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Island Close By Jazz

Island Close By Jazz, led by Chris Lee, is an all-star cast of some of the finest musicians in South Carolina.

Founded in 2007 by John Valerio and Chris Lee, ICB Jazz has remained dedicated to mixing the innovative tradition of American jazz music, performing and reinterpreting the classics with an island twist, while promoting the continuing evolution of the art form. As a professional jazz ensemble, ICB Jazz is equally committed to education and building new audiences with school performances and master classes. Jazz with a Caribbean Twist

Dr. Chris Lee

Lead Pan/Percussion

Chris Lee (BM -University of Maryland  - MM and DMA - University of South Carolina) is co-founder of the Island Close By Jazz and Island Close By Steel Band and performs solo pan throughout North and South Carolina and Northern Georgia. His love for the pan and music of many cultures has Inspired him to study in New York, Trinidad (the home of the steel drum), Puerto Rico and Guinea, West Africa.

As a concert percussionist/drummer, he is the principal percussionist of the South Carolina Philharmonic Orchestra and has performed with the Savannah, Augusta, Charlotte, Charleston, Greenville and Atlanta Symphonies as well as The Moody Blues, Ray Charles, Shirley Jones, Roger Williams and the Garfield Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps.

As an educator, Lee has been featured as a rhythm expert on MTV’s “Made” and is presently a music teacher at Eau Claire High School and founder of the ECHS Shamrocks Steel Band. His teaching credits include the University of South Carolina, Lander University, Claflin University, Cadets of Bergen County Drum and Bugle Corps, Star of Indiana Drum and Bugle Corps, Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corps, Thom Hannum’s Mobile Percussion Seminars and Logan Elementary School. An active clinician/performer for the Pearl Corporation, Avedis Zildjian Co., Innovative Percussion, Evans Drum Heads, the South Carolina Arts Commission and the Cultural Council of Richland and Lexington Counties, he conducts summer workshops, clinics/master classes, private lessons and school residencies throughout the Southeastern United States.

Dr. John Valerio


John Valerio is a pianist, composer, and author from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He has performed with several outstanding jazz artists including: Lee Konitz, Jon Faddis, Stanley Clarke, Chris Vadala, John Swana, Gerald Veasley, Winard Harper, Ralph Bowen, Steve Gilmore and Jan Metzger.

He earned a doctorate in Music Composition from Temple University and has written numerous works for a variety of voices, instruments and ensembles in classical and jazz idioms. His works are performed throughout the United States. Valerio has played in many concerts and clubs as well as for numerous headliners in Atlantic City, Philadelphia and New York including Robert Merrill, Jerry Vale, Maurice Hines, Robert Klein, Eddie Fisher, Chita Rivera, The McGuire Siters, Susanne Sommers, Bobby Rydell and Charo. He has published six internationally selling books on jazz piano for Hal Leonard Corporation including Stride and Swing Piano, Bebop Jazz Piano, Post Bop Jazz Piano and is currently writing Latin Jazz Piano. As a clinician, he gave a clinic on jazz piano at the 2004 International Association for Jazz Education Annual Conference in NYC. His piano playing combines the organic approach of Bill Evans with the rhythmic suppleness of Keith Jarrett and the unabashed swing of Ahmad Jamal into an original but highly accessible style.

He has recorded with Kayle Brecher, Bette Midler, Vince Montana, Michael Pedicin Jr., among others, and has just released his first album as leader, The Altoona Sessions, with bassist Tom Hildreth for ViVadagio Records. Dr. Valerio currently plays throughout the Carolinas and teaches Jazz History, Theory, Piano and Improvisation at the University of South Carolina and Newberry College. He has previously taught at Temple University and the University of North Carolina-Charlotte.

Scott Burkholder


Studied Percussion at the University of South Carolina. Performed in USC's Left Bank Jazz Band. He has performed on stage with jazz artists such as Marian McPartland, Bill Watrous, Rick Stone, Bucky Pizzarelli, Chris Potter, Louis Bellson, and Randy Brecker.

Scott has toured the East Coast with the O'Kaysions (of "I'm a Girl Watcher" fame), and appears on numerous recordings with Columbia, SC's Ross Holmes. Scott currently occupies the drum chair for the First Baptist Church of Columbia orchestra.

Additional gig/recording history:

The Helms/Boyd Orchestra (Big Band Jazz)
The Jazz Guitar Summit (jazz)
Cross Current (Top 40)
Kevin McGee (pop)
Michael Smith (pop rock)
Culture Shock (80's rock)
The Diamond Band (Beach/Variety)
The Coastal Breeze Party Band (Beach/Variety)
Ross Holmes (Jazz/Variety)

Reggie Sullivan


Reggie Sullivan is a bassist residing in Columbia, SC. He has performed with Marion McPartland, Olivia-Newton John, Yuseef Latif, Wycliffe Gordon, Chris Potter and Joe Sample. Reggie received a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Performance from the University of South Carolina.



Green Dolphin Street

Soul Sauce

St. Thomas

This Feelin' Nice

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