Internationally renowned jazz drummer, percussionist, clinician, author, and educator, Steve Houghton initially received acclaim at age twenty as the drummer with Woody Herman’s Young Thundering Herd. Since then he has shared stage and studio with luminaries Clay Jenkins, Toots Thielemans, Christian McBride, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Freddie Hubbard, Lyle Mays, Billy Childs, Pat LaBarbara, Arturo Sandoval, Joe Henderson, Karrin Allyson and Maureen McGovern, with whom, he tours today.
As band leader Houghton’s discography includes: The Manne We Love: Gershwin Revisited (TNC), a recent release of John Williams’ charts for big band and quintet, initially recorded by Shelly Manne on Capitol in 1965, the Steve Houghton Quintet Live @ the Senator (Jazz Compass), Windsong (SHPERC Records), Remembrances (Warner Bros.), and Steve Houghton Signature (Mesa-Bluemoon). In total Houghton attributes more than one hundred recordings to his credit as a participating artist. As a classical percussionist, Houghton has performed with the Boston, and Philadelphia Pops orchestras, as well as the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. He frequently appears as a soloist with numerous orchestras and wind ensembles throughout the world.
As author, Houghton’s publications boast more than twenty composite educational tools including Essential Styles- books 1 & 2 (Alfred ), The Ultimate Drumset Chart Reading Anthology (Alfred), Play and Teach Percussion (GIA), and The Drumset Soloist (Warner Bros.). In addition, Houghton was recently featured in an article published in the Modern Drummer (2003) entitled “The Thundering Drummers of Woody Herman.”
Houghton is currently associate professor of percussion at Indiana University-Bloomington, and is on faculty at the Henry Mancini Institute. In addition to his academic duties, he presents yearly clinics and masterclasses to students around the world. Chair of The Resource Team of the International Association of Jazz Education, and board member of the Percussive Arts Society, Houghton endorses Pearl drums, Adams percussion, Zildjian cymbals, sticks, and mallets, and Remo World Percussion products and drumheads
Whether it's playing a 12/8 ballad behind Art Garfunkel or Billy Joel, trading 8's with guitar legend George Benson, flowing through a funk groove in 13 with the Ravi Coltrane Group, or playing a variety of styles behind legendary vocalese group The Manhattan Transfer, the ability to speak and communicate through music is what matters to Steve Hass.
Born from Greek immigrant parents, the youngest of three brothers, a four year-old Hass tapped to a middle eastern tune called Samiotisa, a 7/8 groove that derived from the Greek Island of Samos, while his older brothers were blasting the sounds of Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix. "It wasn't until I was 10 years old that I began to really connect to rock music, when my brother, Nick, who played the guitar, played me two Zeppelin tracks that changed my musical life forever: "Moby Dick" and "Fool in the Rain". From there everything snowballed... Van Halen's "1984," Rush's "Moving Pictures"...Hendrix; I was into it all.”
Receiving a scholarship to the Berklee College of Music in Boston Steve Hass was inspired enough to learn every style of music that existed... "Checking out the music of the world is very important to me...I have made it a point to study music from Cuba, Africa, India, the Middle East, from everywhere, in order to have more tools to use in my career."
Steve Hass continues this philosophy today, from jazz to hip-hop; from world to rock, all the while traveling around the world, offering a vast musical knowledge, originality and genuine feel within every rhythm he creates.
Steve is the anchor of the DelGado Brothers behind the drums. Whether it's a shuffle, or blues riff - Steve's right on top of it. And not only that, but he's also the lead vocalist!
Steve Barnes feels fortunate to have supported the music of both legendary and up-and-coming musicians with his drumming, including appearances with Howard Alden, Harry Allen, Sheryl Bailey, Shelly Berg, Chuck Berghofer, Gene Bertoncini, Don Braden, Freddie Cole, Richie Cole, Hank Crawford, Dena Derose, Kenny Drew Jr., Ron Eschete, John Fedchock, Clare Fischer, Bruce Forman, Mimi Fox, Hal Galper, Roberta Gambarini, Eddie Harris, Antonio Hart, David Hazeltine, Tamir Hendelman, Conrad Herwig, Holly Haoffman, Red Hollaway, Groove Holmes, Luther Hughes, Kristin Korb, Andy Laverne, Jay Leonhart, Dave Liebman and many, many more.
In 1999, Steve toured in Brazil for Mike Tracey Quartet. In addition to his small group playing, the Ohio native has played with numerous big bands including the Bruce Eskovitz Jazz Orchestra, Bob Florence Limited Edition Big Band, The American Jazz Institute Big Band with Mark Masters, Bill Holman's Big Band, the Blue Wisp Big Band (Cincinnati), Rob Parton's Jazz Tech Big Band (Chicago) Steve Allee's Big Band (Indianapolis), the Tommy Dorsey Big Band, Steve Allen Big Band, Les Brown Jr. and the Band of Renown, Gary Tole's Legends of Swing, Swingtown Big Band - (Disneyland California) Ray Anthony Big Band, Bill Elliott Swing Orchestra and the Keely Smith Big Band.
2010 launched Steve's Los Angeles television recording career drumming under the baton of Composer Dan Foliart for the ABC Family show "The Secret Life of the American Teenager".
A Vital and inspiring educator, Steve has over 30 years of private teaching experience, including teaching jazz drum set at the University of Cincinnati's College Conservatory of Music and serving on the faculty of the Jamey Aebersold Summer Jazz Workshop. Steve was selected by the L.A. Jazz Society to act as drum set mentor for the Bill Green Mentor Scholarship program and has served in the capacity from 2004 to the present.
Shoji, the newest member of the band, started playing taiko at the age of 8. Growing up in Mt. Shasta, CA he learned how to play taiko from his best friend's parents who started one of the first children's taiko groups in the United States. After high school Shoji attended Stanford University (one of a handful of Universities with a student taiko group) and managed to get a degree in History while spending most of his time playing taiko.
During his second year at Stanford he stopped out and moved to Hawaii to study under renowned taiko artist Kenny Endo. His first full-time job was, you guessed it, playing taiko with the San Jose Taiko group right after graduating college. Beginning in 2000, Shoji spent two years in Tokyo studying traditional Japanese music with masters of hogaku hayashi (the music of the kabuki theater), edo bayashi (the festival music of Tokyo) and yes, more taiko.
In addition to his work with the band, Shoji co-founded his own group called the On Ensemble (pronounced "ohn"), instructs workshops and maintains an active performance schedule with a number of Los Angeles based taiko groups.
A long-time veteran drummer in Las Vegas, Santo has performed with a who's who of superstars passing through the City of Lights. Working unbelievable hours on the Jerry Lewis Telethon and sight-reading all of the charts, Santo has developed a skill for fitting in to nearly all situations with finesse. Santo plays often with excellent trumpet player Carl Saunders in Los Angeles.
SANTO SAVINO began "playing drums" at age two in Buffalo, New York, wielding his aunt's clothes-pins in place of drumsticks! While still in kindergarten, he was already displaying both a fervent passion and a budding talent for the drums. At age twelve, he landed his first professional job and his career has since been interrupted only by a four-year stint with the US Air Force Band. Santo has performed internationally with such great talents as Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennett, Michelle Le Grand, Billy Ecstein, Sarah Vaughn, Mickey Rooney, Nancy Wilson, Tom Jones, Vic Damone, Paul Anka, Juliet Prowse, Bob Hope, Johnny Carson, Danny Thomas, Donald O'Connor, Frank Gorshin, Jerry Van Dyke, George Gobel and Rodney Dangerfield. He has toured with Mr. Goulet in concert and in National tours of South Pacific, The Fantasticks and Camelot. His unique flair and exciting style contribute to the excellence of Robert Goulet's concert appearances around the world. Recently he lost his best friend, his wife Letty, to breast cancer. Santo resides in Las Vegas and is a proud father of three children.
Roy McCurdy will probably always be best-known for his important contributions to Cannonball Adderley's Quintet (1965-1975), but he has been a tasteful and stimulating participant in many other sessions through the years. Early on, he worked with Chuck and Gap Mangione in the Jazz Brothers (1960-1961). McCurdy gained recognition for his playing with the Jazztet (1961-1962), Bobby Timmons, Betty Carter (who was fairly obscure during his stint with her in 1962-1963), and Sonny Rollins (1963-1964) before joining Adderley. The supportive drummer was flexible enough to evolve with Cannonball's popular group during the decade of change. After Adderley's death, McCurdy relocated to the Los Angeles area, where he has played and recorded with the top local musicians ever since.
Roy McCurdy is one of the bestknown and most highly regarded drummers in Jazz. He remembers playing around with his own, home-built drum sets at age six and he started formal drum lessons at eight. He attended the Eastman School of Music from sixteen to eighteen, and was playing professionally in local clubs at sixteen. Famous trumpeter Roy Eldridge heard him at this point; he played with Eldridge at sixteen and with Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson at seventeen. In 1960 he joined the Art Farmer Benny Golson Jazztet and remained for two years.
McCurdy counts among his influences Louie Bellson, Shelly Manne, Sam Woodyard, Buddy Rich, Papa Jo Jones, Philly Joe Jones and the bands of Duke Ellington, Jimmy Lunceford and Lionel Hampton. He's performed on between 150 and 200 recordings but, almost unbelievably, none as leader. The list of greats that McCurdy has played with includes Count Basie, Wes Montgomery, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn, Carmen McRae, Joe Williams, Herbie Hancock, Milt Jackson, Oscar Peterson, and Bud Powell among 100s. Roy has also played with Art Pepper, John Heard, Ron McCurdy, Jackie Ryan, Joe Zawinal, Blood, Sweat and Tears, etc.
At sixty-six, Roy McCurdy looks forty-five, if that, is healthy, happy and continues to grow and mature as a musician and as a gentle, compassionate human being.
Originally a drummer, Roger Burn attended college at Cal State, Northridge in 1980 as a percussion major and also studied with legendary drum teacher, Freddie Gruber. He later studied piano, vibes, marimba and composition with the late, great Victor Feldman.
Burn’s credits include appearances as a keyboardist on The Tonight Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Today Show, The John Stewart Show, The Howie Mandel Show, The Magic Johnson Show, The Arsenio Hall Show, College Fund Show, The Next Big Star with host, Ed McMahon and The Grammy Awards with artists such as Vanessa Williams, Lionel Richie, Lou Bega, Ashford & Simpson, The Brian Setzer Orchestra and Bryan Adams.
He has also worked with Barry Manilow, Ambrosia, Chaka Kahn, Shelia E., Stevie Nicks, Richard Marx and Seal. As a session musician, he’s played on motion picture soundtracks such as The Mask, Another Stakeout, McHale’s Navy, The Nanny, Freaky Friday and Sideways. He has also played on gold and platinum albums, including a gold with The Brian Setzer Orchestra on The Songs Of Westside Story, a tribute to Leonard Bernstein and again with Setzer’s orchestra on the double platinum, double Grammy-winning Jump, Jive & Wail.
Burn also recorded with The Wild Colonials and played vibes on two tracks from former Yellowjackets and Steely Dan drummer Ricky Lawson’s debut cd. He has played keyboards, piano and vibes on jingles for such brand names as Target, Cadillac, Dodge, Toyota, Acura, Pediasure and United Airlines and has also been heard on such television shows as The Gary Shandling Show, Beverly Hills 90210, The Pretender, Melrose Place, Spin City, Ed, The Drew Carey Show, Meet The Press, Politically Incorrect and recently contributed his compositional skills to the critically acclaimed drama series American Dreams.
His vibraphone playing can be heard on the Academy Award winning hit film, Sideways’ and is one of the principle members of the Sideways Jazz Orchestra. Roger is also a staff composer for Megatrax, one of world’s largest library music houses and his compositions are heard all over the world on a daily basis. Since January of 1997 he has been an instructor at The Musicians Institute in Hollywood where he teaches courses in sight reading, how to build a keyboard rig and even a class called ‘Musical Director Workshop.’
San Francisco Bay Area native and Berklee College of Music graduate Rob Hart is a consummate musician, teaching and performing regularly with the Rob Hart Trio in Bay Area venues. Rob has also performed/recorded with renowned bassist Kai Eckhardt (John McLaughlin),The Isley Brothers, Antilles recording artist Dave Mann, CC Deville (Poison), and Stu Hamm (Joe Satriani/Steve Vai) among others, and has been featured as an opener for legendary jazz saxophonist Bennie Maupin and seminal jazz fusion pioneers Spyro Gyra.
Rob has studied with Steve Smith, Mike Clark, Gary Chaffee, and the late Tony Williams. He established the Rob Hart Drum Studio in 1985. Some of his successful students have gone on to join renowned touring bands and award-winning ensembles. Rob is an active clinician and continues to conduct various rhythm section workshops in the San Francisco Bay area.
Rob endorses DW Drums©, Vic Firth© Drum Sticks and is currently signed to the Bay Area's Simply Smokin' Records. © The Rob Hart Trio's debut CD, "Trios of the Past, Present, and Future," is available through this website. A Selected track from this eclectic collection were chosen from nearly 700 CD entries nationwide and is featured on a Bethlehem Archives jazz label sampler CD entitled "Jazz You Must Own!" The Trio has just released its ambitious follow up double-live disc called "Art of Improvisation," that captures the trios live spontaneity of live high energy improvisations, now available on this website.
Within a few short years of starting to play the drums at the age of 16, Ricky's natural talent skyrocketed him into a major career. Since then he has played with names like Phil Collins, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Stevie Wonder, Al Jarreau, George Benson, Bette Midler, Lionel Richie, George Duke, The Brothers Johnson, Quincy Jones and many more.
Early on, Ricky developed expertise in jazz, country and western, pop, R&B, funk and Latin rhythms - a versatility that allows him to play with anyone he wants to. He has earned his jobs and professional reputation by always being well prepared for his gigs. Some of the biggest Number 1 and multi-platinum singles and albums have featured Ricky's impressive talents, including Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You", Anita Baker's "Sweet Love", James Ingrams' "I Don't Have The Heart" and Lionel Richie's "Dancing On The Ceiling".
A co-founder of the group Yellowjackets, Ricky received a Grammy in 1986 for co-writing the hit song "And You Know That" on the album Shades, which he co-produced. He also co-authored the Pointer Sisters' hit "Uh-Uh" and co-produced the album Seriously Slammin and the Fattburger hit "Good News".
Affectionately known throughout the music industry as the “Drummer to the Stars”, Ricky is the most well known and respected percussionist in the world. Just recently Ricky was the featured drummer on Steely Dan’s Grammy winning Best Album “Two Against Nature”, Lionel Richie’s latest release “Renaissance”, the soundtrack to the blockbuster film “Brothers” and the score for the epic “Anna and The King” starring Jodie Foster and Chow Yun-Fat.
As the most sought-after and requested session musician of his time, Ricky Lawson has more than a decade of experience playing for superstars from all genres, like Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Eric Clapton, Lionel Richie, Babyface, Quincy Jones and a host of others. This album, appropriately titled “Ricky Lawson and Friends”, has moved this musical genius towards another bold step in his career by allowing him to write, arrange, produce and perform on every track of his first ever solo project. With a little help from some of his “friends”, including Gerald Albright, Phil Collins, George Duke, Sheila E., James Ingram, Boney James, Al Jarreau, Kirk Whalum and Vesta Williams, Ricky conjures up a unique and engaging blend of R&B, Pop and Jazz guaranteed to satisfy a wide range of musical appetites.