The Skyliners' Director, Rodolfo Espinoza, has been a member of the Skyliners Big Band for the past 22 years. He is a native of Iquique, Chile and immigrated to Abbeville, Louisiana in 1971. He received his Bachelor of Music Education, Master of Music Performance and certification in Social Studies from the University of Louisiana Lafayette. For the past 25 years, Mr. Espinoza has taught social studies and music at Lafayette High School. Mr. Espinoza has received several state, regional and national awards during his tenure at LHS. Since 2010, Rudy has been the director and president of the Skyliners of Acadiana Big Band.
Bill Roza, the Skyliners' Pianist and Vocalist, a full-time musician, says that music has always been a huge part of his life. Bill was invited to play piano with the Skyliners in 2011 and started singing with the band a couple years later. Bill is probably best known locally as the "one-man-band" who played in Maximilian's Lounge at the Lafayette Hilton for 30 years. He is currently a regular musician at the Petroleum Club, and plays for private dance clubs, senior living communities, fund raisers and private parties. On Sundays Bill plays keyboard and sings in the Christian band at Christian Life Center Church.
Tonio Cutrera, Skyliners' Drummer, started filling in with the Skyliners Big Band around the age of 18 and has filled the drummer's chair regularly for over 20 years. A native of Lafayette, Tonio is known for his expertise in a wide range of musical styles. Growing up in a family of musicians, he became passionate about jazz music at an early age. Tonio began playing drums professionally at thirteen and by the age of seventeen, was the regular drummer for the Harry Grieg Orchestra, a popular dance band of the time. He became a founding member of the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra in 1984 and continues to serve both as Principal Percussionist and Operations Manager.
Ken Hulse, Skyliners' Bass Player, has been playing bass with the Skyliners for nearly 20 years. Ken grew up in Centereach, NY (center of Long Island). He began playing bass in elementary school and has enjoyed playing big band music since that time. Ken received his Bachelors of Music degree from SUNY Fredonia and Masters of Music in Tuba performance and Conducting from USL in 1996. For the past 22 years Ken has worked as a Band Instrument Repair Technician at Lafayette Music, becoming manager of the repair department in 2012. His love of music continues to shine through with every repaired instrument he returns to players and students alike. Ken has also been playing regularly with First Class (2009), Acadian Wind Symphony (2001) and just about anyone else that has need of his talents.
The Skyliners' guitarist, Dr. Jeffrey George, has been a member of the Skyliners Big Band for over 10 years. Originally from Indianapolis, Indiana he moved to Lafayette, Louisiana in 2001. For the past 21 years Dr. George, a LA Board of Regents Endowed Professor of Music, has taught classical and jazz guitar in the school of music at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. In 2019 he was honored with the university's Distinguished Professor Award. This distinction is given to tenured faculty members who excel in research, scholarship or creative works, and who demonstrates a commitment to and effectiveness in teaching and who make significant contributions to campus life and the community.