The 2012 Dizzie Gillespie Englewood Fundraiser takes place at the historic Cotton Club in Harlem,October 16th. Special opening by guitarist Dr. Francis Forte and Emmy winner Alex Garcia. Actor, writer and activist in the substance abuse recovery movement, Christopher Kennedy Lawford will host the illustrious event.
ALEX GARCÍA/Drums, musical direction & compositions — Chilean-born, Cuban-raised, Emmy Winner 2011, drummer & composer Alejandro Garcia, studied classical and contemporary Afro-Cuban and jazz percussion at Cuba’s Ignacio Cervantes School of Music under the direction of Irakere’s drummer Enrique Plá. Capable of incorporating Afro-Cuban and Latin-American rhythms into the Jazz idiom, Alex has also worked in a variety of musical genres from Pop to Rock, Theatre to Jazz. Along with his performances as a leader with his band AfroMantra, Alex has shared the stage with important bands and artists in the New York’s Latin-Jazz Scene. Major performance, recording and composition accomplishments include Cuban trombonist and composer, Juan Pablo Torres also Grammy nominee singer song writer Juan Carlos Formell, Alex Foster (Jaco Pastorius, Steps Ahead), Tony Cimorosi, Frank Colón (Weather Report, Manhattan Transfer, Wayne Shorter), Omar Hakim (Sting, Madonna, Weather Report), Victor Bailey (Madonna, Weather Report), Rachel Z (Steps Ahead), Marcus Miller (Miles Davis), Najee, Oriente Lopez. Steve Kroon (Ron Carter), Chris Washburn & Syotos, Meme Solis, Israel Kantor (Los Van Van), Charles Flores (Michel Camilo, Issac Delagado), Tony Perez (Klimax), Malena Burke, Alfredo De La Fé (Fannia All Stars) among many others.
Alex also has worked with several theater companies, among them, Pregones Theater and Making Books Sing. Alex has also composed and collaborated on making music for documentaries in Cuba and Chile, particularly for Ballet with Ballet Nacional de Cuba (Pavana para una Infanta Difunta) La Habana 1986 and Ballet del Teatro Municipal de Santiago in Chile (Tiempo de Percusión) Santiago1993. Alex is endorsed by LP Percussion & Vic Firth drum sticks and his band AfroMantra is considered by the critics as one of the most important ensembles in the genre.
OLE MATHISEN/Soprano & tenor saxophones — A 18 year veteran of the New York Jazz and Studio Scene, Ole Mathisen has established himself as someone with a unique voice both as an instrumentalist and as a composer, relentlessly experimenting and pursuing new standards for himself through playing and writing. Jerry D’Souza of All about Jazz writes: “His saxophone wanders into seductive odd time signatures, riding an angular trail, adding fast jabs and a tumble of notes that blow across in an intense whirl.” Charles Farrell of eMusic writes: “Mathisen has already moved away from any forebears into his own territory.” Ole continues to tour worldwide, teach, and contribute to numerous recordings every year. With the group FFEAR, he was awarded the Chamber Music America’s “New Jazz Works” grant of 2009. Ole has worked on close to 100 CD releases, composed several movie and television scores, and has participated on innumerable commercials. In 2007 he released “CHINESE HOROSCOPE,” (Jazzheads) his first album as a leader to critical acclaim. The follow up album “PERIODIC TABLE,” (Jazzheads) was released in April of 2010. He is the leader of Ole Mathisen ZERO-SUM, co-leader of FFEAR, and a member of Chris Washburne’s SYOTOS, Alex Garcia’s Afromantra, and Mamak Khadem Ensemble. He has been a member of the Jazz Studies Faculty at Columbia University since 2005.
Ole Mathisen received his Bachelor Degree in Professional Music from Beklee College, graduating summa cum laude in 1988, and earned a Masters Degree in Jazz Performance from Manhattan School of Music in 1995. His teachers include renowned saxophone guru Joe Viola, woodwind master Bob Mintzer, Maria Schneider (arranging), and Ed Green (composing/ film scorin g). Ole has performed and/ or recorded with many of the world’s most recognized artists: Louie Vega, Paula Cole, Omar Hakim, Darryl Jones, Hiram Bullock, William Kennedy, Tom Coster, Mark Egan, Steve Smith, Mino Cinelu, Peter Erskine, Eddie Gomez, Badal Roy, Rufus Reid, Ron Carter, Grady Tate, Claudio Roditi, Will Lee, LaVerne Baker, Abraham Laboriel, Randy Brecker, Kenwood Dennard, Gil Goldstein, Lew Soloff, Tiger Okoshi, Michael Gibbs, Harvie Swartz, Jon Christensen, Gary Husband, Cyro Batista, Bill Bruford, Kenny Barron, Bob Moses, David Liebman, Jeff Berlin, Hilton Ruiz, Adam Nussbaum, Raphael, Frankie Valli, Mamak Khadem, Keiko Lee, and Dream Theater.
MIKE ECKROTH/Electric piano — Mike Eckroth was raised in a musical family, he started piano lessons at four years of age and continued his studies through high school and college. Beginning to improvise in high school jazz band in Phoenix, AZ, he fell in love with the genre and soon after branched out to multiple other forms of popular music.
Eventually studying and performing in Brazil and Cuba, Eckroth’s career, though centered in straight ahead jazz, has been deeply influenced by Latin American popular music and American music in general. He has spent a lot of time with funk, rock and other popular U.S. genres, devoting equal time to both the acoustic piano and electric instruments. Earning his master’s degree in piano performance at UNLV, Eckroth stayed on to work in a variety of situations in Las Vegas (Sheena Easton, the Rat Pack is Back, and other shows) until coming to New York City to earn a PhD at NYU in 2006. At NYU and in the area, he has studied and played with the likes of John Scofield, Jean-Michel Pilc, Joe Lovano, Gil Goldstein, Randy Brecker, Chris Potter, Jim McNeely, Kenny Werner, Warren Vache and Brian Lynch while working on his dissertation and staying busy in the New York scene. Besides working as a sideman to a number of instrumentalists and singers in the city, Eckroth has recently performed as part of the Savassi Jazz Festival in Belo Horizonte Brazil, the International Jazz Festival in Havana, Cuba, the BaranquiJazz and Jazz al Parque festivals in Colombia, and the Jazz Improv festival in New York City. He has also played at a number of important venues such as the Blue Note, the Kitano, the Iridium and Smoke in NYC and The Baked Potato and Catalina’s in L.A.
Eckroth continues to record and perform as both a sideman and a leader in the Jazz, Brazilian and Salsa music scenes, and is currently mixing and editing three collaborative projects: A live DVD with multi-reed player Paul McCandless and Brazilian guitarist Alieksey Vianna, a south american-inspired trio vocal record (the Bernal/Eckroth/Ennis group), and a composition-based, modern Jazz record. As well, he recently recorded two records with the rhythm section of Ron McClure and Billy Drummond. This spring he did a month long tour with the John Scofield Quartet in Europe and will perform with Scofield’s group again during the summer at the Iridium and on the west coast in the spring of 2011.
ARIEL DE LA PORTILLA/ Electric bass — Ariel was born in the city of Matanzas, Cuba where he lived until immigrating with his parents to the United States in September of 1980. He was raised in the southwest area of Miami, Florida. The neighborhood better known as “Little Havana”. Growing up surrounded by the sounds of Cuban, Dominican, and Brazilian music as well as simultaneously experiencing American music and culture gave his childhood a distinctly unique dichotomy that later proved to have become a crucial aspect of his life education, and musical identity.
During his junior year of high school, Ariel was awarded a scholarship to participate in the local community college music program headed by J.B. Dias, which included jazz improvisation courses and college level ensembles. He also began private instructions with renowned bassist Nicky Orta. This began his formal musical training. It was also during this time that Ariel began to perform in groups from the local Miami and Ft. Lauderdale areas. The music scene in Miami covered the spectrum, from traditional Cuban Son to funk, to Salsa to Cuban and Brazilian jazz. The experience of performing within such a diverse musical environment proved to be a significant aspect to Ariel’s formal musical education.
After graduating from high school in 1994, Ariel left his home town of Miami Fl. to pursue his interests in the double bass. He was awarded a music scholarship to the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati where he dedicated most of his time to studying classical bass and jazz. He remained at CCM until recruited by the University of Miami in Miami Fl. in 1996 to study under the instruction of Don Coffman, Matt Bonnelli and Lucas Drew. Since arriving in New York City, Ariel has had the privilege of performing with an eclectic list of artists from the jazz and Latin jazz genres including Ray Vega, Dave Valentin, Bill O’Connel, Patato Valdez, Candido Camero, Edy Martinez, Willie Martinez, Peter Erskine, Eddie Daniels, and Sonny Bravo. AfroMantra has been playing extensively throughout New York City area and the Northeast for the past seven years in several Jazz festivals, hitting such venues as El Taller, Latinoamericano, The Izzy Bar, Zinc Bar, 17 Main, Studio 54, Arka Lounge, Nell’s, Nuyoricans Poets Café, Jazz Gallery, Satalla, Bubble Lounge and Town Hall Theater among others. They were also featured artists on Jazz at Noon, a popular New York City Jazz television show, on NBC Telemundo Network and CUNY TV.
Additionally they performed at the Chenango Valley Music Festival with Grammy nominee and Master Cuban trombonist Juan Pablo Torres, San Jose Jazz Festival 2004, Festival Internacional de Santander 2006, in Spain, Latin Jazz USA Festival 2006 and Hell’s Kitchen Rhythm & Music Festival 2007, San Antonio Jazz Festival 2009, Hamptons Jazz 2009, Queens Theater in the Park 2010, Englewood Jazz Fest 2010. The band also appears in the books Caliente “Una historia del Jazz Latino” and “Carambola”, by critic and writer Luc Delannoy.
RATZO B. HARRIS & DAVID TAYLOR PROJECT — RATZO HARRIS/Bass — Ratzo B. Harris is a 1995 Thelonious Monk Competition semi-finalist and past contributing columnist for Bass Player Magazine. He’s considered an innovative bassist who has worked with some of the greatest musicians of our time. John Handy, Charles Lloyd, Joey Lovano, Jon Hendricks, Ted Curson, Tim Berne, Betty Carter, Helen Merrill, Les Paul, Joanne Brackeen, Joe Henderson, Jim Pepper and Betty Buckley are just a few of the artists who have collaborated with him. I’ve heard him repeatedly and his playing is muscular, a rebar of sonic foundation, yet sinuous and subtle. From the heartbeat of free jazz, to aural filigrees on jazz standards, he’s at the top of his game. Ratzo Harris plays bass that’s living root and steel girder.
DAVID TAYLOR/Trombone –David Taylor has B.S. and M.S. degrees from the Julliard School of Music. He started his playing career as a member of Leopold Stowkowski’s American Symphony Orchestra, and by appearing with the New York Philharmonic under Pierre Boulez Almost simultaneously, he was a member of the Thad Jones Mel Lewis jazz band, and recorded with Duke Ellington (The New Orleans Suite), The Rolling Stones, and Blood, Sweat, and Tears. Mr. Taylor has recorded four solo albums (Koch, New World, and DMP) and has presented numerous recitals throughout the world (including Carnegie Recital Hall, Kaufman Auditorium at the Y at 92nd Street, and Merkin Hall).
He has appeared as a soloist with the St. Lukes Chamber Orchestra , The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, The Caramoor Festival Orchestra, The NY Chamber Symphony, The Basil Sinfonietta, The Adelaide Philharmonic, and The Group for Contemporary Music among others. He has been involved in dozens of commissioning projects for the Bass Trombone in solo and chamber idioms; collaborating with composers including Alan Hovhaness, Charles Wuorinen, George Perle, Frederic Rzewski, Lucia Dlugoszchewski, Eric Ewazen, David Liebman, and Daniel Schnyder. He has appeared and recorded chamber music with Yo Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, and Wynton Marsalis. Throughout his career, David Taylor has appeared and recorded with many major jazz and popular artists including Barbara Streisand, Miles Davis, Quincey Jones, Frank Sinatra, and Aretha Franklin. Mr. Taylor has won the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences Most Valuable Player Award for five consecutive years, the most it could be awarded and has been awarded the NARAS Most Valuable Player Virtuoso Award, an honor accorded no other bass trombonist. He has been a member of the Gil Evans Band, Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Band, George Russell’s Band, the George Gruntz Concert Jazz Band, and the Chuck Israel Band to name a few.
David Taylor currently performs with The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, The Charles Mingus Big Band, Eos Orchestra, The NY Chamber Symphony, The Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, The Michelle Camillo Band, Areopagitica (a brass trio in residence at Mannes College ) , The Bob Mintzer Band, the Daniel Schnyder, David Taylor, and the Kenny Drew Jr Trio. He appears frequently with Orpheus, and the St. Lukes Chamber Orchestra, and he is on the faculties of the Manhattan School of Music and Mannes College.
LEX SAMU /Trumpet — Trumpeter Lex Samu was born in Manhassett, NY. His earliest influences were King Oliver, Louis Armstrong, Jimmy McPartland, Wild Bill Davidson, and Al Hirt. As a teenager, Lex became heavily influence by Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker, a little while later discovering Lee Morgan, Clifford Brown, Booker Little, Chet Baker, Fats Navarro, and Miles Davis. After this period, Lex explored the world of Free/Avant-Garde jazz and was heavily influenced by Kenny Wheeler, Bill Dixon, Arve Henriksen, and many other current players on the scene today. Lex has studied with numerous teachers including Patrick Dougherty, Raymond Mase, Roger Ingram, Lew Soloff, Laurie Frink, David Sheetz, and Bill Dixon. Lex has performed and recorded with many various artists including Wynton Marsalis, Jon Faddis, The Heath Brothers, The Four Tops, Donna Summers, and can be heard backing various recording artists on both radio and television. He has appeared on recordings with Madison Rast, Sean Costello, Bob Margolin, Mookie Brill, Mitch Easter, Aaron Bachelder, and David Boatwright. Right now, Lex is working on several free jazz improv projects, is busily gigging as both a free jazz and straight ahead jazz musician, as well as doing many commercial, Latin and classical gigs and recording sessions.
RAS MOSHE DUO – RAS MOSHE /Saxophones, flute and poetry — Born in Brooklyn NY (formally known as Theodore Burnett III), Ras studied music in public school (5th grade throughout college). Also studied music with his father who (Ted II), who plays Alto Sax, Flute & Bass Clarinet. His grandfather-Theodore Burnett I (“Barnett” for professional reasons) played tenor and alto saxophones in the bands of Earl Bostic, Lucky Millender, Jimmy Mundy, Don Redman and many others after arriving here from Jamaica. He also led small group combos with Shadow Wilson for many years.
Ras Moshe has also been writing and reciting poetry since childhood. He began leading his own ensembles in 1987 and playing as a side man in Reggae groups. He has performed his compositions at Roulette, The Knitting Factory, Sanctuary For Independent Media, The Brecht Forum,Zebulon,The local 269,Galapagos,The Brooklyn Lyceum,Hallwalls Gallery(Buffalo),Deep Listening Space, The 119 Gallery,WBAI,WKCR,St Marks Church, The Vision Festival, The Fridge(Washington DC). Ras is currently a member of Bill Cole’s Untempered Ensemble. He is also the founder of The Music Now Festival, going on for 11 years now. Mostly at The Brecht Forum and occasionally other locations.
He believes in the positive effect that Jazz will have on social and personal change. Ras has learned from Billy Bang and William Parker and is a member of the ensembles led by William Hooker,Bill Cole,Kali Z. Fasteau,Dafna Naphtali,Dom Minasi,Lou Grassi,Matana Roberts,Butch Morris, Kyoko Kitamura, Steve Swell, Matt Lavelle,Marc Edwards, Raphe Malik, Burton Greene, Roy Campbell, Daniel Carter, Sabir Mateen,Saco Yasuma,Rashid Bakr(Charles Downs) and other original artists.
SHAYNA DULBERGER/bass — NY based bassist Shayna Dulberger is mostly known in the creative and experimental jazz genre. Since 2007 she has regularly worked with Bill Cole performing in New York City and at Syracuse University. She has recorded and performed with artists such as: Ras Moshe, William Parker, Chris Welcome, Daniel Carter, Stars like Fleas, Walter Wright, and many others. She has performed in many festivals and series such as XFest (Lowell, MA), Rhythm in the Kitchen, KMB Jazz Festival, CMJ, “Brooklyn Next” BAM Festival, the Vision Festival, ABC No Rio’s C.O.M.A., and Neues Kabarett’s events at the Brecht Forum. Dulberger’s first album as a band leader, composer and producer is named “TheKillMeTrio” and was described “…as one of the stronger avant-jazz groups we’ve heard in some time.” (Time Out New York) In 2007, in a review of TheKillMeTrio album “Jazz and Tzaz” wrote “The 23 year old New Yorker does not comply with the trendy model of women in Jazz”. Bruce Lee Gallanter (DMG) wrote in a review for Ras Moshe’s album Transcendence, “Acoustic bassist, Shayna Dulberger, is another important new musician to watch, she takes a number amazing solos on this disc that show her to be a new force to be reckoned with.” Shayna has been interviewed on Taran’s Free Jazz Hour (Angers, France) and was invited by all about Jazz to participate in their “Listen Up!” Section. Though influenced by Peter Kowald, William Parker, Kent Kessler, Joelle Leandre and other well known bassists, she is also inspired by the rhythmic elasticity and percussion of Southeast Asia, The Thai Elephant Orchestra for their sense of space and rhythm, and Throbbing Gristle for their experimentation with reverb and delay. Shayna attended Manhattan School of Music’s preparatory division and graduated with a BM in Jazz at the Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University.
TRACIE MORRIS AND HER BAND — TRACIE MORRIS/Poet, writer — Tracie Morris is a performer, writer and scholar from Brooklyn, New York. Morris began performing and recording with avant-garde musicians 20 years ago as she began emerging as an experimental poet. She teaches at Pratt Institute. Her poetry and critical essays have been recorded and anthologized extensively in many prominent publications including kulturo, Chain, Callaloo, Brooklyn Rail and boundary 2. Tracie has 5 projects in the works to be released within the next 2 ½ years: Three upcoming books (two books of creative writing and one of critical essays): TDJ: To Do w/ John (Chax Press, 2012), Rhyme Scheme (Zasterle Press, 2012) and WhoDo with Words (University of Alabama Press) as well as two recording projects: sharpmorris (with Elliott Sharp) and The Tracie Morris Band. “Tracie is also an accomplished actor putting her emphasis on classical British acting technique by taking courses at RADA in London for several years. She’s performing in local productions of Macbeth and Cardenio this season.”
FRANCOIS GRILLOT “CONTRABAND” – FRANCOIS GRILLOT/Bass — Since François Grillot arrived from Paris in 1980, he has been a part of the story of jazz and improvised music in New York City. Soon after acquiring his very first contrabass, he started playing around town. One of his first regular gigs was with guitarist Bill Bickford at the legendary Augie’s jazz club, which was an important proving ground for up-and-coming jazz artists.
While maintaining a busy schedule of performing around New York City, François devoted much time and energy to the study of his craft: he studied jazz harmony and writing at City College of NY, took lessons with Linda McKnight, and studied at the East Harlem Music School run by Johnny Colon… He also participated in workshops run by Barry Harris, Dave Holland and Jazz Mobile, among others.
His Contraband emerged from a trio Roy Campbell, Dee Pop and Francois used to have about 5 years ago. He started writing music and the band was enlarged with Steve Swell on trombone and Catherine Sikora on saxophone. Jay Rosen, drums, joined them, and so did Daniel Levin, cello, both long time collaborators on various band projects. Matt Lavelle, trumpet, and Claire de Brunner, bassoon have also been part of the band. Now with Anders Nilsson, the band has reach it’s fullness in musical shapes and textures Francois still writing the music and also have taken the improvisations to a different place by scripting the direction through the instrumentation. Their first album of Contraband had just been released; it was recorded at the Hell’s Kitchen Jazz Festival last spring on 56Kitchen Records.
MATT LAVELLE/Trumpet — Matt Lavelle began his Music career with Hildred Humphries, a Swing era veteran that played with Count Basie, Billie Holiday, and many others of the time. Lavelle played Trumpet during this time as a member of Hildred’s band. Lavelle then made his move on New York City to go through the trials of all new Jazz musicians, and played Straight-ahead Jazz until 1995,.when he relocated to Kingston New York, and immersed himself in the study of the Bass-clarinet, keeping the trumpet going, creating the only known successful double of these 2 challenging instruments. Lavelle returned to New York seeking out what is known as the Downtown community in 1999 which he has been a member of to this day.
Along the way Lavelle has played with William Parker, which also consisted of a tour in Sardinia Italy, Sabir Mateen,.consisting of 2 European tours. He also toured in Scotland with his own trio, an improvisation collective known as Eye Contact. Lavelle began study with Jazz Legend Ornette Coleman in 2005, having huge impact and transformational impact on the Musician, also resulting in the addition of the Alto Clarinet as another voice. With over 10 appearances as a sideman on record. Lavelle has 4 records released with himself as a leader :Handling the Moment (2002), Trumpet Rising,Bass Clarinet Moon,.(2004),.Spiritual Power (2006), and the Manifestation Drama (2009).
Of special note is the record Spiritual Power,.top 10 in the Village Voice,.and also receiving critical acclaim internationally. Lavelle released Goodbye New York,Hello World(2011) and his first book New York City Subway Drama and Beyond also in 2011.Lavelle has played and collaborated with Ornette Coleman,William Parker,Warren Smith,Eric Mingus,Sabir Mateen,Roy Campbell,Daniel Carter,Jemeel Moondoc,Mat Maneri,Ras Moshe,Hilliard Greene,Steve Swell,Matana Roberts,Bern Nix,William Hooker and many others. Lavelle recently was key in the resurgence and recording of Jazz man Giuseppi Logan, an underground legend of the 60′s missing for over 30 years.In 2012 Lavelle plans to release his 12 Houses project and a new record on ESP.Giuseppi Logan records for ESP in June.
BERN NIX/Guitar — Jazz guitarist Bern Nix has recorded and performed with Ornette Coleman, notably playing alongside fellow guitarist Charlie Ellerbee in Coleman’s Prime Time group on their key recordings from Dancing in Your Head in the mid-1970 to In All Languages in 1987.
Nix has released CDs including “Alarms And Excursions” (September 1, 1993). First teaching guitar after arrival in New York City, Nix is a native of Ohio. He is a graduate of the Berle College of Music and currently resides in New Jersey. Nix also performed with James Chance and the Contortions and appears on their 1981 Live in New York recording. Nix released a solo recording entitled Low Barometer (Tompkins Square Records) which will became available online in September 2006. Another recent Nix composition, “Les is More”, appears on “Art and Money”.
WEASEL WALTER BAND — WEASEL WALTER/drums — Weasel Walter is best known as the drummer and primary composer for the cult punk jazz/no wave/brutal prog band, The Flying Luttenbachers. Between 1991 and 2007, the group recorded 16 full-length albums, toured Europe and the US extensively, and included such musicians as Ken Vandermark, Mick Barr, Ed Rodriguez (Deerhoof),Jeb Bishop, Jonathan Hischke (Hella) and Fred Lonberg-Holm in its ranks. Mr. Walter has also worked with other experimental rock groups like XBXRX, Behold…The Arctopus, Burmese, Lake Of Dracula and many others.
Also known as an improviser, Mr. Walter has performed and/or recorded with Evan Parker, Marshall Allen, Elliott Sharp, Peter Evans, Joe Morris, Henry Kaiser, Mary Halvorson, Marc Edwards, Nels Cline, William Hooker, Darius Jones, Jim O’Rourke, John Butcher, Vinny Golia, John Lindberg and members of ROVA among many others. He appears on over 100 commercial releases and runs the independent record label, ugEXPLODE.
By: Ruby Flowers Productions
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