The Sugartone Brass Band, assembled in 2002, is New York City’s premier New Orleans-style second line band. Consisting initially of 6 members, the band expanded to 8 members in 2004 and has played for thousands of people in the New York/Tri-state region. They have been featured in New York City’s Annual Halloween Parade since 2004. In 2004 they also played for the inaugural induction ceremonies for the Coney Island Hall of Fame. In 2006, they were the house band for the New York Burlesque Festival. They were the featured musicians at the 2006 James Beard Foundation Awards, hosted by Cokie Roberts. From 2005 to 2006 they had a weekly residency at Jacques-Imo’s Café, the pre-eminent New Orleans restauarant outside of New Orleans. The Sugartone Brass band is dedicated to promoting the traditions of New Orleans’ music worldwide.
Since a recent move from his native Nashville to Manhattan, trombonist Roland Barber has performed with an impressively diverse host of musicians, including Stefon Harris, Manny Oquendo y Libre, Wynton Marsalis and the JLCO, the Temptations, and the NBC Saturday Night Live Band. Roland has performed in venues such as Birdland, the Blue Note, Lincoln Center, the Copacabana, and Madison Square Garden. Roland’s current endeavors include playing in the musical ensemble of Manhattan Grace Tabernacle, preparing for upcoming performances with the Barber Brothers Jazz Quintet (with twin brother and saxophonist Rahsaan), and pursuing his newest avenue of musical expression – the Roland Barber Quintet. Also, Roland is quite active in NYC and abroad as a teacher and educator of musicians from all walks of life. Roland currently teaches private study of trombone, jazz history, big band, and jazz improvisation in Manhattan School of Music’s Pre-College Program for NY area’s talented youngsters. Also, he’s presented master classes, lessons and lectures on many topics including meeting technical challenges of the trombone, equipment, arranging and composing, ensemble interaction, stylistic development, and incorporating the wisdom, aesthetic and performance practice of historic styles/performers/eras of jazz past. The legendary trombonist Curtis Fuller’s praise of Roland’s skill as “what trombone playing is all about”, is quickly being cemented as Roland Barber continues a stellar ascent in the world of trombone, education and performance.
Tubist Kenneth Bentley was born in Round Rock, TX, August 26, 1976. He began playing tuba at age 11 in middle school band. After graduating Round Rock High School, Kenneth attended The University of Texas at Austin were he was awarded a Bachelors of Music degree in Orchestral Performance. While attending UT Austin, Kenneth spent his summers working for the Walt Disney Co. He started playing at Disneyland California in the summer of 1995 and also played at Disneyland Paris and Tokyo Disneyland. In 1999, Kenneth moved to New York City, where he still resides. He moved to New York to attend the Manhattan School of Music were he earned a Masters degree in Classical Music in May of 2001. Kenneth now makes his living as a freelance musician in New York.
Jon Irabagon, saxophonist, received degrees in jazz performance from both the Manhattan School of Music and The Juilliard School. He has received Downbeat Magazine Music Awards in both performance and composition categories and was selected to attend the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead program at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Jon has performed and/or recorded with musical luminaries Billy Joel, Wynton Marsalis, Wycliffe Gordon, Tom Harrell, the Pointer Sisters, Richard Marx, Louie Bellson, Bright Eyes, and Lou Reed, just to name a few.
Yorel Lashley was born in Chicago, IL in 1972. Marilyn and Lester Lashley, Yorel’s parents encouraged and created his love of music through their travels and their own musical exploits at an early age. The entire family lived in Bonaire, an island in the Netherlands Antilles, and Liberia, West Africa both for two years. Yorel’s mother, Marilyn, an accomplished dancer, and his father, Lester, a charter member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Music (the AACM) and jazz musician, made music a central part of his life. At age four Yorel performed with his father’s ensembles beating on boxes and just about anything else. It was in Liberia that Yorel first began formal training in hand drumming. Yorel went on to sing in the Chicago Children’s Choir for five years and studied trumpet for three years. Yorel completed a Master’s Degree in African-American History at the University of Wisconsin in June of 1998. Yorel’s desire to study West African traditional music led him to the Kankouran West African Dance Company in Washington, DC., to learn from Master Drummer Medoune “Dame” Yacine Gueye, and Master Dancer/Artistic Director Assane Konte in 1997. He became a senior drummer with the company in 1998. In 2000, Yorel founded Drum Power Inc. (www.mydrumpower.com), a youth leadership program that uses learning West African Traditional, Afro-Brazilian and Afro-Cuban percussion to help young people gain life skills. Yorel also currently performs as a percussionist in New York, with groups including: Groove Collective, Mambo Macoco (Latin Jazz), the Sugar Tone Brass Band (New Orleans second line), Harambee West African Dance Company, Kankouran West African Dance Company, Chris Washburn and the Syotos Band (Latin Jazz), La Onda Va Bien (Latin Jazz), Grupo Latin Vibe (Salsa). He has also performed with artists including: Jay Collins, Bobby Sanabria, Jay Rodriguez, Vince Cherico, Wilson “Chembo” Corniel, Guillermo Brown, Donald “Spider” Nicks, Daniel Sadownick, Willie Martinez, Roberto Viscaino, Cabello Rolim and Eddie Bobe. He also leads his own band Melee (www.meleemovement.com).
Trumpeter Timothy Lee, a Hawaii native now living in Brooklyn, NY has lived and worked in the New York area for the past 7 years. He received a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies and Business from Indiana University. When not performing with the SugarTone Brass Band, you can catch Tim playing with the Kokolo Afrobeat Orchestra and various other local projects.
Percussionist and vocalist Moses Patrou, co-founder of the Sugar Tone Brass Band, is a diverse musician, songwriter, singer and percussionist who began playing Drums and Percussion professionally at age 14 with his father, a well-seasoned R&B piano player often evoking the spirit of the New Orleans music. Patrou has lived in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, where he learned to speak Portuguese and learned the music of the region. He has performed at Jazz Fest in New Orleans, Monterey Jazz fest, Womad Fest in Gran Canaria, also touring extensively on four different continents including most recently in Europe and South Africa. He has been very committed to teaching the music of West Africa and Brazil in after-school programs throughout New York for the last six years. Moses is very active in the local NY music scene. His voice can be heard on the National Coca Cola advertisement entitled "Video game.” His debut CD entitled, "Introducing Moses Patrou," was released on July 4th, 2007 in Japan and more recently in the US. His work can be heard at www.myspace.com/cozymose or www.mosespatrou.com, also available for purchase at Itunes.com or cdbaby.com.
Originally from Lees' Summit, Missouri, trombonist Timothy Vaughn lived a senseless, vagrant lifestyle before accidentally discovering jazz at the tender age of 23. After years of listening to records, ruining jam sessions and enduring cruise ship gigs, he finally mustered the courage to move to New York, where he now works steadily as a freelance trombonist. Tim is currently working on his Master’s Degree at the Manhattan School of Music.
Nathan Warner, trumpeter, was raised in South Bend, Indiana. He began his trumpet studies at the age of ten. He attended the Interlochen Arts Camp, where, in his second summer, he was the winner of the prestigious Governor’s Scholarship. Mr. Warner completed his Bachelor’s Degree in Jazz Studies on full scholarship at the Indiana School of Music, where he studied with Dominic Spera, John Rommel, David Baker, Edmund Cord and William Adam. He completed his Master’s Degree in Classical Trumpet Performance at the Manhattan School of Music, where he studied with Vincent Penzarella of the New York Philharmonic. Mr. Warner has performed with Clay Aiken, Alejandro Sanz, Slide Hampton, Jon Faddis, Lou Marini, The Four Tops, Kurt Masur, The Temptations, Frederick Fennell, Olivia Newton-John, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, and Allen Vizzutti, among others. He currently resides in Manhattan, where he is in demand as a classical, orchestral, commercial, big band and jazz performer. As a champion of music education for inner city youth, Mr. Warner is the music teacher at St. Mark the Evangelist School in Harlem and has worked with the Midori and Friends Foundation. In addition, he has worked for the New York Pops Orchestra Outreach Program and the Hartwick College Summer Music festival and Institute. He is currently on the faculties of the New York Summer Music Festival and the Manhattan School of Music Pre-College Division.