Santa Fe and The Fat City Horns
For 30 years Santa Fe has been one of Las Vegas' Crown Jewels, never giving less than 100% to their audiences. This band has been a "farm club" for many big acts, shows, and bands, and many incredible musicians have honored its ranks. The latest incarnation of this band features a 6 piece horn section, and an 8 piece rhythm section that includes 4 lead singers. This is no ordinary band.
In the words of founder and leader Jerry Lopez: "This band is the culmination of the dreams of all of the individual musicians in the band. We all dreamed about what the "ideal" gig would be, and it went something like this: To play music that moved, challenged and inspired us without the usual external restrictions, influences, or boundaries that come with every other (paying)gig,... To make that music with people we love and respect both personally and musically. And to be able to share it with others.
That is what Santa Fe & the Fat City horns is about. The band is a throw back to all the horn bands that influenced us all growing up, as well as a tribute to our musical heroes and friends mixed with our own music and arrangements. Old School and raw, but polished with pride and discipline. I wanted to have the enthusiasm and excitement I had when I was 17 years old about my music!
The first band meeting I had went like this: "I want each of you to bring in a piece of music that you have always wanted to play but couldn't get away with in a lounge, showroom, or any other commercial gig. It can be an original piece, a cover, whatever. And then we're going to have some fun making it our own".
The band has never had publicity or marketing of any kind, and continues to fill the rooms it plays in by word of mouth alone. Most of the audiences are made up of talented musicians and entertainers from all walks of life, and Jerry has been known to remarked more than once that "half the audience could do this gig", and if you look at the people that make up this band's audience, you know he means it. Great Music is medicine for the heart, soul and mind. And Santa Fe & T.F.C.H. brings it!
The Monty Alexander Trio
In a career spanning five decades, pianist Monty Alexander has built a reputation exploring and bridging the worlds of American jazz, popular song, and the music of his native Jamaica, finding in each a sincere spirit of musical expression. In the process, he has performed and recorded with artists from every corner of the musical universe and entertainment world: Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Ray Brown, Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins, Clark Terry, Quincy Jones, Bill Cosby, Bobby McFerrin, and Sly Dunbar, among others.
Alexander maintains an active touring schedule, from intimate jazz clubs to concert halls and jazz festivals around the globe. His collaborations span multiple genres, styles, and generations. His projects have been as varied as assisting Natalie Cole in her tribute album to her father, Nat "King" Cole in 1991 (the resulting album, Unforgettable, won seven Grammy awards), performing George Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" under the direction of Bobby McFerrin at the Verbier Festival in Switzerland, and recording the piano track for the film score of Clint Eastwood's Bird, a movie about the life of jazz titan Charlie Parker.
As a leader, Monty Alexander has recorded over 60 albums to date. His 1976 Montreux (Switzerland) Jazz Festival performance with drummer Jeff Hamilton and bassist John Clayton has become one of the most celebrated live recordings in contemporary jazz. His most recent albums on the Telarc label include trio sessions, such as Impressions in Blue, and the live concert recording Goin' Yard. In the late summer of 2005, Alexander traveled to Bob Marley's Tuff Gong Studio in Kingston, Jamaica, and teamed up with top Jamaican session players to record Concrete Jungle, a set of twelve Bob Marley compositions reinterpreted through Alexander's jazz piano-centered arrangements. The resulting union of musical perspectives digs deep into the Marley legend and brings together the two worlds that Alexander most treasures, building the musical bridges that are the very essence of his craft. As a testament to his versatility, The Good Life, on Chesky Records is a collection of songs written and popularized by one of his all time favorite artists and good friends, Tony Bennett. His current release on Chesky is Calypso Blues, a tribute to his hero Nat Cole.
With the invitation and encouragement of Wynton Marsalis, Alexander conceived and directed the acclaimed program Lords of the West Indies at Jazz at Lincoln Center in 2008, broadcast nationally on BETJ. Alexander returns to Jazz at Lincoln Center in the Fall 2009 with a new program Harlem Kingston Express.
Bill Anschell/Brent Jensen Duo
"The jazz duet is alive and well with Anschell and Jensen. This is a most pleasant example of the power of jazz when played in close places." --C. Michael Bailey, allaboutjazz.com
"This is the jazz version of two people sharing a tightrope -- beautifully in sync." --Ken Frankling, Jazz Notes
The Bill Anschell/Brent Jensen duo is now touring in support of their critically acclaimed CD, "We Couldn't Agree More." Both are experienced touring artists and educators, and they are happy to augment their concerts with clinics and masterclasses to share their unique perspectives on duo performance with students and interested audience members.
Pianist Bill Anschell has performed in premiere jazz festivals and clubs throughout the U.S. and abroad, including five South American tours leading his own trio and six European tours as pianist/musical director for vocalist Nnenna Freelon. Anschell's composing and piano work are prominently featured on Freelon's 1996 Grammy-nominated recording "Shaking Free," and his own CDs have all enjoyed critical acclaim and extensive stays on the national jazz radio charts. Anschell, a Seattle native, returned to the Emerald City in 2002 after a long residency in Atlanta, Georgia. He received a Golden Ear Award as the "Northwest Jazz Instrumentalist of the Year" in 2005, and his trio was named "Northwest Acoustic Jazz Ensemble of the Year" in 2006.
Saxophonist Brent Jensen studied with Lee Konitz in New York City in 1986-87 on a grant awarded to him by the Idaho Commission on the Arts. He was a winner of the "Woodwinds on Fire" international talent search conducted by "Jazziz" magazine in 1996. Jensen's debut release on Origin records, "The Sound of a Dry Martini: Remembering Paul Desmond" was featured on JazzWeek's Top 100 and NPR's JazzWorks' Top 25 lists in 2002. His recording, "One More Mile" (also on Origin) features Bill Anschell on piano and was named one of the "Top 50 Jazz CDs of 2007" by the "Village Voice." Jensen is an Assistant Professor of Music at the College of Southern Idaho.
Listen to sample tracks from "We Couldn't Agree More."
You and the Night and the Music
The People Versus Miss Jones
Gabriel Alegria's Afro-Peruvian Sextet
One of the most influential figures on the current jazz scene in Perú, Gabriel Alegria was born into an artistic family in Lima in 1970. Alegria’s grandfather Ciro was Peru’s most famous novelist and his father Alonso is Perú’s most acclaimed playwright.
Alegria’s current recording Nuevo Mundo, on Saponegro Records, soared to the top of both Jazz Week World Music charts and CMJ’s jazz charts, staying on the air for more than 6 months. The CD includes collaborations with jazz artists Tierney Sutton, Bobby Shew, Russell Ferrante and Bill Watrous as well as with the formidable native Afro- Peruvian artists Freddy “Huevito” Lobaton (Peruvian percussion – cajon, quijada, cajita), Hugo Alcazar (drums), Jocho Velazquez (acoustic guitar) and Joscha Oetz (bass). The CD, which includes six compositions by Alegria and his Afro-Peruvian jazz arrangement of the Gershwin classic “Summertime,” represents his most varied work as a trumpeter and composer to date.
During the course of a career that has spanned the globe, Alegria has appeared in concert and/or on recordings with Maria Schneider, Placido Domingo, Kenny Werner, Ingrid Jensen, Tierney Sutton, Natalie Cole, The Peruvian National Symphony, Bill Watrous, John Thomas, Russ Ferrante and Alex Acuña. Most recently Gabriel completed the groundbreaking “Tour Peru”, a new model in touring that included 40 fans that accompanied the Afro-Peruvian Sextet throughout Peru. He has also performed concerts for the United Nations and various diplomatic missions from around the world.
The Afro- Peruvian Sextet has appeared in over 300 concerts and master classes throughout North America. Alegria combines his experience playing jazz as it developed in the U.S. with a passionate interest and careful study of the black music of coastal Perú. By incorporating and exploring the common African roots found in both styles, he has developed a uniquely Afro-Peruvian jazz music concept. The rich legacy of the black music of coastal Perú can be heard in a contemporary jazz context. In all of Alegria’s work, a cross-cultural exchange between the Americas is always present, carefully defining Afro- Peruvian jazz music as the newest voice to come from Latin America.
Currently Associate Director of Jazz Studies at New York University, Alegria earned a doctorate in jazz studies from the University of Southern California, a master’s degree from the City University of New York and a bachelor’s degree from Kenyon College. His knowledge of Afro-Peruvian music is the result of fieldwork and time spent in Perú learning from the art form’s greatest exponents.
Doug Beavers' Latin Jazz Orchestra
Bring your dancing shoes and enjoy the exciting music of Doug Beavers' Latin Jazz Orchestra
"Beavers is only 31 - a mere infant in jazz speak -but he's already accomplished more than some jazz musicians do during entire careers." – Jim Harrington, Contra Costa Times, 2008
In exceedingly high demand as a cutting edge trombonist as well as an internationally-renown producer, composer, orchestrator and "arranger of the first-class" (Harvey Siders, JazzTimes), Doug Beavers has become known for a meticulous attention to quality and his "unsurpassed work ethic" (Jim Harrington, The Concert Blog) in his music. These defining qualities have recently earned him a Grammy® award for his work on Latin legend Eddie Palmieri's star-studded release Listen Here (2006), as well as the opportunity to perform, tour, record and collaborate with world-class musicians including Eddie Palmieri (La Perfecta II, Ritmo Caliente, Listen Here), Rosemary Clooney (Sentimental Journey, The Last Concert), Mingus Big Band, Spanish Harlem Orchestra, Arturo Sandoval, Brian Culbertson, Pete Escovedo and countless others. His first studio production, Jazz, Baby! (2007, Origin Records), was dedicated to young fans of jazz and big band swing and has received extensive radio airplay in the US, in addition to being reviewed by a wealth of jazz and children's publications.
Doug Beavers decided to dedicate his life to music upon turning down a full scholarship to attend the University of California, Davis to study Electrical Engineering. On a chance hearing of John Coltrane's Crescent on the radio, Beavers pulled off the road that lead to UC Davis and made a literal and figurative U-Turn. The next day, he was accepted to California State University, East Bay (formally Hayward) and would go on to earn his bachelor's degree in music, studying classical trombone with San Francisco Opera bass trombonist Dave Ridge and jazz arranging with renown arranger Dave Eshelman. Feeling the need to expand his musical scope further, he set his sights on establishing a career in New York City.
Doug Beavers' website