Jim Spiers (trumpet)
Jim Speirs plays trumpet throughout the region and resides in Sioux Falls. He is a graduate of South Dakota State University and works for the marketing firm, Fresh Produce. Performance credits include multiple performances on the main stage at the Sioux Falls JazzFest, two live state-wide broadcasts on South Dakota Public Radio, web broadcasts for the Argus Leader, regular gigs at South Dakotaʼs premier jazz club Touch of Europe, and performances around the region with Dakota Jazz Collective. Jim also performs with the Sioux Falls Jazz and Blues Societyʼs touring jazz education program the Jazz Diversity Project, the Sioux Empire Brass Society, Main Avenue Warehouse, and several jazz ensembles. He is a member of the SFJBʼs education committee, teaches trumpet, is on the board of directors for the Dakota Sky International Piano Festival, and was recently appointed by Governor Rounds to the South Dakota Arts Council.
Jeremy Hegg (piano and music director)
Jeremy Hegg, Music Director for the Hegg Brothers, is the oldest son of two lifelong music educators, grew up in Dell Rapids, South Dakota, and received his music degree from Augustana College in Sioux Falls. He is the staff arranger and composer for the Augustana Brass Choir, Sioux Falls Municipal Band, and many marching band programs nationwide. As a performer, Jeremy is known for his band Spooncat!. Formed in 1996, this original 9-piece horn band has played Sioux Falls' JazzFest five times, as well as Sioux City's "Saturday In The Park". He has performed around the country and throughout Europe with artists ranging from Smokey Robinson to Chuck Berry. In recent years he has been a featured guest pianist and arranger with A South Dakota Acoustic Christmas. Jeremy was the 2003 recipient of the Mayor's Award for the Performing Arts in Sioux Falls, SD. 2008 saw Jeremy starting The Radio Specialists which became the basis of Holiday Jam with the Hegg Brothers (2009) and most recently Choo Choo (2011).
Nathan Jorgensen (saxophones)
Dr. Nathan Jorgensen is Assistant Professor of Woodwinds and Jazz at South Dakota State University. He is responsible for teaching applied saxophone lessons, and directs both of the University Jazz Ensembles.
James McKinney (drums)
An active performer of all styles of music, Jorgensen has performed throughout the United States as a soloist and with touring groups. He also traveled to China to perform as part of the US/China Friendship Program. He won a Down Beat Music Award with the KU Saxophone Quartet in 2006, and was the soprano saxophone soloist on the title track of the KU Wind Ensemble recording Redline Tango available from the Naxos label. He has had the opportunity to perform engagements with the Kansas City Symphony, Boulevard Big Band, River City Jazz Orchestra, New Century Big Band, KU Symphony Orchestra, South Dakota Jazz Orchestra, New Theater Restaurant, KU Opera, Dakota Wind Ensemble, and the SDSU-Civic Symphony.Jorgensen has had the opportunity to back such artists as Bobby Watson, Paquito D’Rivera, Slide Hampton, Bob Sheppard, Dave Liebman, John Abercrombie, Victor Lewis, Marilyn Maye, Peter Erskine, and Patti Austin.
Jim McKinney joined the South Dakota State University Music Faculty in 1973, as Assistant Director of Bands and Percus- sion Instructor. He served in that capacity through 1975, when he accepted a similar position at Iowa State University. He returned to SDSU in 1983, as Associate Director of Bands and Director of the “Pride of the Dakotas” Marching Band. He became Director of Bands in 1985, and served in that role until his retirement in May, 2009.
Andrew Reinartz (bass)
Mr. McKinney also worked with the jazz ensemble program. He not only served as director for several of these ensembles but he conceived and developed, with the Brookings Optimist Club, the Brookings Optimist Jazz Festival. This annual event has brought major jazz artists/educators to campus to perform with SDSU Jazz Ensemble I, and to present clinics and adjudicate attending school jazz bands. In addition, Mr. McKinney maintained an active schedule as a performer in both classical and jazz traditions.
He was co-founder of the New Ensemble for Clarinet and Percussion (NECAP), a member of the faculty chamber music ensemble known as “Wind Power,” and for twenty years presented annual jazz and classical recitals. Mr. McKinney has also served the state and region as a clinician (holding sponsorships by both Ludwig and Selmer), as honor and all-state band conductor, as conductor for the revitalized Brookings Area Community Band, and as co-conductor of the Dakota Wind Ensemble.
Andrew Reinartz is an area musician, educator, and conductor, and has been a member of the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra bass section since 2001. He is also currently the Executive Director of the Dakota Sky International Piano Festival, a summer Festival in Sioux Falls which features performances and a wide range educational opportunities. Additionally, he currently serves as the President of the Symphony Players' Board and as a member of the Board of Directors. Reinartz is heavily involved in the local Jazz community, playing bass with a variety of ensembles including the Dakota Jazz Collective, Polyphase, and Main Avenue Warehouse. He is also a member of the Jazz Diversity Project which, through the auspices of the Sioux Falls Jazz and Blues Society, gives performances and presentations on the musical, social, and historical aspects of the music in schools throughout South Dakota.