Professor of Music at The University at Buffalo, Jon Nelson maintains an active career as performer, producer and collaborator. His six solo CD recordings Fable, Trumpet Nature, Gran Calavera Electrica, Metalofonico!, and Genkin Philharmonic all explore new music for brass in small and large ensembles. He served as Principal Trumpet for the Festival Orchestra d’Aix en Provence in France under the direction of Pierre Boulez, in the Mineria Festival Orchestra in Mexico City, and in numerous Broadway pit orchestras in New York City. Active in the field of education, he has served on the faculty at the Tanglewood Music Center, Princeton University, Boston University, Hartt College, and Middlebury College. Jon Nelson holds a B.M. from The Juilliard School where he studied with Mark Gould. He has also studied with Antoine Cure in France, Laurie Frink and William Vacchiano in New York, and Don Harry in Buffalo.
Founding member in 1987
Associate Professor at SUNY Buffalo
DANIEL GRABOIS Daniel Grabois is Associate Professor of Horn at the Mead Witter School of Music at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he performs in the Wisconsin Brass Quintet and serves as the Curator of SoundWaves, a series he created that combines science lectures with music performances. The former Chair of Contemporary Performance at the Manhattan School of Music, Grabois now serves as Director of the Electro-Acoustic Research Space (EARS), a facility which he founded with funding from a UW2020 large-equipment grant. Grabois is also the hornist in the Meridian Arts Ensemble, a New York City based brass quintet now in its thirtieth season. With Meridian, he has performed over seventy world premieres, released twelve CDs, received two ASCAP/CMA Adventuresome Programming Awards, and toured worldwide, in addition to recording or performing with rock legends Duran Duran and Natalie Merchant and performing the music of Frank Zappa for the composer himself. Grabois has also created numerous arrangements for Meridian. A freelance musician from 1989 to 2011, Grabois performed with most of the classical music ensembles in New York City, including the Metropolitan Opera, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, New York City Opera, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and St.Luke’s Chamber Orchestra. He appeared on numerous recordings of classical music, rock, and jazz, and played in Broadway pits (some 36 shows, in thousands of performances).
Grabois recently released his first solo album, Air Names, for electronic horn, for which he wrote all the music. He is currently at work creating the follow-up, to be entitled Fire Names. His compositions, including three etude books and numerous chamber and solo works, are published by Brass Arts Unlimited (https://www.brassarts.com/daniel-grabois.html).
In addition to his work as a horn player, composer, arranger, and electronic musician, Grabois is also an avid practitioner of tae kwon do.
Daniel Grabois is a Yamaha Performing Artist.
Member of Meridian since 1989
Professor at University of Wisconsin-Madison
First-degree black belt in taekwondo
Yamaha Performing Artist
RAYMOND STEWART is principal tuba of the American Composers Orchestra and a co-founding member of the internationally acclaimed Meridian Arts Ensemble in New York City. He is also Associate Professor of Music at SUNY Fredonia where he teaches the tuba studio, conducting classes, and conducts the Concert Band. He received his high school diploma from the Interlochen Arts Academy, BM from the University of Miami School of Music, and MM from the Manhattan School of Music. Mr. Stewart has performed and/or recorded with numerous diverse musical entities including the New York City Ballet, New York City Opera, American Ballet Theatre, Broadway productions (CHICAGO, SOUTH PACIFIC, STATE FAIR, CANDIDE), the off-Broadway hit JUAN DARIEN, movie soundtracks (TITUS, SPHERE, TWO FAMILY HOUSE), TV jingle ads (AT&T, DUNKIN' DONUTS), the Walt Disney World Company, DURAN DURAN, and has appeared at countless international music festivals in Europe, Asia, and the Americas. At the age of 19, he was the featured solo sousaphonist in the international touring company of the Broadway musical BARNUM. Mr. Stewart can be heard on the Channel Classics, CRI, Argo, and Knitting Factory Works labels, among others. His principal teachers have included Toby Hanks, John Stevens, and Carson Johnson.
Founding member in 1987
Associate Professor at SUNY Fredonia
Doubles on basses and bass trombone
SYCIL MATHAI, a trumpeter based in New York, USA, enjoys a global musical career that encompasses all genres. The New York Times called him a "terrific trumpeter". From classical to experimental genres, his work spans ensembles like The Knights Orchestra, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Broadway shows South Pacific and Mary Poppins, American Composers Orchestra, American Symphony Orchestra, Extension Ensemble, Ne(x)tworks, artists Carter Burwell, Butch Morris, the dance companies of Merce Cunningham, Mark Morris Dance Group, Nai-Ni Chen, and movie directors Andy Kaufman, and The Coen. He has recorded for RCA, PBS, CBS, EA Sports, Warner Classics, and Sirius Satellite Radio. He has shared the stage with artists ranging from Yo-Yo Ma to Stevie Wonder. Recently, Sycil saw the release of a recording he made with The Knights orchestra featuring Yo-Yo Ma.
Sycil is a graduate of Juilliard as a student of Mark Gould, and Texas Christian University as a student of Steve Weger. As an educator, Mr.Mathai has taught masterclasses at The Juilliard School as well as high schools and colleges across the world. He is a substitute with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, and resides in Western New York where is only faculty at the State University of New York at Fredonia as an adjunct instructor.
Member since 2019 (Fan since 1994)
Adjunct Professor at SUNY Fredonia
FAUSTINO DÍAZ is the first Latin-American trombonist to win the prestigious International Trombone Competition (Jeju-do, Korea, 2013). He is an internationally known musician and in-demand soloist. He has been a finalist in the “Citta di Porcia” International Competition in Italy (2011), a three-time winner of the Mexico National Brass Competition, and recently served as principal trombone in the Zurich Opera for a season. He has also held principal positions with Mexico’s National Symphony Orchestra, the Mexico City Philharmonic Orchestra, and the UNAM Philharmonic Orchestra which is considered one of Mexico’s most elite ensembles.
Mr. Díaz is a graduate of the National Conservatory of Mexico, Rotterdam Conservatory, and the Lausanne Conservatory in Switzerland where his main teachers were Benjamin Alarcon, Jorgen van Rijen, and Jacques Mauger, respectively.
Currently, Mr. Díaz is a trombone, trumpet, and tuba Yamaha Artist since 2012 and regularly gives recitals and masterclasses in France, the US, Switzerland, Colombia, and the Netherlands among others.
Member since 2019
Yamaha Trombone Artist
Yamaha Trumpet Artist
Yamaha Tuba Artist