About The Band
The DFW Musicmakers is a Dallas-Fort Worth based band that performs in a variety of styles and sizes, from trios, quartets, five, six and seven piece configurations. The band was originally founded and led by Russ Dorsey (know as “Russ Dorsey’s Musicmakers”). Mark Van Sickle joined the band in 2010, becoming the “on-the-job” leader in February 2015. He officially became leader of the band in September 2016. Mark books these various performing groups for intimate private events, dance clubs, concerts and special events of all kinds.
Meet The Band
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Mark VanSickle – Trumpet
Mark began playing the trumpet at the age of ten. By the time he was fifteen, he was playing professionally in the greater Pittsburgh area with the Wally Gingers Orchestra. During high school and his first year of college, he studied privately with Anthony Pasquarelli (formerly of the Pittsburgh Symphony).
As the recipient of a performance scholarship to Carnegie-Mellon University, Mark attended there as a freshman and continued his technical studies with Mr. Pasquarelli. The following year Mark moved to Denton, Texas to enroll in the music school at the University of North Texas where he was the first recipient of the Stan Kenton Jazz Studies Scholarship. As a member of the One O’Clock Lab Band, Mark performed on the ‘Lab ’74’ Album, a PBS television special with Tony Bennett and, under the auspices of the United States Department of State, toured the Soviet Union and Portugal. Throughout his college years, Mark was very busy as a professional trumpet player in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. He played in a varied forum with local and national artists including the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, Bob Crosby, Tex Beneke, Les Elgart, Johnny Taylor, Johnny Ray, Brenda Lee and Bob Hope. He also played in the Southern Palace Orchestra at Six Flags Over Texas. In 1977, Mark graduated from UNT with a Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Education.
In pursuit of furthering his professional career, Mark moved to New York. He performed with Larry Elgart and Ray Anderson, and was hired to tour as lead trumpet in the Broadway show ‘A Tribute to Elvis’. Subsequently, Mark was hired to tour as lead trumpet for Ray Charles. He toured nationally and internationally with Ray and his orchestra, and recorded with Ray on his ‘Love and Peace’ album.
Upon moving to Los Angeles in 1979, Mark performed and recorded as lead trumpet for Gil Askey (Oscar-nominated orchestrator, Motown arranger and producer) and producer Lonnie Simmons. He also played with The Gap Band, James Ingram, Ernie Andrews, Cab Calloway, Dionne Warwick, The Four Tops and Louis Bellson in addition to playing on numerous recording sessions. In order to perform and record his original compositions, Mark formed a jazz group and performed at local jazz venues and festivals.
Mark currently resides in the Dallas-Fort Worth area where he is in demand as a jazz and commercial trumpet player, producer and contractor. He has performed with numerous local artists, as well as on television shows and recording sessions. He has also performed with the Dallas Jazz Orchestra, Henry Mancini Orchestra, Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, Texas Schola Cantorum, Daystar Television Network, TBN Television Network, YMC Productions, YMC Records, Chris Christian, Celena Rae, Kristi Lee Cook, Calvacade of Stars, Gladys Knight, The Pointer Sisters, Davis Gaines, Daniel Rodriguez, Russ Dorsey’s Musicmakers, Tom Scott and Three Dog Night.
Richard Powell – Piano
Richard Powell holds a Bachelor and a Master of Music degree in Piano Performance from Texas Christian University, where he studied with such distinguished international artists as Tamas Ungar, Mde. Lili Kraus, Luis de Moura Castro and Keith Mixson. Richard was a winner of the Texas Young Artist Competition in 1967 (the only freshman ever to do so), where he played the Liszt Piano Concerto No.1 in Eb with both the Dallas Symphony and the TCU Symphony. As a junior he was selected to perform the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1 in Bb minor with the TCU Symphony. Richard has also performed in concert with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, the Fort Worth Civic Orchestra and the Greater Youth Orchestra of Ft. Worth, as well as in many solo recitals across the state of Texas. Richard Powell is also well-known across the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex as a jazz and professional pianist with over 50 years of experience. He has performed with such jazz greats as Mel Torme, Nelson Riddle, drummer Ed Shaughnessy and saxophonists Pete Christlieb and Don Menza (all three from the “Tonight Show with Johnny Carson” orchestra), New York studio trombonist Urbie Green, and Mike Vax (the trumpet soloist on the original “Bob Newhart Show” theme). Other jazz artists include former Maynard Ferguson band members Denis DiBlasio (baritone saxophone), trombonist Steve Wiest, drummer Dave Mancini, as well as trumpet virtuoso Alan Vizutti and in conjunction with the Thelonius Monk Institute. Richard has performed with such name entertainers as Bob Hope, Red Skelton, Rich Little, Wayne Newton, Betty Buckley, Ray Price and the original cast of the TV show “Dallas”. In addition Richard has performed for such political and news dignitaries as former President George W. Bush, former First Lady Barbara Bush, former Vice President Al Gore, former NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani (mayor during 9/11), former news anchor John Chancellor and current Fox News anchor Chris Wallace. He has performed with the big bands of Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey, Vaughn Monroe, Les Brown and His Band of Renown, the Les Elgart Orchestra, and the Tex Beneke/Glenn Miller Orchestra. Richard has been the pianist with the Dallas Jazz Orchestra for the last twelve years, and has been featured on four of their albums. Their latest CD, American Grace, features an original composition of his entitled Song For My Daughter, beautifully arranged for big band by jazz saxophone great Mario Cruz. He has also self-produced five CDʼs of his own, including solo classical and solo jazz piano.
Jim Sharples – Piano
After graduating high school, Jim became a member of the 2nd Air Force Band at Barksdale AFB, Bossier City, Louisiana. After a four year stint, Jim left the Air Force to attend the University of North Texas. He majored in music education, while playing tenor sax in several of the jazz bands. During those years and beyond, Jim played in various professional bands including Claude Gordon, Ted Weems, Les Elgart, Mal Fitch, Russ Dorsey and others. Jim served as a high band director for sixteen years at both Carroll ISD and Richland ISD. He left band-directing and worked one year with the Niscinger Band Uniform Co. before joining the fund-raising industry for twenty years. Jim currently plays piano with The Joshua Experience, a Christian big band and singers. Jim’s wife Judy is one of several singers with the band. As a a free-lance musician in the Dallas Ft. Worth area, Jim performs on piano, bass and also works as a piano turner. He and his wife of 49 years have two children, Jill and Jamie, nine grandchildren, and serve at Gateway Church as well as playing in the orchestra at North Richland Hills Baptist Church.
Karl Lampman – Saxophone
Karl Lampman has played with the Russ Dorsey and the Music Makers for four years. He also teaches music at Eastfield College in Mesquite, Texas. During his time at UNT, Lampman was a member of the “One O’clock Lab Band” and has performed with numerous artists, including: Butch Miles, Rosemary Clooney, Johnny Mathis, and Buddy Greco. Lampman also toured with Barnum & Bailey- Ringling Brother’s Circus as well as the Ice Capades band.
Ernie Barrow – Drums
Born in Manchester England, Ernie began playing the drums and performing vocals at the age of twelve. He has played for P&O Cruises on the Canberra performing for ballroom dances and backing nightclub shows. Ernie also played with the internationally known band “Middle of the Road” that enjoyed several number one hits in the European market. In addition, he performed with bands touring the United Kingdom and for a reception for Princess Ann. Since immigrating to the United States, Ernie has performed at various hotels, night clubs, country clubs and dance clubs throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Ernie has been a member of the Musicmakers since 2015.
Vic Pore – Bass
During his college days, Vic performed with the University of North Texas Jazz Band and Orchestra. He went on to play different genres of music with a variety of musicians in numerous venues. Vic also worked with the legendary Doug Kershaw, Janie Fricke and the Dallas based Pete Peterson Collection Big Band. After years of performing in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and traveling on the road, he decided to expand his horizons by becoming a solo artist featuring his guitar, recorders and vocals. It was then that Vic began to focus on writing his own music compositions, including one about Richard Gere entitled “Hey Richard”. Vic also composed a song entitled “High School Sweetheart” about his first bass that also pays tribute to Cream’s legendary bass player, Jack Bruce. He served for many years as a Principle Musician and House Musician for the Norwegian Cruise Line and Princess Cruises. Vic feels blessed to have been a professional musicians for some forty years and looks forward to performing for many years to come.
Corey Bell – Saxophone
Corey Bell received his Bachelor of Arts in Jazz Studies from Western Illinois University. While there, he performed and toured with the Grammy nominated Jazz Studio Orchestra. He has shared the stage with many great artists including Eddie Daniels, Bobby Shew, Pete Christlieb, Kevin Mahagoney, and Paul McKee to name a few. He also studied at the University of North Texas under Jim Riggs where he performed and recorded with the Two O’Clock lab band. He can be heard as a featured soloist on Jazz Studio Orchestra Live in Europe and on the UNT Two O’Clock Best of the Big “O” Currently Corey frequently places with a variety of groups around the DFW area. In addition to being a staple for Musicmakers, Corey is the lead alto for Pecos River Brass and the Les Elgart Orchestra. He works for Lewisville ISD during the day as a principal.
David Kelley – Trombone
David Kelley is a seasoned musician, specializing in all styles of music performance on trombone and euphonium, with an additional emphasis on percussion. Based in Allen, TX, David is a member of several top-performing ensembles in North Texas, including the legendary Dallas Jazz Orchestra. He is the Music Director for – and plays lead trombone with – the Dallas Christian Jazz Band. Additionally, David is a top-call player for numerous big bands, civic groups, party bands, churches and recording projects. He has conducted master classes and has been a featured artist with various groups, including the Plano Community Band and the Texas A&M – Commerce jazz ensembles. David has toured nationally and internationally, and he has performed with various touring acts, including Don Most, Anson Williams, and The Temptations.