Band Member Bios:
Paul Garrett - Paul is the arranger and lead trumpet player for the band. His work on the 2009 album "Already Free" with the Derek Trucks Band earned him Grammy recognition for Best Contemporary Blues Album in 2010. He also appears on the Derek Trucks album "Roadsongs" recorded live in Chicago. A freelance trumpet player in the Atlanta area for over 20 years, Paul is a fixture with Big Mike Geier's Elvis Royale Show and can be seen around town with the like's of Joe Gransden's Big Band and Tempest Little Big Band.
Tom Gibson - Dr. Tom Gibson is one of the most active Brass performers and teachers in the country. Lately, he has been seen and heard with the Zac Brown Band, and can be seen on the platinum-selling DVD "Pass the Jar". He performs in almost every genre imaginable, including orchestral, jazz, rock, fusion, pop, and salsa. The Atlanta Symphony, Ballet, and Opera Orchestras, The Neons, Joe Gransden Big Band, The Atlanta Pops, Symphony Orchestra Augusta, shows at The Fabulous Fox, Like a Locomotive, Bumpin' the Mango, and Coy Bowles Fellowship are just a few of the ensembles he frequents. He has also played with Jennifer Hudson, Jennifer Holiday, Sara McLaughlin, Kid Rock, Spoon, James Taylor, Wynona, Wayne Newton, Dolly Parton, Dave Brubeck, Johnny Mathis, Clark Terry, Peter Erskine, Steve Gadd, Temptations, Olivia Newton-John, Barry Manilow... Tom Gibson moved to Atlanta in 2000, after having served for 6 years in the United States Navy Band in Washington, DC. With that ensemble, he was a featured soloist on two national tours and performed regularly at The White House, and The Pentagon. Dr. Gibson also loves to teach, and he is an Artist in Residence at both Kennesaw State University and University of West Georgia. He has performed solo recitals, concerts, master classes, and clinics around the world. He enjoys a triple threat career as a Trombonist, Conductor, and teacher/coach. Dr. Gibson is a Performing Artist for the Eastman Corporation and proudly performs on his Shires Trombone. His degrees are from University of Michigan (B.M.), University of Northern Colorado (M.M.), and The Catholic University of America (D.M.A.). He lives in Powder Springs with his wife, Katlyn, and two adorable children, Bryce and Ella.
Sam Skelton - A native of Conyers, Georgia, Sam has been active on the Atlanta music scene for well over two decades. Mr. Skelton graduated summa cum laude from Georgia State University and the private studio of Tony Carere with a degree in Jazz Studies. During his course of study at GSU, Sam was a Montgomery Music Scholar and a two-time fellowship recipient to the Aspen Music Festival. He continued his saxophone studies with Kenneth Radnofsky at Boston University in 1991 focusing on classical saxophone and music education.
As a woodwind doubler, Skelton is well versed in any genre of music. His grasp of saxophone, clarinet and flute has enabled him to remain very busy in live performance as well as in the studio.
Sam has performed and/or soloed with The London Symphony Orchestra, The Atlanta Symphony, The Atlanta Pops, The Peachtree Pops, The Atlanta Ballet Orchestra and The Cobb Symphony Orchestra as well as numerous local high school and civic ensembles. World Premiers include James Oliverio’s Children of A Common Mother, Lee Johnson’s Ora Pro Mi: Concerto for Winds Soloist (clarinet, flute and soprano saxophone) and Seaside Symphony (clarinet and soprano saxophone soloist). Sam also played the premier recording of Ora Pro Mi and Seaside Symphony with the London Symphony Orchestra.
As a sideman on over 250 compact discs, Sam remains very active in the studio and can be heard on recordings by such artists as: Elton John, December Radio, Babbie Mason, Howard Tate, Matchbox 20, Train, Edwin McCain, The Gap Band and The Ohio Players. Television and radio jingles include The Georgia Lottery, The Fox Theater Documentary, Glen Beck, The Weather Channel, The Travel Channel, Ford, The Cartoon Network, CNN, Nature’s Own, Popeye’s, Papa John’s and Turner South. Television appearances include In the Heat of the Night, Savannah and Sinbad’s Summer Jam II on HBO.
Sam is currently Director of Jazz Studies and Senior Lecturer in Saxophone at Kennesaw State University. He is also Artistic Director of GSO Jazz and GYSO Jazz. Sam served as Professor of Saxophone at Georgia State University from 1991 to 2004 and was Jazz Ensemble Director at Georgia Tech from 2002-2004 and Artist-in-Residence at The University Of Georgia Jazz Department. He served as Visiting Professor of Saxophone at Furman University 2001-02. Professional associations include: The Jazz Educators Network, Georgia Music Educators Association, Georgia Association of Jazz Educators, National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences (voting member) and the American Federation of Musicians.
Sam is proud to be a Conn-Selmer Artist.
Ian Michael Bruh - this cat is the Ambassador of Funk!! A giant of a man with a warm and extroverted personality, he knows how to connect with an audience and draw them in. As a classically trained vocalist, he uses his technique to deliver everything from the deep, smooth, and soulful sound of R&B, to the raw, guttural, and primal wail of Blues and Funk. And watch out ladies when he hits that high, sexy falsetto! Bumpin' the Mango is the perfect vehicle to showcase his vocal chops. In addition, Ian tours all over the United States as a member of several corporate bands. He is originally from Brooklyn, NY where he attended the La Guardia High School of Performing Arts (Fame). He later graduated C.W. Post L.I.U. with a Bachelor's Degree in Fine Arts (BFA). He has been proud to call Atlanta his home for more than 20 years.
Kevin Lyons - Trumpeter Kevin Lyons hails from Clinton Mississippi, and has long had a dual passion for both classical and jazz music. After receiving his early training in Mississippi and at Louisiana State University, Mr. Lyons attended the Cleveland Institute of Music where he studied with Michael Sachs and James Darling and earned his Bachelors Degree in Music Performance. During that time he was awarded the Bernard Aldestein Award in Trumpet and was a participant at the Aspen Music Festival. After conservatory life, he went on the road for two years playing with the Glenn Miller Orchestra, touring the U.S., Canada, Japan, the Dominican Republic and the Caribbean. Upon returning to the U.S., Mr. Lyons landed in his current home of Atlanta, Georgia, where he won positions of Associate Principal Trumpet with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra as well as Principal Trumpet of the Atlanta Ballet Orchestra, the Greenville (SC) Symphony, the Georgia Symphony and the Columbus (GA) Symphony. He has been featured as soloist with the Georgia Symphony, the Atlanta Pops Orchestra, the Gwinnett Philharmonic and the Atlanta Community Orchestra. Mr Lyons' playing can be heard on a number of major label recordings with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and with artists such as Sinead O'Connor, Matchbox Twenty, and John Driscoll Hopkins of the Zac Brown Band. Mr. Lyons is a founding member of the funk band Bumpin the Mango and is a member of the Joe Gransden Big Band. He can be regularly seen throughout Atlanta and the Southeast's jazz and live music venues, having been a side man for artists such as Diana Ross, Ray Charles, Frankie Valli and Peter Frampton. Mr Lyons can often be found playing both at Carnegie Hall and the Blue Note Jazz Club in the same season. His chamber ensemble credits include founding memberships of Il Brasso Magnifico and Atlanta Brassworks. He has performed in featured ensembles at the conferences of the International Trumpet Guild, International Trombone Association and International Tuba Euphonium Association. Mr. Lyons also enjoys playing with other classical ensembles and has joined the Cleveland Orchestra for a European tour and been Guest Principal Trumpet for the Malaysia Philharmonic, Nu Deco Ensemble and the Miami City Ballet Orchestra. In his downtime, Kevin enjoys playing a great round of golf, going fishing or racing his BMWs.
Gary Paulo - Gary is a graduate of Indiana University where he received a BMus. in classical saxophone performance while studying with saxophonist Eugene Rousseau. When he returned home in 2001 he was in high demand as a teacher and performer in the Atlanta area. He has worked teaching clinics and master classes at many of the wonderful school band programs in the metro Atlanta area and is currently on staff with the Lassiter High School Band program, teaching marching and winds. Since 2010 he has been the Saxophone professor (Artist Affiliate) at Emory University and was also the adjunct saxophone instructor at the University of Alabama-Birmingham during the 2004-2005 school year. Gary has performed for many great audiences with national touring acts, spanning many genres of music. His performance credits include The Alabama Symphony Orchestra, The Temptations, and Perpetual Groove. In addition, he plays with wonderful local ensembles in the Atlanta area including "the horn band of Atlanta - Bumpin' the Mango", Under the Porch and the Cobb Wind Symphony. In 2008, he completed a Masters in Music Performance from Georgia State University.
Pat Strawser - Pat is a very active keyboard player in the Athens/Atlanta area, playing with a variety of wedding bands, jazz and rock groups, churches, and original artists. Starting in 1985, Pat honed his skills through private piano lessons, high school jazz band, and several rock bands in college and beyond. His playing credits include working with Otis Redding, Jr. and Bill Hart, and he works regularly with Atlanta-based Yacht Rock Schooner, and the internationally-touring Elton John tribute Remember When Rock was Young. While at home playing almost any style, Pat has a particular affinity for jazz, fusion, and rock. His unique improvisational approach bears resemblance to influences as disparate as Bill Evans, Lyle Mays, Floyd Cramer, and Rick Wakeman. When not onstage, he is a prolific composer and enjoys writing and recording original material in his home studio.
Jason Chapman - Jason, an Atlanta native, is an ambassador of the low end and puts the "Bump" in Bumpin' The Mango. He first picked up the bass in 1995 and hasn't put it down since. His playing style, adaptability, keen ear, and improvisational skills have made him a bassist that is in demand in the south. Jason spent several years on the road touring with multiple artists and musicians across the south eastern United States before returning to Atlanta to further study his craft at the Atlanta Institute Of Music where he received a degree in Music Performance. After his time at AIM he went on to continue touring performing on stages from Los Angeles to Anchorage, from Miami to New York City, from Amsterdam to Hamburg, to the Caribbean and back again.
Frank Lisco - Frank broke on to the Atlanta music scene 9 years ago. Frank is a professional musician and splits his days between teaching guitar and bass and gigging with many different Atlanta musicians. Originally from New York, Frank studied classical and Jazz guitar at Fredonia State University in upstate NY. He also has a music performance degree from the Atlanta Institute of Music. Besides Playing in many bands including Bumpin' The Mango, Frank is also a singer/songwriter and has his own rock trio which plays around the Atlanta area. For more info on Frank please visit www.reverbnation.com/franklisco and check out some of his original music.
Geoff Gill - Our drummer, Geoff is a player and teacher with 20+ years of experience in the Atlanta area. in 1992, he earned his Bachelor of Music in Studio Music & Jazz Performance at the University of Miami. While there, he taught and played extensively in the South Florida music scene. His playing highlights in Miami include Good Rockin' Johnny, Lynne Noble, Zakk Wylde, Jon Secada, Hiram Bullock, Duffy Jackson and Arturo Sandoval.
In Atlanta since 1992 (thank you Hurricane Andrew!), Geoff has become an in-demand drummer and sub with many local bands & orchestras. He also maintains a busy schedule teaching in Alpharetta, GA at Music Matters and performs session work in studios around Atlanta.