Category Archives: Keyboard

Rob Whitlock

Artist Profile:

Rob Whitlock

rob_whitlock_1Rob Whitlock, a naturally gifted musician, finds himself equally comfortable writing, arranging and producing music, soloing spontaneously or comping supportively behind other soloists, making them sound even better themselves. It's easy to see that Rob enjoys playing and even more enjoys whom he's playing with. Musicians with this balance of style and grace are not as easy to find as one might think. Finding expression through an artist with this combination of gifts is what truley makes music a language in it's own right, and Whitlock speaks it fluently.

Rob has been playing the Hammond B-3 organ since age eight, when his father, a well respected jazz guitarist in Miami/Ft. Lauderdale encouraged him to do impromptu concerts in their family living room for professional musician friends. He was greatly influenced by Jimmy Smith, Wes Mongomery and Charlie Parker recordings from hisrob_whitlock_2 dad's collection of jazz. On his own he discoverd Herbie Hancock, George Duke, Chick Corea, Miles Davis and Jaco Pastorius. The young musician quickly learned how to make a living by gigging around the area on keyboards as well as bass. At the age of seventeen, Rob met Jaco, who gave advice and encouragement to his younger friend. Jaco also sent friends to Rob's father for guitar lessons, having learned quite a bit himself from the senior Whitlock. After having played with great musicians like Jaco Pastorius, Randy Berensen, Othello Molineaux, Carl Fontana, Joe Williams, Bill Watrous and "The Peter Graves Big Band", as well as a host of unknown, but extremely talented New York transplants, Rob relocated to California at age 25, via a three year stint in Washington, D.C.

In California, Whitlock became involved with some gifted musicians and formed a band with them playing contemporary jazz by groups like "The Brecker Brothers", "Yellow Jackets" and performed songs by writers Victor Feldman, John Scofield and Don Grolnick, as well as their own originals. During that time Max Bennett of "Tom Scott and the LA Express", asked Rob to join his originals band, of which Whitlock is currently still a member. Not long after, he began touring with "The Jazz Crusaders" through the U.S. and Europe on keyboards. With AJ Croce, while playing the B-3, he toured Scandanavia, as well as many other destinations with the Dazz Band and Fattburger, for festivals and concerts.

As far as recording goes, Rob has been on anywhere from Kathie Lee Gifford and Rita Coolidge, to Fattburger, Steve Laury, Pat Kelley, Wayne Johnson and Max Bennett albums, ranging from pop to the many jazz genres. He has also been on recordings with legendary musicians like Vinnie Colaiuta, John Guerin, Joe Sample, Russell Ferante, Tom Scott, Warren Wiebie, Anthony Jackson and including greats Jeff Lorber, Will Lee, Bill Berg, Jimmy Johnson, Jim Gilstrap, Mike Miller, Scott Henderson, Greg Bissonette, Matt Bissonette, Cliff Almond, John Ferraro, Earnest Tibbs , Othello Molineaux, Bob Magnuson and Peter Sprague.

Concert and club appearances include; Eddie Harris, Charles McPhearson, Abe Laboriel, Jaco Pastorius, Felix Pastorius, Tom Scott, Joe Williams, Ronnie Laws, Joe Sample, Lee Greenwood, Mavis Staples, Miki Howard, The Dazz Band, Mundell Lowe, Bobby Shew, Wayne Johnson, Peter Sprague, Sam Riney, Grant Geissman, Jeff Kashiwa, Bud Shank and Fattburger. Television appearances include "Austin City Limits"," Sound FX" on Fox, "The Wayne Brady Show", Katie Lee Gifford's most recent TV concert, "Gentle Grace", and others. Rob has written for television for the lifetime and other cable channels, and continues to do so.

After having completed two new cds for himself ( "Sketchin" and "Sketcthin' 2" ), as well as two for his wife, vocalist Amber Whitlock ("The Colours of Life" and "The Circle" ), Rob is making plans to perform the new works in venues in the states and abroad. The musicians of choice for these projects were the incomparable Vinnie Colaiuta, Anthony Jackson, Scott Henderson, Cliff Almond, Pat Kelley and the amazing Michael Brecker. Also featured are old friends, Othello Molineaux, Wayne Johnson, Brian Price, his former college instructor, John Georgini, as well as Rob's father, Bob Whitlock on guitar and pedal steel. The horn section was comprised of three of Rob's favorites, Wayne Bergeron, Andy Martin & great buddy John Rekevics.

Rob's new solo cd "Sketchin" incudes only a few of the talented artists he has come to know over the years, and includes original songs that he has written over the span of two decades. It has been above all, a labor of love; Love of music, of fellow musicians and their gifts, and of the enthusiast for whom he is happy to present this work, the jewel of his labor. In the words of eleven time Grammy Award winner Michael Brecker, "It was a joy to be a part of the Rob Whitlock project. In addition to his being a fantastic player/composer, Rob has a knack for bringing out the best in the musicians with whom he plays. This was fun."

Quinn Johnson

Artist Profile:

Quinn Johnson

Quinn Johnson is a pianist/keyboardist and composer living in Los Angeles. He has been working constantly for the past 10 years, performing and recording with Rita Coolidge, John Densmore (from The Doors), Flora Purim, Airto Moreira, Martin Short, Richard Carpenter, Jeff Kashiwa, Wayne Brady, Tito Gomez (from Grupo Niche) and Jerry Seinfeld.

He has also found time to compose and orchestrate for various projects, including the Buffalo Symphony and Long Beach Pops orchestras, Cartoon Channel's Samurai Jack and The Power Puff Girls, among others. Quinn is currently musical director for singer Steve Tyrell and performs regularly with The Sandro Albert Quintet. Also, he is a founding member of the exciting, new band, Just Listen.

Pat Tuzzolino

Artist Profile:

Pat Tuzzolino

pat_tuzzolinoPatrick Tuzzolino is a critically acclaimed vocalist, composer, pianist, guitarist and jazz producer. Most recently Tuzzolino played guitar and sang background vocals on Keely Smith's Swing, Swing, Swing CD and is a featured vocalist on Ray Anthony's big band CD The Swing Club.

He has performed and recorded with such jazz legends as Jon Hendrix, Joe Sample, Herbie Hancock, Carl Fontana, Sam Most, Sam Butera, Branford Marsalis, Sheryl Lee Ralph, the Count Basie Alumni Band, Stevie Wonder, Frankie Capp's Juggernaut Big Band and Sarah Vaughn.

Patrick has composed music and performed featured songs for many film and television productions including Guess Who (the recent remake of "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" for Sony Pictures), Weapons of Mass Distraction - HBO, Stag, Tree's Lounge (Steve Buscemi, Director, MCA soundtrack album & film), Second Day of Xmas (ABC Films), Strays (Sundance dramatic competition, Vin Diesel, Director), I Think, I Do, Just In Time, Eight Days a Week and Fall (Eric Shaeffer, Director). Other credits include Teenage Bonnie and Klepto Clyde on HBO, Mr. Atlas, Death Wish Five, and New Attitudes on Fox. Patrick has also made live appearances on Terry Bradshaw's Home Team, UPN's Moesha with Sheryl Lee Ralph and King of Queens 2004-2005.

Patrick (S.A.G.) has acted in supporting roles for two episodes of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Blood Money with James Brolin, Billy Drago, Pistol Blues with Nick Cassevettes and the upcoming Sleepless.

Tuzzolino was a featured act at the 1997 Playboy Jazz Festival with the legendary Sam Most and Carl Saunders. He is currently performing in the Los Angeles area with this band.

Tuzzolino has sung and created musical arrangements for many recent nationally televised commercials including Nike, Miller Lite, Bud Lite, Skintimates, Cheetos, UPS, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, E-Bay, Lexus and many others.
s also been a regular performer at many top nightclubs in Los Angeles, New York, Toronto and Las Vegas.
Patrick Tuzzolino is an accomplished musician who is equally at home behind a keyboard or a guitar, or a vocal mic. Performing all over the place with his setup of piano for his right hand, bass synthesizer for his left hand and a microphone for his crooning smooth voice, he plays often with Sam Most on woodwinds and Frank Capp on drums.

Patrick's standout vocals can be heard on numerous national commercials and soundtracks, and he is a strong crowd favorite as he really loves to perform for his devoted audience.

Otmaro Ruiz

Artist Profile:

Otmaro Ruiz

otmaro_ruiz_1Born in Caracas, Venezuela, June 27th. of 1964. Otmaro Ruiz started his musical studies at the age of eight years old at the "Juan Manuel Olivares" Conservatory, where he covered academic classes (theory, harmony, ear training, history & aesthetics, analysis) and eight years of Classical Guitar.

At the same time, he studies Pop and Classical Organ, pursues a Scientific career as a Biologist at the "Simón Bolívar University" and he is exposed to other artistic activities such as drawing and acting. In 1980 Otmaro gets his firsts professional jobs as a keyboard player for "Top forty" bands and three years later decides to focus entirely on music, abandoning Biological Sciences a couple of years away from getting his degree. Is in this year, 1983, that Otmaro Ruíz becomes part of the very small elite of Recording and Touring musicians working with the most prominent Venezuelan otmaro_ruiz_2 artists and International Jazz and Pop artists visiting his country (check Artist List at the bottom).

In 1986, in conjunction with his performing career, Otmaro joins one of the most important TV & Radio Jingle production companies, "Musica & Letra", which would become a very important ingredient in his development as a composer, arranger and producer. His association with the company lasted for three years, three years of DAILY recordings, until Otmaro decided it was time to move on and set new professional goals.

In 1989, with a partial financial aid from the Ministry of Culture (CONAC), he moves to Los Angeles, California, where he culminates his academic training at the California Institute of the Arts (CALARTS), obtaining a Master Degree in Jazz Performance (1993).

While in CALARTS, Otmaro had the opportunity to perform and interact with many visiting artists however, it was his association with Alex Acuña that introduced him to the very selected circle of musicians in Los Angeles. Since 1991, Otmaro Ruíz is part of the most diverse musical situations, always of the greatest quality (check Artist List at the bottom), ranging from straight-ahead jazz to Pop-Rock, from authentic Salsa& Afro-Cuban to the most exciting Fusion, always keeping versatility as his main focus, not as a financial strategy, but out of the true love and respect he feels for all styles of music to which he has been exposed.

John McLaughlin, Steve Winwood, Tito Puente, Arturo Sandoval, Gino Vannelli, Robbie Robertson, Dianne Reeves, LA Philharmonic, Herb Alpert, Jon Anderson, Alex Acuna, David Weckl, Frank Gambale, Art Davis, Alain Caron, Frank Morgan, Ralph Moore, Boney James, Charlie Haden, Joey Heredia, Nana Caymmi, Munyungo Jackson, Chester Thompson, Justo Almario, Billy Higgins, Vicky Carr, Nat Adderley, Bunny Brunnell, Juan Carlos Quintero, Luis Bonilla, etc.

 

Nick Smith

Artist Profile:

Nick Smith

nick_smithIn 1981, during the encore of their show at the Front Row in Cleveland, George Duke and Stanley Clarke, as was their custom, called for musicians in the audience to come onstage and play with them. A youngster on keyboards put on a display that dazzled everyone, including the two stars. Under the headline "SENSATIONAL UNKNOWN MUSICIAN FOUND", a Cleveland newspaper reported on the nineteen year old who "stole the show."

Nick Smith has since gone on to become a cornerstone in Stanley Clarke's band since the early 90's, and today is acknowledged as one of the jazz world's great young  keyboard players.

Nick has played with Kenny Garrett, Kirk Whalum, Eddie Harris, Dianne Reeves, Ronnie Laws, Gary Bartz, Donald Byrd, Eric Benet, Billy Higgins, George Howard, Rayford Griffin, and many more..

A former member of the Tonight Show band, Nick wrote and co-produced Najee's "Morning Tenderness" in 1998, has composed music for many feature films including Disney's "The Color of Friendship", and has scored for TV, including the series "Soulfood."

His current CD release is entitled, "A Taste of Jazz."

 

 

Mike Melvoin

Artist Profile:

Mike Melvoin

mike_melvoinMike Melvoin has been playing the piano since he was three and jazz since he was 13 and has never stopped. His legendary career in the studios as a player, arranger, composer, conductor, producer and recording artist continues at the highest level.His credits, in all media and all styles, are the Who’s Who of music ranging from Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Peggy Lee, Tony Bennett, and Joe Williams to Quincy Jones, John Lennon, Tom Waits and the Beach Boys. In 2006 he was awarded the Musician's Musician award from the Friends Of Jazz at UCLA.

Mike Melvoin has performed with many artists over his career. He has scored several television and film projects as well as themed computer software and radio and collaborated with countless artists.

Live Appearances

Paul Horn, Joe Williams, American Jazz Philharmonic, Bill Henderson, Frank Morgan, Bob Kindred, Red Mitchell, Fred Karlin, Leroy Vinnegar, Ruth Brown, Frank Rosolino, Sweets Edison, Terry Gibbs, Pete Christlieb, Gerald Wilson, Teddy Edwards, Vikki Carr, Larance Marable, Ernie Andrews, Don Menza, Phil Upchurch, Lorez Alexandria, Sweets Edison-Count Basie, Stan Getz, O.C. Smith, John Heard, Herman Riley, David Basse, Herb Geller, Grammy Jazz Jams 2000 (4 All Star Concerts), Grammyfest 2003, Cutting Room NYC,

Television Scores

The David Cassidy Story NBC, Early Edition CBS, Outpost Columbia TV, Sharing Richard CBS, Fame (Multiples) MGM/United Artists, Macgyver (Multiples) Paramount, Return Of The Rebels Filmways/Moonlight, Aspen (The Innocent & The Damned) Universal, Buck Rogers In The 25th Century (Multiples) Universal, Lou Grant (Multiples) MTM, Baretta (Multiples) Universal, Maclain's Law MGM, The Last Survivors NBC/Bob Banner Prod., Mongo's Back In Town CBS/Bob Banner Prod., Stand By For Murder ABC/Metromedia, Murder At The Halfway House ABC/Metromedia, Mystery At Malibu ABC/Metromedia, Pete & Tillie Universal/ABC, Krofft's Supershow (Theme & Multiples) ABC, Woody Woodbury Show (Multiples) Synd., Thicker Than Water (Multiples) Synd.,

Specials/Documentaries

CBS The First 50 Years" CBS, "Newsworthy" Minnesota News Council, "The Horatio Alger Awards" NBC, 1994 , 1995 & '97 Grammy Shows Cossette/CBS, Œ94 Grammy's Greatest Moments Cossette/Solt/CBS, Grammy Legends '91- "Higher Ground" Cossette/CBS, The Fake Book Fanton Productions, The Search For Houdini
Tribune, Jazz Tribute-'86 Grammy Awards CBS, Jazz Segment-'97 & '98 Grammy Awards CBS, The American Yearbook K.E. Enterprises, Over The Line Atlantic, Your New Day (Vidal Sassoon Show) New Day Productions, Peggy Fleming At Sun Valley NBC /Bob Banner Prod., The Woody Woodbury Show (225 Episodes) Westinghouse

Film

Posse Warner Brothers, Excessive Force New Line, Picking Up The Pieces Saratoga Films, Blind Fear Allegro, They Haven't Seen This Columbia/Discovery, The Big Town Columbia, Armed & Dangerous Columbia, Desert Bloom Columbia, King Of The Mountain Polygram, Main Event First Artists, Ashanti Warner.

Collaborations

Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennet, Jackson 5, Quincy Jones, Natalie Cole, Herb Ellis/Ray Brown, Tom Waitts, Leroy Vinnegar, Barry Manilow, Peggy Lee, Plas Johnson, Joe Williams, Wendy & Lisa, Milt Jackson, Bette Midler, Bill Henderson, Pete Christleib, Ray Charles, John Lennon, Beach Boys, Nancy Wilson, Barbara Streisand, David Cassidy, Phil Spector, Bud Shank, Glen Campbell, Herb Alpert, Billy Ekstine, Harry Nilsson, Wayne Newton, Jane Monheit, Lou Rawls, Mel Torme, Andy Williams, Paul Horn, Kenny Rodgers, Tom Scott, Nancy Sinatra, Cher, Ray Charles, Joe Cocker, Nina Simone, Neil Diamond, Terry Gibbs, Liza Minelli, Les Brown, Michelle Lee, Laura Nyro, Burt Bacharach, The Ventures, Sammy Davis Jr., Bernadette Peters, John Davidson, The Association, Jose Feliciano, Vikki Carr, Cal Tjader, Bing Crosby, Johnny Rivers, O.C. Smith, Michael Jackson, The Partridge Family, Kurt Elling, Trini Lopez, Bill Conti, Dean Martin, Stan Getz, Charlie Haden, Bonnie Raitt, Diana Ross, Lulu, The Monkees, Gene Mac Daniels, Johnny Hartman, Anthony Newley, Nancy Marano, Joey De Francesco, Marvin Hamlisch, Al Hirt, Pat Boone, The Four Freshman, Cass Elliott, Ann Margaret, Lalo Schiffrin, Lani Hall, Gary Lewis & The Playboys, Sandpipers, Helen Reddy, Tim Hardin, Bobby Darin, Rick Nelson, Joanie Sommers, John Williams, Alan Price, Carol Bayer Sager, Paul Anka, Bobby Rydell, Tim Buckley, Hoyt Axton, Brook Benton, Oliver Nelson, Martin Mull, Gary Mac Farland, Gabor Szabo,
Jane Morgan, Howard Roberts, Sue Raney, Jack Jones, Barbara Mc Nair, Matt Monro, Hugo Montenegro, Mason Williams, Lettermen, Claudine Longet, Heather Macrae, Ed Ames, Jack Jones, Frankie Laine, Tommy Leonetti, Bud & Travis, John Hartford, Burl Ives, Fran Jeffries, Carol Burnett, Eddie Fisher, Grass Roots, The Platters, Judy Collins, Duane Eddy, Roy Rogers & Dale Evans, Everly Brothers, Teddy Neely Five, Patti Page, Jimmie Rodgers, Andy Russell, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Tommy Sands, Sandy Nelson, Bud Shank, Sandpipers, Del Shannon, Kay Starr, Nino Tempo & April Stevens, Tiny Tim, Union Gap, Rudy Valley, Leroy Van Dyke, Jackie De Shannon, Esther Phillips, Sam Flet, Danny O'keefe, Margaret Whiting, David Gates, Edwin Starr, Harvey Mandel, Tim Weisberg, P.F. Sloan, Fifth Dimension, Steve Eaton, Sammy Johns, Juice Newton, The Mob, Jake Hanna, Manhattan Transfer, Bill La Bounty, Ahmad Jamal, Mike Post, Thelma Houston, Don Ho, The Monkees, Benny Carter, The First Edition, Adam Miller, Don Menza, Frank Rosolino, Buddy Emmons, Sandra Crouch, Roy Ayers, Victor Feldman, Mason Williams, Lowell George, Bobby Vee, David Cassidy, etc.

Mike Garson

Artist Profile:

Mike Garson

mike_garson_161 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.

Matt Harris

Artist Profile:

Matt Harris

matt_harris_1Matt Harris graduated with a BM from the University of Miami and a MM from the Eastman School of Music. He moved to Los Angeles after touring, writing, and recording with jazz legends, Maynard Ferguson and Buddy Rich. Matt is co-director of Jazz Studies at California State University Northridge, and is a current faculty member at Yellowstone and Idyllwild Arts summer jazz camps. He is currently the VP for California Alliance for Jazz (CAJ) and is a National Panelist for Young Arts based in Miami.

Matt is an active clinician, conductor and composer for high schools, colleges, and professional bands around the world. He has conducted the Nevada, Oklahoma, Arizona, South Dakota, and Texas all state bands. He has been commissioned to write music from bands spanning the globe, including; Denmark, Germany, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Japan, China, Turkey, as well as Matt_harris_2numberous high schools and Universities in the United States. Matt has been a guest clinician for over 30 years with topics ranging from improvisation, rhythm section, piano, arranging, composition, business of music, and creative aspects of playing jazz.

Matt has 6 CD’s of original music including two trio CD’s, Snap Crackle, and Bellavino Blues. Matt’s second big band CD, recorded by the HR German radio band in 2008,is available exclusively on this web site (digital download only). Matt has also written for the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, Metrapole Orchestra (Netherlands), Airmen of Note, Air Force Falcolnaires, Kluvers Big Band (Denmark), as well as high school and college bands throughout the country. He has arranged, orchestrated, and/or performed on numerous jingles, recordings, and live performances including Taco Bell, Home Depot, Jack in the Box, Ford, Schwab, Mariott, and many more.

Matt has played with jazz legends including Bobby Shew, Lanny Morgan, Bob Sheppard, Bob McChesney, Howie Shear, Matt Finders, Rob Lockart, Carl Saunders, Chuck Findley, Tim Ries, Bob Summers, John Pisano, Gregg Bissonette, Dan Higgins to name a few.

Matt played with drum legends Neal Peart, Chad Smith, Terry Bozzio, and Peter Erskine for the eleventh Buddy Rich tribute concert in New York sponsored by DW drum channel (2009). He also played with Jimmy Cobb and Joe Morello for DW’s “drum channel” (2009).

Matt has played piano and/or written music for some of today’s top jazz vocalists including Karyn Allison, Jackie Allen, Diane Shure, Dena Derose, Rosana Eckert, Calbria Foti, Kevin Mahogany, Kurt Elling, Marie Carmen Koppel, and many others.

Matt teamed up with long time friend and Maynard Ferguson alumnus, Tim Ries, (current saxophone for the Rolling Stones) arranging 12 “Stones” tunes for big band. The music was premiered in Denmark by the Kluvers big band and the Metropole big band from the Netherlands.

Matt is the father to Emily and Madelyn and husband to Kim. He enjoys walking his dog,Curly, and loves to watch ice hockey!

Marc Hugenberger

marc_hugenberger
Marc is originally from Fullerton, California, and now lives in West Hollywood, California.

Marc has attended California State University, Fullerton and studied at Fullerton Junior College. He has worked for De Bois Entertainment and Natalie Cole, and has been a Producer at GRP Records and is a Keyboardist/Producer Freelance Musician.marc_hugenberger_2