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James Wall

Trombone | Vocals | Arr.


T.J. Schaff

Drums| Paino| Arr.


Julián Pernett Castilla

Piano |Arr.


Erik Hempel


Active Members

Formed in 2022 by Trombonist James Wall and Multi-Instrumentalist T.J. Schaff, The Schaff - Wall Collective is a diverse and experimental music ensemble that performs in multiple configurations across the West Coast of Florida. The group draws influence from multiple genres and specializes in live jazz, fusion, pop, and New-Orleans style music.  The band's core duo consists of James Wall (Trombone/Vocals) and T.J. Schaff (Drums/Piano) who are regularly joined by artists such as Julian Pernett (Piano), Nick Peters (Piano,) Jean Bolduc (Drums) Valentin Korniyenko (Bass), Erik Hempel (Bass), Aaron West (Sax) and Alex Ocon (Drums/Percussion).

About JamesWall
james wall trombonist

James Wall (Trombone and Vocals)

James Wall is an American trombonist and music educator currently based in the Tampa Bay area. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Music Performance and a Master's Degree in Trombone Performance at the University of South Florida. During Wall's time at USF, he was invited to perform on two international tours with the USF Bone Band to Colombia and France

James' trombone teachers and influencers include Tampa's own Tom Brantley, Tyler Wertman, Dwight Decker, Frank T. Williams III, and from New Orleans, Stephen Walker. 


Much of James Wall's influence and inspiration for playing music derives from the city of New Orleans and the musicians who live there such as members of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band including Stephen Walker, Ronell Johnson, and Glen Finister Andrews. Wall has also performed at the French Quarter Festival with these musicians as a part of the traditional jazz group known as Onward Brass Band. Wall took part in a recording session with this group in 2018 on Onward's album entitled "Back On The Street", available on all music streaming platforms. 

About T.J. Schaff

T.J. "The Chef" Schaff (Drums and Piano)

Tony Jr. (T.J.) Schaff, also known as "The Chef," and simply "Teej" is an American drummer, pianist, finance guru,  singer-songwriter, and audio engineer currently based in Tampa Bay, Florida. He toured internationally with the Ball State Lab Band and also holds a Business Degree from Ball State UniversityHe has performed with numerous professional artists in the Midwest and Florida and has performed at Dizzy's Club at Jazz at Lincoln Center with Ball State's top Jazz band. 

Schaff's drumming style is heavily influenced by Will Kennedy of the Yellowjackets, Dave King of The Bad Plus, his uncle Chris Schaff, and Indianapolis drumming virtuoso Kenny Phelps, who Schaff studied with personally. 

Schaff's piano style is heavily influenced by both pop and jazz artists such as Ben Folds, Bruce Hornsby, Elton John, Russel Ferrante of the Yellowjackets, and David Benoit.

About Julian
julian pernett piano

Julián Pernett Castilla (Piano)

Although it represents his main discipline in music, Julián Pernett Castilla is more than just a pianist or keyboardist. Born in 1993 in Bogotá, Colombia, amongst a family with a deep love for music of all styles and parts of the world, he began his music and keyboard studies at the tender age of four with one of Colombia’s most prominent Classical composers, Jaime Torres Donneys, and his wife, Esperanza Valbuena. In 2008, he continued Classical piano studies with his brother, Renato Pernett Castilla, who is an accomplished producer, arranger, and multi-instrumentalist himself.

Simultaneously, Julián began to immerse himself into the world of Latin-American music, Jazz and Rock. This rich background of influences inspired him to become a professional musician, and to achieve this he began formal studies with Pilar Leyva, a former pupil of legendary Chilean pianist, Claudio Arrau. Thus, for six years Julián walked the path of the Concert Pianist, and after many recitals and competitions —during these formative years— a strong need for expanding his creativity eventually made him consider the many joys of artistic expression through composition.

An important part of his musical awareness and ongoing development of his craft has been participating in numerous masterclasses at national and international piano festivals, in addition to interacting, performing, and having memorable mentorships with many renowned musicians of diverse genres and disciplines such as Larry Panella, Bill Summers, Don Preston, Luigi Zaninelli, Blanca Uribe, Edoardo Torbianelli, Lang Lang, and the late Chick Corea.


Nowadays, Julian’s skillful versatility includes a wide range of styles, from the Classical tradition to the Jazz idioms, and the Latin American & West African musical idiosyncrasy. This addition to his musical abilities has led the way to fully explore musical thoughts with all options at hand, making each performance a truly personal expression through music.

aaron west saxophone

Aaron West (Sax)

Aaron West is a versatile musician with a variety of performance experiences, an education in audio recording and production, and a passion for teaching. Aaron was born in Greensboro, NC, in 1998 into a very musical family. Choosing to play the saxophone in his middle school band program, he quickly developed an interest in jazz music. Throughout middle and high school, he attended the John Coltrane Jazz Workshop in High Point, NC, every summer he was able and returned to work as a counselor. Aaron graduated from Grimsley High School in 2016 and then immediately enrolled in Appalachian State University in Boone, NC, for his undergraduate studies in music.


During his time at App State, Aaron co-founded the funk band Electric Jelly Funk and became the musical director of the group. Electric Jelly Funk has released two studio recordings, the album "Room 300" in 2017, and the EP "Get It Right" in 2019. Another successful band Aaron played in was Terrabang, also based out of Boone. Terrabang has released one studio recording, the album "Seed" in 2018. Aaron also performed around the community countless times in various jazz groups.


Contributing to his studies, Aaron worked as an intern under Benjy Johnson at the Earthtones Recording Studio in Greensboro, NC, in the summer of 2017. Fulfilling his degree requirements and personal interests, Aaron also worked as an intern at SE Systems in Greensboro, NC, a production company which puts on Merlefest, one of the country's premier music festivals. In the spring of 2020, Aaron graduated from Appalachian State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Music Industry Studies with a concentration in Recording and Production, as well as a minor in General Business.


Following his graduation, Aaron moved to Tampa, FL, in 2020 to begin pursuing his Master of Music Degree in Jazz Performance at the University of South Florida, studying with Jack Wilkins. Aaron graduated with his Master's Degree in the spring of 2022. Currently, Aaron performs often with  respected jazz groups in the Tampa area. Beginning in the fall semester of 2022, Aaron has accepted an adjunct professor position at the University of South Florida teaching a music production course. He looks forward to continuing his education outside of school, performing often, and continuing to teach.


Erik Hempel (Bass)

Born and raised in Saint Petersburg, FL, Erik Hempel is a performer, producer, and composer renowned for his dynamic performances and showmanship. His education under luminaries like Frank Williams III, John Lamb (Duke Ellington, Red Garland, Sonny Stitt, Jimmy Heath, Gene Ammons), Butch Thomas (Jaco Pastorius, Sting, Lenny Kravitz, Vanessa Paradis), and Michael Kernodle has imbued Hempel with a profound respect for the aural tradition of music while fueling his ambition to innovate within the craft. Since beginning his public performance career in 2014, Hempel has graced stages alongside esteemed artists such as Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, Marcus Miller, Chicago, George Thorogood, Blood Sweat and Tears, and Nathan Mitchell, performing at iconic venues including the Apollo Theatre, Lincoln Center, and the Straz Center.


While primarily known in the musical world for his work as an upright bassist, Hempel also contributes to the music community as a board member of the Al Downing Tampa Bay Jazz Association. In this role, he manages the distribution and organization of scholarship initiatives and programs, further demonstrating his commitment to nurturing the growth of the art form. 

About Erik
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