Rented Mule Personnel

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Rented Mule
5th Annual West Oak Lane Jazz Festival, June 21 2008
L-R: Jason O'Mara, Marcell Bellinger, Pete McRae, Napoleon Black, Don Jones, Camille G. Brown and Dan Greenberg
Photo by Carolyn Jones

Rented Mule: Personnel

Don Jones
Don Jones - Drums, Composition
Photo by Jessie Gimbel

Don Jones studied under Phil Lightfoot, Darryl Brown and Gerry Brown. He has performed with Sun Ra, Sonny Stitt, Pharoah Sanders, Monette Sudler, Gloria Gaynor, The Orlons, Danny and the Jrs, The Drifters, Tymes, Bo Diddley, David Amram, Bonnie Raitt and has also played with Eastern Standard Time, Forecast and White Elephant.

Video by Carolyn Jones
Chris Zamora
Chris Zamora - Guitar

Chris Zamora’s musical influences and experiences span the globe, from Southeast Asia to Brazil to the Chicago jazz scene.

Chris’s passion for the guitar started at age 8 in the Philippines. That passion has allowed him to play with many of the world’s musical legends.  Also a guitarist for award-winning singer and Hollywood actress LISA ZANE, multi-platinum award-winning recording artist, songwriter and performer, DAVID POMERANZ Chris also played for ANDREW CHUCKERMAN, the Grammy-nominated musical director and keyboardist for Stevie Wonder, LeAnn Rimes and Rod Stewart and the late jazz violinist NOEL POINTER.

He has also played with the Ron Harris Acoustic Jazz trio which opened for keyboardist Kiko Matsui in Chicago. Other sessions include performances with the fusion group “Rented Mule”, African bassist and musical director Noel Ekwabi, and with Brazilian percussion artist Dede Sampaio (percussionist for Miles Davis, Jon Faddis, Toninho Horta, Flora Purim, Airto Moreira, Ben Vereen, Rita Moreno, Nagger, Lionel Hampton, etc.). His early sessions with Dede’s group  allowed him to play with other great musicians such as Pat Metheny’s bass player and producer Steve Rodby and pianist Steve Million.

Chris is endorsed by the FirstAct Guitar Company through their “Emerging Artists Program”. In 2002, Chris received the Filipino American Hall of Fame Award for Music. He is also a member of The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).

Chris Zamora’s homepage:
Chris Zamora’s YouTube channel
Chris Zamora @ AllAboutJazz

Pete McRae
Pete McRae - Guitar

Pete McRae has recorded and performed with many artists including: Gina Ferrera, Connie Stevens, Eddie Jobson (Roxy Music; Zappa), Mr. Mister, Peter Kingsbery (Cock Robin), David Baerwald, The Rembrandts and Stan Ridgway.

He studied guitar and composition at USC in LA (taking composition privately with Robert Moore while at USC) as well as studying guitar privately with Jerry Hahn, Dave Creamer, Barry Finnerty, Ted Greene, Bill Kanengiser.

Pete’s online bio
Pete’s MySpace: Experimental/Blues/Pop “The Nice Ladies”
Pete’s MySpace: “petesfriedclams”
Pete’s wiki
Pete’s linkedin

Rodney Gipson
Rodney Gipson - Keyboards

Rodney Gipson, originally a guitarist from Detroit, MI, has performed as pianist/keyboardist with numerous Chicago based artists and bands. His stylistic influences range from R&B, Funk, World Beat, Reggae and Calypso to Jazz and Free Jazz. He has performed many with artists and bands including: Funkadesi (Wolrd Beat), Mark Stampley & Eclypse of the Moon, Edwin Daugherty (saxaphonist) Harold Attebury (trumpet), Roy Ayers, Denise Davis, The Big Bad Ass Band (Underground Wonder Bar), Lorna Boston (jazz vocalist), Eric Watson (Detoit Jazz guitarist) and many others.

Rodney Gipson’s MySpace: Rodney Gipson
Rodney Gipson @ CenterStageChicago

Joshua Long
Joshua Long - Keyboards
Photo by Lyle Raqui Mason

Joshua Long is versed in many different musical styles ranging from jazz to gospel to rock to classical. An Instructer at SoundStage School of Music, he is a recent graduate of the University of the Arts where he earned his BA in music with a focus on jazz piano. He has studied with jazz greats such as Don Glanden and Tom Lawton. Joshua is also a talented guitarist, composer, and producer who has worked hip hop, pop, rock and r+b records, and gigs regularly around Philadelphia.

Camille G. Brown
Camille G. Brown - Keyboards, Vocals

Chicago native Camille G. Brown has been encircled in music.

Camille started off in the Children’s Choir in her church on the south side of Chicago. Classically trained, she started piano at 8. “For a while, that’s all I wanted to do. I favored that over singing.” However, she didn’t stop singing in choirs.

She continued on with a few choirs in her church and also became a part of the chorale at the Merit Music Conservatory, where she attended every weekend as a teenager. Merit taught her to be a better pianist as well. Camille has been a singer and keyboardist in two bands: Soul Prodigy and Kewl Beanz. She has performed in many venues, including the Taste of Chicago, Arie Crowne Theater, The Rumba, The Yacht Club, Checkerboard Lounge, Inclusive, and Weeds.

Along with singing jazz with The Rodney Gipson Quartet and Soul Prodigy, she never stops working in the studio.

Camille’s MySpace: Camille G. Brown
Camille’s YouTube page
Camille Brown at The Rumba

Napoleon Black
Napoleon Black - Percussion
Photo by Jessie Gimbel

Napoleon Black has performed and recorded with Denise King, Jamaaladeen Tacuma and many others.

Jason O'Mara
Jason O'Mara - Tenor and Soprano Saxophones
Photo by Jessie Gimbel

A Philadelphia native, Jason performs and teaches throughout the Philadelphia area. He keeps a busy schedule working as a freelance saxophonist, clarinetist, flautist, oboist, composer, arranger, recording-engineer, and producer. Jason has performed with Natalie Cole, James Moody, Randy Brecker, John Swana, Jon Faddis, The Temptations and many others.

Paul Rogers
Paul Rogers - Trumpet

Trumpeter Paul Rogers resides in Philadelphia, where he is currently on scholarship attending The University of the Arts.  Paul has also studied in New York City at The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music.  Paul has played in various venues on the east coast, including an appearance at Dizzy’s Coca-Cola Club at Lincoln Center.  The 20-year-old North Carolina native began his jazz studies in his early teens under the direction of the venerable trumpeter Ray Codrington, who played on the original recording of Freedom Jazz Dance, with Eddie Harris.  He has studied with many famed jazz artists, including John Swana, Charles Tolliver, Jeremy Pelt, Jimmy Owens, and Stephen Riley.

Marcell Belinger
Marcell Bellinger - Trumpet

Marcell’s MySpace page

Marcell has performed with the Rob Stimpson Group, Vocalist Jerry Harris and Bob Dorough as well as leading his own Trio. He has also performed with The Quartet. He has studied with Dave Liebman and Phil Woods.

Todd Horton
Todd Horton - Trumpet, Electric Trumpet, Flugelhorn and Production
Photo by Jessie Gimbel

Todd Horton is a trumpeter, flugelhornist, composer and producer who has produced albums for many artists in various genres as well as his own boutique label Soulsearch Music.

Todd led his own groups in New York City for thirteen years, was first lieutenant to famed altoist Arnie Lawrence for eight years, performing with greats such as Herman Foster, Winston Grennan, Hiram Bullock, David Tronzo, Vernon Reed, Billy Bang, Rashid Ali, Maceo Parker, Joan Osborne, Blues Traveler, Richard Bona, African Blue Note, Badal Roy and Bernard Purdie among many others. He was also a member of The Spin Doctors, Buddy Miles Experience, The Neville Family Affair, Winston Grennan and Ska Rocks, Phoebe Legere, Richie Cole's Alto Madness Orchestra, Atilla Engin's New World Orchestra, African Blue Note, Richard Bona and Ani Difranco's traveling circus and freakshow.

Educated at Ithaca Community School of Music and Art, Berklee College of Music, Ithaca College of Music and The New School Jazz Program in New York City.

Frank Williams
Frank Williams - Percussion
Photo by Jessie Gimbel

Philadelphia percussionist Frank “Squirrel” Williams has played in literally thousands of Jazz and Funk settings, he also teaches West African, Cuban and Brazilian music to local drummers and percussionists.

Jason Mescia
Jason Mescia - Tenor Saxophone
Photo by Jessie Gimbel

Jason Mescia has an extensive background in jazz and classical and has studied with James Houlik, Mike Tomaro, Steve Pollock, Kenny Werner, Niel Wetzel, David Cutler and others

Joel Kunreuther
Joel Kunreuther - Guitar, Composition
Photo by Jessie Gimbel

Joel Kunreuther has played with a plethora of musicians in almost every style imaginable from Reggae to Rock to Blues to Jazz to Latin to Swing to Dance to Disco and to Klezmer; Joel has experienced music in it’s true form and function. Upon graduating from Temple University School of Music Cum Laude, Joel Kunreuther played in an original funk band entitled Wabi Sabi, while at the same time playing in the Joe Dawson Band, a corporate/ wedding outfit. While keeping his hands full, Joel has pursued original composition, and arrangements for big bands.

Joel has recorded two CDs as a leader, not to mention having numerous dates on other peoples records. Joel also teaches privately. Having studied with such guitar sages as Chuck Anderson, Ed Flanagan, Tom Giacobetti, and New York Jazz Guitarist Peter Bernstein, Joel believes that to be an excellent musician one must stay busy, be constantly vigilant, and always challenge oneself.

Dan Greenberg
Dan Greenberg - Bass, Composition
Photo by Jessie Gimbel

Bassist Greenberg studied with Al Stauffer, performed with The Doug Markley Band, The Incurables, Bo Diddley, Mary Wells, The Orlons, Brenda Smith, Dominant Curve, Zen Cons, Robert Bell's Guitar Army, Helium Toad vs. Sound Efx, Krunch, Steve Brown's Slant Six, Peter "Stone" Brown and many others.