Steve Banks formed Smooth Operation in 2009 as a Traditional Jazz Group. Fast forward to 2017 the group has evolved into a Smooth Jazz/Funk group which has played at major venues i.e. Bakers Keyboard lounge, Jazz Café and numerous Festivals throughout Michigan. The Band released its first CD Ah Yeah in 2012 which did well in urban markets and now they are releasing their latest composition entitled A Way of Speaking.
Daniel Rettberg Peter has been playing music since the age of 5, and has performed at many concert venues and universities all around the state of Michigan. Daniel's musical experience includes a wide range of styles and genres, including jazz, rock, classical, funk, R&B, heavy metal, and Indian devotional music. In 2016, he recorded and released his 1st solo album, Beyond All Things.
Matthew D. Dufresne is the Chairperson of the Music Department at Holly Academy, where he serves as General Music teacher, director of bands, and leader of the Academy Art Ensemble. Dufresne is active as a woodwind specialist performing Jazz, Rock, and World Music in a variety of ensembles around Michigan and Ohio. Dufresne has performed with Regina Carter, Andy Narrell, Sangeetha Rathnakara Sudha Raghunathan, U. Rajesh, Tiruvarur Vaidyanathan and Haruna Walusimbi. Dufresne has studied jazz saxophone and piano with a variety of national jazz masters in the last few years, including Eric Alexander, Jim Snidero, Dan Haerle, David Baker, and Pat Harbison. Detroit jazz musicians Miles Brown, Scott Gwinnell, and Walter White have played an integral part in his development over the last five years. Dufresne studied saxophone with Donald Sinta and improvisation with Ed Sarath at the University of Michigan.
Nick Calandro began playing bass at age 5 by working the bass pedals of the family Thomas organ, while his dad played songs like “Tequila” and “Five foot Two” on the keyboards. As Nick grew older, he gravitated toward the guitar and bass guitar, being influenced by the more edgier and popular rock and blues styles. Nick has played with such artists as Rob Mconnell, Myron Floren, The Fifth Dimension, “Mr. Bo” Collins, The Velvelettes, Billy Branch, Jerry Bergonzi, Rick Margitza, Kevin Mahogany and Sesame Street’s Bob McGrath.
For over half a decade the Detroit jazz scene has been putting on Smooth Operation like a silken robe. Night after night its multifaceted instrumentalists step out into the purple spotlight to create a groove that ripples through the crowd, forcing them to move to the rhythm. By fusing Detroit's Jazz-Funk heritage with Chicago Step, the band achieves something uniquely urban. Driven by the percussion of Steve Banks, the standard assemblage features Brett Cimbalik reaching the outer limits on guitar with Patrick Nakamura's keys drifting effortlessly in and out of the background. Nick Calandro lays down a bass foundation of pure groove. Their cooperative rhythm work pace the entire experience while Bernard Jackson's vocals are brought in, like a secret weapon, to inject a mega does of soul.
"Smooth Operation bringing Jazz back to Genesee County!" - Mary Moreau, Detroit Underground Scene Examiner
"The music isn't the loud and splashy offerings that sometimes are associated with "modern" jazz, but it blends some of the sounds of rhythm and blues and the softer tones prevalent in many of the East Coast bands of the 1960s. The material, though, is new, adapted to fit the softer, mellow, low-key standard that sophisticated audiences appreciate." - Tim Younkman, The Flint Journal
"Yesteryear's smooth transcends into today's operation of jazz. Smooth operation has connections from a time period that draws on cultural heritage and flavors from yesteryear's time period. They are professional and simply a great band for any occasion." - Kathy Johnson, Greater Flint Arts Council