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Wed, Apr 26


Merrimans' Playhouse

Signal Quartet

Repertoire consists primarily of original compositions by members of the band which serve as springboards for improvisation, showcasing the tight communication and shared musical vocabulary of the ensemble.

Registration is Closed due to COVID. ALL cancelled concerts will be rescheduled.
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Signal Quartet
Signal Quartet

Time & Location

Apr 26, 2023, 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM

Merrimans' Playhouse, 401 E Colfax Ave, South Bend, IN 46617, USA


About the Event

TICKETS are $10 General/$5 Student.

Concerts and events made possible, in part, with support from the Wells Philanthropic Services provided by grants from the John, Anna, and Martha Jane Fields Memorial Trust Foundation, Stanley A. and Flora P. Clark Memorial Community Trust Foundation, and the Florence V. Carroll Charitable Trust, The Esther and George Jaruga Charitable Foundation, the Community Foundation of St. Joseph County's ArtsEverywhere initiative, and the Arts Project Support Grant and Arts Recovery Grant through the Indiana Arts Commission. Concert support provided by the Arts Midwest Grow, Invest, Gather (GIG) Fund grant (2022-2023 season).

Signal Quartet is a collective musical ensemble based in Southeast Michigan consisting of Ben Wolkins on Trumpet and Flugelhorn, Ian Blunden on Guitar, Eric Nachtrab on Bass and Sean Perlmutter on Drums. The group's repertoire consists primarily of original compositions by members of the band which serve as springboards for far-reaching improvisations, showcasing the tight communication and shared musical vocabulary of the ensemble. The band's approach to improvisation is one of following the music wherever it leads, embracing the unexpected and the unusual, striving for a truly new creation at each and every opportunity. Shortly after the release of the band's self-titled debut, the group was featured at the Detroit Jazz Festival and the album continues to receive radio play around Michigan and beyond.

Ben Wolkins - Trumpet and Flugelhorn

Ian Blunden - Guitar

Eric Nachrab - Bass

Sean Perlmutter - Drums

Sean Perlmutter is a drummer, bandleader, composer, and music educator living and working in the Detroit area. He began playing and teaching professionally at age 16 and moved to Detroit at age 18 to immerse himself in its rich musical tradition and attend Wayne State University where he earned a Bachelor's Degree in Music with a Concentration in Jazz Studies. Perlmutter has a ravenous appetite as a listener, absorbing and drawing inspiration from music across genres and cultures. He works in an equally wide range of musical contexts, spanning from Early Jazz to Funk to Free Improvisation and beyond; striving to serve the music while also applying his personal, undulating rhythmic approach. Perlmutter has been interested in improvisation from the very beginning of his musical development and sees its intersection with composition as fertile ground for new possibilities. A prolific recording artist, his latest releases (as well as those of friends and co-conspirators) can be found on his own label, Spiritual Slop Records.

Born into a musical family in Toledo, Ohio, Ben Wolkins grew up studying music under numerous great musicians and teachers in the Midwest. He received a Bachelor of Music from the University of Toledo and a Master of Arts in Jazz Studies from the Aaron Copeland School of Music at Queens College, City University of New York.  The pursuit of his bachelor’s degree also found him earning credits at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music and Indiana University, Bloomington. He has a heavy admiration for Woody Shaw, Freddie Hubbard, Miles Davis and Tim Hagans’ styles of playing. Ben plays with a big, bold trumpet sound and can be found playing many genres of music while always working hard at finding his own voice while improvising.  His performances throughout the United States have allowed him to share the stage with notables such as; Jay McShann, David Liebman, Tim Ries, Ron Oswanski, Anthony Pinciotti, Vic Juris, Gunnar Mossblad, Gene Parker, Jim Gottron, Paul Keller, Kermit Driscoll, Steve Turre, Jon Hendricks, Claude Black, Clifford Murphy, Eliot Zigmund, Chris Byars, Dave Riekenberg, Tad Weed, Hans Glawischnig, Roland Vasquez, Winard Harper, Peter Erskine, John Hart, Jerry Weldon, Rudy Petschauer, Bill Carrothers, George Schuller, Sventlana Shmulyian, Matt Chertkoff, Ian Hendrickson-Smith, Glenn Miller Orchestra, Chico O’Farrill’s Latin Jazz Orchestra, Big Apple Circus, Mannheim Steamroller, Henry Cuesta and the Lawrence Welk All Stars, Aretha Franklin, Melvin Davis, Willie Jones, Pat Lewis, Bobby Vinton, Bobby Rydell, and the Four Tops. When free, he enjoys spending time with his wife and sons, practicing Aikido, golfing, and listening to new artists contributing to the longevity of beautiful music.

Eric Nachtrab is a bassist and composer currently living in Ann Arbor Mi. He got his start as a working jazz bassist on the Toledo Jazz scene over 30 years ago. Eric has since lived and worked in Dallas TX, Cincinnati OH, and Portland OR, playing a wide range of music. After years of working primarily as a sideman, Eric is proud to have found a more personal voice as a player and composer in his most recent project, Signal Quartet.

Ian Blunden graduated from Wayne State University with a degree in Jazz Performance in 2020. He began playing guitar in 2009 at the age of 12, and has since gone on to arrange, record, teach, and perform all over the Midwest, including performances at the Detroit Jazz Festival, Cliff Bell's, the Michigan Jazz Festival, and countless more. Ian also enjoys listening to and learning music of all varieties.


  • General

    $10 Advanced or Door

    Sale ended
  • Student

    $5 Student/Discount

    Sale ended



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