Drummer/Composer/Producer Stockton Helbing has had a very busy last few years. Immediately after completing his undergraduate degree from the University of North Texas , Helbing was hired by his longtime hero, jazz trumpet legend Maynard Ferguson.
Helbing spent almost four years touring around the world with his friend and mentor until Ferguson 's sudden passing in August 2006. In addition to holding the drum chair, Helbing served as Music Director as well as producer for Ferguson 's final studio album, The One and Only , which was recorded only four weeks before the icon's death. The album features an all-star band of Maynard's favorite alumni including Wayne Bergeron, Denis DiBlasio, Chip McNeill, and Steve Wiest.
In September 2006, Helbing was music director and drummer for the Maynard Ferguson Tribute concert in St. Louis , MO. The star-studded event featured a big band comprised of some of the best musicians in the business paying tribute to Ferguson 's entire musical history. The event (which features Helbing conducting the band) will soon be released on DVD.
In the aftermath of losing his friend and hero, Helbing focused on his newest album project, For Nothing is Secret (Armored Records). The 2007 all original music album features Helbing's drumming, producing, composing, and arranging skills. It also featured, trumpeter Ken Edwards, trombonist Steve Wiest, saxophonist Chip McNeill, pianist David Braid, guitarist Noel Johnston, and bassist Brian Mulholland. In reviewing the album, AllAboutJazz.com commented “ When the grade is entered, it's no Secret that Helbing has passed this latest test with room to spare and continues to show promise as a drummer and leader .”
For Nothing is Secret is the follow up to Helbing's 2005 release Lodestar (NohJoh Music) which was selected by Maynard Ferguson to be a part of his MF Presents series, a selection that made Helbing both the only drummer and the youngest musician ever to hold such honors.
Stockton maintains a full schedule of performing, teaching, producing, and recording. In addition to his own groups, Stockton performs and records with trumpeter Ken Edwards, bassist Brian Mulholland, guitarist Clay Ross, and saxophonist Tyler Summers among others. Stockton also recently launched his own record label, Armored Records, which focuses on all original music releases.