DEBBIE KATZ KNOWLES (Baritone sax) A Northwestern University alumna. Plays sax and woodwinds in numerous Chicago area bands and musical productions. Also teaches and is a professional percussionist, playing with jazz bands, pit orchestras for musicals and big-name entertainers, recordings, and is principal percussionist for the Lake Forest Symphony and Light Opera Works.
PAUL LEVY (Alto sax) Born and raised in Buffalo, NY, he received a BM in Jazz Studies from Ohio State University, attended DePaul University for Music Education, has a Masters in Music Education from VanderCook College of Music and is currently Band Director at Oak Lawn Community High School. Has played at national and international jazz festivals and venues, including the Montreal, St. Lucia and Ocho Rios jazz festivals and the Kennedy Center.
STEVE SCHNALL (Alto sax) Originally from Columbus, OH, he received a BM from Capital University in Columbus and additional degrees in Jazz Studies from DePaul and the University of Illinois. Has been an active member of Chicago’s music scene for over 20 years. Has toured all over the world, including jazz tours in Japan, rock shows in the US and Canada, and reggae shows in Jamaica. Has played on numerous radio and TV commercials and shared the stage with such luminaries as Aretha Franklin, Al Jarreau, Barry Manilow, Diana Ross, the Temptations and many others.
GARY TIPPS (Tenor sax) Is a long-time Jazz Consortium Big Band member. Performs as a free-lance musician throughout the Chicago area. Has played on numerous recordings and performed at the Lake Geneva Playboy Club with Bobby Vann, Aliza Kashi, Joey Heatherton and Steve Allen and currently the Woodstock City Band. Had a 30-plus year career as music educator until his recent retirement, receiving his Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Music Education from Northern Illinois University.
ROY VOMBRACK (Director) A charter member of the Jazz Consortium Big Band. Studied music composition at Harper College and Northern Illinois University, and has had a 40-plus year career as professional musician and arranger/producer. Has written music for several thousand radio and TV commercials in styles from orchestral to funk, plus music for live acts as diverse as big bands and symphonic pops. Also led his own party band for nearly 25 years, and created Rupert's 33 Club Orchestra for restaurateur Rich Melman, among many other productions.
DAN WHITAKER (Tenor sax) Another NIU alumnus and a veteran Jazz Consortium Big Band member. Dan has played professionally in musical theater at Marriott Lincolnshire and Six Flags of America, and toured the Midwest and Northeast with multiple and diverse artists. He has performed with stage and music personalities including The Temptations, Dizzy Gillespie, Frank Sinatra Jr, The Four Freshmen, and Anita O'Day. Dan also plays tenor saxophone with The Chapel Palatine Worship band. .
ANDY KOMORSKI (Alto sax) Studied music at Harper College. Was an original member of the Jazz Consortium Big Band from its inception back in the mid-1970's. Led his own party band for 12 years. His father is noted jazz organist/accordionist Don Komorski.