WTJS Jazz and Beyond - logo

A FREE concert with Grammy Greats playing the hits you love


Friday, January 17th

7:30 pm
Wagner Noël Performing Arts Center
1310 Farm to Market 1788, Midland, TX 79707
WNPAC Night Shot

Musician Bios

Dan Fornero

Dan Fornero is a well-decorated and prolific lead trumpet player. Born in Kenosha, Wisconsin, he graduated from North Texas State University in 1981 where he performed lead trumpet in the celebrated UNT One O’clock Lab Band. After moving to Los Angeles in 1982, Dan began touring with acts such as Woody Herman, Tom Jones, Brian Setzer Orchestra, Phil Collins, Neil Diamond, and Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band.

Dan is also a staple in the movie recording business in L.A. with film credits including: Incredibles 2, La La Land, Sing, Coco, Frozen (1 & 2), and many, many more!

Steve Gregory

Steve has toured extensively with the "legendary genius of soul" Ray Charles, pop icon Frankie Valli, and Chanteuse Anjani with her frequent guest the poetic Leonard Cohen.  He has performed at Exit Zero, and Playboy Jazz Festivals with Maceo Parker, toured the mid-east with Alphonse Mouzon  and toured California with Gordon Goodwin's Phat Band.  He has had occasion to perform live with a number of great and varied artists including Macy Gray, Michael Buble, Patti Austin, Heather Headley, Stacie Orrico, Diane Reeves,  John Daversa, Thelma Houston, and many others.

As a studio guitarist, Steve has recorded music for numerous television shows and films, as well as with a wide range of artists for album projects.

As a composer and producer, Steve has contributed music to several television shows.

Jarrett Johnson

Jarrett Johnson is a GRAMMY® Award nominated vocalist/arranger/songwriter; an industry professional whose expansive skill set has been featured with world-renowned music acts and has appeared on numerous studio recordings. Amidst vocal contracting and vocal coaching, his soulful tenor voice can be heard in a variety of mediums; everything from film and television, to background vocals for major label recording artists.

Some of Jarrett’s performance highlights include singing backing vocals on The GRAMMY® Awards, NBC’s The Voice, ABC’s Good Morning America, and The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. He's also graced the stage of iconic venues including The Apollo, The Kennedy Center, The Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall before thousands of captivated audience members.

David Zarlenga

Drummer David Zarlenga is a California native currently residing in the Santa Clarita Valley. David studied with highly regarded percussion instructors Murray Spivack and Fred Gruber for several years. He has worked with many well-known artists and has performed all over the world. In the 1990s David served as musical director and drummer for the internationally known Tom Jones. He has performed on various television shows including The Tonight Show, The Simpsons, and Conan O’Brian. David is currently working as a freelance musician doing live dates as well as recording and teaching.


Graduated from Bass Institute of Technology in 1989 and received the Bass Student of the Year Award. Since then, he's gone on to develop an impressive list of credits, including work with Natalie Cole, Dionne Warwick, Gladys Knight (musical Madam Lilly), James Ingram, Melba Moore, Eloise Laws, and Debra Laws. Ernest has also toured and/or performed with Allan Holdsworth, Larry Carlton, Simon Phillips, Andy Summers, Jeff Richman, Thom Rotella, David Benoit, David Garfield, Phil Upchurch, Dan Segal, Tom Scott, Eric Marienthal, Brian Auger, Ronnie Laws, Jeff Lorber, Kevin Toney, Pat Kelley, Lee Ritenour, John Pisano, Brian Bromberg, Brandon Fields, Norman Brown, Russian Pop Star Alsou, as well as symphony orchestras in San Francisco, Atlanta, and Los Angeles. Ernest was a member of the Debbie Allen directed musical “TWIST” at the Pasadena Playhouse in Los Angeles, California. Ernest was a part of the teaching staff at Musician’s Institute for 19 years. He’s also made clinic/ concert appearances with Mike Stern, Danny Gottlieb, and Oz Noy. His TV appearances include two appearances on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, the Rosie O'Donnell Show, and the 2002 American Idol finale. His recording credits are equally impressive: Allan Holdsworth Leverkusen 2010, Simon Phiilips & Protocol II, III, IV, &V, Derek Sherinian, Dean Brown, Phil Upchurch & the Phil- Harmonic Orchestra, David Garfield, David Benoit, Pat Kelley, Kevin Toney, Carlton Schroeder, Mijares, MSM Shmidt, Vernell Brown, Jr., Ray Fuller, and Sonny Axell. He was also a part of the recording band for “Livin’ for Live”: The Natalie Cole Story.

Wally Minko

Grammy-nominated composer/producer/conductor/keyboardist Wally Minko has performed, toured, and recorded with pop stars Barry Manilow, Tom Jones, and Deneice Williams; R & B artists Pink, Toni Braxton, En Vogue, New Edition, and Expose’; jazz superstars Jean-Luc Ponty and Arturo Sandoval, prog-rock superstar Jon Anderson of Yes, Rock & Roll Hall-of-Famer Gregg Rolie of Santana and Journey, and many others.

Wally’s compositions and arrangements are commissioned frequently by some of the biggest stars in the business for their recordings (Jon Anderson, Arturo Sandoval, Gianmarco, Debbie Allen, Wayne Bergeron, Gary Grant, Dan Fornero); he also produces countless works for jazz and choral ensembles. Some recent

highlights include:

  • Nominated for Grammy – Best Instrumental Arrangement for “A Night In Tunisia” from Arturo Sandoval’s CD “Dear Diz” 2013
  • Arranger, pianist, keyboardist – Gianmarco “Versiones” – nominated for Album Of The Year, Latin Grammys
  • One of the composers of the original score to Debbie Allen’s “Hot Chocolate Nutcracker”, along with James Ingram, Mariah Carey, Quincy Jones, Arturo Sandoval, and Thump.
  • Arranger, keyboardist – Rich Willey Boptism Big Band “Down & Dirty” 2019
  • Composer/arranger – orchestral finale for Parkside Church’s 2019 Christmas Concert
  • Co-founder & keyboardist, “The Reddcoats” – debut album released 2021

Wally has been Music Director for countless artists, shows, and productions; teaches privately, and served as the Director of Music and Worship at Calvary Church in West Hills, California for over a decade.

Andy Martin

Coming from a musical family, trombonist Andy Martin launched his career while still in his teens. His technique and virtuosity quickly established him on the Los Angeles music scene. As an instructor, Martin has influenced countless young players. He has appeared at many colleges and universities throughout the country as a guest artist and clinician.

A world-class jazz musician, Martin is featured as leader or co-leader on twelve albums. These albums showcase his collaboration with other top jazz artists such as the late Carl Fontana, Pete Christlieb, Bobby Shew, and Eric Marienthal. He has also collaborated as a sideman with jazz greats such as Stanley Turrentine and Horace Silver. Martin had a long association with British bandleader and jazz promoter Vic Lewis, and was the featured soloist on many of Vic’s CDs.

Martin is well known for his work as a lead player and featured soloist with virtually every big band in L.A. Martin is the lead trombonist and featured soloist with Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band, the lead trombonist and soloist for The Tom Kubis Band, and was a featured soloist for the Bill Holman Big Band for 15 years. He has appeared in bands led by Jack Sheldon, Louis Bellson, Quincy Jones, Matt Cattingub, Bob Curnow, Patrick Williams, and Sammy Nestico, among others.

Martin has long been one of L.A.’s most prominent trombonists for commercial recordings, television and motion picture soundtracks and live theater. He has contributed on albums for many popular artists, including the Pussycat Dolls, Coldplay, and Michael Bublé. His television credits include the Grammys, the Emmys, the Academy Awards, the Golden Globes and the Screen Actors Guild Awards. Martin has been the lead trombonist on television shows Dancing With The Stars and American Idol, and has appeared regularly on the soundtracks of major television series such as Family GuyAmerican Dad, and King of the Hill. His motion picture credits span the soundtracks of over 150 major films.


Gary Meek is a life long multi-instrumentalist, composer, producer, recording artist with 7 solo CDs, and has appeared on over 200 records with artists such as Herb Alpert, Dave Weckl, Airto Moreira and Flora Purim, Jeff Lorber, Green Day, Oscar Castro-Neves to name just a few. He has performed both as a sideman and a leader all over the world on saxophones, flute, and keyboards.


Jazz saxophonist and woodwind artist Bill King is a dynamic musician who has performed throughout the world including the United States, Europe, South America, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. King studied music at the Greenville Fine ArtsCenter. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in music education/performance certificate from the University of South Carolina. Upon graduation he enlisted in the United States AirForce. Over the years, King has performed and recorded with many of the jazz greats  including Arturo Sandoval, Jon Faddis, and Manhattan Transfer. He also backed such musical pop stars as Johnny Mathis, Petula Clark, Clint Black, Faith Hill, The Temptations and Winnona Judd. Bill King is Director of Jazz Combos and Adjunct Professor of Saxophone and Clarinet at St.Mary’s University in San Antonio Texas.


Trumpeter Aaron Janik Aaron completed his undergraduate studies at Oberlin College of Arts & Sciences as well as the Conservatory of Music by way of the great Wendell Logan, graduating with a Jazz Trumpet Performance degree. Since that time, Aaron has studied with and been mentored by trumpet greats Sean Jones and the late Marcus Belgrave.He also received his Masters degree from USC Thornton School of Music.  In the past few years he has also performed or recorded with Earth, Wind, & Fire, Lady Gaga, Snoop Dogg, Chaka Kahn, Lil Kim, among others, and legendary gospel quartet the ClarkSisters.


Emily received her B.M. in Music Education from the University of Texas at Arlington. Emily taught general music and choir full time for five years before resigning to become a stay at home mom in 2009. Her vocal claims to fame include performing with the Grammy award winning gospel group “God’s Property,” and beating pop superstar Kelly Clarkson in All State Choir auditions while they were in high school. In early 2014, in response to a challenge from a friend, Emily and husband Eric recorded a video of themselves singing “Love is an Open Door” from Disney’s Frozen. To date, that video has received over 1.6 million views on YouTube.  Emily teaches music at Midland Classical Academy, directs the MOSC’s Voices of the Permian Basin youth choir, and performs regularly with Current Nine, a local, highly-sought after rock cover band.


Eric Baker received his B.M. in Music Education from the University of Texas at Arlington, and earned his Master’s Degree in Trumpet Performance from Arizona State University. Mr. Baker moved to the Permian Basin to begin his tenure as Co-Principal trumpet with the West Texas Symphony, and performs regularly with the Lone Star Brass Quintet, Current Nine, The Pinstripes Jazz Quartet, and Emily & the Rhumba Kings. He toured with the hit Broadway musical Chicago, and performed on stage with The Temptations and The Four Tops. He is a founding member of the “Lone Star State” chapter of the International Trumpet Guild and was a semi-finalist for the National Young Artists Competition. Eric was appointed to the position of Director of Bands at Odessa College and serves as Chair of Visual and Performing Arts Department.


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