All Star Big Band O’Rourkestra

Sunday, May 15th
4 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Ocean City Music Pier

Tickets: All Events Tickets | Sunday Events Only Tickets | Music Pier Only Tickets

Along with David O’Rourke and Sachal Vasandani, the personnel for this performance will include:


Neal Kirkwood Piano

Neal Kirkwood is a composer, pianist, arranger and bandleader living in New York City. He holds a master’s degree in composition from Mannes College of Music, where he studied with Charles Jones. He was a charter member of the BMI Jazz Composers Workshop, where he studied with Bob Brookmeyer and Manny Album. He is currently on the faculties of Kutztown University in Pennsylvania and Third Street Music School in New York City.

Kirkwood has composed music for wide range of instrumental and vocal ensembles. He has written over 200 works for his jazz ensembles. Jazz ensembles directed by Neal Kirkwood include the Neal Kirkwood Big Band, the Chromatic Persuaders, and the Neal Kirkwood Octet. His output includes compositions for jazz ensembles, chamber ensembles, orchestra, solo voice, and chorus. Mr. Kirkwood has received numerous commissions, including a 2007 New York State Music Fund commission for “Village Songs.” This song cycle for children’s chorus and a ten-piece jazz ensemble uses lyrics drawn from the writings of 4th grade students in New York public schools. In 2000 he received a New York State Council for the Arts commission for “The Future of Futurism,” a five movement work for jazz orchestra. Other commissions include “Voices” for children’s chorus (2008) for the Children’s Aid Society chorus. “The Mirrored Self” and “The Enchanted Realm” were commissioned by the Belgian ensemble Octurn. His composition for jazz orchestra “Goldberg’s Variations” was winner of the Jazz Composer’s Alliance Competition in 1996. His “Five Choruses from Mexico City Blues” for jazz chorus and big band was premiered in April 2012 at Kutztown University.

In addition to his activities as a bandleader and composer, Kirkwood has performed and recorded with Pony Poindexter, Bobby Previte, Lindsey Horner, Phillip Johnston, Mike Clark, and has toured with vocalists Michel Hermon, Chris Connor, Abby Lincoln and Bobby McFerrin.

Mr. Kirkwood has also been deeply involved performing and composing for some of New York’s most creative and experimental theater ensembles. For the last 12 years he has composed scores for Ralph Lee’s Mettawee Theater. He has contributed to many of playwright Jim Neu’s productions, often in collaboration with saxophonist Harry Mann. He has also worked with Otrabanda Company, the Talking Band, Anne Bogart, Joseph Chaiken, and Louise Smith.

He has released four CDs as a leader: “The Neal Kirkwood Octet,” “The Chromatic Persuaders,” and “Extrospection” on Timescraper Records, and a solo piano CD “Time’s Circle” on Present Eye Music.

Howard Paul – guitar

Howard grew up in Atlantic City, and has been playing guitar since the age of four, jazz from age ten, and began working in both small and big bands at 13. At 17 he joined the Judy Cahill Trio while teaching music as an adjunct faculty member at Atlantic Community College in N.J.

He continued performing while he obtain a BA in Political Science from the UNC Greensboro from 1980-1984 and enlisted in the Army in 1986, completing Officer Candidate School a year later before serving in Europe, the Middle East (Desert Storm), Somalia and throughout the U.S. over the next nine years. He left the Army at the rank of Major in 1995 to work for the Olympics before joining Chatham Steel Corporation from 1996-2006, where he headed Human Resources, Information Technology, Quality, Safety, Transportation and Logistics for the company. During his tenure at Chatham Steel, he made time to perform up to 140 professional dates a year with his house bands at Savannah’s Mercury Lounge and Hilton Head’s The Jazz Corner. It was during this time that he established his friendship with Bob Benedetto and joined the ranks of Benedetto Players in 1999.

As a musician, Howard has performed with many jazz guitar legends including Bucky Pizzarelli, Jimmy Bruno, Howard Alden, Jack Wilkins, Joe Beck, Joe Negri, Frank Vignola, Andreas Oberg and small group performances with saxophonists Tom Scott, Jody Espina and Oliver Nelson Jr., flutists Ali Ryerson and Matt Eakle, vibraphonists Chuck Redd and Christian Tamburr, bassists Ben Tucker, Mark Egan, Mark Peterson, Phil Morrison, Delbert Felix, Jim Kerwin and Phil Flannigan, B-3 masters Joey DeFrancesco, Tony Monaco and Doug Carn, and pianists Bob James, Lenore Raphael, Bob Alberti, Larry Dunlap, and Laurence Hobgood, trumpeters Jon Faddis and Marcus Printup, and many more. He has lectured at Duquesne, University of Southern California, San Diego State University, University of South Carolina, University of Louisiana, Furman, Winthrop, UNO, UNT, UT, Berklee College of Music, The New School, Musicians Institute and conservatories throughout Europe. He served as a clinician for the National Guitar Workshop, Crown of the Continent Guitar Festival, USC Summer Guitar Camp, Clemson Guitar Festival, as a contributing writer to Just Jazz Guitar Magazine, twice been a featured artist at The Smithsonian Institutions’ Jazz Cafe, and a jazz clubs including The Jazz Standard, Iridium, The Bar Next Door, Shanghai Jazz, The Jazz Kitchen, Yoshi’s Oakland, The Jazz Corner, Kuumbwa Jazz Center, Silos, Merion Inn and Blue Wisp. In 2011 Howard was inducted in the Coastal Jazz Hall of Fame, and in 2010 his likeness was the subject of the Savannah Jazz Festival Poster and Program.

His most recent recordings include 2014 Tony Monaco & Howard Paul: New Adventures; 2012 Bob James & Howard Paul: Just Friends; 2009 Ali Ryerson’s Jammin’ at the Jazz Corner; and 2006 Howard Paul Trio: Live at the Jazz Corner with Ben Tucker & Ray Nunzi. He was featured in 2014 on Chris Standring’s Inside Track TV series.
Howard lives in Savannah with his attorney/clarinetist wife Patricia, and son Andy.

Peter Washington – Bass

(born in Los Angeles on August 28, 1964) is a jazz double bassist. He initially played classical bass and played with the Westchester Community Symphony at the age of 14. Later he worked with electric bass and in rock bands. He went on to study English at the University of California, Berkeley. At Berkeley he became interested in jazz and began freelancing in the San Francisco Bay area. In 1986 he joined the Jazz Messengers and moved to New York City. Since then he has worked in the Tommy Flanagan trio and for Bill Charlap,[1] and was a founding member of the collective hard bop sextet One for All.[2] Additionally he can be heard on Eastwood After Hoursand on pianist Jon Weber’s album Simple Complex.
In 2008, Washington became part of The Blue Note 7, a septet formed that year in honor of the 70th anniversary of Blue Note Records. The group recorded an album in 2008, entitled Mosaic, which was released in 2009 on Blue Note Records/EMI, and toured the United States in promotion of the album from January until April 2009.[1] The group plays the music of Blue Note Records from various artists, with arrangements by members of the band and Renee Rosnes. He is currently performing with Benny Green (pianist) and drummer Kenny Washington (no relation).

He has recorded with Art Blakey, Kenny Burrell, Stanley Cowell, Dizzy Gillespie, Jonny King, Bennie Wallace, Cedar Walton, Tommy Flanagan and most recently with Tony Bennett.

Lewis Nash Drums

“Rhythm Is My Business” is the title of his debut recording as a leader, and rhythm is a booming business as far as Lewis Nash is concerned. He is the drummer of choice for an incredible array of artists – from the masters of the music to the hottest young players of today – and is equally in demand as a clinician and educator.

Born in Phoenix, Arizona, Lewis developed an early interest in music and began playing drums at age 10. By age 18, he was performing with local jazz groups. By the time he was 21, Nash had become the “first call” jazz drummer in Phoenix, working with Sonny Stitt, Art Pepper, Red Garland, Lee Konitz, Barney Kessell and Slide Hampton during their engagements in the city.

In 1981, Nash moved to New York City and joined the trio of the great jazz vocalist Betty Carter. For nearly four years, he toured internationally with Ms. Carter. He is featured on three of her recordings, including the Grammy winning “Look What I Got.”

World-renowned bassist Ron Carter hired Nash in 1984. As a member Carter´s nonet, quintet and quartet, Nash toured extensively and is featured on several of the bassist´s recordings.

In the fall of 1986, saxophonist Branford Marsalis asked Lewis to join his quartet. That active association spanned two years and several continents, and is documented on Marsalis´ Grammy nominated recording “Random Abstract”, as well as two videos: Royal Garden Blues (directed by Spike Lee) and “Branford Marsalis – Steep”.

1988 marked the return to the jazz scene of trombone master J.J. Johnson. Johnson frequently asked Lewis to provide rhythm duties for his band. That same year, Nash joined the Don Pullen/George Adams quartet, succeeding the late Dannie Richmond. 1989 proved to be an even busier year for Lewis, touring with legendary saxophonist Sonny Rollins. He also performed with Stan Getz, Art Farmer, Clark Terry and Milt Jackson.

From 1990 to 2000, Lewis was a member of the Tommy Flanagan Trio, and is featured on seven CD recordings with the late piano master. During this period, Nash also toured and recorded with both the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. His impressive discography (over 300 recordings) includes projects with jazz legends Dizzy Gillespie, Oscar Peterson, Benny Carter, Hank Jones and John Lewis, as well as new jazz stars Diana Krall, Joe Lovano and Roy Hargrove. Demonstrating his stylistic diversity, Nash is also featured on recordings by Natalie Cole, Bette Midler, Nancy Wilson, Kenny Rankin, Melissa Manchester and George Michael.

Currently, while he continues to perform and record with a wide variety of artists, Nash leads several of his own exciting groups, from duo to septet. Outside of his many touring and recording accomplishments, thanks to the sponsorship of Sonor drums, Zildjian cymbals, Remo drumheads and Regal Tip drumsticks, Lewis has become a sought after jazz educator. His lectures, clinics and workshops are as much in demand as his bandstand and studio work. Lewis Nash: Rhythm is indeed his business!