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Woodwind Musicians

Current woodwind players for Occasional Brass and Strings all hail from New England, and enjoy playing weddings and events in the Boston area. Get to know them here.

Jerry Merra - Sax, Clarinet, Flute

Jerry Merra, Sax, Clarinet, FluteJerry Merra has been touring and performing as a professional saxophonist/woodwind musician for over 20 years. After studying music at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Jerry moved to the West coast. From his home base in Las Vegas, Nevada, Jerry was able to share the stage with many renowned artists including Bette Midler, Tony Bennett, Bill Champlin, Toni Braxton, Sheena Easton, Gladys Knight, Wayne Newton, Kenny Loggins and The Temptations. Jerry has also performed with Cirque du Soleil and as a member of the cast of the smash hit show Jersey Boys. Jerry's television appearances include The Tonight Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, The View, and live concert performances on HBO.

Linda Chase - Flute

Linda Chase, FluteLinda Chase is a composer, performer and professor at Berklee College of Music and New England Conservatory in Boston. Her courses include: Music of the Whole Earth, Music, Spirit and Transformation, Interdisciplinary Collaborations in the Arts, Conceptual & Inter-arts Improvisation & Composition, and Music & Nature. Linda's collection of chamber pieces, "Reflections on Rumi," was written with partial support of a Berklee College of Music Faculty Fellowship, and "Tanabata Star Festival," was the winning piece in the 2007 Kaji Aso composer's competition. "Starlight Dreaming" and "First Darkness then comes the Moon" received a Berklee Recording Grant and Artistís Residency at the Morris Graves Institute in California. Her choral music has had numerous performances at the Old Cambridge Baptist Church.

Mana Washio - Flute

Mana Washio, FluteA native of Japan, flutist Mana Washio received her performance degrees from the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music (B.M.), the Oberlin Conservatory (A.D.), and Boston University (M.M.). She has played with the Boston Lyric Opera, the Opera New England, the National Lyric Opera, the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, the Granite State Symphony Orchestra, the New Bedford Symphony Orchestra, the Chorus Pro Musica, the Musica Sacra, and the Orpheus Singers. Mana has also held principal flute positions with the New England Philharmonic, the Neponset Valley Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Metropolitan Wind Symphony. She actively performs in various chamber music ensembles: flute & guitar, flute & harp, flute & marimba, woodwind duo, trio, quintet, and many others.

Mark Zaleski - Sax, Clarinet, Flute, Bass Guitar

Mark Zaleski, Sax, Clarinet, Flute, BassMark Zaleski is an active saxophonist, clarinetist, flutist, bassist, and educator. He has an impressive level of experience, having performed with leading entertainers like Joe Piscopo, Joan Rivers, and Connie Francis, as well is some of the world's most in-demand jazz musicians like Dave Brubeck, Christian McBride, and Robin Eubanks. Perhaps most notable (and almost comical) was his time spent touring the country in 2006 as the clarinetist and bass clarinetist for classic rock legends Jethro Tull. Out of high school he was one of two college saxophonists in the country selected for the Dave Brubeck Insitute Fellowship Program to study jazz music at University of the Pacific. He is a graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, MA.

Nicole DeMaio - Flute, Sax, Clarinet, Bassoon

Nicole DeMaio, Flute, Sax, Clarinet, BassoonNicole DeMaio is a New Jersey based composer, performer, and educator currently living in Boston. She graduated from Montclair State University with degrees in Music Education and Music Theory/Composition. Nicole currently attends The Boston Conservatory and is working towards her master of music composition in the studio of Marti Epstein. An avid performer on multiple woodwinds, she is a member of Michael Norsworthy's clarinet studio, and is proficient on saxophone, flute, and bassoon. For several seasons, Nicole acted as Surflight Theatre's principal woodwind doubler. She is a co-founder of the new music ensemble, Black Sheep, and performs with the group on low woodwinds. Nicole can also be seen performing with the Dudley Orchestra in Harvard on clarinet, and is an active freelancer in the Boston area.

Todd Brunel - Clarinet, Sax, Composer/Arranger

Todd Brunel, Clarinet and SaxTodd Brunel, who performs extensively as a classical and jazz musician, is a member of Musaner, Know Orchestra, the Eric Hofbauer Quintet, the Sonic Explorers, and The Circadian Rhythm Kings. He performs frequently with pianist Peter Cassino and has been awarded grants by the Somerville, Cambridge, Arlington, and MA Cultural Councils. Recent appearances include Carnegie Hall, Brandeis University, Dartmouth College, the Longy School at Bard College, Spazio Teatro NO'HMA in Milan, the Out of the Box Festival, Gould Academy, and the Academy of Music Dance and Art (Bulgaria). Todd is on the faculty of Wheaton College, the Powers Music School, the Lexington Music School, and is a NEST artist with the NE Foundation for the Arts. He holds a M.M. from Brooklyn College Conservatory and a B.M. from Boston Conservatory.

Tom Cox - Flute, Piccolo

Tom Cox, FluteA native Bostonian, Tom attended the Pennsylvania State University to study flute performance and music theory. In addition to weekly performances for 110,000 of the best football fans in the world as part of the Penn State Blue Band, Tom was also a member of the Penn State Glee Club. In his downtime, he could also be seen performing throughout the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. Tom is most often found in the pit for many local musical theatre productions, either conducting, playing keyboard, jamming on his sax or clarinet, or playing some version of a flute (piccolo, alto flute, etc). Tom currently serves as the music director for Emerson Umbrella Center for the Arts in Concord, MA, and can often be heard performing with the Chelmsford
Community Band, Dracut Community Chorus, and the North
Shore Philharmonic Orchestra.

Wendy Klein - Flute

Wendy Klein, FluteWendy Klein is an Associate Professor at Berklee College of Music (Contemporary Writing and Production), and is the Chair of the Jazz Department at the Rhode Island Philharmonic Music School. She received her B.A. from Brown University, her Masters of Music from the New England Conservatory, and a Bachelor of Music from Berklee. Wendy is a member of the Joe Parillo Ensemble, Intermezzo, and the Music School Faculty Touring Ensemble. Her recordings include Block Island Summer and Almost Carefree with the Joe Parillo Ensemble and Holiday Reflections with the Nature Company.