Leader BOB SCHWARTZ took up the flute in 3rd grade. As a high school junior he was all-Nassau-County (New York) playing Mozart. He took up sax to join the dance band; by high school he and pal David Berger were the featured soloists and writing big band instrumental and vocal arrangements. While studying at Cornell, Bob played lead alto, tenor, and baritone sax with the Ithaca College Jazz Lab, and co-led with Berger a quartet that featured pianist Andy LaVerne. As David went on to become a leading New York-based composer, arranger, and conductor, Bob joined the Justice Department and then became a lawyer-lobbyist. He stopped performing in public but produced albums for David’s bands, 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 with the David Berger Jazz Orchestra.
After years of playing in clinics and masterclasses, Bob formed BSQ. Starting with private events, BSQ entered jazz clubs and restaurant and hotel venues.
For years, RALPH CORNWELL was our go-to drummer whenever David was unavailable. But once we heard him on vibes, it was all over—we had to have him in the band on a regular basis! More info coming soon.
HERB NACHMANN 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.
Originally from upstate New York, DAVID MARTIN attended high school and university in Massachusetts and Vermont. He started playing drums at age 10, and became interested in jazz listening to big band groups such as Woody Herman. Later, he was influenced by the music of Miles Davis, Chick Corea, Art Blakey and Pat Metheny, among others.
While in college, David played with several jazz bands, and furthered his musical studies during the summer at Berklee College of Music in Boston. During this period, one of his bands was the opening act for a three-night performance with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers.
David has studied with the Jazz Band Masterclass organization since 2005. Besides BSQ, he has played with several other bands in the Washington, DC area.
In his day job, David is the founder and Managing Partner of Sterling Martin Associates, an executive recruiting firm for nonprofit organizations throughout the U.S. He lives in Washington, DC with his wife Ying.
NINA has been singing the standards since she was a kid and she 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, website, and the artwork for our CDs, 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 Alison Crockett.
All arrangements by Bob Schwartz
* Colin Cook on Guitar