Meet Some Alumni

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John Fedchock
John Fedchock


John Fedchock’s illustrious career in jazz has spanned over three decades. Since his emergence on the scene in 1980, Fedchock has established himself as a world-class trombone soloist, a heralded bandleader and a Grammy-nominated arranger. An in-demand performer and writer in New York City, his multifaceted talents have led him to become one of NYC’s premier jazz artists. His critically acclaimed John Fedchock New York Big Band has become a marquee group, showcasing Fedchock’s trombone and arranging as well as the band’s all-star soloists. The JFNYBB’s five CDs on the MAMA and Reservoir Music labels have all received high praise from critics and extraordinary success on national jazz radio charts. The early success of the band resulted in Fedchock’s name appearing in Downbeat’s Readers Poll under the categories of Trombone, Arranger and Big Band, simultaneously for several consecutive years. In recognition of his formidable arranging skills, Fedchock is a two-time Grammy Award nominee for “Best Instrumental Arrangement.” The JFNYBB’s recordings have appeared in jazz radio’s Top Ten, and The New York Times has applauded the band’s “Cheerful Syncopation, Served With Spit-and-Polish Precision.” Small group projects with his quartet and NY Sextet showcase A-list sidemen along with Fedchock’s “incomparable trombone playing, which seems to have no limit, technically or musically” (JazzReview.com).

Fedchock began his career as a jazz trombonist when he joined the legendary Woody Herman Orchestra in 1980. He toured with Woody’s “Thundering Herd” for seven years, during which time he was musical director and a featured soloist. He served as musical coordinator and chief arranger in the production of Herman’s last two Grammy Award nominated albums 50th Anniversary Tour and Woody’s Gold Star, and received accolades from jazz journalists worldwide. Famed jazz critic Leonard Feather called him the “unsung hero” of Woody’s 50th Anniversary Tour album and Woody said of Fedchock, “He’s my right hand man. Everything I ask of John he accomplishes, and I ask a lot. He’s a major talent.” Downbeat magazine stated that “it was the young blood of musicians like Fedchock that helped keep Woody Herman’s last years musically healthy and growing.” Fedchock still maintains a close association with the Herman orchestra, performing with the group on occasion and continuing to add his own compositions and arrangements to the band’s library.

Fedchock has toured with T. S. Monk, Gerry Mulligan Concert Jazz Band, Louie Bellson Big Band, Bob Belden Ensemble, Manhattan Jazz Orchestra, Jon Faddis Jazz Orchestra and the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, and has performed at jazz festivals and concert halls around the world. As a solo artist, he appears throughout the United States and abroad performing as guest trombonist/composer/conductor. To add to his already diverse list of multiple talents, Fedchock is also a producer of note, and has lent his studio expertise to several recent recording projects.

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Fedchock is a graduate of The Ohio State University with degrees in Music Education and Jazz Studies. He also holds a master’s degree in Jazz Studies and Contemporary Media from the prestigious Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. He is an in-demand clinician, and conducts seminars and workshops at colleges and universities across the country. His compositions and arrangements are published by Jazzlines Publications, Kendor Music Inc, and Walrus Music Publishing. John Fedchock is a trombone artist for XO Professional Brass and plays XO trombones exclusively. His collaboration with the prominent instrument company to create the XO1632 trombone has proven to be an overwhelming success in both innovative design and industry popularity. Visit www.johnfedchock.com

My time at Ohio State University not only offered me a great musical education, it also introduced me to people and experiences that significantly contributed in preparing me for my life as a professional. — John Fedchock


Chris Ott
Chris Ott


Chris Ott is a trombonist, beatboxer, composer, arranger and educator based in Brooklyn, New York. He is a founding member of the band Huntertones as well as the brass band, Shag Horns. Chris has shared the stage with Ricky Martin, Allen Stone, Umphrey's McGee, Jeff Coffin, O.A.R., Vulfpeck, Lew Soloff, and performed with the national tour of Guys and Dolls, The Disneyland All-American College Band, The Columbus Jazz Orchestra, and many others. As a composer Chris has garnered honors including the ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Award (2015, 2017) and winning the 2017 American Trombone Workshop National Trombone Composition Competition. His composition "Welcome to the Neighborhood" has been featured on NPR's Morning Edition, and his latest composition work can be heard on Huntertones’ 2018 release, Passport.

As an educator, Chris has presented master classes and clinics in schools throughout the country. He has also served as a musical ambassador for the American Music Abroad program, presenting workshops and concerts throughout North, South and Central America; the Caribbean; Africa and Europe with Huntertones. Other teaching positions include work with the Miami Valley Jazz Camp, Jazz Arts Group Columbus, New Jersey Performing Arts Center, and the Jamey Aebersold Summer Jazz Workshops.

Chris hails from Kettering, Ohio and studied music education and jazz performance at The Ohio State University. He received a master’s degree in jazz trombone performance from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Another side of his musical personality includes playing more obscure instruments like toy trumpets, slide whistles and conch shells. His video “Toy Trumpet Virtuoso” has received millions of views all over the internet!

Chris Ott performs on a King 2101L trombone and uses Warburton mouthpieces.

Ohio State was an amazing place for me to get a well-rounded education and have the opportunity to work with outstanding faculty and like-minded students. As a music student from 2006–2011, I was able to study jazz, classical, and music education while participating in marching band, jazz ensemble, wind symphony and jazz combos. Ohio State allowed me the freedom to explore my interests and helped tremendously in setting up the course for my career. The band, Huntertones, formed out of Ohio State students and we have since moved to New York City and travelled the world playing our original music. I'm very grateful for the experiences I had at Ohio State and would not be where I am today without the support of such a great institution. Go Bucks! — Chris Ott


Tony Weikel
Tony Weikel


Tony Weikel, originally from Buffalo, New York, attended SUNY College at Fredonia where he received a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education. He then attended Duquesne University where he earned his Master of Music degree in trombone performance. After graduation, he spent time freelancing in the greater Pittsburgh area. Tony then attended Indiana University, continuing his graduate work focusing on trombone performance. While in Indiana he won a position with the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic, substituted regularly with the Louisville Orchestra and was active as a freelance musician throughout Central Indiana.

After his time at Indiana University, Tony moved to Columbus and completed his Doctor of Musical Arts in trombone in August 2015 at Ohio State. While in Columbus, he has thrived as a freelance musician while keeping a busy teaching schedule. Tony’s current positions are second trombone with the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, adjunct trombone instructor at Capital University, and adjunct low brass instructor at Otterbein University. His principal teachers have included Carl Mazzio, Scott Parkinson, Peter Sullivan, Murray Crewe, Peter Ellefson and Joe Duchi.
 


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