top of page


Jim Martin is an active composer/arranger, trombonist, pianist and music educator in the Midwestern United States. Jim’s charts can be heard on numerous professional and big band recordings including the Rob Parton Jazz Tech Big Band, the University of WI/Milwaukee jazz ensemble, the Stan Bann Big Band, the University of TX at Austin, Art Farmer’s Big Band, and many others. Credits also include string and big band arrangements on 5 CD’s for Chicago singer Jean Laughlin.

Big band commissions have come from Rob Parton, the U.S. Airmen of Note, Univ. of WI/Milwaukee, Evanston Township HS, Lake County Community College, University of Portland, Air Force Falconaires, and numerous other high school, college, and pro bands across the U.S.


On Friday, January 30th, 2004, Frank died suddenly in his hometown of Garden City, KS. A tremendous contributor to big band music, an amazing pianist and jazz educator and family man, Frank will be missed the world over by the jazz world and everyone he touched during his lifetime.

Frank is will be remembered as one of the foremost contemporary big band writers, and in my opinion one of only a few that has developed a “signature” style. His bio reads like a who’s who of the jazz world. Hundreds of big band charts published, jazz ed materials for beginners and advanced players. Thanks for all the memories and the great music Frank!


Trumpeter Tony Guerrero has amassed a worldwide following as a solo artist in the contemporary jazz scene, having released nine solo CDs over the last twenty years. Several of his recordings have hit the Billboard Charts and he has enjoyed steady radio airplay throughout the years. He is also active as a composer and producer in the Los Angeles area.

Tony’s 1991 song “The Buckethead Shuffle” (released by Hal Leonard) was one of the biggest selling Big Band charts for High Schools and Colleges, and continues to be heard worldwide today in concerts and competitions.

Recently, Tony has been arranging the music for a brand new Big Band album by John Tesh. The disc (available in 2011) features such heavyweights as Wayne Bergeron and Eric Marienthal and will, no doubt, surprise listeners more familiar with Tesh’s “New Age” work.

For more information on all of Tony’s work over the years, visit

Jean Laughlin

Jean Laughlin is a Chicago jazz/cabaret singer songwriter whose songs are like a self-help book put to music—her satiny voice and rich lyrics touch the music lover’s heart.

Jean’s solid vocal and musical command underlie each composition’s appeal. She began singing at age five and studying classical piano at seven. At the age of eleven, she performed on the nationally televised ‘Bob Crosby’ Show.

Graduating from the University of Wisconsin, she majored in Speech/Drama and studied opera for two years to fine tune her instrument. After settling in Chicago, Jean became a fixture in recording studios, doing work in television commercials, voice-overs and radio spots for agencies such as Leo Burnett, J. Walter Thompson and Foote, Cone & Belding. She performed in industrial shows, where she worked with Chicago legends like Shelley Long.

Jean has teamed up with arranger Jim Martin on 5 separate CD’s that include songs by Jean scored by Jim for string orchestra, orchestra as well as full big band.


David Wilken received a Bachelor of Music in composition from Illinois Wesleyan University, a Master of Music in Jazz Studies from DePaul University, and a Doctor of Arts in trombone performance from Ball State University. Dr. Wilken has taught brass and jazz at both Indiana Wesleyan University and Adams State College and he is currently the Coordinator of Jazz Studies at the University of North Carolina at Asheville. He also serves as Music Director for the Asheville Jazz Orchestra.

Known for his versatility as a trombonist, Dr. Wilken has performed and recorded with regional ensembles performing jazz (Asheville Jazz Orchestra, Jazz Composers Forum), classical (Hendersonville Symphony Orchestra, Brevard Philharmonic Orchestra), latin (Nuevo Montuno), and pop (Stephanie’s Id, Avett Brothers).

Dr. Wilken also composes and arranges music for jazz ensembles. He has written commissioned compositions or arrangements for the Trinidad High School Jazz Ensemble, Clemson University Jazz Ensemble, Souled Out Band, the Indianapolis Jazz Orchestra and others. The Indianapolis Jazz Orchestra has recorded music by Dr. Wilken on three albums and the


"Consistently enjoyable work sparkles with Flauding's beautiful arrangements" - Billboard Magazine.

Award-Winning Composer Ric Flauding has composed-arranged-orchestrated hundreds of pieces of music in many styles and for a wide variety of ensembles. His catalog includes music recorded and performed by the London Symphony, the Fort Worth Symphony and many recording studio ensembles.

Ric's recordings are programmed worldwide in radio and television and have featured many well-known musicians including Wayne Bergeron, Eric Marienthal , John Patitucci and Russell Ferrante. Ric is currently the Director of Jazz Bands at Weatherford College (Texas).


After winning numerous awards in high school and at the Berklee College of Music, Tom went on the road with Buddy Rich in January of 1986 at the age of twenty. He was on Buddy’s last touring band before he died in 1987. Buddy once said of him in a video taped interview in Stockholm: "Tom is going to have a very, very strong future in jazz."

Tom went on to finish his studies at the University of Miami, where he received his Master’s degree in Jazz Arranging and Composition. Afterward, he was immediately employed by U of M. to teach improvisation and ear training, direct Big Bands and coach small groups. In the meantime, he played with such greats as Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennet, Dizzy Gillespie, Chick Corea, Pat Metheny, and Randy Brecker, to name a few.


Joe d’Etienne is a trumpet player, composer, arranger and pianist. Born in Germany and raised in Dallas, Joe began arranging at the Arts Magnet High School in Dallas. While studying at North Texas (UNT) and playing jazz trumpet in the Lab Band program, Joe continued writing. After receiving his Bachelor’s degree in 1985, Joe joined the Glenn Miller Orchestra. Later he worked five years on cruise ships and in 1991, moved to Mexico City. For the past six years, Joe has led his own big band. This year his big band recorded their first CD, What’s The Rush?, a compilation of his writings over the past 25 years. Currently he teaches two big band ensembles, jazz improvisation and private trumpet at the DIM music school in Mexico City.


Scott Mertens is a pianist, educator, and composer/arranger based in northern Illinois. Originally from Missouri, Scott has a bachelor’s degree in music education from the University of Missouri-Columbia, and he has a Master of Music degree from Northern Illinois University.


He was the director of the NIU Community School of the Arts Jazz Band, and is a summer faculty member at the NIU Jazz Camp. Scott regularly performs as a jazz pianist in the Chicago area, and is a member of the Doug Stone/Doug Bratt Big Band, a Chicago group which performs all-original big band charts.

Scott has worked extensively with middle and high school jazz bands, and is a band director in Sycamore, Illinois.


Vladimir Nikolov is a composer whose works cover a wide range of musical languages and genres, using backgrounds in classical music and jazz as point of departure. He has been ‘behind the scenes’ of worldwide orchestral projects as arranger for some time now, while also frequently performing as conductor and guitarist with renowned soloists and ensembles.

He was born 1979 and raised in Skopje, Macedonia. He started music at the age of 14, beginning with the guitar. Soon after, he enrolled in classical guitar studies with Vera Ogrizović and Pablo Barón, graduating with an original composition. Deeply inspired by mentorship of Ilija Pejovski, Vladimir began cross-over composing and arranging. After departing for the Netherlands in the autumn of 2002, he started jazz composition and arranging studies with Jurre Haanstra at the Conservatory of Amsterdam, Netherlands. He finished his Master’s studies in 2005 with focus on symphonic writing.

As a composer/arranger and band leader, Vladimir worked with ensembles such as the Metropole Orchestra, Brussels Philharmonic, Pophorn Big Band, Berlin Art Orchestra, Belgrade Philharmonic, Orchestra Jazz della Sardegna, Barga Jazz Orchestra, Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw, the Amsterdam Saxophone Quartet. Among the collaborative artists, he worked with: John Clayton, Randy Brecker, Conrad Herwig, Ronnie Cuber, Vince Mendoza, Chaka Khan, Gino Vannelli, Andy Narell, Sertab Erener,  to name but a few.

Vladimir’s compositions and arrangements have won several international prizes, including two first prizes for original compositions and five first prizes for homages to the great jazz composers Thelonious Monk, Wayne Shorter, John Coltrane, David Liebman and Steve Swallow.


Before his untimely death in 1978 at the young age of 44, Don Ellis was one of the most creative and innovative jazz musicians of all time. In a career span of less than 25 years, Don Ellis distinguished himself as a trumpeter, drummer, composer, arranger, recording artist, author, music critic and music educator.

He is best remembered for his work as a big band leader. His orchestra, which was active from 1966-78, and in varying configurations featured a string section, brass sextet and a woodwind quintet complete with oboe and bassoon, achieved enormous appeal at a time when the taste for big band music was fading.

He won a Grammy Award for his 1972 title composition of the movie "The French Connection", and his band received 2 Grammy nominations for their performances on "Live At Fillmore" and "Soaring".

New rhythmic devices ultimately became the Don Ellis trademark. His compositions frequently displayed time signatures such as 5/4, 7/4, 13/8 and 9/2. Hank Levy, composer of some of the charts offered here and one of Don’s "co-conspirators" in the time revolution, once quipped that "Yes, Don and I do write music in 4/4, we just subdivide it 5-1!" The compositions offered here are the actual charts, in standard big band instrumentation, offered by Ellis Music Enterprises in the 1970s.


Roget Pontbriand is currently the director of jazz and popular music at Palm Beach Atlantic University.

He formerly served as the department chair at Grace Bible College in Grand Rapids, Mich., where he developed a B.M. degree in contemporary Christian music. Pontbriand also was an adjunct professor at Middle Tennessee State University, where he directed the university jazz ensemble and taught music composition. Pontbriand has also studied at two prestigious jazz schools; Berklee College of Music Boston, Mass. and the Grove School of Music, Studio City, Calif.

Roget has had an extensive career in the commercial music industry. He has worked in Boston, New York, Nashville, Los Angeles, Cleveland, Branson and Miami as a studio musician, composer and arranger. He was the resident composer for Classic Video Production in Akron, Ohio. As resident composer for Robert VanKampen, Roget wrote many large compositions for the Grand Rapids and Lakeshore Symphony Orchestras. Roget has composed a symphony and an opera for Palm Beach clients. Roget toured with the Grammy nominated group Wild Cherry, K.C. and the Sunshine Band, Bullet and other pop bands. He has also performed with many big bands which include; Maynard Ferguson, Mel Tormé, Dee Barton, Nashville Jazz Machine, Xavier Cugat, Shoji Tabushi, Bo Thorpe and Bob Hoose orchestras.

All selections below are performed by the Palm Beach Atlantic University Jazz Ensemble directed by Roget Pontbriand.

Cam McCalister

Australian trumpet player/composer/arranger Cam McAllister has established himself as an in demand musician, both as a jazz trumpet player and big band writer. Cam is the Musical Director of the Royal Australian Navy’s Admiral’s Own Big Band in Sydney, a position he has held since 2012.


Cam has composed and arranged countless big band charts ranging from middle school level charts through to pro level contemporary jazz orchestras. Cam’s music is performed regularly throughout Australia and several of Cam’s compositions have been recorded, most recently on the Royal Australian Navy’s Admiral’s Own Big Band latest release entitled Compositions, on which five of his original works have been recorded.


Cam was a finalist twice in the prestigious James Morrison Jazz Award on trumpet and was also one of 50 musicians handpicked worldwide for the 2008 Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music, hosted by Dave Douglas.

Cam continues to perform regularly throughout Australia with the Royal Australian Navy as well as his own big band and sextet. Cam is also a very keen darts player although his passion far outweighs his talent in this area.

David Arivett

Throughout David's musical career David has focused upon writing, arranging, and performing music in a wide variety of musical flavors. David is comfortable, versatile, and fluent with many styles

of music. Whether it's Brazilian Jazz, Latin/Afro-Cuban Jazz, Swing, Funk, Fusion, Blues, or Gospel, David has written, arranged, recorded, and performed it. David's focus is upon memorable melodies

that are catchy, contagious, and that truly evoke an emotional response from listeners. David's main goal is to create music that inspires others. Over the course of his musical career David has

conducted and performed with Big Bands, Jazz Bands, Choirs, and is a superb vocalist, arranger, and clinician, and educator. Piano and Keyboards are David's main instruments. David operates his own

studio Songs Of David and publishes his own music, recording clients, arranging, and producing. His web site location is:

Randall Reyman

Randall Reyman is a trumpeter and composer/arranger who is very active in both the jazz and

classical genres. As Director of Jazz Activities at MillikinUniversity in Decatur, Illinois, Mr. Reyman directs the Millikin University Jazz Band I and serves as Professor of Trumpet. An active composer/arranger, Mr. Reyman has composed music of all genres including orchestral, choral,

chamber, and jazz works. He has attended the University of Northern Iowa, University of Illinois, North Texas State University, and Illinois State University.


Grand Rapids Jazz Orchestra

For over 40 years, The Grand Rapids Jazz Orchestra has been one of Michigan’s premier jazz ensembles, featuring some of the finest musicians in the area playing swinging original compositions and arrangements as well as traditional favorites.

The musicians that create the live sounds are some of the area’s best soloists, sidemen, and educators available. Many have jazz projects of their own, yet dedicate time to fostering the performance of live big band jazz.  This CD is a collection of compositions by current and past GRJO members.

bottom of page