2023 Prescott Jazz Summit Lineup
Master of Ceremonies
Comedian and Master of Ceremonies Pete Barbutti is back for 2023!
Pete Barbutti continues to be one of the most famous stand-up comedians in history. Born in Scranton, PA, Pete Barbutti started accordion lessons at 11
and within a year was earning money playing at weddings.
Later, Pete formed a musical- comedy-vocal quartet group called “The Millionaires” and toured the country. Settling in Las Vegas, “The Millionaires” quickly became a Las Vegas favorite.
He has appeared over 1,000 times on national television, and over 90 times on “The Tonight Show.” Pete continues to have a busy performing and traveling schedule. Pete is also a fine musician, having worked with such stars as Frank Sinatra, Henry Mancini, & Nat King Cole, and he has also won many prestigious music awards.
Musicians Performing Throughout the Weekend Include:
Trumpet: Walt Johnson, Mike Vax, Louise Baranger, Dave Coolidge, Bruce Gates
Trombone: Rob Boone, Brian Zabriskie, Art Swanson, Calvin Audis
Saxophone: Kim Richmond, Gary Anderson, Tony Vacca, Dave Russell, Paul Brewer
Piano: Khris Dodge, Angelo Versace
Bass: Selwyn Reams, Chris Finet
Drums: C.E. Askew, Kenny French
Guitar: Jack Petersen, Howard Alden, Mike Jaramillo
Vocals: Ronnie Rose
More about the musicians scheduled to perform at the 2023 Prescott Jazz Summit
Walt Johnson is well known for his work with Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Barry Manilow, Barbara Streisand, Lionel Richie, Toni Tennile, Wayne Newton, Johnny Mathis, Tower of Power, Lionel Hampton, Louis Bellson, Mel Torme, Tony Bennett, The Four Tops, The Temptations, and a host of others.
Albums he played on receiving Platinum and Gold recognition include Lionel Ritchie for “All Night Long”, Elvis Presley for “Elvis in Concert” and with Barry Manilow for “If I Should Love Again”.
Walt’s soundtrack work includes Aladdin, The River Wild, Ace Ventura, Rocky, Planes-Trains-Automobiles, Terms of Endearment, Star Trek, Star Wars, Close Encounters, 1941 and all of the Naked Gun pictures.
Michael “Gooch” Gurciullo started playing trumpet at 9 years old and started singing when he was in high school. His musical journey has
taken him from Australia to Europe and all over North America. He studied music at the University of North Texas, worked the Las Vegas Strip for 15 years, and played the lead/jazz trumpet chair for Wayne Newton for 6 years. He also formed the “Las Vegas Big Band” in 2004.
In 2008, Gooch returned to his hometown of Omaha, where he reassembled a Las Vegas Big Band with the finest players in that area. In 2016, Gooch joined the touring show, “Official Blues Brothers Revue,” a show written by Dan Aykroyd and Judy Belushi.
In November of 2019, Gooch relocated to Phoenix and quickly assimilated into the local jazz scene. Along with all his performances, education programs and shows around the country, Gooch still tours with the Official Blues Brothers Revue.
We are pleased to have the great Ronnie Rose return to the 22nd Jazz Summit. In addition to joining us since 2019, Ronnie Rose has performed at thousands of corporate and private functions, including for luminaries including former President George Bush, former First Lady Hillary Clinton, former Vice President Al Gore, and the Rev. Jesse Jackson.
He’s also performed in concert with The Beach Boys, Barry Manilow, Kool and the Gang and The Four Tops. A multi-year winner of the Las Vegas Black Music Awards for “Best Jazz Male Vocalist” and “Best Blues Male Vocalist,” he has performed at almost every major casino in Las Vegas.
In 2011, Ronnie received the Las Vegas Excellence in Entertainment Award for “Entertainer of the Year”. In 2012, he was inducted into the Las Vegas “Entertainers Hall of Fame.”
Louise Baranger was born in Hollywood, CA where she played with the bands of Harry James, Nelson Riddle, Bill Berry, Jack Wilson, and Ray Anthony and a host of others. Television credits include The World Music Awards, The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, Swing Time w/Barry Manilow, Dallas, Falcon Crest and The Flash. Louise has appeared in music videos with Joe Cocker and Bobby Womack.
Ronnie Rose was one of the most sought after wedding performers in the northeast until he headed to Las Vegas a few years ago. Now, Ronnie is a very welcome addition to many Las Vegas events, and a friend of many of the first call musicians on the strip. He is a returning vocalist from the 2019 Jazz Summit and we are thrilled to have him back. He is shown above performing with the Prescott Jazz Summit big band.
Kim Richmond (Los Angeles) Stan Kenton, Bob Florence, Airmen of Note in Washington, D.C. Kim has long been a first call studio musician for TV, Movies & Recordings.
Reed player Tony Vacca (Phoenix) is a local favorite who has played at the Prescott Jazz Summit numerous times. Tony has performed with Sammy Davis Jr., Tony Bennett, Doc Severinson, The Temptations and Richie Cole.
Mike Vax (Prescott) Mike has played in the big bands of Stan Kenton, Glenn Miller, Jimmy Dorsey and Harry James. He served in the US Navy Show Band and has also played with the Dukes of Dixieland in New Orleans. He leads the Stan Kenton Legacy Orchestra.
Howard Alden (Phoenix/New York) The Concord Jazz recording artist has performed with Dizzy Gillespie, Clark Terry, Scott Hamilton, Ken Peplowski and George Van Eps.
Brian Zabriskie (Prescott) is a veteran musical conductor for many major cruise ship lines.
Gary Anderson (Las Vegas) Played for Woody Herman and arranged a definitive version of Herman’s “Fanfare for the Common Man.” He is a veteran of numerous Las Vegas Show Bands and performs with the Stan Kenton Legacy Orchestra.
Kenny French (Phoenix) US Air Force Academy Falconaires Big Band, Cab Calloway Orchestra, Randy Brecker, Bobby Shew, Shirley Jones, Ernestine Anderson, Kirk Whalum and Frank Mantooth.
Bruce Gates (Phoenix) was Lead Trumpeter in the Airmen of Note (the U.S. Air Force Jazz Band) in Washington D.C.
Chris Finet (Flagstaff) Director of Jazz Studies at NAU, Flagstaff Symphony. Chris has performed with Doc Severinson, Roy Hargrove, Dave Douglas.
Paul Brewer (Phoenix) Paul is the Director of Jazz Studies at Mesa College. He has played with Doc Severinson, Michael Buble, Dianna Ross, Frankie Valli and the Temptations.
Selwyn Reams (Phoenix) is a first call bass player for many musical events in Phoenix, Sedona and Flagstaff and has played numerous times in Prescott.
C.E. Askew (Monticello, AR) Leader of the Airmen of Note in Washington DC for 20 years. Performed with Randy and Michael Brecker, Bill Watrous, Clark Terry, and Kevin Mahogany. Taught at The University of Arkansas – Monticello.
Dave Russell was for many years a fixture on the R+B scene in Phoenix, playing most notably with the popular singer “Small Paul” and with the group, “Cold Shot and the Hurricane Horns.” He lives in Prescott now and enjoys the wealth of fine musicians in the area. Dave has played the Jazz Summit regularly since 2001 and also plays with the Trailblazers Big Band at Yavapai College.
Trombonist Art Swanson was a member of the U.S. Navy Band in Washington, DC for 26 years, and a trombonist and soloist with numerous Navy bands. He also served as National Tour Director for its five performing units. As a freelance musician, Art also played with musicians from the National Symphony, the Baltimore Symphony, and the Fairfax Symphony. Since retiring to Kingman, Arizona, he has taught music on the Hualapai Reservation in Peach Springs, and also for the Mohave Community College. He currently conducts the Lake Havasu Regional Orchestra and the Mohave Community Orchestra.
Jack Petersen returns to the Prescott Jazz Summit after a year’s absence. Jack had an illustrious 45-plus years as an educator, composer, arranger and performer. He has continued to perform as a guest and clinician around the country and has played numerous times at the Prescott Jazz Summit.
He developed guitar programs at the Berklee School of Music and the University of Northern Florida. A short list of Jack’s affiliations include work with Dave Brubeck, Randy Brecker, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Buddy DeFranco, Herb Ellis, the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, Milt Hinton, Lena Horne, Stan Kenton, Peggy Lee, Michel Legrand, Henry Mancini, Lou Marini, Ellis Marsalis Jr., Rich Matteson, Matteson-Phillips Tubajazz Consort, Rufus Reid, Doc Severinsen, Billy Taylor, Clark Terry, and Nancy Wilson.
Phoenix-based trumpeter and music contractor Dave Coolidge has performed across Arizona and around the world. He spent more than a decade playing at Walt Disney World, and besides his jazz chops is known for his playing in orchestras and ensembles. He’s also skilled in Classical composition and music production.
Paul Brewer is the Director of Jazz Studies at Mesa College. Paul plays all saxophones in all styles and is an in-demand freelancer in the area. He has performed with artists/bands like Frankie Valli, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Idina Menzel, Gunhild Carling, Diana Ross, The Phoenix Symphony, Doc Severinsen and Michael Buble´, plus playing with Broadway touring shows. At Mesa College, Paul also teaches concert band and music history classes.
Trombonist Brian Zabriskie was a veteran musical conductor for many major cruise ship lines across two decades. He is featured regularly in and around Prescott in a variety of groups, including the Great American Jazz Band. He’s played in the Big Band at numerous Prescott Jazz Summit events and participates in the student clinics.
Bruce Gates musical career includes five years as lead and jazz trumpet with an Air Force regional band, followed by 15 years as lead trumpet with the world-renowned Airmen of Note in Washington, D.C. Bruce also released two critically acclaimed CDs on the Sea Breeze label with his own groups. Dedicated to music education, Bruce lives in the Phoenix area, where he is the adjunct trumpet instructor at Chandler/Gilbert Community College. He is a clinician, guest soloist, adjudicator and Yamaha Artist.
Calvin Audis is a bass trombonist, arranger, and teacher. Dr. Audis holds positions in the Prescott POPS Orchestra, the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra (sub), the Verde Valley Sinfonietta, and the Mike Vax All-Star Band. Audis also enjoys a busy freelance schedule around Northern Arizona and the Hub City. He served as the low brass instructor for Yavapai College from Fall 2016 through Spring 2018. Calvin has recently accepted the job as Band Director at Prescott High School, where he directs the concert band, marching band, jazz band, and orchestra.
Also featuring Rick Schmidt, guitar.