Rob Crozier, bass, didjeridoo, percussion
Rafael Statin, reeds
Keaton Royer, piano/keyboard
Rob Avsharian, drums
Aron Kaufman, percussion
Kelly McDermott, flute
Rob Crozier is a professional musician, composer/arranger living in the Southeastern Michigan area. Mr. Crozier holds a BFA for Jazz and Contemporary Improvisation in Double Bass from University of Michigan. His teachers include Robert Hurst, Diana Gannett, David Friesen and Rufus Reid.
Mr. Crozier’s twenty year musical career has included sharing bills with groups like Blues Traveler and Credence Clearwater Revisted and sharing stages with jazz greats like Perry Robinson and Tony Malaby. Throughout the early 2000s Mr. Crozier curated an ongoing radio program on WCBN called “Music is Freedom” where his groups would perform free improvisation live on the air. Mr. Crozier is the co-founder and co-creator with his wife Kelly McDermott in the Celtic fusion band Nessa.
Rafael Statin aka Leafar is one of those rarest of multi-instrumentalist who can combine great passion, intellectual discipline, and a spiritual fire that is evocative of great artistic creativity. Hailing from Detroit, Michigan, Rafael's connection to music was jazz, r&b & soul, fostered from a musical family at an early age.
Rafael Statin has had the greatest privilege of sharing the performance space among some of greatest creative artist and musicians on the scene today including the 7x grammy (4x emmy) awarded bassist Robert Hurst III, jazz master Reggie Workman (bassist of John Coltrane & Art Blakey), drum legend Jeff “Tain” Watts, NEA Jazz master Jimmy Owens, Detroit Trumpet legend Marcus Belgrave, Grammy awarded producer/ musician Kamau Kenyatta, drummer/producer Greg Hutchinson, and Detroit experimental hip-hop producer Sterling Toles to name a few.
Currently Rafael tours with Robert Hurst Group, he is one of many members of the Detroit super group Video7 as a saxophonist/producer, and a member of an upcoming influential music collective called PolyFold.
Keaton grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan and began studying jazz and classical piano there under the direction of Kurt Ellenberger. In 2009 Keaton moved to Ann Arbor to study at the University of Michigan with renowned Detroit pianist and educator Geri Allen. Keaton completed his undergraduate degree in Jazz Performance in 2013 and remained in Ann Arbor. He now performs in various jazz, pop, and R&B groups around Detroit and Ann Arbor. He also currently works as a musical accompanist in the U of M Department of Dance.
Rob Avsharian was born and raised in Ann Arbor, MI. A graduate of The University of North Texas including a stint at Berklee College of Music. Rob earned a bachelor’s degree in jazz studies from UNT in 1994. After college, while building a busy live and studio freelance schedule in Dallas, Rob co-founded the experimental new-wave/punk band Bobgoblin who later signed with MCA Records in 1997.
Rob frequently tours worldwide (US, Europe, and Asia) with guitarist Andy Timmons(2008-present), and is features on the new Andy Timmons Band release ‘Theme From A Perfect World'(2016).
Aron Kaufman is a nationally honored educator, multi percussionist and an accomplished composer. Mr. Kaufman has performed both locally and nationally, specializing in Afro Cuban Hand Drumming. During his rich and varied music career, he has played congas and percussion with numerous bands and many notable artists including Louis Smith and the University of Michigan Jazz Band, Lunar Glee Club, Lunar Octet, Tumbao Bravo, Charged Particles, Ted Curson, Craig Taborn, Marcus Belgrave, Eddie Russ, Rick Margitza, Larry Nozero, Peter Madcat Ruth, Deborah Henson - Conant, Karim Abdul Bader, The Spirit Singing Band, and Gemini.
Mr. Kaufman’s compositions have been featured on NPR, WEMU, WCBN, WDET, Channel 4 “Good Afternoon Detroit,” and on the soundtrack of Cuba’s Forgotten Jewels, a documentary film that is screening internationally.
Kelly McDermott has traveled the U.S., Canada and Europe as performer, teacher and student. She has a Bachelor of Music degree in flute performance and music therapy from Michigan State University. She also has a Master of Music and Professional Studies degree in flute performance from Temple University in Philadelphia. Ms. McDermott participated in the Aspen Festival in Colorado, Teton Festival in Wyoming, Sarasota Florida Chamber festival, AIMs orchestra in Graz, Austria and others. She studied with William Bennett in England and made frequent trips to Ontario for teacher training in the Suzuki Flute Method. After her training she remained in Philadelphia for many years working as a chamber and orchestral musician around the east coast. Her professional work included performing with the Harrisburg Symphony, Haddonfield Symphony and more. Her influential teaching style garnered her an opportunity to teach Suzuki Flute in Berlin, Germany (with workshops in Pfullingen). Since returning to her native Michigan her musical journey has taken a turn. She found her voice as a singer. She now is the leader of “Nessa,” where she sings and plays piano as well as flute. She also finds great joy in researching and arranging old ballads from Europe and the U.K.