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From the Grunin Center for the Arts on the campus of Ocean County College, enjoy music for Brass Ensemble from Civil War era Marches through Ragtime, New Orleans Jazz, and Blues and Swing music.  This concert features music by composers George Gershwin, Scott Joplin, C.W. Handy, Duke Ellington, and Louis Armstrong, performed by the Garden State Philharmonic Brass Quintet and Percussion. To be redirected to the ticketing page, please click here.



Garden State Philharmonic Brass Quintet and Percussion

Michael Baker, Trumpet 1

Olivia Pidi, Trumpet 2

Roger Verdi, Trombone

Karl Kramer-Johansen, Horn

Wes Krygsman, Tuba

Greg Landes, Percussion

Diane Wittry, Conductor and Music Director

Strike up the Band – George Gershwin, arr. Bill Holcombe

High Society – Jazz Masterpieces from the Dixieland Era arr. Luther Henderson

The Entertainer – Scott Joplin, arr. Arthur Frackenpohl

Simple Gifts – Aaron Copland, arr. Jari Villanueva

Beale Street Blues – C.W Handy, arr. Luther Henderson

Sweet Georgia Brown – Ben Bernie & Maceo Pinkard, arr. Luther Henderson

St. James Infirmary – Irving Mills, arr. Luther Henderson featuring Roger Verdi, Trombone

Bess you is my Woman Now – George Gershwin, arr. Dan Lube

Selections from West Side Story (Maria, Somewhere, America) – Leonard Bernstein, arr. Jack Gale

The Cottontail Caper – Duke Ellington, arr. Luther Henderson

It Don’t Mean a Thing if it Ain’t Got That Swing – Duke Ellington, arr. David Kosmyna

Strike up the Band – Reprise George Gershwin, arr. Bill Holcomb




Michael Baker, Trumpet 1


Michael Baker, trumpet, holds both a Bachelor and Masters Degree from the Juilliard School where he studied with Philip Smith, Mark Gould and Edward Treutel. An accomplished musician, he has played several Broadway shows including Nine, Billy Elliot, Mary Poppins, My Fair Lady, and An American in Paris. In addition to these prestigious performances, Michael has also toured worldwide as a soloist. Michael currently is a freelance musician in the New York/New Jersey area while serving as a Professor of Trumpet at the William Paterson University.


Olivia Pidi, Trumpet 2


Olivia Pidi, Trumpet 2, is an active chamber and orchestral musician in the Tri-State area. She has performed in concerts at Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium, Chicago’s Symphony Center, and the DiMenna Center for Classical Music, and is currently a member of the NYC-based quintet Calliope Brass in addition to being 2nd trumpet of The Montclair Orchestra. Olivia has received the Alsop Family Foundation’s Entrepreneurship Award and placed in the 2019 International Women’s Brass Conference audition competitions. She holds degrees from Manhattan School of Music (MM) and Oberlin Conservatory (BM).


Karl Kramer-Johansen, Horn


Karl Kramer-Johansen, Horn, is a much sought-after chamber musician, soloist, and recitalist. In addition to performing with the Garden State Philharmonic, he performs regularly in New York City as a member of the Jupiter Symphony Chamber Players and the Dorian Wind Quintet, as well as touring across the country. As principal horn of the Jupiter Symphony for four seasons, he soloed in the well-known concerti by Strauss and Mozart as well as in rarities by Dubois, Reinecke, Chabrier, and Saint-Saëns.


Roger Verdi, Trombone


Roger Verdi, trombone, is an active free-lance musician in the New York /New Jersey area. Ensembles he has performed with include: the New Jersey Symphony, American Ballet Theater, New Jersey Festival Orchestra, Allentown Symphony, the New Philharmonic of New Jersey and many others. He is also a recitalist and recording artist. His fifth CD, American Works for Trombone, Volume 2, is scheduled for release this fall.


Wes Krygsman, Tuba


Wes Krygsman is a freelance tuba player and music teacher in the NJ/NYC area.  He has performed with ensembles such as the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Queens Symphony, The Orchestra Now at Bard, Richmond County Orchestra, Gramercy Brass Orchestra, Imperial Brass Band, as well as Rhebel Brass quintet, and many others. He has been teaching applied tuba and euphonium lessons at Kean University in Union NJ for 4 years, as well as maintaining a private studio of all ages and levels.


Gregory Landes, Percussion


Gregory Landes, Percussion, works and performs in a wide variety of musical genres and settings. Gregory is a drummer, percussionist, composer, educator and arranger. In addition to the Garden State Philharmonic, he has played with the likes of The New Jersey Symphony, Novus NY, The New Haven Symphony, The American Symphony Orchestra, New York Chorale Society, The Brooklyn Philharmonic, Princeton Symphony, and the Albany Symphony. Gregory has also been the Drummer and Percussionist for over 50 Broadway and Off-Broadway productions.