Featuring the Area’s Most Accomplished Musicians
Deborah Stafford – Vocals
One of the most versatile and accomplished singers around, Deborah keeps busy having fun and making great music, singing jazz standards with her quintet, blues and soul with her blues band, and big band swing with the Flatirons Jazz Orchestra.
Deborah has been singing all her life, starting out in choirs and musical theater, studying Vocal Performance at CU Boulder, then joining a big band where she started her career in Jazz, Blues and Swing. She has always had a talent for making a song memorable, and she does it with the FJO!
Stephen Angus – 1st Alto, Soprano & Tenor Sax, Clairnet, Flute
Stephen Angus has been in the entertainment industry for 45 years. His father was a drummer with the 12th Army Band and performed on the Ed Sullivan show. Stephen met Larry Teal and studied classical saxophone with his students through high school. He attended Western Michigan University on full scholarship for 1 year as a Music Performance major; then Michigan State University (studying with James Forger; Joe Luloff) for 4 more.
After discovering rock ’n roll as sax man for the East Lansing band, Let’s Talk About Girls, Stephen dropped the sax completely and went to grad school for acting in Chicago. 30 yrs. and 3 major cities later, he picked up a bari sax for the 2006 indie film “The Choice” in which he starred as an ex-pat jazz musician with Blue Note artist Patricia Barber. Currently, he’s the multi-sax sideman for Tim Hill (Americana); tenor sax with Gora Gora Orkestar (Balkan/2nd line brass band); and Lead Alto for the FJO.
Patty Shaw – Alto Saxophone
Patty began her musical at the age of 8 and has enjoyed a successful musical career since. She attended The University Of Colorado At Boulder in music performance and education. She has played with many swing and jazz bands in the Denver area and plays presently with “The Coyote Poets Of The Universe.” She has done special shows with tap dancer Arthur Duncan on The Lawrence Welk Show, played on several jazz cruises, and had the opportunity to play with Lou Donaldson and Rufus Reed while on ship.
She also plays flute, clarinet and guitar.
Dave Gribble – Tenor Sax
Dave got his start in the early 90s playing lead alto sax in several jazz and classical ensembles throughout the Pittsburgh area, where he studied with renowned saxophone and flute master, Eric Defade.
He went on to double major in physics and music at Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio, where he studied sax, flute and clarinet with local woodwind legend Harold “Hap” Ashenfelter.
He was the lead alto player for the Witt Jazz Ensemble and was twice selected for the Ohio Private College Instrumental Conductors Association Honors Jazz Band.
Doug Rasmussen – Tenor and Alto Saxophones, Clarinet, Arranger
Raised in La Crosse WI, Doug graduated with a degree in Saxophone Performance from the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire. He spent the 80’s in Seattle as a member of the Fred Radke Orchestra, and played with Gladys Knight and the Pips, the Four Tops, the Temptations and many of the swing era greats including Steve Allen, Helen Forest, Frankie Lane and Frank Sinatra Jr. He was a founding member of the Jazz Police Big Band with whom he recorded two CD’s and wrote many of the charts they played and recorded. In 2008 he formed the ACME Jazz Company big band, committed to playing original tunes. Now in Colorado, Doug is very excited to be part of the Flatirons Jazz Orchestra.
Tom Henderson – Baritone Saxophone
Tom has been playing saxophones since the late 80’s in a variety of jazz, blues, funk, and classical bands, combos, and pit orchestras.
His big band journey began in high school and continued through several bands in Southern California and Colorado culminating in his current role in the FJO. It is truly a pleasure to play with this group of real pros.
Ryan Cavis – Trumpet
In the cold northlands of Minnesota, Ryan got an early start playing trumpet in jazz, orchestra and polka groups around the Twin Cities. He attended the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire, and received a Bachelors in Music studying under Robert Baca. He went on to get a Masters in Music Performance from the University of Illinois, studying trumpet with Dr. Michael Ewald and Ronald Romm.
Ryan has performed with ensembles large and small throughout the Midwest. He now lives in the mountains and plays with many jazz groups in the northern front range.
Randy Miotke – Trumpet
The son of a big band musician, Randy was playing music with his father at a very early age. He studied trumpet at Colorado State University with Dr. Jacob Larson and Recording Engineering with Rich Pierceall at Paragon Sound.
Since the mid-seventies, Randy has performed with a number of show, rock and jazz acts. He was the proprietor of Eye in the Sky Sound for eighteen years, and has worked on numerous album and film projects. Randy is thrilled to be part of the Flatirons Jazz Orchestra and can also be heard performing with Biota, an avant-rock musical collective, The Backline, and the Joe Cool Band.
Adisa Nickerson- Trumpet
Adisa received a scholarship to study music at Clark Atlanta University where he performed with the Clark Atlanta University Jazz Orchestra under the direction of James Patterson. During that time he also studied under and performed with John Head, principal trumpeter for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Adisa toured Europe twice under the direction of Mr. Patterson, performing at The Montreux Jazz Festival, The North Sea Jazz Festival, Jazz Vienne, and Euro Disney. Under Mr. Patterson’s leadership he has shared the stage with and played behind Ernestine Anderson, Barbara Morrison, James Moody, Lou Rawls, Jeffrey Osbourne, Wynton Marsalis, Branford Marsalis, Roberta Flack, Nancy Wilson, Natalie Cole, and Regina Carter. In addition, he has performed as an opening act for The Wynton Marsalis Septet, James Moody, Kirk Whalum, and many others.
Brad Thompson – Trumpet
Growing up in Iowa, Brad was a lead trumpet player in the Marshalltown Jazz Band, which was always one of the top three in the state. At the University of Iowa he continued his musical exploits for a couple of more years in their jazz bands.
After taking a few years off, he has knocked the dust off of his horn and now has more time to dedicate to his musical pursuits. Brad feels it’s a privilege to be connected to, and blowing his horn again, with the FJO!
Rudy Pucel – Trumpet
John Giordanengo – Trombone
John has performed jazz, salsa, funk, blues, and ska for more than 30 years, with dozens of bands in Colorado and California, including tours across California, Colorado, Brittsh Columbia, Mexico, and Taiwan.
John has shared stages with members of the Subdudes, Johnny Hickman of Cracker, Lyz Barnes, Jeff Chimenti, and Ed Shaughnessy, and he has warmed up stages for Gwen Stefani, Trombone Shorty, Marcia Ball, The English Beat, Toots and the Maytals, and many others. But nothing beats sharing the stage with a great group of local musicians: Phuong Nguyen, Greta Cornett, Dave Lunn, Sam Caston, and so many others across Colorado.
Tom Soto – Trombone
James Griffis – Trombone
Jim Griffis, Trombonist, Arranger, Music Educator, grew up in NY’s Catskill Mountain Region.
Jim attended Boston’s Berklee College of Music performing with a variety of Jazz Ensembles, Big Bands, Phil Wilson’s International Dues Band and the Back Bay Bones. Mr. Griffis attended Graduate School at the University of Colorado. Since living on the Front Range Jim has performed with a variety of academic ensembles, community ensembles, and churches throughout the metro Denver region. He has been a full time public school band director in the Boulder Valley since 1997.
Zach Garcia – Bass Trombone
Growing up in Longmont, Colorado, Zach started playing the tuba in the 6th grade and later picked up the trombone to play in his school jazz band. He attended Colorado State University in Fort Collins and received bachelor degrees in Music Education and Music Performance, with a certification to teach K-12 in music.
Zach is now teaching high school band and choir at Pinnacle Charter High School in Federal Heights. Zach teaches music to many students in the St. Vrain Valley School District and actively performs in many Colorado based groups, including the Longmont Concert Band, Wither Without Orchestra, Longmont Theater Company, Too Many Trombones, and the Longmont Chorale.
Jim Lichens – Guitar
Jim started playing guitar in 1950, at the age of 7. In 1962, he played jazz guitar in the San Jose area, and went on to play for two at the Taj Hotel in India for two years, then to study jazz guitar with Dennis Sandole in Philadelphia. Then on to playing rock ‘n roll, and country bars in northern California….the “old guy” keeps on pickin’
David James – Bass
David’s bio goes here.
Chase Norris – Piano
Raised in Louisville Colorado, Chase has lived a life of music, playing 10 instruments, performing in orchestras, bands, jazz quintets, for choirs, and ballets. He’s been teaching classical and jazz piano since 1998, and started Piano Tuning and Repair in 2005.
At age 15, Chase started private study with the Jazz department at C.U. and started teaching beginner students around the same time. Currently, Chase teaches 30 students a week of all ages and all levels. He brings the “Basie touch” to the band.
Orvel Ray “Sticks” Wilson – drumkit
Orvel Ray has been playing drums since elementary school, and that was a long time ago. He’s played country, bluegrass, rock, blues, R&B, Latin, Salsa and Brazilian music, and jazz ranging from small combos to big band.
He performs regularly with FJO at all the dance venues in the Front Range, including the Avalon Ballroom in Boulder, the Dickens Opera House in Longmont, the Caribou Room in Nederland, the Buffalo Rose in Golden, and the Mercury Cafe in Denver. He has several CDs to his credit, and runs a recording studio in the mountains west of Boulder.
Book the Flatirons Jazz Orchestra for your next event: 800-247-9145