Mark Noethen piano and vocals, Originally from Scottsdale he studied jazz piano from 1971 to 1976 with the great Bob Ravenscroft, and in Tucson performed with the University of Arizona Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Jeff Haskell from 1976 to 1980. While a graduate student at the University of Rochester he also performed with the Eastman School of Music Jazz Lab Band before returning to Tucson in 1995. In addition, He occasionally performs in the North Texas hotbed of jazz with the Texins Big Band (formerly Texas Instruments Big Band directed by Kris Berg) directed by Bill Centera backing such guest artists as John Pizzarelli, Eric Marienthal, Delfeayo Marsalis, Tom "Bones" Malone, Chris Vadala, Veronica Swift, Sal Lozano, Sean Jones, James Morrison, and Alexis Cole and in venues such as Dallas' Meyerson Symphony Center, The Eisemann Center for the Performing Arts, and McKinney Performing Arts Center. He leads his own groups in various local venues and has annual Fat Tuesday and Holiday Music concerts. Mark performs all styles of music and has led NBJ for many years.
Cass Preston (1929-2023) trumpet and vocals, A Tucson music icon and lifetime Tucsonan, Cass performed locally for decades with almost everyone that has played jazz, swing, blues, or dance music in Tucson. He was known for his signature trumpet and vocal styles, and unique repertoire. He was honored as the first recipient of the Tucson Jazz Society's Lifetime Achievement Award. He has been covered many times in the local media including the highlighted artist (with Mark Noethen, Gil Rodriguez, and Marco Rosano) of "The Set List" , one of Pima Community College's Television Series highlighting local bands, airing frequently. His life story is part of the University of Arizona Library Oral Histories Project. It has been our honor, good luck, and joy to be able to have performed with Cass for over 20 years. He was unique, irreplaceable, and "Unforgettable" !
Gil Rodriguez , drums, Raised in Manhattan, Gil performed on drums at the legendary Apollo Theater at age fifteen. He played with the Monuments, Body and Soul, and several other bands in the New York scene. Gil moved to Tucson in 1978 and has performed with many Tucson jazz, blues, and pop artists including the Tucson Latin Jazz Orchestra, Larry Redhouse, Sam Taylor, John Ronstadt, and has been a member of NBJ for many years.
Lanny Webb, bass, holds a B.A. in Music Education from the University of Arizona and has performed with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, was lead trombone in many Las Vegas hotels and shows such as the Stardust, Ceasars Palace, and Sahara among others. He has played for stars such as Lou Rawls, the Temptations, Vicki Carr, Sammy Davis Jr. , Rosemary Clooney, and Robert Goulet. He performs regularly on both bass, and trombone with Big Band Express, Arts Express Orchestra, and many others.
Paul Daniel, drums, A Southern Cal native, Paul developed his playing skills in the L A studios with artists Steven Crane and Steve Bartek, with groups Rosewood Sky and Bruiser, with producers L. Williamson and D.J. Rodgers. Throughout the 80's and 90's live dates followed, including many L A and Las Vegas show performances. An early 2000's move from L.A. to Tucson proved fruitful melding with the likes of George Howard,and with the Bill Martin Trio.