The mission of the Community Music School of Ann Arbor (CMSA2) is “to cultivate creativity, self-expression, and the joy of music for people of all ages and backgrounds through collaborative musical adventures.” Each year, the A2 JAZZ FEST has been happy to showcase the work of young Jazz musicians from the school who have played under the direction of veteran educator and trumpet player Paul Finkbeiner.

Paul Finkbeiner graduated from Western Michigan University in 1986. He has played professionally since 1982 with many bands, including the Atmospheric Disturbance Band (which he led), the Bird Of Paradise Orchestra, the Paul Keller Orchestra, Tumbao Bravo, the Scott Gwinnell Orchestra, the Scott Gwinnell Dectet, the Count Basie Orchestra, the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra and countless other groups. He has appeared on CDs by Paul Keller, the Theater Bizzare Orchestra, Jan Krist, Glenn Tucker, Steve Fentriss, Tim Hauser, Bess Bonior and Phil Oglive’s Rhythm Kings. He has been leading the combos at CMSA2 as an educator for 20 years. 

This year the CMSA2 Jazz Ensemble features Alex Kukucka (drums), Charles DiMagno (keyboard), Xander Salsitz (sax), Paul Finkbeiner (bass) and a few others.