Leigh Daniels Ensemble

Leigh Daniels

Leigh Daniels Ensemble





Leigh Daniels Ensemble

  • $5 General Admission
  • Leigh Daniels, double bass and leader
  • Travis Auckerman, drums and music director
  • Daniel McDonald, vibraphone/percussion and banjo
  • Galen Bundy, piano and keyboard
  • Tyler Auckerman, guitar
  • Steve Wood, saxophones, clarinet and flute
  • Brad Phillips, violin and mandolin

Event Details

"The Leigh Daniels Ensemble might easily be mistaken for a jazz band but it is really a contemporary chamber ensemble. I formed it to play the music I compose and the overall sound I am trying to create requires a group of the same people playing together over an extended period of time. The Ensemble’s weekly rehearsals give me a chance to hear and play the music I am currently writing. Ensemble concerts offer the opportunity to hear a mix of contemporary chamber and jazz compositions in a program that is predominantly my original music." - Leigh Daniels

Leigh Daniels

Leigh Daniels began his career in music in high school, playing harmonica and bass in a blues group. During high school in Washington DC he was influenced by flutist Lloyd McNeil, saxophonist Andrew White and drummer Eric Gravatt. He came to Ann Arbor in 1975, to study music at the University of Michigan Residential College. As a student, Daniels’ composition was deeply influenced by Jane Heirich, then the head of the residential college music program. He also studied composition with William Bolcom, retired Pulitzer Prize-winning faculty member at the University of Michigan School of Music. Since 2002, Daniels has studied composition and arranging with pianist Tad Weed. He has also studied bass with Derek Weller and Jeff Halsey.

Travis Auckerman

Travis Aukerman is a drummer, percussionist, composer, and arranger based in Toledo, OH. He has studied drum set and percussion under Dr. Olman Piedra and Jonathan Ovalle, as well as composition and arranging with Tad Weed. In May of 2015, he graduated magna cum laude from the University of Toledo with a Bachelors in Music Performance (jazz concentration). During his time at UT, Travis received a strong musical foundation in Jazz and Classical percussion as well as exposure to music and culture from the Caribbean Islands, South America, Northern India, and West Africa. He furthered these studies while away from school last summer when he traveled to New York City to study with acclaimed drummer Henry Cole. In 2013, Travis was one of two recipients of the Deans Award from the College of Communication and the Arts for his outstanding achievements in composition and performance. That same year, Travis received the Bernard Sanchez Scholarship, which awards students for excellence in musical performance. He is currently endorsed by Bosphorus Cymbals, based in Istanbul, Turkey.

Daniel McDonald

Daniel McDonald is a freelance performer, composer, and educator in southeast Michigan as well as the adjunct professor of percussion for Albion college. He holds degrees in music performance from Central Michigan University, and the University of Michigan.

Galen Bundy

Galen Bundy is a pianist, organist, synthesist, composer, and arranger based in southern Michigan. He has studied jazz with Tad Weed, David Bixler, Jeff Halsey, Kevin Bales, and classically with Dr. George Lucktenberg. Galen received his undergraduate degree in jazz piano from Bowling Green State University in 2015, where he now works as a guest pianist for select concerts and is a pianist for the Art Tatum jazz society of Toledo. He plays Rhodes and synthesizers in Groove Plexus, Hammond B3 organ in the Galen Bundy Organ trio, and composes for large ensemble. Galen also organizes improvised music events with the goal of bringing classically trained free improvisers/composers and free improvisers/composers trained in the Jazz tradition together. As an educator, Galen teaches piano at Milford music, as well as privately.

Tyler Auckerman

Tyler Aukerman is a lifelong student of music who took up guitar at 14 after previously exploring the trumpet for several years. While studying Business
at the University of Toledo, he played all throughout NW Ohio with psychedelic rock group, Indigo. This lead him to the University of Toledo Jazz program and eventually earned his Bachelor of Music in 2015 (Jazz Performance). While attending UT Tyler studied guitar under Jay Rinsen Weik and composition with Tad Weed. He now plays solo and with groups Dragon Wagon, The Sugar Snaps, and Tyler Aukerman Trio at many different venues throughout Ohio and Michigan, and has been a guest artist with the Estar Cohen Project. He has a studio of private guitar lessons and is also an endorsed artist through GHS strings and Rocktron electronics.

Steve Wood

Steve Wood has studied music at Oakland University and at the University of Michigan where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1975. At Oakland, he was a student in one of the country’s first jazz education programs which was directed by jazz great Marvin “Doc” Holiday. In addition to his university training, Steve studied with world famous trumpeter Marcus Belgrave and performed in his Jazz Development Workshop.

In 1990 and 1991, Steve was awarded National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships which supported a period of study in New York City with master saxophonist George Coleman. Steve is currently on the music faculty at the Cranbrook Academy. He teaches privately at Northville High School, and also gives private lessons at several music studios located throughout metro Detroit. 

Since his training with Detroit Professors Holladay, Sanders, and Belgrave, Steve has maintained an active performing career in Michigan and beyond. He has toured Europe twice with the Paul Keller Orchestra, and has recorded with a number of the region’s top players and bands, including Scott Gwinnell, Bill Heid, Brad Felt, Don Mayberry, Ron English, Ed Nuccilli, and the Toledo Jazz Orchestra. Steve has performed with a veritable who’s who of stars in jazz and musical theater, including Robert Goulet, Sammy Davis Jr., Jack Jones, Aretha Franklin, the Four Tops, and the Temptations. In recent years he has worked with a number of major jazz artists at the Detroit International Jazz Festival, including Kenny Burrell, John Faddis, John Clayton, and Mose Allison.

Brad Phillips

Brad Phillips is a multi-instrumentalist from the great state of Michigan. Holding both bachelors and masters degrees from the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance, Brad’s work as a fiddler, violinist, mandolinist, guitarist, arranger, composer, producer and teacher has made him one of the area’s most sought-after acoustic musicians. He has appeared with the likes of Jeff Daniels, The Verve Pipe, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Joshua Davis, The Elders, May Erlewine, Seth Bernard, Drew De Four, and toured for 10 years with Celtic super-group Millish. A resident artist at the Purple Rose Theatre in Chelsea, MI, Brad also works as a sound designer and musical director. He teaches Roots Music & Improvisation for Strings at The U of M String Preparatory Academy, and has several performance projects of his own including duos with virtuoso bassist Jacob Warren, guitarist extraordinaire Jesse Mason, The Roots Music Strings, and others.