N E R V O U S N E A L S M I T H
...the kind of sax player I like - big tone, relatively simple (in the good sense) melodic ideas, playing with the band and not just for (himself).
‑ Bruce Iglauer, CEO Alligator Records
- Began study of the tenor sax in 1972 as part of the Princeton, Illinois, school band program
- Illinois All-State High School Jazz Band participant 1979-80, 1980-81
- Studied music performance, music education
andmusic journalism at Illinois State University from 1981-1985
- Member of the top performing jazz band at Illinois State University, 1981-1985
- Live performances with Dizzy Gillespie (1984), Bernard Allison (1988), Yardbirds drummer Jim McCarty, Jim Schwall, The Temptations, Martha Reeves & The Vandellas, The Marvellettes, Alex Chilton & The Box Tops, Louie Bellson (in big bands and small groups), Buddy DeFranco, Clark Terry, Chuck Loeb, Garrett Morris of "Saturday Night Live", and featured as a soloist with Grammy-winning vocalist Debby Boone and the Quad City Symphony Orchestra (2013) and with Terry Blackwood and The Imperials (2015). Professional engagements in West Hollywood, New Orleans, Key West (Margaritaville), Hong Kong, Mexico, Canada, France, Switzerland (Montreux Jazz Festival, 2003), and throughout the US.
Recorded performanceof "My Secret Life" (with Einstein’s Sister) featured on MTV's "Undressed". Original composition/performance "The Crossing Guard's Coffee Break" with The Kabalas featured in the independent film "Minimum Wage" and on the Fuel Network's "The Standard Snowboard Show".
- A member of local bands Noble Spirit (heard on the CDs "Apollo on Fire" and "Monster Island"), The John Gere Trio (heard on the CDs "Snapshots in Time" and "On the Fly"), The Josh Duffee Orchestra (heard on the CDs "A Tribute to Jean Goldkette" and "Half a World Away"), The Manny Lopez Big Band and Combos, Riverrain (the house band of The River Music Experience) and The Metrolites (heard on the CDs "In Spy-Fi" and "For the People"). Featured on the Celebration Belle riverboats every summer between 1992 and 2008.
- A member of the Queens-based film soundtrack ensemble Morricone Youth, with regular performances in Manhattan and Brooklyn in 2011.
- Guest artist on recordings by Ellis Kell, Einstein’s Sister, Los Mocambos, Digital Groove Society, and Spatterdash.
- Featured instrumentalist on commercial jingles for John Deere, Buysse Dodge, Casino Rock Island, Courtesy Car City, The Rock Island Arts and Entertainment District, Goods Furniture, Northwest Bank and Trust, The Argus & Dispatch, The House of Watch Bands (Detroit), Motorola, Methodist Medical Center (Peoria), Dahl Ford, The Mississippi Valley Fair, Dahl Ford, The Gentry Shop, Granite City, Mel Foster, and Paula Sands Live.
- Charter member of the internationally recognized
klez-punk quartet The Kabalas (heard on syndicated radio programs "Sound and Spirit" and "The Doctor Demento Show" as well as three CDs issued on the Dionysus label; "Martinis and Bagels", "The Eye of Zohar", and "Time Tunnel")
- Engaged in private one-on-one jazz saxophone and college-level music theory instruction and music manuscript production since 1982, including employment as an undergraduate teaching assistant and music copyist at Illinois State University from 1982 to 1985.
- Currently employed full-time as a private jazz saxophone instructor, jazz clinician, and freelance musician.
C-E Express - "Senior World" theme song and promotional video - 1987
C-E Express - "One Step Closer" theme song and promotional video for St. Jude's Hospital - 1988
Solo - "Everything I Do (Comes Undone Again)" commercially unreleased - August 1991
Byron Davis - "Byron Davis Sings" self‑released cassette tape - April 19, 1993
Noble Spirit - "Apollo on Fire" self-released CD and cassette - August 23, 1993
Digital Groove Society - "Keep My Eyes on You" (2 songs) - self-released CD - 1994
David Saelens - "All Facets" self-released CD
The Kabalas - "Martinis and Bagels" Leppotone LTCD‑004 - July 15, 1995
Various Artists - "Run Run Rudolph: The OIL Christmas Compilation" (4 songs) Oil 01 - November 1995
Noble Spirit - "Monster Island" self-released CD - December 1995
Los Mocambos - "Los Mocambos" (1 song) self-released CD - June 1996
The Kabalas - "Challahday Picture Disc" 7" vinyl Dionysus ID 74592 - November 12, 1996
John Gere - "Snapshots in Time" self-released CD - June 1997
Various Artists - "
Various Artists - "Music Supervisor’s Best Friend" Dionysus IDPRO-01 (promotional issue only) - 1998
Various Artists - "Freshmaker 99" (1 song) Zark! 099‑2 - January 1999
Einstein's Sister - "Learning Curves" (1 song) Yummy Pop Tunes YPT 0003 - April 1999
Phyllis Wethington Band - "Let Loose!" (4 songs) Brass Sail PW0199 - June 1999
Various Artists - "A Taste of Quad‑City Music" (3 songs) SMEC 002 - Fall 1999
Spatterdash - "Truth Serum" (1 song) self-released CD - March 15, 2000
John Gere - "On the Fly" self-released CD - October 2000
Ellis Kell - "Ellis Kell Band & Friends 2000" (1 song) self-released CD - October 2000
John O'Meara - "Dancin' on the River" self-released CD - April 2001
The Josh Duffee Orchestra - "A Tribute to Jean Goldkette & His Orchestra" Back In Time BITR001 - June 2003
Einstein’s Sister - "Made Easy for Everyone" (Japanese ‘Best of’) (1 song) Yummy Pop Tunes/Wizzard in Vin - July 29, 2003
Various Artists - "Greasy Kid Stuff 2: More Songs from Inside the Radio" Confidential 3007 - May 4, 2004
Various Artists - "Your Favorite Band" soundtrack self-released CD - August 2004
Don Kincaid - "Get on the Journey" self-released CD - Fall 2004
The Metrolites - "In Spy-Fi" Go Go Golem GGG 1001 - October 12, 2004
Various Artists - Oasis Pop, Volume 3 Oasis, (promotional issue only) - Fall 2004
Kim Wiseman - "He’s Not That Far" self-released CD - March 2005
The Josh Duffee Orchestra - "Half a World Away" Back In Time BITR002 - July 2005
Various Artists - "Mr. Snail's Halloween Party" (1 song) Snail Sounds SNA002 - October 2005
Various Artists - "I♥NY - 13 Песен Для Веселого Нового Года" (1 song) Music World Ltd. - 2005
The Metrolites - "Elliot Ness: An Untouchable Life" soundtrack self-released CD - February 2006
The Metrolites - "The Bride Wore Blood" soundtrack self-released CD - 2006
The Metrolites - "For the People" Go Go Golem GGG 1002 - August 29, 2006
Various Artists - Oasis Rock & Roots, Volume 6 Oasis, (promotional issue only) - Fall 2006
Parish Festival - "Handshakes and Heartaches" (1 song) Future Appletree FATCD027 - November 2006
Solo - "Manhandle Suite" self-released CD - March 1, 2009
Vitor Cunha - "Connected by Dots" (1 song) Alta Frequencia (download) - March 11, 2009
Cactus Charlie & the Tin Star Band - "Seasons for Reasons" self-released CD - March 16, 2009
Billy D - "My Journey" (1 song) self-released download - September 8, 2009
Billy D - "The Impossible" (1 song) self-released download - July 7, 2011
Michael Blomme - "It Just Takes Time" self-released CD - 2012
James Culver & the Kuchina Jazz Collective - "Live at the Redstone" self-released CD - 2013
The Oliver Twists - "The Oliver Twists" (2 songs) Future Appletree digital download - October 16, 2014
Cactus Charlie & The Tin Star Band - "Menlo Park" self-released CD - January 20, 2015
Steve Couch - "Borderline Ugly" self-released CD - December 2017
Film and Television credits:
- DueA Films’ "Bix: An Interpretation of a Legend" (1991, screen appearance)
- "Minimum Wage", a 1999 film produced by 2-Car Garage Productions, directed by Brian Scott O’Malley. The Kabalas' song "The Crossing Guard's Coffee Break" was licensed for use in this film.
- MTV's "Undressed" excerpted my soprano sax solo from Einstein Sister's song "My Secret Life" for use during closing credits on at least one episode.
- "Elliot Ness: An Untouchable Life", produced by Max Collins. Performed on the title track and incidental music. Also performed on The Metrolites' "Old Fascist Gal" which appears on the soundtrack as a bonus track. Released on DVD in a collection entitled "Shades of Noir".
- "The Standard Snowboard Show", produced for the Fuel TV network. The Kabalas' song "The Crossing Guard's Coffee Break" was licensed for use in episode 23 (winter 2006).
Selected Touring History
•1988, January and February: Bernard Allison & Backtalk, Canadian tour
•1988-90: Rockin’ Billy & the Rhythm Riot, regional gigs with intermittent nationwide touring, including Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming, Florida, and Mississippi.
•1995-1999: The Kabalas, local and regional gigs with intermittent touring, including Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Indiana, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas (South by Southwest convention, 1996), and California.
•2003, July: Central Illinois Jazz Orchestra, festival performances in Montreux, Switzerland (37th Montreux Jazz Festival, three performances), Brienz, Switzerland (Montreux Meets Brienz), Vienne, France (Jazz à Vienne) and Disneyland Resort Paris.