Dan O’Brien is a composer, improviser, educator, and multi-instrumentalist on woodwinds (saxophones, clarinets, and flutes). After graduating from Canton High School (CT), he pursued further musical studies at Western Connecticut StateUniversity and the University of North Texas. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Music Education and a Master of Music in Jazz Composition/Arranging, respectively. Upon returning to the northeast in 2014, he began teaching as an Artist Instructor at the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts. While doing so, he established a professional freelance career, and co-leads a variety of ensembles including The Painters, Middle Barge, Dagrasida, and a yet-to-be-named large ensemble. Dan is currently a Doctor of Musical Arts student in the Contemporary Improvisation department at New England Conservatory in Boston, where he seeks to uncover new musical territory through the cultivation of unique settings for improvisation in both performance and composition.
Mike began playing the guitar at the age of 14, with Richard Marzialo, great teacher, guitarist and lifelong friend. He started learning his favorite Beatles songs, then became heavily influenced by blues guitar, eventually sitting in for Richard at various venues, playing the blues. Mike went to Manchester Community College and earned an Associates Degree in Music: Jazz Studies. It was then, he heard guitarist, George Benson for the first time. After that, he was inspired to build his knowledge on the guitar. Mike then moved to Portland, OR to expand his horizons, both musically and personally. He was accepted into the Jazz program at Portland State University, where he studied with Jeff Putterman, Darrell Grant and Alan Jones. He then moved back to CT, with what he calls a 'wealth of exposure' to new rhythms, new styles and new insight on the vastness of music. Mike is heavily influenced equally, by many types of music, such as hip hop, country blues, rock n roll, funk and jazz. He is always curious with how his influences will make their way into his music.
Originally from Western Massachusetts, Silvain Castellano has been performing with many varying ensembles all over New England and New York including, The Painters, Dredge Trio, and performances with Miro Sprague, and Samirah Evans. He holds a Bachelors degree in jazz performance from Western Connecticut State University where he studied double bass with David Ruffles and improvisation with saxophonist Andrew Beals. Silvain most recently completed the Masters of Music in Jazz studies degree program, from Purchase College at SUNY. While there, he studied double bass with Todd Coolman and Doug Weiss. He also studied with John Abercrombie, Jon Faddis, and participated in Tim Cobb’s classical bass classes. Silvain's other mentors on the double bass include Avery Sharpe and Chip Jackson. During 2016, Silvain's ensemble became a finalist at the Monterey Next Generation Jazz Festival, representing SUNY Purchase. The ensemble performed all original compositions by their Guitarist Jun Xiao.
Born in New Milford, Connecticut, George grew up with a love for music and seeing people play live. Both of his parents were music lovers, which was a major influence on his early years. After high school, George made his way to Los Angeles, to Musicians Institute, where he studied for one year with many of the best musicians in Southern California. He returned from California with a plan to practice and take any gig that came his way. While playing in numerous bands and clubs in New Haven, for two years, he decided that he wanted to study jazz. In 1998, George was accepted into the Hartt School of Music. He immediately began playing with his professors on a weekly basis. George graduated from Hartt in 2002. Since that time, he has performed with many different musicians and performers. Some of these include: Mike Palin’s The Other Orchestra w/Bob Mintzer and Bob Berg, Nat Reeves, Steve Davis, Warren Byrd & Saskia Laroo, George Lesiw, Noah Baerman, Chris Morrison, Jimmy Green, Abraham Burton, Phil Bowler, Claudio Roditi, Nobuki Takamen, and others. His musical philosophy is that music can enrich our lives at any level of ability. You must first have a love of music, and a love of learning.