Band Members

Band Members

Michael “MJ” Jones (snare drum), born in Touro Infirmary – “dat dirty dirty south” New Orleans, LA., MJ studied & was schooled in Baton Rouge, LA. Many musicians helped along the way such as: Richard Amos (N.O. Holy Name Singers-bass), Charles Richardson (IDMR Lettsworth LA.-bass), “Dog” (N.O. Holy Name Singers-drums & bass), TOPCAT (SF), Michael Windsay (Topsy Chapman’s Jazz Trio-drums), Derek Tabb (Rebirth), “The Jones Family”, Russell Batiste (Funky Meters, PBS, Batiste & Friends) & many more! He has been seen with Ras Digital and The Roots Anthem Band, The Rodney Preston Project, Miles Ahead, Voices of Joy, Tristan Norton & The Slight Catch Band, R&B Singer song-writer Jon B & many other artists abroad. Mike enjoys fishing, cooking, spending time with family, and creating new and innovative music. “Feel the rhythm”- MJ (M. Jones)

Al Lazard - Mj's Brass Boppers

Al Lazard (saxophone), also hails from New Orleans, La. Al comes from a strong lineage of New Orleans musicians, Mardi Gras Indians, Culture bearers, and more. The Lazard family is a well known one back in the Big Easy. His expansive knowledge of second line songs is one he’s known for throughout the bay area and beyond. You can find Al enjoying and playing anything from Jazz, Blues, Big Band, Funk, Gospel, and more. Al has 25+ years of professional musicianship in his corner and is also proficient in various percussive instruments. He finds peace in working out, spending time with family, playing music, and hanging with his MJSBB brothers!

Arion Chapman - Grand Marshall, MJ's Brass Boppers
Arion Chapman (Grand Marshall), The Grand Marshall, the Front figure piece, the Pied Piper, the Attention Getter, Mr. Arion L. Chapman, aka’ “Irie” Ari’ is a born native of New Orleans La., with over 30 years of Musical experience and talent, his generations are rooted in the heart of Carrollton, being born in the Big Easy plays a huge part on his musical journey and his “life of the party” spirit he brings. Living both in Baton Rouge and New Orleans, his Marching Band leading experience in High School has No doubt set his destiny for Entertainment! Arion has been seen with a number of Artists and New Orleans legends on numerous NOLA occasions & festive Events, such as the Mardi Gras parade routes, the Second-Line and some Social Aid & Pleasure Club Events. “Irie” Ari has shared the stage with the likes of Zigaboo Modeliste, founding member of the funk band the Meters, Mr. Corey Peyton of Soul Rebels, Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews, Nate “Suave” Cameron of Liberated Soul Records, Caleb”Shake” Windsay of Kings of Brass/Rebirth Brass Band, (Prodigy & grandson of Topsy Chapman) all which are New Orleans natives. From shows in Beverly Hills to rocking the Big Bear Music Festival, even straight to your Backyard, “Irie” Ari is sure to bring that uptown party to you when he comes through your area!
Rian Robertson - MJ's Brass Boppers Brass Band

Rian Robinson (drums), born and raised in the S.F Bay Area, was molded into the modern gospel music experience through the local church, eventually branching out towards funk, blues, Afro- Cuban/ Latin, and other genres. The father of two adult children, he is also a published author, currently writing his second book.

Joshua Sirotiak (sousaphone), originally from Chicago, IL, Josh brings over 15+ years of experience to MJSBB. Josh is a multi-brass instrumentalist who has a vast and expansive list of groups he’s played with around the Midwest and the bay area ranging but not limited to the genres of Rock, Pop, Reggae, R&B, Ska, Funk, Hip Hop, and more. He is known for laying down the foundational bass lines MJ’s Brass Boppers have been known for.

Joey Archie - Trumpet
Joey Archie (trumpet) is a multi-instrumentalist, producer, composer, and arranger hailing from Sacramento, CA. It’s safe to say that music runs in his blood since he comes from a well-respected musical family. His music draws inspiration from impactful people in his life as well as moments that have impacted and shaped him into who is he today. This makes his music deeply personal and relatable to his audience. As an artist, he believes that his music should always spread the message of love, compassion, and humanity as well as cause his listeners to feel something emotionally. Joey released his debut album, Good Vibes, Vol.1 in May of 2020, and released Good Vibes, Vol. 2 in October of 2020. He is a member of multiple groups including Lab Rats, Cosmic Roots and the co-founder of Vibe Street Band as well as numerous brass bands in California.
Dayron Calderon (trombone) brings over 10 years of experience as a trombone player and multi-instrumentalist. Born in Cuba he grew up Witnessing his grandfather Orlando Sanchez behind the mic as lead vocalist of a band signing some of Cuba’s most classic songs. At the age of 10, inspired by his older brother’s study of music he enrolled in The Eduardo Abela Villareal Professional School of Art in San Antonio de los Baños, Cuba. He later completed his studies at The National Schools of Arts (ENA) in Habana transferring the sounds of his trombone from the classroom to touring stages across Cuba and now in the Bay Area.

Obrayan Calderon (trombone), hailing from Cuba, Obrayan has delighted audiences worldwide with his infectious energy and big sound, performing and recording with Cuban Orchestra Adalberto Alvarez and du Son. Since moving to the Bay Area in 2018, Obrayan performed with a wide variety of musical groups including Jesus Diaz, John Santos, Edgardo Cambon, Avance, Rebecca Mouleon, Fito Reinoso, Rey Martinez, Fantastic Negrito, Calmao, Mario y su Timbeko, The Futuralics and The Return of James Brown. Obrayan also teaches at the Oakland Public Conservatory, local High Schools and SF Jazz affiliates.

Kelsey Howard - MJ's Brass Boppers Brass Band
Kelsey Howard (trombone), born in Novato, CA. Kelsey studied Jazz Performance at Sonoma State University and went on to tour around the world with the reggae band, Groundation for 12 years. When he moved to Oakland in 2013, Kelsey stopped touring and started playing in local East Bay bands so he could be home with his wife Christa.
Luke Kirley - Sousaphone MJsBB

Luke Kirley (sousaphone & trombone), comes from a long line of plumbers which might explain why he plays the trombone and tuba. Born and raised in San Anselmo, CA where he began his musical odyssey. Luke received a BA in Music from the University of California, Santa Cruz. In 2003, he relocated to Oakland, CA where he took a deep dive into the local salsa scene. For over 9 years, Luke displayed his dance moves along with his trombone playing with the Michael Jackson tribute band Foreverland. But his true passion has been the brass band music of New Orleans. You’ll see TubaLuke holding it down with anyone looking for that NOLA tuba sound!

Michael Waters - MJ's Brass Boppers

Mike “Slice” Waters (saxophone), born and raised in California. Mike has been on the Bay Area Music scene for the past 20 years and also plays with The Mighty Mules Blues Band and the Jeff Magidson Blues Band. In his other life, Mike is a web designer and has built websites for Roberta Flack, The California Honeydrops and MJsBB!

Honorary Members

Nate Cameron, Vocal/Percussion - MJ's Brass Boppers

Nate “Suave” Cameron, (vocalist/percussion), born and raised in the Uptown New Orleans area, Suave has been gracing clubs, music venues, and festival stages at an early age. After being a woodwind section leader for the world-renowned St. Augustine High School “Marching 100,” he moved on to obtain a music business and performance degree from Tennessee State Univ. in Nashville while working as a demo vocalist for many major label artists and publishing companies. After being signed to UPT/Atlantic Records for 3 years with out a release, Suave founded his own music label, event company, recording studio, and a non-profit for urban artists that serves as an incubator. In addition to MJSBB, Nate is lead vocalist of Oakland based pysc-funk and soul fusion band, CitizenFive.

Howard Wiley (saxophone)  has toured internationally, recorded and performed with artists including Miss Lauryn Hill, Sheila E, Cory Henry, Christian McBride, Chester Thompson and more. He is a Founding member of the new Bay Area collective BLACK LONDON, who are currently performing in and around Northern California. He has performed worldwide with other artists and with his solo project at the San Francisco Jazz Festival, Playboy Jazz Festival, Monterey Jazz Festival, North Sea Jazz Fest, Blue Note Club, Madrone Art Bar, Cape Town Jazz Festival, the Grammy Museum, Yoshi’s Oakland, Malcolm X Jazz Festival, Sonoma Jazz Festival, Smalls NY and SXSW, to name a few. Recently, he was also a featured artist performing his original music for the official new APPLE iPhone commercial and global conference.

Greg Gomez (trombone), highly talented horn player, SF native as well as devoted GIANTS FAN! A music instructor of all Brass instruments and of vocal abilities also. He has shared the stage with numerous musicians: Pepe Gonzalez, Berkley Symphony, Bay Bones, David Hardiman (SF All-Star Big Band) & MJsBB! Mr. Gomez is a God fearing family man. He enjoys his wife and 2 daughters, while taking time to get in some horseback riding, ‘lil golf, poetry readings and enjoy the lovely life of the BAY!

Tom Salvatore (trumpet) is a professional trumpet player and music educator living in the East Bay. Although he has a diverse experience playing music across many genres, Tom has a love for New Orleans brass band and traditional jazz. Tom has earned a degree in music education from New York University and is currently a music teacher in the Emeryville School District. Tom has also completed coursework at the the Listz Academy of Music in Hungry and The Music Conservatory of San Juan, Puerto Rico. Along with MJ’s Brass Boppers he currently performs bluegrass music with Old Jawbone and the swing dance band The Rhythm Rousabouts.

Big Chief Ray Blazio

“Big Chief” Ray Blazio is a Katrina survivor and is the acting chief of the Wild Apache Mardi Gras Indian tribe and returns to New Orleans every year to parade at Jazzfest. Blazio, also known as “Hatchet”, founded the Wild Apache tribe in 1990. Watch this brief video about Big Chief.