The Todd Hill Quintet has been entertaining audiences throughout the Mid-south and Midwest regions for more than thirty-five years. Shows feature the band's soloists on swinging jazz standards, old school country tunes, R&B, funk, and Latin rhythms with the piano and vocal talents of their leader. The band plays for concerts, shows and dances, varying programs to fit the occasion. With more than three hundred selections in their repertoire, the band plays new arrangements and versions of beloved tune, being careful to avoid a "cover" version. Their high-energy performances and light banter result in joyous listening, tapping toes, and many return engagements.
The band's namesake leader and Dr. Derek Jones (tenor sax, clarinet, vocals and guitar) have been playing together since 1986. Andy Brown (guitar, alto sax) came aboard in 1996. Scott Thile (bass) and Dean Hughes (drums) became regular members in 2008, although they had been playing with the group earlier. Female vocalist Emily Duff Lamb joined the group in 2016. As a piano and vocal artist, Todd has performed from Beale Street to Berlin, having backed such diverse entertainers and jazz artists as Doc Severinsen, Bob Hope, Frank Sinatra, Jr., Gary Morris, Denise LaSalle, Stella Parton, The Moody Blues, Byron Stripling, Allen Vizzutti, Chris Vadala, Jamey Aebersold, Jimmy Walker, Denis DiBlasio, Buddy Childers, Greg Abate, and Rich Matteson. In addition to multiple album appearances, he has three releases under his own name: Todd Hill and his Orchestra: Swingin' and Singin' Live, High Standards: The Todd Hill Quintet, The Brown-Back Hymnal, a solo piano gospel collection.
Dr. Hill is Professor of Music and Director of Jazz Studies at Murray State University. He directs the award-winning MSU Jazz Orchestra, Jazz Band, Jazz Laboratory, Jazz Combos, and teaches courses in graduate music education, popular music, and jazz history. He also directs MSU Town & Gown Community Band. He holds BME and MME degrees from MSU, and an EdD from Boise State University. He previously held teaching positions in Milan, TN, Northwest Mississippi Community College, Boise State University, and the University of the Cumberlands, where he served as Director of Bands before returning to his alma mater. Hill has been active as guest clinician and conductor of concert and jazz bands in Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Illinois, Missouri, Indiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Ohio, Idaho, Washington, Montana, Oregon and Nevada. He is Chancel Choir Director at First United Methodist Church in Murray, KY.