The accomplished percussionists of the new millenium are the most versatile virtuosos in today's music world. Brad Stirtz is an exceptional member of this new community of rhythm. Not only is he equally comfortable performing at the steel pans, vibraphone, piano, pipe organ, or drum set, but he is just as likely to be found composing, conducting, or arranging music. A native of Minden, Nebraska, Mr. Stirtz studied music at the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago, culminating in the Master of Music degree in percussion performance. Brad's career has spanned the globe. On a 1999 mission trip to Uganda, he directed choirs in the capital city of Kampala and neighboring Jinja, culminating in a studio recording of the choir. He is one of few Americans adept at the construction and playing of the Amadinda xylophone of this East African region. In October of 2000, Brad joined the Northern Illinois University Steel Band as a guest artist, and helped them win second place in the World Steel Band Competition on the Caribbean island of Trinidad. This was the highest finish for a foreign band in the history of the competition. As Director of Music at Peace Lutheran Church in Lombard, Illinois, Brad directs choirs, orchestra, and small ensembles. He has particularly excelled at arranging and adapting the music of the church to lead worship services featuring African music, Caribbean music, and Latin American music. As a teacher, Brad has served on the faculties of the American Conservatory, Roosevelt University, Benedictine University, and Northern Illinois University. He has been a member of the faculty at Birch Creek Music Academy in Door County, Wisconsin for over 20 years. At Birch Creek he teaches jazz improvisation and the techniques of playing world percussion instruments. Mr. Stirtz recently finished work on his second album, Caribbean Christmas, which is now available. His first album, Christmas Vibes, was released in 2002. Brad also appears on Agents of Change, the recent release by jazz vocalist Janice Borla, which was voted Jazz Album of the Year by Chicago Public Radio. He has performed with contemporary artists including Joe Walsh, The Lettermen, Charlie Pride, and Dennis DeYoung, and jazz artists Ed Thigpen and Jerry Goodman.