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French-American pianist Lara Driscoll has been praised for her “captivating style and uncluttered finesse” (CKVL-FM, Montreal), and Downbeat’s Suzanne Lorge noted the “understated arrangements and meltingly delicious voicings” of her debut trio recording Woven Dreams (2020). She is a Luminarts jazz performance and composition award recipient and earned degrees in jazz piano from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and McGill University. She taught courses at McGill prior to her current jazz faculty position at Loyola University, Chicago. In addition to her trio and the Firm Roots Duo (debut album Firm Roots released in 2021), she performs regularly as a freelance pianist. www.laradriscoll.com
Brian Jacobi played trombone in Rob Parton’s JazzTech Big Band and its predecessor, the Bob Stone Big Band, for over twenty-five years. His three sons frequently attended his performances, and were inspired and encouraged by some of the finest musicians in town. Brian also taught junior high band for thirty-five years in Park Ridge, Niles and Oak Park.
The Jacobis and Lara have performed together extensively since their first encounters in Arlington Heights while attending Hersey High School, where they met while performing in the school jazz band. The collaboration began with Lara joining playing sessions at the Jacobi house and annual trips to the Aebersold Summer Jazz Workshops, and it has continued for many years.
Ryan earned his degree in jazz performance at the University of North Texas, where he studied with legendary jazz drummer Ed Soph. He spent ten years performing and recording in the Dallas area before moving back to Chicago. He has toured throughout the United States in a variety of ensembles ranging from jazz to alternative rock. He has performed at the South by Southwest Festival in Austin, and recorded multiple sessions at Willie Nelson’s Perdonales studio. Ryan has several album credits with the bands Oso Closo and Nelo, as well as a soon-to-be released album by vocalist Abigail Riccards.
Sean is a Chicago bassist, having assumed bass responsibilities for the family band at the age of ten. He graduated from the University of North Texas in Jazz Studies in 2009, studying with acclaimed bassist Lynn Seaton. Sean has played with artists such as Abigail Riccards, Jane Monheit, Joel Frahm, Nelo, and Zoe Muth at places such as The Chicago Jazz Fest, South by Southwest Festival, and The Americana Music Festival. In addition to his jazz background, Sean has a keen interest in electronic music, DJing, running a home studio, and managing his label, Merganser Recordings.
Kevin was able to explore music from an early age thanks to the influence and mentorship of family and teachers. He took up the saxophone at age ten and continued to study the instrument through college, earning a BA in Jazz Studies from the State University of New York, Purchase Campus. After pursuing music in New York City for a few more years, Kevin moved home to Chicago to explore the city’s vibrant music scene and to be closer to family. He has worked as a freelance jazz saxophonist, private instructor, record store clerk, and DJ. He continues to teach and play saxophone and also enjoys exploring a wide range of music, including electronic, experimental, dance and many non-Western musics.