Stockton Helbing Trio – Stockton Helbing, Josh Hanlon, James Driscoll
Stockton Helbing is not very good at sitting still. When not drumming he is being a composer, arranger, producer, band leader, educator, music director, author, and entrepreneur.
Stockton maintains a busy schedule of performing, recording, and teaching around North America. He is a frequent guest artist at colleges and high schools due to his hefty resume of past performances. In recent years, Stockton has been heard across the United States playing drums for American music icon and trumpet player extraordinaire Doc Severinsen.
Stockton has released six albums to date: Lodestar (2005), For Nothing is Secret (2007), Battlestations & Escape Plans (2010), Crazy Aquarius (2012), Handprints (2014), and, his most recent Patina (2015). Each album showcases not only Stockton’s drumming abilities, but his composing, arranging, and producing skills as well. Stockton also released his first educational text in 2015, Big Band Drum Set Sight Reading Etudes Volume 1, which helps drummers learn how to improvise and succeed in a big band setting.
Stockton has performed and recorded with a wide range of artists including Maynard Ferguson, the Maniacal 4, Erika Badu, David Braid, Steve Wiest, Jennifer Holiday, The Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Denis DiBlasio, The Cincinnati Pops, Chip McNeill, Darden Purcell, Clay Jenkins, Phil Woods, Wayne Bergeron, Randy Brecker, The Imperial Brass, Mary Wilson, Paul Tynan, Ernie Watts and many more.
Stockton currently teaches drum set at the University of North Texas as an adjunct professor of music. In the past, Stockton held positions as Jazz Artist in Residence at Oklahoma State University (2012-2015) and Artist in Residence at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (2011-2013) and he has appeared as guest artist at schools including the University of North Texas, San Jose State University, the University of Illinois, George Mason University, the University of South Carolina, and St. Francis Xavier University.
Since 2007, Stockton has owned and operated Armored Records, an independent Jazz record label that focuses on releases by up and coming Jazz artists. To date, Armored Records has released over fifty albums from artists coast to coast.
Stockton lives in Dallas, TX, with his wife Denise, John their son, Liliana their daughter, Jack the dog, and Aquarius the turtle.
Noted for his distinctive spark on the instrument, Canadian pianist and composer Josh Hanlon has made his musical home in the jazz oasis of Denton, Texas, for over a decade. His focused, yet versatile approach to the instrument has kept him well in demand as a performer and educator. Recent examples include his upcoming release, “The Baytree Sessions, Vol. 1” (Armored Records), and sideman work with the Stockton Helbing Quintet and the Maniacal 4.
Hanlon earned a Masters Degree in Jazz Studies from the University of North Texas, where he played piano in their flagship ensemble: the One O’Clock Lab Band. He served as Visiting Assistant Professor at Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas, as well as taught Jazz Piano at the University of North Texas and St. Francis Xavier University. Perhaps Hanlon’s most notable credit is his five years as pianist and conductor for country music legend Ray Price. You can keep up with Hanlon at his website, joshhanlon.com.
Bassist James Driscoll has been an active member of the Dallas/Ft. Worth music scene for 20 years. He has performed with Doc Severinsen, Dan Haerle, George Garzone, Stockton Helbing, Joe McBride, Ed Soph, Marvin Stamm and many more. After earning a BM in Jazz Performance from the University of North Texas, Driscoll began an adjunct faculty position at Richland College (DCCCD) where he teaches bass performance. In addition to his busy performing and recording schedule, Driscoll operates a small studio in Dallas where he composes for music production libraries and mixes and masters artist recordings.
Past Guest Artists
Geoff Gallante, 13-year-old trumpet prodigy from Alexandria, VA, began playing trumpet at age 4. By age 6, he had performed on NBC’s Today Show with Chris Botti, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and CBS The Early Show. He also became the youngest instrumentalist to perform at the White House and the Kennedy Center. Since that time, he has performed solo engagements with orchestras, symphonic bands and jazz groups in 34 states, most notably The Philadelphia Brass, The Louisville Symphony, The Duke Ellington Orchestra, and 5 outstanding ensembles of the U.S. Military.
Geoff has received resounding praise, including:
- “One of the most remarkable young trumpeters in the world today…dazzling technique”, Captain Lew Buckley, Conductor Laureate, The U.S. Coast Guard Band
- “An amazing talent”, Stan Hendrickson, principal trumpet The National Symphony
- “I’ve never seen such a rare gift”, Chris Botti
- “His command of the instrument and jazz vocabulary are truly astonishing”, Dan Morgenstern, dean of jazz critics
Geoff, finished eighth grade at Carl Sandburg Middle School, is also an accomplished pianist and vocalist. He enjoys swimming, fishing, bike riding and being an obnoxious little brother.
Geoff’s appearance with The Plano Community Band at Texas Bandmasters Association was sponsored by Peak Music Festivals.
Michele Todd’s love of jazz music began in college, though she has been singing her whole life. She was the vocalist for the T.I. Stage Band and as a singer in her college jazz choir, Michele had the honor of traveling to Montreux, Switzerland, to perform in the Montreux Jazz Festival. She has participated in various a cappella groups such as Five Minus One, The Connection, and Four the Holidays. For the past 7 years, Michele has had the proud honor of being a vocalist for the Phares Corder Jazz Orchestra, singing songs by some of her favorite singers like Diana Krall, Jane Monheit, and Ella Fitzgerald. She has been fortunate enough to sing with some of the most talented musicians and in some of the most prestigious locations in the Dallas area.
Michele performed with the band at its Star-Spangled Spectacular concert on July 3, 2014 at Haggard Park in Downtown Plano at 7 p.m.
Drew Lang performs regularly with the Dallas Opera Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra and many regional orchestras in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. He is also the principal mallet player with the Dallas Wind Symphony and percussionist for Casa Mañana Musicals. As a theater percussionist, he has also performed at the ATT Performing Arts Center and the Dallas Theater Center. In addition, he was principal percussionist at the Breckenridge Music Festival in Breckenridge, Colorado. As a marimba specialist, Drew has commissioned and premiered and recorded works for marimba in solo, chamber and concerto settings. Drew appears throughout the United States as a soloist and in his duo with Flutist Helen Blackburn. Drew is on the percussion faculties at Southern Methodist University and Eastfield College and is director of the “MARIMBA MADNESS” summer Junior High/High School percussion camp and endorses Vic Firth sticks and mallets.