Trumpeter/composer, Benje Daneman’s musical upbringing began in West Michigan, where he attended Western Michigan University, before attending the prestigious Henry Mancini Institute (HMI) in Los Angeles, CA. Later, while studying at Manhattan School of Music for a master’s in jazz trumpet, Benje joined the ranks of New York City jazz musicians performing in noted jazz venues such as Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola, Zinc Bar, Kitano and Cornelia Street Café. Professionally, Benje has toured with trumpeter Doc Severinsen, placed as a finalist in the National Trumpet Competition, recorded a GRAMMY nominated album "Elevation" with the HMI Big Band and performed with the Jose Limon Dance Ensemble. As a composer/arranger, Benje has received commissions from the United States Air Force Band in Europe, Spark & Echo Arts and Centerpoint Church, in addition to working as a copyist for Roger Treece, Dr. Steve Zegree, Pete Prochnow and Lutheran Music Missions. Currently, he lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan with his wife, jazz singer-songwriter, Ashley Daneman and two daughters, Rivi and Elise. In addition to performing and teaching in the midwest, he is often on the road (many times with family in tow!) sharing his music with audiences and students all across the nation
Sam Weber - bass
Sam Weber is an award winning bassist, bandleader, composer and educator currently residing in Brooklyn, New York. Equally proficient on electric and acoustic bass, Sam has taught, recorded, and performed all around the Midwest and the east coast, and appeared at venues ranging from local dive bars to 14th century French abbeys and international jazz festivals. Originally from Kalamazoo, Michigan, Sam spent five years at Western Michigan University, earning both a BA in Jazz Studies and an MA in Music. While in Kalamazoo, Sam also played in symphony orchestras, new music chamber groups, jazz ensembles of all shapes and sizes, pop, rock, and hip hop groups, and was a founding member of the Kalamazoo Laptop Orchestra (KLOrk). Sam relocated to the east coast in 2012 and can currently be found supporting a variety of artists, including singer-songwriters, contemporary composers, swing bands, tap dancers, rappers, and many others.
Rob Clearfield - piano
From an early age, pianist/multi-instrumentalist Rob Clearfield has always shown a fascination in all types of music. From his humble beginnings in Oak Park, IL playing grunge rock in his friends' basements and accompanying choirs at his mother's church, Clearfield has become a fixture on the Chicago music scene. Although perhaps a rocker at heart, Clearfield has made a name for himself as one of Chicago's most versatile improvisers, performing with such artists as John Wetton, Fareed Haque, Ernie Watts, Rakalam Bob Moses, Grazyna Auguscik, Juma Santos, Steve Gorn, Zach Brock, and Greg Ward, among others. Rob is currently an active member of the groups Matt Ulery's Loom, District 97, Hood Smoke, and Outertown, and also leads his own quintet. Since 2008, Clearfield has been composing for stage productions at Purdue North Central University, and is currently the music director and composer-in-residence at the emergent church Grace Commons in Chicago.
Christian Euman- drums
Drummer, composer, and arranger Christian Euman’s versatility and dedication to every musical situation establish him as an in-demand drummer in the Midwest. Christian holds a Bachelors’ degree in Jazz Studies from Western Michigan University, where he studied drum set with Keith Hall and classical/jazz percussion with Judy Moonert. He has also studied and performed with Billy Hart, Fred Hersch, Edward Simon, and Andrew Rathbun, and more. Christian has also performed with the New York Voices, John Clayton, Edward Simon, Robert Glasper, Donny McCaslin, Kris Bowers, Alon Yavnai, Tim Hagans, and many more. Christian is also currently the drummer for the internationally acclaimed Chicago Children’s Choir. In 2010, Christian placed second in the Percussive Arts Society International Drumset Competition and was judged by a panel of jazz greats, including Matt Wilson and Jeff Hamilton. Christian looks forward to becoming a versatile musician in the music industry, while making his mark as an accomplished composer and arranger. In commenting on Christian’s future, Peter Erskine stated, “I know [Christian will] become one of the important voices on the instrument.”