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The Robert Hurst Quintet - Jazz Standard, New York, NY

Robert Hurst, Band Leader, Bassist

Hurst played guitar early in his career before concentrating on bass. He worked with Out of the Blue and also did work with musicians such as Tony Williams, Mulgrew Miller, Harry Connick Jr., Geri Allen, Russell Malone, and Steve Coleman. From 1986 to 1991 Hurst played in Wynton Marsalis's ensemble, and played with Branford Marsalis in the early 1990s. He was also a member of The Tonight Show Band. Robert Hurst Presents reached #13 on the Top Jazz Albums chart. He currently is an Associate Professor of Jazz and Director of Small Jazz Ensembles at the University of Michigan School of Dance, Music and Theater.


Jeff "Tain" Watts, Drums

One of the most in demand jazz drummers in the world today, Jeff Watts initially majored in classical percussion at Pittsburgh's Duquesne University, where he was primarily a timpanist, followed by enrollment at the Berklee School of Music, where he pursued jazz studies alongside such talented players as Branford Marsalis, Kevin Eubanks, Greg Osby, Aimee Mann, Steve Vai and Marvin "Smitty" Smith. 

 


Pepe Espinosa, Percussionist

Jose “Pepe” Espinosa: Born in Havana, Cuba, in one of the best known and most versatile percussionists today. A veteran of over 80 recordings, his extensive resume boasts tours with Cubanismo, the Afrocuban All Stars, Arturo Sandoval, Chucho Valdés, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Frank Emilio Flynn, and many other orchestras and small groups.


 


Marcus Strickland, Saxophone

Marcus Strickland is a jazz soprano, alto and tenor saxophonist who grew up in Miami, Florida who currently lives in New York. Down Beat Magazine's Critic's Poll named Marcus 'Rising Star on Tenor Saxophone' in '10 and 'Rising Star on Soprano Saxophone' in '08.

 

 


David Virelles, Piano

The young Cuban has been nicknamed 'the marvel' for his brilliant technique, and many believe he is destined to become one of jazz piano's greats. Virelles blends elements of his Cuban heritage with contemporary American jazz, thus creating his own distinctive sound. Born in Santiago de Cuba on November 10th, 1983, David Virelles Gonzalez comes by his musical talent honestly. His father is a singer-songwriter and his mother is a flautist in the Santiago de Cuba Symphony. At age 7, he began studying classical piano at prestigious music schools in Cuba, first at the Jose Maria Heredia School of Art and later at the Esteban Salas Conservatory of Music.