David J. Kana – saxophonist
Mr. David Kana is a member of the Youngstown State University, Dana School of Music Jazz Faculty. He is responsible for directing two Jazz Combos, teaching the Advanced Improvisation, Jazz Fundamentals and Jazz History classes. He is also a member of the Music faculty at Malone University where he teaches Classical Saxophone. For the past twenty-two years he has served as a member of the faculty with the Jamey Aebersold Summer Jazz Workshops and he has also worked as an Artist in Residence at Clarion University.
Mr. Kana graduated with a B.M. in Music Education with Jazz Emphasis from Youngstown State University in 1984. While at YSU he organized the YSU Jazz Society and served on the Student Advisory Board for the Dean of Dana School of Music. He was a member of the YSU Jazz Ensemble I under the direction of Tony Leonardi. He received a Master of Science degree in Secondary Education and Curriculum Development in 1994. He also attended Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana where he performed in Dominic Spera's band and studied saxophone with David Kay.
Mr. Kana has performed with various artists including: The Benny Goodman Orchestra, Buddy Greco, Barbara Morrison, Henry Cuesta, the Temptations, Kristin Chenoweth, the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra, Three Rivers Entertainment, the Del Sinchak Band, and Special Productions in Cleveland, Ohio. He resides in Leavittsburg, Ohio with his wife Lisa on their animal rescue farm.
Marlin McKay – trumpeter
Marlin McKay is adjunct lecturer in music in general studies, teaching jazz history, at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. He is active as a composer, arranger, performer, and educator.
While completing his master's degree in jazz performance at the Jacobs School, he blossomed under the tutelage of David Baker and garnered a reputation for delivering captivating solos while performing in the critically acclaimed Baker Band. Prior to receiving his master's degree, he earned his Bachelor of Jazz Studies Performance degree from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.
McKay has received national acclaim having recently placed as first runner-up in the National Trumpet Competition Jazz Division.
He has been a participant in the jazz residencies of the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead program in Washington, D.C., and the Steans Institute for Young Artists, in Ravinia, Illinois.
McKay has released one album, Deep in the Cosmos, and is currently working on his second, The Look, to be released in 2014. He has been a featured soloist on a number of side projects and recordings, performing with such jazz and blues luminaries as Rob Dixon and Triology, Dave Bayles, Todd Howell, Tad Robinson, John Proulx, Greg Osby, the late Melvin Rhyne, Greg Artry, Jesse Palter, “Baron” John Von Ohlen, Cynthia Layne, Javon Jackson, Mikel Avery, Marquis Hill, Slide Hampton, Richard “Sleepy” Floyd, Sean Jones, Wycliffe Gordon, Walter Blanding Jr., Butch Miles, Eric Schoor, Terrell Stafford, Kevin Anker, and Ben Williams.
Alyssa Mehnert – trombonist
Alyssa Mehnert has worked extensively as a jazz trombonist, composer, arranger, and musicologist. She is a commissioned composer and has written music for artists such as Peter Erskine, Robert Hurst, and Bobby Sanabria, and for jazz ensembles at Indiana University, Butler University, the Eastman School of Music, and the Manhattan School of Music. She has taught courses at Northern Kentucky University (2010–2013) and at Butler University (2012–2013), and currently teaches a course at the University of Cincinnati. In 2014, the Music Research Forum published her review of Thelonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane at Carnegie Hall by Gabriel Solis, and in 2015 she served as editor of the journal.
Alyssa received her MM in Jazz Studies from Indiana University, and also studied with pianist, composer, and educator Bill Dobbins at the Eastman School of Music. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Musicology at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.
Jeff Sherman – guitarist
Jeff Sherman has been playing guitar since 1960 and has been performing and teaching fulltime since 1966. He has been on the music faculty at Bellarmine University since 1973 where he has taught guitar, various classes and served as Director of Jazz Studies. He has also taught adjunct faculty at Southern Baptist Seminary, Indiana University Southeast and Kentucky State University.
Mr. Sherman has toured with Marvin Gaye and performed concerts with Sarah Vaughn, Ella Fitzgerald, Luciano Pavarotti, Nancy Wilson, Liza Minnelli, Art Pepper, Phil Woods and numerous other artists. He has also performed at many jazz festivals including the Montreux Jazz Festival and the Umbria Jazz Festival.
“Jeff Sherman is Louisville’s Guitar Guru” Bob Hill Louisville Courier-Journal