Evan is a 2017 Psychology graduate, and loves all kinds of music. While he can slide around the trombone as good as anyone, he is inspired most by Tim McIlrath of Rise Against. He hopes to one day become a band manager. If anyone in the audience had to pick Evan’s favorite tune, it would probably unanimously be Danza Kuduro, because he yells like a maniac and has a great time doing so.
Drum Set 2015-2016
Jonah is a 2017 Music Education grad, and is the Associate Director of Bands/Director of Percussion at Groveport Madison High School in Columbus, Ohio. He aspires to play like Gavin Harrison and is working hard at it by hitting things with pieces of wood, but that’s a drummer’s job. Jonah actually has four tattoos on his arms of music he either composed or transcribed because he didn’t know they make paper with a music staff already on it. He used to play varsity sports in high school, but completely devoted his life to music in college, and now he consequently answers to the name “Band”. Seriously, come to a gig and yell “Band”. He will perk up… His favorite tunes to play with Sixth Street are Brooklyn and Buckjump. Jonah is also a member of the Illinois Wind Symphony, the Marching Illini Snare Line, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.
Tenor Sax 2014-2016
Airius is a guy who has wisdom in his dreadlocks. He is a 2016 grad in psychology and communications, but doesn’t have a dream job because he doesn’t usually find himself working while he’s asleep. The musicians he looks up to are Childish Gambino and Kendrick Lamar, though when you hear him you’ll hear a good mix of Michael Brecker, Sonny Rollins, Gerald Albright, and David Sanborn. His favorite tune to play is Let's Get It On because the collective movement of the crowd's under garments from the on to the off position by the end of the song is quite elating. He also says that “chicken and watermelon are f***in’ delicious and don't let anybody tell you any different”.
Alto Sax 2014-2015
Being the first lady in SSB, Hayley quickly earned her place as the sassiest member, because with a 7:1 boy to girl ratio, she had to keep her boys in line. Her happiest memories were on stage performing, whether dancing with Airius on Jump in the Line, making her bari debut on Danza Kuduro with “Little Brother” Evan screaming, and singing/pretending to be trumpets with Airius on Get out Da Way. After graduating in 2015, “McSassmomster” has been working as a teller, wishing she could hang out with her SSB boys, and plans on going to culinary school in 2016.
Suzie is a senior majoring in mathematics for secondary education, which is a big step towards her dream job of becoming a professional nap taker. She has had the experience of being mocked personally by Wycliffe Gordon early in her high school career while her band was getting a clinic. Some golden quotes include "I've walked on leaves that crunched louder than you" and "I can flap my coat louder than you can play". She has since increased her master volume and overall mastery of the trombone. In the words of Suzie, “Come at me now, Gordon”. She looks up to Charles Mingus, who isn’t even a trombone player, and always enjoys playing anything by Trombone Shorty.
Nate graduated with a degree in Interdisciplinary Health Sciences and is attending A.T. Still University for Medical School. He served as “Jake Blues” during the Fighting Illini Basketball season for two years, as well as a member of the Marching Illini and Basketball Band. As “The Cute One” he served as the front man for the band during his tenure. Nate was really into throwing new things at the other Sixth Street members by always bringing something new to the table. The most important thing he did in Sixth Street was have fun. Nate’s biggest influence is Troy Andrews, otherwise known as Trombone Shorty, but he also loves the work of the bands No BS! Brass Band, The Lucky Chops, and Hackney Colliery Band. His favorite song in Sixth Street’s set list is Get Your Groove On, Nate’s last arrangement for the group and he loved singing and playing the tasty licks in this unreleased Trombone Shorty Chart. Nate wishes for this band to continue for a long time. SIXTH STREET IS THE PLACE TO BE.
Tenor Sax 2013-2014
Located at an undisclosed location off the eastern coast of the United States, Jake currently guards us from the Legion of Doom while we sleep from within a submarine, performing experiments to create the first nuclear powered tenor saxophone capable of ripping a tenor sax solo so sexy that it can physically touch you. Jake is also known for being a loudmouth. He also holds a gold medal in slap tongue tennis, which he won at the Sydney Olympic Games. But in all seriousness, Jake is currently serving as a nuclear engineer in the US Navy. Seeing as how he's constantly training and navy-ing so we can sleep peacefully at night, this bio has been strung together by close friends and fellow founders, Russell and Mok. Much love Patsy."
Alto/Bari Saxophone 2015-2017
Casey graduated in 2017 with a degree in Music Technology as well as English, and wants to eventually become a studio engineer and a songwriter. He admires the work of guitarist, composer, and producer John Petrucci. As if having two majors isn’t enough, Casey always wants to keep himself active in school; whether he is involved with Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Marching Illini, or Odd Request Improv. Instruments and results may vary, though with Sixth Street you’ll catch him shredding on sax. His favorite chart to play is Danza Kuduro because “the pressure is on me to make sure the mood is right to DANZA!”
Drum Set 2016-2017
Jackson is a junior studying political science, which as everyone knows is the direct path to becoming a broadway pit orchestra member. His favorite drummer is Benny Greb. Jackson gets excited to play Something… anything… What you may not know is that Jackson is a certified scuba diver (because that makes sense in Central Illinois), as well as a pilot, so when 6th Street gets a plane, we don’t have to pay a real pilot. You can also catch Jackson playing with the Illini Drumline, and the U of I Athletic Bands.
Alto Sax 2013-2014
Right now, Mok is working full time and trying to figure out where he should be applying for an eventual master’s degree. His favorite part of the band was the closeness of the group and the little subtleties, such as screaming “TENOR SAX SOLO!” at Jake at every possible second. For the majority of his time in SSB, Acousticon Theme was his favorite to play since he got to rip some face at the end, but retrospectively, it’s No Diggity. This was less about the song, and more the adventure to get the song. Mok and Russell spent the entire night before their last show writing it out, nearly throwing punches, beer cans, and pretty much anything within arms reach. It also wouldn’t be a Mok bio without the classic catchphrase, “WHAT YOU SAY?!”
Russell is one of the brainiacs behind SSB, formerly No-Name Brass Band. He loved No Diggity due to the dance and gyrating vibe of the tune, and VIP because you cant be mad when you listen to it. After he graduated, he moved to Boston and now works on train and bike policy full time. His biggest life-lesson that he learned from SSB is “that if there's anything you need to do in life, it's to remember to keep a case of PBR backstage. Wherever "backstage" is in your life at that moment, you always need to be ready in case you get thirsty”.
Tenor Saxophone 2015-2017
Jeremy is a Senior majoring in psychology, working to achieve his goal of becoming a professional nerd. When he’s not spending four consecutive days eating Chipotle (yeah, it happened once…), he’s either tearing it up on saxophone or listening to Hozier. His favorite tunes to play are Buckjump and Get Your Groove On, or pretty much anything else by Trombone Shorty.
Trumpet 2013-2014, 2017-2018
Blase was formerly the Assistant Director of the Fighting Tigers at Urbana High School. He played some mean Trumpet in 2013 and 2014, and loved it so much he came back and joined us for our 2017-2018 band. He is currently now living out his dreams, jamming out on Sixth Street Beach in California.
Caitlin was Sixth Street’s first full-time vocalist, though take that title with a grain of salt as there are quite a bit of instrumental tunes. She is a senior in general music education with aspirations of being an elementary music teacher. She loves the sounds of P!NK and is excited to be the new front-woman for Sixth Street. Caitlin has also been a member of the Marching Illini Mellophone section, and sang with UI Women's Glee Club during her time at Illinois.
Sam has completed her degree in Music Education, and is continuing at U of I for a sixth year to pursue a BA in Music Technology. She would like to eventually end up in the recording business in California, but she still wants to stay very active with trumpet. She aspires to play as well and as loud as her teacher, Charles Daval, who formerly played with the Boston Pops. She has played in many world-renown venues including the Rose Theater at Lincoln Center in New York during the Essentially Ellington competition. She loves playing I Want You Back and gets super excited any time it’s on the set list. Just beware if you run into her with the band during a pre-gig burger and fries at the local diner, she will not share the ketchup.
Brian graduated in 2014 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and currently works as an Applications Engineer at NTN Bearing Corporation. He served as Elwood Blues during the Fighting Illini Basketball season of his senior year and was a member of the Marching Illini and Basketball Band. His best memories of SSB were jamming together when being an engineering major had him stressed out. He also enjoyed jumping around the stage like a maniac and almost breaking multiple instruments at SSB’s first gig at Canopy Club. His favorites were No Diggity for its groove (and trumpet solo) and VIP because it just sounds so dang happy.
Drum Set 2013-2015
Dominick graduated in 2017 with a degree in Information Systems and Technology, and his goal was to run an IT company or at least run the IT department of a large corporation. He loved video games way too much (he'd play in 7 hour increments or so). Dominick was also quite the cook, although it's a shame the band never got a chance to try his dishes. On the trumpet, he strived to play like James Morrison, especially on "It’s All Over", which was his favorite Sixth Street tune to play. On November 6th, 2017 Dominick unfortunately passed away in his sleep due to unknown complications. He is terribly missed, but his spirit will live on with Sixth Street Brass forever.