Modern Jazz Movement


Dennis Skerrett

"I started playing with music at age 4, when my dad put his guitar in my hands and taught me a "D" chord... for "D"enny. We continued with penatonic based blues scales, major, minor and some improvisational guidelines. My mother provided piano lessons and supported my guitar playing as well. I was encouraged by both my parents to learn music, classically and in a more creative sense."

George Benson Jazz Pete Jazz

"When I picked up the sax at age 10, Something felt right about it. I used to "practice" outside for hours. I'd start to run my scales for class the next day, but at some point I'd drift off and start playing with different ideas. I was improvising, writing, and discovering music. At school I learned to read notes, rhythms, and music theory. At home I learned freedom, musicality, and to play by ear. I began studying, composing, and working with different groups who put an emphasis on improv. Through these experiences, I developed my love for JAZZ and, it is to this forum that I began devoting my life. Heavy influences of mine include: Dexter Gordon, Wayne Shorter, Kenny Garrett, Cannonball Adderley, Paul Desmond, Rollin' Kirk, Coltrane, and so many others."


Dion Pierre

"I was born in Lafayette, LA in December of 1972. While being at home with my parents I enjoyed great music. Old soul music and a large selection of jazz made me appreciate and want to play groove oriented music. Finally, that magic day came in the fifth grade when I joined the school band and I haven’t stopped playing music since."

"I studied music at Northwestern University and University of Southwestern Louisiana over a period of about six years. I began playing bass outside of school with Captain Bill and the Funkatrons. During that time I met Frank Kincel and Denny Skerrett and began working with the Fusebox, a funky fusion group from Lafayette, LA. After playing bass by ear for some time, it was time for more instruction. I studied with Robert Nash and continued my education with Bob Sunda. My interests started leaning more and more towards jazz. POOF! Modern Jazz Movement was born."


Frank Kincel

"I began playing "trap set" in bands when I was twelve or thirteen years old. I banded with fellow schoolmates to form several ensembles throughout junior high and high school, performing at local functions. Most of these groups were "rock" oriented, teaching me progressive "pop" genres. Upon graduating high school, I decided to focus on what I loved most . . . music. I began the arduous task to learn the aspects of music that I had always wanted to know more about, theory and composition. I also began to study other percussion instruments besides drumset, which included marimba and vibes, tympani, snare drum, multiple percussion, and ethnic percussion instruments. There was no "formal" study of drumset while I was in attendance at college, but I did

continue to play and apply what I was learning from the other instruments. I performed in several ensembles throughout my college career including percussion ensemble, band, orchestra, and twentieth century ensemble. I have studied theory/composition and performance techniques of traditional and contemporary musics, from the birth of the secular chants to the twentieth century experimental (avant-garde) music. The later being my preferred area of focus. Throughout most of my college career until present day I've formed and collaborated on several groups. Ya-Ya was a funky fusion of many musical influences from around the world. I was a founding member of The Fusebox. Originally an "in your face" power trio, it later mellowed into a groove rock with heavy tones of southern blues and American jazz. Also, I did play for a few years with the Cajun Zydeco roots rock hybrid The Bluerunners, and it was during this time I helped form Modern Jazz Movement. For the past several years I've been focusing primarily on jazz I continue to work with MJM, along with other musicians in the community, living and loving the expressive outlet . . . music! "