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)
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.
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!
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.
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.
Carl Barone (drums) , drumming since he was a kid, Carl Barone grew up playing in his parents church, studied classical, drumset, and marching percusion with extensive work in drumming styles of the African Diaspora in the latin american and brazilian communities. In addition to his work with MJ’s Brass Boppers, he is a freelance musician.
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!
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 Kickin’ The Mule 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!
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 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.