John W. Baumgartner is a trombonist, educator, and composer/arranger based in the Twin Cities. His compositions have been performed by the University of Northwestern–St. Paul, North St. Paul High School, and Eden Prairie High School (commissioned by Chris Bates’ Red Five). John regularly records and performs across the US and Canada with dark cinematic rock band Marah in the Mainsail – with appearances at SXSW in Austin, TX, Summerfest in Milwaukee, and First Ave in Minneapolis – and is also active in the Twin Cities music scene with various other bands. When not on the road, he works with elementary-high school brass players, including through Hopkins High School and the Mt. Olivet School of Music.
Riley Helgeson is a Twin Cities-based composer, arranger, educator, and trumpet player. After graduating from the University of Minnesota in 2014 (BM trumpet performance), Helgeson has been actively freelancing at home as well as touring with projects on a national and international level. In 2017, Riley performed one of his compositions on ABC’s “Shark Tank” with Minneapolis-based McNasty Brass Band. Other notable performances include Monterey Jazz Festival(CA), Rochester Jazz Festival(NY), Saratoga Springs Jazz Festival (NY), Pori Jazz Festival(Finland), Ordway Center for Performing Arts(MN), the Fitzgerald Theater(MN), as well as concerts at the Dakota Jazz Club(MN) with trombonist Fred Wesley(James Brown, Parliament-Funkadelic) and drummer John “jabo” Starks(Bobby Bland, James Brown). Riley maintains a private teaching studio and directs jazz big bands and combo programs in the Twin Cities. He is on Jazz Faculty at the Shell Lake arts center(WI).
Todd Harper is a 3rd stream pianist/composer from St. Paul Minnesota. His output includes writing for jazz combos, cabaret& art songs, percussion theatre, folkloric styles, chamber works, and woks with texts, dancers, and visuals. Harper has performed at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival, Eastside Freedom Library, Studio Z, Northern Spark Festival, Zumbrota Farmer’s Market, to name a few places. Commissions include the B-magic Jazz Orchestra, Temporal Mechanics Union (KS), Minnesota Mandolin Orchestra, & baritone Dr. Michael Jorgenson. (Gustavus Adolphus) Other contexts for Harper’s music include Music for ‘Recurring Viewpoints’ Instillation with videographer Andrea Thoma at Badenwuerttembergischer Kunstverein Stuttgart,Germany. Harper also recorded music used in video Planting Creativity: Artists, Place & Transit premiered on TPT’s MN Channel. Since 2016, Harper has released 5 Cd recordings of his compositions. His ensemble “ Musical Ecology” features a Minnesota rhythm section with New York based flautist Jun Miyake.