Amber Navran ::: Vocals (guest artist)

Featured vocalist on Mike Lebrun's Going Through the Emotions off Shades!

Amber Navran is an instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, composer, educator, transcriptionist, and recording artist. She has been singing and playing saxophone, clarinet, and flute since middle school. Amber earned her Bachelor of Music from USC's jazz program in 2012, where she studied under jazz professionals Bob Mintzer, Bob Sheppard, Alan Pasqua, Aaron Serfaty, and Russel Ferrante.

As an educator Amber has been teaching music for eight years to students of all ages and loves being a part of their musical journey! She's taught privately, and in schools - coaching marching bands, directing jazz bands, leading sectionals, and teaching music theory classes. For more information about what and where Amber teaches, visit the "Music Lessons" tab.

Her biggest project is neo-soul trio Moonchild, comprised of Amber, Max Bryk, and Andris Mattson. Moonchild has opened for Stevie Wonder, Jose James, and Georgia Anne Muldrow, played shows around the country, released music videos, and received high praises from artists such as Jill Scott, Chris Dave, Robert Glasper, Tyler the Creator, DJ Jazzy Jeff, 9th Wonder, and James Poyser. They currently sell albums at record stores around the US and Japan, and have received airplay on BBC Radio 6 with Gilles Peterson, KCRW, and on Los Angeles’ own 102.3.

Amber recently recorded background vocals for Jill Scott's Lullaby album, and vocals/flute for Chris Dave's upcoming Drumheadz album.

As an writer, Amber has been commissioned to compose and arrange pieces for jazz orchestra for LA County High School of the Arts, and USC's Thornton jazz orchestra. She recently arranged pieces for guitarist Richard Smith's European Tour and recording sessiona. She's written horn parts for different pop/soul ensembles, arranged for marching band, transcribed pieces for jazz bands and soloists, and explored many facets of songwriting. Her songs have received radio play around the US and been placed in independent films.

Lastly, as a person who likes to make people dance, she runs a jazz trio and a wedding band that perform around LA. Both groups have an extensive repertoire of music for any occasion, but mostly it's all about having fun playing music, and sharing our love for playing with our listeners.

Anna Butterss ::: bass

Upright playing phenom on Mike Lebrun's Shades!

Anna Butterss hails from Adelaide, Australia, emigrating to the United States to pursue graduate studies in jazz bass at Indiana University. Upon receiving her Master’s degree at IU, Anna moved west to Los Angeles, where she has become a staple in the burgeoning youth movement in jazz. Anna can be heard in many creative jazz and rock bands, including Snow Nerds and Serotonin, and she performs regularly with a healthy mix of established artists and provocative newcomers, including Jeff Parker, Jay Bellarose, Dan Rosenbloom, Matt Mayhall, Gregory Uhlmann, Josh Johnson, Christian Euman, Daniel Rotem, Josh Nelson, Dan Schnelle, Ted Case, and Ethan Sherman.

Daniel Szabo ::: piano

Daniel tickles the ivories on Mike Lebrun's Shades

Daniel Szabo is an award-winning performer-composer-educator. He grew up in the culturally stimulating environment of Eastern-Europe where his artistic path had been shaped by the amalgam of a wide-spectrum of music influences, such as classical, jazz and several folk idioms. He is a prolific recording artist and producer and the winner of the International Martial Solal Jazz Competition (“Grand Prize of the City of Paris”) as well as the Montreux Jazz Piano Solo Contest.

Szabo and his trio were featured in “Mellon Jazz Up Close”, a prestigious jazz series hosted by Danilo Perez (Wayne Shorter Quartet) at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, and he has toured worldwide in such venues as the Jazz Gallery in NYC, the Blue Note Milan, Duc des Lombards of Paris or the Blue Whale and Catalina Jazz Club in Los Angeles, among others.

Szabo has recorded and/or performed with Peter Erskine, Chris Potter, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Bob Sheppard, Jimmy Haslip, Lionel Loueke, John Zorn, John Ellis, Rosario Giuliani, Julian Siegel, Flavio Boltro, among many others. His albums have been highly praised by such prestigious jazz magazines as Downbeat, All About Jazz, Modern Drummer or New York City Jazz Records.

Efa Etoroma, Jr. ::: drums

Efa lays down the groove on Zephyr Avalon's album

Efa Etoroma, Jr. is a Los Angeles-based professional drummer, producer, and educator who is known for his stylistic versatility, expressive creativity, and his deep musical instincts. He performs and/or records with a variety of artists including Sensae, Common Souls, BRNSTRM, and Moonchild. In addition, Efa Jr. serves on both the Drum set and DJ Performance and Production faculty at the Musician’s Institute in Hollywood, California, and teaches songwriting and music production for Citystage LA. He is also a guest teaching artist and columnist for online music education website Soundfly. Efa Jr uses Yamaha Drums, Paiste Cymbals, Promark Sticks, Humes and Berg Cases, and Remo Drumheads exclusively.

Genevieve Artadi ::: vocals

Genevieve is a featured vocalist on Zephyr Avalon's "Future Tears, Former Fears"

Genevive is one half of the duo KNOWER and talented solo artist. Check out a recent video of hers, which also features saxophonist David Binney.

Harry Mack ::: rapper

Harry raps on the opening cut to Zephyr Avalon's album

Harry is a rapper, beatmaker, and drummer out of Los Angeles. His freestyle rhymes blow minds.

Jacob Mann ::: keys

Jacob plays keys on Zephyr Avalon's album

As a keyboardist and composer, Jacob is a sought-after and typically hilarious force in the Los Angeles creative music scene. His recently-released big band album is amazing:

Jonah Levine ::: trombone

Jonah rocks the bone on Zephyr Avalon's album

Jonah's new album, Attention Deficit, is incredible. Here's a cut:

Josh Johnson ::: alto sax

Josh wields his alto wizardry on Mike Lebrun's Shades!

Josh Johnson is an alto and soprano saxophonist and composer recognized for his unique sound and captivating approach to improvisation. He has performed with Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Lalah Hathaway, Robert Hurst, Esperanza Spalding and Aretha Franklin.

Growing up near Chicago and returning there after college, Josh became a key part of the scene, frequently performing with Chicago luminaries Jeff Parker and Marquis Hill. During his time in Chicago Josh was awarded 1st place in the Civic and Arts Foundation's Jazz Composition Competition for his composition "Comrade Napoleon", as well as 2nd place honors in the Foundation’s Improvisation Competition.

In 2012 Josh relocated to Los Angeles as one of seven musicians selected to participate in the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance. During his tenure at the Monk Institute, Josh worked with Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter and Billy Childs, and performed in Sweden, Israel and Mexico. Josh also performed at UNESCO’s International Jazz Day celebrations in Istanbul and Osaka. A recipient of a 2015 ASCAP Young Jazz Composer award for his composition "Remember Forgot", he co-leads the fearless collective Holophonor, who recently released their self-titled debut album. Josh is one of the co-founders of the genre-defying ensemble Snaarj, whose latest release “Levels” was described as “a substantial work full of deep textures, deft musicianship and expertly crafted compositions” (Kyle Long, NUVO).

Josh is currently based in Los Angeles, where he leads his own band and frequently performs with various musicians including Mark De Clive-Lowe, Jeff Parker, Josh Nelson and Miro Sprague.

Kevin Van Den Elzen ::: drums

Kevin is the drummer on Mike Lebrun's Shades

Kevin van den Elzen is a young, talented jazz-drummer from the Netherlands who currently resides and studies in Los Angeles.

He has worked with the likes of Dick Oatts, Bob Mintzer, John Clayton, James Carter, Jasper Blom, Bill Cunliffe, Gary Smulyan, Paquito d’Rivera, Rick Rosato, Doug Webb, Jesse van Ruller, Zack Lober, Jay Anderson, Ben van Gelder, Greetje Kauffeld, Ack van Rooyen, Theo Loevendie, Fay Claassen, Jean – Paul Estienevart, Simon Rigter, Shirma Rouse, Benjamin Herman, Steven Delannoye, Rik Mol, Marco Tamburini and many others. He worked with big bands such as the Ron King Big Band, Bill Holman Big Band, Brussels Jazz Orchestra, Bravo Big Band (Belgium), Late Night Jazz Orchestra (LA), the Holland Big Band, Millennium Jazz Orchestra, Dual City Concert Band and the JazzArt Orchestra.

Mike Lebrun ::: Woodwinds, Composition, etc.

Shades: Now available!

A semi-finalist in the 2013 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition and featured soloist on Michael Buble’s 2016 release Nobody But Me, Mike has emerged as a leading up-and-coming voice in jazz today. Releasing 2 studio albums of original compositions with co-leader Josh Moshier, Mike’s groups have been featured on NPR’s nationally syndicated program Jazz Set. The group has toured throughout the U.S. and South America showcasing their talents. Mike’s composition Jambo won the 2008 International Jazz Composers Symposium’s Best Small Group Composition award. He has been a featured artist with pop & Motown icons including The Temptations and Guster. Mike’s latest project, the Drive Trio, features Grammy award winning bassist Clark Sommers and Jon Deitemyer. He also leads a jazz quartet and is a member of numerous R&B, soul, funk, and jazz bands in the Chicago area.

Mike also has 10 years of experience working in the software industry.

Mike received his B.M. in Jazz Studies and Economics from Northwestern University in 2007, where he studied with saxophone under Frederick L. Hemke and John Wojciechowski, and his M.B.A. from the JL Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in 2014.

Mike is the founder of Beakerbox Records.

Nick Mancini ::: vibraphone

Nick plays vibes throughout Mike Lebrun's Shades

Vibraphonist and composer NICK MANCINI began his professional career as a drummer, at the age of 15. His undergrad studies earned him degrees from Schenectady County Community College and The Crane School of Music at Potsdam. He moved to NYC and graduated from Manhattan School of Music with a masters degree in jazz performance; a recipient of the President's Award scholarship. After 10 years of honing his art as a performing and recording musician in NYC, he relocated to Los Angeles. He has performed and recorded with such diverse luminaries as Arturo Sandoval, Charles Fambrough, Harvey Mason, Marvin “Smitty” Smith, Peter Erskine, Poncho Sanchez, Kenny Werner, New York Voices and Jennifer Holliday to name a few; and at notable venues such as The World Famous Apollo Theater; Showtime at the Apollo, Birdland NYC, the Aspen Music Festival, Fasching Jazz Club (Stockholm), Ford Amphitheater, Angel City Jazz Festival, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Catalina Jazz Club, The Blue Whale, Vibrato, Zipper Hall, Vitello's and virtually every jazz venue in Los Angeles.

In the summer of 2011, Mancini was celebrated as the Honoree at the 18th annual Jazz Vibes Summit in Los Angeles and was invited to join the faculty at California State University at Northridge (CSUN) and Long Beach, Bob Cole Conservatory (CSULB). Earlier that same year his face graced the cover of the popular arts magazine, Ventana Monthly. From 2011-2012 Nick served on faculty of the Thelonious Monk Institute. He is on the cutting edge of the creative music scene in LA. In addition to a busy performing and recording career, Mancini also curates a semi-annual performance series called "elastic hour," which features many of LA's most prominent performing ensembles and garnered honorable reviews by the LA Weekly. In the realm of production, he has arranged and overseen the production of multiple Jazz vocal records and boasts seven independently released records under his own name; "storyteller" and "West Coast Cool" in 2013 alone, around the same time as he signed endorsement contracts with Majestic vibes and Innovative Percussion mallets.

Check out Nick slaying it with the brilliant Miguel Atwood-Ferguson Ensemble:

Zephyr Avalon ::: Bass, Composition

Debut album now available!

Zephyr Avalon is a bassist and composer based in Los Angeles, CA. Amidst a multitude of solo and collaborative projects, Zephyr is known as a reliable sideman on upright, electric and synth bass, at home playing jazz, pop, R&B, and everything between. Avalon has performed with an array of Los Angeles-based artists, including legendary saxophonist Bennie Maupin (Headhunters, Lee Morgan) and trumpeter Bobby Bradford (Ornette Coleman). Additionally, Zephyr recently performed at Java Jazz Festival in Jakarta, Indonesia, where he shared the stage with renowned vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater and trumpeter Arturo Sandoval.

Zephyr studied classical bass with Barry Green as an undergraduate at Univ. of California, Santa Cruz, and with Darek 'Oles' Oleszkiewicz and Alphonso Johnson at California Inst. of the Arts, where he received his MFA in Jazz Studies.

Zephyr's self-titled debut album was released September 18, 2017.