Artist Highlight – Shambhu

Shambhu released Soothe CD in February this year
Shambhu released Soothe CD in February this year

In today’s modern world, people are feeling more disconnected and stressed than ever. Shambhu transforms the stillness and silence of meditation into calming sounds. An acclaimed guitarist and composer, Shambhu delivers a deeply soulful and self-reflective experience with his third studio album, Soothe, was released on  February 1, 2017.

Shambhu recorded his new CD, “SOOTHE,” at Magic Cottage Studios (Lagunitas, CA) with producer Todd Boston. Artists featured on the CD include Shambhu on acoustic and electric guitars, Michael Manring on bass, Jeff Haynes on percussion, Frank Martin on piano, Paul McCandless on reeds, Premik Russell Tubbs on soprano sax and wind synth, George Brooks on soprano sax, Ravichandra Kulur on bansuri flute, Kristin Hoffmann on vocals, and Gurumurthy V on tabla.

As noted album reviewer, John Apice, states in his stellar review: “At first, unfamiliar ears will find this particular tune of Shambhu’s too dreamy. Upon closer listen it will reveal subtle instrumental nuances that weave equally beautifully as Reverberi, Morricone, and Kaemphert had — through every measure. This at least, is my interpretation and where I believe the greatness of Shambhu could possibly lie. If it becomes true, he would occupy quite a respectable space beside these musicians. “Time Travel,” has a sprightlier guitar — similar in nature to Pat Metheny — and the horns are smooth as silk. The strum of the acoustic guitars is Kaemphert in nature. But overall, the style is brilliantly developed by Shambhu – who plays acoustic and electric guitars, adds voice, tosses in a 6-string ukulele, e-sitar and e-pads.”

John Apice goes on to say: “The title track “Soothe,” opens with pristine and pensive acoustic guitar. At times this kind of music is similar to passages performed by The Moody Blues at their height. However, Shambhu is not just offering a sample, but an entire piece with female vocals just under the surface, soaring benevolently. The tone is similar to acoustic guitar master Leo Kottke and is intricately beautiful in the same way as many of his classic instrumentals.”  Full Article

Shambhu invites you into his “Soothe” sound scapes of perfect harmony. He provides an energetic field that is conducive for a deep meeting with your Self, a space and a time conducive to integrate your ID with your Higher Self. His spiritual music of Soothe, his knowledge of meditation, and expertise in harmonizing energies allows you to shed the stresses of every day life. Join him on this spiritual journey to get in tune again with Gaia Nature and your own Nature from a spiritual sense. Feel as mellow as though you were sitting on the beach in Maui, right in the heart of NYC or where ever you are burdened with a hectic schedule.

As a successful business man Shambhu (Neil) Vineberg knows all about the pressures of dealing with time, traffic, presentations, deadlines, family commitment, investments, health and changes in politics and trends. To stay calm and balanced Shambhu began at a very young age to learn how to meditate. He now will share his ability to harmonize his energy body with you to allow you to benefit from his many years of studying and practicing the spiritual teachings of the Sri Chinmoy, Jack Kornfield, and many more.

The Shambhu Harmonics allows you to breathe deep, let go of everyday stressors, smoothe out the wrinkles of the many challenges you face and allows you guilt free “me time” guiding you back to you centered self. Come join us and experience the harmony that is created when like-minded people join together and focus on peace and harmony. Give your heart and mind a tune-up on a cell level.  The next Shambhu Harmonics event will be held in San Diego on May 23rd at the Pilgrimage Yoga.  You may also enjoy his upcoming concerts at a variety of San Diego wineries.

To buy the CD visit Amazon, Itunes or your favorite store. It is also available on Spotify, or purchase it right on Shambhu’s store.

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

At C’era Una Volta, a romantic night of Italian Food and Opera in Alameda this Sunday, February 19, 2017

Clarissa Lyons by Marielle Hayes
Clarissa Lyons by Marielle Hayes

Why don’t you create one of the most romantic follow ups for your successful Valentine’s effort and bring your loved one to one of the most romantic settings in the Bay Area.  The quaint family atmosphere with amazing art by a word famous artist, whose paintings hang in the San Francisco Opera as well as all over Europe, is complimented by fantastic food, impeccable services which allows you to make your sweet heart feel like a princess or queen, or prince or king as the case maybe.   Being served by people who take pride in giving you a genuine old-world pleasure will create long term happy memories for you both. And if you have been married for along time, you may want to bring your grand children and introduce them to opera in a way that will open up their hearts to the finer things in life.

In 2014 Open Tables voted C’era Una Volta the Best Bay Area Italian restaurant.  It is located on 1332 Park Street, in Alameda and offers parking in the rear of the building.

This weekend there is a fundraiser that provides world class opera singers performances, a four course meal, and the first glass of wine for the small price of  a $95 per person of which $45 will given to the James Toland Vocal Arts programs.  The program cultivates and supports talents who aspire a professional career as vocal performers.

The Artists
Clarissa Lyons – rising star soprano

She will make her Metropolitan Opera debut as Karolka in Janáček’s Jenůfa in October of 2016 and will sing Countess Ceprano in Verdi’s Rigoletto in January and April 2017.

Clarissa Lyons by Marielle Hayes
Clarissa Lyons by Marielle Hayes

Ms. Lyons was vocal fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center in both 2011 and 2012.  Highlights from those residencies include performances Ravel’s Trois Poemes de Stephane Mallarmé, Prokofiev’s Ugly Duckling, Chausson’s Chanson Perpetuelle, Monteverdi’s Lamento d’Arianna, and excerpts of Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride with Susan Graham and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. She and pianist Bretton Brown have appeared in recital at Opera America’s National Opera Center, the WMP Concert Hall in New York City, and the Sunset Center in Carmel, California in the Winner’s Recital for the Carmel Music Society. Ms. Lyons has appeared as a soloist with the UC Berkeley University Chorus, with the Vermont Philharmonic, and San Francisco Choral Society at Davies Symphony Hall in their performance of Mendelssohn’s  Elijah featuring Rod Gilfry.  More

Arnold Livingston Geis – rising star Tenor

Arnold Livingston Geis, tenor, is a Los Angeles based musician and performer originally from Washington State. Geis began his career in Southern California as a church soloist. In 2013 marked Geis’ first season as a chorister in Los Angeles Opera’s performances of Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman. He has since performed on the Dorothy Chandler stage in favorites such as Carmen, La Traviata, and Billy Budd.

Geis  sings with the Los Angeles Master Chorale, an opportunity that has lead him to appear at the Walt Disney Concert Hall as a soloist in Handel’s Messiah, Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, and Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis. Geis’ most recent stage credits include Cavaliere Belfiore in Il viaggio a Reims, Chevalier in Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites, Laurie Lawrence in Little Women, and Ferrando in Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte.

He is honored to have worked under the esteemed conductors Gustavo Dudamel, Michael Tilson Thomas, James Conlon, and Grant Gershon. An active session singer, Geis’ voice can be heard in recent blockbusters such as After Earth, Maze Runner, Godzilla, The Rise of the Planet of the Apes, 50 Shades of Grey, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. He holds a BM in vocal performance from Biola University and graduated with his MM in vocal arts from The University of Southern California.

Clara Osowski – Mezzo Soprano

Clara Osowski’s recently completed the Vancouver International Song Institute, the International Workshop on the songs of Edvard Grieg in Bergen, Norway, and traveled to Tours, France to attend the Académie Francis Poulenc. She was also featured in the 2014 Baldwin-Wallace Art Song Festival, in Berea, Ohio and competed in the 2014 International Vocal Competition in s’Hertogenbosch, Netherlands. In 2015, she was the only American to reach the finals of the Das Lied competition under the direction of Thomas Quasthoff in Berlin, Germany. This past October Clara was a finalist in the Liederkranz Foundation in New York City. Numerous festivals have introduced Clara to a number of international artists and art-song masters, including Graham Johnson, Felicity Lott, Francois Le Roux, Julius Drake, Irwin Gage, and Richard Stokes.

Clara Osokowski at the Indiana State Contemporary Music Festival
Clara Osokowski at the Indiana State Contemporary Music Festival

James Kallembach’s Songs on Letters of John and Abigail Adams with the Lydian Quartet on the occasion of the Adams’ 250th wedding anniversary at their historic home in Quincy, Massachusetts, and Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with the Bel Canto Chorus of Milwaukee. In addition to her solo work, she participates in a number of ensembles, including Consortium Carissimi, Lumina Women’s Ensemble, the Rose Ensemble and Seraphic Fire.  More

Austin Siebert

Baritone-Austin Siebert just completed the Merola Opera Program and performed the roles of Mr. Gobineau in Menotti’s The Medium and Marco in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi. Siebert also covered Dr. Malatesta in Donizetti’s Don Pasquale. Additional recent engagements include outreach with the Dallas Opera as Belcore in Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore, Mustafá in Rossini’s L’italiana in Algeri with Seagle Music Colony, and the German General in Kevin Puts’ Silent Night with Fort Worth Opera Festival. Austin recently earned a Master of Music Degree in Vocal Performance at the University of North Texas, where he was seen as Dappertutto/Coppélius in Offenbach’s Les contes d’Hoffmann, Pritschitsch in Lehár’s Die lustige Witwe, and the title role in Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd. Mr. Siebert received his bachelors from Northwestern University and is a native of Shelbyville, IN.

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Norah Jones will release her new CD, Day Breaks, on October 7th, 2016.

Norah Jones will release her new CD on October 7th, 2016
Norah Jones will release her new CD on October 7th, 2016

Norah Jones has announced the October 7 global release of Day Breaks (Blue Note Records), her stunning sixth solo album which is a kindred spirit to the singer’s breakout debut Come Away With Me and finds the 9-time GRAMMY-winner returning to the piano and her roots. The album features jazz luminaries including her Blue Note label mates saxophonist Wayne Shorter, organist Dr. Lonnie Smith, and drummer Brian Blade on a 12-song set that presents 9 new originals alongside covers of songs by Horace Silver, Duke Ellington and Neil Young.

“This new album, Day Breaks, feels full circle because I’m going back to my early influences,” says Norah. “After the first record, I drifted away from the piano a little bit. I still played it, but was more inspired to write on guitar. I really loved playing piano on this record.”

Born March 30, 1979, in New York City, Norah Jones, the daughter of Ravi Shankar quietly grew up in Texas with her mother. While she always found the music of Billie Holiday and Bill Evans both intriguing and comforting, she didn’t really explore jazz until attending Dallas’ Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. During high school, Jones won the Down Beat Student Music Awards for Best Jazz Vocalist and Best Original Composition in 1996, and earned a second Best Jazz Vocalist award in 1997.

Learn more about Norah Jones at Blue Note.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Rolando Morales September 2016 Calendar

Rolando Morales Trio at Pairings Cellars
Rolando Morales Trio at Pairings Cellars

Hola, Mi Gente!

The year is flying by like a ghost.  Are we already entering the last quarter?  Did we really lose so many?  Are these events really happening?

Throughout it all, I continue to perform my private and public shows throughout La Bahia and beyond, endeavoring to create good, positive feelings by sharing my music and passion.  I feel grateful to still be doing so as frequently as I do.  

September brings more of these blended opportunities, so please join me when you can!  I’m looking forward to some great private wine country events and playing for a repeat client that should bring in around 1,500 people.  

Publicly, I’m looking forward to Saturday Sept 10 from 8-11pm, when a new version of my Trio performs at Pairings Cellars, the brand new Pleasanton night spot.  We’ll have the great Brazilian drummer Celso Alberti; the deeply grooving bassist Dewayne Pate; and I’ll lead the way on guitar, guitar synth and voice.  Free!  Details below.

For those of you keeping score, after months away, I’m also returning to Barone’s Restaurant on Saturday Sept 17,also in Pleasanton.  Details below.

I’m also very happy to be contributing to the annual fund raiser put on by my beautiful friends at Sionfonds to benefit the children and their families in Haiti.  These people really do exceptional work, have big hearts and start it all from right here in Oakland.  The party happens on Sunday Sept 25 from 4-8pm at Venga Paella in Oakland.  It’s a great night out with authentic paella dinners, sangria and other libations, Haitian crafts, and I’ll be providing the musical sound track.  I urge you to click on their site to learn more and make your reservations. www.sionfonds.org.  You can also reserve here:  http://www.pingg.com/rsvp/pk8a76g22yq3zbkhp.   

There’s much more happening in your new Calendar, so check it out and say “Hola!”  See you at the show!

Ciao,

Rolando 

LAST PUBLIC PERFORMANCE FOR SEPTEMBER 2016

Friday Sept 2, Don Pico’s Mexican Bistro, 461 El Camino Real, San Bruno, 6 to 9 pm.  After almost a month away, Rolando returns to the place The Examiner and Independent have proclaimed has the “Best Seafood and Best Mexican Food” anywhere, on solo guitar and voice in the Restaurant Room.  Call (650) 589-1163www.donpicosbistro.com.

Sunday Sept 4, Maria, Maria Cantina, 1470 North Broadway, Walnut Creek, approx 2-5pm.  Rolando returns for the Maria, Maria Tardeada series.  Enjoy a Mexican brunch outdoors and Rolando performing on the newly renovated front patio on solo guitar and voice by the creek.  He may be joined by flautist Bob Harrison.  www.mariamariarestaurants.com(925) 946-1010.

Saturday Sept 10, Pairings Cellars, 310 Main Street, Pleasanton CA 94566, 8-11pm.  Rolando returns to this new, exciting social hotspot in downtown Pleasanton.  This new wine bar features fine wines, tapas and the Rolando Morales Trio, this time featuring from Brazil, the superb drummer from Steve Winwood and Airto, the great Celso Alberti; bassist from Arturo Sandoval, Robben Ford and so many more, the great Dewayne Pate; and Rolando Morales leading the way on guitar, guitar synth and voice.  Free! www.pairingscellars.com(925) 398-8846.

Sunday Sept 11, Maria, Maria Cantina, 1470 North Broadway, Walnut Creek, approx 2-5pm.  Enjoy a Mexican brunch and Rolando performing on the newly renovated front patio on solo guitar and voice by the creek.  If it’s too hot, it will be indoors.   He may be joined by Bob Harrison on flute.   www.mariamariarestaurants.com,   (925) 946-1010.

Tuesday Sept 13, Maria, Maria Cantina, 710 Camino Ramon Road, Danville CA, approx 6-9pm.  Rolando returns to Carlos Santana’s most elegant restaurant for Taco Tuesday.  $1 tacos, baby!  And Rolando on solo guitar and voice with his diverse repertoire performing out on the patio by the fire pits.  (925) 820-2366.  See www.mariamariarestaurants.com.

Friday Sept 16, Don Pico’s Mexican Bistro, 461 El Camino Real, San Bruno, 6 to 9 pm.   Celebrate 16 de Septiembre, Mexican Independence Day with Rolando  as returns on solo guitar and voice in the intimate Restaurant Room.  (650) 589-1163 and see www.donpicosbistro.com.

Saturday Sept 17, Barone’s Restaurant, 475 St. John St., Pleasanton CA, approx 7:30-10:30pm.   Rolando returns to one of Pleasanton’s premier dining establishments.  Enjoy exquisite meals, libations and Rolando’s vast repertoire in the Cocktail Lounge for a great night out.  See www.baronespleasanton.com(925) 426-0987.

Sunday Sept 18, Maria, Maria Cantina, 1470 North Broadway, Walnut Creek, approx 2-5pm.  Enjoy a Mexican brunch at Carlos Santana’s lively cantina and Rolando performing on the newly renovated front patio on solo guitar and voice by the creek. He may be joined by Bob Harrison on flute.   www.mariamariarestaurants.com,   (925) 946-1010.

Friday Sept 23, Don Pico’s Mexican Bistro, 461 El Camino Real, San Bruno, 6-9 pm.  Rolando  returns on solo guitar and voice, now in the intimate Restaurant Room.  Call (650) 589-1163 and www.donpicosbistro.com.

Sunday Sept 25, “Sionfonds for Haiti Presents: Party & Fund Raiser to Support Children & Their Families in Haiti,” Venga Paella, 229 Brush Street (at 3rd St.), Oakland 4 to 8pm.  Rolando lends a hand to some dear friends in their mission to provide education, nutrition, job training, community improvements and health care to rural Haitian families.  Enjoy a great party at this cool Oakland spot that will serve up a splendid paella dinner and drinks.  Bring a friend and meet smart, fun, caring people while Rolando Morales provides live entertainment on solo guitar and voice.  Bid for unique local and Haitian crafts and amazing services you’ll want, such as Haitian crafts, catered dinners with live music (by me!) and more!  $45 includes dinner.  www.sionfonds.org.  Reserve here: http://www.pingg.com/rsvp/pk8a76g22yq3zbkhp

Tuesday Sept 27, Maria, Maria Cantina, 1470 North Broadway, Walnut Creek, approx. 6-9pm.  Rolando returns to Carlos Santana’s Walnut Creek restaurant for Taco Tuesday.  $1 tacos, baby!  Enjoy Rolando on solo guitar and voice with his huge repertoire and big sound out on the front patio.  See www.mariamariarestaurants.com, or call (925) 946-1010.

Friday Sept 30, Don Pico’s Mexican Bistro, 461 El Camino Real, San Bruno, 6-9 pm.   Rolando  returns on solo guitar and voice, now in the intimate Restaurant Room.  Call (650) 589-1163 and www.donpicosbistro.com.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Beverly Reiser creates new art collection: Contemplative Reflections

Beverly Reiser - On and On the tears must fall
Beverly Reiser – On and On the tears must fall

Beverly Reiser has been a prolific artist who has been exhibited all around the world.  For the past year she has started in a a new medium, pastels. We hope you enjoy her latest collection.

interactive multimedia installations using sound, video, and computer graphics:

ARTIST / CO-DEVELOPER

Vital Journey / Virtual Heart: a walk-in interactive multimedia installation for Exploration Place, a children’s science museum in Kansas, which takes children on a virtual journey through the human circulatory system, lungs and brain. Visitors complete the oxygen/carbon dioxide exchange using life-size video capture and interactive game technology. In collaboration with Gyroscope, Inc., and Vivid Group opened in April, 2000

 

ARTIST

private_loves/public_opera: A walk-in video “garden” with website which collects love stories, allows you to add your own love story. The web site is athttp://www.ylem.org/private_loves/public_opera/, San Francisco, Art Institute, Walter McBean Gallery, San Francisco, CA Dec.- Jan. 1996-1997, a collaboration with Barbara Lee

ARTIST

Que Viva Tu Recuerdo: Altars And Offerings for the Days of the Dead

An altar/ installation dedicated to the memory of Remedios Varo, Oakland Museum, CA, Oct. -Nov 1995, a collaboration with Lucia Grossburger Morales

 

Under the name of LIFE ON A SLICE:

( These are collaborations with Hans Reiser, Bill Fleming and Kimberley Edwards.)

ARTIST / CO-DEVELOPER:

VOICE GARDEN: LABYRINTH OF LOVE, LABYRINTH OF DESIRE, an interactive multimedia CD-ROM

 

Come, Human, spin in my Web! – A ride thru an A.I.’s persona

An A.I. sends an invitation out to Humans to visit the “web”. If they take up the invite, they adventure into either the “Cerebral Cathedral” or the ” Feral Forest”. Eventually they arrive at one of four possible endings having altered their own “data structure” or the environment.

 

Temple of the Goddesses – A virtual sacred space.

As the visitor moves thru the shrine complex they are engaged in various episodes (depending on the visitors response ) by goddesses Venus, Nemesis, the Psychedelic Cyber Pagan, etc. There are four possible endings with numerous episodes along the way.

 

The Phosphorescent Samurai and the Geisha Snail A surrealistic fable

Two inter-species mutants start on their ‘hero’s journey’ and, depending on choices made by the viewer along the way, are transformed accordingly. There is a final revelation unique to each of the eight possible endings.

HEART THEATER, Exploration Place, Wichita, Kansas opens April, 2000

PRIVATE_LOVES / PUBLIC_OPERA, San Francisco Art Institute, Walter McBean Gallery, San Francisco, CA

Dec.- Jan. 1996-1997

2DO FESTIVAL INTERNACIONAL DE VIDEO Y ARTES ELECTRONICAS, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1996

INTEGRATED HEMISPERES: Woman/Art /Technology, Blasthaus, San Francisco, CA, May – June 1996

BURNING MAN FESTIVAL, South of Market Arts Center, San Francisco, Aug. 1995, 1996, 1998

INTERACTIVE COMMUNITIES, SIGGRAPH 95 Conference , Los Angeles, 1995

JUPITER AND THE COMETS, a program/event produced by the

Center for Extreme Ultraviolet Astophysics, 1994

THE UBIQUITOUS ART ZONE, the ACM’s Multimedia ’94 Conference, San Francisco, Ca, USA, Oct. 1994

PLEASE TOUCH ! , VIDEO SCULPTURE, Regional Center for the Arts,

Bedford Gallery, Walnut Creek, CA, Jan, 1994

THE INTERACTIVE EXPERIENCE, INTERACT ’93, conference of ACM’s SIG Computer Human Interface and INTERACT ( European ), Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 1993

LIFE ON A SLICE, tour of German University Art galleries, Feb.-May, 1992

SIGGRAPH ART SHOW ’92, Chicago, July, 1992

IMAGES DU FUTUR ’92, LA CITE DES ARTS ET NOUVELLES TECHNOLOGIES DU MONTREAL, Canada

TOMMOROW’S REALITIES: HYPERMEDIA, SIGGRAPH, Las Vegas, 1991

INTERACTIVE ART, Center for Extreme Ultraviolet Astrophysics, NASA, U.C. Berkeley

AMERICAN LIGHT ART, Takashimaya, Tokyo, Japan, 1989-90

NEO-NEON, One Market Plaza, Art Programs Inc., San Francisco, 1987

EXPANDED VISION: NEW TECHNOLOGIES IN ART, Jack Gallery, New York City, 1985

interviews, articles, & books:

Art & Technology at the Mining Co. web site, featured artist in Mindscapes on 11/06/97

LEONARDO, ( the cover of) Journal of the International Society for Arts Sciences and Technology, MIT Press, Vol. 29 #1, 1996

Microsoft’s magazine, feature: Art on the Internet: Rare Birds in Cyberspace, by Dominic Gates, http://home.microsoft.com/reading/features.asp, Feb. 26,1997

INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM OF ELECTRONIC ARTS ’96, CD ROM produced & distributed by MultiArtDisc, Eindhoven, Netherlands, 1996

ARTWEEK, article on art & technology by Barbara Fisher, Jan., 1996

 SIGGRAPH ’95 MULTIMEDIA CD-ROM, a publication of the ACM ‘s SIGGRAPH, 1995

COMPUTERS & GRAPHICS , Pergamom Press , and the IEEE’s COMPUTER GRAPHICS ,Special supplement joint issue edited by Carl Machover, “Aesthetic Considerations Unique to Interactive Multimedia” , May,1995

NEW SCIENTIST, “Netropolis”, “An Elephant Dancing” by Claire Neesham, April,1994

ARTISTS DATABASE CD-ROM , Project Intercommunication Center, Tokyo, 1993,1994,

ART IN THE ELECTRONIC AGE, by Frank Popper, pub. by Harry N. Abrams,1992, Paris, France

LEONARDO, Journal of the International Society for Arts Sciences and Technology,

San Francisco, CA, Jan, 1994

TECH-NATION, interview by Dr. Moira Gunn , National Public Radio, Aug, 1993

GD3D, GRAPHIC DESIGN IN THE THIRD DIMENSION, Ken & Leigh Cato, published by Graphic Sha, Tokyo, 1992

VERBUM, JOURNAL OF COMPUTER AESTHETICS, San Diego, CA, Dec. 1991

LET THERE BE NEON !, Vol. II, by Rudi Stern, NY,NY, 1991

CONTEMPORARY NEON, by Rudi Stern, NY, NY, 1992

NEW YORK TIMES, Business Section 3, The New Hollywood, Sept. 1991

COMPUTER GRAPHICS, Magazine of the I.E.E.E., Art in Virtual Reality, May, 1992

CYBER ARTS, published by Harper- Freeman, ed. by Linda Jacobson, Summer ,1992

offices & awards:

President of Ylem/ Artists Using Science And Technology , PO box 749, Orinda, CA, 94563, 1985-1999

Advisory Board, International Society for the Arts, Sciences, and Technology, San Francisco, CA, 1989-2000

Currently Chair of the Advisory Board

MicroTimes Magazine on it’s “MicroTimes 100”, their list of 100 people who’ve had a significant influence

on the computer industry, Dec., 1995

designer / co-founder / director (until 1999)

Ylem’s Art on the Edge, an art gallery on the world wide web: http://www.ylem.org/

External Advisory Panel member to Xerox PARC Artist-in Residence Program, 1993

Honorary Distinction in Interactive Art, PRIX ARS ELECTRONICA, Linz, Austria, 1992

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Artist Highlight: Laurent Mercier

Laurent Mercier and John Lee Hooker, Jr.
Laurent Mercier and John Lee Hooker, Jr.

Laurent Mercier was born in France in 1967. He spends a good part of his childhood on the road with his parents who are working in the music industry. Later he studies at the « école nationale supérieure des Beaux-arts » in Paris. He started his career as an independent multimedia artist, organizing collective exhibitions. He also worked with the publishing firm, Association for the Development of Multimedia Literature.

He exhibits regularly at the Galerie Donguy, 57 rue de la Roquette, in Paris. He organizes collective exhibitions from the artist action group created by Michel Journiac. He takes part in events on the subject of the artist condition and status in the society, in institutions like Unesco.

He joins Jacques Donguy in his publishing structure “Association for the Development of Multimedia Literature.”

He eventually created his own school “Studio Mercier” where he trains CG Artists, who are working currently in international production studios. He created his own production studio Callicore which allows him to provide services to musicians without any of the restraints often found in major media conglomerates.  Laurent Mercier, in short, has devoted his life to break through boundaries and to bring genuine, true art and freedom to his creations counter-balancing the boredom of what he calls “the cultural dictatorship of corporate media”.

Now with his own company, Callicore, he is in charge of all aspects of its projects, from pre-production to post-production, and retains a relatively independent and free nature. It is working out well for Laurent Mercier and his artist clients.  They won a Webby Award with John Lee Hooker, Jr. with the animated music video ”Blues ain’t Nothin’ but a Pimp” and expanded Callicore’s service offer with music production and music publishing.  More than a collaboration, John Lee Hooker Jr and Laurent Mercier developed the strong bond of a real brotherhood. Among the many illustrious artists co-produced by Laurent Mercier are a variety of projects with John Lee Hooker jr, Arrested Development, Carbon Silicon,The buzzcocks, The Meteors, The Washington Dead Cats, Marky Ramones Blitzkrieg, We Are The Fury, CAKE, Brian Setzer, Lee Rocker, Clinic Rodéo, Dr Feelgood and recently Iggy Pop.

Iggy Pop’s rendition of the classic “La Vie en Rose.”

At Callicore Studios, Laurent Mercier is the producer, director, CG artist, who collaborates with Marius Legrand, producer, lead animator, and are supported by their production assistant Anaelle Majidate.

Washington Dead Cats fun video of a groovy nightmare blues song.

One of the first collaborations between Mercier and Xavier Semens, who joined Callicore in 2006, was the animated video for Phantom Rider, a song from the 2007 album, Hymn for the Hellbound, by the British psychobilly group The Meteors. That same year, Callicore produced an animated video for Sound of a Gun, by the British punk band The Buzzcocks (the initial video was considered too violent for broadcast television, and a second, less violent version was released).

Callicore created the animated video for Blues Ain’t Nothin’ But a Pimp, a song from John Lee Hooker, Jr.’s Grammy Award-winning album, All Odds Against Me. The video portrays Hooker as a comic book character, “Bluesman”, who plays in clubs at night and cleans up the streets during the day. The video was a Webby Award honoree in the Special FX/Motion Graphics category in 2009. An image from the video was featured on the album’s cover.

In 2008, Callicore produced its first video for Carbon/Silicon, a band founded by Mick Jones, the former guitarist for The Clash, and bass player Tony James. In 2010, the studio produced the video for hip-hop group Arrested Development’s Bloody, as well as for When We Were Angels by Marky Ramone’s Blitzkrieg, a project of former Ramones drummer, Marky Ramone.[2]

In 2011, Callicore created the video for Cake’s Long Time, a track from the band’s comeback album, Showroom of Compassion. In an interview with Cake singer John McCrea, Mercier said the gloomy mood of the video, which follows the plight of a man and his monkey imprisoned in a dystopian world, was inspired directly by Cake’s music, which reminds him of “melancholy things.” McCrea was impressed by the video’s general movement and choreography, which he suggested are often lacking in music videos, and appreciated how Mercier perceived the non-humorous side of Cake’s music.

Callicore produced and directed videos for artists such as Brian Setzer, Lee Rocker, Eagle-Eye Cherry and Dr. Feelgood, from 2011 to 2013. The studio has continued its collaboration with John Lee Hooker, Jr., with several videos featuring the “Bluesman” character created for Blues Ain’t Nothin’ But a Pimp.

You can learn more about Laurent Mercier via his website, wiki, and facebook page.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Artist Highlight – Tony Bennett

Tony Bennett Happy Birthday
Tony Bennett Happy Birthday

“We aren’t likely to see a recording career like this again.”
— The New York Times

“…his voice is still a technical marvel, and no one else on Earth can make a lyric written eight decades ago sound as natural as a conversation at a coffee shop.”
— New York Magazine

Happy Birthday Tony Bennett

No one else in popular American music has recorded for so long and at such a high level of excellence as Tony Bennett. In the last ten years alone he has sold ten million records. The essence of his longevity and high artistic achievement was imbued in him in his loving childhood home in the Astoria section of Queens where he was born on August 3, 1926. His father died when Tony was 10 and his mother, Anna, raised Tony and his older brother and sister, John and Mary, in a home surrounded by loving relatives who were Tony’s first fans filling him with encouragement and optimism. He attended the High School of Industrial Arts in Manhattan, where he continued nurturing his two passions, singing and painting. From the radio he developed a love of music, hearing Bing Crosby, Louis Armstrong, and James Durante.

As a teenager Tony sang while waiting on tables, and then enlisted in the Army during World War II. While in Europe he performed with military bands. He later had vocal studies at the American Theatre Wing School. The first time Bennett sang in a nightclub was in 1946 when he sat in with trombonist Tyree Glenn at the Shangri-La in Astoria. Bennett’s big break came in 1949 when comedian Bob Hope noticed him working with Pearl Bailey in Greenwich Village in New York City. As Bennett recalls, “Bob Hope came down to check out my act. He liked my singing so much that after the show he came back to see me in my dressing room and said, ‘Come on kid, you’re going to come to the Paramount and sing with me.’ But first he told me he didn’t care for my stage name (Joe Bari) and asked me what my real name was. I told him, ‘My name is Anthony Dominick Benedetto’ and he said, ‘We’ll call you Tony Bennett.’ And that’s how it happened. A new Americanized name—the start of a wonderful career and a glorious adventure that has continued for over 60 years.”

With millions of records sold worldwide and platinum and gold albums to his credit, Bennett has received seventeen Grammy Awards—including a 1995 Grammy for Record of the Year for his “MTV Unplugged” CD, which introduced this American master to a whole new generation—and the Grammy Lifetime Award. His 2007 prime-time special, “Tony Bennett: An American Classic,” won seven Emmy Awards. His initial successes came via a string of Columbia singles in the early 1950’s, including such chart-toppers as “Because of You,” “Rags to Riches,” and a remake of Hank Williams “Cold, Cold Heart.” He had 24 songs in the Top 40, including “I Wanna Be Around,” “The Good Life,” “Who Can I Turn To (When Nobody Needs Me)” and his signature song, “I Left My Heart In San Francisco,” which garnered him two Grammy Awards.

Tony Bennett is one of a handful of artists to have new albums charting in the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, and now in the first two decades of the 21st century. He has introduced a multitude of songs into the Great American Songbook that have since become standards for pop music. He has toured the world to sold out audiences with rave reviews whenever he performs. Bennett re-signed with Columbia Records in 1986 and released the critically acclaimed The Art of Excellence. Since his 1991 show-stopping performance at the Grammy Awards of “When Do The Bells Ring For Me,” from his Astoria album, he has received a string of Grammy Awards for releases including Stepping Out, Perfectly Frank, and MTV Unplugged.

In the new millennium, Bennett’s artistry and popularity was higher than ever. In 2006, the year of his 80th birthday, his Duets: An American Classic was released. The album—which included performances with Paul McCartney, Elton John, Barbra Streisand, Bono, and others—won three Grammy Awards and went on to be one of the best selling CDs of the year and Tony’s career. Bennett’s first Duets album also inspired the Rob Marshall-directed television special Tony Bennett: An American Classic which won seven Emmys making it the most honored program at the 2007 Emmy Awards.

In celebration of his 85th birthday in 2011, the release of Bennett’s highly anticipated Duets II featured Tony performing with a new roster of celebrated artists including the late Amy Winehouse (her last recording was their duet of “Body and Soul”), Michael Bublé, Aretha Franklin, Josh Groban, Lady Gaga, John Mayer, and many others. Duets II debuted at #1 on the Billboard Album charts, making Tony the only artist at the age of 85 to achieve this in the history of recorded music. Bennett won two Grammys for Duets II in the 2012 Grammy ceremony and this year marked the 50th Anniversary of the recording and release of his signature song, “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.” A documentary entitled THE ZEN OF BENNETT, which was created and conceived by Danny Bennett, Tony’s son and manager, was premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2012. At the end of 2012, Bennett also authored his fourth book, the New York Times bestseller, LIFE IS A GIFT, which highlights his personal philosophies learned throughout his life and career.

Tony Bennett became a Kennedy Center Honoree in 2005, was named an NEA Jazz Master in January of 2006, a Citizen of the World award from the United Nations and a Billboard Magazine Century Award in honor of his outstanding contributions to music. Tony Bennett is a dedicated painter whose interest in art began as a child. He continues to paint every day, even as he tours internationally. He has exhibited his work in galleries around the world. The United Nations has commissioned him for two paintings, including one for their 50th anniversary. His original painting, “Homage to Hockney,” is on permanent display at the Butler Institute of American Art and the landmark National Arts Club in New York is home to Tony’s painting “Boy on Sailboat, Sydney Bay.” Three of his paintings are part of the Smithsonian Museums permanent collections including his portrait of his friend Duke Ellington that became part of the National Portrait Gallery’s collection in 2009.

Throughout his career, Tony Bennett has always put his heart and time into humanitarian concerns. He has raised millions of dollars for the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, which established a research fund in his name. His original paintings each year grace the cover of the American Cancer Society’s annual holiday greeting card, proceeds from which are earmarked for cancer research. He is active in environmental concerns and social justice. He marched with Dr. King in the historical Selma to Montgomery Civil Rights movement and the Martin Luther King Center in Atlanta bestowed upon him their “Salute to Greatness Award” for his efforts in fighting racial discrimination.

In 1999, Tony Bennett, with his wife Susan Benedetto, a former public school teacher, founded Exploring the Arts (ETA) to strengthen the role of the arts in public high school education. ETA connects private funders, individual artists, and cultural institutions to Partner Schools to achieve greater equality of resources and opportunity for youth of all means and backgrounds. ETA programs are designed to help school principals and teachers sustain the arts in the face of budget cuts and better leverage the arts to strengthen student learning and engagement. ETA’s first endeavor was the establishment of Frank Sinatra School of the Arts (FSSA), a public high school founded in 2001 by Tony and Susan in partnership with the NYC Department of Education. FSSA is housed in a newly constructed building in Tony’s hometown of Astoria, Queens. Its state of the art facilities include visual art studios and a gallery, black box theatres and a stagecraft workshop, dance studios, choral and orchestral classrooms, an 800-seat concert hall, a multi-media technology lab, and a rooftop performance garden. All students major in Dance, Theatre, Film, Fine Art, Vocal or Instrumental Music. FSSA also offers a rigorous academic curriculum and holds one of the highest graduation and college enrollment rates for NYC public high schools. ETA continued beyond its commitment to FSSA to expand their support and to date, ETA currently partners with 17 public high schools—14 in all five boroughs of New York City and 3 schools located in East Los Angeles.

Today Tony Bennett’s artistry and accomplishments are applauded here at home and all over the world from people from 12 to 90 years old. Recently former President Bill Clinton observed, “Now in his seventh decade of singing, Tony Bennett has somehow kept his unique voice, with its beauty and range, its strength and style, and still in perfect pitch. But as talented as he is, Tony’s most impressive quality is his giving spirit!”

zenofbennett.com

Help Tony Bennett, on his birthday to keep giving he gift of Art. exploringthearts.org

Enjoy this amazing show of this incredible life.  It is long and so, so rich.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Rolando Morales Public Performances for August 2016

Rolando Morales with fans at Maria Maria
Rolando Morales with fans at Maria Mari

Tuesday Aug 2, Maria, Maria Cantina, 710 Camino Ramon Road, Danville CA, approx. 6-9pm.  After 5 weeks away, Rolando finally returns to Carlos Santana’s most elegant restaurant for Taco Tuesday.  $1 tacos, baby!  And Rolando on solo guitar and voice with his diverse repertoire performing out on the patio by the fire pits.  (925) 820-2366.  See www.mariamariarestaurants.com.

Friday Aug 12, Don Pico’s Mexican Bistro, 461 El Camino Real, San Bruno, 6 to 9 pm.  Rolando returns to the place The Examiner and Independent have proclaimed has the “Best Seafood and Best Mexican Food” anywhere, on solo guitar and voice in the Restaurant Room.  Call (650) 589-1163www.donpicosbistro.com.

Saturday Aug 13, Pairings Cellars, 310 Main Street, Suite B, Pleasanton CA 94566, 8-11pm.  Rolando returns to this brand new, exciting social hotspot in downtown Pleasanton.  This new wine bar features fine wines, tapas and the Rolando Morales Trio, featuring from Paraguay, the thrilling violinist with Steve Miller and Arturo Sandoval, the great Carlos Reyes; from Venezuela, the Grammy-winning Latin percussionist/vocalist Omar Ledezma; and Rolando Morales leading the way on guitar, guitar synth and voice. Free!x www.pairingscellars.com(925) 398-8846.

Sunday Aug 14, Maria, Maria Cantina, 1470 North Broadway, Walnut Creek, approx 2-5pm.  Rolando returns for the Maria, Maria Tardeada series.  Enjoy a Mexican brunch outdoors and Rolando performing on the newly renovated front patio on solo guitar and voice by the creek.  He may be joined by flautist Bob Harrison.  www.mariamariarestaurants.com, or call (925) 946-1010.

Wednesday Aug 17, The San Jose Fairmont, Lobby Lounge, 170 South Market St., San Jose CA, 9pm-Midnight.  Rolando returns for you South Bay fans to this elegant venue.  Celebrate the night with fine wines, unique martinis, appetizers and sushi along with the Rolando Morales Duet, this time featuring the delightful violinist who played with the Gipsy Kings, Ms. Patricia Weiss; and Rolando Morales leading the way on guitar and vocals and his magic pedal board.  Free!  See www.fairmont.com/sanjose/ for info, or call (408) 998-1900.

Saturday Aug 20, Don Pico’s Mexican Bistro, 461 El Camino Real, San Bruno, 6 to 9 pm.   Rolando  returns on solo guitar and voice in the intimate Restaurant Room for a rare Saturday night performance.  Call (650) 589-1163 and see  www.donpicosbistro.com.

Sunday Aug 21, Maria, Maria Cantina, 1470 North Broadway, Walnut Creek, approx 2-5pm.  Enjoy a Mexican brunch and Rolando performing on the newly renovated front patio on solo guitar and voice by the creek.  If it’s too hot, it will be indoors.   He may be joined by Bob Harrison on flute.   www.mariamariarestaurants.com,   (925) 946-1010.

Friday Aug 26, Pairings Cellars, 310 Main Street, Suite B, Pleasanton CA 94566, 8-11pm.  Rolando returns to this brand new, exciting social hotspot in downtown Pleasanton.  This new wine bar features fine wines, tapas and this time, Rolando on solo guitar and voice.  Free! www.pairingscellars.com(925) 398-8846.

Saturday Aug 27, Vine at Bridges, 480 Hartz Avenue, Danville, approx 8-11pm.  The Rolando Morales Duet returns to this cool winery and nightspot.  Enjoy a wonderful selection of wines, superb dinners and munchies while enjoying this powerful duet.  Tonight Rolando reunites with the charismatic Latin percussionist/vocalist from George Benson and Prince, the delightful Estaire Godinez; and on guitar, voice and his pedal board of magic, the passionate Rolando Morales.  They’ll cover the musical spectrum.  Don’t miss it!  www.thevineatbridges.com(925) 820-7210

Sunday Aug 28, Maria, Maria Cantina, 1470 North Broadway, Walnut Creek, approx 2-5pm.  Enjoy a Mexican brunch at Carlos Santana’s lively cantina and Rolando performing on the newly renovated front patio on solo guitar and voice by the creek. He may be joined by Bob Harrison on flute. www.mariamariarestaurants.com,   (925) 946-1010.

Tuesday Aug 30, Maria, Maria Cantina, 710 Camino Ramon Road, Danville CA, approx 6-9pm.  Rolando returns to Carlos Santana’s most elegant restaurant for Taco Tuesday.  $1 tacos, baby!  And Rolando on solo guitar and voice with his diverse repertoire performing out on the patio by the fire pits.  We’ll see if he has any special guests sitting in…  (925) 820-2366www.mariamariarestaurants.com

All other shows are private.  Why not hire Rolando for your own private event?  He’s available for corporate shows, weddings, parties, concerts and festivals. The Rolando Morales group is available as sextet, quintet, quartet, trio and duo depending on your entertainment needs and budget.  

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Rolando Morales thoughts this week and August 2016 Calendar

Rolando Morales at private event
Rolando Morales at private event
A member of Parliament to Disraeli: "Sir, you will either die on the gallows or of some unspeakable disease.”
 "That depends, Sir, " said Disraeli, “whether I embrace your policies or your mistress."
 Aaahh… The good old days, when low-cutting political insults required wit and eloquence.

August 1, 2016

Hola, Mi Gente!

July’s political theater has helped the month scurry by.  When coupled with the positive experiences of so many private events I played through last week, the month seemed but a blink of an eye.  (Which reminds me…  For those of you who have been asking, yes, my right eye is so much improved, but I still have an intermittent white veil that obstructs part of my vision, but that should go away within a few more weeks.)

Through it all, my August Calendar suddenly reveals itself tomorrow, Tuesday August 2nd with my first appearance in almost 6 weeks at Maria, Maria in Danville from 6-9pm.  That will be my only public appearance of the week, as I will be doing only private events for the next  week.

After I return, there will be plenty of public shows to chose from throughout August.  Some highlights include an exciting version of my Trio performing on Saturday August 13 at the brand new Pairings Cellars in Pleasanton.  The band will feature the great Paraguayan violinist Carlos Reyes, Grammy-winning Latin percussionist/vocalist Omar Ledezma and myself on guitar, guitar synth and voice.  Details below.  

Then on August 17, I’ll be doing a very rare Wednesday duet performance for you South Bay fans at the San Jose Fairmont in the Lobby Lounge from 9-Midnight.  I’ll feature the delightful violinist Ms. Patricia Weiss.  She has shared the stage with the Gipsy Kings.  Details below.

There’s much more to come.  I’ll  see you at the show!

Ciao,

Rolando 

PUBLIC PERFORMANCES FOR AUGUST 2016

Tuesday Aug 2, Maria, Maria Cantina, 710 Camino Ramon Road, Danville CA, approx 6-9pm.  After 5 weeks away, Rolando finally returns to Carlos Santana’s most elegant restaurant for Taco Tuesday.  $1 tacos, baby!  And Rolando on solo guitar and voice with his diverse repertoire performing out on the patio by the fire pits.  (925) 820-2366.  See www.mariamariarestaurants.com.

Friday Aug 12, Don Pico’s Mexican Bistro, 461 El Camino Real, San Bruno, 6 to 9 pm.  Rolando returns to the place The Examiner and Independent have proclaimed has the “Best Seafood and Best Mexican Food” anywhere, on solo guitar and voice in the Restaurant Room.  Call (650) 589-1163www.donpicosbistro.com.

Saturday Aug 13, Pairings Cellars, 310 Main Street, Suite B, Pleasanton CA 94566, 8-11pm.  Rolando returns to this brand new, exciting social hotspot in downtown Pleasanton.  This new wine bar features fine wines, tapas and the Rolando Morales Trio, featuring from Paraguay, the thrilling violinist with Steve Miller and Arturo Sandoval, the great Carlos Reyes; from Venezuela, the Grammy-winning Latin percussionist/vocalist Omar Ledezma; and Rolando Morales leading the way on guitar, guitar synth and voice. Free!x www.pairingscellars.com(925) 398-8846.

Sunday Aug 14, Maria, Maria Cantina, 1470 North Broadway, Walnut Creek, approx 2-5pm.  Rolando returns for the Maria, Maria Tardeada series.  Enjoy a Mexican brunch outdoors and Rolando performing on the newly renovated front patio on solo guitar and voice by the creek.  He may be joined by flautist Bob Harrison.  www.mariamariarestaurants.com, or call (925) 946-1010.

Wednesday Aug 17, The San Jose Fairmont, Lobby Lounge, 170 South Market St., San Jose CA, 9pm-Midnight.  Rolando returns for you South Bay fans to this elegant venue.  Celebrate the night with fine wines, unique martinis, appetizers and sushi along with the Rolando Morales Duet, this time featuring the delightful violinist who played with the Gipsy Kings, Ms. Patricia Weiss; and Rolando Morales leading the way on guitar and vocals and his magic pedal board.  Free!  See www.fairmont.com/sanjose/ for info, or call (408) 998-1900.

Saturday Aug 20, Don Pico’s Mexican Bistro, 461 El Camino Real, San Bruno, 6 to 9 pm.   Rolando  returns on solo guitar and voice in the intimate Restaurant Room for a rare Saturday night performance.  Call (650) 589-1163 and see  www.donpicosbistro.com.

Sunday Aug 21, Maria, Maria Cantina, 1470 North Broadway, Walnut Creek, approx 2-5pm.  Enjoy a Mexican brunch and Rolando performing on the newly renovated front patio on solo guitar and voice by the creek.  If it’s too hot, it will be indoors.   He may be joined by Bob Harrison on flute.   www.mariamariarestaurants.com,   (925) 946-1010.

Friday Aug 26, Pairings Cellars, 310 Main Street, Suite B, Pleasanton CA 94566, 8-11pm.  Rolando returns to this brand new, exciting social hotspot in downtown Pleasanton.  This new wine bar features fine wines, tapas and this time, Rolando on solo guitar and voice.  Free! www.pairingscellars.com(925) 398-8846.

Saturday Aug 27, Vine at Bridges, 480 Hartz Avenue, Danville, approx 8-11pm.  The Rolando Morales Duet returns to this cool winery and nightspot.  Enjoy a wonderful selection of wines, superb dinners and munchies while enjoying this powerful duet.  Tonight Rolando reunites with the charismatic Latin percussionist/vocalist from George Benson and Prince, the delightful Estaire Godinez; and on guitar, voice and his pedal board of magic, the passionate Rolando Morales.  They’ll cover the musical spectrum.  Don’t miss it!  www.thevineatbridges.com(925) 820-7210

Sunday Aug 28, Maria, Maria Cantina, 1470 North Broadway, Walnut Creek, approx 2-5pm.  Enjoy a Mexican brunch at Carlos Santana’s lively cantina and Rolando performing on the newly renovated front patio on solo guitar and voice by the creek. He may be joined by Bob Harrison on flute. www.mariamariarestaurants.com,   (925) 946-1010.

Tuesday Aug 30, Maria, Maria Cantina, 710 Camino Ramon Road, Danville CA, approx 6-9pm.  Rolando returns to Carlos Santana’s most elegant restaurant for Taco Tuesday.  $1 tacos, baby!  And Rolando on solo guitar and voice with his diverse repertoire performing out on the patio by the fire pits.  We’ll see if he has any special guests sitting in…  (925) 820-2366www.mariamariarestaurants.com

All other shows are private.  Why not hire Rolando for your own private event?  He’s available for corporate shows, weddings, parties, concerts and festivals. The Rolando Morales group is available as sextet, quintet, quartet, trio and duo depending on your entertainment needs and budget.  

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Pacific Mambo is enchanting audiences

Omar Ledezmal Jamming
Omar Ledezma Jamming

The band seems like a collection of the San Francisco Bay Areas best of the best. These amazing musicians came from all around the world and formed this amazing ensemble.

CHRISTIAN TUMALAN, PIANO Born in Celaya, Guanajuato, Mexico. In addition to his pianistic studies, he felt a powerful attraction to the art of composition. During a period of seven years, he studied classical piano at the “Escuela Superior de Musica” in Mexico City. Later, He turned his interests towards Jazz, a language field where he felt a deep compassion and freedom. He then further developed his skills in live performance, Jazz and Big Band arranging achieving 4 professional majors in Music. Currently, Tumalan performs actively in the United States, where he has shared the stage with numerous professional musicians including John Santos, Giovani Hidalgo, Pete Escobedo, Los adolecentes Orchestra, Eddie Santiago, Tony Vega, Johnny Rivera, Johnny Polanco, Rub Blades, Tony Perez, Eddie Marshall, Chucho Valdez jr, Bill Watrous, Danny Lozada & La charanga Habanera, Louie Romero, Orestes Vilato, Benny Velarde, Ray de la Paz, Chino Espinoza, Poncho Sanchez Band among many other local and international artists. His most recent participations as a Leader includes two very successful Latin Projects in the Bay area such as Montuno Swing and Pacific Mambo Orchestra.

STEFFEN KUEHN, TRUMPET was born and raised in Germany and began playing the trumpet at the age of eight. Twenty years later he received his Bachelor of Music from the prestigious University of North Texas in 1993, majoring in Jazz Trumpet and Jazz Studies. Being interested in Straight Ahead Jazz, Smooth Jazz as well as in Latin Jazz and Salsa, Steffen scored big in 2002 with the CD release ‘Now or Later” of his Jazz Nonet, that featured 2001 Grammy Nominee Tim Hagans. That year also marked the inception of his own record label ‘stefrecords’.
Fast forward to 2005: Having joined the Latin Jazz orchestra of legendary timbalero Louie Romero, the band recorded its first album ‘Timbalero’ and released it on ‘stefrecords’ in 2006 to rave reviews. His 2008 release ‘trumpop’ was in the running for a Grammy nomination for ‘Best Contemporary Jazz Album’ and has been receiving national & international airplay & recognition. He has shared music moments with Jazz greats such as: Tim Hagans, Brian Lynch, Claudio Roditi, The Temptations, Brian Culbertson, Jose Lugo Latin Orchestra, Issac Delgado, Marilyn McCoo, John Handy, Mark Levine, Chico Freeman, Tim Hagans, Ray Obiedo, Kenny Werner, Ray DeLa Paz, The 4 Tops, Ray Sepulveda, The Platters, Lydia Pense & Cold Blood, In Europe, he played as a sideman for: Dusko Gojkovich Big Band, Al Porcino Big Band, Conexion Latina and others.

KARL PERAZZO, TIMBALES 14 times Grammy Award Winner, Karl Perazzo has played with Cal Tjader, Malo, Ray Obiedo, Prince and Andy Narell by the time he was 12. His life-long dream was realized in 1991 when he joined Santana to play Timbales. Perazzo has also performed and recorded with Mariah Carey, Dizzy Gillespie, Herbie Hancock, Phish, The United Nations Orchestra and John Lee Hooker among many other international Celebrities.In addition to performing and recording, Perazzo teaches percussion. Along with Santana conguero and LP endorser Raul Rekow, Perazzo starred in LP’s popular instructional video From Afro-Cuban to Rock, which breaks down the complex musical rhythms of Cuban percussion.

OMAR LEDEZMA JR., TIMBALES from Caracas, Venezuela, GRAMMY Award Winner Omar Ledezma Jr. has been playing professionally since the age of 13. At the age of 17, he found him performing in every corner of his native country. National musical acclaim rested light on the shoulders of Ledezma as 1995 found him a graduate of one of the most prestigious Law Schools in Caracas, Venezuela. In 1998 Omar packed one bag and one drum to begin his move to Boston, Massachusetts after making a passionate commitment to study at Berklee College of Music, Boston and then New York City held many challenges and provided many opportunities. Moving to the Bay Area in 2005, Omar has committed himself not to “bring the music back” or “take the music forward” but thrive upon embracing “the existing”.

There are so many more amazing artists find out more on www.pacificmambo.com

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Rolando Morales, Carlos Reyes and Omar Ledezma at Pairing Cellars Saturday, August 13, 2016

Rolando Morales, Carlos Reyes and Omar Ledezma together at Pairings Cellars August 13, 2016
Rolando Morales, Carlos Reyes and Omar Ledezma together at Pairings Cellars August 13, 2016World Class Musician appear on local stage
Three World-Class Musicians appear on local stage

Rolando Morales has performed throughout Spain, England, Italy, Ireland, Mexico, and Hawaii. In Los Angeles, he largely played electric guitars. Just out of college, he played with a 9 piece casual band comprised of members who backed such stars as Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Marvin Gaye, and Poncho Sanchez.  He regularly plays with world-class musicians who work with luminaries as Airto, Flora Purim, Steve Winwood, Tower of Power, Spearhead, Ruben Blades, Carlos Santana, Pete Escovedo, and performed with Dizzy Gillespie and many others. Rolando Morales studied law and graduated.  He decided for Music his first love and we all thank him.

Carlos Reyes learned to play many different instruments including Guitar, Bass, Mandolin, Keyboards, as well as mastering the use of a variety of electronic devices and special effects. He made his debut on harp with the Oakland Symphony and his debut on the violin with the Oakland Youth Symphony at just fourteen years of age. He has worked in the professional recording industry for commercials, solo artist and instrumental background music for the acclaimed children’s shows “Sesame Street” and “Villa Alegre” when he was still in his teens. He has backed such artist as Chuck Mangione, Bill Evans, Clark Terry, Pat Travers, MC Hammer, Craig Chaquico, The Crusaders, The Rippingtons, Roy Rogers to Charlie Daniels, Wynona Judd, Clint Black, Willie Nelson, John Handy, The Doobie Brothers, Rocker Steve Miller and many more.

From Caracas, Venezuela, GRAMMY Award Winner Omar Ledezma Jr. has been playing professionally since the age of 13. At the age of 17, he found him performing in every corner of his native country. National musical acclaim rested light on the shoulders of Ledezma as 1995 found him a graduate of one of the most prestigious Law Schools in Caracas, Venezuela. In 1998 Omar packed one bag and one drum to begin his move to Boston, Massachusetts after making a passionate commitment to study at Berklee College of Music, Boston and then New York City held many challenges and provided many opportunities. Moving to the Bay Area in 2005, Omar has committed himself not to “bring the music back” or “take the music forward” but thrive upon embracing “the existing”.

Three men, three world class talents we are so spoiled in the Bay Area

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Artist Highlight – Mazella Houston

Mazella Houston, big band vocalist enchants audiences

Born in the southern state of North Carolina, Mazella started playing piano as a natural gift for her youth choir at the local Baptist church she attended, until leaving North Carolina for a tour with the U.S. Army, Germany in 1977.

Returning to the U. S. in 1980, Mazella appeared in the Fort Hood production of “Purlie Victorious”.. At the close of the show, Mazella took on a dare to run for the title of “Ms. Fort Hood”, the largest military installation in the free world, where she won the talent competition and was crowned both “Ms. Fort Hood” and “Ms. Congeniality”. Mazella soon after moved to Houston, TX where she rediscovered her love and voice for singing.

During her tenure in Houston, Mazella sang on the worship team for churches such as; Lakewood, The Light Christian Center and New Covenant Praise. Also during this time, Mazella developed, initiated and launched a music movement called “music therapy” in the Christ-Centered nationally known in-hospital therapy program called, RAPHA. Mazella managed 32 teams of musicians who held weekly music therapy sessions in several different hospitals throughout the Houston area Moving to Southern California in the early nineties, Mazella was given the opportunity to further develop her program in various treatment centers in the Los Angles and Burbank areas.

Mazella wrote and produced her first EP album called “Windows of the Soul” released in the summer of 1999, with the popular tune “Let’s Talk About Life” and the powerful tune, “Potter and the Clay“. The project has six tunes all written by Mazella, and one co-written with, Jimmy Zeigler (Bill and Ted‘s Excellent Adventures).

Later that same year, Mazella returned to the studio co-producing with Larry Allen, (Stevie Wonder, Ricky Grundy, Ming Freeman, Doug Grisby, Tina Marie), to write and produce 6 more tunes for her next project, “The Fire of Life Itself”, released in the fall of 2000. Mazella toured Europe that same year, performing concerts in France and Belgium.

In the spring of the following year, Mazella recorded a live version of “The Fire of Life Itself with musicians, Dale Ockerman-on keys, (Doobie Brother’s), Tyran Porter, on bass (Doobie Brother’s), Donnie Balwdin on drums (Jefferson Starship), Johnny Gunn on guitar (Eddie Money), Rock Hendricks on horns, and various other talented music friends.

In 2007, Mazella launched “The Black Pearl Project”, along with Larrie Ray Noble, Sr., and for the next 7 years booked and performed an average of 150 gigs per year in the San Francisco Bay and surrounding areas. Performing at such venue as, “Biscuit and Blues, Carnelian Room, Presidio Golf Club, Piedmont Community Church, Lake Merritt Hotel, Scottish Rite Center, Oakland City of San Ramon, City of San Francisco as well as numerous fine dining restaurants.

Mazella has performed with Lou Rawls, Danced with “Prince”, Contra Costa Jazz Band, the Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra, with “Soundwave”, the Bob Enos (Julliard, Stan Kenton).

Mazella and her “World Class Pearl Big Band is currently performing at The California Theater in Pittsburg, California and other Bay Area theaters and venues.  Keep up to date on her amazing musical career on Facebook.

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Artist Highlight – Ehud Asherie

Ehud Asherie
Ehud Asherie

Ehud Asherie, “a master of swing and stride” (The New Yorker), is a jazz pianist who integrates the venerable New York piano tradition into his inventive style. Born in Israel in 1979, Asherie lived in Italy for six years before his family moved to New York.

Though he began playing piano as a child, his passion for jazz came later—with a Thelonious Monk cassette tape—and his first visit to Smalls Jazz club in Greenwich Village. Largely self-taught, or rather, “old-schooled,” Asherie learned the ropes at Smalls, spending the wee small hours of his early teens becoming a fixture of the late-night jam sessions.

Mentored by the late Frank Hewitt, Asherie began to develop “his virtuosity and his ear for clean, crisp lines“ (The Star-Ledger). From Smalls to the Rainbow Room, from Lincoln Center to The Village Vanguard, Asherie has since worked with a broad range of musicians including:

Eric Alexander, Roy Ayers, Peter Bernstein, Jesse Davis, Bobby Durham, Vince Giordano, Wycliffe Gordon, Scott Hamilton, Ryan Kisor, Jane Monheit, Catherine Russell, Ken Peplowski and Clark Terry.

Beyond his dedication to jazz music, Ehud Asherie has also developed a passion for traditional Brazilian music. His appreciation and profound knowledge of the music, language and culture are the foundation of Asherie’s project entitled Bina & Ehud, a duo formed in 2003, with Brazilian guitarist, Bina Coquet.

Asherie has toured clubs and festivals around the world, including South America, Europe and Asia. Asherie’s playing can be heard on countless recordings, including the 2010 Grammy Award winning soundtrack of HBO’s ‘Boardwalk Empire’. He recently released his twelfth album as leader entitled Shuffle Along (Blue Heron Records), a solo
piano performance.

Published on Feb 21, 2015
Provided to YouTube by The Orchard Enterprises

Perry Tannenbaum in Jazz Times praises Ehud Asherie

“After three releases on Posi-Tone leading small combos from the piano, 31-year-old Israeli native Ehud Asherie switches over to Hammond organ for his latest quartet outing, Organic. Fats Waller and Count Basie come readily to mind as jazz immortals who doubled on the two instruments. While their piano styles were more individualized than Asherie’s at this stage of his career, their doubling is reduced to dabbling when compared to Asherie’s imposing proficiency at the organ, which instantly catapults him to the front ranks of current B3 practitioners and invites comparisons with the greats of the past.”  See full article

Thank you Tom O’Neil for introducing this to www.riovida.net.  We hope to learn about the rest of your favorites.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Artist Highlight – Noah Griffin

"They see the possibility of a black president as natural as Tiger Woods winning the Masters"
                             Noah Griffin (talking about his children)

Noah Griffin regularly performs in San Francisco, New York, Boston, London, Rome and Paris. Noah Griffin’s Tribute to Cole Porter took the world by storm and he regularly sells out at such classical venues as Birdland in NY.  He sang with Duke Ellington, Nat Cole and has appeared in New York, Boston, London, Rome and Paris.

Noah, since the age of 7, has delighted audiences with his marvelous voice. From 1953 to 1958 he sang as a soloist with the San Francisco Boys Chorus under the direction of the late Madi Bacon, performing in Carmen, Boris Gudenov, Turandot, and soloing in La Boheme with the San Francisco Cosmopolitan Opera Company. The Boys Choir performed at the 1956 Republican convention in San Francisco, sharing the stage with Nat King Cole, Johnny Ray, Leontyne Price and Paul Robeson all legends with whom the Boys Choir collaborated.

In the late 50′s Noah helped formed a Rock group called the Kings covering Ricky Nelson’s “Lonesome Town” on a USO recording which played overseas to our troops stationed in Europe. By 1960 he was off on his own singing at various local venues, teen dances and school rallies. He began study with the respected Judy Davis. The highlight of his high school career was winning a coveted opportunity to audition at the world renowned “hungri i” nightclub. It was also during those years he was signed to a minor record label and performed on the bill with the “Shirelles.” College years at Fisk University began more intense voice study under James Van Lowe and an association with the Fisk University Choir and the famed Jubilee Singers.

While attending Harvard Law, Noah nurtured his singing career performing regularly in and around the Boston area at the “Point After,” the “Ramada Inn on the Charles” and various other venues. It was during that period he was selected to solo with Duke Ellington in his Boston for debut of his “Sacred Concert.” Returning to San Francisco Noah was a regular at the “Sea Witch”, “Cobb’s Pub”, the “Plantation Inn”, “Roland’s” the “Forbidden City” and other night spots. For ten years Noah was the soloist for the Walt Tolleson Big Band. In addition to singing, Noah hosted a talk show for many years on KGO radio as well as a television appearances and wrote a syndicated column for the Hearst Examiner and newspaper chain. A fan favorite at Giants games, Noah along with collaborator Bob Voss, wrote the opening day song for the Giants at the former PacBell Park. The two collaborated for the dreamy anthem and official Ballad of the Golden Gate Bridge re-released for the Bridge’s 70th anniversary in May 2007. This version is produced by former Motown producer and writer Michael B. Sutton. Noah and Bob collaborated on a highly popular Christmas CD with two original songs Noah wrote for the production which merit annual local airplay.

Eddie Fisher has called him a “great singer” and George Shearing “loves his work.”

After graduating from Harvard Law School in Boston, Noah Griffin returned to the San Francisco Bay Area where he has lived ever since. While raising his children, Noah Griffin had an illustrious career as a syndicated newspaper columnist, radio talk show host, singer and songwriter.

Noah Griffin has been hosted by the Nations of Great Britain, Nassau, Japan, Brazil, and Taiwan. He has met six United States Presidents and several World Leaders — all from whom he has been fortunate to learn.

Noah Griffin’s vast range of experience uniquely qualifies him to speak on a wide range of topics. Educated at Harvard Law, Yale and Fisk University in history, he’s been the recipient of two Fellowships: CORO Foundation Public Affairs and Phelps-Stokes History Fellowship. He has spent 35 years in government, politics, media and journalism. In those capacities he served on statewide staff in two Presidential Campaigns, as an administrative aide to Dianne Feinstein and Press Secretary to San Francisco Mayor Frank Jordan. He served as Director of Public Affairs at Charles Schwab Company and was Public Information Officer at San Francisco City College under Chancellor Evan Dobelle.

He was an on air Disc Jockey at the old KFOG in San Francisco and WJIB in Boston. He produced and hosted weekly interview shows on K-101 and KFRC radio. Griffin hosted Public Affairs Interview Program on San Francisco TV Stations KMPT Channel 32 and KTSF Channel 26.

Noah Griffin writes for the Marin IJ. He wrote for 5 years for the Hearst Examiner and was nationally syndicated with Scripps Howard. In that capacity he appeared twice on the PBS News hour with Jim Lehrer. He has been featured in the Boston Globe, the NAACP Crisis Magazine, the San Francisco Chronicle, The San Jose Mercury News, The Saint Petersburg Times, and Jet Magazine. He’s appeared on CNN, CBS Sunday Morning and Talk of the Nation. He has been written about and or covered in the New York Times Magazine, the Wall Street Journal and San Francisco Magazine.

Noah Griffin has worked with George Lucas. Griffin also worked alongside the late Bernie Averbuch to establish the Court of Historical Review and Appeals in which capacity he brought Anna Hauptman to San Francisco to retry the Lindbergh Kidnapping Case in a moot court setting. He’s dined with Lauren Bacall, shared the stage with Nat Cole, Leontyne Price, and Johnny Ray. He has interviewed notables from Gore Vidal, Louis L’Amour, Milton Berle, Peggy Lee, John Huston, Paul Henried, Howard Koch, the Smothers Brothers, Cesar Chavez Peter, Paul and Mary. He’s opened in song parody for the Capitol Steps. He’s been blessed to have counted William Warfield, George Shearing and Eddie Fisher among his musical admirers. California Historian Kevin Starr has praised the work he has done on the documentary on the Golden Gate Bridge. He wrote the preface for the book on “Who Killed Martin Luther King”, is cited in 10 books and is a student of the Kennedy Assassination. He is a published poet and has committed more than 50 poems to memory. He has written and recorded the official ballad of the Golden Gate Bridge and the College of Marin Anthem.

© 2013 Noah Griffin

Noah Griffin is married with the glamorous Meredith Browning Griffin. Learn more about their whirlwind romance by visiting this link.

How Noah met Meredith, a Whirlwind Romance

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Artist Highlight – John Handy

John Handy

"Music elevates the human spirit"
 -- John HandyJohn Handy

John Handy is a performer and composer who continues to sweep audiences into ecstasy with his vast range of creative, emotional, and technical inventiveness. With a superb knowledge and practical experience with music of several cultures, he fuses, with each selection, a musical genre that is coherent, provocative, logical, and enjoyable. As a singer, he brings a kind of storytelling narrative to the blues that is entertaining, educational, and moving; while his up tempo scat vocals could be compared to the best scat singers anywhere. He sings ballads with inventiveness that is rare among singers.

John Handy has written a number of highly acclaimed, original compositions. “Spanish Lady” and “If Only We Knew” both earned Grammy nominations for performance and composition. The popular jazz/blues/funk vocal crossover hit, “Hard Work“, brought him fame in another realm; while “Blues for Louis Jordan” displayed his talents in rhythm and blues. He has written many compositions of various sizes for both instrumental and vocal groups. His more extensive works include Concerto for Jazz Soloist and Orchestra which was premiered by the Parnassus Symphony Orchestra; and Scheme Number One which was lauded as a fine example of fixed and improvised music by the great composer, Igor Stravinsky.

John Handy at Lincoln Center in 2016

John Handy has performed in the world great concert halls including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Berlin Philharmonic Auditorium, San Francisco Opera House, Davies Hall; the major performance venues including Tanglewood, Saratoga (NY), and Wolf Trap; and the pre-eminent jazz festivals including the Monterey Jazz Festival, Newport Jazz Festival, Playboy Jazz Festival, Chicago Jazz Festival, Pacific Coast Jazz Festival; and international jazz festivals at Montreaux (Switzerland), Antibe (France), Berlin (Germany), Cannes (France), Yubari (Japan), Miyasaki (Japan), among others. His album and CD covers read like a who’s who of record labels – Columbia, ABC Impulse, Warner Brothers, Milestone, Roulette, Boulevard, Quartet (Harbor), MPS Records and many others.

His most recent recordings are “John Handy Live at Yoshi’s” and “John Handy’s Musical Dreamland” (available only on Boulevard Records, Stuttgart, Germany), “Centerpiece“, and “Excursion in Blue“. Some of his earlier works have been reissued on CD – “John Handy: Live at the Monterey Jazz Festival“, “The Second John Handy Album“, “New View“, and “Projections“. He recorded with Sonny Stitt, and recorded nine albums with Charles Mingus Jazz Workshop.

His album and CD covers read like a who’s who of record labels – Columbia, ABC Impulse, Warner Brothers, Milestone, Roulette, Boulevard, Quartet (Harbor), MPS Records and many others.

For the best and most updated information visit John Handy’s website:  www.johnhandy.com

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Artist Highlight – Ella Fitzgerald

"Music comes out of her. When she walks down the street, she leaves notes."
 -- Jimmy Rowles
Ella Fitzgerald

Ella Fitzgerald is considered one of the very best singer in the world. She is admired by her fans, young and old alike and she inspires her fellow artists and musicians. She performed at top venues all over the world. Her audiences were as diverse as her vocal range. They were rich and poor, made up of all races, all religions and all nationalities. In fact, many of them had just one binding factor in common – they all loved her.

Dubbed The First Lady of Song, Ella Fitzgerald was the most popular female jazz singer in the United States for more than half a century. In her lifetime, she won 13 Grammy awards and sold over 40 million albums.

Her voice was flexible, wide-ranging, accurate and ageless. She could sing sultry ballads, sweet jazz and imitate every instrument in an orchestra. She worked with all the jazz greats, from Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Nat King Cole, to Frank Sinatra, Dizzy Gillespie and Benny Goodman.

Nat King Cole and Ella Fitzgerald sing Cole Porter

She toured all over the world, sometimes performing two shows a day in cities hundreds of miles apart. In 1974, Ella spent a legendary two weeks performing in New York with Frank Sinatra and Count Basie. She was inducted into the Down Beat magazine Hall of Fame, and received Kennedy Center Honors for her continuing contributions to the arts. 1958 the first Grammy awards were held and Ella Fitzgerald won Best Female Vocal Performance for The Irving Berlin Songbook (album) and Best Individual Jazz Performance for The Duke Ellington Songbook (album) 1959 Grammy awards, Best Female Vocal Performance for But Not For Me and Best Individual Jazz Performance for Ella Swings Lightly.

Ella Jane Fitzgerald was born in Newport News, Va. on April 25, 1917. Her father, William, and mother, Temperance (Tempie), parted ways shortly after her birth. Together, Tempie and Ella went to Yonkers, N.Y, where they eventually moved in with Tempie’s longtime boyfriend Joseph Da Silva. Ella’s half-sister, Frances, was born in 1923 and soon she began referring to Joe as her stepfather. Their apartment was in a mixed neighborhood, where Ella made friends easily. She considered herself more of a tomboy, and often joined in the neighborhood games of baseball. Sports aside, she enjoyed dancing and singing with her friends, and some evenings they would take the train into Harlem and watch various acts at the Apollo Theater.

In 1934 Ella’s name was pulled in a weekly drawing at the Apollo and she won the opportunity to compete in Amateur Night. Ella went to the theater that night planning to dance, but when the frenzied Edwards Sisters closed the main show, Ella changed her mind. “They were the dancingest sisters around,” Ella said, and she felt her act would not compare. Once on stage, faced with boos and murmurs of “What’s she going to do?” from the rowdy crowd, a scared and disheveled Ella made the last minute decision to sing. She asked the band to play Hoagy Carmichael’s Judy, a song she knew well because Connee Boswell’s rendition of it was among Tempie’s favorites. Ella quickly quieted the audience, and by the song’s end they were demanding an encore. She obliged and sang the flip side of the Boswell Sister’s record, The Object of My Affections. Off stage, and away from people she knew well, Ella was shy and reserved. She was self-conscious about her appearance, and for a while even doubted the extent of her abilities. On stage, however, Ella was surprised to find she had no fear. She felt at home in the spotlight. “Once up there, I felt the acceptance and love from my audience,” Ella said. “I knew I wanted to sing before people the rest of my life.” In the band that night was saxophonist and arranger Benny Carter. Impressed with her natural talent, he began introducing Ella to people who could help launch her career. In the process he and Ella became lifelong friends, often working together.

In January 1935 she won the chance to perform for a week with the Tiny Bradshaw band at the Harlem Opera House. It was there that Ella first met drummer and bandleader Chick Webb. Although her voice impressed him, Chick had already hired male singer Charlie Linton for the band. He offered Ella the opportunity to test with his band when they played a dance at Yale University. If the kids like her she can stay, Chick announced.

Shortly afterward, Ella began singing a rendition of the song, (If You Can’t Sing It) You Have to Swing It. During this time, the era of big swing bands was shifting, and the focus was turning more toward bebop. Ella played with the new style, often using her voice to take on the role of another horn in the band. You Have to Swing It was one of the first times she began experimenting with scat singing, and her improvisation and vocalization thrilled fans. Throughout her career, Ella would master scat singing, turning it into a form of art. In 1938, at the age of 21, Ella recorded a playful version of the nursery rhyme, A-Tisket, A-Tasket. The album sold 1 million copies, hit number one, and stayed on the pop charts for 17 weeks. On June 16, 1939, Ella mourned the loss of her mentor Chick Webb. In his absence the band was renamed Ella Fitzgerald and Her Famous Band, and she took on the overwhelming task of bandleader.

Ella Fitzgerald sings April in Paris with her husband Ray Brown on bass

While on tour with Dizzy Gillespie’s band in 1946, Ella fell in love with bassist Ray Brown. The two were married and eventually adopted a son, whom they named Ray, Jr. At the time, Ray was working for producer and manager Norman Granz on the “Jazz at the Philharmonic” tour. Norman saw that Ella had what it took to be an international star, and he convinced Ella to sign with him. It was the beginning of a lifelong business relationship and friendship.

Under Norman’s management, Ella joined the Philharmonic tour, worked with Louis Armstrong on several albums and began producing her infamous songbook series. From 1956-1964, she recorded covers of other musicians’ albums, including those by Cole Porter, Duke Ellington, the Gershwins, Johnny Mercer, Irving Berlin, and Rodgers and Hart. The series was wildly popular, both with Ella’s fans and the artists she covered.

"I never knew how good our songs were until I heard Ella Fitzgerald sing them," Ira Gershwin

Ella Fitzgerald on the Dean Martin Show

Ella also began appearing on television variety shows. She quickly became a favorite and frequent guest on numerous programs, including “The Bing Crosby Show,” “The Dinah Shore Show,” “The Frank Sinatra Show,” “The Ed Sullivan Show,” “The Tonight Show,” “The Nat King Cole Show,” “The Andy Willams Show” and “The Dean Martin Show.”

Ella Fitzgerald received so many awards that they are too numerous to mention in this article, some of the highlights which included:

• 13 Grammy awards
• A-Tisket, A-Tasket entered into the Grammy Hall of Fame
• Kennedy Center for Performing Arts’ Medal of Honor Award
• The Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award
• Pied Piper Award
• American Society of Composers
• Women at Work organization’s Bicentennial Woman
• Authors and Publishers’ highest honor
• George And Ira Gershwin Award for Outstanding Achievement
• National Medal of Art
• Honorary chairmanship of the Martin Luther King Foundation
• Received first ASCAP award in recognition of an artist
• Honorary doctorate degrees from Dartmouth, Talladega, Howard and Yale Universities
• Peabody Award for Outstanding Contributions in Music
• The first Society of Singers Lifetime Achievement Award, named “Ella” in her honor
• NAACP Award for lifetime achievement

Ella continued to work as hard as she had early on in her career, despite the ill effects on her health. She toured all over the world, sometimes performing two shows a day in cities hundreds of miles apart. In 1974, Ella spent a legendary two weeks performing in New York with Frank Sinatra and Count Basie. Still going strong five years later, she was inducted into the Down Beat magazine Hall of Fame, and received Kennedy Center Honors for her continuing contributions to the arts.

Outside of the arts, Ella had a deep concern for child welfare. Though this aspect of her life was rarely publicized, she frequently made generous donations to organizations for disadvantaged youths, and the continuation of these contributions was part of the driving force that prevented her from slowing down.

To learn more or to watch a few videos about Ella Fitzgerald major performances visit:  www.ellafitzgerald.com

Ella Fitzgerald started a non-profit organization in 1993 that is still going strong. http://www.ellafitzgeraldfoundation.org/news.html

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Artist Highlight – Thelonious Monk

theloniusmonk

"Everyone is influenced by everybody but you bring it down home the way you feel it."
                                                        Thelonious Monk

Monk had a unique improvisational style and made numerous contributions to the standard jazz repertoire (including his classic works Round Midnight and Blue Monk). He is often regarded as a founder of bebop, although his playing style evolved away from the form.

Round Midnight

His compositions and improvisations are full of dissonant harmonies and angular melodic twists, and are impossible to separate from Monk’s unorthodox approach to the piano, which combined a highly percussive attack with abrupt, dramatic use of silences and hesitations. Round Midnight is a 1944 jazz standard by jazz musician Thelonious Monk. It is thought that Monk originally composed it sometime between 1940 and 1941, however Harry Colomby claims that Monk may have written an early version around 1936 (at the age of 19) with the title Grand Finale. This song has also been performed by many artists such as Bobby McFerrin, Chick Corea and Hermeto Pascoal.

Blue Monk

Bebop or bop is a form of jazz characterized by fast tempos and improvisation based on harmonic structure rather than melody. It was developed in the early and mid-1940s. It first surfaced in musicians’ argot some time during the first two years of the Second World War. Hard bop later developed from bebop combined with blues and gospel music. Melodically the predominating contour of improvised bebop is that it tends to ascend in arpeggios and descend in scale steps. While a stereotype, an examination of Charlie Parker solos will show that this in fact is a key quality of the music. Ascending arpeggios are frequently of diminished seventh chords, which function as 7b9 chords of various types. Typical scales used in bebop include the bebop major, minor and dominant (see below), the harmonic minor and the chromatic. The half-whole diminished scale is also occasionally used, and in the music of Thelonious Monk especially, the whole tone scale.

Charlie Parker, Well You Needn’t

He was born on October 10, 1917 in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, the son of Thelonious and Barbara Monk, two years after a sister named Marian. A younger brother, Thomas, was born a couple of years later. His parents moved to New York when young Thelonious was five years of age. A year or so later he was picking out tunes on the family piano. Monk started playing the piano at the age of nine; although he had some formal training and eavesdropped on his sister’s piano lessons, he was essentially self-taught. By the time he was 12 he was accompanying his mother at the local Baptist church as well as playing at “rent parties”, those informal gatherings where tenants who were behind with their payments to the landlord would hold a party in the hope that visitors would contribute to the debt clearance!

Thelonious Monk started his first job touring as an accompanist to an evangelist. He was inspired by the Harlem stride pianists (James P. Johnson was a neighbor) and vestiges of that idiom can be heard in his later unaccompanied solos. However, when he was playing in the house band of Minton’s Playhouse during 1940-1943, Monk was searching for his own individual style. Private recordings from the period find him sometimes resembling Teddy Wilson but starting to use more advanced rhythms and harmonies.

He worked with Lucky Millinder a bit in 1942 and was with the Cootie Williams Orchestra briefly in 1944 (Williams recorded Monk’s “Epistrophy” in 1942 and in 1944 was the first to record “‘Round Midnight”), but it was when he became Coleman Hawkins’ regular pianist that Monk was initially noticed. He cut a few titles with Hawkins (his recording debut) and, although some of Hawkins’ fans complained about the eccentric pianist, the veteran tenor could sense the pianist’s greatness.

Fortunately, Alfred Lion of Blue Note believed in him and recorded Monk extensively during 1947-1948 and 1951-1952. He also recorded for Prestige during 1952-1954, had a solo set for Vogue in 1954 during a visit to Paris, and appeared on a Verve date with Bird and Diz.

In 1955, he signed with Riverside and producer Orrin Keepnews persuaded him to record an album of Duke Ellington tunes and one of standards so his music would appear to be more accessible to the average jazz fan. In 1956 came the classic Brilliant Corners album, but it was the following year when the situation permanently changed. Monk was booked into the Five Spot for a long engagement and he used a quartet that featured tenor saxophonist John Coltrane. Finally, the critics and then the jazz public recognized Thelonious Monk’s greatness during this important gig. He came to Europe to play at the Paris Jazz Fair and played in the audiences at the Salle Pleyel and the Club St. Germain, joining in the loud applause for this true jazz original. Towards the end of the Fifties, with riverside records setting up all manner of interesting studio sessions, he formed his own quartet, first with tenor saxist John Coltrane, then Johnny Griffin and, in 1959, Charlie Rouse. It was Rouse who probably had more experience of Monk’s music than any other horn player, for Charlie remained with Thelonious from 1959 until 1970. In the autumn of 1967 Monk’s quartet was booked to take part in a touring extravaganza under the title “Jazz Expo ’67”; along with men such as Dave Brubeck, Herbie Mann etc. It was decided to enlarge Thelonious’s working group of Charlie Rouse, Larry Gales and Ben Riley with the addition of some additional frontline players and the so-called Nonet made its appearance in the Odeon Hammersmith, in London, just a week before the Salle Pleyel date presented here.

Thelonious Monk, who was criticized by observers who failed to listen to his music on its own terms, suffered through a decade of neglect before he was suddenly acclaimed as a genius; his music had not changed one bit in the interim. In fact, one of the more remarkable aspects of Monk’s music was that it was fully formed by 1947 and he saw no need to alter his playing or compositional style in the slightest during the next 25 years. After his death it seemed as if everyone was doing Thelonious Monk tributes. There were so many versions of Round Midnight that it was practically a pop hit! He played with the Giants of Jazz during 1971-1972, but then retired in 1973. He passed away on February 17, 1982.

By Ranie Smith

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Artist Highlight – Louis Armstrong

Louis Armstrong
Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong
"What is harder than rock, or softer than water? Yet soft water hollows out hard rock. Persevere."   Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong

As a young aspiring musician I learned that it was a good practice to not only study the music but to investigate the previous makers and innovators of the music so that you had an understanding of where the music came from and the climate in which it was created so that you could more readily understand and adapt your consciousness to the development of your own musical journey. In saying this, the first autobiography of a musician I read was that of Louis Armstrong, because at that time in my development he was still alive and was known to me to be the ultimate musician /entertainer of color of our time. In preparing to write this article I talked to several trumpet players in the area, but due to our individual intense schedules it was not possible to talk at great length about the man that was revered and loved by all that either knew him or knew of him. I do know that as a solo guitarist when I play the Louie Armstrong song “Wonderful World “ that there is a reverence that comes over the audience to the degree that I wait for the proper point in my performance to allow the vibe in the room to be just right to give the dignity to “Pop’s” classic. Going online to do my research I decided to compile excerpts from several websites [noted at the end] to piece together what I think is a pretty decent overview of a beginning of a Louis Armstrong background. There is so much more to be said that is not included that I truly hope you will pursue the rest of the information yourself by going to these websites reading and then going out to acquire some Louie Armstrong music and listening for yourself–I surely did. Thank you for your time and consideration.  Sincerely Lloyd Gregory

Louis Armstrong  

Louis Armstrong  4 August, 1901 – July 6, 1971, nicknamed Satchmo and Pops, was an American jazz musician. Armstrong was a charismatic, innovative performer whose inspired improvised soloing was the main influence for a fundamental change in jazz, shifting its focus from collective melodic playing, often arranged in one way or another, to the solo player and improvised soloing. One of the most famous jazz musicians of the 20th century, he first achieved fame as a cornet player, later on switching to trumpet, but toward the end of his career he was best known as a vocalist and became one of the most influential jazz singers.

Armstrong was born into a very poor family in New Orleans, Louisiana. He spent his youth in poverty in a rough neighborhood of uptown New Orleans, as his father, William Armstrong (1881-1922), abandoned the family when Louis was an infant. His mother, Mary Albert Armstrong (1886–1942), then left him and his younger sister Beatrice Armstrong Collins (1903–1987) under the upbringing of his grandmother Josephine Armstrong.

He first learned to play the cornet (his first of which was bought with money loaned to him by the Karnofskys, a family of Russian Jewish immigrants, that hired Louis to work on their junk wagon.) in the band of the New Orleans Home for Colored Waifs, where he had been sent after (as police records show) firing his stepfather’s pistol into the air at a New Year’s Eve celebration. To express gratitude towards the Karnofskys, Armstrong wore a Star of David pendant for the rest of his life. He followed the city’s frequent brass band parades and listened to older musicians every chance he got, learning from Bunk Johnson, Buddy Petit, Black Benny and above all Joe “King” Oliver, who acted as a mentor and almost a father figure to the young Armstrong. Armstrong later played in the brass bands and riverboats of New Orleans, and first started traveling with the well-regarded band of Fate Marable which toured on a steamboat up and down the Mississippi River; he described his time with Marable as “going to the University”, since it gave him a much wider experience working with written arrangements. When Joe Oliver left town in 1919, Armstrong took Oliver’s place in Kid Ory’s band, regarded as the top hot jazz band in the city.

In 1922, Armstrong joined the exodus to Chicago, where he had been invited by Joe “King” Oliver to join his Creole Jazz Band. Oliver’s band was the best and most influential hot jazz band in Chicago in the early 1920s, at a time when Chicago was the center of jazz. Armstrong made his first recordings, including taking some solos and breaks, while playing second cornet in Oliver’s band in 1923.

He and Oliver parted in 1924 and Armstrong moved to New York City to play with the Fletcher Henderson Orchestra, the top African American band of the day. Armstrong switched to the trumpet to blend in better with the other musicians in his section

He returned to Chicago, in 1925, and began recording under his own name with his famous Hot Five and Hot Seven with such hits as Potato Head Blues, Muggles (a reference to Cannabis or marijuana, for which Armstrong had a lifelong fondness), and West End Blues, the music of which set the standard and the agenda for jazz for many years to come.

Armstrong had considerable success with vocal recordings, including versions of famous songs composed by his old friend Hoagy Carmichael, Armstrong’s famous interpretation of Stardust became one of the most successful versions of this song ever recorded, showcasing Armstrong’s unique vocal sound and style and his innovative approach to singing songs that had already become standards.

As with his trumpet playing, Armstrong’s vocal innovations served as a foundation stone for the art of jazz vocal interpretation. The uniquely gritty colouration of his voice became a musical archetype that was much imitated and endlessly impersonated. His scat singing style was enriched by his matchless experience as a trumpet soloist, and his resonant, velvety lower-register tone and bubbling cadences on sides such as “Lazy River” exerted a huge influence on younger white singers such as Bing Crosby.

After spending many years on the road, he settled permanently in Queens New York in 1943 in contentment with his fourth wife, Lucille Armstrong played more than three hundred gigs a year Armstrong kept up his busy tour schedule until a few years before his death. While in his later years, he would sometimes play some of his numerous gigs by rote, but other times would enliven the most mundane gig with his vigorous playing, often to the astonishment of his band. He also toured Africa, Europe, and Asia under sponsorship of the US State Department with great success and become known as “Ambassador Satch”. While failing health restricted his schedule in his last years, within those limitations he continued playing until the day he died.

Louis had many nicknames as a child, all of which referred to the size of his mouth: “Gatemouth,” “Dippermouth,” and “Satchelmouth.” During a visit to Great Britain, Louis was met by Percy Brooks, the editor of Melody Maker magazine, who greeted him by saying, “Hello, Satchmo!” (He inadvertently contracted “Satchelmouth” into “Satchmo.”) Louis loved the new name and adopted it for his own. It provides the title to Louis’s second autobiography, is inscribed on at least two of Louis’s trumpets, and is on Louis’s stationery Friends and fellow musicians usually called him Pops, which is also how Armstrong usually addressed his friends and fellow musicians (except for Pops Foster, whom Armstrong always called “George”.

Some musicians criticized Armstrong for playing in front of segregated audiences, and for not taking a strong enough stand in the American Civil Rights Movement (1955-1968) civil rights movement.

Armstrong, in fact, was a major financial supporter of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights activists, but mostly preferred to work quietly behind the scenes, not mixing his politics with his work as an entertainer. The few exceptions made it more effective when he did speak out; Armstrong’s criticism of President Eisenhower, calling him “two-faced” and “gutless” because of his inaction during the conflict over school desegregation in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1957 made national news. As a protest, Armstrong canceled a planned tour of the Soviet Union on behalf of the State Department saying “The way they’re treating my people in the South, the government can go to hell” and that he could not represent his government abroad when it was in conflict with its own people.

He was an extremely generous man, who was said to have given away almost as much money as he kept for himself. Armstrong was also greatly concerned with his health and bodily functions. He made frequent use of laxatives as a means of controlling his weight, a practice he advocated both to personal acquaintances and in the diet plans he published under the title Lose Weight the Satchmo Way. Armstrong’s laxative of preference in his younger days was Pluto Water, but he then became an enthusiastic convert when he discovered the herbal remedy Swiss Kriss; he would extol its virtues to anyone who would listen and pass out packets to everyone he encountered, including members of the British Royal Family. (Armstrong also appeared in humorous, albeit risqué, advertisements for Swiss Kriss; the ads bore a picture of him sitting on a toilet — as viewed through a keyhole — with the slogan “Satch says, ‘Leave it all behind ya!’“)

In his early years, Armstrong was best known for his virtuosity with the cornet and trumpet. The greatest trumpet playing of his early years can be heard on his Hot Five and Hot Seven records. The improvisations which he made on these records of New Orleans jazz standards and popular songs of the day, to the present time stack up brilliantly alongside those of any other later jazz performer. The older generation of New Orleans jazz musicians often referred to their improvisations as “variating the melody”; Armstrong’s improvisations were daring and sophisticated for the time while often subtle and melodic. He often essentially re-composed pop-tunes he played, making them more interesting. Armstrong’s playing is filled with joyous, inspired original melodies, creative leaps, and subtle relaxed or driving rhythms. The genius of these creative passages is matched by Armstrong’s playing technique, honed by constant practice, which extended the range, tone and capabilities of the trumpet. In these records, Armstrong almost single-handedly created the role of the jazz soloist, taking what was essentially a collective folk music and turning it into an art form with tremendous possibilities for individual expression.

In 1964, Armstrong knocked the Beatles off the top of the Billboard Top 100 chart with Hello, Dolly (song)”, which gave the 63-year-old performer a U.S. record as the oldest artist to have a #1 song.

Hello Dolly performed in Germany

In 1968, Armstrong scored one last popular hit in the United Kingdom with the highly sentimental pop song What a Wonderful World, which topped the British charts for a month; however, the single did not chart at all in America. The song gained greater currency in the popular consciousness when it was used in the 1987 movie Good Morning Vietnam, its subsequent re-release topping many charts around the world.

It’s a Wonderful World

Louis Armstrong died of a heart attack on July 6 1971, at age 69, the night after playing a famous show at the Waldorf Astoria’s Empire Room. He was residing in Corona, Queens, New York City, at the time of his passing. He was interred in Flushing Cemetery, Flushing, in Queens, New York City.

Today, the house where Louis Armstrong lived at the time of his death (and which was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1977) is a museum. The Louis Armstrong House & Archives, at 34-56 107th Street (between 34th and 35th Avenues) in Corona, Queens, presents concerts and educational programs, operates as an historic house museum and makes materials in its archives of writings, books, recordings and memorabilia available to the public for research. The museum is operated by the City University of New York’s Queens College, following the dictates of Armstrong’s will.

The influence of Armstrong on the development of jazz is virtually immeasurable. Yet, his irrepressible personality both as a performer, and as a public figure later in his career, was so strong that to some it sometimes overshadowed his contributions as a musician and singer.

As a virtuoso trumpet player, Armstrong had a unique tone and an extraordinary talent for melodic improvisation. Through his playing, the trumpet emerged as a solo instrument in jazz and is used widely today. He was a masterful accompanist and ensemble player in addition to his extraordinary skills as a soloist. With his innovations, he raised the bar musically for all who came after him.

Armstrong is considered by some to have essentially invented jazz singing. He had an extremely distinctive gravelly voice, which he deployed with great dexterity as an improviser, bending the lyrics and melody of a song for expressive purposes. He was also greatly skilled at scat singing, or wordless vocalizing. Billie Holiday and Frank Sinatra are just two singers who were greatly indebted to him. Holiday said that she always wanted Bessie Smith’s ‘big’ sound and Armstrong’s feeling in her singing.

On August 4, 2001, the centennial of Armstrong’s birth, New Orleans’ airport was renamed Louis Armstrong International Airport in his honor.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_Armstrong

http://www.satchmo.net/

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Artist Highlight – Duke Ellington

“The wise musicians are those who play what they can master.” Duke Ellington

Duke Ellington is considered one of the world’s greatest composers and musicians and one of the most notable influences on jazz history. He was also a prolific composer. It is estimated that his orchestra recorded around two thousand compositions. These included instrumental pieces, popular songs, suites, musical comedies, various film scores, and “Boola,” an unfinished opera.

The United States bestowed upon him the highest civil honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The French government honored him with their highest award, the Legion of Honor, He played for presidents, royalty and for regular people and by the end of his 50-year career, he had played over 20,000 performances worldwide. He was “The Duke,” Duke Ellington.

Ellington got his nickname of “Duke” from a childhood friend who commented on his elegant manners, bearing, and dress. Edward Kennedy Ellington was born April 29, 1899 in Washington, D.C. to Duke’s parents, Daisy Kennedy Ellington and James Edward Ellington. They served as ideal role models for young Duke, and taught him everything from proper table manners to an understanding of the emotional power of music. Ellington began playing piano at age seven. During the summers in Philadelphia or Atlantic City, where he and his mother vacationed, he began to seek out and listen to ragtime pianists. Duke sought out Harvey Brooks, a hot pianist in Philadelphia where Harvey showed Duke some pianistic tricks and shortcuts. Duke later recounted that, after he returned home he had a strong yearning to play. Previously he had not been able to get started, but after hearing Harvey he said to himself, “Man you’re going to have to do it.” Thus the music career of Duke Ellington was born.

Ten years later in 1923, Duke made his first recording. Ellington and his band, The Washingtonians, played at places like the Exclusive Club, Connie’s Inn, the Hollywood Club (Club Kentucky), Ciro’s, the Plantation Club, and most importantly the Cotton Club. Thanks to the rise in radio receivers and the industry itself, Duke’s band was broadcast across the nation live on “From the Cotton Club.” The band’s music, along with their popularity, spread rapidly. Duke Ellington and his band went on to play everywhere from New York to New Delhi, Chicago to Cairo, and Los Angeles to London. Ellington and his band played with such greats as Miles Davis, Cab Calloway, Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennett and Louis Armstrong. They entertained everyone from Queen Elizabeth II to the US President. Some of Ellington’s greatest works include “Rockin’ in Rhythm,” “Satin Doll,” “New Orleans,” “A Drum is a Women,” “Take the ‘A’ Train,” “Happy-Go-Lucky Local,” “The Mooche,” and “Crescendo in Blue.”

Duke did a series of spiritual concerts, one of which was performed at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. Duke had many friends here in San Francisco, many musicians that are still playing in local clubs to this day and have wonderful stories to tell of “The Duke.”

What made “The Duke” so great was that he knew each of his musicians’ abilities well (many had been with him for decades and were legends in their own rights) and wrote his music to accommodate their skills and strong points. The music was written specifically for his band.

The road was hard for Ellington and he made great sacrifices to keep his band together, but the sacrifices paid off in the undying loyalty of his musicians and a legacy of music to be cherished for all times.

Duke Ellington passed away in 1974.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Artist Highlight – Stanley Clarke

Innovator From the Deep

Once in a while a Jazz musician comes along and changes the course and direction of music, an instrumentalist that takes his instrument into a new direction that [all those] others after him follow like a beacon. These innovators, to name a few, include: Charlie Parker on alto sax, Wes Montgomery on guitar, Oscar Peterson or Bill Evans on piano.1

However, on the bass, there is only one: Stanley Clarke

Stanley Clarke, raised in Philadelphia, burst onto the music scene as a teenager in 1971, arriving in New York straight out of the Philadelphia Academy of Music. He immediately landed jobs with famous bandleaders such as: Horace Silver, Art Blakey, Dexter Gordon, Joe Henderson, Pharaoh Saunders, Gil Evans, Stan Getz, and a budding young pianist composer named Chick Corea.

Before Stanley Clarke, the traditional role of the bassist in the band was that of [the] timekeeper; and also [functioning as] the foundation, the person in the band that played the lowest note in the chord, the note that the chordal structures of the songs were built upon. Stanley came along with a deep sense of melody crafted from years of listening to all of the musicians that came before him, not just the bassists. He also had an intense command of the instrument, because of his height, large hands and sincere and total dedication.

He began to pull away from the traditional role of the bassist and started to bring his instrument into the forefront. Stanley pushed himself towards perfection with relentless attention to be the best. His efforts catapulted him to the front of the stage as a viable melodic bass soloist where his dream manifested first in the Grammy Award Winning jazz-fusion band “Return to Forever ”. RTF recorded eight albums, two of which were certified gold (“Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy” and “Romantic Warrior”); and one, “No Mystery”, won a Grammy award.

One of Stanley Clarke’s fellow bassist’s, Victor Wooten, an accredited bassist of the new era who followed in the tradition, presented the 2006 Bass Player Magazine’s Lifetime Achievement Award to him and had this to say: “There’s no way I would pass on the chance to present this award to Stanley Clarke, a man who has changed the lives of so many musicians, created opportunities for all of us bassists, and been a huge influence on me and my playing.

Presenting Stanley Clarke with a Lifetime Achievement Award is a dream come true.” Wooten continued, “Scoring movies, making recordings, and touring the world, Stanley Clarke has paved the way for all of us by spreading low-end love all over. To me, that is what a Lifetime Achievement Award is all about. It’s not just what you’ve done with your life, but also what you’ve done to help others improve their lives. I believe that Stanley has done more than he realizes in that regard”.

Clarke is a man of “firsts”— having been the first bassist in history who could double on acoustic and electric bass with equal ferocity, as well as the first bassist ever to headline tours, selling out shows worldwide. Clarke recorded what is now considered to be the must-know bass anthem, “School Days.” To this day, accomplished and aspiring bassists continue to imitate his style seeking to master his pioneered techniques.

Lloyd Gregory

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail