Joel Shapira Quartet

joel-ramirezTwin Cities-based guitarist Joel Shapira is a master performer of both classical and jazz repertoire. A Saint Paul native, Joel attended Berklee School of Music in Boston and Mannes School of Music in New York City where he lived, performed and taught for eight years, and also studied with jazz legends Joe Pass and Tal Farlow.






Saxophonist Pete Whitman began his professional music career during the late 1970s in Kansas City, Missouri playing in jazz clubs and gigging with the likes of trumpet great Carmel Jones, guitarist Steve Cardenas and pianist Steve Million. In early 1980s, Whitman moved to Denton, Texas to pursue a degree in music at North Texas State University. While pursuing his studies, Whitman joined the Pete Peterson Collection, a Dallas based big band with whom he had the opportunity to back up such renown acts as Bob Hope, Frank Sinatra Jr., and the Temptations. Whitman also began gigging and recording with R&B great Al T.N.T. Braggs who was best known for his hit Share Your Love With Me. In 1986, Whitman went on the road with the Glenn Miller Orchestra touring the United States, Iceland, Japan and Brazil. In 1988 he moved to St. Paul, MN where he became well established as a saxophonist, composer, arranger and educator. Since 1988, Whitman has performed with such varied and distinguished ensembles and musicians as the Minnesota Orchestra, Michael Feinstein, Debbie Boone, Rosemary Clooney, Jack McDuff, Barbara Dennerlein, Lavay Smith & Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers, Dave Stryker, Curtis Fuller, the Woody Herman Orchestra, Andres Prado and the Hornheads. He has also recorded extensively as a sideman and has three CD’s out under his name: Departure Point on Igmod Records (, The Sound of Water and Where’s When both on the Artegra label. His latest CD, Where’s When features the X-tet, a ten piece ensemble led by Whitman which was named among the top 20 best locally produced CDs by the Minneapolis Star and Tribune (Jan.2, 04) and received a four star rating by Downbeat Magazine (Feb.04). He has also composed numerous compositions and composed the original score for the documentary Been Rich All My Life (2006) by Toots Crackin’ Productions ( Pete Whitman received his bachelor’s and master’s degree in music from North Texas State University, majoring in jazz studies and minoring in flute performance. A dedicated teacherWhitman heads the Brass & Woodwinds Department at McNally Smith College in St. Paul, Minnesota.He performs numerous improvisation and saxophone clinics every year at high schools, colleges and jazz festivals.
Pete Whitman endorses Virtuoso Saxophones.

TL-bassTom Lewis is a freelance jazz bassist, based in Minneapolis Minnesota. He works regularly with a variety jazz artists visiting the Twin Cities area. These include international jazz veterans, Eddie Higgins, Benny Golson, Slide Hampton, Lew Tabackin, & Mose Allison, as well as younger New York talent David Hazeltine, Eric Alexander & Jim Rotundi. In the Twin Cities he is active member of the jazz scene, in high demand as a performer, clinician and session player. As an educator/clinician, he has worked with young jazz musicians in over 400 clinics & concerts throughout the Midwest (United States). In the studio, he has appeared on over 65 recordings featuring a wide diversity of artists. Recent jazz recordings include: “The Out to Lunch Quintet – Live at the Artist’s Quarter”, “Phil Hey Quartet – Subduction”, Eddie Higgins Trio – Live at the Dakota”, “Carol Martin – Pieces of Dreams” and “Joel Shapira – Open Lines”.


David Schmalenberger has recently performed with Pooch’s Playhouse (jazz quintet), the Are You Experienced? Hendrix ensemble, the Laura Caviani trio, Alma Brasileira, the Jazz Imports, jazz vocalists Debbie Duncan, Judi Donaghy, Connie Evingson, Charmin Michelle, and Dennis Spears, Vocal Essence, the The Jesters (jazz quintet), and Synergy (a 10-piece dance band). Schmalenberger has also performed on drumset/percussion with SCHAG (jazz percussion duo with Dave Hagedorn), JazzMN Big Band, John Scofield, Conrad Herwig, Kevin Mahogany, Benny Weinbeck trio, Russ Peterson Big Band, Marvin Stamm, The BigTime Jazz Orchestra, the Cedar Avenue Big Band, Tim Ries, Larry Grenadier, Richard Davis, Steve Turre, the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, Cab Calloway, Rufus Reid, the Fifth Dimension, and The Mills Brothers; as well as productions at the Ordway and Children’s Theatre Company. David was a featured soloist and principal timpanist with both the Lake Superior Chamber Orchestra (Duluth, MN) and the Duluth-Superior Symphony Orchestra. He also toured with the Summit Brass Ensemble and the Intergalatic Contemporary Ensemble (I.C.E.). David’s articles “Ed Blackwell’s African Influences” and “African Rhythm: Perceptions of a Westerner” were both published in the Percussive Notes periodical. His drumset composition,”I Remember,”is published by HoneyRock Music. David has presented scholarly papers and clinics for the Percussive Arts Society (PAS), Society for American Music (SAM), the Minnesota Music Educators Association (MMEA), and the International Association of Jazz Education (IAJE). He has studied the traditional music of Africa and the Diaspora for several years, including travels to Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Trinidad, and Brazil. Schmalenberger has recorded with Connie Evingson, the Joel Shapira quartet, Charmin Michelle, the Garth Alper trio, I.C.E., the Bigtime Jazz Orchestra, the Duluth-Superior Symphony Orchestra, Equilibrium, and SCHAG. He recently recorded the soundtrack for productions at the Ordway and the Children’s Theatre Company. David is also active as a clinician offering workshops in jazz, percussion, and world music. He has served as adjudicator/clinician for several jazz festivals including those in Eau Claire, WI, Mankato, MN, Lamberton, MN, Roseville, MN, and Greeley, Colorado. Schmalenberger received his DMA in Percussion Performance and World Music from West Virginia University, Master of Music Degree in Orchestral Percussion from the University of Michigan, and Bachelors Degree in Jazz Studies from Capital University.
David endorses Paiste cymbals.

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