About Ghost House
Ghost House is an active modern jazz sextet based in the New Jersey and Philadelphia area. The group is co-led by Evan Smith and Brandon Dixon. The band‘s repertoire consists of original compositions by Smith and Dixon, as well as the classic jazz standards.
The group aims to create modern, ground-breaking music which has deep roots in traditional jazz. Smith’s composition Mr. Underdog pays tribute to composer and bassist Charles Mingus while exploring new harmonic cohesiveness over pedal tones. Dixon’s composition Contrast draws from the compositional style of saxophonist John Coltrane while exploring new harmonic possibilities. All of the band’s original compositions seek to explore these, and other new possibilities.
Members of Ghost House
Composer and saxophonist Brandon Dixon has emerged in the music scene as a pioneering jazz and classical musician and composer. He is well known for his unique style of jazz composition and publications in the field of quarter tone music. Dixon performs in a variety of venues, including Chris’s Jazz Cafe, the Washington Banquet and Catering, Sandi Pointe Coastal Bistro, Shanghai Jazz, and the Tuckahoe Inn, as well as Rowan University, NJMEA Convention, the University of Maryland, and other notable venues.
Evan Smith is a Saxophonist and Music Educator from South Jersey. He has earned three degrees at Rowan University specializing in Music Education: General Music, Music Education: Instrumental Music, and Jazz Performance. He considers Charles Mingus, Thad Jones, Count Basie, Nick Brignola, Pepper Adams, Sonny Rollins, and Pete Fountain to be the musicians and composers to have the biggest impact on his career. One of Smith’s philosophies as musician is that music is a self-regulator, meaning music is used to regulate your emotions to improve your day to day life. That is why as a teacher and performer, he wishes to share his musical experiences.
Patrick Oberstaedt is a bassist and multi-instrumentalist based in Philadelphia. Well-versed in many syles of music, he regularly performs in the Philadelphia/New Jersey region with The Dirty Bohemians, Pizzle and the Sizzle Sisters, the Keith Chasin Quintet, and many other jazz groups, rock bands, and singer/songwriters. Patrick studies jazz and music education at Temple University. When he’s not out making music, he can often be found laying face-down and crying on the corner of 12th and Norris streets.
Adam Malarich is a jazz and classical trumpet player currently residing in Central New Jersey. He received his Bachelor of Music in Jazz Performance at Rowan University studying under George Rabbai and Bryan Appleby-Wineberg. He is currently pursuing a Masters in Music of Jazz Performance from the Mason Gross school of the arts. He has won the Rowan University concerto competition, the New Jersey Jazz Society scholarship, and the Central PA Friends of Jazz Scholarship. Along with studying at Rutgers he currently teaches at several different lesson studios, performs with the Philadelphia Wind Symphony, and performs numerous different gigs in the New Jersey and Philadelphia area.
Alexander Krukauskas is a guitarist and composer that takes the ferocity of progressive rock and combines it with the finesse and elegance of jazz. Taking influence from a variety of musical styles, Krukauskas blends all of these influences to create an interesting take on playing and composing in the jazz and rock idioms. Krukauskas began his musical practices in 2004 and just finished his Bachelor’s of Music in Jazz Studies under the direction of established guitarist Dave Stryker. Combining the styles of Bill Evans, Frank Zappa, Thelonious Monk, and Mike Stern, Krukauskas has a wide variety of tonal color at his disposal.
Erik Marley has been playing drums and percussion for about 15 years. He attended Rowan University where he studied Jazz Performance under the instruction of Philly Jazz legend Jim Miller and Classical Percussion under the instruction of renowned Broadway percussionist and long-time Rowan faculty member Dean Witten. In 2015 he received a Masters Degree in Jazz Performance, and is currently a freelance Jazz musician and educator in the South Jersey/Philadelphia area. In addition to being a performer, both bandleader and often sideman, he is also a composer. "Early Life," released in May of 2018, is his first LP, a collaboration with fellow Philadelphia musicians Alex Ayala on keyboards, and Will Wright on bass.