You try standing in front of these guys when they’re hitting the high notes…

Andrea Alexandra: Trumpet I

Inspired by the animated character Harmony Smurf (but much to the dismay of her family cat), Andrea first picked up a trumpet at age 8 in her elementary school band; It has been her constant companion ever since. Playing in every high school ensemble and pit orchestra possible, in addition to the West Vancouver Youth Band, Andrea spent a good portion of her childhood in music rooms

This dedicated love of music extended into to her adult life where Andrea studied trumpet performance at Vancouver Community College (VCC) under the guidance of both Alan Matheson and Tom Shorthouse. While not pursing music as a full-time professional career, Andrea plays with numerous groups throughout the lower mainland including concert bands, wind ensembles, brass quintets, musical theatre pit orchestras and of course, big bands. She also teaches trumpet at the beginner and intermediate levels. Please view her website for more information:

Andrea holds a B.A. with a Major in English, Minor in History, a Certificate in Career Development and Academic Advising, is a Certified Career Development Practitioner (CCDP) and has a daytime gig working as an Educational Advisor at a local university. Andrea is honoured to perform with the Bruce James Orchestra, and to assist as its Ensemble Coordinator and Digital Content Specialist.

Steve Torok: Trumpet II

Steve started playing the trumpet at the age of 12 shortly after suffering a severe head trauma from a hit-and-run accident (which later became grand mal seizures in his 20’s, 30’s & 40’s). Despite his seizures, Steve played all throughout high-school. and after graduation, proceeded to College (VCC) and University (UBC) music programs.

Steve has played with many groups over the years including: The Band of the 15th Field Artillery Regiment, Art Rogers Big Band, Port Moody Concert Band and  Inlet Jazz Band, FAT Jazz, Daystar, Ron Davis Big Band, New West Concert Band, Lynn Valley Black Bear Band, Delta Concert Band, Vancouver Groove Orchestra (VGO), Vancouver Travelling Band and has been with the Bruce James Orchestra since 2000. Steve also subs in various bands around the lower mainland. In addition to his regular groups, Steve plays in various pit orchestras all over the Metro-Vancouver area including Metro Theatre, TUTS, and RCMT – just to name a few.

Steve had Brain Surgery in 2001 and is now seizure free!
It’s a good thing too, because now none of his musical colleagues can say that Steve’s “falling down on the job” any more!

In his spare time when not playing music, Steve enjoys spending time with his partner Jo-Anne – going to movies, and being a “big kid” with their many nieces, nephews and extended family.

Ashley Ashrafian: Trumpet III

An alumni of Vancouver Community College’s Music performance program, Ashley is a local trumpet player who performs regularly with the Rugcutters Dance Band, Meridian Jazz Orchestra and the Bruce James Orchestra and subs with various other groups. When not on the band stand, Ashley spends her time working as a Band Department specialist at a local music store, travelling and spending time with family and friends. Ashley is happy to be back to playing live music again, and looks forward to the coming season with the BJO!

RJ Abella: Trumpet IV

A busy jazz trumpet player around the Vancouver music scene, RJ is happy to be playing some big band with the BJO! RJ is a student in his fourth year in Capilano University’s Jazz Studies program and studies with Vancouver jazz legend, Brad Turner. RJ loves playing, is always open to new musical adventures and loves a good jam session. Look for RJ at various jazz venues this coming summer!

2 thoughts on “Trumpets

  1. Hi Bruce,
    Heard the band at Harmony Arts today and was really impressed.
    You probably remember the last time I heard it.

    Now if you’d just sing a couple of ballads to make a name as a
    heartthrob ?

    It’s good to see you’re still blowin’ and active in the business.

    Rick Stainsby.

    • Hi Rick,
      Thanks so much for your kind words. It has been many years since I saw you last, and you brought out your arrangement of Too Close For Comfort. Next time come up and say hi.


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