The Flying Squid Battalion, under the leadership of wind doubler Paul Morelli, is a new band devoted to playing great dance music of all kinds. We perform swing music from the big band era through the modern era, along with soul and rock classics. What sets us apart from other bands that play swing is that we are only half the size (an 8-piece instead of a 17-piece). Because our wind players double and our charts are carefully crafted, we get more sound out of fewer musicians. What sets us apart from other bands playing soul music is that we have a full horn section and can perform those tunes more authentically.
The Flying Squid Battalion has performed to rave reviews for Red Hot Lindy Hop swing dances at the Gallery Ballroom and St. Peter's Church and for swing night at Celeste Dance Club. Our high-energy shows and ability to play a variety of styles made those nights memorable for the dancers. Because we appeal to every generation, FSB will make your event much more fun as well.
Meagan Sorenson (vocals) is a Senior Jazz Vocal Performance major at the University of Memphis with a minor in Italian. She studies jazz voice with Joyce Cobb and Tim Goodwin. Meagan is a soprano in the Jazz Singers and sings with a jazz combo. Her interests lie equally in jazz and classical music; she has sung in a few U of M operas and now studies classical voice with Dr. Pamela Gaston. Meagan enjoys vegan baking and salsa dancing.
Derek Brookshire (guitars) completed two degrees at the University of Memphis (one in music) and studied with some of the industry's finest jazz musicians, including Tim Goodwin, Charlton Johnson, and Chip Henderson. Derek teaches privately at Bartlett Music Academy and performs in various local bands playing jazz, bluegrass, and fusion.
Matt Karner (acoustic and electric bass), a native of New Jersey, is currently studying under Tim Goodwin at the University of Memphis. Matt freelances with various rock, funk, country, and jazz bands around Memphis and teaches bass and guitar privately.
Doug Dubose (drums) studied percussion while in school at Memphis State, and has since played in various Memphis bands, including (but not limited to) the Adam Whitaker band and the Liquid Paperboys. Doug's wide-ranging abilities in swing, rock, and funk styles keep the feet moving on the dance floor wherever the Flying Squid Battalion plays.
Ben Tucker (trumpet, flugelhorn) is a senior at the University of Memphis pursuing degrees in Trumpet Performance and Music Education. Ben is also studying jazz improv and regularly performs in a variety of ensembles including the University Orchestra, the University Wind Ensemble, and Flying Squid Battalion. He also freelances in the Memphis area.
Adam Conerly (tenor saxophone, clarinet) is the lead tenor player for the Navy jazz band in Millington and also performs with the Memphis Jazz Orchestra.
John Baum (trombone, trumpet) studied Music Education at Clarion University in Clarion, Pennsylvania. He has studied privately with Dr. Dean Farnham (Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Trombonist). John has completed a 20-year career as a trombone instrumentalist, arranger, and conductor in the US Navy band. John has been the leader of the US Navy Midwest Showband and the Brass Ambassadors (The Navy’s Brass Quintet). He is currently the Choir director at Salem Presbyterian Church.
Paul Morelli (trumpet, clarinet, saxophones, flute, arranger) Paul Morelli is Memphis' most versatile wind player, performing on trumpet, saxophones, clarinet, and flute. Paul plays with the Memphis Jazz Orchestra on trumpet (often lead or solo trumpet), the New Memphis Hepcats on saxes, clarinet, and trumpet (often solo trumpet), and all his various instruments with a slew of other area bands, including Joyce Cobb, Jimbo Mathus, the Soul Outsiders, and others. Paul performed with Jimbo Mathus' band on the NPR program "Toast of the Nation" on New Year's Eve 04-05. He has recorded for Jimbo Mathus, Lynn Cardona, the Black Diamond Heavies, Lightning Malcolm, Will Dawson, and others, usually writing the horn parts and overdubbing the whole section. Paul earned a BM degree in Jazz and Commercial Music from the University of Memphis (magna cum laude, 2004) and currently earns a living teaching private lessons and playing for shows and recording sessions. Paul has released a solo album on the Knockdown South label and leads an octet called the Flying Squid Battalion.