The players

John L. Price

With more than fifty years of performance experience under his belt, John Price is a Bay Area staple. He played the North Beach clubs, including the famous Hungry i and Ghirardelli Square's Sea Witch. He was also the musical director for the John Gary Show and has played for many musicals, including Company, Chorus Line, Evita and Chicago.

Rudy Salvini

Rudy Salvini formed his first big band in 1954 and recorded his first album in 1958. He also played the very first Monterey Jazz festival in 1958. He has since backed such luminaries as Mel Torme, Billy Eckstein, and Earl "Fatha" Hines. His was the first big band to play Stern Grove in 1966 alongside Vince Guaraldi, John Handy, and Turk Murphy.

Art Dougherty

As both a musician and music educator, Art Dougherty has led a double life. On the one hand, he spent twenty-four years as a teacher and administrator in the San Ramon Valley Unified School District in addition to teaching at Diablo Valley College, Chabot College, and Sonoma State University; on the other hand, as a master of the saxophone, clarinet, and flute, he has backed such greats as Sammy Davis Jr., Ella Fitzgerald, Mel Torme, Joe Williams, Nancy Wilson and Natalie Cole.

Dean Reilly

It's no wonder Dean Reilly followed a career in jazz; his father was the leader of a dance band in Washington state. Dean has worked with many legends, including Georgie Auld, Vince Guaraldi, George Barnes, Teddy Wilson, Earl Hines, Irene Kral and Cal Tjader. He recorded twelve albums with the Kingston Trio and played with the acclaimed swing jazz band Swing Fever for more than twenty years.

Mario Suraci

In addition to having performed in more than 20 broadway shows, Mario Suraci has recorded with Joe Pass, Art Pepper, Woody Herman, Maynard Ferguson and Hampton Hawes. He has played with many household names, including Morgana King, Frank Sinatra, Vic Damone, Eartha Kitt, James Moody, Benny Goodman, Louie Bellson, and John Faddis. He is also known as Bernadette Peters' favorite bassist.

Benny Barth

When Benny Barth appears at the fiftieth Monterey Jazz festival in September, 2007, he will be making his ninth appearance; his performed at the very first MJF in 1958. Born in Indianapolis, he made his way to the West coast as a member of The Mastersounds. He has recorded with Vince Guaraldi, Joe Venuti, Jimmy Witherspoon, Anita O’Day, Silvia Sims, Pearl Bailey, Bing Crosby, Peggy Lee, Gerry Mulligan, and many more.


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