Gary toured 14 countries for 8 years with the US Air Force Band (Europe), performing on stage with legends including Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Doc Severinsen and Victor Borge at international special events from the “Rose of Tralee” festival in Ireland to “Feria” in Spain to “Communist Musikfest” in Yugoslavia.
Years after USAF service, Gary discovered another military musician in his family tree. His Gr-Gr-Grandfather, Georg Gewinner served as US Army ‘Bandmaster’ during the Civil War, and it was Georg’s 4th Mass Calvary band that played the surrender of Gen. Robert E. Lee to Gen. Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Courthouse on 9 Apr 1865 ending the Civil War. Talk about the Gig of the Century!
Gary’s professional career centered around software. He founded and ran a software company in the Aerospace-Defense sector that achieved #50 on the Inc 500 list of fastest growing companies. His 35 year technology career included time as an exec with Oracle & HP, and as VP with the Boeing Company.
Originally known as the Microsoft Jumpin’ Jive Orchestra, Jim founded the band in 2004 and has continuously managed it through today. After 15 years performing in the area as MJJO, the band is now known as the ‘Seattle Solid GOLD Big Band’. When it comes to managing a big band, Jim knows his stuff. He also served as Chief Admin of the “Sax on the Web” forum (before it was sold) and Admin for the “Woodwind Forum,” and fully understands the value of social media in today’s music business.
Jim spent more than 20 years in the U.S. Army, rising from Private to retire as a Major in the US Army Corps of Engineers. Highlights include two tours in Germany and serving as Chief of the ARTEP division at the U.S. Engineer School when they computerized the school.
Jim’s second career lasted 20 years with Microsoft as a User Education Manager. During that time, he was recognized as one of the Microsoft Dynamics Top 100 Most Influential People Internationally in 2010 and 2011.
Robert grew up in the deep south and started playing jazz guitar at an early age while living in New Orleans and Houston. In Houston he worked for NASA at the Johnson Space Center on the Space Shuttle.
Robert left NASA to attend the Harvard Business School and then came to the Pacific Northwest to become an early employee at Microsoft. He has held senior executive positions at Borland, Pure and Rational Software. He discovered that the tech industry is full of musicians and has played in bands with Paul Allen and Philippe Kahn as well as in Turbo Jazz and LoudJazz.
Robert has pursued music as a post retirement career and has been playing with the Microsoft Jumpin’ Jive Orchestra the past few years. He founded the Evergreen Point Jazz Band in 2014 with the goal of finding talented musicians and playing jazz at a high level.