Project Description

Pianist, composer, and arranger Gene Knific is the recipient of four ASCAP Young Jazz Composers awards and eight Down Beat Magazine Music Awards for their performances and compositions in jazz and contemporary categories.

Gene has had 40 orchestral arrangements and compositions recorded at Abbey Road Studios in London. In 2019, Knific arranged the theme to the HBO smash-hit Game of Thrones and performed it along with the three-time Grammy nominated Spektral Quartet at Symphony Center in Chicago. The arrangement was performed for George R.R. Martin, author of the Game of Thrones series. An active composer in both jazz and chamber music settings, they recently had their work, SEPTET, performed at the Ravinia Festival in both 2018 and 2019. Gene has performed all over the world with an extensive and diverse repertoire. Highlights include performances with saxophone legend Joe Lovano in 2014, Macarthur Genius Grant recipient Miguel Zenón, and three performances at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. with the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead program. Their talents have brought them on tours to Russia at The St. Petersburg Conservatory and Jazz Philharmonic, the Copenhagen Opera House and Montmartre Jazzhus in Denmark, the Xiquitsi International Music Festival in Mozambique, and The Schlern International Music Festival in Italy

Led by Knific, The Gene Knific Trio is an adventurous group dedicated to original works and unique explorations of classical and modern genres. The group features Knific’s award winning compositions and arrangements (ASCAP, Downbeat Magazine, Ravinia Steans). Their repertoire spans from jazz classics, to 20th century classical compositions, to pop, rock and folk music explorations.

Tom Knific has performed on tour and on record with Gene Bertoncini, Randy Brecker, Art Farmer, Dave Brubeck, Fred Hersch, The Merling Trio, OPUS 21, Philippe Entremont and others. He and Eric Marienthal co-led the “Dream Band” with Toots Thielemans, Kenny Werner and Harvey Mason in the first live interactive jazz concert multi-cast worldwide over the Internet. A renown educator, his students have toured and recorded with Betty Carter, Vincent Herring, Cedar Walton, and perform in orchestras on three continents. He received the Down Beat magazine Achievement in Jazz Education award in 2004. Tom is professor of bass and director of jazz studies at Western Michigan University and leader of the WJQ. The WJQ has appeared on five continents receiving rave reviews for their five CD’s of original music. Knific appears on over 30 CD’s. His four solo CD’s, Home Bass, 1998, Siena, 2004, Lines of Influence, 2009, and The Muse, 2011, have received critical acclaim. Knific is a prolific composer in a variety of idioms, and is published by ISB Editions, Dallas, and Editions Delatour, Paris. Knific is past president of the International Society of Bassists.

Drummer, percussionist, composer, and educator Evan Hyde is a sensitive and versatile musician with extensive experience performing in a wide spectrum of styles and genres. Hyde began his career in 2004 in his hometown of Grand Rapids, MI, where he began working as a freelance percussionist during high school. Evan has since become a high in-demand jazz drummer throughout the United States and abroad. Evan has performed with a veritable “who’s who” in the jazz world, with recent collaborations including George Coleman, Freddy Cole, Russell Malone, Helen Sung, Stanley Jordan, Shelly Berg, Kenny Barron, Cheryl Bentyne, John Daversa, Brian Lynch, Ira Sullivan, Fred Hersch and Take 6.