About the band

Septessence is a jazz septet led by bassist Nashir Janmohamed.

Nashir studied jazz bass and composition at UCLA in California, before moving to Orlando to study computer science at UCF. While there, he formed Septessence with other musicians he met as part of the UCF jazz program.

Septessence plays a mix of original compositions by members of the band, as well as arrangements of other music, including jazz standards.


Live at Blue Bamboo, 7/26/2023

Fre(e)d - Nashir Janmohamed

Catching fireflies - Nashir Janmohamed

Big House - Rick DiMuzio, arranged Nashir Janmohamed

Processional - Dave Holland

Current Members

Joshua Mercado (trumpet)

Josh is an Orlando-native jazz trumpet player who is currently attending the University of Central Florida. He has performed with many of the greatest jazz musicians playing around the world such as Joel Frahm, Clarence Penn, and Alex Claffy among others. He's also performed with numerous major artists who made hit songs that were on the billboard top 100 such as Shawn Stockman from "Boys II Men", Joey Fatone, and Chris Kirkpatrick from "Nsync". He's performed at Smalls Jazz Club in New York with some of his peers at UCF and is a reoccurring artist to many venues across Orlando.

Quint Johnson (alto/soprano sax)

Originally from Orlando, Florida, Quint is a recent graduate of the University of Central Florida (class of 2023), where he majored in music. At UCF, he studied saxophone with Jeff Rupert, and also studied music with Richard Drexler, Per Danielson, and Clarence Penn, and was a member of the renowned Flying Horse Big Band for 3 out of his 4 years in the program.

Fortunato Occhino (tenor sax)

Originally from Buffalo, New York, Fortunato is a saxophonist, composer, arranger, and private instructor from Orlando, Florida, and is currently a senior at the University of Central Florida. Throughout his high school years, he played tenor saxophone with the Heat Latin Jazz Band, performing at various venues across Southwest Florida, and was also a part of the Naples Philharmonic Youth Jazz Orchestra, directed by Dan Miller and Lew Del Gatto. Fortunato received instruction from notable saxophonists Zachary Deeter and Lew Del Gatto, as well as jazz improvisation guidance from Dan Miller. He is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in Music Performance with a focus on Jazz Studies, studying saxophone with Jeff Rupert, a Pegasus Professor at UCF. He has also taken private lessons from notable musicians such as Alexander Claffy, Clarence Penn, and Ryan Devlin. As a member of the Flying Horse Big Band at UCF, Fortunato has shared the stage with Clarence Penn, George Garzone, Joel Frahm, Michael Phillip Mossman, Carl Fischer, and Wycliff Gordon.

Noah Charles (guitar)

Originally from Naples, Florida, Noah is a graduate of UCF, where he studied Jazz performance and composition. He has performed in venues across Florida; as a sideman, he has performed at Blue Bamboo, Timucua and the Sanford Jazz Festival. In 2022, Noah recieved 1st place in the Central Jazz Society Scholarship Competition. After graduating from UCF, Noah plans to work on new music, and pursue music full time - performing, composing, and teaching.

Richard Drexler (piano)

Multi-instrumentalist, composer, arranger and producer Richard Drexler, an Illinois native, has been based in Florida since 1985. He toured regularly with the Jeff Berlin Trio starting in 2001, and on occasion with the Woody Herman Orchestra and trombonist John Allred, among others. He worked as bassist in the Kenny Drew Jr. trio and regularly appears as a bassist or pianist/vocalist in the jazz clubs of central Florida. Other notable singers and instrumentalists he has accompanied include Mel Torme, Tony Bennett, Al Jarreau, Nat Adderley, Gary Burton, Stanley Clarke, Vinnie Coliauta, Paquito d'Rivera, Woody Herman Orchestra, Chick Corea, Chris Potter, the Four Freshmen, and many others. He is an adjunct faculty member in the jazz department of the University of Central Florida in Orlando and has his own private teaching studio.

Nashir Janmohamed (bass, bandleader)

Originally from Los Angeles, California, Nashir Janmohamed is a graduate of UCLA, where he studied Jazz performance and composition. He has performed across the US (Catalina Bar and Grill, Jazz at LACMA, Central Avenue Jazz Festival, Vail Jazz Festival, Blue Whale, Café 939, Whisky a Go Go, etc.) and has shared the stage with greats such as Kenny Burrell, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, John Clayton, Cody Dear, and Kiefer. Nashir has worked in various professional pit orchestras, and spent a summer playing in the house band on a cruise line. After graduating from UCLA, Nashir began studying computer science at the University of Central Florida, but still pursues his passion for music by writing original compositions and arranging jazz standards for Septessence and playing in various other groups in the Orlando area.

James Fortune (drums)

Originally from Naples, Florida, James is a recent graduate of the University of Central Florida, where he majored in music. At UCF, he studied with Marty Morell for two years, and Clarence Penn for two years; he was also a member of the Flying Horse Big Band for two years. Since graduating from UCF, James has been performing in the Orlando area, and is currently working on his own music, as well as developing his skills as a producer.

Former Members/subs

Daniel Tenbusch (piano)

Jamesly Jean-Mary (drums)

Robert Schmidt (trumpet)

Marco Bojorquez (bass)


To book Septessence to play at your venue or event, please contact Nashir Janmohamed at We look forward to sharing our music with you!

Upcoming performances

Check back soon!

Past performances