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Member Bios

Eli Asher — trumpet, slide trumpet, bugle, toys

Eli AsherAlong with Respect, trumpeter Eli Asher has appeared with the Bjorkestra, Asphalt Orchestra, Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society, Signal Ensemble, Slavic Soul Party!, TEEETH, Jose Gonzalez, HappyFunSmile and Hylofi. In addition to his duties as a performer, he produced saxophonist Whit Williams’ 2009 release, “Now’s the Time,” earning 4.5 stars from Down Beat magazine, worked as a technical assistant for electronic music pioneer Morton Subotnick, and teaches music theory at the Harlem School of the Arts. Having played his fair share of Hasidic Jewish weddings, he can slip into a tuxedo faster than you can say “Shlomo Carlebach!” Eli is a graduate of 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, 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. 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., a native of Rochester, 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, Ben Monder, Bernard Purdie, Will Bernard, Mark Guiliana, Satoshi Takeishi, Eric Kalb, Josh Roseman, Tony Mason, Clay Jenkins, Toshi Nagai, Derek Trucks, and Sonny Landreth, among 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 “NBA STREET 4” and “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 PoorAfter graduating from the Eastman School of Music in 2003, drummer Ted Poor moved to New York City, where he has made a deep impression on the jazz and improvised music scene. Ted has toured the world over and is a regular member of many bands, including those of Grammy award winning trumpeter Cuong Vu, guitarist Ben Monder, and Bad Touch. Ted’s most recent project as a leader is Mt. Varnum, whose first record is called “Wounded Caroline.” As an in-demand sideman, Ted has appeared on dozens of recordings and has shared the stage with many world renowned artists such as Kurt Rosenwinkel, Bill Frisell, Mark Turner, Chris Potter, Kenny Werner, Maria Schneider, Aaron Parks and Ralph Alessi. He is currently an Artist in Residence at the University of Washington in Seattle.

Josh Rutner — reeds, radio, toys

Josh RutnerJosh Rutner is a saxophonist, clarinetist, and flutist currently living in Beacon, NY. Aside from his work with The Respect Sextet, Josh heads up a number of varied ensembles including TEETH (saxophone trio), TEEETH (saxophone trio + trumpet), G’hoktasaurus (klezmer repertory band), The Twelve Gates (gospel repertory band), and Defense Mechanisms (jazz repertory band). He is a frequent collaborator with new music ensembles such as Ensemble Signal, and, as a sideman, is a member of several ensembles including Sarah and the Stanleys, HappyFunSmile, 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 based in New York City. As a
musician, Red 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. Red received his Bachelor of Music from the Eastman School of Music, where his teachers included Harold Danko and Ralph Alessi. He studied electronic and computer music at the Institute of Sonology at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, the Netherlands. Red is currently an Enhanced Chancellor’s Fellow at CUNY Graduate Center, studying with Jason Eckardt and Douglas Geers. He teaches music history and electronic music at Baruch College and performs regularly with several groups including the Claudia Quintet.

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).”