New World Jazz Project artists
Born in St. Augustine, Florida, Niall’s musical forays led him to Miami, where he graduated from the University of Miami School of Music. In South Florida, Niall developed an affinity for Latin music. He performed in Central and South America, as well as several long engagements in NYC. Salsa gigs were the normal musical engagement in Miami, and it is in this genre Niall found he could freely improvise, yet maintain a groove the listener can readily relate to: for an improviser, it can be the best of both worlds. The giants of jazz music have always been Niall’s strongest musical influences. Tenor saxophone heavyweights John Coltrane, Joe Henderson and Dexter Gordon are his major mentors on that instrument. On alto sax, it was Cannonball Adderley and Sonny Stitt who left huge marks, and on soprano sax, the voice of Wayne Shorter provided beaucoup inspiration. Flutist Dave Valentin is a continuing contributor to Niall’s musical palette: the tune, Deevee, is a tribute to this Latin flute master.
George Tavoularis, piano
His first experience playing music started in the mid-sixties with bands in Southern California. At the age of 16 George was signed to a record label in Los Angeles, giving him an opportunity to hear and work with some of the best studio players of that time. In 1976 after being on the road for a number of years, George moved to Hawaii, and had the opportunity to work with some of Hawaii's best jazz musicians. The most recent addition to the NWJP, George credits Bill Evans, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea and Joe Sample as some of the strongest influences in his playing.
Kyle Rothchild, bass
Amiably referred to as the “Poster Child” of the New World Jazz Project, bassist Kyle Rothchild hails from Carson City, Nevada where he currently resides. Kyle started on the electric bass at the age of 13 and added upright bass to his talents at the age of 18 while attending the Univ. of Nevada, Reno, where he holds a Bachelor of Music. Kyle also earns his living as an audio designer in Reno composing music and creating sound effects for different types of gaming platforms.The jazz bassists of the be-bop and swing eras, as well as the musical approaches of James Jamerson and Jaco Pastorius heavily influence Kyle’s playing. Kyle has been performing with the New World Jazz Project regularly since 2004.
Eric Finkelstein, drums
Raised in New York, Eric Finkelstein is the youngest of his musical family-- his two brothers are drummers as well. When he moved to the West Coast 25 years ago, Eric was booked with a show in Lake Tahoe and fell in love with the region; he has lived there ever since. Eric's love for Rhythm and Blues, Latin and Afro-Cuban jazz can be heard in his playing, which incorporates a solid groove and a great feel. Eric also plays a variety of hand drums and percussion. He currently lives in Minden, Nevada, with his wife and their many animals.
Eric Middleton, percussion
Percussionist Eric Middleton, in addition to his work with the NWJP, performs with his own group "No Comprende", and is principal percussionist for both the Reno Philharmonic Orchestra and the Nevada Opera Orchestra. Eric has played with many of the showroom orchestras in Reno and Lake Tahoe, and maintains an active freelance schedule performing on drums and percussion.In 2003 Eric earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Texas. While in Texas, Eric performed regularly with the Austin Symphony and San Antonio Symphony Orchestras, in addition to various salsa, steel drum, and jazz ensembles. Eric currently resides in Reno, Nevada, with his wife, two daughters and four cats.
Trey Stone, guitar
Guitarist Trey Stone is the newest member of the New World Jazz Project. Trey's accomplishments run long and deep, as he has performed and toured with such artists as Melvin Stewart, Bootsy Collins and Tower of Power. This well-seasoned performer adds his great voice and soulful chops to the jazz mix. The musical styling of George Benson is one of many influences in his playing. Trey has been living up at Lake Tahoe for the past twenty years. To top things off, Trey has just recently been inducted into the R 'n B Hall of Fame as collaborator of The Undisputed Truth's smash hit, Smiling Faces-- way to go, Trey!