Biographies

David Wright has been providing high quality entertainment in the Washington DC area for over 25 years as an instrumentalist, vocalist, bandleader, Master of Ceremonies, producer, and talent manager. Wright Music offers a wide array of ensembles, catering to a plethora of venue needs and atmospheresWright showcases his jazz and blues quartet for clubs and concerts.  His larger ensembles include, “The Wright Touch Horns,” a Sax and String ensemble, and  his 12-18 member Big Band. The Wright Touch Dance Band is the most popular group, which is referred to as their ‘little big band.’ This ensemble offers an exciting variety of swing/jump, Latin, ballroom, and classic rock. Wright Music’s expertise enables them to offer performances to fit the needs of any client or venue.

The Wright Touch Big Band released their critically acclaimed CD, Our Way – A Tribute To The Sinatra Swing Era,” in 2001, featuring such timeless tunes as “Come Fly With Me,” “You Make Me Feel So Young,” and “Fly Me to the Moon.” The Wright Touch Horns released their album Power Sharing in 2012.  This ensemble is a 5 member rhythm section plus 6 brass players and Latin percussion.  The CD showcases fresh arrangements of blues, funk, be-bop, swing, Salsa, Latin, and rock; a mix of originals.

Single Candid of DavidDavid Wright was a member of “The President’s Own” U.S. Marine Band for over 20 years, serving 6 presidents. Overseas tours included England, Ireland, Norway, The Netherlands, and a tour of 5 major cities in the USSR (1990), as well as touring throughout each of the 48 contiguous states. He performed as solo saxophonist and vocalist with the 8 member White House Dance Band and as principal bassoonist in the White House Chamber Orchestra and Concert Band, at renowned venues such as Carnegie Hall and Royal Albert Hall.

Wright’s extensive list of performance and production credits features such legends as Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles, Neil Diamond, Mel Torme, Robert Goulet, Temptations, and Quincy Jones. Uniquely, he’s also performed the role of producer/assistant producer for special events and local premieres featuring prominent actors including Tom Hanks, Harrison Ford, James Earl Jones, and Tom Cruise. In 2003, David Wright received the Jazz History Appreciation Month Award from the Department of the Interior for his “musical achievements, accomplishments, and dedication…” Congress created the award in 1987, and Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush ordered that awards be given to recognize outstanding contributors to the art of jazz. In fact, David played saxophone with, and arranged sax solos for, President Clinton.

Screen Shot 2013-09-09 at 6.53.33 PMWhile a member of the Airmen of Note for 22 years, guitarist Rick Whitehead performed with the greats, including Frank Sinatra, Jr., Charlie Byrd, Joe Williams, Sarah Vaughan, Sue Raney, Mundell Lowe, Johnny Smith, Roy Clark, Dianne Schuur, and Billy Taylor. He appeared with the band on the Tonight Show, the Mike Douglas ShowNashville Now, and performed at many major Jazz Festivals across the United States. The group further toured throughout the country, the Far East, and South America. Rick’s trio has performed at Blues Alley, Bohemian Caverns, the Smithsonian Jazz Café, the John F. Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage, and Twins Jazz.

Rick has been the featured guitar soloist with the Masterworks Jazz Orchestra at George Mason University and the Georgetown University Jazz Ensemble. He frequently presents a solo jazz guitar concert as part of the Corcoran Gallery’s Armand Hammer Jazz Series, and has appeared with renowned bassist Keter Betts, Triplicity, and Joe Byrd. Rick was the recipient of the Washington Area Musician’s Association 2007 award as ‘Best Jazz Instrumentalist.’ “Whitehead’s style encompasses the entire history of jazz guitar – the chordal solos of Joe Pass, the bop lines of Barney Kessel, the octaves of Wes Montgomery, the fluid melodicism of Tal Farlow, the rhythmic push of Django Reinhardt, even the controlled noise of more modern players. [He is] clearly comfortable working in any song form and style.” -Eric Brace, The Washington Post.

Screen Shot 2013-09-09 at 6.59.40 PMVocalist and pianist, Tim Fordhas performed various styles of music including jazz, rock, country, Motown, soul, and Broadway show tunes in the Washington D.C. area for 30 years. Concentrating mostly on early jazz and swing of the 1930’s and 40’s, Tim is a recognized expert in jazz and dance repertoire. He’s performed at The Kennedy Center and the U.S. Capitol, and is invited several times annually to perform at jazz clubs such as Blues Alley, Carter Baron Amphitheater, One Step Down, and 219 Basin Street Lounge. He also performs as a solo pianist at the Hay Adams Hotel and for private corporate functions at the Smithsonian, The Corcoran Gallery of Art, and several Embassies.
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String and electric bassist, Steven Milleralso has quite the performance history. In addition to working with local artists including veterans of the Motown recording studios, he performed with Lou Rawls, Sammy Davis, Jr., Vic Damone, The Four Lads, the avant-garde saxophonist Roscoe Mitchell, and cabaret singer Nancy Lamott. Steven showcases his talents in bands whose repertoire range from Motown and psychedelic rock to swing, honky-tonk country, and polkas. In college, he played in the Michigan State University jazz ensemble and was highly active in the thriving jazz scene of Detroit and Ann Arbor. After relocating to Washington in the late 1970’s, he established himself as an active freelance bassist, playing today in a wide variety of performance environments. By day, Miller is a historian and co-editor of the Freedmen and Southern Society Project at the University of Maryland.  He has written numerous books and articles on slavery and emancipation during the era of the American Civil War.
We call him “The Professor” because of his encyclopedic knowledge of the American Song Book, from standards to rock.

EmrichDrummer John Emrich is nationally recognized as an instrumentalist, clinician, and teacher. From 1986 John Emrich has been a member of the US Navy Band, performing as a drum set instrumentalist, percussionist, and one of the drum majors, retiring in 2006 from the band as a Chief Musician. He has performed throughout the world including performances for Presidents Reagan, GHW Bush, Clinton, GW Bush, Pope John Paul II, The Crown Prince of Norway, and visiting heads of state. John has been involved with concert sound

reinforcement and recording – working with acts such as Tony Bennett, Bob Hope, Chicago, The Moody Blues, The Smithereens, and Tesla. In addition, as a member of The Washington Winds, he has been featured on numerous recordings for Walking Frog Records as well as recordings for Warner Bros., FJH, and Barnhouse Publications.

Additionally, John is currently a driving force in the electronic drum community. In 2008, FXpansion released the third of John’s sample libraries receiving worldwide critical acclaim. He contributes to Modern Drummer Magazine with product reviews and electronic concepts articles, and continues to advance the overall development of electronic percussion as a consultant for many of today’s top companies. He has also produced sounds for companies like Modern Drummer, Bosphorus, Wavemachine Labs, Mapex, Alesis, Pearl, Yamaha, and Zildjian.