Band Member Bios

Mieke Bruggeman - BARITONE SAXOPHONE + VOCALS

Mieke Bruggeman is a performer, educator, composer, arranger & the development director for the Portland Jazz Composers’ Ensemble. Mieke originally hails from Redlands, CA and after several years of piano lessons, was given her first saxophone lessons by her grandfather in 8th grade. After receiving her music education and performance degrees from Northern Arizona University in 1998 and several career paths later (Air Force, massage therapist & bartender), she’s made Portland her home since 2005. Mieke and Chelsea helped form the Quadraphonnes with Mary-Sue and Michelle in 2006. She also performs in a wide variety of groups including the Afro-Cuban band Melao de Cuba, Industrial Jazz Group, Portland Jazz Composers’ Ensemble, as well as playing classical alto when she can and performing musicals. She has shared the stage with local and international artists such as The Miracles, Charles Neville, Greg Yasinitsky, Janice Scroggins, Reggie Houston, David Valdez, Susie Jones, Lily Wilde, Miguel Bernal, Mike Snyder & Libby Roach. Mieke’s been involved in recording 7 albums as a soloist, collaborator or side-person on flute, clarinet, alto, bari and vocals. She has played at all the local jazz festivals, toured Southern California and played on the local radio stations KMHD and KBOO. Mieke and her husband Kent enjoy tending to their garden, nurturing their bee hive and spending as much time as they can camping all over Oregon. Mieke also enjoys teaching private lessons at her home studio and co-teaching with the Portland Youth Jazz Orchestra. She is heavily involved in promoting music education and loves collaborating with her music community. Music is the one outlet that (as her favorite author Tom Robbins might say) keeps the oxygen from leaking out of her life.

Michelle Medler - TENOR SAXOPHONE + VOCALS

Michelle Medler is a multi-instrumentalist, music educator, composer & arranger from the Pacific Northwest, USA. She is the co-founder and director of the Portland Youth Jazz Orchestra (serving regional music students since 2001) as well as active and versitle musician. Along with playing tenor in the Quadraphonnes, Michelle holds down the woodwinds & vocals in the 1920s-40s Jazz ensemble, the Shanghai Woolies. She plays in Portland's premeire RnB band, The Chris Baum Project as well as the salsa band Melao de Cuba. Fronting her own band, The Michelle Medler Quintet, she finds an outlet for her modern Jazz playing and composing. In between gigs, Michelle has a private lesson studio, works as a clinician and adjudicator for school bands and solo/ensemble contests and teaches various music classes at the Burlingame Space. Her other interests include art & design, hiking and enjoying the NW wilderness.

Michelle Medler grew up with a passion for Jazz and rock music. As a teen, she played at Portland’s Ron Steen jam sessions, hit Seattle’s Blues scene with Sweet Talkin’ Jones and the Muscletones, and attended years of Mel Brown and Bud Shank Jazz Workshops. Her foundation was in classical music, however. She played in the Chamber Music Society of Oregon’s Orchestra from age 13-15, participated in the state solo contest at age 16, and was in school band and choir progams among the top in the state. Michelle was a featured soprano sax soloist in PSU’s wind ensemble while in college and graduated from Portland State University with a Bachelors of Music, Jazz Emphasis. Simultaneous to college she was an artist in residence at Portland, Oregon’s Wilson High school band program. Michelle studied with: Bob Mover, Kim Richmond, Jeff Clayton, Don Lanphere, Scott Hall, Rob Scheps, Darrell Grant, Charley Gray, Jeff Homan, Gary Harris, Dan Schauffler, Tessa Brinkman, Richard Boberg, Red Mitchell and others.She has shared the stage with The Rebirth Brass Band, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Charmaine & Charles Neville, and performed with Ingrid Jensen, Don Braden, Leroy Vinnegar, Mel Brown, and Terell Stafford with Portland State’s Jazz Ensemble. Medler performed on the soundtrack to the film “The Go Getter” (2008) and has recorded as a side-person on various jazz r'n'b albums and soundtracks for musicals.

Chelsea Luker - ALTO & SOPRANO SAXOPHONE + VOCALS

A woman of many interests, Chelsea has carved her niche into several Portland performing groups writing, recording, singing, and playing saxophone, flute and guitar. Originally from Portland, OR, she was exposed since pre-birth to a plethora of musical influences from her family. She grew up to the sounds of Frank Zappa, Miles Davis, Joni Mitchell, SunRa and the likes. Despite the influence of rock and jazz, Chelsea began serious classical training on saxophone at the age of 11. She finished her high school years in Spokane, WA, where she studied saxophone, voice, and visual art with some of the northwest’s most prominent teachers. Opportunities arose to travel the U.S. attending week long workshops by such greats as Eugene Rousseau, Frederick Hemke and the Rascher Quartet. By the end of high school she had achieved top scores at regional college competitions, and given numerous recitals at local colleges and halls, two highlights being a performance of the Glazounov Saxophone Concerto with Orchestra in 1999, and being featured in a guest artist recital at a Frederick Hemke workshop in Montana. After 8 years of studying with teacher, Sylvia Baker, Chelsea went on to receive her B.A. in Saxophone Performance at Florida State University with Patrick Meighan, participating in various classical festivals, and winning the Florida State Woodwind solo competition her senior year. Chelsea also discovered her love for performing in live bands, and joined her first professional rock/fusion group, Xingu. Xingu toured much of the Southeast US in their yellow school bus, recorded their debut album, Xinguism, and shared stages with such greats as the Robert Randolph Band and Colonel Bruce Hampton. After school, Chelsea returned to her birthplace, Portland, OR, in search of other musicians to collaborate with. She currently plays with The Quadraphonnes, JoyTribe, The Max Ribner Band, Teddy Presberg and War Pigs, and The Lily Wilde Orchestra.

Mary-Sue Tobin - SOPRANO & ALTO SAXOPHONE

Mary-Sue Tobin, or MST, as she is affectionately known to colleagues and friends, is a professional saxophonist based out of Portland, OR. She has played and recorded with many of Portland’s finest bands (Portland Jazz Orchestra, Lily Wilde Orchestra, Soul Vaccination, Patrick Lamb Band, Dub Squad, Paxselin Quartet) in addition to a full teaching studio. Current projects include: The Quadraphonnes, Portland Jazz Composer’s Ensemble, Birth of The Cool, The Next Waltz, Morphine Tribute Band and The MSQuartet/Quintet. She is also an “In Demand” side person for many other divergent projects. In addition to her busy performance/teaching schedule MST also curates and programs for: Cathedral Park Jazz Festival, Portland Jazz Festival, Portland Jazz Composer’s Ensemble, “Bringing Jazz Back to Williams” Jazz Series and Fopo AllStars at Star Day Tavern. She has a long history of curating Jazz in Portland including both the Blue Monk Sunday Night Series and the Red and Black Series. MST holds a Jazz Studies Bachelor Degree and Masters in Saxophone Performance Degree from Portland State University where she was a Graduate Teaching Fellow for the Jazz Department in addition to teaching adjunct at both PSU and George Fox. She has maintained a full studio at Beacock’s Music for 8 years where she teaches Saxophone, Clarinet and Piano as well as Jazz Theory, Jazz Ensemble and General Band. She also has a home studio and was recently hired by Multnomah Arts Center as an instructor. In her own words, “I Live for Music, My Family and Friends, Good Living and the chance to make a difference somehow.”

Leah Hinchcliff - BASS

Leah Hinchcliff brings the booty shakin electric and acoustic bass to the Quadraphonnes.

 

She is a member of the Shanghai Woolies and Gravy and has played with Soul Vaccination and many others.

 

More to come...

 

 

Ward Griffiths - DRUMS

Ward Griffiths is the funky back beat drummer for the Quadraphonnes.

 

She has played for the Rob Scheps big band, Fred Stickley, Gravy, Mike Doolin and others.

 

 

Biking is her passion. Her dogs are with her whenever possible!

 

 

More to come...

 

Mike Snyder - PERCUSSION & DRUMS

Mike Snyder is the percussionist and regular drum sub for the Quadraphonnes. You may not know it, but you’ve heard Mike’s work. For the last 20-plus years he’s been a regular on the Los Angeles and Portland, Oregon recording scene, bringing his special talents to hundreds of records, film, and television soundtracks. In addition to every Mel Brooks movie from Spaceballs to Robin Hood: Men in Tights, his playing may be heard on many popular, syndicated television shows, including Home Improvement, Dinosaurs, and The Little Mermaid. His recording work now focuses mainly on jingles, record projects, library music, music for industrial video, and lots of drum & percussion loops.

 

Ben Medler - BASS

Ben Medler is a performer and composer originally from the Boston area. Now residing in Portland, Oregon, he has been a guest bassist with the Quadraphonnes since the band's beginning. His composition "Under the Funk" can be heard on the Quadraphonnes release, "Get the Funk Out". Ben also plays Trombone, sings and composes for "the Shanghai Woolies", a Louis Armstrong influenced group. Since 1991, Medler has committed his time to teaching other musicians of all ages. He co-directed the award winning Wilson High School Jazz program for 7 years and recently finished 14 years with the Portland Youth Jazz Orchestra. Ben is also on staff at Portland State university and Lewis & Clark College.

 

Cameron Morgan - GUITAR

Cameron Morgan is a guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter from Houston, TX, by way of NYC and L.A. Permanent resident of Portland, since 2008. Has performed and recorded w/ Brian Blade, Gino Vannelli, Darrell Grant, Greta Gertler, Mass Ensemble, Banyan, and Jesca Hoop. Fall 2015 CD releases include: 19 Foot Trio - No Look Pass (w/ Tim Lefebvre & Adam Gust) and John Gross Trio - Shards. Current projects include: performances of original material, composing for Film/TV, teaching, Greg Goebel Quartet, MSQuartet, and now the Quadraphonnes!