Founded in 2014, Bok Brass has taken the Edmonton music scene by storm, performing a wide variety of music from Baroque to The Beatles, Renaissance to Ragtime, and Classical to Contemporary. We have performed dozens of recitals, concerts, events, ceremonies, and educational shows all over the province. Our members are all busy freelance musicians and music educators.
An Edmonton-based freelance trumpeter and music educator with 25-years of experience, Joel has shared the stage with some of the world's finest artists, including Tommy Banks, PJ Perry, Slide Hampton, Diana Krall, Nikki Yanovsky, Jens Lindemann, Matt Catingub, Allen Vizzutti, and commercial talents Gino Vannelli, Frank Sinatra Jr., the Temptations, and Wayne Newton.
Known for his versatility, Joel is in high demand in both jazz and classical genres. He is a regular performer with many local artists and diverse musical ensembles, including the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, The Edmonton Jazz Orchestra, the Singing Christmas Tree Orchestra, and the Bok Brass, to name only a few. He has recorded on dozens of CDs and has recorded with International DJ Ben Liebrand.
Joel teaches music at MacEwan University and directs the Littlebirds Big Band. He is the director of MusiCamp Alberta, and the Jazzworks Non-Competitive Band Festival, and is also a busy adjudicator and clinician.
Russell Whitehead holds a Master's degree in Performance from the University of Michigan, and Bachelor's from the University of Saskatchewan. From 1986–1991 Russell was Principal Trumpet for the Saskatoon Symphony and apprentice Conductor from 1989–1991. He has performed in numerous Music Theatre Contemporary Opera productions at The Banff Centre and 1996 was a performer and assistant music director for a contemporary opera, The Nature of Water, written by Georges Aperghis.
Russell is a founding member and past artistic director of the NOWAge Orchestra (1992-2000), an eclectic group dedicated to the 'theatre' of New Music. The NOWAge Orchestra received numerous grants from both Canada Council and the Alberta Foundation for the Arts for their interdisciplinary collaborations with dance and drama.
Russell has been a featured soloist with the Saskatoon and Red Deer Symphonies, the 1995 International Computer Music Conference held at The Banff Centre, the Edmonton Cantando Band Festival (2000, 2001, 2003), the New Edmonton Wind Sinfonia, the University of Alberta Music Department concert series, the Alberta Baroque Ensemble, most recently, the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra and has recorded solo and chamber concerts for CBC Radio. Over the past 15 years he has toured throughout Saskatchewan and Alberta performing solo concerts and teaching clinics at colleges, universities and high schools.
Russell was very pleased to be appointed Acting Principal Trumpet for the 2004-05 season with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. Presently he holds the position of Third Trumpet with the Symphony, performs with the Capital Brass and teaches at the University of Alberta, King's College University and through his home. During the 2005-06 season Russell performs as soloist with the New Edmonton Wind Sinfonia in November and the Alberta Baroque Ensemble in April.
He can be heard on the CDs Prairie Sounds, Bashaw, and most recently his debut CD Prairie Scenes, all on Arktos Recordings.
Hailing from Vancouver, British Columbia, Megan Evans serves as the Assistant Principal Horn with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. She has performed as an orchestral musician across North America, including l'Orchestre Symphonique du Montreal, the Windsor Symphony, the Thunder Bay Symphony, the Niagara Symphony, the Alberta Baroque ensemble, and the Aspen Festival Orchestra. She also performs regularly in recital and in 2012 she was invited to play solo with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. As a chamber musician she can be heard in recording with notable local and international brass musicians in the 2014 All Star Brass Live. Megan can be heard locally with her exciting new brass quintet the Bok Brass, formed in 2015.
She has participated in prestigious music programs including the Aspen Music Festival, Brott Festival Orchestra, the National Arts Centre Summer Music Institute and the Norfolk Chamber Music Program. Having studied with Mr. John Zirbel and Denys Derome of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, she obtained her Master's of Music from the Schulich School of Music at McGill University. Megan currently maintains an active teaching studio.
After initial training at the Alberta College Conservatory of Music with Ken Read, Alden biked to Mexico with a trombone strapped to his bike. On his way home he stopped in Arizona and had trombone lessons with Gail Eugene Wilson and Will Kimball at ASU. In 1999 he began work on his BMus at the UofA where he studied with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra‘s principal trombonist, John McPherson. In 2003 he completed his degree and began a long term artist’s residency at the Banff Centre. In the summer of 2004 Alden toured Europe as principal euphonium with the New Edmonton Wind Symphonia. Thanks to an open ended return ticket he stayed in Europe, travelled around and ended up living in La Rochelle, France where he studied with Thomas Besse at the École Nationale de Musique et de Danse.
Alden loves all music and plays in a wide variety of groups and settings. He often performs with chamber ensembles, symphony orchestras, jazz groups, salsa, ska and rock bands.
Hannah Gray has been an active performer and clinician in Edmonton's music community since 1995. She attended the music programs at MacEwan University and the University of Alberta.
A versatile performer, she has performed on either the tuba or bass trombone with dozens of local bands and ensembles, including the Tommy Banks Big Band, Edmonton Opera, Alberta Ballet, Edmonton Jazz Orchestra, Reds' Rebels, Big Breakfast Boogie Band, and most recently the Bok Brass.
When she isn't playing music she can be found in the gym where she works as a personal fitness trainer. Hannah is also a bronze medalist at the World's Olympic Weightlifting in 2019, and also a competitive powerlifter.