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Member Bios

Eli Asher — trumpet, slide trumpet, bugle, toys

Eli AsherAlong with Respect, trumpeter Eli Asher’s main musical outlet is the 18-piece electronic big band-plus-chanteuse known as Travis Sullivan’s Bjorkestra. In addition, he has been heard with Slavic Soul Party, Jose Gonzalez, Arthur Lewis, Alan Baylock, Brian VanArsdale, Andrew Thompson, and Hylofi. In 2009, he helped produce Whit Williams’ release, “Now’s the Time,” which earned 4.5 stars from Down Beat magazine. Eli has been a performing fellow at the Bang On A Can summer festival and works as a technical assistant to composer and electronic music pioneer Morton Subotnick. Having played his fair share of Hasidic Jewish weddings, he can slip into a tuxedo faster than you can say “Shlomo Carlebach.” Eli holds degrees from Princeton University and the Eastman School of Music.

James Hirschfeld — trombone, EVI, tambourine, toys

James HirschfeldJames Hirschfeld plays the alto and tenor trombones, tuba, electronic valve instrument (EVI), and auxiliary percussion in The Respect Sextet. He is also an active composer for the group, having written such fan favorites as “The Hinske Plow,” “Vermont,” and the ASCAP honorably-mentioned “Cartel.” In addition to Respect, James has performed and/or recorded with Alarm Will Sound, Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society, Ensemble Signal, Travis Sullivan’s Bjorkestra, Escort, and Andrew Durkin’s Industrial Jazz Group. When not playing in Respect, James enjoys working with electronic music, exercising and watching baseball on his gigantic television. In 2011, James released an album of original music called Two Medicine. James holds a degree in jazz and a performer’s certificate in classical performance from the Eastman School of Music.

Malcolm Kirby — bass

Malcolm KirbyMalcolm Kirby Jr is a highly regarded performer, composer, and producer. As a bassist, Malcolm has performed with many great musicians including Fred Wesley, Lenny Castro, Kenny Wolleson, Tommy Campbell, Marcus Printup, Shelly Berg, Steve Gadd, John Medeski, Sam Newsome, The Campbell Brothers, Terrence Howard, Ben Monder, Bernard Purdie, Will Bernard, Satoshi Takeishi, Eric Kalb, Meg Okura’s PACJE, Sonny Landreth and many others. Malcolm has composed music for film such as “The Love Guru,” for TV shows such as “CSI,” “Numb3rs,” “Pimp My Ride,” “Medium,” “Law and Order,” and for video games such as “SAINTS ROW: THE THIRD,” “NBA STREET HOMECOURT,” and “DON KING’S PRIZEFIGHTER.” As a co-founder of 456inc., he has worked for Fox TV, ESPN, VH1, Warner Brothers, Paramount Pictures, MTV, Electronic Arts, CBS and many others.

Ted Poor — drums, percussion

Ted PoorSince moving to New York City in 2003, drummer/composer Ted Poor has established himself as a powerful voice on the jazz/improvised music scene. Ted is a member of Bad Touch, the Ben Monder Quartet, the Cuong Vu Trio, the Aaron Parks Trio, the David Berkman Quartet, and the Jerome Sabbagh Quartet. In addition, Ted has recently worked along side Chris Potter, Bill Frisell, Donny McCasslin, Chris Speed, Maria Schneider, Kermit Driscoll, Kate McGary, Marc Ducret, David Fiuczynski, Rich Perry, Joe Locke, Wycliffe Gordon, John McNeil and Aaron Parks. Ted has toured extensively throughout Europe, the USA, and Asia. Ted leads a band called Mt. Varnum, featuring the vocals of Grey McMurray, and co-leads a dynamic trio called Third Wheel, featuring Ben Monder and Ralph Alessi. He has released an album entitled “All Around” (Trier 2003).

Josh Rutner — reeds, radio, toys

Josh RutnerJosh Rutner, Respect’s lone reedman, grew up in sunny Rochester, NY. He studied saxophone and improvisation with David Pope and attended the Eastman School of Music. Josh currently lives in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, where he is a member of several ensembles including TEETH, Sarah and the Stanleys, HappyFunSmile, The Museum Band, G’hoktasaurus, Salo, and the Josh Rutner / Red Wierenga / Josh Rutner (Again) Duo.

Red Wierenga — piano, keyboards, accordion, redspectronics

Red WierengaRed Wierenga is a pianist/accordionist/respectronicist/improviser currently based in New York City. As a musician, Wierenga is primarily concerned with the interstices of electronic and acoustic sound, composition and extemporization, and free jazz and free improvisation. He works to interface acoustic instruments with electronics and builds physical devices for the control of computerized sound, producing new instruments and meta-instruments. He designs both his self-termed “respectronics” and his compositions to be particularly conducive to improvisation. His software creations have been used in performances by musicians including Keith Rowe and Jim Black. Wierenga received his Bachelor of Music from the Eastman School of Music, where his teachers included Harold Danko and Ralph Alessi. In 2004, Wierenga moved to the Netherlands, where he studied electronic and computer music at the Institute of Sonology at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague. There he studied with Joel Ryan and designed and built the first Respectron, a novel physical interface for gestural control of electronic music. He has performed piano and accordion with Ensemble Signal and the Claudia Quintet, among many others. He is currently pursuing a PhD in composition at CUNY Graduate Center, where he is an Enhanced Chancellor’s Fellow.

Members Emeritus

Matt Clohesy — bass

Matt ClohesyMatt Clohesy has been a great friend to The Respect Sextet since their relocation to NYC. He appears on “Respect In You,” “Live at the Bop Shop,” and one track on “Sirius Respect.”

Garrett Michaelsen — trumpet

Josh RutnerGarrett Michaelsen was a founding member of The Respect Sextet and appeared on Respect’s first limited edition release, “(respect.).” The ideas, energy and creativity he brought to the group in its formative years were invaluable. He’s currently pursuing his doctorate in Music Theory at the University of Indiana.

Jason Price — trumpet, laptop

Josh RutnerJason Price was a Senior Advisor and Creative Consultant during Respect’s early years in Rochester. He appears, playing trumpet and laptop, on the 2002 mini-CD release, “(respookt).”