Multi-instrumentalist Scot Ray is an active and innovative musician/composer. Equally fluid on trombone, tuba, and dobro slide guitar, Ray has been featured on over five dozen recordings.
We want you all to meet Ryan Kunimura, who is effectively the glue that holds us all together over here at Colossal. Ryan is our Production Manager, a job that is no easy feat. His days typically start before anyone else’s (even before our painters, who are up before the crack of dawn), and he’s generally the last one to leave the shop. In the time he’s not handling the production of each and every one of our paint jobs down to the very last detail, he plays with his metal band. But Ryan’s also a trained jazz musician with a penchant for disco. The only secret we haven’t picked up on yet is how he keeps his head on straight when the rest of us lose ours.
Ryan Cross is a name that is synonymous with professionalism and musical excellence. Glee, Friends, ER, The West Wing, Studio 60, Cold Case, Along Came Polly and Poseidon are just a few of the television and film productions that have benefited from his expertise. Ryan Cross is a rare find in that his administrative skills strongly rival his musical talent. Ryan's passion for music was birthed at the tender age of 8 when he began to study classical cello. At the age of 16, he discovered the acoustic bass and seized the opportunity to study under Ray Brown, one of the most well-known and prolific bass players of our time. Born and raised in Seattle, Washington, Ryan moved to Los Angeles, California when he received a full scholarship to attend the University of Southern California where he studied under John Clayton. He graduated in 1999 with a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies and his career immediately took flight. He has appeared and recorded on over 35 TV shows and movies to date. Due to his high level of proficiency in all styles of music, Ryan is able to readily adapt his live performance skills to the studio-recording environment on a moment's notice. His reputation has also afforded him the ability to consistently build and maintain a network of highly sought-after musicians who have respect for his leadership and talent. This has helped him become a polished film composer of award winning films. Ryan served as the contractor for Alicia Keys' CD release, "As I Am", on which he contracted twenty-five musicians and personally recorded bass and cello tracks. He has also graced the recording studio and stage with Stevie Wonder, Jill Scott, John Legend, Gladys Knight, Chaka Khan, Ciara, P-Diddy and Rihanna.
Ryan produces live shows weekly at the world renown Biltmore Hotel, Harvelle's and The Hotel Angeleno where he features the world's top jazz musicians and vocalists. This is an environment that allows him to continually keep his skills sharp and his eyes open for new talent as well as undiscovered seasoned professionals. Ryan plays a strong advocacy role in the preservation and implementation of music in school. For several years, he has maintained a strong relationship with the Pasadena Jazz Institute and has gone out to many schools in the Los Angeles' Unified School District to spark the interest of children to play classical instruments. Most recently, Ryan founded the Elevation Orchestra, a 17-piece multicultural string orchestra with piano, bass and drums. The orchestra's inaugural performance took place on February 1, 2009 at the California African American Museum. The Elevation Orchestra strives to work closely with children and parents in the urban community to elevate their knowledge of culture, history and art by playing concerts all over the country in schools, churches, museums and symphony halls. Ryan Cross is a well-rounded musician who has perfected the art of multi-tasking without compromising the quality of his work. He is consistent, reliable and committed to giving nothing less that the best. From the stage to the studio to the community-at-large, Ryan Cross is a gifted individual who leaves an unforgettable mark of musical notes daily.
Roberto Miranda is a dynamic bassist who is noted for his inventive, high-energy improvisations. He is adept in both soulful passages and fleet percussive lines, and is fluent in all jazz idioms. He has toured, played and recorded with an impressive array of jazz artists, including Shelly Manne, Kenny Burrell, Horace Tapscott, Bobby Bradford, John Carter, David Murray, Cecil Taylor, Charles Lloyd, and Bobby Hutcherson. He has recorded extensively including albums with his own group, showcasing his successful blend of African-American, Latin, and experimental jazz.
As a young player Roberto studied with jazz legends Ray Brown, Red Mitchell, Red Callender and master classical musicians Bob Stone, Dennis Trembly and Fred Tinsely of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. While studying for his M.M. at USC, he received two grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. These grants enabled him to score two compositions for symphony strings, jazz bass, bassoon, and trombone, one of which was performed by the Carson Symphony Orchestra.
Today, Miranda balances a dual career as a performer and teacher. Besides teaching for the UCLA Jazz Studies Program, he is also an elementary teacher for the Los Angeles Unified School district and is a teaching artist for the Music
Center's Education Division.
Ric Fierabracci, who has been described by Charlie Adams as the most talented musician among Yanni's band, was born in Queens, NY. At the age of 12 he moved to Florida, where, upon early graduation from high school, he received a scholarship from the University of Miami. After studying jazz there, he later moved to L.A., where he became very active in recording various TV, movie, and album releases. He's worked for an impressive number of musicians including Jennifer Paige, Andy Summers, Men At Work, Otmaro Ruiz, Frank Gambale, Planet X, Scott Henderson, Tony MacAlpine, and Steve Smith. He also appeared in Shakira's music video, "Inevitable", and has recorded with Russell Crowe.
Bassist Ric Fierabracci has performed, recorded and run the gamut for artists like Chick Corea, Billy Cobham, Dave Weckl, Gary Husband, Dean Brown, Steve Smith, Vinnie Colaiuta, Mitchel Forman, Munyungo Jackson, Chad Smith’s Bombastic Meatbats, Stanley Clarke, Brett Garsed, Phil Turcio, Blood Sweat and Tears, Special EFX, Guthrie Govan, Mike Miller, Scott Henderson, George Whitty, Joel Hoekstra, Tom Coster, Marion Meadows, Andy Summers (with Sting as a special guest), Planet X, Eddie Jobson’s UK, Frank Gambale, Curved Air’s Sonja Kristina, Adrian Belew to Pop artists: Sir Tom Jones, Bo Bice, Stevie Wonder, Japanese Mega Star - Misia, Jennifer Paige, Sophie B Hawkins, Euge Groove, Bill Evans and others. Ric has also recorded many tracks for the "Guitar Hero" Video games. His latest Studio work has included the bass tracks for the CBS Hit TV series "Without a Trace"
Ric tours regularly and is a member of “Blood Sweat and Tears”, “Tizer”, “Billy Cobham’s Spectrum 40”, “Tri-Fecta” as well as some other fine bands. Click Here for Tour dates.
The debut CD from “Hemispheres” was nominated for a Grammy in the 51st Grammy's as "Best Contemporary Jazz Album" and Ric has also been nominated twice in the category of "best Instrumental Jazz Solo"
Rene Camacho, the bass player in the Susie Hansen Band, moved to Los Angeles in 1997 from Tucson Arizona, and immediately earned a strong reputation as a talented bassist and a versatile musician not only in Latin music but in all jazz and pop styles.
In 1992, Rene earned his Bachelor’s of Music in Jazz Studies and Composition from the University of Arizona. He has many production and arranging credits, and has performed for musical theater and television. He has worked with many of outstanding national acts and local artists, including The Pointer Sisters, Celia Cruz, Dizzy Gillespie, Francisco Aguabella, Poncho Sanchez, Luis Conte, Buddy Collette, Bobby Matos, Conte Condoli, Bob Mintzer, Warren Vache, Lew Tabacken, Marylin McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr., Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Sepulveda, the Estrada Brothers, the Tucson Latin Jazz Orchestra, the Tucson Symphony and numerous others.
Who does Stanley Clarke call when he needs a bass player for his film music? Reggie Hamilton. Since the late 1980s Reggie — a triple threat on electric, upright, and keyboard bass — has worked his way into the elite group of L.A.'s top studio bassists. In addition to his numerous film credits, Hamilton has recorded with Barbra Streisand, Toni Braxton, Aaron Neville, and Michael Bolton, among others.
Reggie began playing electric bass at age 11, picking up the acoustic at 13. In high school he moved from his native New York to Atlantic City, New Jersey, at the dawn of the new casino era. "I thought it would be bad for me, but it was great," he recalls. "There were so many great musicians from New York and Philly there." Hamilton cut his teeth on club gigs, moving up to house-band gigs in the casinos after graduation. At one point he held down two house gigs simultaneously, doubling on electric and acoustic and reading charts for the acts that came through the Las Vegas of the East. "It was great. There'd be a ton of charts to read, you kept moving, and that was it — and then you'd go out and play a $20 bebop gig just for fun."
After a stint with the national touring company of Tap Dance Kid, Reggie moved to Los Angeles in 1987. "That was right after the synth-bass thing really took off. Back then you were looked down upon if you didn't have a 5-string." At the time he was also playing Fodera 6's, but Hamilton converted an '85 Fender Squier Jazz 4-string into a 5 by installing a Chandler 5-string bridge and drilling into the headstock for another tuner.
Reggie's networking skills proved just as valuable as his performance chops. "When Nathan East would leave town, I'd get to work on Babyface's projects. I did Boyz II Men II [Motown] and Gladys Knight's Just for You [MCA]." When Hamilton met Stanley Clarke he started getting called for film and TV dates written by the bass pioneer. "I get work in a lot of circles now. People try to pigeonhole you — but if you show up in enough different places, eventually they'll realize you do everything."
Amidst the high-pressure, high-profile situations Hamilton regularly experiences, his relaxed personality and professional attitude keep him in demand. "You want the person you work for to feel comfortable, and to feel like you're indispensable. And you have to leave your attitude at the door. When you hit the bandstand, that's when it really counts. That's how you get called back." Like fellow session ace East, Reggie has struck a balance between touring and studio work, logging miles with such artists as Kitaro, Seal, and Bette Midler.
The ever-changing circumstances of studio work have given Hamilton very definite attitudes. "Be prepared for anything. Also, your first idea is usually the best one; if you don't get it on the first take, you can just clean it up. And don't take your emotional baggage into the studio. Have a good time, all the time."
Reggie has played many different axes over the years, but he now swears by the Fender Jazz. His current Jazz arsenal includes fretted and fretless Deluxe 5-strings, a '74 with a John Suhr-designed preamp, a '67, and a fretless '66. The latter two are strung with LaBella flatwounds. He also plays an electric upright he built using an old acoustic neck. "When I lived in Atlantic City I didn't have a car, so it was easier to get around with the electric upright. The body is a few mahogany planks I laminated together and cut down. When I was touring with Kitaro I made some shoulders for it out of a bass-drum hoop." Reggie amplifies his homemade monster with a Fishman pickup and Fishman Pro-EQ. For his 1792 Panoromo acoustic bass, he uses a Fishman Bass Blender system with a BP100 transducer and Crown microphone. Reggie's live rig includes two Eden Navigator preamps, one for electric and one for upright. His 1,000-watt Eden power amp pushes three Eden 210XLT cabs and a 2x10 monitor wedge. In the studio Hamilton goes straight to the board with a passive DI and a Monster Cable.
While being sideman to the stars is a full-time pursuit, Reggie feels the time is right to pursue a solo project as well. "With the Internet I can market myself and do what I want without thinking about what haircut I should have. I want to put out something so in ten years when my kids hear it, I can hold up my head and say, 'That's something Daddy did.'"
Phil Palombi is a professional bassist residing in New York city. His performance and recording credits include such players as, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Michael Brecker, Maynard Ferguson, Billy Hart, Etta Jones, Dave Liebman, Chris Potter, Claudio Roditi, Curtis Stigers, Lew Tabackin, Mark Turner, The Village Vanguard Orchestra, Chucho Valdes, and Walt Weiskopf. Upon moving to New York City in 1997, he immediately began working full time performing at many of the city’s jazz venues. Jazz wasn't the only music he was interested in however. Phil is also an accomplished electric bassist and performs regularly around the city in various funk, R & B, and Brazilian pop bands.
In addition to touring and recording as a sideman, Phil has found the time to record a CD as a leader as well as write a book. The book, entitled Scott LaFaro • 15 Solo Transcriptions, is the first book of LaFaro solos ever published. Scott LaFaro was one of the pioneers of jazz bass soloing and this book contains 15 of his solos taken from the Bill Evans recordings Waltz for Debby and Sunday at the Village Vanguard. In 1999 Phil recorded his first CD as a leader entitled 80 EAST that features the all-star line up of Joe Labarbera on drums, Harold Danko on piano, and Walt Weiskopf on tenor saxophone. The 12 track disc contains 10 original compositions, five of which are his own.
Phil's studies began at Dana School of Music at Youngstown State University, where he pursued a dual major in Jazz and Classical Performance and Music Education. He studied jazz and classical acoustic bass with Tony Leonardi while keeping up with a heavy load of ensemble rehearsals and concerts. For five years Phil was the bassist for the Down Beat award winning Jazz Ensemble I of Youngstown State, where he played with jazz greats Nick Brignola, Donald Byrd, Terry Clark, Eddie Daniels, Benny Golsen, Duffy Jackson, Chuck Mangione, Bob Mintzer, Marvin Stamm, Lew Tabackin, Bill Watrous, and Jiggs Wigham. Because of this superb jazz program, Phil was selected for the Ohio All-Star College Jazz Ensemble lead by drummer John Von Olen and trombonist John Fedchock in 1993. In addition to his studies, Phil was also a very busy working bassist in the Youngstown, Pittsburgh, and Cleveland music communities. Although he enjoyed his work subbing with the Warren Chamber Orchestra for a few seasons, performing with the Greenville Symphony for two seasons, and becoming a regular member of the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra for four years, jazz was becoming his main focus.
By his senior year in 1994, Phil was heavily involved in the Cleveland jazz scene, playing nightly with artists such as Greg Bandy, Ernie Krivda, Chip Stephens, and Dan Wall. As the president of the school’s jazz society, Phil was able to obtain funding to bring the legendary jazz bassist Ray Brown to Youngstown for a master class. During Mr. Brown's brief stay, Phil managed to take a private lesson with the master, which ultimately sealed the door to Phil's classical career and set him on the path to becoming a full time jazz bassist.
By the fall of 1995, Phil had caught the ear of trumpet virtuoso Maynard Ferguson, and was offered a job with his new nine piece group Big Bop Nouveau. During his two year tenure with Maynard, he recorded the CD One More Trip to Birdland (for Concord Records), a track for a Concord Christmas CD, and performed on the television shows of Pat Boullard, Crook and Chase, Good Morning Texas and Jazz Central on the B.E.T. Network. After performing with the King of Thailand in Bangkok, Palombi left Maynard to move to New York City, where he currently resides.
Great bass player who worked with Michael Hakes at the Baked Potato.
Nedra Wheeler, bassist, composer, and bandleader, has been performing in Southern California and touring internationally for more than 25 years.
Nedra is a recipient of the 2006 Jazz Legend of Los Angeles Award from the Dunbar Economic Development Corporation and the City of Los Angeles. She has a Master of Fine Arts degree from California Institute of the Arts. She is an instructor in the Los Angeles Community College District and a Performance Lecturer for the Jazz Mentorship program for the City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department-Watts Towers Art Center.
Wheeler’s artistic versatility (bass, composition, vocals) and experience with diverse musical genres includes jazz (straight ahead and contemporary), pop, R&B, world music, and interpretation of original compositions for modern dance. She has performed and recorded with such greats as Stevie Wonder, Ella Fitzgerald, Pat Benatar, Linda Hopkins, Kenny Kirkland, and Bob Dylan. Her recordings include film soundtracks for Malcolm X, Chick Peas, Clockers, Menace to Society, as well as a self-produced debut CD entitled Gifts: Live at Birdland West.
A charismatic bassist, Wheeler is a favorite with the Al Williams Jazz Society and has appeared numerous times at the Long Beach Jazz Festival. Her international appearances include festivals in Canada, Japan, South America, France, Germany and other European countries.