Claudia Knauer was born in Oakland, California. She says she doesn't remember much except darkness, then light, somebody spanked her, she started singing and has been singing ever since. After getting her degree in Theatre from The Pacific Conservatory for the Performing Arts, Claudia hit the road and started singing R&R, Pop, Motown, New Wave, R&B, Jazz and too many Lounge Lizard gigs to mention. In addition to singing with Jumptown Big Band, Claudia is the vocalist for another fine 18 piece swing band called the Pranksters. Claudia often sings with other bands for fun and loves to sing at benefits. One of Claudia's most memorable musical experiences was being a part of Stoneground (www.stoneground.us).
Jim has spent many years collecting big band arrangements and performing with many of the finest Portland area musicians. In 2012, he decided to create Jumptown Big Band as an ensemble where he could challenge excellent musicians to perform exceptional charts while providing the highest quality professional entertainment value for audiences. As a band leader, he carefully programs each performance with regard to the expectations of the audience while considering musically interesting arrangements to engage professional level musicians. Jim came to Oregon from Florida in 1997. Since then, he has performed regularly with a variety of different musical groups in the Portland area including the Portland Wind Symphony, Solid Brass, Clark College Orchestra, Serango Trombones, Pranksters Big Band, Glenn Tadina Swing Street Band, Rosemont Trombones, Black Magic Band, and Joe Marcinkiewicz's TV Jazz Band. He has performed with musical theater orchestras and for various church functions and events. He also performs occasionally with other groups including the Jazz Express Big Band, the Providence Hospital Stage Band, and Art Abram's Swing Machine. Jim’s collegiate background includes both architecture and music education from Troy University, Florida State University, and Florida A&M University. At both Troy University and Florida State University, Jim was heavily involved in marching bands, concert bands, jazz bands, and the national honorary band fraternity Kappa Kappa Psi.
Nat Caranto was born in a small province in the Philippines. He studied music with his musician grandfather from a very young age. Nat moved to Portland Oregon at the age of 14. He then played in the Jazz Band in High School and won numerous awards as a soloist. He also attended Mt. Hood Community College and played lead alto in the Jazz Band. He currently performs with three Portland based bands, both large and small ensembles.
Jim played in great competition and touring Midwest school bands from grade school into college, but put down his horn for a number of years. He finally got his priorities straight and is overjoyed to be back playing in multiple big bands and small groups. Jim is also an avid ultra-marathoner, with over 50 races run, and a hi-tech veteran of the local Silicon Rainforest.
Greg pays the bills working in the Advertising industry, but has been a sax player since he was 10 years old. It’s been a few years since he first started playing Big Band music back in high school but it has always been a style he comes back to. Greg earned numerous awards in high school and college with his playing and was a member of the award winning Mt Hood Community College Jazz Lab Band in the late 70’s. After college and a few years on the road with various bands, the music was put on hold; in its place a “real job” took center stage. After marrying his wife Nancy, and raising two daughters he rediscovered his love for playing almost 20 years later. “I came across a big band rehearsal a few years ago and they were nice enough to let me sit in with them. That led to my friendship with Jim and the Jumptown Big Band. It’s good to be back… man this stuff is fun!"
Byll has been a performer and band leader in big bands, rock bands, top 40 bands, variety bands, and social bands for many years in the Portland area. Byll's educational background includes a master's degree in music. For many years, he has been known to book musical groups for all styles and eras of music, including ethnic music. Byll also plays trumpet with the Jazz Express Big Band and freelances in other groups.
Now in his early seventies, Dave started playing professionally at age 18. After college and law school he worked as a bank trust officer for 38 years and retired after a 4 year stint for an investment management firm. Dave has always moonlighted as a pro musician. He has played in many touring shows and in dance bands including the Woody Hite Band, the Dr. T Orchestra, the Kansas City Rhythm Kings, and Leroy Anderson. Dave has had many years of performances with local shows for Ice Follies, Ice Capades, and the Ringling Bros Circus. Dave has had many Pops appearances with the Oregon Symphony under the direction of Norman Leyden. Dave has appeared with the Portland Jazz Orchestra and he has had the opportunity to play trumpet for the Northwest tours by Tony Bennett, Johnny Mathis, and Tom Jones.
Rick was a student of Max Woodbury, longtime principal trumpet of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, who also counted Freddie Hubbard among his students. Rick completed his undergraduate studies in orchestral performance at Indiana University. He lived in the Reno/Lake Tahoe area for 33 years and played in every major casino there. Most of his work was for the showroom orchestras of Johnny Russell and Brian Farnon at Lake Tahoe. While working as a musician, he accompanied stars as diverse as Herman's Hermits, Toni Tenille, Suzanne Sommers, Linda Rondstadt and many others. He also toured Nevada and northern California for Young Audiences of America, performing concerts in schools and communities with small chamber groups. He was principal trumpet in the symphony orchestras of Carson City and Elko, Nevada, and was a substitute for the Reno Philharmonic Orchestra. When casino showrooms began to decrease their use of live music in the late 1980's, Rick went back to school and received a graduate degree in social work, and is now a private-practice psychotherapist in suburban southeast Portland. He plays with several bands in the Portland area.
A musical family will encourage a person to perform, and from the 4th grade on, Rich took on the trumpet and never looked back. Music has been a life-long endeavor, bracketed by family and career, which has always been a source of sustaining energy and personal development. Rich enjoys performing with Swing Bands and in staged musical productions. In addition to the Jumptown Big Band, he has played with six other Swing Bands in the last 10 years, including The Carroll Raaum Swing Orchestra, The Frank Messina Big Band, The Pranksters, The Marcinkiewicz Big Band, The PrimeTime Big Band, and The Portland Jazz. Musicals have included 45th Street, Sweet Charity, and Chicago. Rich stays exposed to other styles of music through the groups he has performed with, including -- Classical: Portland Wind Symphony (and Board Member); Marylhurst Symphony Orchestra; Jewish Community Orchestra -- Brass ensembles: Solid Brass; Church Street Brass (Founder) -- Wind Bands: Beaverton Community Band; Tualatin Valley Community Band. Rich’s early opportunities served to lay his musical foundation. Providing the musical entertainment for high school and college dances focused his group’s creativity. After a road trip with the Southern California High School Honor Band, he went on to play with the International Order of The Forester’s Signature Band in Studio City. Admitted to UCLA’s music department, he played with the UCLA Stage Band at the Hollywood Bowl backing performers such as Harry Belafonte and Ann Margaret, transcribed music for the UCLA Marching Band, served as its Band Manager, played with the UCLA Concert Band, and traveled with the Varsity Band as it followed the UCLA Basketball Team and Coach John Wooden to four National Championships. Graduating from the Anderson School at UCLA in 1968 with a degree in Business Administration, he took time off from music to found his own CPA firm in Beaverton, Oregon as well as launch a successful career in banking and financial services. Before resuming his passion for musical performance 13 years later, he and his wife Helen started a family of 3 boys and a girl, which has given them the opportunity to be grandparents to seven grandchildren.
Jim’s professional career consists of working in the construction industry as a pipe insulation contractor. Jim works hard in his career, but his love and passion for playing the trombone comes easy. Jim’s musical affair with the trombone began in high school where he caught the attention of local big band leaders. After high school, he began to perform regularly with the Providence Hospital Stage Band. Jim has performed with some of the well-known big bands in the Portland area including the Woody Hite Band, the Dick Schwary Big Band, and Art Abrams’ Swing Machine. He also performs regularly with the TV Jazz Band under the direction of Joe Marcinkiewicz. Jim is accomplished on both the tenor and bass trombones.
Mike is a remodeling contractor who’s skill and talents make him a sought after tradesman. His talents with craftsmanship go beyond the building industry. Mike is a talented trombonist, composer, and arranger. He has performed regularly with local groups including the Portland Wind Symphony, Solid Brass, Serango Trombones, and the Jazz Express Big Band. Mike’s collegiate experience includes attending the University of North Texas where he studied arranging. He was able to help support himself through school by hand transcribing musical arrangements – including arrangements for Stan Kenton. Mike has arranged several pieces for the Serango Trombones.
A product of a musical family and after being a member of both the Portland Junior Symphony and Jim Little's Big Band, Bob entered Lewis and Clark College as a music major in 1967. His career subsequently changed to medicine and he put his bass trombone away for 27 years. He started playing again when his children entered middle school and played with the Lake Oswego Millennium Band for 8 years. Currently he performs with the Willamette Falls Symphony, Clark College Orchestra, Providence Hospital Stage Band, and Serango Trombones. Bob has recently retired after 30 years of practice as an Orthopedic Surgeon, specializing in hip replacement and hip joint reconstruction. He got his MD from OHSU in 1975 and completed his orthopedic residency at University of California, San Diego in 1981. His wife, Janice, has always encouraged him to pursue his music, in spite of his very busy schedule. They have 3 children, Keith (27), Carter (25) and Craig (23) who all appreciate music and the arts as well.
An Oregon native, Charles has experienced the rich diversity of music in the region. From Piano to Synthesizers and Hammond Organ (and even Trombone), Charles has played many styles of music...Swing, Blues, Jazz and Rock. Both a Composer and Producer, this graduate of the Grove School of Music in Los Angeles has a background that extends to not only recording, but also as a performance artist, sideman, and music director. Charles is a composer of music for Film, TV, and Multimedia projects. Specializing in instrumental music (Tension, Optimistic, Country, and Ambient) that uses a combination of orchestral, organic, and electronic elements. www.charlesawilson.net
Kenny has been a working musician for 30+ years. His journey has taken him from the suburbs of San Francisco, to Berklee College of Music in Boston, back west to San Francisco, and finally to Portland. He can play most any style of music and has played with rock bands, R&B bands, wedding bands, and both large and small jazz ensembles.
Jeff Jones plays drums in the Jumptown Big Band, The Mizar 5ive (a Steely Dan tribute band), and Sounds Like Love. In the latter two bands he also sings harmonies. Jeff has played or subbed on drums and percussion in productions of various musicals, including Pippin, Matilda, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. He has played in the Portland Wind Symphony’s percussion section. He has studied voice and has sung tenor in Consonare Chorale and the Portland Peace Choir. Jeff also pursues his interests in vocal arranging and playing acoustic guitar.
Herb Kost retired from teaching music in 1997 only to return to teaching at Grant High School as a temporary teacher in the school year 2000-01 and again in 2002-03. His teaching career began in Eureka, Nevada, then to Fruitland, Idaho, Sparks, Nevada and finally to Oregon. His teaching career in Oregon began at Gresham High School in 1970 and ended at Beaumont Middle School in Portland, Oregon in 1997 when he retired from music education. Mr. Kost received his Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Montana, where he studied clarinet with J. Justin Gray and William Manning, conducting from Eugene Andre’ and Lloyd Oakland. In 1976 he received his Master of Music Education from the University of Portland. Herb was an Air Force Band musician serving in bands in California, Germany and France and is still a very active musician playing regularly with the Woody Hite Big Band, the Jazz Express Big Band, The Tualatin Valley Jazz Band, Black Magic Big Band, Swing Shift and occasionally subbing in the Art Abrams Swing Machine. In addition to Jazz Bands, he performs with the Portland Metro Band, the VFW Concert Band, and is also very active in his church where he participates in choir, both as a singer and as a co-director. In addition Mr. Kost is affiliated with the Musicians Local #99, a former member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, a music fraternity, Music Educators National Conference, past president of the Northern Nevada Music Educators, a former member of the International Association of Jazz Educators, Oregon Band Directors, Oregon Music Educators and Past-President of the Northwest Bandmasters Association. Herb and his wife Carol are “snowbirds” and reside in Indio, CA for six months at an RV Resort called Rancho Casa Blanca. In California Herb directs the RCB Men’s Chorus and also the RCB Chapel Choir. Herb also plays regularly with the Ted Herman Big Band, the Cathedral City Jazz Band, The Best Yet, Sax Quartet and his own RCB ten piece band.