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.

Abe Laboriel

abe_laboriel_1Abraham Laboriel, Sr. (b. July 17, 1947) Abraham Laboriel is a world renowned bassist and the founder of the band KOINONIA. He was born and raised in Mexico City where he received his earliest musical training from his father, a gifted guitarist and composer. His first recording was at age 10 as part of a “rock and roll” group called “Los Traviesos”.

After performing in Mexico thru his teen years as both a musician and an actor, he moved to Boston where he earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Composition from the Berklee School of Music in 1972. During that time he recorded with faculty member, famed vibraphonist Gary Burton. He traveled with Johnny Mathis, Michel Legrand, and Henry Mancini and moved to Los Angeles in 1976 to begin a very diverse and fruitful studio recording career.

Abe has played on over 3,000 recordings and soundtracks. Guitar Player Magazine described him as: “the most widely used session bassist of our time”. Laboriel is the father of drummer Abe Laboriel Jr. He swiched to bass guitar while studying at the Berklee School of Music. Henry Mancini encouraged Laboriel to move to Los Angeles,abe_laboriel_2 California and pursue a career in music.

Since then, he has worked with artists as diverse as George Benson, Larry Carlton, the Crusaders, Ella Fitzgerald, Dave Grusin, Herbie Hancock, Freddie Hubbard, Al Jarreau, John Klemmer, Manhattan Transfer, Joe Pass, Joe Sample, Lalo Shifrin, Diane Schuur, Sara Vaughan, Stevie Wonder, Barbra Streisand, Dolly Parton, Elton John, Ray Charles, Madonna, Paul Simon, Keith Green, Lisa Loeb, Quincy Jones, Russ Taff, Engelbert Humperdinck, Crystal Lewis, Chris Isaak, Michael Jackson, and Joe Zawinul. He recorded with Lee Ritenour, Ernie Watts, and Alex Acuna in a band called “Friendship” and has continued to record and travel with Lee and Dave Grusin for GRP Records.

He also has been much in demand for work with artists like Lionel Richie, Quincy Jones, Jeffrey Osborne, Chaka Khan, Robbie Robertson, Kenny Rogers, Kenny Loggins, Ruben Blades and countless others. He was in fact voted by his peers in the LA Chapter of NARAS as the “Most Valuable Player” in the Bass chair for the three years in a row, joining Ray Brown and Chuck Domanico in that honor. When Laboriel recorded his three solo albums (Dear Friends, Guidum ,and Justo & Abraham), he recruited a cast of musicians that included Alex Acuna, Jarreau, Jim Keltner, Phillip Bailey, and others.

Oscar Seaton

Artist Profile:

oscar_seaton_1One fantastic drummer – Oscar Seaton has played with George Benson, Lee Riteneour, David Garfield, and many many more luminaries.

Oscar Seaton has been playing drums since he was five years old.

Growing up in Chicago, Oscar’s musical influences included rock, pop, funk, soul and jazz. Oscar has toured with Boz Scaggs and Lionel Ritchie. He is an in demand session and live player in whatever town he’s in. oscar_seaton_2


Joel Taylor

Artist Profile:

joel_taylor_1Imagine the phone rings and you’re asked to tour with one of most highly regarded musicians in the business-so far so good, but did I mention there are no charts and no rehearsals oh, and do you really want to know who his previous drummers were?

Isn’t it strange how some artists always seem to attract amazing drummers? Take Frank Zappa for instance, after Terry Bozzio left he was replaced by Vinnie Colaiuta, then Chad Wackerman. Then there’s Steve Gadd, Dave Weckl and Gary Novak with Chick Corea, or how about Sting and Omar Hakim, Vinnie and Manu Katche. Being offered the opportunity to follow drummers of that caliber into any gig says a lot about the esteem with which you’re held, but following the long line of incredible drummers who include Vinnie, Gary Novak, Chad Wackerman and Gary Husband into Allan Holdsworth’s band must still seem an intimidating experience, especially with Allan’s frightening arrangements, seat of the pants improvisation and music running the gamut of styles from straight ahead jazz to funk to rock.Joel_taylor_2

Fear not however, new boy Joel Taylor is already proving to be a force to be reckoned with, easily holding his own amongst his predecessors. His playing with jazz/fusion guitarists Frank Gambale and Jeff Richman has obviously stood him in good stead for his new gig, which very few players would have the ability to make their own in such a short space of time. In fact it was Joel’s playing on Jeff Richman’s ‘Last Arrival’ album that first drew peoples attention, with his compressed Wecklesque sound and Vinnie inspired chops and fluidity. Now he seems to be becoming the drummer of choice for more and more top musicians. Rhythm managed to catch up with Joel during the Allan Holdsworth trio’s recent weeklong stint at London’s Ronnie Scott’s.

Touring (U.S.A & International)

David Foster- Awards Shows & Live Benefits (various) Jeffrey Osborne U.S Frank Gambale- So. Am. House Drummer – Smooth Jazz Awards, 2001, Chicago Allan Holdsworth – U.S / Europe / Japan Damian’s Fire – PBS TV Special (Romania) Brandon Fields – U.S / Costa Rica, Jeff Lorber (U.S) Eric Marienthal – U.S/Germany, Andy Summers – Europe/Panama/U.S Voices of Classic Rock featuring Bobby Kimball / Edgar Winter / Micky Thomas Berklee College Allstars featuring Larry Monroe (Japan),

1998: Yanni – World Tour Ernie Watts / Nico Assumpcao (Brazil), Freeflight (U.S), Eric Marienthal – US / Europe
1997: Yanni – World Tour, Jeff Lorber (U.S), Brian Bromberg (U.S), Eric Marienthal (U.S)
1990 -’96 Bobby Caldwell – World Tour Herb Alpert – U.S / Europe, Allan Holdsworth (U.S), Diane Schuur (U.S) Ernie Watts / Rique Pantoja – Brazil/Japan, Rippingtons – World Tour Jeff Lorber – U.S / Europe, Eric Marienthal – U.S / E urope Brian Bromberg-U.S /J apan / Europe Jeff Richman / Peter Wolf – U.S / Japan / Europe, Mitch Forman / Mike Miller – Japan Brandon Fields (U.S), Wilton Felder / Rob Mullins (Japan), Free Flight (U.S) Cecilia Noel & Wild Clams (Germany / U.S), Gregg Karukas (U.S) Birelli Lagrene (U.S), Steve Bailey / Rique Pantoja (South Pacific) Subramaniam – Southeast Asia / India, Kilauea (U.S), Kenia – U.S./.Japan./.Mexico Kevyn Letteau (Japan), Pauline Wilson (Japan), Tiger Okoshi (Japan) Makoto Ozone / Kimiko Ito (Japan)

RECORDING Album Credits

Mitchell Forman – Mr. Clean (’01), Allan Holdswoth – Live @ The Galaxy Theatre (’01) Damian’s Fire – Live In Romania (’01), Brandon Fields – Currently Recording- (’01-’02) Andy Summers – Peggy’s Blue Skylight (‘00), Mitchell Forman – Patience (‘00), Mickey Thomas – Currently recording (‘00), Frank Gambale – Coming To Your Senses ( ‘00), Eikichi Yazawa – Whole Lotta Good Time (‘00), Bobby Kimball – Two Souls (’99) Jeff Richman – Sand Dance (‘98), Sonny Southon – All The Colors (‘98), Brian Bromberg – You Know That Feeling (‘98) / Brian Bromberg (‘93), Yanni – Tribute (‘97), Gina Kronstadt – Walk My Way ‘97, Herb Alpert – Second Wind (‘96), Jeff Richman – Last Arrival (‘96), Tom Saviano – Making Up Lost Time (‘96), Bob Boykin – Hazardous Material (‘96), Free Flight – “2000” (‘96), Yasuko Agawa (‘96), Mike Lang – Days of Wine & Roses (‘95), Rique Pantoja – Live in LA, Bill Cunliffe – Paul Simon Songbook (‘93), Laima – GRP (’93), Brian Bromberg – Bassically Speaking ‘90 / Basses Loaded (‘88), Gregg Karukas – Home For The Holidays (‘93), Joe Sample – Passion Motion (‘92) (single), Steve Bailey – Dichotomy (‘92), Sal Marquez – One For Dewey (‘92), Kilauea – Tropical Pleasures (‘92), Mischa Seagal – GRP (‘91), Kenia – What You’re Looking For (‘90), Rob Mullins – Tokyo Night s (‘90) / Jazz Jazz (‘89), Justo Almario – Family Times (‘89)

Coke, Diet Coke, Toyota, Sony, Pacific Bell, IBM, Macintosh, Ford, Mazda, Mercedes Benz, Cadillac, Mobil Link, Kent, Caster, Wrigleys, Wesson Oil, Nestle Television

Mike & Matty Show, Byron Allen Show, High Society, Japanese TV Themes (various), Sony Playstation Soundtracks

‘99: Movies: For composers incl. Phil Giffifin, Peter Wolf, Anthony Marinelli, Mike Garson, Mike Tavera, Daisuke & Toshi Hinata.

Rayford Griffin

Artist Profile:

rayford_griffin_1Anyone who has ever had the privilege of hearing Rayford Griffin cut loose in one of his notorious drum solos knows they are hearing state of the art percussion. But they soon discover something even more extraordinary. These are more than talking drums; they’re singing. You would swear you hear a verse, a chorus, certainly there is a melody – because you follow it note for note right up to the orgasmic bridge. And here you thought you hated drum solos!

Stanley Clarke in JAZZIZ says, “I could talk forever about drummers. They’re my favorite musicians, because a drummer can really make or break a band. And I’ve played with so many different drummers… Lenny White… Billy Cobham… Steve Gadd… Tony Williams… Omar Hakim. Out of all the young drummers, Rayford Griffirayford_griffin_2n is probably the best.”

Rayford has toured with Michael Jackson, Anita Baker, the Isley Brothers, Stanley Clarke, Jean-Luc Ponty, Bette Midler, Babyface, George Duke, Jeff Lorber, George Howard, Manhattan Transfer, Kenny G., Rick Braun, Angela Winbush, Cameo, DeBarge, and the list goes on…

Playing with Rayford on this show recorded at La Ve Lee are Reggie Hamilton on bass, guitar, Nick Smith on keyboards, Bennie Maupin on sax, Richard Grant on trumpet, Dwight Sills on guitar, and Munyungo Jackson on percussion.

Gary Novak

Artist Profile:

gary_novak_1Born and raised in Chicago, Gary Novak was practically born with drum sticks in hand. Coming from parents of great musical talent, it is no wonder that Gary began playing the piano at the tender age of 8.

While most musicians find their musical inspiration outside the home, Novak’s influence came from his parents. His mother, Carol Novak, also a pianist, played with her trio at the London House. His father, Larry Novak, the famous Chicago pianist, not only encouraged the career of his son but also put him to work. From the age of 10 to 12, Novak would work with his father’s trio in all the Chicago clubs, including Mr. Kelly’s, gaining the insight and experience that would lead to several musical milestones obtained at a very young age.gary_novak_2 During high school, Novak worked with the jazz clarinet master Buddy Defranco as well as such notables as Joe Williams, Milt Hinton, Kenny Burrell, Barney Kessel and the great Louis Bellson.

Novak’s blossoming reputation lead to the opportunity to represent Yamaha drums and Zildjian cymbals through endorsements at the age of 17. At 19 years old, Novak moved to Los Angeles – an important step forward for Novak bringing many opportunities most could only dream of getting. Not only did Los Angeles bring him his first road job with Maynard Ferguson, but it marked a year of great exposure. Novak would come to work with Brandon Fields and record on his latest LP.

He worked with such musical greats as Michael McDonald, Natalie Cole, David Sanborn and Anita Baker. gary_novak_3He teamed up with guitarist Lee Ritenour who employed him for his solo tour and the GRP All-Star tour in 1991.

Novak continued to tour throughout ’92, but this time with George Benson. Although Novak has been working the greater part of his life, he is not about to slow down now. At 28, he is joining Chick Corea’s newest band and after having left it he kept on touring with many other great musician as Bob Berg,, Allan Holdsworth, etc. In 1998 he joined Canadian pop star Alanis Morissette Band with whom he recorded and toured worldwide for more than one year. One must wonder what will be left for Gary Novak to do having accomplished so much in such little time.

Gary has performed with: Bob Berg, Chick Corea, Alanis Morissette, Ozzy Osbourne, Steve Tavaglione, George Benson, Chris Chaney, Taylor Hawkins, Lee Ritenour, Allan Holdsworth, Robben Ford, Steven Mike, David Sanborn, Brandon Fields, Chaka Khan, Jimmy Earl, Dave Weckl, Phil Sheeran, Tom Fowler, Larry Steen, Solar Wind, Eric Marienthal, John Patitucci, Bernie Kirsh, Pat Kelley, Jeff Beal, Chris Chaney, Nick Lashley, Joel Shearer, Ron Moss, Gary Herbig, Cassio Duarte, Michael Wolff, Maynard Ferguson, Frank Gambale, …..and many more.

Bob McChesney

Artist Profile:

bob_mcchesney_4Conn-Selmer Artist Bob McChesney was born in Baltimore, Maryland, and began studying the trombone at the age of nine.

McChesney holds a bachelor’s Degree from the State University of New York at Fredonia. In 1979, Bob moved to Los Angeles where he remains, working as a studio musician and in a wide variety of musical situations including film, television, records, jingles and can be heard on recordings by Ray Charles – his Grammy Album of the Year 2005 “Genius Loves Company”, Grammy 2000 winner Diana Krall – “When I Look In Your Eyes”, Michael Bolton (“Bolton Swings Sinatra” and soloist on “Michael Bolton Christmas”), Shakira, Michael Buble’, Kenny G, Barry Manilow, Rene Olstead, Russell Watkins, Chicago’s “Night and Day- Big Band”, Natalie Cole’s “Snowfall on the Sahara”, Rod Stewart (American Songbook II), Hanson (w/ Hey Horns), Dave Koz, Steve Tyrell, Michael Davis’ “Brass Nation”, Chris Walden Big Band, Lisa Marie Presley, Art Garfunkel, Joey DeFrancesco, Monica Mancini, Mickey Rooney, Juice Newton, Steve Lawrence, James Darrin, Facundo Monty, Matt Catingub, Steve Allen, Adam Sandler, Mark Winkler, Bill Watrous, Nita Whitaker, David Hassellhoff, Ryan Dehues, Matt Catingub, Buddy Greco, George Graham, Mel Torme, John LaBarbera, Dave Pell, Lisa Richard, Victor Lewis, Rebeka, Shelly Berg, Patrick Tuzzolino, Barbara Morrison, Calabria bob_mcchesney_3Foti, Curtis Amy and Anita O’Day.

As a jazz soloist, McChesney is featured on his own “No Laughing Matter – The Bob McChesney Quartet Plays Steve Allen”, Horace Silver’s “Its Got To Be Funky”, Bob Florence’s Grammy 2000 winning CD “Serendipity 18”, and Florence’s “Earth” and “All the Bells and Whistles” and on Randy Waldman’s latest on Concord “Unreel”. He has performed live with Arturo Sandoval, Nancy Wilson, Kenny G, The Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, The Long Beach Symphony, Lalo Schifrin, Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band, Patti Austin, Stanley Clarke, Robb McConnell, Tony Bennett, The Tom Scott Bebop Sextet, Frank Sinatra, Jr., Rosemary Clooney, Jack Jones, Bill Holman, Jack Sheldon, The Long Beach Municipal Band, Frank Capp and Juggernaught, The Woody Herman Band, Supersax, and has performed on the Tonight Show. Some of his film and television credits include “Rocky Balboa”, “Pursuit of Happyness”, “Everyone’s Hero”, “The Good Shepard”, “Mystic River”, “Rush Hour 2”, “Bringing Down the House”, “The Cooler”, “Space Jam”, “First Wives Club”, “Titan A.E.”, “Double Take”, “Soldier”, “The Siege”, “Dracula – Dead and Loving It”, “Graceland”, “Robin Hood – Men In Tights”, “George of the Jungle”, “The Durango Kid”, “A Will of Their Own”, “Rhapsody in Bloom”, and many others, -TVs “The Simpsons”, “Family Guy”, “American Dad”, “Happy Hour”, “Looney Toons”, “Jag”,” King of the Hill”, “Futurama”, “American Dreams”, “Once and Again”, “Providence”, “Diagnosis Murder”,”The Drew Carey Show”, “Bette”, “From Earth to the Moon”, “America’s Funniest Home Videos”, “PBS’s Great Performances Theme” and a variety of cartoon shows.

McChesney’s extensive music computer experience has earned him album credits as computer programmer and recording engineer on recordings such as Patti Austin’s “Carry On”, “Handel’s Messiah – A Soulful Celebration”, Vonda Shepard’s “The Radical Light” and the double platinum “The Songs of West Side Story” with Michael McDonald, James Ingram and Kenny Loggins, David Hasselhoff CDs and many others. He has also produced CDs for several artists.

In addition to his work as a performer and studio musician, McChesney has authored the trombone method on doodle tonguing entitled Doodle Studies and Etudes (Chesapeake Music). Critically acclaimed and endorsed by the great trombonists Carl Fontana, Bill Watrous and Joseph Alessi, McChesney’s book and recording is an in-depth analysis of the fast-legato multiple tongue technique. Respected as one of the foremost authorities on doodle tonguing, McChesney has contributed to the International Trombone Association Journal about his method.

McChesney was a featured soloist at the 2001 International Trombone Festival in Nashville, Tennessee, and presented his doodle tongue technique masterclass at the IAJE Conference in Toronto in 2002. In 2004 McChesney performed both the debut of “Concerto for Trombone and Orchestra” by Louis Forestieri and “The Carnival of Venice” with the Idaho Falls Symphony.

In 2005 McChesney’s group performed at the IAJE Conference in Long Beach, Ca.

Jimmy Haslip

Artist Profile:

jimmy_haslip_1Jimmy Haslip grew up in a rich musical environment. As a youth, he listened to Latin and salsa music around the house, including such Latin music icons as Tito Puente, Mongo Santamaria, Machito, Ray Barretto, Celia Cruz and Eddie Palmieri, to name a few. In addition to learing various Latin dances from his parents, Jimmy learned how to play a lot of basic Latin rhythms on the different percussion instruments that they had around the house.

He learned to play authentically on the claves, maracas, cowbell, bongos and the guido, which gave him that keen sense of time and rhythm that surfaces in his bass playing today.
His older brother Gabriel also played Jimmy some jazz and classical music, so he had exposure to John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, Eric Dolphy, Miles Davis and Dave Brubeck on one hand, and the music ofjimmy_haslip_2 Debussy, Stravinsky, Beethoven, Mozart and Mahler on the other.

Jimmy says, “This was an eye opening time for me and even though most of this music was over my head, it definitely ignited my musical curiosity. I also was listening to a lot of Pop music, like the Beatles, the Supremes, The Four Tops, The Temptations, Wilson Pickett, James Brown and lots of great Pop music on the radio. I can remember that it was a very exciting time for music!”

Jimmy began studying music in elementary school, playing the trumpet and other assorted brass instruments (including the bugle, baritone horn and tuba) from age seven to fourteen. Jimmy picked up a bass at the age of fifteen and taught himself how to play it. “Actually the very first time I saw an electric bass, was at a junior high Valentine’s day dance. There was a live band playing and the bass player had an reddish/orange Hagstrom bass and a small Standel bass amp. It was then that I knew I wanted to play the electric bass! What a feeling! I’ll never forget it as long as I live. It was my very first real spark of creative passion!”

jimmy_haslip_3While being mostly self taught on the bass, Jimmy studied with a private bass/tuba player from New York named Ron Smith. He was also very fortunate to have studied with one of jazz music’s greatest talents. “…I did manage to study with Jaco Pastorius for a few weeks in the mid seventies, when he had just joined Weather Report. That was a giant leap for me as a serious musician and it filled me with a much higher level of inspiration. I think he was a major inspiration to all bass players at that time!”

To sum it up, Jimmy offers this inspirational piece of advice that is applicable to any musician, whether new or experienced: “I’ve basically learned so much from just about every musician I’ve performed with in the past and I will continue to learn from my experiences in the future. The learning process is never ending. The key is to always strive and search for knowledge. In learning new things everyday, there will be inspiration. That inspiration will thirst for knowledge and so the endless cycle goes. They will feed each other infinitely and theoretically the ‘creative well’ will never run dry.”


So, what musical influences does Jimmy claim? “Well definitely for me the Beatles, especially Paul McCartney, inspired the melodic concept and James Brown inspired the groove. There was Tito Puente and Mongo Santamaria who inspired rhythm. Béla Bartók, Mozart, Prokofiev, Samuel Barber, Chick Corea, early Genesis, Gentle Giant, Olivier Messiaen, Dmitri Shostakovich,Krzysztof Penderecki, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Villalobos, Brahms, Wayne Shorter, Zawinul, Jaco Pastorius, Alban Berg, Mingus, Miles,Nicolas Slominski, Coltrane, Thelonius Monk, Sting, Peter Gabriel, Joni Mitchell, Basie, Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn, The Motown Sound and Aaron Copeland, just to name a few that inspired writing, arranging and composition.

“Van Gogh, Dali, Henri Rousseau, Georgia O’keeffe, Leonardo DaVinci, Galileo, Einstein, Nikola Tesla, Plato, Walt Whitman, Marc Chagall, Henry Moore, Edward Hopper, Rembrandt, Picasso, Botero, Matisse, Escher, Canaletti, Gaudi, Gauguin, Federico Fellini, Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Speilberg, Frank Capra,Orson Welles, Lina Wertmuller, Ingmar Bergman, François Truffaut to name a few who inspired my imagination.”

And last but not least, perhaps the most influential person in Jimmy’s career: “Jimi Hendrix was the sole inspiration for me playing music as a profession. Seeing him perform live was awsome and it lit a fire within me, which eventually gave me the drive to pursue music as a career.”
Jimmy also plays on the following projects released over the past year: Everette Harp “Better Times”, Dwight Sils “Easy”, Warren Sneed “Brothers”, Glenn Jones “It’s Time”, Gary Wright “Best of the Dreamweaver”, Marc Antione “Madrid”, Ricky Lawson and friends “First Things 1st” , “Heart and Soul – New Songs from Ally McBeal” featuring Vonda Shepard, John Molo’s “Modereko” Gerald Albright/Will Downing “Pleasures of the Night”, and Tribute to Lowell George “Rock n’ Roll Doctor”.

Artists Jimmy Has Performed With

Jimmy’s credits are a virtual who’s who of the popular and jazz music industry. This is the “short list” of some of the talents he has recorded and/or toured with over the past 25 years:

Gino Vannelli, David Sanborn, Rod Stewart, Michael Sembello, Joe Cocker, Vince Mendoza, Chaka Khan, Eric Marienthal, Al Jarreau, John Scofield, Gary Wright, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Brenda Russell, Dave Mason, Tom Scott, Jerry Garcia, Bo Didley, Marilyn Scott, Dori Caymmi, Betty Wright, Ivan Lins, Kenny Loggins, Flora Purim & Airto, Rickie Lee Jones, El DeBarge, Chi Coltrane, The Chiffons, The 5 Satins, Larry Carlton, Chubby Checker, Booker T. Jones, Cheech Marin, Mick Fleetwood & the Zoo, Kiss, Christopher Williams, Michael Penn, John Klemmer, John Finley, Tommy Bolin, Carmine Appice, Charlie Watts, Michael Narada Walden, Milton Nasciamento, Christopher Williams, Roy Ayers, Mark Stein, Kiss, Lee Ritenour, Laura Brannigan, Jackie Lomax, Bobby Caldwell, John Ford Coley, Randy Crawford, Harvey Mandel, Diane Reeves, James Ingram, Ricardo Silveira, Bill Gable, Michael Franks, Bonnie Raitt, Pat Metheny, Jerry Garcia, Al Stewart, Jimmy Barnes, Branford Marsalis, Blackjack w/ Michael Bolton, Dave Koz, Kenny G, Steve Reid, Bob Mintzer, Bob Mamet, Bob Sheppard, Greg Karukas, Bruce Beckvar, Larry John McNally, Randy Brecker, Bob James, Vinnie Colaiuta, Max Carl, Sovory, Dusty Springfield, Andy Snitzer, Bill Gable, Aureo Baquiero, Kevyn Letteau, John Beasley, Don Grusin, Carl Anderson, James House, Jeff Richman, Nana Vasconcuelos, Boney James, Justo Almario, Kevin Mahogany, Hilary Jones, David Diggs, Michael Ruff, Diana Ross, Bobby Lyle, Vonda Shepard, Ambrosia, Pat Metheny, Eva Cassidy, Modereko, Marc Antione, Sergio Salvatore, Robben Ford, Dave Samuel’s, Andy Narell, Bill Champlin, Michael English, Huey Lewis, Toots Thielmanns, Selena, Harvey Mason, Paulinho Da Costa, Alex Acuña, Herb Alpert, Tim Hagans, Michael Davis, David Meece, Lisa Fischer, Mike Pinera, Paulinho Da Costa, Tower of Power Horns, Richard Page, Steve Khan/Trio Electric, Peter Erskine, Dennis Chambers, Andy Laverne, Terry Bozzio, Kiki Ebsen, Joe Sample, David Benoit, Ron Wood, Ndugu Leon Chancelor, Richard Elliot, Warren Sneed, Neil Larson, The Rippingtons, Jeff Beal, Jon Anderson, Nigel Olsen, Joshua Redman, Native Vibe, Michael McDonald, Phil Perry, Everette Harp, Kevyn Lettau, Kenny Garrett, Sandro Albert, Otmaro Ruiz, Gerald Albright, Bruce Willis, Chuck Loeb, Jonathan Butler, Luis Conte, Dwight Sils, Alphonse Mouzon, Glenn Jones, Mitchell Froom, Michiel Bortslap, Terri Lynn Carrington, Patrice Rushen, Andy Summers, Bela Fleck, Bobby McFerrin, Take 6, Anita Baker, Kurt Elling, Donald Fagen, Walter Becker, Bruce Hornsby, Randy Newman, Brian Auger and George Harrison, etc.



Mike Miller

Artist Profile:

mike_millerMike Miller was born into a musical family in Sioux Falls, S. D. on May 8th, 1953. He started playing bass with his father’s jazz combo at age 12, becoming the third of four bass playing brothers. About the same time, he began playing guitar in a series of bands of his own making. At 15, he was accepted into the Sioux Falls Symphony playing string bass.

In 1972 he moved to Colorado, where he met and played with guitarists Robben Ford, Bill Frisell, and Larry Coryell in many varied musical situations, including playing bass with rock guitarist Tommy Bolin, opening for the Rolling Stones with ATCO recording artists “60,000,000 Buffalo,” playing with the avant-garde jazz groups “Fly and the Zippers,” and the “Orchestra of Clouds”. He also met and played extensively with guitarists Robben Ford, Larry Coryell, and Bill Frisell. In ’75, Mike hooked up with the Fowler Brothers (of Frank Zappa fame) and came to Los Angeles to record their first album, “Fly On,” produced by jazz great Oliver Nelson.mike_miller_2

Mike moved further west to Los Angeles in 1975 where he quickly became in demand with such diverse artists as Brian Wilson, Benny Maupin, Billy Childs, Airto Moriera, Tom Scott, Shawn Phillips, David Benoit, Burton Cummings (The Guess Who), Marilyn Scott, David Garfield (Karizma), Brand X, Alphonso Johnson, Eric Marienthal, Stan Ridgeway, and many, many others.

In ’81 Mike began an eleven-year stint with singer-producer Gino Vannelli and his brother Joe touring and recording five albums. Mike worked with the Yellowjackets on their 2nd album “Mirage a Trois” in ’82. Mike also contributed a composition to that album, which was nominated for a Grammy the next year. 1986 found Mike starting a new trio with Ralph Humphrey and Jim Lacefield called the Outsidemen. They recorded an album of mostly MM originals called “Band Overboard” on Terra Nova records. In ’93, Mike joined up with jazz icon Chick Corea to record the Electric Band II’s grammy nominated album “Paint the World”, which they followed with an extensive world tour.

In the beginning of ’95, Mike began a series of concerts and recordings of the late Frank Zappa music with the Zappa alumni big band, “Banned from Utopia”, performing with the Seattle Symphony, the Portland Symphony, and the Israeli Philharmonic. “Banned From Utopia” has finished a new recording, “So You Don’t Like Modern Art” which is scheduled for release in fall 2001.

He recently recorded a classical guitar concerto written by Joseph Curiale with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and in June 2000 performed as guest soloist with Peter Erskine and the L.A. Philharmonic New Music Group conducted by Sir Simon Rattle for the U. S. debut performance of Mark Anthony Turnage’s jazz-tinged masterwork “Blood On The Floor” at the prestigious Ojai Festival. He has also been branching out into other musical fields, including TV, film and jingle work performed with Lily Tomlin in the film of her critically acclaimed “The Search For intelligent Life in the Universe,” and worked extensively with composer Mark Mothersbaugh (Devo) on numerous movie and TV projects.

Mike began working with Bette Midler in ’99 for her highly successful “Divine Miss Millennium” tour and at the close of that, recorded a new album for Miss M., “Bette” with producer extraordinaire Don Was. In recent years, Mike has also been collaborating with his wife, writer-performer Sandra Tsing Loh scoring a series of award-winning documentaries for KCET public television, as well as other projects including the Academy Award-winning documentary “Breathing Lessons: The Life of Mark O’Brian.”

Mike has just released his new CD with seven new original compositions, “Save The Moon” on Marsis Jazz records (www. This project features guest musicians Peter Erskine, Mitchel Forman, Bruce Fowler, and many others.

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.