Dick Akright, a giant in the field of horn-crafting repair in the United States who has honed his craft primarily in the East Bay the past 32 years. Akright is considered a brass customizing wizard who has built specialized instruments for a number of leading jazz players, at one time forming a partnership with trumpeter Doc Severinson of "The Tonight Show" fame. Together the two men designed a Bel Canto trumpet that is considered among the finest instruments of its kind in the world. Akright said he knew his calling from the beginning, a sense formed by his upbringing in Elk Horn, Wis., which happened to be the manufacturing home of the Getzen Co., a maker of fine brass instruments. He moved to the Bay Area to run a subsidiary for a large music affiliate and ended up starting the Best Instrument Repair Co. in Oakland -- which, from its popularity over the years, apparently lives up to its name. "For me, the way of the business was simple -- just work 13 hours a day on your craft until you perfect it," he said.
Dave was born in Fargo, North Dakota in a musical family. His dad was a trumpet player and moved the family to the Bay Area in 1968. He attended Marina High School(1981) where he played in band, jazz band, and sang in the chior. He went to Chabot College and studied with Frank Sumares, as well as played in various rock , jazz, and Gospel groups in the Bay Area. Dave was a Low Brass Instructor at La Honda Music Camp for 6 years and coached Low Brass for Moreau High School in Hayward. He played for Royal Carribean, Majesty, and Carnival Cruise Lines as well as played in the house band at the Hilton Casino in Nassau, Bahama's working with performers such as Jerry Lewis, Mel Torme,Steve Allen, Shirley Jones, and Rita Moreno. Dave has also played with the groups The Temptations, Four Tops, Delphonics,& the Emotions just to name a few. "Music has always been a big part of my life and sharing and teaching my kids is now my greatest joy." Dave now lives in Castro Valley. He has worked for the company in many capacities over the last 25 years. For the last 15 years he has proudly served as the General Manager for House of Woodwinds.
Jeanne Geiger, a Bay Area native, is proud to be a member of the music scene for over 20 years. She completed a B.A. in music performance (2002) and M.A. in music composition (2007) from California State University, East Bay. She has performed with numerous groups including: Jazz Mafia, Deltron 3030, Lyrics Born, Tommy Igoe Big Band, Green Day, 10,000 Maniacs, Tony! Toni! Tone!, Gladys Knight, The Coup, The Dells, Roy Ayers, The O’Jays, Dave Eshelman’s Jazz Garden Big Band, Ray Brown Great Big Band, Dave Brubeck Big Band, Maza Cote, Michael Feinstein Jazz Orchestra, Johnny Mathis Orchestra, among many others. She has also toured and recorded with her current groups, Tommy Igoe Groove Conspiracy, JSoul, Deltron 3030, Brass Mafia, The Uptones, Dynamic, and more.
Born and raised right here in the Tri Valley Area by two musical parents. At a young age, he began making music
himself, continuing on to develop professional level skills on not only the saxophone (his primary focus), as well as
(clarinet, flute) and piano.
Ian’s musical studies include music courses at Diablo Valley College, Berklee College of Music Summer Programs, and private instruction from some of the most highly regarded instrumentalists in area, including Guido Fazio. Ian has been awarded honors such as the Ernie Thompson Scholarship for Best Woodwind Player, and the Louis Armstrong Award for Most Outstanding Musician at San Ramon Valley High. He has performed several times at Oakland’s world famous jazz venue, Yoshi’s, alongside renowned artists like Michael Wolff, Tom Politzer, Wayne Wallace and Wayne Bergeron.
Recipient of the John Phillip Sousa Award from Monte Vista High School in 2013, Shannon "Ali" Gainey grew up play music. Starting at the age of 5, she played along wihth her mother and father on various instruments before finally settling on the clarinet. After 6 years of clarinet she decided it was time for a change and moved on to a second instrument, bassoon. Studying with Herb Fawcett for many years with suplemental teaching from Frank Cassados and Paul Hanson.
After graduating from high school she continued to play with the Montana State University Wind Symphony, Orchestra, and Spirit of the West Marching Band. Now she continues to play in local group while persuing a degree in computer science.