James Gilyard The name James Gilyard means many things - jazz bassist, composer, producer and lecturer. Gilyard has performed with Kenny Burrell, James Clay, Red Garland, Barney Kessell, Billy Hart and Roseanne Vitro to name a few and has three of his own recordings under his belt. Gilyard was born in Stillwater, Oklahoma in 1945 and graduated from Langston University with a B.A. in education in 1967. He undertook post graduate studies in Human Relations at the University of Oklahoma and recently retired as a human resource/training manager for a Fortune 500 company.

James's early music career included three years during the Viet Nam era in the 97th United States Army Field Artillery Band. He also served as staff bassist for Benson Sound Studios in Oklahoma City during the early 70's. Gilyard, who is sought out for his solid and sensitive accompaniment, is a favorite rhythm section member in the bands of many Dallas area jazz notables. Gilyard has been featured in articles by the Dallas Morning News, The Dallas Observer and Buddy Magazine.

James's knowledge and experience have been instrumental in the development of many Dallas-Fort Worth area artists. James is a former artistic director for the Sammons Jazz series at the Sammons Center for the Arts in Dallas. 

 Robert Aberg Robert Aberg is a guitarist/composer whose musical background lies solidly within the jazz and blues traditions. He cites as his principle influences on guitar bluesmen Lightnin’ Hopkins and Freddie King, and jazz guitarists Jim Hall and John Scofield. After graduating from UT Austin, Robert studied with Jack Peterson at the University of North Texas. Robert has played with a number of area jazz greats, including the legendary Texas tenor saxophonist James Clay. Other long standing musical associates include pianist Steve Sonday, vibraphonist Ed Smith, guitarist Chris DeRose, drummer Ted Wasser, and bassists Stone Savage and James Gilyard. Robert can be heard performing one of his own compositions ("Joe's Beach") on bassist James Gilyard's 1996 release "I Tell My Heart." Robert has led his own trio at several of the Dallas Museum of Art’s Thursday evening concert series and at  Jazz Connection. He has twice been the featured performer at the Sammons Jazz Series, most recently to celebrate the release of his first CD, "Degrees of Freedom" in December of 1998.

Robert is a native Dallasite, where he lives with his wife, Sarah, and their two children. Since earning his doctorate from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas in 1989 he has worked to balances his musical pursuits with the demands of his "day job" -- that of a clinical psychologist.

Contact Information:

Robert Aberg
8215 Westchester, Ste. 319
Dallas, Texas 75225
email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 Don Ambrose Inspired by his band leader father, Don Ambrose, the popular Dallas jazz pianist and the leader of the Don Ambrose Trio, began playing professionally at age fifteen. Ambrose started his musical career as a drummer and vibraphone player in his hometown of Youngstown, Ohio. He studied privately and performed in New York City. Performances in New York City included various venues and the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Manhattan. During his college career, he was a member of the award winning college group at the prestigious Wichita Jazz Festival, where he was recognized as one of the outstanding players, and also performed at the Notre Dame Jazz Festival.

In 1992, the Don Ambrose Trio - Ambrose on piano, James Gilyard on bass and drummer Ted Wasser - recorded their debut album entitled, "The Art Of Conversation". Their latest recording, "The Gift", was recorded in 2000 and features some of the songs that are most popular in the trio's public appearances. Bassist, James Gilyard, produced both albums. Don has also demonstrated his compositional skills in collaboration with singer/lyricist Bettye Pierce Zoller on a composition entitled "What Is Jazz?".

In addition to having performed at the Jazz Under The Stars concert series and Thursday Night Jazz at the Dallas Museum of Art, Ambrose has appeared with Mel Torme, Ramsey Lewis, and at The Sammons Center for the Arts Jazz series, The Meyerson Symphony hall and the Dallas Shakespeare Festival's Jazz In The Park. The trio has also performed in support of World Cup Soccer, The America's Cup Kickoff, The NFL Eastern division championship reception, Mary Kay Cosmetic's annual convention, The GTE Byron Nelson Golf Tournament and the USA Film Festival. Ambrose has also performed for dignitaries such as President and Mrs. George W. Bush (while Governor of Texas), Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, Ross Perot, Bill Blass, Lezza Gibbons, Ungaro, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson, Lady Bird Johnson and Lord Callahan, former prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

His first Generativity CD "The Gift" was released in 2000.

 Gregory Slavin Jazz pianist and composer Gregory Slavin, began playing music at the age of 5, encouraged by his father, a violinist. Discovered to be talented, Slavin was enrolled in the Gnesin Music School for Gifted Children in 1965 and graduated with honorable distinction. He attended the University of Gnesin on Moscow and studied the principles of classical and jazz harmony, instrumental arranging and music theory. He also played in numerous concerts and jazz festivals.

After graduating, Slavin joined various jazz groups which toured the Soviet Union, including Fantazia, Arsenal and Pouchie Serdza, all the while composing his own music. From 1984-1989, he taught "The Origins and Development Of Jazz Improvisation" and Jazz Ensemble Playing" at his alma mater, The University of Gnesin. During this time he became a house musician at a renowned restaurant in the Kremlin area where he garnered favorable reviews. He published many compositions in those days, including "Short Story", "Melodies Of Soviet Jazz" and "Remembrance".

In 1990, Slavin followed a friend to Dallas, Texas. His first stop upon arriving was a local jazz club where he sat in. While at the club he met James Gilyard who later featured Slavin on his 1995 CD release "Speak To My Heart". Most importantly, Gilyard recognized Slavin's talent and produced Slavin's debut CD release, "Inspiration". In 2001, Slavin released his second CD, "Following The Dream", a collection of 8 originals.

"Inspiration" is an eclectic recording that features Slavin's compositions from traditional bop trio pieces to synthesized pieces. Slavin is joined on the recording by bassist James Gilyard, drummer Andrew Griffith and Gale Hess, violinist for the popular Dallas group Cafe Noir. Slavin's piano can also be heard on Josh Alan's CD "The Worst", which is a tribute to movie maker Ed Wood. Slavin has been featured in articles in The Dallas Morning News and The Dallas Observer.


 Sandra Kaye Sandra Kaye is a friendly, plainspoken, down-to-earth lady. She likes to walk, listen to jazz, read good books and frequent the theatre. She is a good chess player and loves the Turtle Creek Chorale. Classified as one of the finest jazz vocalists of today, Sandra prefers the sound of Dee Dee Bridgewater and has an undeniable love for Sarah, Billie, Ella, Dinah, Nancy, Lena and Peggy - women who only need a first name.

Concert appearances include: The Dallas Museum of Art, The Black Academy of Arts and Letters, Caravan of Dreams, Sammons Center for the Arts, Jazz in Sundance Square, African American Museum of Art and Culture, The Worthington Hotel, Mesquite Arts Center, The Bahamian Embassy in DC and crowning the Fiesta Bowl Queen in Phoenix

In July, 2001, Ms. Kaye released "What Will I Tell My Heart?" a tribute to Dinah Washington.


 Kelly Durbin Kelly Durbin holds a Master of Music Degree from the University of North Texas. He also taught at the prestigious jazz studies school for two years on a fellowship. During his time at UNT, he performed with various artists, including David "Fathead" Newman, Chuck Rainey, Louis Hayes, Cornell Dupree, Hank Crawford and Roy Hargrove.
 Karl Lampman Karl Lampman holds a Master of Music degree from UNT. During his time at UNT, Lampman was a member of the One O'Clock Lab Band and has performed with numerous artists, including Ronnie Ball, Rosemary Clooney, Johnny Mathis, Billy Daniels and Buddy Greco. Lampman also toured with the Barnum & Bailey - Ringling Brother's Circus as well as the Ice Capades Band.


 Andrew Griffith Andrew Griffith is the youngest member of the ensemble and is currently a student at UNT. He is a graduate of the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing Arts that has a rich history of turning out talented young players whose musical maturity is well beyond their chronological age. Andrew's professional credits include work with Marchel Ivery, Joey Defrancesco, Jack McDuff, James Gilyard and Roseanne Vitro.