All four of us started our lives in the Mid-Century Modern world. Between us we have well over 160 years of experience playing jazz, so I guess you can say we’ve been around…
Steve Gates started drumming professionally in the 60’s at the ripe old age of 16 with big bands around the midwest ballroom circuit. These gigs included many appearances at the world famous Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake Iowa. He studied jazz performance at North Texas State University, where he recorded with bassist Richard Bowden. Now retired from a career as a United Airlines pilot, he has returned to the drum set and performs regularly around the Rochester club scene. He has appeared in the Rochester International Jazz Festival 3 times and has played with Jonathan Feldman, Sonny Miles and Katie Ernst, among many others. Steve can be heard on the The Jonathan Feldman Trio’s first CD, Straight Ahead and Blue.
Until May 2019 Chuck Dye was the Director of Human Resources for Wayne County. Like so many other guitarists, he started playing the guitar after seeing the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show. He became interested in jazz after discovering his father’s LP collection. He discovered Bucky Pizzarelli, George Van Eps, and 7-string guitars in 1970, and in 2005 he was finally able to buy one, and has been playing the 7-string ever since, mostly in small groups like this quartet. A recent COVID purchase was a custom 7-string Benedetto, which checks off a significant bucket list item.
Dr. Bruce Goldman is Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the UR Med Center. He’s Director of Renal Pathology and the Electron Microscopy Laboratory, and lead pathologist for the cardiac transplant service. He also has a BA in Music Performance from the University of Illinois, which is a clearer indication of why he’s such a great bass player. He currently plays with Cordancia, the Penfield Symphony and several other groups.
Al Biles is Professor Emeritus in the School of Interactive Games and Media at RIT. Among other things, he taught Digital Audio Production, Computer Music, Artificial Intelligence, Human-Computer Interaction, and programming of various flavors. Much of his research focused on computer jazz improvisation, as realized in Al Biles & GenJam. Al learned to play jazz at jam sessions, with two 7-year stretches in the house band for a weekly jam: in the KC area during the 70’s and Rochester in the 80’s. Along with others in this quartet, he’s a regular at a weekly Rochester session that’s been going on for over 40 years. Like Chuck, Al made a couple of COVID purchases: an Adams A-9 trumpet and an Adams Sonic flugelhorn, both from Austin Custom Brass in KC. He is now a happy member of the Adams Family!