Of This Time
Jazz at it's boiling point! Dynamic horns mixed with lively percussion, soulful grooves, and rich harmony. The Medler Septet takes listeners on a journey with alluring Latin rhythms and original compositions. The Medler Sextet began in 2002 after a jam session where the Medlers met Dennis Caiazza. "He swung so hard..." and was the bass player they wanted for their group. Ben and Michelle went to Portland State University with Brian Ward, a great conversationalist who intently listens and creates wonderful textures. Jeff Cumpston, "our brilliant drummer,' has been a prominent educator/high school band director in the Portland-area for years. He has temporarily re-located to Zimbabwe on a teacher exchange program. This album was recorded just before he left. To get a charged-up horn section sound, they needed a trumpet player. The lyrical trumpeter, Bryant Allard joined. Also an educator and band-leader he had to bow out of the group in 2007. Around that time, Ben and Michelle had gotten back into the Portland salsa scene and met trumpet player, Farnell Newton, who tells his story through his passionate playing. Also, they were reacquainted with the energetic percussionist, Caton Lyles, who had been a teacher at the Jazz workshop where Ben and Michelle originally met. Adding percussion was essential for the Latin and funk influences engrained in their Jazz compositions. It became the Medler Septet! Michelle Medler Saxophones, Flute, Clarinets, Vocals Michelle Medler is a multi-instrumentalist and music educator from the Pacific Northwest, USA. Michelle's funky Jazz quartet, MMQ, has performed at the Portland Jazz Festival, The Rose Festival - Wine Cheese and all that Jazz festival in Rockaway Beach, OR, The Rogue Brewery's Distiller's Festival, PSU, McMennamin's Kennedy School, Music Millennium, weddings, schools, & more. Their CD, Michelle Medler Quartet - Balance, was released in 2006 on the indie label, Shoo-wah Records. Michelle is currently a member of the Quadraphonnes, The powerhouse all female saxophone quartet, they play everything from Classical to Jazz, Rock, Funk, & Experimental. The Medler Septet -Jazz/Latin Infusion, Lily Wilde's Orchestra- Vintage Swing, Afincando -Salsa, Havana City -Salsa, NW Saxophone Collective Large Ensemble - Classical saxophone orchestra, Alex's Body & Soul - a horn powered funk & r'n'b band. Michelle is the co-director of the Portland Youth Jazz Orchestra and has had a private lesson studio since 1995. She is a clinician to area high school Jazz bands and an adjudicator for area solo/ensemble contests. In addition to leading her Quartet, Michelle has played with: The Medler Quintet, Porkpie, Fools In Paradise, Infinitia Art Ensemble, Lb4lb, The Jesters, Metro, Big Bamboo, Eclectifunk, Bill Hagen, McKinley and others. Worked under the direction of Norman Layden & Dr. William Tuttle. She has shared the stage with The Rebirth Brass Band & The Dirty Dozen Brass Band from New Orleans, and performed with Ingrid Jensen, Don Braden, Leroy Vinnegar, Mel Brown, and Terell Stafford with Portland State's Jazz Ensemble. She grew up in the Jazz and Blues Communities of Portland, OR and Seattle, WA. As a teen, she played at Portland's Ron Steen jam sessions, hit Seattle's Blues scene with Sweet talkin' Jones and the Muscletones, and attended years of Mel Brown and Bud Shank Jazz Workshops. She also took classical music very seriously, playing in the Chamber Music Society of Oregon's Orchestra's from age 13, state solo contest at age 16, and participating in the excellent school band and choir programs in her area. Michelle graduated from Portland State University with a Bachelors of Music, Jazz Emphasis. Simultaneously to college she was an artist in residence at Portland, Oregon's Wilson High school where she and her husband, Ben Medler, lead an innovative and award winning Jazz band program. She has studied with: Bob Mover, Kim Richmond, Jeff Clayton, Don Lanphere, Scott Hall, Rob Scheps, Darrell Grant, Charley Gray, Jeff Homan, Gary Harris, Dan Schauffler, and others. After college, the Medlers founded the Portland Youth Jazz Orchestra (PYJO), giving area middle and high school music students a place to grow and study Jazz. PYJO is now the education component of the Mt. Hood Festival of Jazz. They have performed at the Portland Jazz Festival, Jazz Society of Oregon's First Jazz, opened for John Medeski at the Crystal Ballroom, and performed at various McMenamins. Many students have gone on to win scholarships to major music schools and are professional musicians and educators across the country. Ben Medler Trombone, Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Electric & Acoustic Bass Ben Medler is an accomplished music educator & multi-instrumentalist. He Co-Direct's of the Portland Youth Jazz Orchestra, is on faculty at Portland State University as the Jazz Trombone & Jazz Small Group instructor, and maintains a private lessons studio. Currently he performs with his Jazz trio, Michelle Medler Quartet, The Medler Septet - Jazz/Latin Infusion, Cubaneo -Salsa, Afincando - Salsa, Havana City -Salsa, Lily Wilde's Orchestra- Vintage Swing, Alex's Body & Soul - R'n'B, Trombone Encounters, Multnomah Brass Quartet & others. Ben grew up in Andover, Massachusetts. He spent his high school years with trombonist, Phil Wilson. Phil sent Ben to study with Jiggs Whigham at the Bud Shank Jazz Workshop during his summers. After attending Berklee College of Music, Ben moved to Portland, where he met his wife Michelle and finished his college work at Portland State University. He studied with Charley Gray, Darrell Grant, Randy Porter, Alan Jones, Dan Shulte, Gerry Haun, Paul Mazzio, Thara Memory and others. He has performed with Porkpie, Randy Brecker, Rebirth Brass Band, Darrell Grant, Cambalache, Grupo Ache, Dan Presley, The Jesters, The Heavy Brothers, Metro, Latin Expression, The Medler Sextet & Quintet, Tall Jazz, Porterhouse, Lb4lb, Big Bamboo,& more. The first challenge was trying to obtain his Bachelor's Degree while teaching full time at Wilson high school. With Michelle and veteran band director Marc Wolters, the three ran a full scale music program. 'We learned some invaluable skills at Wilson' The second challenge was starting PYJO (the Portland Youth Jazz Orchestra). PYJO is a year round jazz education program for Portland's youth. Since it's start in 2001, the program has grown from one band of 15 students to four bands catering ages 12-26. Now graduates of the program are training for their futures as educators by working in the classroom 'The Jazz Community can only grow stronger' Currently, Ben is a performing multi-instrumentalist. On trombone, electric & Acoustic bass, trumpet and flugel horn. 'I am trying to play with as many musicians as possible. Playing different instruments has really opened up some great connections.'