Saxophonist Joe Duncan began playing jazz in the fall of 1977 after joining his first jazz ensemble, known at his school as the “Viking Stage Band.” Within months the band took 1st Place at Northeast Missouri State University’s Annual Jazz Festival. Joe has been hooked on jazz since that joyous moment in his youth.
Throughout high school Joe played both the baritone sax and the alto sax in jazz band. Ironically, several living jazz legends who were not saxophone players had great influence on Joe during his music studies in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s: pianist William “Count” Basie, drummer Buddy Rich, and trumpet high-note artists Maynard Ferguson and Doc Severinson. The varying jazz styles these entertainers adopted made an impression on the young musician, especially since he had the privilege of attending several of their concerts as they aged into the twilight of their careers.
After studying music and graduating from the University of Kansas, Joe began his business career in the insurance industry. He did this by following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, working for the local insurance company headquartered in his home town of Columbia, Missouri. Joe is currently an insurance agent with Farmers Insurance Company, but devotes much of his free time to overseeing Mighty Mo Combo, a jazz group created in 2011 as part of Kansas City’s Mid America Freedom Band.
Skip Schrock’s instrumental career began as a third grader in the Kansas City Missouri School District and shows no sign of letting up any time soon. His lifetime dedication to the performing arts has taken him across the US, Canada, and Europe, performing at prestigious events like the Montreux Jazz Festival and in prestigious venues including Carnegie Hall. After earning his BME at New Mexico State University, he returned to Missouri where he taught Instrumental Music in Jefferson City and St. Louis.
Skip’s other passion, politics, has taken him on many a wild ride. Most notably, he is proud to have served on the staffs of MO Governor Mel Carnahan and US Senator Jean Carnahan. No matter what job he’s chosen, Skip always finds real joy and balance by staying active in the performing arts.