Adam, Caryn, Ian, and Tim. (Photo by Karyn Johnston.)

Standards & Substandards is a quartet (vocals, piano, bass, and drums) with roots in jazz and branches reaching out to everything else. The band delights in finding ways to re-create a pop song with a swing rhythm or a blues scale, the more ironic or whimsical the better. And we love to perform classic jazz standards along with the rest of it. We’ll play George Gershwin, Jonas Brothers, Stevie Wonder, and Duke Ellington compositions all in a row and just catch our breath long enough to string together an Eta James classic with Radiohead. All the while, we love to work improvisationally off of one another, so even we aren’t exactly sure what’s going to happen next.

The band formed in an improvisational moment as well, a testament to seizing moments when they arise. Children brought us together by accident, and there we were next to a piano and Caryn’s statement that she’d always wanted to play with a jazz ensemble. And now here we are, playing gigs and recording our music and having a good time. If you’d like to hear more of us, follow us around, or book us for an event, look us up at https://substandards.band.

Standards & Substandards is:

Caryn Crowley (vocals/diva)
Caryn happily steps into her professional role as a junior high history teacher, but at her core she’s always been a vocalist (and diva). Creating Standards & Substandards with the guys helped reignite her passion for music, and she can’t imagine a better way to spend her spare time than jamming in Tim’s basement and playing gigs.

Adam Johnston (piano)
Adam turns to a piano to find solace or vent frustration, so practicing and playing S&S gigs makes him a better human being. When he’s not learning riffs and chord changes, he teaches physics and works with teachers in science education.

Tim Herzog (bass)
Tim has the expertise to remodel a kitchen, remake a camping trailer, or reform a chemistry teaching lab. He’s also grown up playing bass and has accompanied jazz groups throughout his life, and his fretless bass and playing draw attention for all the right reasons.

Ian Marshall (drums)
Ian is the member of the band with real credentials and a degree in music, as well as a long list of performance credits. He’s an inspiration and mentor to lots of budding musicians, including the members of S&S, a long list of grateful high school students, and his own children.