2013 Jazz Festival Band Lineup
Clarinetist Bob Draga is arguably one of the most popular and talented jazz musicians in the country. A consummate entertainer, he has mastered the art of pleasing an audience with his classy appearance, his seemingly unending list of jokes, and his superb musical talent. He intuitively understands what an audience wants to hear and provides it, whether hard and driving or exquisitely beautiful and soulful. In addition, Bob is a friend to young jazz musicians everywhere, taking time to coach and encourage whenever asked. Bob has proven to be an inspirational influence on these kids, whether in formal clinics or open jam sessions. “Working with young players is perhaps the most selfish part of my career,” says Bob. “By that I mean, someday when I can no longer play, I want to be able to see and hear jazz performed.”
The Blue Street Jazz Band has been a major force on the jazz circuit for a number of years. This band has been one of the most innovative groups in traditional jazz. Original songs, creative arrangements and individual musical expertise is the hallmark of the band. Although traditional jazz is the cornerstone, the band earned the reputation as "The Bad Boys of Dixieland" for their eclectic tastes in music.
A spin-off from Blue Street Jazz Band, Blue Renditions is made up of the Blue Street's younger members and a "Professor". (Well, Jason Wanner is also a regular member of Blue Street when he's not teaching at the Mammoth Jazz Camp.) It's a pretty hot ensemble. They're not only fun to watch but great to listen to. Leader is Sherri Colby, vocalist. Other members are Jason Wanner, piano; Sam Rocha, bass; Nate Ketner, reeds and Rick Canfield, drums.
With a high-energy front-line and a powerful rhythm section they have at least a century of songs in their repertoire, from the rags and Dixie of the early 1900's to contemporary jump, jazz, and swing. They guarantee that an hour later you'll be hungry for more.
Dave has put down his clarinet for a bit and joins drummer Hal Smith, guitarist Gino Meregillano and bassist Joe Jazdzewski for some serious Rockabilly fun. This band was SRO at the Sacramento and San Diego festivals last year. The Memphis Boys play classics by Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison, Chuck Berry, Hank Williams, Mickey Gilley and more.
2013 will be their first appearance at the Medford Jazz Festival.
Gator Beat, the West Coast's hardest hitting Zydeco, New Orleans R&B band is a hand-clapping, foot-stomping, high energy concert and dance band. They are known as "The Band With A Beat That Bites". That is because Gator Beat Band has what it takes. With the same survival instinct as its namesake, Gator Beat continues to adapt itself to its audiences, always with something fresh yet true to its calling. That calling is to represent the music of South Louisiana in all its forms: Cajun, Zydeco and New Orleans style. They have the talent and diversity to do so, to express the nuances that define the genres. The result is a remarkable show with so much variety and depth that at the end of the show, the Gator Beat Band leaves you happy and hollerin' "Gimme Some Mo"!
Glenn Crytzer and his Syncopators is a jazz band dedicated to performing the music of the swing and jazz eras. Founded in 2007, the group has become the premiere swing-era combo in the North America, having won over the hearts and feet of listeners and dancers from Coast to Coast. Their music has been hailed as sounding like some-[newly discovered]-thing they dug out of the Savoy Vaults. The band's musical influences range from the late 1920s through the mid 1940s and include jazz greats such as Benny Goodman, Fats Waller, Louis Armstrong, John Kirby, Jelly Roll Morton, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and more.
2013 will be their first appearance at the Medford Jazz Festival.
Formed in 1976 at the base of the Sierra California Foothills, High Sierra Jazz Band has been coined the second most popular Jazz band ever. With literally hundreds of songs in their repertoire, this energetic band always promises a great show! Break out your dancin' shoes. These boys know how to get the joint jumpin!
High Street started out in the early 90's as a quartet playing mostly jazz standards and performing mainly at coffee houses and yogurt shops. Over the last 15 years, with some hard work, a lot of fun, a vision, and a few good breaks, High Street has headlined events as large as 50,000. High Street offers a wide range of musical styles, including: swing, latin, R & B, rock & roll, funk, jazz, and zydeco. The band's high energy shows and interactive work with their audiences have made them favorites wheverever they go.
Lena, an accomplished artist and song writer on her own, pays homage to her legendary father Louis Prima with renditions of “Sing SingSing,” “Pennies From Heaven,” “Just A Gigolo,” “Jump Jive An’ Wail,” “That Old Black Magic" and more.
Her original song “Silly In The Middle” was nominated for the Best Jazz Song of 2010 at the Hollywood Music in Media Awards (HMMAs) and “Since the Storm,” inspired by and dedicated to the survivors of hurricane Katrina, has been well received.
Currently Lena is a regular in Vegas and appears many weekends at the Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans.
The Midiri Brothers have made music, both jazz and classical, the focus of their lives since graduating Glassboro State College in the mid 1980's. On recordings they can be heard leading groups ranging from trios, quintets, sextets and big bands all featuring Joe's outstanding Clarinet and saxophones and Paul on the vibraphone, xylophone, marimba, drums and trombone!
This group of young performers has a way of captivating our growing audience. The Lab Band Program Association was created in 1992 to give young musicians on Oregon's south coast an opportunity to expand their musical skills through education and performance. They specialize in jazz, the "Big Band" sound including vocalists, with satellite specialty bands performing Dixieland and soft rock. This is a group of young talented performers you will not want to miss.
A 16-piece big band, Southern Oregon Jazz Orchestra will have everyone dancing the night away with a mix of swing, Latin and classic big band arrangements of the '40s, '50s and '60s.
After fifteen years as the leader and electrifying violinist of The Sundogs, fiddler/composer Tom Rigney steps out on his own with a hot new band, Flambeau. The repertoire is original, eclectic, passionate, and filled with a musical and emotional intensity that will come as no surprise to followers of Rigneys career.
Whether it's Gene Chandler's "Duke of Earl" or "Little Darlin", made famous by The Diamonds, THE YOUNG BUCS Doo-Wop division take you back to the '50's, and the days before IPods and cell phones.
Best of Swing Quintet
with John Cocuzzi, Jennifer Leitham and Harry Allen
Vince Bartels has been a prominent member of the West Coast Jazz scene since 1977 when he joined the Fulton Street Jazz band. Vince has been exposed since birth to classic swing jazz by his father, Hank Bartels, a renowned bass player New Orleans native and founding member of the original “Dukes of Dixieland” with clarinetist Pete Fountain.
This group “Vince Bartels’ Best of Swing Quintet” is his latest endeavor to bring great talent together to spontaneously combust in truly improvisational Classic Jazz.
Please see below for each musician's bio, website and music clips.
Vince has performed with some of the greatest names in classic jazz today: Abe Most, Wild Bill Davison, Bob Haggart, Tommy Newsome, Eddie Miller, Gene Estes, Maxine Sullivan, Howard Alden, Harry Allen, Tom Saunders, Bill and John Allred, Chuck Hedges, Randy Reinhart, John Sheridan, Paul Keller, Pete Christlieb, John Cocuzzi and many, more. In 2004, Vince organized his first all-star band “The Migrant Jazz Workers” Eddie Higgins, Dan Barrett, Allan Vaché, Russ Phillips, Dave Stone, and Jennifer Leitham Vince continues to work with various combinations of world-class jazz musicians at festival in the U.S. and Abroad.
Jennifer has been referred to by noted jazz critic Leonard Feather as the "left-handed virtuoso of the upright bass." Jennifer is best known for her decade long stints with both Mel Tormé and Doc Severinsen. She has appeared with many distinguished artists including Woody Herman, George Shearing, Gerry Mulligan, Peggy Lee, Joe Pass, Cleo Laine, Louie Bellson, Pete Rugolo, Bill Watrous, and numerous others. She has also been a member of the Tonight Show All-Stars, The Woody Herman Thundering Herd, Benny Carter Quintet, Bob Cooper Quartet, DIVA, and more.
Gene Lees writes, "Stan Getz was once asked his idea of the perfect tenor saxophone soloist. His answer was, 'My technique, Al Cohn's ideas, and Zoot's time.' The fulfillment of that ideal may well be embodied in thirty-year-old Harry Allen."
Harry was born in Washington D.C. in 1966, and was raised in Los Angeles, CA and Burrillville, RI. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in music in 1988 from Rutgers University in New Jersey, and currently resides in New York City. Harry has performed at jazz festivals and clubs worldwide, frequently touring the United States, Europe and Asia. He has performed with Rosemary Clooney, Ray Brown, Hank Jones, Frank Wess, Flip Phillips, Scott Hamilton, Harry 'Sweets' Edison, Kenny Burrell, Herb Ellis, John Pizzarelli, Bucky Pizzarelli, Gus Johnson, Jeff Hamilton, Terry Gibbs, Warren Vache, and has recorded with Tony Bennett, Johnny Mandel, Ray Brown, Tommy Flanagan, James Taylor, Sheryl Crow, Kenny Barron, Dave McKenna, Dori Caymmi, Larry Goldings, George Mraz, Jake Hanna, and Al Foster, among others.
Steve Homan; jazz musician, composer, instructor and arranger has performed professionally and taught jazz music for over 35 years. Steve has toured the African continent twice in 1998 and 2000 as USA Jazz Ambassador sponsored by The US State Dept. and The John F. Kennedy Center For The Performing Arts. Steve has also performed and toured in Europe and South America. In addition to maintaining a private jazz guitar studio, Steve currently teaches adjunct at the following institutions: California State University, Sacramento, Cosumnes River College, American River College, several regional summer jazz programs including; The Brubeck Summer Jazz Colony, The Brubeck Jazz Band Camp ( both held at UOP) Sacramento Traditional Jazz Camp and The Jazz Masters / Jazz Guitar Series. He has performed, toured and or recorded with the following jazz artists: Jimmy Smith, Anita O’Day, Steve Davis, Gilbert Castellanos, Essiet Akon Essiet, Mike Clark Quartet, Rob Dixon, Marshall Gilkes and many others.
Wally’s Warehouse Waifs, who bill themselves as a warehouse for itinerant musicians or fugitives from highly regarded and/or well-traveled bands, return to Medford after a one year hiatus. The Waif’s loaded their Semi and headed for Seaside, OR and Three Rivers CA early in 2013, but if you want to catch them this fall, you’ll need to head your “Semi” to Medford or Pismo. The current assemblage of Waifs includes the Leader of the Band, Dave Tatrow who has appeared in Medford more than any other musician and six additional super musicians. They play it all and play it with passion and humor.