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Dean Taba

Dean Taba

dean_taba_1Now a highly regarded studio and freelance musician, Dean Taba began his musical studies on the piano at the age of 6 and played french horn in the Hawaii Youth Symphony. It was a desire to play in the high school jazz band that introduced him to the bass and improvised music. After extensive studies at the Berklee College of Music in Boston and a refinement of his skills on both the acoustic and electric bass, Dean relocated in 1984 to Los Angeles to become one of it’s most in demand musicians.

Also a respected clinician and educator (Los Angeles Music Academy, Musician’s Institute, Cal-Poly Pomona, Grove School of Music) Dean has recently performed/recorded with David Benoit, Andy Summers, Sadao Watanabe, The San Francisco Symphony, Hiroshima, Rick Braun, The American Jazz Institute Orchestra, Dave Koz, Jeff Richman, The Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra, Kilauea, Bill Watrous, and many others as well as playing on countless CDs, TV shows, and movie sound tracks.dean_taba_2 

In spite of his busy schedule, Dean is always sure to devote time to writing music for his own projects, one of which has just released a self titled CD, More Is More. This innovative jazz ensemble utilizes an unorthodox instrumentation of two drum sets, trumpet, sax, and bass.

Dean emphasizes, “I am grateful for every opportunity to make and share music”. Bassist Dean Taba has made quite an impression on the L.A. Jazz scene in a decade of straight-ahead gigs with the best and brightest of our local artists. His walking bass leads this session of innovative originals. Recorded last August at The Baked Potato and at the Los Angeles Music Academy, Taba’s program features two drummers: one on the left and one on the right. Fortunately, the mix keeps both rhythm masters in perspective.

Tenor saxophonist Andy Suzuki and trumpeter Steve Huffsteter provide the melody, as well as mood-defining harmonies. The two drum sets give Taba’s session a driving spark. Both Kendall Kay and Tim McIntyre enhance from the sides. Dave Allen narrates a unique, improvised piece about living in L.A.

Taba leads with the force of Charles Mingus, changing tempos as he wishes, when he sees fit. His “Think of Juan” is a piece inspired by the classic confrontation between Mingus and Juan Tizol one night when both were working with the Duke Ellington Orchestra.

With his extended composition, Taba captures that Mingus touch, which is always a joy to discover in modern jazz.

Bob Sheppard

Artist Profile:

Bob Shepbob_sheppard_1pard, adjunct assistant professor, jazz studies, earned his master’s degree at the Eastman School of Music. He is an in-demand session player who works extensively in film and television.

He can be heard on the soundtracks of major motion pictures, such as Jerry Maguire, Leaving Las Vegas, Goodfellas, Forrest Gump, Nixon and First Wives Club, and on television soundtracks for Seinfeld, Chicago Hope, Late Night with David Letterman, Cheers and Northern Exposure.

As a side musician, he is featured on a variety of recordings from pop CDs by Steely Dan, The Manhattan Transfer, Sheena Easton and Rickie Lee Jones, to jazz CDs by Scott Henderson, Dianne Reeves, Billy Childs and bob_sheppard_2Michael Franks. Currently a member of the Mike Stern Quartet, he was featured on the 1998 premiere tour of Chick Corea’s new sextet, Origin.

He has also been a member of the bands of such luminaries as Freddie Hubbard, Randy Brecker, Horace Silver, Lyle Mays, Peter Erskine, Billy Childs, Nat Adderley and Doc Severinson, among others. Mr. Sheppard is also a solo artist and composer.

Mike Garson

Artist Profile:

mike_garson_171 years ago in Brooklyn, New York, Michael David Garson made his first of many grand entrances. Born to Bernand and Sally Garson and welcomed by his big sister Barbara, Mike took to the piano at an early age — drawn almost magnetically to music and the transformational power it promises.

Forever redefining limitations society places on age, Mike refuses to hang up his leather pants and put away his Gucci sunglasses. Always embarking on a new adventure or a creative challenge, Mike remains at the forefront of fortitude.

Mike continues working to make the world a more creative, compassionate and compelling place. Having raised two daughters — Heather and Jennifer — Mike now enjoys another role: grandfather to Jeremy, Jacob, Max and Maya. Just as fans around the world applaud Mike for his talent his two grandsons continually find ways to celebrate his energy and enthusiasm for life.

Ironically though he is publicly known for his skills as a pianist, composer and artist, it is his selfless love for family and friends that has made Mike the happiest. And so,mike_garson_2 as he celebrates his 61st year, Mike remains grateful for the enduring gift of friendship and family and looks forward to many more decades of meaningful music and creative contributions.

“If I am truly passionate about and love what I do, I believe that feeling can be transmuted to and inspire the people who receive my art,” says Mike.

David Garfield

Artist Profile:

david_garfield_1Garfield has one of those who’s who, what’s what resumes that begs the question, what HASN’T he done? Over the span of his career, he’s scored and recorded for films (“Annie,” “Always” with J.D. Souther), Television (“Fame” and its five accompanying “Kids from Fame” recordings), and commercials (Coca Cola, McDonald’s, Seven Up).

He’s produced 25 albums and appeared on close to 80, with such artists as Cher, Boz Scaggs, Larry Carlton, Spinal Tap, The Manhattan Transfer, Keiko Matsui and The Rippingtons); toured with Earl Klugh, Michael McDonald, Nancy Wilson, Oleta Adams/Luther Vandross, and Brenda Russell, and was musical director for George Benson (from 1986-90) and Dianne Reeves; appeared on The Tonight Show, Arsenio Hall and Solid Gold; and has composed and recorded over 100 original compositions.david_garfield_2

As if that array of challenges weren’t enough to satisfy his creative urges, Garfield has led several popular bands rock/jazz/funk/world beat fusion bands in Los Angeles since his arrival in the mid-70s. The first of these was Karizma, which he formed with top session players Carlos Vega, Lenny Castro, Mike Landau and Jimmy Johnson. Karizma played sold out club dates in L.A. for years and released four albums (“Dream Come True,” “Cuba,” “All The Way Live,” and “Arms of Love”) to great success in Japan, Australia and throughout Europe.

At one point, Karizma, which still regroups every so often, also toured extensively, including dates with Sadao Watanabe, Jeff Lorber and the Yellowjackets. Garfield and longtime friend/collaborator, guitarist Steve Lukather from Toto, formed Los Lobotomys in 1985, and this band has also met with great success in L.A. and abroad. In 1994, Garfield and Lukather produced the guitarist’s second solo album “The Candyman” on Sony International. The project featured Fee Waybill from the Tubes and Simon Phillips, drummer for The Who, and the band embarked on a sell out tour of Europe and Japan, sharing stages with Peter Gabriel, Aerosmith and others.

As is typical of his musical resume, Garfield has worked on a number of unique projects over the past few years, both at home, in Europe and Japan. The Los Lobotomys tour led to a long-term scoring assignment on a German TV show, and he has produced various Japanese artists in addition to working with top Italian singing star Eros Ramazzotti. Garfield has also performed at Keyboard Magazine’s 20th Anniversary Concert at the NAMM show alongside Bruce Hornsby and Joe Zawinal; played at the Modern Drummer magazine’s anniversary concert with Steve Ferrone; scored the syndicated TV show “Sentinel”; sat in with Isaac Hayes and The Blues Brothers at a House of Blues benefit concert; released two DCI instructional videos on how to play rock and roll keyboards; written music for the trailer for the Billy Crystal-Robin Williams comedy “Father’s Day” with James Newton-Howard, and background cues for Good Day L.A. In between these gigs, he was pouring over the logistics and finally the recording sessions for the Tribute to Jeff release.

Garfield also formed a production company, Creatchy Productions. With access to the top studio musicians and state of the art technological equipment, they have offered modern production values to both commercial and experimental projects. Creatchy Productions has released eight projects by various artists, and has accessed the Japanese youth market. By continuing to craft world music with Contemporary Jazz and to delve into new international technologies, Garfield has secured his niche as a visionary in contemporary music. At first glance, all of these diverse projects may seem to have little in common with his earliest gigs touring and recording with Willie Bobo, Freddie Hubbard and Tom Scott. But at age 40, the Chicago born, New York and St. Louis bred Garfield can summarize his entire, admittedly all encompassing career in three simple words: “I make music.” That’s his mission statement.