Bassist Mario Suraci's
Professional career extends across a wide spectrum of jazz and American popular music. Throughout his career he has played behind, toured and recorded with many renowned performers including Frank Sinatra, Benny Goodman, Joe Pass, James Moody, Louis Bellson, Mel Torme, Hampton Hawes, Barry Harris, all the way through to Bernadette Peters and Elvis Presley. If all that isn't enough, he has also toured around Europe as a professional race car driver!
Saxophonist Ian Willson
Studied with jazz legend Joe Henderson and has played in various bands since 1975, including the Ed Kelly Big Band, Frank Martin, Bobby Freeman, Brenda Vaughn, Napata Mero, Gwen Majors, Stephanie Teel, the Toasters, Prime Time, Counterpoint, Midnight Taxi, Shake, Little Sister, and the Hollywood Swingers. Ian has produced and composed soundtracks to over 50 travel videos. Ian's compositions were featured in a Century Stereo commercial, a Papillion Helicopter video and he was the featured soloist in the weekly soundtrack to a Chicago PBS cooking show. He has recorded for many TV jingles and produced his own record "Straight From the Heart". Ian played on David Landon's blues album and Michael Peloquin's "House of Cards". Ian taught at U.C. Berkeley in the Young Musicians Program and continues to teach privately.
Drummer Rob Gibson
Is a Bay Area native with a wide range of experience from jazz groups to Top-40 club bands to musical theater. He has even toured with a circus. He has appeared at the Monterey, Reno, San Jose and Fillmore St. jazz festivals and has performed with Bud Shank, Pete Christlieb, Carl Saunders, Rich Little and the Coasters. His recordings include "Live at Jazzschool" with the Eric Muhler Trio, as well as Claudio Madeiros' "Esperanca" which features Pete Escovedo. He also is on the recently released album by French singer Laurent Fourgo.
Has toured nationally with the New Pickle Circus for six years, and has worked locally and across the west coast accompanying many singers including Mary Stallings, Sherri Roberts, Opie Bellas, Denise Perrier, Vicki Burns, Jennifer Lee, Cathi Walkup and Terry Bryant. He has played alongside many fine musicians including Jules Broussard, Warren Gale, Herb Geller, Pete Yellin, Hal Stein, Chris Amberger, Bo Diddley, Carl Saunders, Harvie S and Joe LaBarbera. He is involved in an ongoing composing project called Frog with drummer Wally Schnalle and keyboardist Lee Bloom. Mr. Udolf teaches piano and Alexander Technique privately and has received an MSc from University of Edinburgh, Scotland.
Bill has been playing drums since the age of three starting in Pittsburgh, Pennslyvania. He started his professional career at the age of fifteen playing with a brass-rock band. Bill then played with various show and dance bands until coming to the Bay Area in 1975. Soon after arriving in San Francisco, he got a steady gig at the nite-club Ivan Alexander’s with a band called Jumpstreet, featuring Joahym Young.
In 1980, Bill joined the Pickle Family Circus (later the New Pickle Circus), where he learned show drumming, and toured the United States as well as Europe and Japan. He has worked as a drummer with Speedy Garfin and the Garfin Gathering in the Catskills in New York. Bill has recorded with the Jules Rowell Quintet, the Dave Miller Trio with Rebecca DuMaine , Jazz Caliente, and his own band Aguabella SF. He also has recently played with Arturo Sandoval, Shelly Berg, Kurt Elling, Tom Scott, Clairdee, Wesla Whitfield, and Kellye Grey.
Paul & Sheila Smith
Paul & Sheila Smith
Paul & Sheila met in 1969 in Hollywood where they had both come to join the Moacir Santos band. Sheila came from Boston where she was working with a quartet at the Playboy Club, and Paul from Mexico City where he had been living & working for 3 years.
Sheila played timbales in the Los Muchachos latin jazz band with Mark Levine, piano,and Don Alias, her mentor/teacher on congas. This was while still in Boston.
Mark Levine had moved to L.A. while playing with Mongo S. When he left Mongo he joined the Moacir Santos group and turned Moa on to Sheila , who was still in Boston. Moa wanted her in hIs group after listening to a tape Mark had recorded in Boston.
Sheila recorded with Moa on his first Blue Note album, Maestro. She was working around L.A. as a percussionist, including playing on Stevie Wonder's Innervisions.
Paul was working with the Willie Bobo group. After leaving Willie Paul & Sheila formed a quartet with Chico Batera, Sergio Mendes' original drummer. Chico returned to Rio in 1973 taking with him a tape of the quartet. He secured a 6 mo. contract for a club date in Rio. When first starting the gig Chico played drums, but soon started touring with ElisRegina as a percussionist, sending in local sub drummers, Nana Vasconçelos, Joáo Palma, Sergio's 2nd drummer in L.A., Mamáo of Azimuth fame, and Boto ,then playing with Chico Buarque. Sheila absorbed the Brazilian drum styles from these drummers. The club date ended prematurely, but the owner paid them for the full contract and allowed them to stay in the provided apartment in Copacabana.
Paul & Sheila formed a quintet with local Rio players after learning Portuguese, and had one concert. The guitarist in the group hired Paul to play in a Bossa/Samba quartet 6 nights a week, which he did until their departure in Nov.
Upon returning to the U.S they moved to Boston and formed a Soul quintet, playing the N.England college clubs, returning to L.A.in 1976. They decided to leave the pop-soul scene and moved to Costa Rica , where they had a successful bee-keeping business, returning to California when the African bees arrived in Costa Rica. They relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area and began working on their own music, recording 4 albums before Sheila's death in 2007. Paul had joined the Five Play Jazz Quintet shortly before her death. Their first release was dedicated to Sheila. Paul is still with FivePlay, 3 albums later.
Jules Rowell gave them the opportunity to record on 2 albums, Sacred Songs, & the e.e. cummings album.
Paul Smith, July 2014 | PaulandSheilaSmith.com
David Rokeach, Drums
A long time Bay Area resident, drummer David Rokeach has been working primarily in the San Francisco and Los Angeles areas for more than 20 years. David toured nationally and internationally with Ray Charles from 1990-91. This included concert videos and many television appearances, including an appearance on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and the Doc Severinson Orchestra. In recent years he has performed/recorded with Patti LaBelle, Aaron Neville, Mavis Staples, Lou Rawls, Grammy winner Joe Henderson, Down Beat Poll winner Mark Murphy, Bluesman Charlie Musselwhite, The George Brooks-Zakir Hussain Group, Wilson Pickett, Linda Tillery, Steve Miller, Joe Satriani, Joyce Cooling, Maria Muldaur, Calvin Keys, Barry Finnerty, Merl Saunders, David Grisman, Melvin Seals, The Family Stone Experience, Louis Bellson, Wayne Wallace, The Nelson Riddle Orchestra, Paula West, Brazilian Master Marcos Silva, Bluegrass Grammy winner Alison Brown, Ernestine Anderson, Oscar Brown Jr., award-winning trumpeter Ingrid Jensen, acclaimed composer and Grammy winner, Maria Schneider, and many more.
Since 1998 David has had the honor of playing with the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin. In addition to live concerts, this has included television appearances on the Rosie O'Donnell Show, The View, Good Morning America, and VH1's Divas Live 1998, where he also performed with Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, Gloria Estefan, Shania Twain, and Carole King for the show's finale.
For the past few years, David has been working with Bay Area Composer Joel Evans. Their recordings have appeared in numerous motion pictures and television shows, including Universal's For the Love of the Game, Paramount's What Women Want, Showtime's Seventeen Again, Fox's Say It Isn't So, The Young and the Restless, All My Children, Nash Bridges, The District, The X-Files, Sex and the City, Frasier, The Osbournes, Desperate Housewives, The West Wing, The O.C., LA Doctors, The Chris Isaak Show, and many others.
David currently teaches at the Berkeley Jazz School, and has also been a regular faculty member at the Stanford Jazz Workshop and at the Rhythmic Concepts Jazz Camp West. Recently he played the Broadway Shows "Les Miserables," "Ragtime", and the Janis Joplin show "Love, Janis" during their San Francisco runs. He also plays on many commercial jingles, and film and television soundtracks, both in the Bay Area and Los Angeles.
Originally from Venice California, Chuck has a BA from UCLA. He has toured with Johnny Mathis, Louie Bellson , the Righteous Brothers, Maynard Ferguson. He’s played with Art Pepper, Tom Scott, Wesla Whitfield among many others. He’s accompanied artists such as Mel Torme ,Tony Bennett, Ella Fittsgerald as well as dozens of touring company productions of Broadway shows. He plays in the Denny Berthiume Trio . He also plays bass trombone with the Contemporary Jazz Orchestra among other ensembles.
After completing his undergraduate work at Tufts University (B.S. Mathematics, Summa Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa) and the New England Conservatory of Music (U.D. in Jazz Piano Performance), pianist, composer, and educator Jarrett Cherner moved to San Francisco where he quickly gained a reputation as "one of the most exciting young pianist-composers on the Bay Area scene" (San Jose Mercury News).
His debut album as a leader, Burgeoning (2006), earned him recognition from the ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Awards and critics alike.
In 2008, Cherner relocated to New York City where he's currently performing and teaching, having earned a Master's Degree from the Manhattan School of Music in 2010.
He has toured throughout the U.S. as well as in South America, Canada, and Europe, both leading his own trio and working as a sideman.
Current projects include the Jarrett Cherner Trio and the collective ensemble Sketches, which released Volume One in November 2013, and Volume Two in October 2014.
Cherner maintains a small private studio in Brooklyn, NY, teaches through the New York Jazz Academy, and is an adjunct professor at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, PA.
www.jarrettcherner.com • www.sketchesmusic.com
Grammy® Award winning trumpeter
German-born trumpeter and composer Steffen Kuehn is considered one of the rising stars in today’s popular Jazz and Latin music with a unique voice that appeals to many music lovers around the globe!
Steffen’s Latin Salsa Big Band ‘Pacific Mambo Orchestra’ is the 2013 Grammy® Award winner for Best Tropical Latin Album. After a successful 2013 National Tour that was produced by Columbia Artist Management, PMO just signed exclusively worldwide with The Agency Group (February 2014).
His Jazz composition ‘Vivienne & Simone’s Lulluby’ and Salsa composition ‘Cuando Estoy Contigo’ were voted semifinalist in the International Songwriter Competition 2012 & 2013 respectively, His 2009 Smooth Jazz release ‘Trumpop’ was in the running for a 2009 Grammy nomination for “Best Contemporary Jazz Album.”
Since its release in October 2012, the CD “PMO” by Pacific Mambo Orchestra has received rave reviews and continuous airplay around the world; the 2009 release ‘Trumpop’ was in the Smoothjazz.com Top 50 Radio Charts for 23 weeks and continues to receive airplay nationally and worldwide (July 2014).
Steffen’s unique writing also secured him a publishing deal with LA publisher Monica Benson’s “Wild Pink Music” company. This resulted in the placement of the title track “Trumpop” in the Miramax movie “Birthday Girl,” starring Nicole Kidman and Ben Chaplin. In addition, his original Latin Jazz composition “One for Louie” was placed in the USA Cable Network summer blockbuster series “Burn Notice,” and aired in February 2009.
He has performed, recorded and/or worked with (selection):
Tommy Igoe Big Band, Generation Esmeralda, Frank Bey/Anthony Paule Band, Jose Lugo Latin Orchestra, Tito Rojas,The Temptations, Brian Culbertson, Tito Nieves, Rebeca Mauleon, Tim Hagans, Ray Obiedo, Hector Martignon, Kenny Werner, Issac Delgado, Ray DeLa Paz, The 4 Tops, Ray Sepulveda, and many more.
Erik Jekabson is a freelance trumpet player, composer and educator who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is equally busy playing and composing for different bands, leading his own groups and teaching a wide variety of students. Erik has four CDs out under his own name: his most recent album is “Erik Jekabson Quartet & John Santos: Live at the Hillside Club”, (released in 2014) which like “Anti-Mass”(2012) , and “Crescent Boulevard” (2010) are on his own Jekab’s Music record label. A fourth CD, “Intersection”, was recorded in New York in 2002 and released on the Fresh Sound/New Talent label. Erik also co-produced and played on two other recordings which are widely available: “Vista: the Arrival” and “New World Funk Ensemble”. He’s recorded as a sideman on over 25 other jazz recordings, as well as doing session work in many other genres of music and on movie and video game soundtracks. He’s spent time on the road with Illinois Jacquet, John Mayer, Galactic, and the Howard Fishman Quartet, and has performed at such notable venues as the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Algonquin Room, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Madison Square Garden, the Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Late Night with David Letterman.
Erik currently leads his own ensembles in the Bay Area, and has brought them to the Stanford Jazz Workshop, the DeYoung Museum, the SFJazz Center, Kuumbwa Jazz, the Jazzschool, the Napa Valley Jazz Society’s Parlor Series, Jazz at Pearl’s, The Sound Room, Pacifica Performances, the Downtown Berkeley Jazz Festival, the Red Poppy Art House and the Piedmont Piano Company. He also works with local Bay Area musicians such as Jeff Denson, Mario Guarneri’s tbd, the Michael O’Neill Quintet featuring Kenny Washington, Patrick Wolff’s Sextet, Larry Vuckovich, Adam Shulman, Smith Dobson’s Prez Kids and Lavay Smith and the Red Hot Skillet Lickers. Erik has a Bachelors Degree from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and a Master’s Degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and is currently the director of the Young Musician’s Program at the Jazzschool, and serves on the board of Jazz in the Neighborhood. He is on the faculty at the California Jazz Conservatory, Los Medanos College and Diablo Valley College, and has given clinics at Santa Rosa Junior College, Cal State East Bay and Loyola College in New Orleans. He’s a regular instructor at Jazzcamp West, the Stanford Jazz Workshop, the Lafayette Summer Jazz Workshop and at the Brubeck Institute. Erik has also written two books of jazz duets for trumpet.
Steve Feierabend is a native of San Diego, California, where he grew up playing the clarinet, and then in high school he took up the saxophone.
In 1983, he graduated with honors from Berklee College of Music in Boston, having studied with Joe Viola, Joe Allard, Jerry Bergonzi, Herb Pomeroy, and others.
In 1996, Steve earned his Masters Degree in Jazz Performance at Rutgers University in New Jersey, where he studied, taught, and performed with Kenny Barron, Ralph Bowen, Ted Dunbar and Akira Tana.
Steve has performed internationally at festivals, clubs and concerts with such artists as Mel Torme, Steve Allen, Charles McPherson, Pete Christlieb, Brian Lynch, Kei Akagi, Hal Crook, Joe Diorio, Bill Cunliff, Holly Hoffman, Mike Wofford, Ron Eschete, Rob Schneiderman, Peter Sprague, Jack Costanzo, Bobby Caldwell, Frankie Lane, The Temptations and The Four Tops, to name just a few.
Steve served as leader of his own group, Common Ground, whose CD Manhattan Fantasy was released in 1990. It was voted "CD of the year" by the Portland jazz society and received national recognition and review.
Steve's second CD, Revolving Doors, was released in June of 2000 on Webster's Jazz Classics Label. It features eight of Steve's original compositions performed in quartet and quintet settings, with special guest Peter Sprague on guitar.
Bop Mambo, Steve's third CD, is the culmination of 15 years of participation in the vibrant Southern California Latin jazz and Salsa scenes. The music is creative, modern jazz blended with mambo, cha-cha, bolero and Afro-Cuban 6/8 rhythms.
In 2002, Steve moved to the San Francisco Bay area and has become active in the local jazz and salsa music scenes. Steve's most recent CD, Converging Paths, features Bay Area musicians Akira Tana, John Wiitala, Randy Porter, and special guests Eric Jekabson and Gene Burkert. This CD marks a return to Steve's straight ahead jazz composition style and includes arrangements of standard jazz classics as well.
All music composed by Jules Rowell. © 2017 Saqueboete Music, BMI. All rights reserved. Except music from The Kenny Dorham Project
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