Dr. Jim Bedrick is a co-founder and bandleader of the Atlanta Brass Cats. As a member of the band, he plays lead guitar and provides backup vocals. Jim has over 50 years of professional musical experience and thrives on the energy of The Atlanta Brass Cats. “This is the rocking horn band I have always dreamed to be a part of. The fantastic repertoire, musicianship, professionalism, enthusiasm, mutual respect and comradery are second to none. Everyone gives 110%. We always have a blast when we get together and our audience becomes an important part of the experience.” When not playing with ABC, Jim performs advanced technology cataract surgery and teaches medical students at the Emory Eye Center.
Scott is a co-founder of Atlanta Brass Cats and holds the spot on keys. Originally from upstate New York, Scott received a BA in Jazz Piano Performance from SUNY New Paltz in 1993. He studied with pianists Vinnie Martucci (The Dolphins with Dan Brubeck) and Warren Bernhardt (toured with Steely Dan in ’93) and took master classes with Bernard Purdy, Bob Dorough (creator of Schoolhouse Rock), and others. Scott has shared stages and recorded with many of Atlanta's greatest musicians and bands, such as Bumpin' the Mango, Yacht Rock, Mike Veal Band and many others. His styles include jazz, funk, latin, R&B and most anything 70's/80's rock, and he loves to fuse them together in as much as the situations allows. Scott has hosted several jazz jams since 2012 and is also an award-winning Web site designer and developer. (One of his creations is this website.) His favorite musical moment happened in 1996 when, for about 20 minutes, he jammed on the tune "Spain" with its composer and legendary jazz pianist, Chick Corea.
Vocalist and guitarist Matthew Smith hails from Doraville, Georgia. Growing up in a family of musicians and music lovers, he too was drawn to music at a very young age. He studied saxophone and piano before deciding on guitar as his primary instrument. A love of folk music helped him establish himself as a singer and songwriter early in his career. Since then, he has built a solid reputation for being a consistent and dynamic performer, both solo and as a sideman for bands and artists across many genres. A musician about town, Matthew can often be seen playing solo or with his many projects at various Atlanta venues.
Toni Byrd, dubbed as "The Velvet SongByrd," is a world class recording artist, songwriter, award winner of the 2014 Black Women In Jazz for Best Black Female Jazz Record for "Autumn In New York", and semi-finalist in the 2014 Indaba Music "Sarah Vaughn International Jazz Vocal Competition." Her first recording on a live music project was produced by Stax Records songwriter and National Songwriter's Hall of Famer, David Porter. Currently based in Atlanta, this beautiful native Memphian was cast in a primary role playing the character “Ida Belle" in the movie, "Lawless," an American crime drama film directed by John Hillcoat with screenplay by Nick Cave and starring Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy, Guy Pierce, Jessica Chastain, Gary Oldman, and others. She recorded background vocals for the TV series pilot, "Still The King", starring Billy Ray Cyrus and in December of 2016, under the historical Obama Administration, performed at the White House Tour in Washington, DC. She is the first female vocalist to perform at the legendary Pinewood Atlanta Studios (known for James Bond, Marvel and Pirates of the Caribbean movies) in 2014 for the kickoff celebrating the New American location in Fayetteville, Georgia.
Clay Duke is a vocalist and keyboardist from Woodstock, GA who had an early passion for music. His first public performance occurred at age 9. He studied at the renown Berklee College of Music in Boston as a vocal major. Clay has an extraordinary vocal range and provides ABC with the ability to tackle some of our most challenging material. Some of his primary musical influences were Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder and Don Blackmon. Clay has performed with bands from many genres, including tribute bands to Toto and Hall and Oats as well as big band jazz with the Etowah Jazz Society and Big Band Contractors. He has also released several solo projects. Clay works hard to make every performance an experience - revealing his passion for entertaining and the transforming power of music. He loves performing great music with talented musicians as a member of Atlanta Brass Cats!
Emily Selleck is a singer, actor, and vocal coach. She resided and taught private voice in Tennessee for several years after completing a degree in music at Lee University. There, she toured with renowned a cappella group, Voices of Lee (NBC Sing-Off) for three years, including a performance at the 2013 U.S. Presidential Inauguration. With classical training, an extensive background in musical theatre and an eclectic taste in music, Emily is known for her range and versatility as a vocalist. After moving to Atlanta, Georgia in 2019, she began performing with multiple bands, including the Atlanta Showstoppers, Emerald Empire Band, 3rd Stream Big Band, and The American Flyers. She and her fiancé Ian Bruh, lead singer of Bumpin’ the Mango, recently formed the vocal duo Backroad to Brooklyn. Emily is thrilled to be joining the Atlanta Brass Cats as a lead vocalist.
Born in Atlanta, Georgia, and raised in Birmingham Alabama, Dr. Jones has played jazz saxophone from an early age, progressing to playing in the Jazz Ensemble and rock bands while at UGA. Retired from his practice as an orthopedic and hand surgeon, he is a full-time musician. He has played in several big bands around Atlanta as well as small groups in the US and on several European tours. Saunders is most enthusiastic about playing with ABC: "I grew up with the music. It has a big emotional hook with me.”
Stephen Musker is a retired U.S. Army trumpet player of 20 years (service from 1978-1998). He has performed nationwide and overseas, including 30 concert tours across the U.S., performing for 5 U.S. Presidents & rock band tours to Guam and Saipan. Steve has been on the music scene in Atlanta since 1987, playing in various jazz, latin and rock bands. He holds a BA in music from Georgia State (2004) and taught general music and band from 2005 to 2010 in Fulton County. In 2010, he opened his own brass studio at Music & Arts music stores. He currently teaches over 1,300 brass lessons a year in Cobb & Fulton counties. Steve enjoys hiking, bicycling & traveling with his wife Gayle. As a child of the 70’s, Atlanta Brass Cats is his music!
Jim is originally from Baltimore, Maryland and is a graduate of the Peabody Conservatory of Music. After completing his degree, he lived in Rochester, New York for a time, working at the Eastman School of Music in their recording studios. Jim moved to Atlanta and eventually co-founded an audio / video company. Jim is very active in the Atlanta music community, playing in several big bands as well as orchestral and small ensembles. Jim says of playing with the Brass Cats, “I am so fortunate to get to play music I love with truly great friends and musicians.”
On bass for the Atlanta Brass Cats is Mike Ciarochi. Originally from the Great State of Alaska, Mike grew up on a riverboat/bar/restaurant where his dad was the proprietor and spent his evenings playing at the piano bar. Mike would occasionally sit in playing guitar or trumpet. He went on to study trumpet performance at the University of Alaska School of Music, and paid his way through music school playing bass in combos and rock bands around town. When Mike has time off from performing with ABC, he can also be found laying down the bass lines with the Modernaires Big Band, or you might also be able to catch him at one of the various jazz jam sessions around town.
Atlanta Brass Cats' drummer, Ben Bailey, began his musical journey at a young age on the local Atlanta music scene. Eventually, his musical quest took him to The Berklee College of Music (1985-87). While at Berklee, he was the drum chair on the Spirit of Boston Cruise Lines. After leaving school, Ben became an active freelance drummer in New York City. He has performed and recorded with artists such as Earl Klugh, David Hungate, Duffy Jackson, Houston Person, The Four Freshmen, Freddie Hubbard, Francine Reed, Joe Gransden, and Big Mike Geier. Ben released his debut album, “A Bird in the Hand,” with the Nashville Big Band, which charted at #62 in 2014, was featured in Downbeat magazine, and has been heard around the world.
Ben loves to perform with the Atlanta Brass Cats. “The soul, energy, passion, and enthusiasm for this repertoire of music is infectious! I love the friendships and mutual music respect we all have for each other in this great band.”