The Quadraphonnes, a saxophone quartet based in Portland, Oregon, perform a blend of standard and modern jazz, classical- ranging from the baroque to contemporary, and up-and-coming arrangements of modern rock/pop/funk songs. Currently they perform in clubs around Portland, as well as presenting educational concerts in local schools. The Quadraphonnes have been featured by many local jazz communities including 89.1 KMHD's "Homegrown Live" radio show, 90.7 KBOO's "Women in Jazz" show, The Mt Hood Jazz Festival, The Portland Jazz Festival as well as features in the Oregonian. More than ever, you will also hear the Quadraphonnes with rhythm section. Leah Hinchcliffe on bass, and Brandy Kheen on drums, perform for the more "funky" nights. All four members have their degrees in music and perform and teach regularly in the Portland area.
MIEKE BRUGGEMAN-SMITH- Baritone Sax:
I hail from Redlands, CA and began my musical journey as a wee one on the piano. Later, my mom dragged out her old flute, and I tried that for several years. Then came the fateful day in junior high, when my sister brought home an old saxophone. She let me honk on it and I quickly fell in love. Although heavily involved in music throughout junior high and high school, it wasn’t until college that I began to really discover my passion for all things saxophone. At Northern Arizona University I studied under saxophone instructor Wildy Zumwalt, jazz director Joel DiBartolo, and wind ensemble director Patricia Hoy.
I graduated from NAU with a B.A. in music performance and education. After finishing up student teaching in Pittsburgh PA, I served a four-year stint as a musician with the U.S. Air Force. I started at the USAF Band of Flight in Dayton, OH and finished at the Band of the Golden West in Fairfield, CA. In the Air Force, I had the opportunity to perform with various guest artists such as The Miracles, 4 time Grammy nominee saxophonist Greg Abate, John Phillip Sousa aficionado Ken Brion, jazz trumpeter Al Vizutti, Grammy nominated pop/gospel singer Susan Ashton, and Greg Yasininsky. I also had the honor of performing George Roumanis’ American Ode as a featured soloist on tour as well as on the 2002 CD release First Flight.
After a two-year hiatus to explore other interests, I found my way to Portland. Currently, I play in the Cuban groups Melao De Cana and Cubaneo, in the evolutionary chamber group The Music Population Orchestra, in the all-female saxophone quartet The Quadraphonnes, and in The PDX Quartet
Music has become for me the one outlet that (as my favorite author Tom Robbins might say) “keeps the oxygen from leaking out of my life”.
MARY SUE TOBIN- Sop/Alto Sax:
Mary-Sue Tobin received a Masters of Music in Saxophone Performance and a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies from Portland State University where she served as the graduate teaching assistant for the jazz studies department. She has played and studied with many of the Portland jazz luminaries (including: Glen Moore, Darrell Grant, Thara Memory, Alan Jones, Rob Scheps and many others) in addition to leading her own groups. Current performing ensembles include: Andrew Oliver Sextet, Paxselin Quartet, People's Music Orchestra, Quadraphonnes, Portland Saxophone Quartet, Swamp Cactus, Madame X, The Groove, Never Say Never and The Portland Jazz Orchestra. She performs regularly with The Oregon Symphony Pops (Pointer Sisters, Johnny Mathis) and has appeared at numerous Jazz Festivals (including The Portland Jazz Festival, The Mount Hood Jazz Festival, The Vancouver Wine and Cheese Jazz Festival, The Banff International Jazz Festival) and has shared the stage with international jazz and R&B stars such as Dave Douglas, The Temptations, James Moody and Esperanza Spalding. She appears in the movie "Hear No Evil" with the group Dub Squad and has toured internationally with the groups Flatland and Dub Squad, opening up for legends like Herbie Hancock, Steel Pulse and Third World. She has recorded with numerous Regional and International artists and continues to lead her own projects when time allows. She and her family live in Portland, OR where she teaches, records and performs professionally.
MICHELLE MEDLER- Tenor Sax:
Michelle Medler is a multi-instrumentalist and music educator from the Pacific Northwest, USA. She has a Jazz & funk quartet, MMQ, that has performed at area Jazz Festivals & clubs, Their CD, Michelle Medler Quartet - Balance, was released in 2006 on the indie label, Shoo-wah Records.
She is currently a member of the Quadraphonnes, Alex's Body & Soul. A horn powered funk & r'n'b band, Lily Wilde’s Orchestra, Medler Quintet & Sextet, a frequent guest artist with Cubaneo & Porkpie. Michelle is the co-director of the Portland Youth Jazz Orchestra and has had a private lesson studio since 1995. She is a clinician to area high school Jazz bands and an adjudicator for area solo/ensemble contests.
She grew up in the Jazz and Blues Communities of Portland, OR and Seattle, WA. As a teen, she played at Portland’s Ron Steen jam sessions, hit Seattle’s Blues scene with Sweet talkin’ Jones and the Muscletones, and attended years of Mel Brown and Bud Shank Jazz Workshops.† She also took classical music very seriously, playing in the Chamber Music Society of Oregon’s Orchestras from age 13, state solo contest at age 16, and participating in the excellent school band and choir programs in her area.
Michelle graduated from Portland State University with a Bachelors of Music, Jazz Emphasis. Simultaneously to college she was an artist in residence at Portland, Oregon’s Wilson High school where she and her husband, Ben Medler, lead an innovative and award winning Jazz band program. After college, the Medlers founded the Portland Youth Jazz Orchestra (PYJO), giving area middle and high school music students a place to grow and study Jazz.
She has studied with: Bob Mover, Kim Richmond, Jeff Clayton, Don Lanphere, Scott Hall, Rob Scheps, Darrell Grant, Charley Gray, Jeff Homan, Gary Harris, Dan Schauffler, Tessa Brinkman, Richard Boberg and others.
Michell has also played with Pete Petersen Big Band, Big Fish, Scott Wyatt, Shireen, Lb4lb, The Jesters, Metro, Big Bamboo, Eclectifunk, Bill Hagen, Mckinley, and others. Worked under the direction of Norman Layden & Dr. William Tuttle. She has shared the stage with The Rebirth Brass Band from New Orleans, and performed with Ingrid Jensen, Don Braden, Leroy Vinnegar, Mel Brown, and Terell Stafford with Portland State’s Jazz Ensemble.
CHELSEA LUKER- Sop/Alto Sax:
Originally from Portland, OR, Chelsea Luker was exposed since pre-birth to a plethora of musical influences. Her father being a performing rock and jazz guitarist, she grew up to the sounds of Frank Zappa, Miles Davis, Joni Mitchell, and SunRa to name a few. Despite this influence of rock and jazz, Chelsea began serious classical training on saxophone at the age of 11. She finished her high school years in Spokane, WA, where she studied saxophone, voice, and visual art with some of the northwest’s most prominent teachers. In these formative years, she had the wonderful opportunity to travel the U.S., attending weeklong workshops by such greats as Eugene Rousseau, Frederick Hemke and the Rascher Quartet. By the end of high school, she had achieved top scores at regional college competitions, and given numerous recitals at local colleges and halls, two highlights being a performance of the Glazounov Saxophone Concerto with Orchestra in 1999 at the Met in Spokane, and being featured in a guest artist recital at a Frederick Hemke workshop in Montana. After 8 years of studying with teacher, Sylvia Baker, Chelsea went on to receive her B.A. in Saxophone Performance at Florida State University with Patrick Meighan, participating in various classical festivals, and winning the Florida State solo competition her senior year. Chelsea also discovered her love for performing in live bands, and joined her first professional rock/fusion group, Xingu. Xingu toured much of the Southeast US in their yellow school bus, recorded their debut album, Xinguism, and shared stages with such greats as the Robert Randolph Band and Colonel Bruce Hampton. After school, Chelsea returned to her birthplace, Portland, OR, in search of other musicians to collaborate with. She currently writes, sings and plays sax and flute in her own band, Mars Retrieval Unit, teaches, and enjoys playing in The Quadraphonnes.