The Robert Hurst Quintet - Grand Rapids Jazz Festival, Grand Rapids, Michigan

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.

Nate Winn, Drums

Nate Winn is not just a drummer, he has been labled "drummer extraordinaire. It was at the age of three when young Nate discovered the drums during a church service. It was at that time when Nate would make a toy drum out of everything his family's home had to offer. By the age of 8, Nate began to play drums for his school band. He would later become a member of his high school jazz band, marching band and wind symphony orchestra. Nate has been most privileged to work with such great as trumpeter Marcus Belgrave and Saxophonists Joe Lovano and Eddie Daniels.

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.


Rafael Statin, Saxophone

Rafael Statin is one of those rarest of young jazz instrumentalist who can combine great passion, intellectual discipline, and a spiritual fire that is evocative of great artistic creativity. He has so far established himself as a remarkable composer and musician. Rafael has had the greatest privilege of sharing the bandstand amongst two of the very best Jazz musicians of today, Robert Hurst III and Jeff “Tain” Watts. Rafael received incredible reviews from New York's local jazz critics playing with them.

Ian Finkelstein, Piano

Finkelstein is one of a new generation of up-and-coming Detroit jazz musicians who're playing at jazz clubs such as Cliff Bell's, Northern Lights and Baker's Keyboard Lounge. The generation includes drummers Alex White, Julian Allen and Jesse Kramer, saxophonists Marcus Elliot and Rafael Statin, bassist Ben Rolston, and pianist Michael Malis. You can catch them playing in established bands or leading their own.