UpBeat Brass Band Ensemble

The members of UpBeat Brass are all veteran performers, winning music competitions and working with other top entertainers, orchestras, ensembles, and as soloists. Together they perform internationally in concert halls, colleges and universities, also bringing their signature sound to churches, festivals and theaters. Matt James, saxophoneMembers have received funding from The National Endowment for the Arts, The Ohio Arts Council, Arts Mid West, The Southern Arts Federation, Meet The Composer and the American Music Center.

Our Members:

Norlan Bewley, Tuba
Matt James, Saxophone
Scott Belck, Trumpet
Francis Wyatt, Percussion
Jaime Morales-Matos, Trombone
Herbert Martin, Narrator


Matt James, saxophone

with UPBEAT BRASS, is Professor of Saxophone and Jazz Studies, and also director of jazz ensembles and instructor of saxophone, saxophone ensembles, jazz theory and jazz arranging at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. A native of Northbrook, Illinois, he holds undergraduate degrees in music and journalism from Northern Illinois University, and a graduate degree in saxophone performance from the University of North Texas, where he was a teaching fellow. As a graduate student Matt performed, recorded, and toured Japan and Hong Kong as lead alto saxophonist with the North Texas One O'clock Jazz Lab Band, an internationally acclaimed ensemble.

Matt has performed as lead alto saxophonist with the Glenn Miller Orchestra and he recorded with the orchestra on Barry Manilow's Arista Records release, Singin' With the Big Bands. Matt also performed as lead alto saxophonist on tour with the Phil Collins Big Band. His freelance work has included performances with the Toledo Jazz Orchestra, the Dallas Jazz Orchestra, Mel Torme, the Temptations, Rosemary Clooney, Jim Nabors, the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, the Four Freshmen, Toledo Symphony, the Ohio Valley Symphony and many others. He has performed as a soloist at national and regional conferences of the North American Saxophone Alliance, and is a founding member of the Athenian Saxophone Quartet.