Will Brock has done a lot of performing in and around his native Philadelphia.
We were able to catch up with Will on the stage of the Old Pasadena Jazz Festival backing up another Philadelphia friend: Gerald Veasley.
Will is a graduate of The University of the Arts in Philadelphia. He teaches music theory, piano and is a vocal coach. He worked and played with Grover during his tenure as Artist in Residence at the University of the Arts. He is the leader of his own band and is co-founder of a music production company, Ghetto Factory Productions.
Keyboard player and co-writer of "Let's Groove", and a lot of other songs from that EWF period, has been working on some new material. The album is titled "3 Generations Of Groove" [L& R Records 1998] and includes a re-recording of "Let's Groove" with The Emotions doing the hooks. Vaughn also played keyboards on both Raise! and Powerlight. More about Wayne on www.wvworld.com
Composer, pianist, and keyboardist Wayne Horvitz performs extensively throughout Europe, Japan, and North America. He is leader and principal composer for the quartet Sweeter Than the Day and performs regularly as an improviser on both piano and electronics throughout the world. Past ensembles include The President and the Horvitz, Morris, Previte Trio, Pigpen, Zony Mash, The New York Composers' Orchestra, Ponga and The Four Plus One Ensemble. His newest ensemble, The Gravitas Quartet, is a chamber group featuring cellist Peggy Lee, trumpeter Ron Miles and bassoonist Sara Schoenbeck.
As a composer, Horvitz has been commissioned by The Kitchen, The Kronos Quartet, Brooklyn Academy of Music, New World Records, The Seattle Chamber Players and Earshot Jazz. He has received commissioning grants from Meet the Composer, The National Endowment for the Arts, The N.Y. State Arts Council, The Mary Flagler Carey Trust, The Seattle Arts Commission, The Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund and The Fund for U.S. Artists. Recent premieres include the V Series for chamber orchestra and Mountain Language for string quartet, Vienna 2001 and 2002. In 2002 he was awarded a Rockefeller MAP grant for the creation of a new piece, Joe Hill, for chamber orchestra and voice, which premiered in October of 2004 in Seattle. His 2003 composition, Whispers, Hymns and a Murmur for String Quartet and soloist, funded in part by a Seattle City Artist grant, premiered in March of 2004. This composition and his earlier string quartet, Mountain Language are released on the Tzadik label. His newest string quartet, These Hills of Glory, was commissioned with support from 4Culture and the Mayors Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs. His recent collaboration with Tucker Martine, Mylab, was on the top 10 CD list for 2004 in jazz in both the New Yorker and Amazon.com. In February 2005 he received the Golden Ear award from Earshot Jazz for "Concert of the Year."
Works for theater and dance include music for the 1998 production of Death of A Salesman for Seattle's ACT theater (directed by Gordon Edelstein); productions of Ezra Pounds' Elektra and the American premiere of Harold Pinter's Mountain Language, both directed by Carey Perloff. In 1992 choreographer Paul Taylor created a new work OZ, to eleven compositions by Wayne Horvitz in collaboration with the White Oak Dance Company. Other theater and dance works include music for Bill Irwin's Broadway show, Strictly NY, and productions by the Liz Lerman Dance Exchage, Ammi Legendre, Nikki Apino and House of Dames and the Crispin Spaeth Dance Company.
Horvitz has also composed and produced music for a variety of video, film, television and other multimedia projects, including two projects with director Gus Van Sant, a full length score for PBS's Chihuly Over Venice and two films about the creation of Seattle’s EMP museum. His 85-minute score to Charlie Chaplin's film The Circus, for two pianos, two clarinets, and violin premiered in January 2000 in Oporto, Portugal.
As a sideman and collaborator he has performed and recorded with Billy Bang, Carla Bley, Curlew, Marty Ehrlich, Bill Frisell, Fred Frith, Robin Holcomb, Butch Morris, David Moss, Bobby Previte, Elliott Sharp, Michael Shrieve, Kazutoki Umezu, Philip Wilson and John Zorn (Naked City, Cobra, etc.), among others. He has produced records for the World Saxophone Quartet, Human Feel, Marty Ehrlich, Fontella Bass, The Living Daylights, Bill Frisell, Robin Holcomb, Eddie Palmieri and local songwriters Cathy Croce, Karen Pernick and David Russell among others.
Born in New York City in 1955, Wayne Horvitz lives in Seattle with his wife, composer Robin Holcomb, and their daughter Nica and son Lowell.
Wayne Bergeron is enjoying a career as one of the most active players on the Los Angeles scene. With studio dates, International touring, jazz concerts, guest soloist appearances and clinics he has no intention of slowing down.
In 1986 Wayne landed the lead trumpet position with the Maynard Ferguson Band. He can be heard on such MF recordings as “Body & Soul”, Big Bop Nouveau” & “Brass Attitude.” Remarking on the talented trumpet player, Maynard Ferguson had this to say during a radio interview: “Wayne is the most musical lead trumpet player I’ve ever had on my band.” Bergeron’s first solo Big Band CD entitled “You Call This A Living?” earned him a Grammy nomination in 2004 for Best Large Jazz Ensemble as well as rave reviews from fans and press world wide.
Wayne is a National Artist for the Yamaha Corporation of America who is in the final stages of releasing the WB signature model custom trumpet. Wayne enjoys his work as a clinician/guest soloist and continues to tour in the US as well as abroad. In Oct. of 2004 Wayne had the honor of performing as a featured artist at Stratospheric, a 4 day festival honoring the legendary trumpeter Maynard Ferguson.
As a sideman Wayne has been involved with hundreds of CD projects that include Beyonce, Christina Aguilera, Chicago, Bette Midler, Ray Charles, Diane Reeves, Celine Dion, Billy Joel, Diana Krall, Mel Torme, Barry Manilow, Arturo Sandoval, Robbie Williams, Keeley Smith, Josh Groban, Ronnie Milsap, Lee Ann Womack, Lou Rawls, Green Day, The Offspring, Bobby Caldwell, Rosemary Cloony, Diane Schuur, Brian Setzer, Joe Cocker, Eric Marienthal, Dave Koz, David Benoit, Warren Hill, Tito Puente and The Hollywood Bowl Orchestra.
A partial list of film credits include The Incredibles, Pink Panther, Mr & Mrs. Smith, Ice Princess, Team America, National Treasure, The Aquatic Life, Friday Night Lights, Tarzan 2, Spiderman 2, Anchorman, White Chicks, The Notebook, The Day After Tomorrow, 3 Musketeers, Starsky and Hutch, Pirates of the Caribbean, Paycheck, Hollywood Homicide, Legally Blonde 2, Drumline, Catch Me if You Can, Undercover Brother, Pluto Nash, John Q, Evolution, American Pie 1& 2, Analyze This, Scream 3, The Kid, South Park, Flubber and The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
His trumpet solos can be heard on High Crimes, Rounders, Fled, Hey Arnold (the movie), The Mask, Drowning Mona, The Rat Pack, Child Star, Norma Jean and Marilyn, Aladdin King of Thieves, Return of Jafar, Foolproof and Two Days in the Valley.
Bergeron has worked on over 250 TV & motion picture soundtracks. Numerous TV credits include shows such as ESPN & TNT sports themes, Entertainment Tonight Theme, American Idol, Emmy Awards, 2005 Academy Awards, Latin Grammy’s, Frank Sinatra’s 80th B-Day Special, Tony Bennett TV Special, Jerry Lewis Telathon, Jeopardy, America’s Funniest Home Videos, Futurama, Buzz Lightyear, Hercules, Lloyd in Space, Hey Arnold and Promised Land.
In addition, his trumpet solos have been heard on music from King of the Hill, The Division, The Agency, Mouseworks, House of Mouse, Arrested Development and Sabrina The Teenage Witch. Bergeron has also played on hundreds of TV & radio jingles. Wayne’s passion for big bands finds himself seated in some of LA’s most well respected bands. He has recorded with Quincy Jones, Gordon Goodwin, Pat Williams, Sammy Nestico, Jack Sheldon, Tom Kubis, John La Barbara, Ralph Carmichael, Bob Florence, Frank Capp, Matt Cattingub, Bill Liston, Kim Richmond, Ray Anthony, Roger Neumann, Bill Perkins, Buddy Childers, Bill Elliott, Chris Walden, Gary Irwin, Bill Watrous and Bob Curnow.
Warren Lovell fronts Big Time Operator. "We would play four to five nights a week," he says of the years 1997 - 1999, when the band played Croce's, the Cannibal Bar, and Tio Leo's. "A lot of the swing dancers who would show up would only drink water. [Live swing] wasn't profitable for the bars. The dancers killed it."
Though Lovell became a police officer in 2000, he and BTO have been doing private corporate gigs since the dropoff in swing's popularity.
"You pretty much have to have a side job [as a member of the SDPD] to make ends meet. The city doesn't pay its cops well.... Most cops I know don't live in San Diego because they can't afford it. They have to commute from Temecula or Alpine."
Lovell and his wife have three children. His 18-month-old son was killed in a May 2004 auto accident.
"I took a month off from [SDPD] work. I needed to get grounded. Two days after he died, I had a gig. The event company said, 'You don't have to do this show.' But I put on a different face and did the show. That's part of being a professional. The police department taught me a lot about that."
Asked if he thinks there will be another swing revival, he replies "I think the only thing that would do that would be a movie that would incorporate a big band. Royal Crown Revue started the whole thing. The movie Mask broke them.... We want to give people an alternative to the crap that is being put out today." By "crap," Lovell means "...anything that doesn't take a lot of talent to play. It's a matter of education. You don't see a lot of educated people listening to hip-hop."
Walter Smith III
Walter Smith III began playing the saxophone at the age of 7 in his hometown of Houston, TX. At Houston's High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, in 1998, Smith received a Clifford Brown/Stan Getz Fellowship from IAJE and NFAA; the NFAA Young Talent Award, a full tuition scholarship to attend Berklee College of Music; and a United States Presidential Scholar in the Arts medal, Walter Graduated from Berklee in 2003 with a degree in Music Education.
While in Boston, Walter was selected by the Boston Jazz Society to receive its annual award whose past winners have included Branford Marsalis and Donald Harrison. In July of 2002, Walter walked away from the Montreaux Jazz Festival in Switzerland with third place in the 1st annual International Saxophone Competition, as well as winning the Audience's Favorite at Manhattan School of Music on a full tuition scholarship to receive a master's in jazz performance. While in New York, Smith kept himself busy touring and performing with such artists as Roy Haynes and Ralph Peterson, as well as Bilal and Destiny's Child. Smith recently performed in a Tsunami benefit concert with R&B vocalist Lauryn Hill in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Walter has performed all over the world participating in numerous national and international festivals as well as famed stages in the U.S. such as Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center. Smith has shared the stage and/or appeared on recording with many jazz notables including Roy Hargrove, Sean Jones, Terence Blancharrd, Darren Barrett, Eric Reed, Makoto Ozone, Mulgrew Miller, Jason Moran, Joe Sample, Rueben Rogers, Bob Hurst, Donald Harrison, Antonio Hart, Joe Lovano, Bill Pierce, Myron Walden, Walter Beasley, Lewis Nash, Eric Harland, Ralph Peterson, Terri Lynne-Carrington, and a host of others.
Walter's debut recording as a leader was released in March of 2006 on the Fresh Sound New Talent label and features many of his original compositions. The band is comprised of some of the best young musicians on the scene today, including Aaron Parks, Robert Glasper, Lionel Loueke, Lage Lund, Gretchen Parlato, Rueben Rogers, Vicente Archer, Kendrick Scott, Eric Harland, and Matt Kilmer.
Most recently Walter has finished a two year program with the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz in Los Angeles and has already completed tours of both Vietnam and India with Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter. Starting in the Fall of 2007, Walter will be teaching at the Los Angeles County High School of the Arts, and is currently touring with the Sean Jones Sextet, Christian Scott and Jason Moran's Monk Town Hall project titled "In My Mind".
In 2007 Walter is an integral part of two Grammy-nominated recordings including Christian Scott's "Rewind That" that was nominated for Best Contemporary Jazz Album, and Michael Buble's "Caught in the Act" which was nominated in the Traditional/Pop category. All to be released before the summer of 2007, Walter is featured on upcoming new releases by trumpeters Christian Scott (Concord Records) and Sean Jones (Mack Avenue Records), drummer Kendrick Scott (World Culture Music), as well as several other recordings to be released in 2007 and 2008.
Walter is an openly creative multidirectional drummer/percussionist. His richly eclectic and unique gift encompasses a plurality of styles–from rock to latin to world music–in a way that is extremely rare in a realm dominated usually by “doing-one-thing” specialists. Combining powerful technique, uncanny sense of time, deep understanding of the essence of different cultural musical manifestations with a profound sense of stylistic appropriateness, Walter embodies -“The drummer/percussionist of the new century”- quoting his mentor Alex Acuña.
There are drummers, and there are percussionists. Very, very few of his generation have an equally flawless command at the Drum set, Latin percussion (from congas, to bongos/timbales), other World Music percussion (African, Brazilian, Afro-Uruguayan, and Indian… among other), and Electronic percussion (both as a programmer/performer). All of these are brought together and nurtured by a profound sense of purpose and meaning, defined by him as his “calling”. Walter wants to dedicate his playing to JESUS CHRIST, “The One Whom every perfect gift comes from”.
Playing drums from a very early age, Walter Rodriguez, born in San Juan. P.R., played his first TV show at the age of seven. His father, top studio call on the island for over 20 years, was his first teacher and still his greatest inspiration. While playing side by side with his dad, he was surrounded by today’s musical greats Alex Acuna and Giovanni Hidalgo; simultaneously enhancing his musical knowledge by studying piano and working as a sound engineer. At the age of 22, Walter moved to Los Angeles to study at Musicians Institute of Technology, specifically the PIT (Percussion Institute of Technology) division.
While getting involved in the local music scene, Walter and Alex Acuna connected, this time Alex taking Walter under his wing and becoming his spiritual and musical mentor. Where others would concentrate on fewer options/activities as time passes-by, Walter is heading to broader, more musically challenging directions. He is not only dealing with harmonic and other relevant music-theory elements, but also opening an even bigger sonic “palette” by studying -yet- other World-Music percussion traditions, including the Australian didgeridoo [the oldest woodwind instrument ever] and the Indian tabla, to mention a few. Walter’s excellent musicianship is only a part of his appeal as player and performer. His innate charisma, adding warmth and flare to any stage, and his smile frequently pointed out, as “lighting up the whole world”, are only surpassed by his sense of meaning and purpose. He defines the essence of his musical endeavor as two-fold: To shine for GOD Almighty in JESUS’ Name, and to affect people in a positive way in a world desperately needing so.
Walt Fowler, originally from Salt Lake City, Utah was born into a legendary musical family led by his father, renowned jazz educator, Dr. William L. Fowler. He kicked off his professional career as a trumpet player at the age of 19, when he joined Frank Zappa and the Mothers in 1974. In 1975, Walt and his brothers, Bruce, Steve, Tom and Ed formed "The Fowler Brothers Band," and released two jazz albums to critical acclaim. Following their release, Walt’s musical career continued to escalate as he toured with prominent artists such as Billy Cobham, Johnny Guitar Watson, Ray Charles, Buddy Rich, George Benson and Diana Ross.
In the mid 1990’s, Walt began a new venture orchestrating major motion picture soundtracks. He is credited as an orchestrator and/or featured soloist on blockbuster films such as The Lion King, Backdraft, Gladiator, Shrek, Ocean’s 12 and 13, The Bourne Supremacy, The Da Vinci Code, Pirates of the Caribbean 1,2, 3 and 4, The Good Shepherd, Transformers 1, 2 and 3, The Simpsons Movie, and most recently, The Dark Knight , Angels and Demons and The Amazing Spiderman 2 to name a few.
In addition to orchestrating, Walt has been performing with James Taylor since joining his band in 2001 for the “Pullover” tour. Walt has also performed live and/or recorded with an illustrious list of artists which includes James Brown, Roberta Flack, Stanley Clarke, George Duke, Yazawa, The Doors, Edgar Winter, Manhattan Transfer, Fishbone, Paula Abdul, Billy Childs, Banned From Utopia, Toto, Andy Summers, Allan Holdsworth and most recently Steve Gadd. The Steve Gadd Band has just finished recording their second studio album scheduled for release in 2015.
Few drummers playing today can successfully combine the rich history of Latin, Afro-Cuban and World Percussion with the drum set. For Walfredo Reyes Jr., fusing the two disciplines has been his driving passion. In fact, by blazing this path, Reyes has challenged the technical levels of our instrument.
Born in Cuba, raised in Puerto Rico and culminating his musical style in the U.S., Wally (Walfredo Jr.) learned the traditions from the master, his father Walfredo Sr. He married those principles with his love of the drum set, coming up with his own truly global rhythmic style. Simply put, Wally is able to sound like a drummer and a percussionist at the same time. Add blistering chops and a penchant for playing unusual patterns to the mix, and you have only a small idea of what this man can do.
Not surprisingly, this "one man percussion show" has gathered an impressive list of gigs over the years, including touring and / or recording with: Carlos Santana, Traffic, Steve Winwood, Jackson Browne, Celia Cruz, Gloria Estefan, David Lindley, Ricki Lee Jones, Richard Marx, Sergio Mendes, Smokey Robinson, Robbie Robertson, Joe Sample, Boz Scaggs, Christina Aguilera, Ricky Martin, Johnny Hallyday.
Because of his versatility, Walfredo is one of the most in demand musicians in the world today. He currently lives in the Los Angeles area where he continues to expand his talents to recording, producing, composing, education, live performance and touring.
If ever man and instrument were meant for each other, Tripp Sprague and the saxophone are that match.
Tripp’s first professional gig came at the young age of thirteen when he and his brother Peter, and three friends, put together a quartet to play at the Golden Rollin’ Belly in Del Mar. From that beginning his repertoire has expanded from bebop, through Brazilian, blues and standards, to fusion and pop; Tripp and his sax are fluent in all. He is one of the top players on the San Diego music scene. He performs regularly with groups led by Peter Sprague, Jaime Valle, Shep Myers, and others. His versatility has led to performances with such internationally renowned acts as jazz singer Mose Allison, singer Kenny Loggins, The Little River Band, Motown legends Smokey Robinson, The Four Tops, and The Temptations.
Tripp has recorded on numerous CDs with such highly regarded artists as Kim Carnes, Todd Rundgren, Willie and Lobo and Sean Watkins of NIckel Creek. Tripp also co-produced and performed with the group ‘Blurring the Edges’ on a CD by the same name, which won ‘Best Pop-Jazz’ album at the San Diego Music Awards. He runs his own recording studio in which he has produced CDs for numerous artists.
‘Wall to Wall’ is Tripp’s first self-produced CD. Those who have heard the pieces on the album, all of which are arranged, and written by Tripp, have unanimously declared it well worth the wait. It features some of San Diego’s top jazz musicians: pianist Rob Whitlock, guitarist Peter Sprague, bassist Bob Magnusson, and drummer Duncan Moore.