The music of bassist/composer, Keith DeStefano is mercurial. He combines the traditional with the avant-garde, taut arrangements with free jazz, classical influences with genre music, angular bitonality with gentle lyricism, far out grooves with driving swing. 

He has been featured in DownBeat,  NPR, Channel 12 WHYY, 90.1 WRTI and radio stations across the country. In 2014 he was Music Director and arranger for a 17 piece big band at the OutBeat International Jazz Festival in Philadelphia. He has performed with Puzzlebox at the Cape May Jazz Fest, West Oak Lane Jazz Festival, World Café Live, Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz, West Chester University, University of Pennsylvania, Trenton Grounds for Sculpture, Chris Jazz Café, West Oak Lane Jazz Festival, Twins, Ortleibs, World Café Live, and numerous venues in the region.
 
Fortunate to be exposed to the rich Philadelphia jazz tradition, Keith has shared the stage with Terrell Stafford, Tim Warfield, Monnette Sudler, Odean Pope, Trudy Pitts, Mathew Clayton, Bobby Zankel, Tyrone Hill of Sun Ra, Sid Simmons, Craig McGiver,  and many other jazz luminaries.. In addition he’s performed with the Philadelphia Boys Choir.
 
He has been awarded two grants from the American Composers Forum in 2006 and 2010. A 2013 grant from the Philadelphia Jazz Project which will allow him to record a 3rd Puzzlebox CD this year. The music in his 2010 release , “A Pace To Be,” was described by Michael West of the Washington CityPaper as taut, edgy, and full of surprises…but surprisingly catchy and lyrical throughout,” and who Karl Stark of the Philadelphia Inquirer described as , “Ambitious writing often creating a sizzle that ignites his soloists.” In 2006 he released an EP with his avant groove trio, Yellowbrain. In addition to writing for his octet, Keith has composed chamber and choral music, as well as music for solo mandolin and guitar.
 
Keith studied classical bass with Robert Riccardi, principal bassis for the Pennsyvania Ballet, for eight years. He studied classical composition with Andrea Clearfield and arranging with Norman David. His jazz education came from Tyrone Brown, Odean Pope, and Trudy Pitts.
 
Keith has been described in the words of Homer Jackson, director of the Philadelphia Jazz Project, as, “…one of the studious legions of the great Charles Mingus… With a lushness and rich, warm tonality, that can be sweet or dangerous. Puzzlebox shares music of great texture, depth, and voluptuousness”

Stan Slotter (trumpet/flute) has performed with Cecil Taylor at Carnegie Hall, Philly Joe Jones at Livingston College, Grover Washington Jr., Bobby Zankel, and Seamus Eagan. He has toured Europe multiple times with the Klingon Klezmer Band, and is a member of numerous local acts: Ronnie James and the Jez Hot Swing Club, City Rhythm Orchestra, Ed Wise’s New Orleans Jazz Band, Atzilut, Mnias, Orquestra Panama, Orquesta Lucena, and many others.

Stan studied trumpet with Sigmund Hering (Philadelphia Orchestra),Carmine Caruso (New York City), Mike Natale (Mike Douglas Show), Bob McCoy (Tonight Show)
Laurie Frink (New York City). He studied trumpet with Carol Light (Toronto Symphony)
Adeline Tomasone, Patricia Kendall (Philadelphia Opera Co. & PA Ballet)
John Krell (Philadelphia Orchestra)

Joe Falcey (drums) is a New Jersey native. He has been performing music in the U.S. and internationally for the last 20 years. Joe holds a degree in Music from Kean University where he studied performance, composition, and music education. He also studied privately under master drummers Dave McGraw, Tony DeNicola (Harry James), Joe Morello (Dave Brubeck), and Ari Hoenig (Kenny Werner, Joe Lovano, and Mike Stern).

He has shared the stage with Glenn McClelland (Blood Sweat & Tears & Ween), Pete Kuzma (Jill Scott), B.D. Lenz, Richie Cole, Eric Alexander, Brian Trainor, Tom Pass, Steve Kramer, Doris Spears, John Swana, Rob Paparozzi, Steve Varner, Gary Mazzaroppi, and many others.

Maxfield Gast (soprano/alto saxophone) grew up studying jazz and classical music at Philadelphia's own Settlement Music School. He recieved a Bachelor's Degree in Music Performance at Temple University. Max has performed in a wide variety of venues and festivals across the country including New York's Carnegie Hall and Jazz at Lincoln Center; Philadelphia's Academy of Music; SXSW Festival in Austin, TX; Ottawa Bluesfest in Ontario; Creative Arts Center in New Orleans; and Milwaukee's Summerfest. Maxfield has performed with Sharon Little (CBS); Scot Sax (Wanderlust, Faith Hill); Grover Washington Jr.; Dana LeonG; Grammy nominated Ryan Shaw, Antonique Smith (Notorious), and Naomi Shelton and the Gospel Queens; Doodlebug (Digable Planets); Jaleel Shaw; Bilal; Tony Catastrophe (Kilo, Fathead); Chuck Treece (Billy Joel, Urge Overkill); Ziv Ravitz (Lee Konitz); Mike Boone's Bass Direct; Edgar Bateman's Truth; Terrell Stafford; Dick Oatts; Janek Gwizdala; Rodney Green; Derrick Hodge; Christian McBride; Kenny Barron; Betty Carter; and has toured with several acts including an American Music Award winning band, the Bomb Squad. Maxfield continues to compose and record his own music and performs regularly in New York and Philadelphia.

Mark Allen (baritone saxophonist/bass clarinet) hails from Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, but has lived and worked in the Philadelphia area for the last four years. Mark currently attends the University of the Arts where he is completing a Bachelor's Degree in Woodwind Performance. He has had the privilege of studying with Joel Frahm, Ben Schachter, Chris Farr, and Ron Kerber. In addition to co-leading several ensembles such as "Bright Lights" and "Chordless Quartet," Mark is an active member of The Norman David Eleventet (members include Dick Oatts, John Swana, and Ben Schachter). He has shared the stage with jazz luminaries such as Marcus Belgrave, Wycliffe Gordon, and Tim Hagans, among others. Mark is also active in the Philadelphia theater scene as a woodwind player in theaters such as The Merriam Theater and The Media Theatre.

Steven Gokh is a young and talented Tenor Saxophonist from Philadelphia, PA. Steven graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Jazz Performance from Temple University in 2008 and is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Jazz Performance from William Paterson University, concluding in the spring of 2010. Steven has studied with Terell Stafford, Dick Oatts, Ben Schachter, David Demsey, Rich Perry, and Mulgrew Miller, and has shared the stage with Frank Wess, Nicholas Payton, Branford Marsalis, Clark Terry, and The Vanguard Orchestra, among others. Steven also took part the 2008 Den Hague Jazz Festival and the 2008 Detroit Jazz Festival as lead tenor sax for the Temple University Big Band.


Anam Owili-Eger is a much-in-demand Philadelphia pianist known for his versatility and dazzling improvisational skills. He has performed with Terrell Stafford, Tim Warfield, Monette Sudler, Bobby Zankel, Mathew Clayton, Elliott Levin, and many others. Anam is able to adapt effortlessly to any musical style, including Jazz, Rhythm and Bues, Rock, Soul, Hip Hop, Drum 'n' Bass, and Latin. He is the founding member of the jazz fusion group, Blue Scheme," and the avant groove bands, Yellowbrain," and "The Living Sample."


Larry Toft (trombone) has a Bachelor’s Degree in Jazz Performance from Temple University. He studied with Tyrone Brueninger (Philadelphia Orchestra), Don Collins, and Luis Bonilla (Village Vanguard Jazz Orchestra). He has performed with Jimmy Heath, Jon Faddis, Johnny Pacheco, Marty Ehrlich, Lalo Rodriguez, Johnny Rivera, and has been the principal trombonist for the last five years in Bobby Zankel’s avant big band, “The Warriors of Wonderful Sound.” For the last year and a half Larry has hosted a music series, “Avant Ascension,” dedicated to experimental jazz, electronica, and genre-defying music.