A long-time Bay Area musician, guitarist/composer Will Bernard first came to prominence through his membership in Peter Apfelbaum's Hieroglyphics Ensemble, whose first record appeared in 1990. Since then he has been involved with a host of boundary stretching groups, ranging from jazz, hip-hop and world music to experimental music, with many stops in between. He has performed and recorded with Jai Uttal and the Pagan Love Orchestra, Peter Apfelbaum's various band incarnations, Beth Custer, The Coup, and Midnight Voices, to name a few. The most successful of these projects was the group TJ Kirk (with Charlie Hunter) whose 2nd record for Warner Bros. "If Four Was One" was nominated for a Grammy in 1997. Will released his debut CD as a leader, "Medicine Hat", in 1998 on Verve/Antilles. After two solid years of a regular gig schedule and touring, the Will Bernard 4-tet has evolved into a new identity reflecting more of a group mentality: Motherbug. Check out www.willbernard.com!
Kenny Brooks was inspired to play reed instruments from the age of 9. After graduating from El Cerrito H.S. in 1984 he went directly to the New England Conservatory at age 17. There he studied with master saxophonist George Garzone and other notable faculty including George Russell, Bob Moses, and Ken Radnofsky. Brooks received his B.M. in '88 and returned to the Bay Area in '89. His work in the early 90's included the Peck Allmond Group, the afro-pop group Kotoja and the start of his long-term association with legendary drummer Eddie Marshall. 1991 was the birth year of Brooks' groundbreaking hip/hop-jazz band Alphabet Soup. Co-founded with pianist Dred Scott, Alphabet Soup remains one of San Francisco's most popular bands. Alphabet Soup was the first hip/hop-jazz group at both the Monterey and San Francisco Jazz Festivals. In 1992 he recorded with his hero and teacher Joe Henderson on Kitty Margolis' CD "Evolution". In 1994 Kenny Brooks and Charlie Hunter began a run of almost 3 years playing duo and trio every Friday night at the SOMA nightspot the Up and Down Club. In 1996 Brooks joined the Charlie Hunter Quartet. They recorded the CD "Natty Dread" for Blue Note and toured extensively throughout the U. S., Canada and Europe. By 1995 Brooks was leading a trio under his own name with Eddie Marshall and top Bay Area bassist Jeff Chambers. Brooks played at the Monterey Jazz Festival in '83, '89, '90, '91, '92, '93, '94, '95 and '99. Other international festivals include the North Sea, Montreaux, Istanbul, What Is Jazz? (Knitting Factory), Copenhagen, Molde(Norway), Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and many others. Gigs have included venues like the House of Blues(New Orleans, L.A. , Cambridge, Anaheim, Las Vegas, Orlando, and Myrtle Beach), Yoshi's, Knitting Factory, Red Rocks, L.A. Greek Theater, Berkeley Greek Theatre to name just a few. Brooks has toured to Japan, Canada, Switzerland, Austria, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, France, England, Germany, Turkey and Holland. Brooks has played and recorded with people like Mike Clark, Ohio Players, Steve Smith, Les Claypool, and John Medeski. Kenny Brooks is currently playing with Bob Weir's (Grateful Dead) band Ratdog.
Check out www.kennybrooks.com.
Alex Budman currently lives in Berkeley and leads the Monday night Alex Budman's Contemporary Jazz Orchestra at Pearl's in San Francisco. He also plays with the bands Collective Amnesia, Cannonball and the Rhumba Bums.
Danny Cao plays in Vinyl, one of the most recognized bands in the jamband community.
Joe Cohen graduated from University of Miami with a degree in Studio Music and Jazz. He then toured with the Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus for about a year as the reed player. After way too many clown marches and pies in the face, Joe settled in San Francisco, where he met the 43 Productions crew. Aside from Cannonball, Joe plays in Realistic, Savoy, Hannibal and Brass Monkey; Joe also performs/records occasionally with Eric Lindell, Allison McLeod, Velvet Jesus, and the Marcus Shelby Jazz Orchestra. Joe plays many instruments including baritone, tenor, alto, and soprano saxes, clarinet, flute, keyboards and loops sampler.
Jeff Coleman and Sean Lehe began their musical partnership with a sloppy, yet impassioned performance of Johnny B. Goode at a high school pep rally in 1992, even then sensing the great chemistry between them. A few years later they formed Uncle Harlen's Band, a rapidly and constantly evolving improvisational rock group based in their hometown of Sacramento. Uncle Harlen's Band enjoyed a devoted regional fan-base for its six year lifespan, highlighted by several appearances at the High Sierra Music Festival, and many other great festivals and venues.
Evolution brought an end to UHB in early 2002, and Lehe and Coleman sought more fertile ground in the S.F. Bay Area. Here they have joined forces with Lucas Carlton (drums) and Justin Hellman (bass), both formerly of Berkeley-based groove-rock band Wayside, to form Home at Last, a new and potent addition to the "jam" scene.
Lehe and Coleman's unique connection and a decade of shared experiences, musical and otherwise, make for some great improvised music. Keep an ear out for Home at Last!
Jason Concepcion graduated from Berklee College of Music in 1997. He is the guitarist/composer for Netwerk: Electric and the Santa Cruz Hemp All-Stars, and in May 2001 filled in for Karl Denson's Tiny Universe's guitarist for a Japanese tour. He has also performed with the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, DJ Logic, Fareed Haque, Garaj Mahal, The Slip, OM Trio, and The Living Daylights, among others.
Cecil "P-Nut" Daniels
Cecil "P-Nut" Daniels "is a special kind of musician. His unique attributes go far beyond the fact that he plays multiple instruments (midi-horn, keyboards, drums and percussion) or has lived in various parts of the U.S. throughout his life. P-Nut is a musical diplomat who carries a positive attitude and lust for new experiences into any musical situation he encounters." -Chip Schramm, Jambands.com
P-Nut's favorite instrument is his Casio MIDI-Horn which allows him to play many of the instruments he loves such as saxophone, keyboard, vibraphone any many other sounds and effects to the audience's amazement. His agility on the horn and vast musical background allows him to collaborate with different musicians from all genres and styles of music and his golden ear for the vibe of any particular song allows him to adapt and excel in any musical environment. P-Nut is also one of the most exciting drummers you'll ever see and normally works some percussion into his sets.The Apocalypse is P-Nut's local bay area project. In the fall 2002 P-Nut toured with Waylandsphere, an up and coming band from Raleigh, NC. One of the bands that P-Nut plays with is Blackdog from Nederland, CO. Of P-Nut's many projects, his live collaborations with Widespread Panic have inspired him the greatest.
P-Nut has also jammed live with several of the most exciting bands touring today, including: Gov't Mule, The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Leftover Salmon, Sound Tribe Sector 9, Juice, Robert Randolph and the Family Band, Wild Magnolias, Giant People, The Motet, Jive, Melvin Seals, United Dope Front, Garaj Mahal, Dexter Grove, Om Trio, New Monsoon, Sfunk, Greyhounds, Freaktet, 56 Hope Rd., Particle, and many more.
Be sure to visit P-Nut's website for more information!
Flutist Matt Eakle is one of the most accomplished performers on his instrument. Over the course of his career he has demonstrated a mastery of an incredible array of styles, brilliantly performing classical, jazz, and Latin masterworks.
Since 1989 he has toured internationally with the David Grisman Quintet (whose album Dawg '90 earned a Grammy nomination), performing Grisman's unusual blend of gypsy, Latin, bluegrass, and jazz.
He has been a featured flutist with Linda Ronstadt's Fiesta Mexicana and has performed and recorded with famed musicians in the jazz, folk, and rock worlds, including Arlo Guthrie, Jerry Garcia, and Stephane Grappelli.
Eakle's technical virtuosity, and proven ability to perform virtually any style combine to make him one of the most sought after performing and recording flutists.
Michael Emenau has worked as a professional classical and jazz musician throughout Canada, Asia, and the U.S. for over a decade. While living in Japan, for a period of five years, he developed his skills as a studio musician, playing and recording extensively acid-jazz, club and electronic music. Extended time studying and playing in India, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Korea has greatly influenced his musical vision.
Currently he performs regularly with Realistic, Lumin (a project he co-leads that fuses the music of the Middle-East with electronica), and his solo project MNO. Michaelšs remix projects, both solo and with Jon Von, (of Digital Cut-Up Lounge from Hong Kong/LA); include tracks for Asha Bhonsle, Trilok Gurtu, Nelly Furtado, DCL tracks and multiple original tracks. Several of these tracks will be released on Universal Asia, EMI Asia, Hearts of Space, and Interchill Records in the following year.
For more info go to www.mnomusic.com.
Noah Enelow (Reorchestra) began his jazz studies with avant-garde clarinetist Ben Goldberg. He also attended Cazadero Music Camp and Jazz Camp West, where he studied with great Bay Area players such as Kenny Brooks and Peter Apfelbaum. Studying with Steve Coleman during the fall semester of 2001 showed Noah how to bring it all together. Lately, Noah has been playing with Carlos Washington (Karl Denson's Tiny Universe) when Carlos is in the Bay Area. Popular performers Octavio Rodriguez, Orlando Sanchez, and Jesus Diaz have been important teachers for Noah since he returned to his native California after earning his bachelors degree from Yale University.
A San Francisco Bay Area native, guitarist/composer Steve Erquiaga's career has touched many areas of the music world. He has recorded and toured with such varied artists as Bobby McFerrin, Joe Henderson, Les McCann, John Scofield, David Byrne, the Turtle Island String Quartet, Paulo Bellinati, Jim Nichols, Andy Narell, and Paul McCandless. His group was the featured group at the Music Meeting Jazz Festival in Den Bosch Holland, May 1993. With the Andy Narell group Steve recorded seven albums and toured extensively, performing at such venues as the Montreux Jazz Festival, The Berlin Jazz Festival and the North Sea Jazz Festival.
Steve's recently released CD "Cafe Paradiso" (Imaginary Road Records) was on the Billboard Classical/Crossover chart for 11 weeks, reaching #10. "Erkiology", released in 1992, features Peter Erskine, Jimmy Johnson, Bob Sheppard and other noted players. It reached #3 on the jazz airplay charts. He appears on many Windham Hill compilation albums such as "Winter Solstice III, IV and V", "The Impressionists", "The Romantics", and "The Bach Variations".
Check out www.erquiaga.com.
Played in St. Vitus Dance (1992-95) and the New Morty Show (regular member from 1997 to 1999); co-founder/co-leader of the Section 8 Project (1993-96), which played original jazz compositions and Mingus tunes; Currently with the Marcus Shelby Jazz Orchestra and Brass Monkey, a trio called 3 Go T, and works with jazz group Groove Unit.
"Not too often, musicians come along and invent their own instrument. More marvelous it is when someone takes an instrument you thought you knew, and tilts it just so - dazzling us with new reflections. Those folks are rare: Django Reinhardt, Lester Young, Bobby McFerrin, Edgar Meyer, Paul Hanson. All the adjectives are true, Paul plays at the very highest level surpassing most anyone's conception and ability on one of the most unforgiving instruments - ever." -- Darol Anger, violinist, co-founder of the Turtle Island String Quartet. Paul plays with Bela Fleck and The Flecktones, and has played with Wayne Shorter. Check out www.jazzbassoon.com!
Matt Heulitt began playing guitar at age 13 in the Detroit area. With little interest in working for a major automobile corporation, he was able to focus entirely on the unprecedented task of becoming a "great guitar player". Narrowly escaping the assimilation of public high school, he was accepted into the Interlochen Arts Academy to study jazz guitar, and later graduated from the University of Miami in Florida with a Bachelors degree in Studio Music and Jazz. In 1997 Matt moved to the bay area to continue his fervid musical adventures with such groups as Instant Bro, Zigaboo Modeliste, OM Trio, Axis, and currently Bear Cult. Since his Californication, his hobbies have included: effect pedals, veganism, and the dissolution of belief systems.
alto, soprano and MIDI saxophones
Tony Jurado lives in San Francisco and currently plays horns for Bay Area bands Raw Deluxe and Stand Up Eight. The one thing that separates Tony from most other saxophonists is his love affair with the midi saxophone. He has set up an intimidating rig known only as "The Borg" and is constantly developing new ideas for ways of incorporating technology into his music.
guitar and vocals
Maybe it was growing up in the Haight and being at all those early Fillmore shows. Maybe it was the blues and jazz always playing around the house. Obviously, there was the Fab Four and all things rock and roll... but there was also Ray Charles. Whatever musical gumbo they fed that boy, it done him good. Mark Karan is now cooking up some of the tastiest rock n' roll around - in the finest sense of rock as "anything goes." Mark has a way of melting music, pouring one style into another, stirring the pot and serving it up while it's nice and hot. A traveler in the realm of the Dead since his romp with The Other Ones in 1998, Mark is now lead guitarist in Ratdog, Bob Weir's roving pack of jam masters. Between Ratdog tours, Mark stretches out with his own band - Jemimah Puddleduck. (hey, why not?) JP is Mark's turn out front as writer, singer and guitarist. Rock meets R&B, with a splash of folk and a dollop of psychedelic chef's surprise. And before that? MK has worked his guitar voodoo for the likes of the Rembrandts, Dave Mason, Paul Carrack, Delaney Bramlett, Sophie B. Hawkins, Huey Lewis, Jesse Collin Young, and many others. Must've been that gumbo...
Check out www.markkaran.com.
Dan Lebowitz's passion for composition, arranging, and guitar began at a young age in the Santa Cruz mountains. The International Association of Jazz Educators (IAJE) recognized Dan's talents in high school and continued to award him throughout his studies at the University of California at Santa Barbara, where he obtained a degree in Ethnomusicology. Along with performing in the University music ensembles, Dan co-founded and toured with ALO (Animal Liberation Orchestra). En route to his current residence in San Francisco, Dan spent a formative summer performing with members of the James Brown Band. Soon after settling in the Bay Area, Dan found himself playing regularly with jazz, funk, world, rock, and soul bands, developing as both a guitarist and a percussionist. During this time, he was also a founding member of the nationally touring band, Global Funk Council. Dan's musical energies are now focused on his long-time project ALO as well as leading his newest project, Lebo.
Charles McNeal is a tenor, alto, and soprano saxophonist. Besides leading his own bands he is also called to perform in many different playing situations ranging from R&B to Straight Ahead Jazz. He's a very dynamic soloist and tries to bring a sense of swing and energy to each note he plays.
Charles has performed with Phil Woods, Roberta Flack, Marcus Printup, Mark Elf, Wally Schnalle, Madeline Eastman, The Temptations, Jon Faddis, Jeff Pittson, Mark Wright, Peter Horvath, Curtis Ohlson, Marcus Shelby, Pamela Rose, Glen Walters, Greg Gisbert, Laura Newman, Bruce Foreman, Vince Lateano, Bill Heid, Mike Clark, Scott Peterson, Bob Kenmotsu, Ledisi, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, Wynton Marsalis, Brenda Boykin, Pam Hawkins, Deszon Claiborne, John Turk, Faye Carol, Fred Ross, Glide Memorial, Nell Carter, Kotoja, Billy Johnson, Mark Levine, Norman Connors, Buddy Conners, John Handy, Jean Carnes, Bobby Hutcherson, Vernon Black, Bobby Shew, and many others.
Check out www.charlesmcneal.com.
In addition to his current "jazztronica" group Freaktet, Michael Myers occasionally subs in Mushroom, and was a founding member of various Bay Area groups such as Tree o' Frogs, Yeti, and Emma Jean Psalm. Although tenor is his primary instrument, Michael also plays alto sax, flute and windsynth, and tweaks around with his sound using electronic effects and looping.
Bill Ortiz's sweet, full tone and clear, assertive trumpet attack have made him one of the most in-demand players on the San Francisco Bay Area music scene. His performing and recording credits include work with such diverse artists and groups as Santana, Patti Austin, Cachao, Don Cherry, The Dramatics, Destiny's Child, En Vogue, Sheila E, James Ingram, Tito Puente, Flora Purim And Airto, Todd Rundgren, Arturo Sandoval, Boz Scaggs, TLC, Tony! Toni! Toné!, Cecil Taylor, Johnny "Guitar" Watson, and Steve Winwood. In addition, Bill has been very active as a studio musician in Hip-Hop, R&B and Jazz.
San Francisco born, Bill took up the trumpet at age 10 and played in R&B bands as a teenager. He feels that this experience was invaluable to his subsequent jazz work. "I consider myself a jazz player," he states, "but my musical upbringing contains a large amount of latin playing - I'm part Cuban myself, and I started out playing R&B. What I'm trying to do with my music is reflect all those elements of who I am as a musician. It's basically all African music: it's all branches of the same tree. I'm not a purist at all. I try to bring it all together."
New Orleans expatriate Joshua Paxton is an evangelical exponent of the pianistic preachings of Professor Longhair and James Booker. His stint as a fixture of the New Orleans music scene included protracted tenures with the Wild Magnolias and the Cosmic Krewe, regular appearances at the legendary Piano Night at Tipitina's, and frequent collaborations with numerous other Big Easy notables including Dr. John, Henry Butler, and assorted Nevilles, Meters, and Marsalises.
"Mighty" Dave Pellicciaro
Organ and Keyboard player Mighty Dave Pellicciaro is known for his powerhouse B3 style and keyboard chops, versatility and his copious energy. A founding member of Seattle's volcanic Tough Mama with Dale Fanning, Arne Livingston (The Living Daylights) and Scott Law (Melvin Seals Melting Pot). He also formed The Jackmormons with Jerry Joseph.
Holding a Grammy for his work on BeauSoleil's "L'Amour Ou La Folie" he's been summoned by the likes of The Grateful Dead, Chris Isaak, Col. Bruce Hampton and Zero. You may have caught him jamming with Gov't Mule, Widespread Panic, Galactic, Mofro, Critters Buggin, Mike Clark, Cecil "Peanut" Daniels, Taj Mahal or The Living Daylights.
In the last year Dave has produced, thanks to the good folks at High Sierra Music Festival, the "Vitamin B3" featuring Mighty Dave, Robert Walter and Melvin Seals on three B3 organs with Arne Livingston and Dale Fanning on bass 'n drums. The Vitamin B3 played at the 2001 and 2002 High Sierra Music Festival and a packed show at The Justice League.
Dave also runs the award-winning "Lucky Devil Sound" production studio, has solo discs to his credit, is recognized as a creative band leader, producer and is widely regarded as one of the finest working musicians out there. He is also really into hype.
Check out www.davepellicciaro.com.
Mike Rinta plays with local bands Brass Monkey, Mushroom, and the Dynatones, and has toured and recorded with Buddy Guy, Carlos Santana, Wayne Shorter, Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir, Herbie Hancock and countless others.
Chris Rossbach has many years of experience playing professionally, in a broad array of bands representing diverse styles from Rock to Jazz, Bluegrass to Reggae, including D'Amphibians and the Zigaboo Modeliste Aahkesstra. An avowed tone obsessive, Rossbach is also a yoga instructor and an engineer with a Silicon Valley software firm.
Adam Theis started his music career while in high school, performing with two important bands, The Louies and Grand Junction. The members of these two groups went on to perform together in many different forms, most of which Adam has been a founding member of: Family Soul, Eric Lindell's Youngblood Blues Revue, Charily Horse, the Erotic City Band, School of Lou, Old School, Savoy, Electric Avenue, Realistic and Cannonball...
During his college years at Sonoma State University Adam began to prove himself as a jazz artist with the award-winning release of the CD "Death Bed Revival Kit" which he wrote, produced, and arranged. Also at this time he co-founded School of Lou which featured many of his R&B and funk tunes. Adam has also played important roles in the popular ska band, the Conspiracy, as well as the award-winning Strangewood, in which he was a founding member years before.
One of Adam's most recent and notable efforts, Cannonball, was started in April of '97, and has grown to be one of the most talked-about bands in the Bay Area. Realistic, another of Adam's original bands, has held down a regular night at Black Cat in SF for nearly 2 years playing Live Drum N Bass. The third original project Adam leads is Savoy, a 9-piece band with four lead vocalists; himself and three soulful female vocalists. Adam also plays in the Brass Monkey brass band.
Frontman for the Randy Todd Band, Randy Todd released his debut CD, "Downstream", in 1998 (Skyline Entertainment).
Marty Wehner is a Berklee College of Music alumnus with an impeccable resume. The trombonist has played with Dizzy Gillespie, Phil Woods, the Joe Henderson Big Band, Benny Carter, the Mingus Epitaph Orchestra and Carlos Santana. He gigs with Mingus Amungus, his own group Funkbone, the Johnny Nocturne Band, and Tony Toni Tone. His recording work includes projects with Kotoja, Dave Ellis and Pete Escovedo.
John Whooley is the saxophone player and singer of Estradasphere, The Santa Cruz Hemp All-stars, Phree Radicals, and Whoolilicious. Merging styles and tones with unique form. He has played with The Dirty Dozen, Garaj Mahal, The Motet, Zigaboo, The Living Daylights, Melvin Seals, Superbooty, Samba Ngo, Huun Huur Tu, and Ashwin Batish. He also has a duo project with his wife Deeelicious, which consists of vocal and sax loops, jungle beat boxing, duets, and dance. A resident of Santa Cruz, John Whooley loves to share music with all.