Dan Tobias was born in Trenton, NJ and attended Hamilton Township schools. He began performing in the Trenton area with the Lamplighters big band at the age of 15. Dan attended Trenton State College and graduated in 1985. While a student at the college, he studied trumpet with Donald Benedetti and George Rabbai. After graduation, he began a one-year stint on Carnival Cruise Tropicale, where he played in the show band.
Since 1987, Dan has been a member of the Tony DeNicola Band. This association has lead
to work with such jazz luminaries as Kenny Davern, Warren and Allen Vache, Harry Allen, Howard Alden, John Bunch, Marty Napoleon, Greg Cohen, Derek Smith and many other great musicians. In addition to his appearances in concerts and festivals with the Midiri Brothers, Dan can also be heard performing with the Blue Skies jazz quartet, as well as with Derf Nolde’s Keystone Jazz Band, Jerry Rife’s Rhythm Kings. In New York City he is often heard with Stan Rubin’s Band at the Red Blazer and with Vince Giordano's Nighthawks at the Cajun.
In addition to being a jazz performer, Dan teaches elementary band and orchestra in Hamilton Township, NJ.
Pat Mercuri plays guitar with the Midiri Brothers. On guitar, mandolin and banjo, he is also one of the Philadelphia area’s most experienced free-lance musicians. Along with his jazz concerts, travel and recording with the Midiri Brothers, Pat engages in a wide range of performance activities, playing jazz, pop and classical music. In addition, he has frequently played guitar, mandolin and banjo for The Philadelphia Orchestra, for The Princeton Symphony, for Opera Philadelphia and for The Pennsylvania Ballet, with a few weeks playing for the New York Philharmonic and the New York City Ballet as well. Pat also has long experience playing for theater and show orchestras in Philadelphia, Atlantic City and New York. Over the years, Pat has appeared on network TV, accompanying English singer Russell Watson both on his PBS special and on ABC’s Good Morning America. He also composed and performed music for a PBS documentary that aired in 2007. Classical music concerts with Orchestra 2001 have taken Pat to some interesting places: St. Petersburg and Moscow in Russia, as well as England, Denmark and Cuba. He also traveled to Switzerland, Germany and England to play for the 2006 European tour by The Philadelphia Orchestra. Pat also enjoys performing music from the Italian-American experience. Playing both mandolin and guitar, he has led his Sounds of Italy ensembles for countless private and public events throughout the Philadelphia region. Traditional jazz is another specialty for Pat, with countless performances as a member of Jerry Rife’s Rhythm Kings and the Blue Skies quartet. Ed Wise’s New Orleans Jazz Band has long counted on Pat’s guitar and banjo playing for its many concerts throughout the Mid-Atlantic states. Pat continues to perform and to teach private lessons while also teaching instrumental music for the Hamilton Township, NJ public schools.
Born and raised in Houston, Texas,
Ed Wise began his study of the string bass at the age of twelve. At seventeen, Ed was already a member of the American Federation of Musicians Houston Local 65, performing with Houston’s legendary tenor saxophonist Arnett Cobb and sitting in at local jam sessions with Sonny Stitt, Rashaan Roland Kirk, Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis, and others. Ed was one of the busiest musicians in the Dallas area during his college years, working with Dallas area jazz artists including former Miles Davis Quintet pianist Red Garland, saxophonist and former Jazz Messenger Marcel Ivery and former Ray Charles tenor man James Clay; he also toured with New Orleans legend Al Hirt, Texas R&B star Delbert McClinton and the Smothers Brothers rounded out his busy schedule. In 1989 Ed moved to Toronto where he worked with the great Lee Konitz and toured with Monty Alexander, Harry "Sweets" Edison, Scott Hamilton and Bud Shank. Ed moved to New Orleans, where he lived and worked until August 29, 2005, the day Hurricane Katrina came to town. During his twelve years in the Big Easy, he performed with and arranged for Al Belletto's Big Jazz Band and sextet, Connie Jones' Crescent City Jazz Band, pianist Henry Butler, guitarist Herb Ellis, and pianist/vocalist Mose Allison. In 2005, Ed traveled to Italy to appear with Connie Jones' Crescent City Jazz Band at the winter and summer Umbria Jazz Festivals. Ed also played bass in various ensembles on the steamboats Mississippi Queen, American Queen and Delta Queen. In 2005, he recorded his first CD, Ed Wise and his New Orleans Jazz Band, featuring his original and imaginative arrangements of traditional New Orleans jazz for 8, 9 and 10-piece ensembles. That same year, Wise received the honor of being named one of New Orleans' “Jazz All-Stars” in New Orleans Magazine's annual Jazz All-Star issue. Arriving in Philadelphia in the wake of Katrina, Ed quickly became a fixture on the Philly jazz scene, freelancing on the bass and forming an east coast band to play the music from his CD. In 2012, Ed released his 2nd CD, géants, featuring the music of Sidney Bechet, Django Reinhardt, Rex Stewart and others, performed by Ed on bass, along with Stan Slotter on cornet, Joe Midiri on clarinet and soprano saxophone and Pat Mercuri on guitar. Despite the move back to New Orleans, Ed’s touring schedule is still quite full, including several jazz festival appearances across the country with the Midiri Brothers Band. Back in New Orleans, Ed can be found 7 nights a week (when not traveling) at Houston's Restaurant on St. Charles Ave., playing bass in David Hansen's Garden District Trio with David on drums and Brazilian transplant Eduardo Tozzatto at the grand piano. Ed also performs with Connie Jones, Banu Gibson, Tim Laughlin and other New Orleans notables at French Quarter Festival and JazzFest, and all over town.
Jim Lawlor began playing drums after moving from Philadelphia to Atlantic City in 1979, when the town was just beginning its rise as the East Coast gambling mecca. Jim’s access to many world class musicians, and some legends like Billy Eckstein and Jonah Jones, all willing to share their knowledge, allowed him to flourish and eventually work in just about every club and lounge in the area. His primary teacher was Chris Columbo, former drummer with Louis Jordan's Tympani Five, and father of Count Basie drumming legend Sonny Payne. Jim spent eight years in the Chris Sooy Swing Band, a very popular group that pre-dated the Neo-Swing movement by a decade. He was then hired by Joe and Paul Midiri to play and sing in their small groups. Paul would eventually teach Jim how to read big band drum "charts,” allowing him to take over that job as well in the Midiri's full orchestra. The band enjoyed eight years at the Showboat as well as weekly broadcasts from the Grand Ballroom, and the Taj Mahal, all in Atlantic City. In 2000, the band landed on the festival circuit and it has given Jim a chance to travel and perform around the U.S. in beautiful locales such as Sun Valley, Idaho, Mammoth Lakes, Ca., Southern Calif., Oregon, and Florida. Recently, he has played both with the Midiris and independently for Jazzdagen Cruises, enjoying trans-Atlantic crossings, the Sea of Cortez, as well as a river cruise in the Netherlands. Jim is married with two daughters, and makes his home in Moorestown, N.J. He tends to talk incessantly, and lives in the past to the point of annoyance.
Since 2003, Jack Hegyi has performed as the traveling Bassist for Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme. A veteran showroom bassist in Atlantic City, Jack has played for hundreds of stars, including: Anthony Newley, Bob Hope, Billy Eckstine, Ray Anthony Big Band, The Smothers Brothers, Jackie Mason, Connie Francis, Glen Miller Orchestra, Bobby Rydell, Patti Lupone, George Benson, Tony Orlando & Dawn, Kathy Lee Gifford & Regis Philbin, Debbie Reynolds, Charo, Eddie Rabbitt, Loretta Lynn, Lesley Gore, Danny Thomas, Joel Grey, Rich Little, Carol Channing, Jerry Vale. Sid Caesar, Carol Lawrence, Michel Legrand, Frankie Avalon, Helen Forest, Al Martino, Jerry Vale, and Mel Torme. Book shows include: Meet Me in St. Louis, Little Shop of Horrors, City of Angels, My One and Only, Some Like It Hot, Ziegfeld- a Night at the Follies, Gypsy, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Sugar Babies, Fiddler on the Roof, The Sound of Music, Forever Plaid, Nunsense, Legends in Concert and Guys and Dolls
Bob Leary has been a Banjo King on Main Street at Disney World; the band leader and performer at Rosie O'Grady's in Orlando; and was a featured act and band leader, on the Mississippi Queen and the American Queen steamboats on the Mississippi river. He's had the honor of recording several CD's with Woody Allen's musical director, Dick Hyman, in New York; and singing and playing on more than 100 recordings with many of the most famous names in Dixieland music. For the past 8 years, Bob has been a featured All-Star for the JazzFest at Sea, and the Jazzdagen, cruises. He has played jazz festivals in Tahiti, Germany, Holland, France, Britain, Canada, and the Caesarea Jazz Festival in Israel. This year, he'll be working at jazz festivals around the United States as an All-Star, with the Jim Cullum Band, and with The Midiri Brothers.
Jeff Phillips, who is from Naples, Florida, played his first professional job at age 14 and was in a trio playing organ at age 16. While knowing many "standard" tunes by age 16, he had not heard any jazz yet. At age 18, that all changed when he was given and Oscar Peterson and Erroll Garner recordings, respectively, in the same week. " I abandoned playing organ, even jazz organ, and became a huge fan of the piano.” He learned every kind of popular music he could, everything from Dixieland/Traditional Jazz to funk, making himself marketable for a wide variety of work. He is currently a staff musician for Walt Disney World, performing as pianist with The Grand Floridian Society Orchestra. He is also on staff for the nationally recognized Harrison High School For The Arts Jazz Orchestra as the assistant director and jazz piano/improv teacher. A small list of internationally recognized musicians/entertainers he has worked with: Clark Terry, Louis Bellson, Bob Mintzer, Buddy DeFranco, Butch Miles, Dennis Marks, Howard Alden, Warren and Allan Vache', Ken Peplowski, Chuck Redd, comedian/actor Charlie Callas, and John and Bill Allred.