Jazz at Novo!
Jazz in The Cellar!
No joke! This is timba, Cuban pop music. If only American pop music was 5% as amazing as this. Isaac Delgado has become an international superstar, but in the 90's in Cuba, there is some serious fire going on. Dig the missing keys on the keyboard, then find beat one in his piano part.
I am starting to get busy again after a pretty relaxing winter. I am in the process of updating and maintaining my calendar more. Check the dates and come say hi sometime!
Big Week of Music!
So far, so good this year! I am playing often around the area and getting to spend lots of time with my amazing family, which is all I can ask for. Happy new year to you!
Zongo All Stars at Slo Brew Cali Carnival!
featuring local percussion group, Samba Loca, and samba dancing! Take a lesson earlier that day!
Wednesday, I will be at the Seaventure in Pismo Beach with my jazz quartet, featuring Larry Arone, piano, Karl Welz on saxophone, and Darrell Voss on drums.
Thursday night I'll be with the Gypsy All Stars at Creekside Brewing Co. from 10-12, and Friday I will be filling in on bass with Cuesta Ridge at the Shell Cafe in Pismo Beach. I used to be the bassist for Cuesta Ridge in the early days of that band, and am excited to play with them again!
Summer Rolls Out
My summer is winding down quickly, and before I know it I will be back for the Fall semester at Cuesta College. I took a summer class on this year and really enjoyed the class. The students were engaged and a nice group dynamic was happening. I hope to do it again!
I played a special performance backing up a great fusion guitarist from LA, Jeff Richman, at D'Anbino's Winery/Club along with Adam Levine on guitar and Eric Valentine on drums. This guy plays with the best of the best in Southern California, including many musicians I greatly admire. I had a lot of fun learning his original material and had a fun time playing with such a great band.
There are some other cool things on the horizon... One Time Spaceman is still doing our weekly gig at Villa Creek restaurant in Paso Robles on Thurs 830-1030 and my jazz quartet plays every three weeks at the Seaventure in Pismo. See the performances page for details.
Zongo All Stars has a spot at Vina Robles Amphitheatre with Beats Antique, Matisyahu, Ozomatli, and Makua Rothman on Aug 31th, and a spot opening for Los Lobos at Castoro Cellars' Beaverstock fest on Sept. 14. Also look out for the annual Zongo Cup regatta from Morro Bay to Avila on August 15th, and Baywood Bayfest on August 23rd with Cafe Musique.
Finally, the Zongo All Stars' debut cd, Calicubano, is finished and in our hands. Our CD release will be at the Live Oak Music Festival this weekend. We will be playing the main stage on Friday at 4pm with a surprise guest, then rocking the late night Hot Licks Stage on Saturday at 1030pm. Years ago our salsa band, Salson, played the same slots and had a blast playing the late night set with Joe Craven sitting in.
Also, congrats to my bandmates in Zongo for our second New Times Readers' Poll win. We were voted best band in the county again for 2014.
In other news, I just was in the studio recording with the jazz faculty at Cuesta for an upcoming Cuesta Jazz CD. There are always lots of laughs with that crew, plus some great music (one featuring two bassists!).
I am looking forward to a busy summer full of music and lots of time with my family. Hope to see you at a show.
Zongo All Stars has a big Sunday lined up for you! Click here for more info!
I will be playing with Trio Vanguard, featuring Larry Arone on piano and Darrell Voss on drums at 2pm. Next up is a set from the Cayucos Steel Band under the leadership of our own John Lee.
Ricardo Lemvo, an incredible singer and band leader from the great tradition of Congolese rumba and salsa, will be playing a set. I have been a fan of his band for years since opening up for them years ago at a Stone Soup Festival in Arroyo Grande.
The morning my daughter was born we played a Franco (the Congolese rumba godfather) album all morning. Here are some clips of Lemvo and Franco.
Zongo All Stars will be headlining, and although we wont have it on Sunday, our first CD will be in our hands by the time Live Oak rolls around. Finally!
Right after Zongo's set, Jake, Jennings and I will be going straight over to the Merrimaker to play an afterparty with our trio, Solstice. If you want to help us carry a piece of gear over there, we will play you a love song. We choose it. :)
Our Americana/rock/blues band, One Time Spaceman, will be making a rare coastal appearance at the Otter Rock Cafe on Friday night from 8-11. Come down and get warmed up for Sunday!
It has been quite a while since I have updated my site for a multitude of reasons, but I am back. Since last summer I have had some major life changes that have caused me to take a step back and review my musical endeavors. I became a father for the first time in October, and I am looking through a new (and improved) lens, both at my life, and musical career.
After a thankfully slow fall and winter season (lots of quality home time), I am beginning to get busier again. I have a renewed and revitalized musical energy and am excited for the rest of the year. I also have been reflecting on my colleagues and friends who I appreciate so much.
I am still teaching at Cuesta College, and it is such an honor to be among such an amazing (and cool) faculty. It was as a student there that I made the decision that I would like to be a music educator by watching and learning from Warren Balfour and the other faculty at that time. I never thought I would actually end up teaching there! It has been a joy and a great learning experience for me, and I am thankful to have the opportunity. We will be playing the opening set at the 1st SLO jazz festival next month, and getting together with the faculty is a great hang and a great, challenging musical experience.
Paul Irving, trumpeter and businessman of Zongo All Stars, is truly amazing. He has put in countless hours arranging performances, promoting, and more importantly, making the whole experience fun for both the band and our fans. He never fails for creative ideas for us. We have a CD in the can, ready to be mixed, and will be appearing at Junefest on June 1st in Los Osos. I will be playing a jazz trio set with Larry Arone and Darrell Voss, then John Lee's Cayucos Steel Band, and one of my favorite groups, Ricardo Lemvo and Makina Loca, an Afro/Salsa band. Check them out!
I am still playing every three weeks at Seaventure hotel in Pismo on Wednesdays from 6-9. The crew includes my good friends Larry Arone or Bob Harway on piano, Jake Odell on guitar, Karl Welz on sax, and Darrell Voss or Daryl Vandruff on drums. I am always challenged with these guys, and am lucky to have them on the gig. I have learned so much from playing with Bob!
This Sunday I will be accompanying Pete Christlieb at Charlie Shoemake's Famous Jazz Artists series at D'Anbino's in Paso Robles. He was the tenor sax player forever with the Tonight Show band, played on Tom Waits' early records, and did an album with Warne Marsh that was produced by Steely Dan's Walter Becker and Donald Fagan etc. Wild! I am lucky to get these opportunities to try to hang with these guys and am honored that Charlie Shoemake sometimes brings me in to do it. I have learned a ton from his left hand, too (piano reharms!).
Lastly, I have met so many wonderful people through playing music. I can't begin to express my gratitude to all the people who make it a priority to support live music on the Central Coast. I think that the music scene here is the strongest it has ever been, with lots of really good musicians and bands. We can only do it with the support of listeners, and it is happening. Thank you to everyone who has come out to see the projects I am involved in.
See you soon! I will be updating my calendar soon, but I better get some sleep.
Big Labor Day Weekend
This is going to be a great summer end blowout!
Friday, my good friends Jacob Odell, Steve Campbell, and I will be playing with Functus, our long standing funk and beyond project. This is a rare treat, as Steve lives in New Orleans and doesn't make out here much anymore. Not to be missed! Starts at 830pm at Sweet Springs Saloon in Los Osos.
Saturday, right after I play two shows of Always, Patsy Cline with PCPA in Santa Maria, One Time Spaceman will be at the Merrimaker, Baywood Park's cherished old dive bar, which again is serving up live music. Show starts at 9:30pm.
On Sunday, Baywood Park's own Bayfest, kicks off with Warren Balfour's Royal Garden Swing Orchestra (I will be subbing for my friend and former teacher, Ken Hustad), Three Sheets to the Wind, the great Jody Mulgrew and the Skeleton Crew, and finishing it off with Zongo All Stars. Music starts at 1pm.
On Monday, I will be sleeping.
I am excited to reunite later this month with my pal Steve Campbell for our Functus show later this month on August 30th. I miss playing with this guy! I am also substituting for a PCPA production of "Always, Patsy Cline" this month. I get to dress like a cowboy and play on stage during the show. Yahoo!
One of the great things about being a bass player is that no matter what type of music you play, the function of the instrument stays more or less the same. I love the art of the "functional" bassist. I spent many of my early years as a musician trying to avoid the conventional types of playing. My heroes were the iconoclasts of the instrument.
Over the last ten years I have gained an appreciation of supportive and often "simple" playing, and I have spent much time trying to improve this part of my playing.
I have recently involved myself in some styles I have not participated in before. After playing jazz nearly exclusively for years, I am now playing in a Americana/rock band, a country and western swing band, and some gypsy swing here and there. I love the challenge and the diversity, and I enjoy all of it. Each style has its own requirements and subtleties. The learning never ends.
This summer is turning out to be a fun one. I had the pleasure of opening the new Vina Robles Ampitheatre in Paso Robles with Zongo All Stars and One Time Spaceman, and got the opportunity to perform at Live Oak Music Festival with Inga Swearingen. Later this month I will be entering the studio with her for work on her next album. In late August Jacob Odell and I will be getting together with our friend and New Orleans resident, Steve Campbell, for a reunion of our band Functus. Always one of our favorite projects, Functus is an improvisational power trio with a cohesion based on twenty years of playing together. I wish we could do it more often.
Save the date! August 30th at our home base, Sweet Springs Saloon, in Los Osos.