Professional Ensembles

USC Thornton students and alumni perform as members of elite combos, studio bands, and big bands led by internationally-acclaimed artists and faculty.

Bob Mintzer Big Band
Andrew Boyle – student, drums
Erik Hughes – student, trombone
Jacob Kraft – student, trombone
Blake Martin – student, trumpet
Drake Smith – student, trombone
John Daversa – alumnus, trumpet
Vikram Devasthali – alumnus, trombone

Moonchild
Max Bryk – student, saxophone
Andris Mattson – student, trumpet
Amber Navran – student, vocals/saxophone

Bill Holman’s Big Band
Erik Hughes – student, trombone
Jake Reed – student, drums

Bruce Forman’s Cow Bop Band
Jake Reed – student, drums

Pinot Funk
Sam Brawner – alumnus, drums

Recording Artists
Ambrose Akinmusire – alumnus, trumpet (Bluenote Records)
Gerald Clayton – alumnus, piano (Decca Records)
Eldar Djangirov – alumnus, piano (Sony Music Entertainment, Inc.)
Taylor Eigsti – alumnus, piano (Concord Records)
Tigran Hamasyan – alumnus, piano (Universal Music Classics & Jazz France)

Television Shows and Studio Musicians
Erik Hughes – student, trombone
Drake Smith – student, trombone
Dan Weidlein – student, saxophone
David Benoit – alumnus, drums
Robert Schaer – alumnus, trumpet
Dan Schnelle – alumnus, drums
Matt Slocum – alumnus, drums
Jamie Tate – alumnus, drums