Jim Stewart, Guitar / Soloist
Residence: Timonium, MD
Occupation: Electronic Technican Baltimore County Public Schools
Music Influences: Joe Pass, Wes Montgomery, Lee Ritemaur, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Eric Chapton, Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, Bill Evans, Chic Corea, Stanley Clarke, Pat Martino & Al DiMeola.
Anncdotes: I also have my own jazz trio that plays around the Baltimore Area, called the "Jim Stewart Jazz Trio". I found a "Long Lost" sister playing music on the road. It was quite experience for me, a very spiritual experience to say the least. Playing music has always had a special meaning to me, after that experience, life can be quite a journey, imagine the odds of that occuring.
Michael Allman, Pianist / Keyboard / Soloist
Residence: Timonium, MD
Instruments: Keyboards, Trombone
Occupation: Retired music teacher
Musical Influences - Father, Don Arnold, and Tom Hall
Anncedotes: Mike Allman grew up in a musical home. His father, Neale Allman, was a band director in Baltimore County and church choir director. Dad let Mike use his piano lesson skills to escape sermons to play for Sunday School worship and for family weddings. Supportive family members often asked about the injuries to Mike's hands. Mike attended Deep Creek Jr Sr High School where his dad taught. Mike's trombone adventures began when his dad handed him a beat up horn and a book and said, "Learn to play this. There are enough clarinets." Optional (for other students) after school music groups included Dixieland Jazz Ensemble, Tijuana Brass Ensemble, String Ensemble, and Big Band Jazz Ensemble. Mike's high school band director, Don Arnold, further enabled Mike's trombone habit, sending him to a summer arts camp to play in the jazz band. They hired him later to work as a music counselor and teaching assistant for 11 summers. Mike taught elementary vocal music in Baltimore County Schools for thirty five years, conducting the annual All County Recorder Ensemble 17 times. This explains many of his hearing issues and fear of high pitches. During the last 29 years of teaching Mike sang with Baltimore Choral Arts under Tom Hall with such artists as PDQ Bach, the King's Singers, the Kennedy Center Orchestra, and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Mike also worked during those years for the Children's Chorus of Maryland, and as a church choir director and music worship leader. Since retiring in 2014 Mike retrieved his trombones from mothballs, and found his way into the Loch Raven Brass Quintet, the Chesapeake Concert Band, the Ellicott City Trombone Choir, some orchestra playing, a bunch of shows, and eight area swing bands including RJE where he served as a trombone substitute and recently became the piano player.
Robert DeLisle, Bass
Residence: Parkville, MD
Occupation: President of Island Financial Services, Inc.
Insurance and Investments Employee Benefits and Certified Financial Planner.
Musical Influences - Puccini, Sebellius, Rachmaninov, Ravel, Moussoursky, Joel, John, McCartney, Sinatra, Bernstein, Paul Simon, Gershwin, Cole Porter, Sondheim,
Lucy Simon, Ives, Benny Goodman, Irving Berlin, Manilow, Manhattan Transfer, and many others.
John Kessell, Drums
Residence: Lutherville, MD
Instruments: Drums, Latin Percussion, Musical Theater percussion
Occupation: Advertising Creative Director, writer, photographer, videographer, Art director, webmaster…
Music Influences: Thomas “Fats” Waller, Sid Catlett, Chick Webb, Gene Krupa, Buddy Rich, John Von Ohlen, Max Roach, Art Blakey, Mel Lewis, Sonny Payne, Lenny White, Jack DeJohnnette, Joseph “Zigaboo” Modeliste, Levon Helm, Ringo Starr, Ginger Baker, Mitch Michell, Airto Moreira, Steve Gadd, Dennis Chambers, David Garibaldi, Richie Hayward, Alphonse Mouzon, Tony Williams, Elvin Jones, Billy Cobham, Roy Haynes, Joe Morello, Ramon Lopez, Don Ellis, Stan Kenton, Woody Herman, Thad Jones, Sammy Nestico, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Gordon Goodwin (you get the idea) Hendrix, Clapton, Janis, Ray Charles, The Funk Brothers, Stevie Wonder, BB King, Eric Clapton, John “Mahavishnu” McLaughlin, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong, Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman, Hank Levy, Mozart, Bach, Mendelssohn, John Cage, Harry Parch, Bill Parsons, Larry Green, Bob Youngquist, Ashton Fletcher, Bruce Eicher, Robert Cantrell . . .
John plays in several band about the Baltimore area: Powerhouse, with Ashton Fletcher (John is assistant conductor), Chess Kellam (John sits in on rehearsals), The Blues in the Night Orchestra (rehearsals), JoyRide (10-piece soul band), guest artist with Columbia Jazz Band, Silverback jazz, Zen Czars, and musical theater with Edgewood High School, Winter’s Lane, Red Branch Theater, Cockpit in Court. Credits: Dreamgirls, Aida, Hairspray, Smokey Joe’s Cafe, High School Musical, Seusical Musical . . . He is the director of the Handbells of Grace, Grace Methodist Church, Baltimore, MD. Founding Member of “Jam with Friends” at the 207 in Washington, Iowa.
Other music background: Music major, University of Iowa, studies with Tom Davis. Montreaux Jazz Festival 1972 with Washington High School Jazz Band, Washington, Iowa under the direction of Lawrence Green. Stan Kenton Band in Residence clinics 1972 and 1974. Studied with John Von Ohlen, Ramon Lopez, Peter Erskine, Hank Levy, Leon Breedon. Clinics with Chick Corea, Lenny White, Benny Goodman, Bobby Rosengarden, Slam Stuart. Competition clinics with Clark Terry, Arnie Lawrence, Mike Vax. Shook hands with Buddy Rich after watching him from a vantage point of 20 feet for 3 hours. Clinic with Joe Morello at about the same distance. Saw Max Roach live in Chicago when I was 17.
John says, “I love playing with the Reisterstown Jazz Ensemble because we are all in it to make music at the highest level, keep the art form alive, and reach people with the universal language. We are a brotherhood with a community spirit and a common love for this music.”