BOB took up the flute in 3rd grade. As a high school junior he was all-Nassau-County (New York) playing Mozart. But at age 12 he and pal David Berger started collecting jazz recordings and listening after bedtime to an a.m. radio program out of WBAL Baltimore, "The Harley Show," which featured the music of Duke Ellington.
In 8th Grade Bob acquired a Martin alto sax to join the Dance Band. He and David won Downbeat summer scholarships to Berklee School of Music, where he studied sax with the legendary Joe Viola and sat in, at Boston's Jazz Workshop, with the great Lou Donaldson.
By 12th grade Bob and David were writing the arrangements for the Mepham High School stage band and playing in sessions around Long Island. While at Cornell, Bob played alto, tenor, baritone sax, and flute in the Ithaca College Jazz Lab, and co-led, with David, the group After Hours.
While David went on to become one of our generation's leading jazz composers, arrangers, and band leaders, Bob went to law school, joined the Justice Department, and is a partner in Constantine Cannon LLP.
Bob reunited musically with David Berger to produce I Had The Craziest Dream: The Music Of Harry Warren, named the Tribute Album Of 2008, and in 2010, Sing Me A Love Song – Harry Warren’s Undiscovered Standards, featuring Freda Payne and Denzal Sinclaire.
After receiving a degree in Composition from Chicago Musical College, ROB played keyboards in wedding, jazz, and western swing bands in the late ’70s, while also studying flute.
He moved to Washington, D.C. in 1983, where he composed, produced, and recorded works in various genres, performed in several theatrical productions, and collaborated with Washington-area choreographers, including Roberta Rothstein, Maida Withers, and Ajax Joe Drayton.
He has served as resident composer and sound designer for Rothstein’s Momentum Dance Theatre since 1986. In 1999, he co-founded the Brazilian jazz trio Brazil on the Hill. In 2001 the group was expanded to a quintet and rechristened as Travessia. Travessia played concerts, festivals, clubs (including DC’s premiere jazz club Blues Alley), and benefits in the DC metro area before disbanding in 2007. More recently, Rob covered keys and wind synth for the neo-soul/R&B group DownTyme and Brazilian group Batuque, while studying jazz improv with DC jazzer extraordinaire Wayne Wilentz. He joined the BSQ in Fall 2010.
HERB had a troubled youth. He ran with a tough crowd, “The Pottsville Boys,” named after their hometown of West Stroudsberg. After some time in the clink, he wised up. One night, while hot-wiring a car, he reflected on the resonance inherent in connectors. Always intellectually curious, he decided to steal a string bass. Since then there has been no looking back (at least once the police stopped chasing) ; )
Not selective by nature, Herb has been involved with musical groups ranging from duos to big bands and enjoys playing in the style and tradition of the great swing orchestras.
In 2012 Herb succeeded Seth Greenstein, whose schedule had become too complicated, on bass. In addition to BSQ (according to Bob, the “World’s Smallest Big Band”) Herb plays with Big Band Tradition, the Tom Cunningham Orchestra, Difficult Run Jazz Band, and the Potomac Jazz Orchestra. He has also performed with Steve Herberman, Wade Beach and Jeff Antoniuk. Herb studies with Pepe Gonzalez, one of Washington’s premier bass players and teachers.
STEVE fell in love with jazz while working at his college radio station. After growing up with rock and roll, he heard an album by saxophonist Art Pepper.
From that day on, Steve started exploring the entire history of jazz through listening, reading, and interviewing musicians. He has interviewed dozens of artists, and written extensively about the music.
Along the way Steve started playing saxophone, which led to playing with small groups and big bands. In 2003 he decided to pursue his childhood dream of playing drums. He now studies with one of Washington's top jazz drummers, Tony Martucci.
NINA has been singing the standards since she was a kid and is grounded in classic renditions by jazz singers such as Anita O’Day, Ella, Mavis Rivers, and Blossom Dearie.
As a painter and graphic artist her initial roll was to design the BSQ logo and website, and all the art for ’Tain't What’cha Do, as well as for the prize winning CDs that Bob has produced for the David Berger Jazz Orchestra. When a restaurant owner asked BSQ for some vocals, Nina stepped into the limelight herself. She studies voice with Christina Crerar and Alison Crockett.
All arrangements by Bob Schwartz
* Colin Cook on Guitar