Rick Kitaeff – Piano
RICK KITAEFF has played jazz piano for 45 years, studying with George Cables and Hal Galper and in the well-known jazz program of the Berklee School of Music. He has performed in the United States, Canada, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, Norway, Nepal, and Japan. The record, Pacific Rim, co-produced by the Canadian and Japanese national broadcasting networks, bringing together Japanese and North American jazz groups, included his original compositions and performances by his group, Electric Ninja.
Peter Noy – Alto Sax
Born in Orillia, Ontario, Peter has always loved music. From a diverse
background stretching from singing in bands and musicals to playing
Irish flute he has been solely devoted to jazz since 1989. In Toronto
until '99, he studied with Jane Fair and Kirk MacDonald, two of Canada's best sax players. Peter is a flutemaker when he isn't making music which is perhaps why his lyrical phrasing comes from coaxing the genie out of the material of the instrument itself.
Marvin Hoffert – Tenor Sax
Marvin Hoffert arrived in Seattle and entered the Pacific Northwest jazz scene 9 years ago. It’s hard to say why the other members of Northwest Quintessence put up with him. Perhaps it is because he is a student of Denney Goodhew, or because of his interesting improvisational lines or because of his friendly attitude. Whatever it is, it works, so what the heck.
Charles L. Jackson (Pop J.) - Guitar
Pop J. is one of the originals. He studied jazz guitar way back when with Al Turay and with Lonnie Martin. He has been a fixture of the Seattle jazz scene since (except for the 10 years he took off to umpire baseball). Over the years he has played with Jose Brazil's Big Band, Major Piggford's Big Band, Hilary Preston's group, Lynn Davis' group, the Emerald City Jazz Ensemble, his own trio, and, of course, us. Just listen to him play, and you can hear the history of Seattle Jazz come alive!
Benni Sack - Vocals
Benni Sack brings her experience from many different styles of music forward in her work with Jazz Quintessence. A native of Central Illinois, Benni got her start singing with her church choir, and has performed in rock and punk before moving towards the fine art of jazz.
Idolizing greats like Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Etta Jones and others, Benni pools her personal resources with the voices of the past to create her own unique sound. She lives in Seattle with her husband and two dogs.