Dave Bennett doesn’t fit the mold.
For starters, you don’t find many jazz clarinet players who name Alice Cooper, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Chris Isaak among their influences. You also won’t find many musicians who are equally conversant with the music of Benny Goodman (the “King of Swing”) and Roy Orbison (“The Soul of Rock and Roll”).
Bennett is a clarinet virtuoso who plays electric guitar, piano, drums, AND vocalizes. Saluting Swing to Rock: covering music from the Swing Era to early Rockabilly and Country, to Elvis Presley and more. Leading His Tribute to Benny Goodman, Dave has been a featured soloist at Carnegie Hall with The New York Pops (2013) and has played the show with 35 other US and Canadian orchestras including Nashville, Detroit, Rochester, Omaha, Toronto, Vancouver, Orlando, San Antonio, Jacksonville, Portland, OR and Portland, ME, and Houston. Fifty performing arts centers across the USA have had success with his presentations.
An annual fixture at several American music festivals, Dave’s “Rockin the ‘50s” show always brings down the house! Dave pays tribute to Jerry Lee Lewis (piano and vocals), and Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley (electric guitar and vocals). Dave’s original compositions are influenced by the style of Roy Orbison, the “Soul of Rock and Roll”. Some of his annual “roots music” presenters include The Sacramento Music Festival, The Southern Oregon Music Festival, The Central Illinois Jazz Festival, The Clambake Jazz Festival, and The Redwood Coast Music Festival.
Dave has been featured on NPR Radio’s “Jazz at Riverwalk.” He made his European debut in 2008 at the The Bern Jazz Festival (Switzerland) in a combo with jazz legends and Benny Goodman band alumni guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli and vibraphonist, the late Peter Appleyard.
Dave is a Mack Avenue Records artist. His 2013 CD “Don’t Be That Way” met with critical acclaim.
His second release, Blood Moon, which features five originals and six pop/jazz covers, hit the Billboard Jazz charts in 2018.
Jeff Kressler (piano) has been an active jazz pianist and arranger for many years. He received his B.M. and M.M. from Michigan State University, and has contributed dozens of arrangements to the libraries of both the Spartan Marching Band and the Jazz Ensemble. He has also written arrangements for the Lansing & Flint Symphony Orchestras in addition to bands at several universities and high schools throughout the nation. In addition, he has many original compositions and arrangements published by Watchdog Music. He has also performed with many of the top jazz artists in Michigan, and has played with both the Woody Herman and Jimmy Dorsey Orchestras. While at Michigan State Jeff was one of Leonard Falcone’s euphonium students, and is now on the board of directors of the Leonard Falcone International Tuba/Euphonium competition held at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp every summer.
Jeff is a retired high school band director of DeWitt Public Schools, a former director of the Alma College Jazz Ensemble, and is currently in his 12th year as the Jazz Keyboard instructor at Central Michigan University.
Ed Fedewa serves as Instructor of Double Bass at Central Michigan University. He is a member of the Lansing Symphony Orchestra, and serves as a mentor in the Lansing Symphony Mentor program. Fedewa has performed in the pit orchestras of numerous Broadway shows at the Wharton Center and with the Boarshead Theater and has performed with the Moody Blues and Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra. Fedewa has recorded with the Capitol Jazz Quartet, Shawn Wallace, Ann Elizabeth and many others.
In addition to performing and teaching, Fedewa restores double basses at the Guarneri House in Grand Rapids.
Fedewa received a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music from Michigan State University.
Doug Cobb (drums) of Saginaw has played professionally for thirty-five years. Early in his career he worked for fifteen years on the Delta Queen and Mississippi Queen river boats based in New Orleans.
Doug then moved to Orlando Florida where he performed at the Rosie O’Grady’s Good-time Emporium for another fifteen years. Doug also worked at Disney World, frequently playing at the Grand Floridian Hotel. Returning to Michigan in 2000, Doug is now the regular drummer of The Dave Bennett Quartet which has performed at The San Diego Jazz Festival, The Detroit International Jazz Festival, The Elkhart Jazz Fest and others.