Joseph Luna, Tenor Sax
Joseph Luna is an acclaimed saxophonist, flautist, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist (drums, percussion, piano, bass). He is a San Diego Music Awards (SDMA) Best Jazz nominee, who has played with top artists throughout Southern California. He has also performed in New York, Italy and Spain.
Joseph has opened for a diverse range of performers including Johnny Mathis, Allan Holdsworth, Stu Hamm, rocker Don Dokken, the Beverly Hills Unlisted Jazz Band, and Chicago founders (and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame members) Bill Champlain and Danny Seraphim. He has jammed with heavyweights like Jeff “Tain” Watts, The Wrecking Crew, Albert Lee, Vincent Herring, and with celebrities like Dick Van Dyke and Charlie Callas.
Joseph Luna performs a variety of music in a variety of formats, including a Duo, Trio, Quartet, etc. In addition to covers in many genres, Joseph is a composer and arranger of original, fun jazz works and arrangements that engage jazz fans and casual listeners alike.
Joseph's saxophone playing has been compared to Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Paquito D'Rivera, Michael Brecker, Paul Desmond, Lee Konitz, Frank Morgan and Art Pepper. His vocals have been compared to Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra, Jack Jones and even Ella Fitzgerald! Joseph's flute playing has been called the best in town!
In addition to his own groups, Joseph appears with many local musicians and groups (including Bump City Brass, Big Band Express and San Diego Music Makers)
Lenny Light, Baritone Sax
Growing up in Newport, RI, Lenny learned how to play the clarinet from Navy musicians who lived above the family grocery store. At 13 he got his first saxophone, joined a rock and roll band and never looked back. He played clarinet and saxophones in the University of Rhode Island symphonic wind ensemble and marching band while pursuing a degree in Philosophy. He has played in orchestras, Dixieland, rhythm and blues, community, and dance bands. Lenny moved to California in 1983 and lives in Rancho San Diego with the lovely Jennifer. He has been with the band since the summer of 2009 and is honored to be playing with the outstanding musicians in the Big Band Express.
Tyler Richardson, Alto Sax
Born in San Diego, saxophonist Tyler Richardson attended San Diego State University where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Saxophone Performance in 2006. In 2008, Tyler completed his Master’s Degree in Jazz Studies from San Diego State University. Tyler has studied with saxophonists: Lee Elderton, Jay Easton, Douglas Masek, Todd Rewoldt, John Rekevics and Christopher Hollyday. Tyler has been performing professionally throughout San Diego for 10 years. Tyler has worked with the San Diego Musical Theatre, Lamb’s Players Theatre, and Moonlight Stage Productions performing in several musicals at the Moonlight Amphitheatre in Vista and the Lyceum in Downtown San Diego. Along with performing Tyler maintains Richardson Music Studios, a private teaching studio for students of saxophone, clarinet, flute and piano. Tyler also teaches with the San Diego Youth Symphony as a community teaching artist with the Opus Program and as a private clarinet instructor with their Balboa Park Ensembles.
Tim Gamelle, Alto Sax
Born and raised in San Diego California, Tim Gamelle has been teaching and playing professionally for over 25 years. He started playing music at a very young age. He began playing piano at age 6 but really wanted to play saxophone. When he was 13 he got his first saxophone and it has been his favorite instrument ever since. He played in school band in jr. high and high school. After graduating he played with the Grossmont Jazz Ensemble and began teaching private lessons. He also started playing with local bands as well as doing studio work. In 1994 he moved to the east coast spending time gigging mainly around different parts of Florida as well as Charleston South Carolina. In Charleston he taught an after school lesson program for Northwoods Academy and Cathedral Academy. Both are very prestigious private schools. In 2004 Tim moved back to San Diego and is currently playing with Big Band Express.
Michael Panther, Tenor Sax
After studying music education at Rutgers University and music composition at N.Y.U., Michael Panther is pleased to continue his musical lifestyle with Big Band Express. Michael switched from violin to saxophone when he was ten years old. He currently plays with four big bands, including Big Band Express, along with a concert band and several rock bands in the San Diego area