"What was the tune in the first set that featured the trombones? All their solos were fabulous! I wish I had taken video." --Christina B-K.
RICH LAPKA A Northern Illinois University alumnus. Formed, toured and recorded with jazz fusion group Juggular for 11 years. Played lead trombone for the Deja Vu Big Band and Bill O'Connell. Played and recorded with the Pete Special Band. Other recording credits include Sons of the Never Wrong, The Buckinghams and Sonia Dada. Is also currently playing with Deacon Blues, the premier Steely Dan tribute experience based out of Chicago.
MIKE MEYERS (Bass) Toured with the Buddy Rich Big Band, and has backed many artists including Sammy Davis Jr., Frank Sinatra, Sarah Vaughan and Dionne Warwick. Career highlights include recording radio and TV jingles and recording with groups like the Chi-Lites, Manhattans, The Dells and Gene Chandler. Recently retired from a corporate IT career.
Holds a Music Education degree from Millikin University.
RUSS PHILLIPS Denver-born, but grew up and studied in the Chicago area following his father, trombonist Russ Phillips Sr.'s one-and-a-half year stint with Louis Armstrong's All Stars. Has performed throughout the Chicago area and nationally in clubs, concerts, cruises and festivals as featured artist and with Lionel Hampton, Woody Herman, Dick Hyman and Doc Severinsen, among many others. Has recorded three solo albums and with others, including four with John Sheridan's Dream Band.
BRYAN TIPPS Has played with many Chicago-area Big Bands and party bands, and has performed with well-known artists including David Liebman, Paul Anka, Phil Woods, and Michael Feinstein. Holds a Bachelor's Degree in Jazz Studies from Roosevelt University and a Master's Degree in Jazz Studies from DePaul University, and is orchestra director at Hoffman Estates High School.