Andy Schumm is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, and arranger originally from Wisconsin. In the Cellar Boys, you can hear him play cornet, clarinet, and saxophone. Now based in Chicago for more than ten years, Andy has appeared all over the traditional jazz world, both domestically and internationally. He is also an avid student of the history of jazz.
On clarinet and alto saxophone, John Otto is a mainstay of Chicago jazz, and has appeared with many notable bands. Among them are bands such as the Salty Dogs, Fat Babies, West End Jazz Band, and Chicago Rhythm. John is a collector of 78rpm records and has a great knowledge of the vast landscape of recorded music from the 1920s and 1930s. His presence adds an air of authenticity that few can match.
Natalie Scharf is an old soul in a modern world, and her tenor playing shows it. She comes from a long line of professional musicians, and the Cellar Boys are appreciative of her generational knowledge of music. Natalie has played with just about everyone in Chicago, and she is a talented arranger in her own right. Joining the band in 2020, her talents have added serious depth to the front line.
Jim Barrett has the newest knees in the Cellar Boys. The only way to describe his banjo playing is ferocious. This dynamo of syncopated rhythm has been lurking in and around Chicago's early jazz scene for many years, and now the band is proud to have him front-and-center. While his influences are innumberable, you may pick out some tricks he borrowed from Ikey Robinson and Tommy Felline.
Paul Asaro is perhaps the world's leading stride piano player, and his ability to play in the style of Jelly Roll Morton is unparalleled. In addition to his piano wizardry, Paul sings with both the seriousness and wit of the best of 1920s vocalists. You may have heard him with Leon Redbone, whom he single-handedly accompanied for many years. Jelly Roll Morton once said, "Jazz music is to be played sweet, soft, plenty rhythm," and Paul has that in droves.
Dan Anderson is one of the most in-demand musicians in Chicago. His versatility and fine musicianship is evidenced by the variety of musical groups that have employed him. He's appeared with everyone from Ray Charles to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Equally adept on both the tuba and the string bass, Dan's rock steady rhythm helps place the Chicago Cellar Boys' sound firmly in the 1920s and 1930s.