Motor City Horns

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Motor City Horns
The Motor City Horns Logo.jpg
Detroit’s most versatile musicians
Background Information




Motown, Jazz, Blues

Years Active


Brass Jar Music


John Rutherford - Trombone
Mark Byerly - Trumpet
Keith Kaminski - Saxophone
Bob Jenson - Trumpet



The Motor City Horns are among Detroit’s most versatile musicians. Individually, MCH members have worked with a variety of artists, bands, and orchestras including: Justin Timberlake, The Temptations, The Four Tops, The Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and Yo-Yo Ma. As a group, they have joined forces with Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band (2006 – 2007 Face The Promise Tour), as well as Clarence Clemons and the Temple of Soul. Locally they have appeared with The Brothers Groove, Johnnie Bassett and the Blues Insurgents, Thornetta Davis, Root Doctor and Alexander Zonjic. Recent CD releases include The Verve Pipe, Ben Cyllus, The TaleGators, Root Doctor, Liz Larin, Midtown Underground, Carl Craig and Tribe, and bluesman Johnnie Bassett.


John Rutherford

John Rutherford.jpg

John Rutherford, one of Detroit’s most diverse musicians, has been a leading freelance trombonist for over fifteen years. He studied at Boston’s New England Conservatory of Music and earned his bachelor’s and master’s degree in music from the University of Michigan. Currently on the faculty of Oakland and Madonna Universities, John has held teaching positions at the University of Toledo, Albion College, and Henry Ford Community College.

John has performed extensively and recorded with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and Michigan Opera Theatre. He has performed with the Sarasota Opera Company, Jerusalem International Symphony, the Philharmonic Orchestra of Palermo (Sicily), the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, the Hong Kong Symphony Orchestra, and most recently at the Santo Domingo Music Festival in the Dominican Republic. He has also served as guest principal trombonist of New York State’s Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra.

An active chamber musician, John has performed with the Boston Chamber Ensemble, Detroit Chamber Winds, Spectrum Brass Quintet, and he is the founding member of the Motor City Brass Quintet, whose 2009 debut CD features the premier recording of Pulitzer Prize winner John Harbison’s Christmas Vespers. He has recorded with Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble (Silk Road Journeys: When Strangers Meet) for Sony Classical, as part of the Silk Road Project. With the Silk Road Ensemble, John toured a large part of North America, including performances at Carnegie Hall. He has appeared as soloist on multiple occasions with the Motor City Brass Band, a British-style brass band and the Grosse Pointe and Birmingham-Bloomfield Symphony Orchestras. He spends his summer as an artist-in-residence with Spectrum Brass at the Bay View Music Festival in Petoskey, MI, where they run the Spectrum Seminar for talented college-age musicians.

John also performs with many of Detroit’s leading jazz ensembles, and is lead trombonist with both Walter White and Small Medium @LARGE and the Scott Gwinnell Jazz Orchestra. He performs on tenor trombone, bass trombone, and tuba for pit orchestras at many theaters in Michigan and Ohio and has played in bands and orchestras for artists including Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Jimmy Heath, Christian McBride, Michael Brecker, Dave Liebman, George Russell, Terence Blanchard, Patti Austin, Gladys Knight, Debbie Gibson, The Four Tops, The Temptations, The Fifth Dimension, and Dennis DeYoung of Styx.

John is the founding member of the Motor City Horns, who joined Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band in 2006 and have toured and recorded with them since that time. The Motor City Horns have appeared on over 30 commercial recordings and have collaborated with Robert Randolph and The Family Band, Noel Gallagher from Oasis, Clarence Clemons and the Temple of Soul, The Verve Pipe, Frankie Ballard, Carl Craig and Tribe, and frequently with Alexander Zonjic. With Zonjic, he has shared the stage with many well-known jazz artists, including Bob James, Jeff Lorber, and Kenny G. John has recorded for radio and television commercials at studios in Detroit and Los Angeles, and is a voting member of the Recording Academy (GRAMMYs).

As founder of Brass Jar Music, John has contracted musicians and produced musical groups for a variety of events in Michigan and around the world, most notably for Mercedes-Benz/AMG at the 2012 New York International Auto Shows and other Mercedes events in New York, New Mexico, Tennessee, Montana, California, and Washington. Partnering with Executive Travel & Incentives, his groups have performed in the Bahamas, Cancun, Scottsdale, Park City, and at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville. As a record label, Brass Jar Music has released 6 CDs featuring Detroit musicians, with 2 of them receiving Grammy consideration.


Mark Byerly

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Mark Byerly’s career as a trumpet player, composer, arranger, and producer has spanned over 25 years, with experience in a vast array of genres including Jazz, Latin, Pop, Rock, and R&B music.

As a student of Western Michigan University’s School of Music, Mark became one of the top call trumpeters for bands traveling through the Midwest. The Temptations, Cab Calloway, Leslie Gore, Johnny Mathis, and Bobby Vinton are but a few names in the entertainment business to utilize Mark’s talents at an early age.

Upon graduating with a degree in Jazz Studies, Mark toured the United States and Europe with the Artie Shaw Orchestra. Moving to New York City, he found success as a freelance trumpeter on the Latin music scene working with the late Puerto Rican vocal star Frankie Ruiz, percussion legend Papo Pepin, and Latin Jazz pianist Hilton Ruiz.

His abilities as a creative improviser have led him to perform with many jazz notables including Abbey Lincoln, Buddy DeFranco, and David Liebman. Mark has also recorded and performed numerous live engagements with former RCA recording artists The Verve Pipe, and appeared on front-man Brian Vander Ark’s debut solo recording on Brash Records, “Resurrection”, playing a variety of instruments.

Relocating to the Detroit area in 1997, Mark quickly became one of the most desired musicians in town. His sound has been used on countless record dates and television and radio commercials produced in Detroit. He is also a driving force behind the jazz group Bop Culture, which features a number of Mark’s original compositions and has met with critical acclaim from the media and jazz radio.

In 2003, Mark began playing trumpet and writing horn arrangements for Jive recording artist Justin Timberlake. As part of the ‘03/’04 “Justified World Tour”, he has performed in over 10 different countries worldwide, and appeared on numerous television shows including Austria’s “Wetten Das?”, MTV’s “Live From London”, The Tonight Show With Jay Leno, Saturday Night Live, Ellen Degeneres, NBC’s “Justin in Memphis” featuring Al Green, and the 2004 Grammy Awards with trumpet master Arturo Sandoval. Throughout 2005 and 2006, Mark toured with Detroit Neo-Soul sensation, recording artist and producer Dwele. The band was a featured musical guest on the popular late-night television show Jimmy Kimmel Live!

In the fall of 2006, Mark and the Motor City Horns joined legendary Hall of Fame rocker Bob Seger and The Silver Bullet Band as part of the hugely successful ‘06/’07 Face The Promise Tour. MCH once again united with Seger and the band in 2011/2012 for their North American Tour, playing to sold-out audiences across the U.S. and Canada.

In addition to touring and recording, Mark has held the position of Jazz Trumpet Instructor at the University of Toledo. Through his studio, Longview Sound, he has also engineered and produced recordings for the Motor City Horns, Lukas Nelson, Marie Osmond, The Verve Pipe, the Bruce Katz Band, Bop Culture, JazzStage Productions, Scott Gwinnell, Rick Roe, and many others.

Well known for the versatility and personal approach he brings to any situation, Mark Byerly has become one of the most sought-after musicians to be found anywhere.


Keith Kaminski

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Keith Kaminski received his bachelors’ degree in Jazz Studies and Contemporary Music from Detroit’s Wayne State University. While at WSU, he studied saxophone and jazz performance privately with Detroit jazz great Larry Nozero, woodwinds with Detroit multi-reed instrumentalist Earl DeForest, and arranging techniques with pianist/writer/arranger Matt Michaels. After graduating, Keith did two stints with Carnival Cruise Lines, where he met fellow Motor City Horn bandmate Mark Byerly.

Keith is in great demand as a saxophonist in the Detroit area, evidenced by his prolific recording with artists including Alberta Adams, Bettye LaVette, The Four Tops, Joe Weaver, Bill Heid, The Motor City Blues Pioneers, Motor City Josh, The Paul Keller Orchestra, The Paul Keller Sextet, The Chenille Sisters, The Scott Gwinnell Jazz Orchestra, and Tangerine Moon Productions. He has also recorded for multiple television commercial spots.

In 1996, Keith was hired as tenor sax soloist with guitarist Johnnie Bassett’s band The Blues Insurgents, with whom he has recorded four CDs and toured Canada, Europe, and the United States. Keith continues his association with Johnnie Bassett, performing concerts, managing operations, and co-producing recordings for Mack Avenue Records.

Keith has performed in backing bands for such diverse artists as Natalie Cole, Burt Bacharach, The O’Jays, The Contours, The Temptations, Little Feat, Billy Preston, Kim Wilson, Don Rickles, Joan Rivers, David Liebman, Little Eva, Johnnie Johnson, Big Jay McNeely, Sir Mack Rice, and John Sinclair. He has also toured with Dennis Edwards and the Temptations Review (on the “Tom Joyner Tour”), The Detroit Blues Review (featuring Joe Weaver, Johnnie Bassett, and Thornetta Davis, Bettye LaVette, The Jewel Tones (featuring Kim Wilson), and The Stan Kenton Alumni Band.


Bob Jensen

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