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The Music:

The Band

With Phröntrange, I get to play with and write for some of the most BURNING musicians in the biz. SUCH A DEAL! Made up of some of the finest musicians in Denver (and the world) who also all teach at The University of Denver's Lamont School of Music, Phröntrange is a unique twist on jazz fusion that focuses squarely on groove. Here's what Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee and founding member of the super group Chicago Jimmy Pankow had to say about our album "The High Road"


Pioneer(def): one who bravely ventures where no one has gone before. 

Steve Wiest is a pioneer. He is fearless. He is a visionary who dares to throw convention to the wind. His music screaming from the very depths of his being, with no rules! This body of work does not seek approval by would-be critics. It emanates, unfettered and joyously, from Steve's heart and soul. Oh, and he has that sly grin! His humor and wit are so evident here, as well as a strong supporting cast. He has enlisted the very best to accompany him on this adventure. We're talking SERIOUS chops across the board!
So..., fasten your seat belts and enjoy the ride!


...And this guy, who's bestowed on me more accolades than I could ever possibly deserve, PLAYS HIS ASS OFF! 

(Jimmy Pankow)

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Eric Gunnison

Eric was raised in a musical family in Buffalo, NY and attended Berklee College of Music in Boston, graduating with a BA in music composition in 1979. He lives in Denver where he has been a mainstay in the music scene for 19 years. Eric has toured and recorded with vocal jazz group Rare Silk, jazz vocalist Carmen McRae, saxophonist Nelson Rangell and trumpeter Ron Miles. In addition, he has performed in concert with Dizzy Gillespie, James Moody, Phil Woods, Red Rodney, Bobby Shew, Jerry Bergonzi, John McNeil and Eddie Gomez.


As a part of the Denver scene, Eric has appeared in concert with both the Colorado and Colorado Springs Symphonies. He also works with his own band, Wake Up Call, performing his original music. As an educator, Eric has worked at the Denver and Cherry Creek schools, CU Boulder and Metropolitan State University of Denver as a performer and clinician. Eric is also active in the local studio scene having created music for commercials by clients such as TCI, Steamboat Springs, Breckenridge, Primestar and McDonalds.


Art Bouton

Art Bouton is first call saxophonist and woodwind performer throughout the Western US. He has extensive performance experience on all saxophones, flutes, clarinets and bassoon, as well as the Akai Electronic Wind Instrument (EWI). Art is a founding member of the Lamont jazz faculty group the DU Jazz Faculty Combo and is featured on many of their recordings.


He is founder and Director of the Colorado Jazz Repertory Orchestra, an ensemble devoted to performing the finest in classic big band jazz and contemporary large ensemble jazz. He plays lead alto in the H2 Big Band, tenor sax in the Adam Bartczak Republic, flutes the Wil Swindler Elevenet, and EWI in Steve Wiest’s group, Phröntrange, all contemporary ensembles specializing in new music for jazz ensembles.Mr. Bouton regularly performs with the Colorado Symphony, Colorado Ballet, Opera Colorado, the Colorado Springs Philharmonic, the Colorado Music Festival Orchestra, and is a member of the orchestra at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. Art was also a featured performer at the 2010 TEDx DU Conference and performed as soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra that same year.


Art performs as guest soloist and clinician at high schools and colleges throughout the US and has served on the faculty of the Yellowstone Jazz Camp, Mile High Jazz Camp, the Telluride Jazz Camp and Clark Terry Great Plains Jazz Camp. Recordings and videos can be found at and


Bijoux Barbosa

Eduardo “Bijoux” Barbosa is a bassist/composer/arranger and was born in Sao Paulo-Brazil where he studied music with Prof. Nadir Dos Santos. Bijoux also studied double bass with Carlos Verenzuela.In 1997, Bijoux moved to Denver. Since arriving in Denver, he has been very busy performing both on double bass and electric bass. Bijoux is one of the top studio musicians in Colorado.


Bijoux has been on over 500 recording sessions including many award winning recordings. He has performed with a wide array of stars: Herbie Mann, Dave Grusin, Don Grusin, Nelson Rangell, Stanley Jordan, Bryan Lynch, Russell Ferrante, Chuck Loab, Gerald Albright and Lee Ritenour, Ron Blake, Paul McAndles, Jaleel Shaw, and Donald Harrison to name a few.


Currently, Bijoux performs with the Nelson Rangell Quartet, gogoLab, the Littleton Symphony Orchestra. He performs with just about every local jazz musician, as well as with many of the touring jazz soloists who make a stop to perform in Denver.


Mike Abbott

Mike Abbott has performed and/or recorded with The Rolling Stones' horn section, Randy Brecker, Maria Schneider, Jeff Hamilton, John Clayton, Chie Imaizumi, Sammy Davis Jr., Burt Bacharach, Paul Shaffer, Joey Calderazzo, and Marc Copland.  After earning his Music Degree in 1988 at the University of Miami in Florida, he moved to New York City and started playing clubs, touring the US and Europe, and recording.

In 2012, Mike’s book, The Guitar and Amp Sourcebook, was published by Harper Collins Publishers.  This 450-page tome provides an insider’s look into the who, what, where, when, and how of guitar and amplifier development from the dawn of the 20th century to the present day.  He has also transcribed rock and blues guitar songs and solos for Guitar World magazine, Warner Brothers Publications and Hal Leonard Publications. is an interactive instructional website for guitar that Mike has owned and run since 2001.  In 2003, Mike and his family moved from New Jersey to Denver.  He has mentored many guitar students on to study at prestigious music colleges. He teaches at the University of Denver, Colorado Conservatory for The Jazz Arts and privately in Denver.  Mike currently performs with The Mike Abbott Trio as well as many of Denver’s finest musicians.


Mike Marlier

Mike Marlier started playing drums at the age of five, and hasn't stopped. A lifetime in music was established from the day he was born, as he was immersed in the jazz records his father played both at home and on the radio station where he worked. Growing up in Sandusky, Ohio, he started playing in the school band program in the fourth grade and also began studying the string bass with Lawrence Angel from the Cleveland Symphony.


He won the Louis Armstrong Excellence in Jazz award his senior year in high school, and attended the prestigious Interlochen Arts Academy in 1975, where he played with Bob Hope, Maynard Ferguson and Benny Goodman. He was offered scholarships to the University of Tennessee in both percussion and string bass. After completing his studies at Bowling Green State University, he moved to Denver in 1981.

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