Jackson Evans (guitar) was born in northern Utah and began playing guitar at the age of twelve. At fifteen, he attended a concert given by his first teacher, Corey Christiansen. Impressed by the performance, he decided to dedicate himself to a career as a jazz guitarist and in 2004 graduated with a BM in guitar performance from Utah State University.
After relocating to Savannah, Georgia in 2004, Jackson became known throughout the southeast as an in-demand bandleader, composer, arranger, accompanist and educator. In addition to organizing several regional tours he has performed in concert series and festivals including an appearance as a featured guest with David Lugo and Latin Jazz Motion at the 2008 Savannah Jazz Festival. In 2009, Jackson became a Benedetto Guitars endorsing artist and in 2010 went on to record his first solo album, Song Noir, featuring saxophonist Jody Espina as co-producer and performer.
In 2011 Jackson made a bold move to Mainland China with his with his wife, vocalist/bassist Maggie Evans. After leaving a strong impression at a local jazz club, the couple was invited in 2013 for a six month engagement as the featured performers at JZ Huanglou in Hangzhou, Zhejiang, one of China’s most prestigious jazz venues.
Dr. Tim Fischer (guitar) is a jazz guitarist, composer, and educator who has performed across the United States as well as in Europe. Growing up in Los Angeles, Tim had the good fortune to study and perform with many of the great musicians that call the city home. The lessons learned during his formative years in Los Angeles are compiled on his debut album as a leader, Due South, which features his original compositions and arrangements performed by a mix of friends from both the West Coast and Midwest. He moved to South Carolina in 2016 to teach jazz and music technology at Coastal Carolina University.
Tim is active in jazz education, having presented his research on the Miles Davis first quintet at Northwestern University, University of Southern California, California Institute of the Arts, Eastern Washington University, Pasadena City College, and the Seattle Jazz Guitar Society. He is the coauthor of Jazz Guitar Duets (Mel Bay Publications); his writing has also appeared in Just Jazz Guitar Magazine.
Tim has worked as an adjudicator for the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival and as an instructor of combos and big bands for the Monterey Jazz Festival’s Summer Jazz Camp. An experienced computer programmer, Tim has also presented clinics on website development and online marketing for the music and design schools at California Institute of the Arts. Prior to joining CCU, he taught music at several colleges throughout Los Angeles and St. Louis. Tim holds a doctorate in music from the University of Southern California and a master’s from California Institute of the Arts.
Brett Belanger (bass) is a bassist, composer, arranger, and educator based in Charleston, South Carolina. Originally from Greenville, SC, Brett moved to Charleston in 2010 after attending the Fine Arts Center for high school. Brett earned a B.A. as well as an artist certificate from the College of Charleston while working professionally locally and regionally. In addition to composing his own music, Brett has done arranging for the Charleston Jazz Orchestra as well as others groups. As an educator, Brett teaches privately in addition to being on the faculty of both the Charleston Jazz Camp and the Hilton Head Jazz Camp. Brett has had the pleasure of playing with Charlton Singleton, Quentin Baxter, Amos Hoffman, Kevin Bales, Aimee Nolte, Scotty Barnhart, Ruben Studdard, Claire Daily, Carmen Bradford, Victor Provost, Don Braden, Deana Martin, and Eric McPherson to name a few.
Devon Gates (bass, vocals) is our young artist-in-residence from Atlanta, Georgia. As a high school student, she studied with Dr. Gordon Vernick, Kevin Bales, and Billy Thornton as part of the Georgia State University Rialto Honors Combo, with which she released the album Playing the Music of Roy Hargrove in 2019. This fall she began college at Harvard University, studying music and the social sciences while pursuing a dual degree with Berklee College of Music in jazz performance. Between these institutions she has been able to study with Linda Oh, Kris Davis, Terri Lynne Carrington, Esperanza Spalding, and Vijay Iyer, in addition to performing with artists such as Dee Dee Bridgewater and Tia Fuller. She is also passionate about her role as an arranger and featured performer in the Harvard Opportunes acapella ensemble, and involvement with Berklee’s Institute for Jazz and Gender Justice.