Kurt is a native of the Chicago area and earned Music Ed and MBA degrees from Eastern Illinois University. In addition to saxophone, he studied music composition and continues to arrange and write music. His business studies lead him to a career in IT with over a decade in application development and project management. Over the years Kurt has kept music an active part of his life performing with area bands including Brass From The Past, Skapone, CLC Jazz Ensemble, and Jazz Wave. He has arranged music for and performed on several studio recordings and live sessions.
Musician by night and Architect by day, Fred grew up on the south side of Chicago. Early musical background included study at the Roy C. Knapp School of Percussion and Woodwind on South Wabash, the Morgan Park High School Jazz Band and weddings on the weekends with a trio. Since then, his experience includes the following: The Sidemen; Sound of the Big Band; Highland Park Pops; Falconaires Orchestra; Jazz Wave Band; In Full Swing Band; Windy City Big Band; Ron Smolen Orchestra; Big Band Sound of Deerfield; La Banda Siciliana di Chicago; Johny Rinaldo Band; University of Illinois Bands; Filacchione Band, Chicago; Raffles Hotel Orchestra, Singapore......having the most fun with the Sidemen today! Fred
Trumpet player Mark Heuer is a resident of Cary IL and has been married to Ellen for 32 years. Together they have a son named Brett. Mark started playing trumpet in 5th grade and played in jazz band until the age of 20. Then for the next 15 years he built his career and took time off the horn. About 20 years ago he picked up the horn again and has been playing regularly ever since. He prefers big band, but has extensive experience in church and theater playing as well.
I've been a jazz fan since I was a youngster. Growing up in the NY area in the 1950s I was first exposed to this fine sound by way of Billy Taylor's radio show on WNEW FM. He was a great musician and jazz educator and through his efforts I learned to love this music.
I'm devoted to the art of big band rhythm guitar studying but not limiting myself to the fundamental technique of Freddie Green. It is an honor and pleasure to play rhythm behind the fine musicians of the Sidemen Big Band.