Join UCF’s chart-topping Flying Horse Big Band as it surveys music of the amorous nature – American style!

For centuries, love has been a central theme for musicians. Join UCF’s Flying Horse big band as it surveys music of the amorous lost, and love foundAmerican style! Tales of the rebuffed and adorned are not relegated solely to Italian opera. From swing to blues and rhythm and blues join Orlando’s friendly neighborhood big band, directed by Jeff Rupert, on the roller coaster of love. Joining the band will be special guests Rob Paparozzi, DaVonda Simmons, Jeff “T-Bone” Gerard, and a cameo by David Soto Zambrana. 

Student tickets: $5 off with code ARTS4KNIGHTS24, valid UCF or student ID required

Feels Like Rain, Flying Horse Big Band

plays Love Lost and Love Found

Jeff Rupert, director


The Flying Horse Big Band is one of the premiere performing ensembles of the UCF Music Department. They have appeared at the Montreux, Switzerland, and the North Sea Jazz Festivals, as well as numerous festival and concert appearances domestically. The band has featured Randy Brecker, Bob Berg, Michael Mossman, James Moody, Nick Brignola, Harry Allen, Steve Turre, Rodney Holmes, Terry Gibbs, Marvin Stamm, Mulgrew Miller, John Swana, Kevin Mahogany, Lou Donaldson and Eric Alexander with the band. In 2005, the Flying Horse Big Band premiered Sam Rivers’ work for double big band, with Rivers’ RIVBEA orchestra. The group has had seven recordings  on the national jazz charts. Recordings include Jazz Town, The Blues is Alright, Into the Mystic, Big Man on Campus, The Bat Swings!, Florida Rays, and most recently, A Message from the Flying Horse Big BandThe last two albums climbed to #1 on the national (professional) jazz charts.  


An image of Jeff Rupert.Jeff Rupert is the Director of Jazz Studies at UCF. He is a saxophonist, composer, record producer, and recording artist.

Rupert has been a featured soloist on dozens of recordings with artists including Sam Rivers, Mel Tormé, Diane Schuur, Benny Carter, and Maynard Ferguson. His most recent recording The Ripple with legendary saxophonist George Garzone released in September 2019. He played on Benny Carter's Harlem Renaissance which won a Grammy. . He has also performed with Kevin Mahogany, Ernestine Anderson, Joe Farnsworth, Ray Drummond, Harry Allen, pianist Benny Green, Kenny Drew jr, trumpeter Michael Philip Mossman, and pianist and singer Judy Carmichael.

Rupert has several releases under his own name including "Lets Sail Away" with Veronica Swift (2017)and "Imagination" (2016) and "R&D" (2018)with pianist Richard Drexler. Rupert currently is the leader of The Jazz Professors, a sextet that had top JazzWeek charting hit albums in 2012-2015. "The Jazz Professors: Live at the UCF-Orlando Jazz Festival" (Flying Horse, 2011) which and peaked at #19 during its seventeen weeks on the JazzWeek charts. His third album, "From Memphis to Mobile", with Kenny Drew, Jr.

Rupert joined Sam Rivers' band in 1996 and appeared in four recordings with the group. He has performed in hundreds of concerts with Rivers, including performances at Lincoln for Ed Bradley's Jazz from Lincoln Center (broadcast on NPR), the Vision Festival NYC and Columbia University. He has been a member of the Jaguar International Jazz Series alongside Joe LaBarbera, Tom Wharington, Larry Koonse, and John Fedchock. Most recently he performed with Michael Philip Mossman and John Riley at the Taipei National Concert Hall, Taiwan.

He has played at jazz festivals around the world, with dates in Europe, Scandinavia, Japan, Taiwan, Israel, South America, Australia, and New Zealand.

New Jersey-based frontman, singer, & harmonica player Rob Paparozzi has been a blues performer since 1967. But Rob is far from being strictly a blues musician. In fact, he's at home playing a wide range of music, ranging from rock to blues to jazz to pop. This versatility is reflected in the long and remarkably diverse list of major artists Rob has worked with, including B.B. King, Dr. John, Bruce Springsteen, Whitney Houston, Carole King, Roberta Flack, Culture Club, Cyndi Lauper, Randy Newman, Jimmy McGriff, and James Galway.

Rob has been touring the world with the “Original Blues Brothers Band,” featuring guitar legend Steve Cropper and special guest Eddie Floyd 2000 (summer 2013, Spain & France). Rob will leave for Lugano, Switzerland at the end of August to headline the BLUES to BOP Festival, then onto Verona, Italy for a few more dates. In April 2014, Rob’s Trio appeared in Norway at The Nidaros Blues Festival in Trondheim. Another Blues Brothers tour in Europe summer 2014 and then Japan and Russia Fall 2014. Summers Tours in 2015 included Spain, Italy, France, UK and Lithuania.

Rob Sang was Lead Singer with “Blood Sweat and Tears” as Front Man-Lead Vocalist and Harmonica Player (replacing singer David Clayton Thomas) in 2004-to July 2011.

Rob has left BS&T and now leads his own band The Rob Paparozzi Band, features Ed Alstrom, John Korba, Chris Eminizer, Bernard Purdie, George Naha and Bailey Gee. The shows are Local in NY-NJ as well as International, Europe & Asia. In 2009, Rob worked on his debut CD which features many varied styles and “special guests.” The CD has been getting lots of airplay worldwide and terrific acclaim in the press. Rob's Broadway, movie, and television credits are also extensive, including: shows Big River and The Will Rogers Follies; films Flirting With Disaster and Ride; TV programs the Bill Cosby Show, CBS Early Show and the David Letterman Show, appearances in 2006 with Dolly Parton
and George Jones on Conan O'Brien and David Letterman's Late Show. In 2009, Rob performed a duet w/ Bernadette Peters (Harmonica & Vocals) on ‘Shenandoah’ at The Minskoff Theatre in NYC. Rob performed with the NY Philharmonic in 2017. TV Commercials jingles include Scotch 3M Blue tape, KFC, Pizza Hut, Maxwell House, Wendy's, Lincoln Mercury, Stouffers, Dodge, Ford, Coke, Pepsi, Dominos, Tylenol, etc.

The bottom line is, even if you haven't heard of Rob Paparozzi before, you've probably heard — and enjoyed — his work!

Rob’ 2008 DEBUT CD “Etruscan Soul” with featured Special Guests: Phoebe Snow, Harvey Brooks, Will Lee, Chuck Rainey, Bernard Purdie, Leo Nocentelli, Shawn Pelton and Hugh McCracken.

Jeff “T-Bone” Gerard is a musician’s musician. He is a vocalist, trombonist and bandleader who associates with top artists and music venues in NYC. His self-titled group includes a veritable who’s-who of musical talent; Mitch Stein, Brian Dunn, Kim Plainfield, Rodney Howard, Lee Nadel, Sal Giorgiani and Jeff Rupert. His band has been a mainstay in NYC for decades with concert and club performances, and he has toured domestically and throughout Europe and North Africa. T-Bone’s vocal prowess transcends category. He sings with sensitivity beyond compare, and on a dime projects with power and clarity that would garner Barry White and Tom Jones’ curiosity. His talents have landed him on stage singing with Blood, Sweat, and Tears, and numerous other internationally acclaimed acts. As in-demand studio singer, he has tracked albums, jingles, and nationally televised productions including dates for MLB. As a leader, T-Bone can be heard on “Don’t look Back” which features his original compositions and his great band. A new release by T-Bone will be going for ads in 2018. Jeff “T-Bone” Gerard epitomizes the man who values his inner voice. Not one to look for the spotlight, he remains vigilantly “off of the grid”. When he is not working he spends his time with his wife and dog George, in the cabin he built in upstate New York.


Flying Horse Big Band Roster


Logos for UCF and Dr. Phillips Center
We extend particular gratitude to the staff and administration of Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts for their partnership over the past ten years.

Thank You to Our Supporters

Logos for LIFE at UCF, OUC The Reliable One, Florida Arts and Culture, Downtown Orlando, Rockley Family Foundation, and Sigma Alpha Iota Philanthropies Inc.

Sponsored in part by the State of Florida through the Division of Arts and Culture and the National Endowment for the Arts.

  • The Judith and David Albertson Endowment in the Arts
  • Cartwright Family Humanities & Arts Endowment
  • Phil and Jane Easterling
  • LIFE at UCF
  • Orlando Downtown Development Board
  • OUC – The Reliable One
  • Women’s Club at UCF, Inc.

Thank You to Our Festival Partners

  • Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts
  • National Young Composers Challenge
  • Orlando Family Stage
  • Orlando Shakes
  • Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra
  • UCF College of Health Professions and Sciences
  • UCF Global Perspectives and International Initiatives
  • UCF Rosen College of Hospitality Management
  • Winter Park Institute
  • WUCF