Zaire Darden began playing drums and percussion in his freshman year of high school. He starting off learning Cuban, Brazilian, and west African drumming traditions which led him to the drum set by his junior year.
Zaire spent most of his time competing in state, regional, and national big band competitions such as New Jersey high school jazz band competitions to the Berklee School of Music high school jazz festival in Boston, MA. Zaire studied with Philadelphia’s Craig Mciver, who was taught by Philly Joe Jones and Max Roach. By his senior year, he continued to work with various artists and perform in Barack Obama’s Inauguration in 2009.
Zaire continued his musical studies by attending and graduating from Oberlin Conservatory of Music for jazz studies with a degree in jazz drum performance. At that time Billy Hart, Paul Samuels, and Jamey Haddad were his teachers. Now Zaire is touring and recording with different artists, and is based out of the northeastern Ohio area. Zaire has previously worked with Stevie Wonder, Jamey Haddad, Kip Reed, Gary Smulyan, Russ Nolan, Dominic Farinacci, Joe Hunter, Christian Mcbride, Ben Geyer, Chad Lefkowitz Brown, Desean Jones, Sean jones, Donny McCaslin, Robin Eubanks, Ken Peplowski, Theron Brown, Lauren Talese, Orrin Evans, Sullivan Fortner, Dan Wilson, Alfie Pollitt, The Heath Brothers, Rebirth Brass Band and others.
Jordan McBride picked up the bass at age 12 and began to develop a sound influenced by the Philadelphia Jazz scene. As a teen, Jordan studied with jazz greats such as bassist Andy McCloud and Mike Boon, often trailing the musicians into jazz clubs around Philadelphia. Jordan studied classical music earning a position in the
Philadelphia Youth Orchestra, and studied jazz band performance and bass at
Philadelphia’s prestigious Settlement Music School. There he joined a group of young jazz performers and began performing in and around Philadelphia. The group quickly gained a reputation that landed the young musicians gigs for Philadelphia Mayor, John Street, Philadelphia Eagle owner, Jeffrey Lurie, and a New York City performance for Freddie Hubbard’s memorial tribute, opening for jazz legend McCoy Tyner. Before entering college, Jordan had the opportunity to work with jazz legend Jimmy Heath. Jordan McBride holds an Artist Degree from Oberlin Conservatory of Music where he worked with Peter Dominquez and Gerald Cannon. Jordan is a creative arranger and composer, as well, based in Oberlin, Ohio.
Trumpeter Tommy Lehman is a native of West Akron and graduate of Firestone High School. He has been playing professionally for 8 years, regularly performing with Nathan-Paul and The Admirables, Theron Brown, Bobby Selvaggio,
Dan Wilson, and his own groups — The Squadtet and Acid Cats.
Upon his completion at the renowned jazz studies program at Tri-C in Cleveland, Tommy transferred to the prestigious Hartt School of Music in West Hartford, Connecticut to continue his collegiate studies with Freddie Hendrix, Steve Davis, Nat Reeves, Javon Jackson, amongst others.