The Beltway Brass Quintet is a project group led by Zachary Smith of the nationally acclaimed Dixie Power Trio. The members of the quintet reside in the Washington, D.C. area and quite frequently spend hours slogging around I-495, D.C.'s infamous beltway. It was on this stretch of highway that the idea for the Beltway Brass was conceived in 2003. The repertoire for the quintet is unusual in its emphasis on Twentieth Century jazz harmonies and stylings. Zachary Smith has written almost all of the arrangements for the group-many of which can be heard on their first CD, "Holiday Drive". Each player in the ensemble has a background rooted more in commercial playing than classical. This allows them to incorporate jazz technique such as improvising into their performances.
Best known for his work with the Dixie Power Trio (twelve years, 6 CD's), Zack has been a full-time professional trumpet player since graduating from the University of North Texas in 1986. His writing credits include a jazz articulation instructional book for high school and college big bands, and a number of works for 12-piece big bands. The Beltway Brass Quintet is a project he began in 2003, with the help of Chas T. Peterson.
Chas T. Peterson
Chas is a graduate of the University of North Texas and has a master's degree from Virginia Tech. He's a member of the band Cityscape, the Quintessential Brass Repertoire, and operates trumpetunes.com. He plays a wide variety of gigs around Washington, D.C., has written numerous brass quintet & trio arrangements, and can be heard on several big band CDs as well as his own solo album, "My Tribute".
Merry Beth Hall
A long-time friend of the Dixie Power Trio, Merry Beth is co-principal horn with the Richmond Philharmonic. She studied music at James Madison University where she also performed on trombone with the jazz ensemble. Along with her orchestral duties, Merry Beth is a very active freelance player in the Richmond, VA area.
Dan "Big Daddy" Haverstock
Dan has worked as a freelance jazz trombone player for over twenty years in the D.C./Baltimore region. Along with countless show and variety bands, he has performed many times with the Dixie Power Trio and as part of the New Line Brass Band. He has been a regular member of the Zemer Orchestra in Baltimore, and is co-founder (along with Zack Smith) of Phat Alpert -- the world's foremost Herb Alpert repertory ensemble.
After serving his country in the U.S. Army band, Andy has made a career performing on the tuba full-time -- mostly as co-leader of the Dixie Power Trio. Along with the six CD's he has been a part of with the DPT, Andy has played on several Grammy-nominated recordings with John McCutcheon. He is an official endorsing artist for King instruments, and frequently gives clinics at schools.