The Bob Mervak Trio

Since 2000, The Bob Mervak Trio has demonstrated a strong musical presence in the Detroit music scene. Originally founded as a quartet (The Bob Mervak Group), members included avant-garde guitarist Ryan Mackstaller and Grammy award-winning bassist Tim Marks. The group scaled down in 2001 and welcomed bassist Takashi Iio, forming what is now known as the Bob Mervak Trio. Their repertoire continued to expand to its current status, which is an all-inclusive collection of originals and covers best described by Bob Mervak as “stuff we like,” which seems to be the only necessary criteria when deciding what to play.

The trio was in residence at Woodruff’s in Royal Oak for several years, a venue they credit for much of their development. They have been featured at other Detroit venues, including Cliff Bell’s, Andiamo, the Detroit Institue of Art, and the Cranbrook Institute, among many others.


The Motor City Horns

The Motor City Horns feature some of Detroit’s most versatile musicians. Individually, MCH members have worked with a variety of artists, bands, and orchestras, including Justin Timberlake, The Temptations, The Four Tops, The Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and Yo-Yo Ma. As a group, they have joined forces with Bob Seger and The Silver Bullet Band (2006–2007 “Face The Promise” Tour and 2011-2012 North American Tour) and with Clarence Clemons and The Temple of Soul. Locally, they have appeared with The Brothers Groove, bluesman Johnnie Bassett and The Blues Insurgents, Thornetta Davis, Root Doctor, Karen Newman, and with Alexander Zonjic, sharing the stage and crafting horn arrangements for many well-known jazz artists, including Bob James, Kenny G, and Jeff Lorber. Recent CD releases include Bob Seger, The Verve Pipe, Alexander Zonjic, The Shaun Murphy Band, The Greg Nagy Band, Root Doctor, Carl Craig and Tribe, Johnnie Bassett, and singer/songwriter Liz Larin. The Motor City Horns are a full-service production team, able to assist with any aspect of a live performance or studio project: producing, recording, writing, arranging, and performing.

John Rutherford (Trombone) • Jimmy Smith (Trumpet) • Keith Kaminski (Saxophone)

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Bob Mervak

Bob Mervak has been an active member of the Detroit music community since 1997, and has worked with many of the musicians who embody its collective talent. He has worked with pianists Matt Michaels and Gary Schunk, bluesman Johnnie Bassett, Colton Weatherston, Chuck Brodsky, Grammy award-winner Tim Marks, Beth Stalker, Ben Sharkey, Liz Larin, and a host of others. He performs in various settings, has toured extensively, and is equally capable on stage and in the studio. He has led and developed the Bob Mervak Trio for 11 years and recently enjoyed working as a sideman for Brett Lucas and Thornetta Davis. Bob has been creative and artistic director of the St. Columban Concert Series in Birmingham, which showcases the finest talent in Detroit and beyond.


Takashi Iio


Takashi started out playing piano but switched to bass at fifteen when a group of friends needed a bass player. He progressed quickly and three years later he was selected to join the All-State High School Jazz Band which led to a full-talent scholarship to Wayne State University in Detroit, MI. Takashi expanded his musicianship at Wayne State University to include the upright bass. He studied extensively with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s bassist Max Janowsky, Matt Michaels (arranger for Barbra Striesand) and Dan Pliskow (teacher of bass virtuoso Bob Hurst). He has shared the stage with such musical legends as Hank Jones, James Carter, Dwight Adams (trumpet player for Stevie Wonder), Steve Sigmund (music director for Ray Charles), Marcus Belgrave (Detroit trumpet legend), Mike Williams (lead trumpet player for the Count Basie Orchestra) and the late Mel Wanzo (trombone player for the Count Basie Orchestra).

He has also recorded with a host of other artists and groups, including Sony artist Sonia Lee, Bob Mervak, Damani Philips, Beth Stalker, Steve Wood, Joseph Hurst, Jelly Adams, Musica Mundi and many others. Some of his TV appearances include local News Channels in Detroit, Local LA News Channels, MSNBC with Mitch Albom, and the Ellen Degeneres Show.

His work with various groups incorporate several musical styles, ranging from Latin grooves, Motown, Country, Bluegrass, R&B, Blues and modern Top 40, to the more subdued and melodic sounds of Jazz and Classical.

Takashi was born in Chicago, IL, moved to California, Japan and spent most of his life in Detroit.


Adam James


Adam James attended Michigan State University where he studied classical and hand percussion as well as drum set. He then went on to graduate Cum Laude from Wayne State University, earning a degree in Music Industry Management with an emphasis in musical performance.

Adam is known for his versatility, being a performer of everything from jazz and blues to rock-n-roll and musical theater. He has performed and/or recorded with Sony artist Sonia Lee, Frankie Ford, Stewart Francke, The Crystals, Kim Wilson, Lazy Lester, The Tokens, Doug Demming, Damani Phillips, Kroon, Bob Mervak, Beth Stalker, Tamara Bedricky and many others.

Adam has also been teaching private lessons and coaching drum lines since his junior year of high school and continues to have a ceaseless passion and commitment to music performance and education.