Band Member Bios

Kevin Dykstra

Percussion

No longer the "new guy", Kevin has been in Gora Gora for over 2 years now. He started playing drums in elementary school and it's been a steady progression ever since. This led to being a music major in college, and then a professional musician. A lover of all music styles, his diverse skill set started with wind ensemble, jazz band, orchestra, marching band, and percussion ensemble. He's been performing professionally in the Denver area for over 20 years, and has been in several funk, New Orleans-style brass bands, and blues bands... to name a few. He's also been teaching private lessons for over 15 years. And most importantly, whether he's playing snare or full drumset, he hopes that you enjoy what he brings to the wonderful music of Gora Gora Orkestar!

Jesse Factor

Sousaphone

Bio coming soon!

Alice Hansen

Trumpet

Growing up in Montana, Alice Hansen developed a passion for music at an early age, and has been playing trumpet for 25 years. She studied Ethnomusicology at the University of Colorado, where she was first able to perform balkan and klezmer music and gained a deep passion for a diversity of folk music traditions, while focusing on the role of gender in music. As a performing trumpet player in Denver for over 15 years, Alice has performed with numerous local ensembles and nationally touring groups, collaborating with musicians from various musical traditions. 

Alice is a founding member of Gora Gora Orkestar, and in her 14 years as the Jewish-Person-in-Residence she has focused on thinking of inappropriate puns, completing band side quests and art projects, and why not trying the accordion. She loves learning about klezmer music and dance, telling bands to hire more women, pitbulls/Pitbull, and sometimes being an attorney.

Jon Hegel

Saxophone

Bio coming soon!

Scott Johnson

Sousaphone

Bio coming soon!

Jon Kenney

Trombone

Jon Kenney is a passionate trombone player and dedicated educator based in Denver. With a deep love for music, Jon has become a prominent figure in the Denver public schools, where he shares his expertise and enthusiasm for the trombone with students. His commitment to education extends beyond the classroom, making a positive impact on the next generation of musicians.

Jon's musical journey is characterized by versatility, having performed in a wide range of styles. From classical to jazz, and everything in between, Jon's trombone skills have allowed him to explore and excel in various genres. His performances captivate audiences, showcasing not only technical proficiency but also a genuine love for the art of music.

Outside of his musical pursuits, Jon is a devoted dog owner. Henry and Gus, his two canine companions, hold a special place in his heart. Whether he's immersed in the world of music or spending quality time with his furry friends, Jon Kenney brings a harmonious blend of passion, talent, and warmth to every aspect of his life.

Tung Pham

Trumpet

Tung Pham hails from Boston, Massachusetts where he cultivated his love of music at the Boston Arts Academy and University of Massachusetts Lowell. Upon graduation, he was involved with various local groups including Ivy Hill (funk), New Philharmonia Orchestra and Emperor Norton’s Stationary Marching Band. Upon moving to Colorado, Tung pursued his lifelong dream of becoming a music teacher by completing his master’s degree in Music Education at the University of Colorado Boulder. During this time, Tung founded Gora Gora Orkestar (balkan brass band) in 2009 and since has participated in many local, regional and nationwide festivals. Tung is also an active sideman for Colorado based groups and has appeared with The Widow’s Bane (folk), Mile High Brass Band(New Orleans), Dizzy with a Dame (swing), Rampart Street Stompers (traditional jazz), The Dollhouse Thieves (rock) and Mariachi 303 (Mariachi). Today, Tung is an instrumental music teacher at Denver East High School where he teaches adapted music, leads bands, orchestra and mariachi.


Bryan Powell

Trombone

Bryan is a Pittsburgh born trombonist and brass instructor who has been playing with Gora Gora since early 2023. He received his undergraduate degree in Trombone Performance from Penn State, a Masters Degree in Trombone Performance from the University of Miami, and most recently was a Teaching Assistant at the University of Colorado Boulder for his postgraduate studies.  

Outside of his formal education, Bryan has been a freelance trombone player and music teacher for over 10 years in the cities of Pittsburgh, Miami, and Denver. His teaching experience includes private lessons with students of all ages and instruments, weekly group lessons at schools in Miami and the Greater Denver area, and more. His students’ accomplishments include acceptance into local youth symphonies, All-State bands, orchestras, and a variety of college music programs. As an active performer, Bryan has been fortunate enough to play with ensembles such as the Boulder Philharmonic, Boulder Symphony, Longmont Symphony, Ft. Collins Symphony, The Flatirons Jazz Orchestra, The Balcony Big Band, The Annie Booth Big Band, Brass Roots, The Henry Mancini Institute, New World Symphony, and world class soloists such as Bobby McFerrin, Chick Corea, Edgar Meyer, Joshua Bell, Wayne Bergeron, Joseph Alessi, among others. 

Bryan performs all styles of music, teaches any brass instrument, and has had a genuine blast getting to know Gora Gora and the wonderful Klezmer and Balkan Brass music that we play. Mazel tov!!  

Chris Ruiz

Saxophone

Bio coming soon!

Caroline Siegel

Trombone

When Caroline Siegel was a fourth grader in New Jersey 2001, she chose to play the trombone in the school band because "it looked cool." It was as tall as she was, but nevertheless, it was love at first sight. 

She studied Music Education at Messiah University in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, where she performed with numerous wind ensembles, jazz bands, orchestras, and brass quintets. Her trombone studio was invited to participate in Pennsylvania State University's annual Fruehling Posaunen in 2013, and she performed with two ensembles at the annual Pennsylvania Music Educators Association Conference in 2014. After graduation, she played with the Corsair Blue Jazz Orchestra in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. She relocated to Colorado in 2017 and performed with the funk ensemble The New Family Recipe until 2020.


Nowadays, she resides in Arvada with her husband and two tuxedo cats. In 2022, she graduated with her Masters of Music Education from the University of Colorado Boulder. It was there that she met Michael Windham, who introduced her to Gora Gora Orkestar. She works as a middle school band teacher, marching band assistant director, mariachi director, and area representative at Mapleton Public Schools in Thornton. In 2022, she was nominated as Licensed Employee of the Year. In her free time, she enjoys genealogy research, biking, running, and talking about her great home state of New Jersey.


Vic Stauffenberg

Percussion

Vic Stauffenberg has been playing drums since 1994 when he got his start in middle school band. Growing up in the musically fertile Dallas Fort Worth area, his instructors were alumni of the prestigious University of North Texas.

Vic earned his undergraduate degree at University of Texas at Arlington, where he studied concert, marching, and world percussion and participated in all of the top ensembles. Vic began studying drum set in earnest, and had the opportunity to perform with Terry Bozzio (Zappa, Missing Persons), Dave Samuels (Spyro Gyra), and Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez (Santana, Michel Camillo).

Upon graduating, Vic focused on furthering his teaching studio and worked as a drum specialist at Guitar Center. Vic moved to Denver in 2006 and promptly got involved in the local music scene. He freelanced in the jazz, rock, and jam band circuits before joining Ryan Chrys & the Rough Cuts in 2013. He proceeded to record, play locally, and tour the country with the Rough Cuts until 2016. Simultaneously, he was building his teaching studio and teaching the drumline for University of Colorado Boulder.

In addition, he joined the World Music horn band Gora Gora Orkestar, founded the New Orleans-themed Mile High Brass Band, and became the regular drummer for Larry Nix & the Killer Gents, currently performing with all three acts. Vic has also worked actively in the theater community, performing for runs of The Little Mermaid, Sister Act, Godspell, and West Side Story.

Vic recently served as affiliate professor with DIME Denver Music College, and currently teaches the percussion program at Mountain Range High School in Westminster, CO, where the program was awarded a silver medal for their 2021 RMPA Standstill Percussion Program.

Vic has been fortunate to share the stage with Marshall Tucker Band, Reverend Payton’s Big Damn Band, Gilby Clarke (Guns’n’Roses), Blackberry Smoke, DeVotchKa, Flobots, Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats, members of The Fray, Big Head Todd and the Monsters, Leftover Salmon, Roger Clyne & the Peacemakers, as well as local acts Strange Americans, Wildermiss, In The Whale, and Hangman’s Hymnal. Vic plays Sabian Cymbals, Breichle Custom Drums, and is a former endorser of Rich Sticks.

Michael Windham

Saxophone

Bio coming soon!