|The Brian Choper Jazz Project (known at its inception as the “Choper Jazz Project“) was established in 2003 by Big Shot Record’s CEO and veteran jazz drummer Brian Choper, who was mentored by legendary jazz drummer Buddy Rich and has since been performing jazz, rock and other genre for over 40 years.|
The band’s core lineup includes Choper on drums, Harry Appelman on keyboards, Ephriam Wolfolk on bass, and the singer has always been the guest selected depending on the project or the performances the band endeavored to do. The band has performed swing, straight up jazz or blues at festivals and clubs throughout the country.
In 2014, Choper discovered the gifted young Peter Cannella, a traditional pop, swing and jazz artist who was singing classics and originals to packed houses at restaurants, nightclubs and casinos in his home area of Philadelphia and New Jersey. After hearing Cannella sing, Choper was immediately impressed by his talent. “The best musicians and artists are those who can do their craft effortlessly without even trying,” Choper says. “Peter is one of those people. He sings naturally from the heart and always on key and in style. His voice is an easy toss between the great Frank Sinatra and Michael Buble’. In fact, after listening to him then listening to the others who sing Frank Sinatra music, Peter simply does it better.”
Based on his many years of experience in music, Choper was convinced that Big Shot Records could make Cannella a star, if he could work hand-in-hand with Cannella with the right band behind him. However, finding the right band would turn out to be a challenge. After an exhaustive search for a band or players to back Cannella and not finding anything he liked, Choper decided to bring in his own jazz band and add horn players, a process where Cannella helped select the right players from his home area.
The band, now coined the Brian Choper Jazz Project With Peter Cannella, also includes Ben Poethke on trombone, Ron Pruitt on alto saxophone and Ron Chattergee on baritone saxophone. As Brian noted, “I never expected to be drumming for Peter when this all started, but it’s all fine, fun, great music, and bringing my band into it allows Peter to shine.”
The three veteran band members and the new horn additions are all accomplished performers on their own. Appelman teaches music at Montgomery College and has also appeared around the world with renowned bands. Wolfolk performs with several noteable bands in the DC area and serves on the board of the D.C. Federation of Musicians. Poethke earned a Bachelor’s in Trombone Performance from Rowan University where he studied with knowledgeable music professors and performs regularly. Pruitt earned a Bachelor’s in Music Education from The College of New Jersey and currently works as a music instructor while conducting orchestras for young musicians. Chatterjee earned a Bachelor’s in Music from Rowan University with a major in Jazz Studies, and works with young musicians in the areas of jazz and classical music.
“Finally, after all these years, I’m beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel, where I am finally working with good people who are making things happen,” Cannella says. “Every single time I’ve sung has been for the joy of the music and to accomplish being seen by someone who could actually do something more with my music. I now have that as a singer at Big Shot Records.
The Brian Choper Jazz Project with Peter Cannella is currently performing concerts in tribute to the legendary Frank Sinatra. The concerts feature Cannella performing Sinatra’s most popular songs with the unforgettable style and finesse of the legend himself. The versatility in the genre performed makes this band a great concert or festival attraction and the ideal musical entertainment for both high profile shows or private events. You can see clips of the band live in concert on this site. For more information, contact Big Shot Records on this site or call 301-441-8899.
Listen to or Watch The Choper Jazz Project Featuring Peter Cannella