publications including Downbeat Magazine, Jazz Times, and All About Jazz. Recently, Living In Twilight spent two weeks at #10 on the Jazz Week radio charts.
Ariel is a passionate educator and believes in the importance of passing on the jazz tradition to the next generation. She is an adjunct faculty member of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro's Miles Davis Jazz Studies Program, and teaches privately at the Russell Lacy School in Durham.
Will Ledbetter, Bass
William “MoBetta” Ledbetter is one of the most in demand bassist on the Piedmont Triad Jazz scene. William is a native of Hampton, VA and grew up playing Blues and Gospel. He plays a multitude of instruments, yet he focuses on guitar and the upright bass. Utilizing all of the principles of the Blues, William has established a solid foundation for studying and performing Jazz. He is a recent graduate of UNCG, where he studied Jazz double bass. William performs all across the Triad region and can be found playing often at the O’Henry hotel, in the Piedmont Triad Jazz Orchestra as well as the Camel City Jazz Orchestra, and many other venues. He was also a part of 2018 and 2019 John Coltrane All-Stars led by Mondre Moffett. William was selected as one of 8 finalists to compete in the 2019 International Society of Bassist, Jazz division, in which he placed 2nd. The competition took place at Indiana University in Bloomington, IN in June as part of the biennial ISB convention.
Daniel Faust, Drums
Daniel Faust is a drummer who has never been able to settle on a single genre. He traveled to Romania for the Bucharest International Jazz Competition with the jazz piano trio Unit Three, where they were awarded Best Band. He has also toured the Southeast with the James Brown cover band, The Soul Brothers, as well as New York-based theatrical New Orleans rock/soul band Brother Joscephus and the Love Revival Revolution Orchestra.
Faust received his BM in Jazz Studies from the Miles Davis Jazz Studies program at UNCG. While there, he played in the UNCG Jazz Ensemble, through which he had the opportunity to perform and record with artists such as Delfeayo Marsalis, Lee Konitz, Seamus Blake, Joey Calderazzo, and Eugene Rousseau. He can be heard on albums such as saxophonist Chad Eby's New Business, pianist Antonio Truyols' Alive!, and on several recordings with the UNCG Jazz Ensemble.
Faust continues to be an in-demand drummer in the Southeast for performing and recording projects ranging from be-bop, swing, funk, and fusion, to contemporary gospel, country, and pop. When not playing music, Daniel enjoys the seemingly futile challenge of teaching himself how to cook.