5.28.11 Los Angeles Jazz Collective Festival Part III : Josh Aguiar Ensemble [3pm] » Josh Welchez Group [4pm] » Adam Schroeder Quintet feat. Bob Sheppard [5pm] » Leonard Thompson Trio [8pm] » Matt Otto Quintet [9pm] » John Ehlis Ensemble feat. Vinny Golia [10pm] » Vinny Golia Sextet [11pm] @ BlueWhale

SATURDAY MAY 28, 2011  
[Matinee] 3 to 6 pm
[Evening] 8pm to midnight

123 Astronaut E S Onizuka St. Suite 301, Los Angeles, CA 90012  |  213.620.0908

The Los Angeles Jazz Collective is a growing organization that is dedicated towards building a stronger jazz community in the Los Angeles area. Co-founded by pianist Gary Fukushima and saxophonist Matt Otto, the LAJC has 13 core members including guitarists Jamie Rosenn, Steve Cotter and Mike Scott, pianist-organist Joe Bagg, saxophonists Matt Zebley, Robby Marshall and Damon Zick, trumpeters Brian Swartz and Josh Welchez, bassist Ryan McGillicuddy and drummer Jason Harnell, plus a growing number of associate members.

The Los Angeles Jazz Collective has sponsored some concerts (including a collective performance last April that served as the official birth of the organization), has put out a sampler CD, and has some ambitious if realistic plans for the future. Recently I chatted with Gary Fukushima, Matt Otto and Jamie Rosenn, asking the three musicians how an organization of this sort can function given the economic difficulties of being a jazz musician in Los Angeles, along with the democratic and rather spontaneous nature of the music.

The LAJC’s membership includes many of the area’s talented younger artists, including pianist/organist Joe Bagg; saxophonists Matt Zebley, Robby Marshall and Damon Zick; drummer Jason Harnell; bassist Ryan McGillicuddy; trumpeters Brian Swartz and Josh Welchez, and guitarists Steve Cotter, Jamie Rosenn, and Mike Scott. There are currently 13 core members and a growing number of associate members. The collective has held meetings several times each month since November of 2007 and has already established a strong sense of community within the membership. Many members are on the faculty at various colleges and schools, and the collective intends to integrate enthusiastic students into this community. The LAJC aims to be a catalyst for those who play modern, creative jazz to represent the pioneering spirit that is the essence of the jazz tradition. The collective is compelled to live out that spirit by forging ahead in it’s members’s own compositions and performances.

Los Angeles Jazz Collective website

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Josh Aguiar is one of LA’s up-and-coming trumpeters, pianists and composers in jazz and improvised music. While growing up in Los Angeles, Aguiar studied with legendary jazz cornetist Bob Bradford. Later he ventured out to Indiana University, Bloomington for undergraduate studies in jazz, graduating in 2000. At IU, he minored in Chinese, and subsequently spent the next 3 ½ years studying and eventually working in Taiwan. Returning to Los Angeles in 2004, Aguiar focused his attention on the local scene, and has been involved in a number of worthy projects. He recently completed his MFA in jazz studies at CalArts in Valencia, where he studied with Charlie Haden, David Roitstein, Vinny Golia, Larry Koonse, and many other fine musician instructors.

He has played with such jazz luminaries as Joe La Barbera, Bob Sheppard, Bill Cunliffe, Butch Morris, Vinny Golia, Darek Oles, David Baker. He has also lent his talents to popular music ensembles in Taiwan, such as indie band “Sticky Rice”, and LA-based funk-roots fusion ensemble “Subway to Venus.” Aguiar has been increasingly heading groups playing his own compositions at venues throughout the Los Angeles area.

A sensitive, lyrical player with a warm, rounded tone, Aguiar has earned numerous plaudits from colleagues in the field. In 2000, he was awarded second prize in the International Trumpet Guild’s Jazz Improvisation Contest. Also in 2000, at the recommendation of jazz education guru David Baker, he received a coveted Player’s Certificate after performing for a committee of Indiana University musical faculty. Saxophonist Chuck Manning of the LA Jazz Quartet summed up Aguiar’s playing: “He plays the trumpet with a depth and harmonic knowledge of someone twice his age. He also has something that is rare at any age and that is a soulful and swinging sound with a singular style that communicates a story in every solo.”

Josh Aguiar website

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I began playing trumpet in 1986 in New Jersey. I have had the privilege of playing with Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, Carlos Malcolm’s Afro Jamaican Rhythms, Matt Otto Sextet, Buddy Childers’ Big Band, Anthony Wilson Nonet, Bill Holman Big Band, and Larry Goldings. I am a member of the Los Angeles Jazz Collective.

Josh Welchez website

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Los Angeles based Baritone Saxophonist Adam Schroeder has rapidly become a major force throughout the global jazz scene.  Schroeder; a first call for a growing multitude of musical circumstances, is known equally for his hard-driving muscular swing, ferocious be-bopping, meticulous musicianship and leadership as well as his exquisite sound.  For Schroeder’s debut release “A Handful of Stars” (Capri Records July 20th, 2010), his approach has been described as possessing soul a la Carney, intricate lines like those of Chaloff and Adams, the in-the-pocket swing of Mulligan and the hard-driving take-no-prisoners approach of Smulyan.  This description of Schroeder’s approach is a concise ‘short list’ of the baritone saxophone lineage with which Schroeder’s name should duly be added for he is truly a master of the most unwieldy of traditional jazz instruments.

Born and raised in Sioux City, Iowa, Adam began his musical studies on alto saxophone while in grade school.  After an introduction to Charlie Parker in 1992, Schroeder’s musical interest became fixed solely within the jazz idiom.  Mr. Schroeder finally discovered his saxophonistic voice between his junior and senior years, switching from the alto over to the baritone saxophone.  Later that same year, Adam was asked to fill the baritone role in the college big band at Clark Terry’s International Institute of Jazz Studies.  The acceptance of this position sparked a relationship with the famed Clark Terry, which lead to a multitude of musical opportunities shared between the two players, ongoing still today.

In June of 2000, Downbeat Magazine named Mr. Schroeder the Co-Winner of the “Jazz Instrumental Soloist Award” (the 23rd Annual Student Music Awards); the first time that a Baritone Saxophonist has been given this prestigious honor.  Later that same year, Mr. Schroeder’s career took off with calls coming in from Columbia Artists (Maureen McGovern & John Pizzarelli in Concert), Clark Terry (The QE2’s 17th Annual Floating Jazz Festival), & Ray Charles; a call that started a four and a half year relationship up until the singer’s untimely passing.

Throughout his career, Adam has had the fortunate opportunity to play and record with a growing list of musical greats.  Among them are Clark Terry, the Clayton/Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, Anthony Wilson, Ray Charles, Diana Krall, John Pizzarelli, Bill Cosby, Bob Mintzer, Bennie Wallace, Michael Buble, Sting, Chris Botti, Louie Bellson, Gilbert Castellanos, Gary Smulyan, Joe Magnarelli, Gerald Clayton, American Idol, Gordon Goodwin, SUPERSAX, Mary Mary, Max Weinberg, the late Nick Brignola and Jack Nimitz, as well as the American Idol television show.  He is also endorsed by Yamaha  and RICO Reeds.

While maintaining an active schedule, Schroeder’s presence in the jazz community, both stateside and abroad, is felt not only in his intense musicality, but also in his outreach to the community as well.  When asked about his flourishing career, Adam replied, “Clark Terry has not ONCE stopped reaching out to others, always taking the time out of his life to give, be it mentoring in music or in life.  He instilled that in me from the moment we first met; that’s a lesson I’ll never forget and a lesson I strive to live up to each & every day of my musical life.”

Adam Schroeder website

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Leonard Thompson was born in March of 1972 and grew up in Capistrano Beach, CA. His father, Rex Thompson, was a jazz pianist and his mother an avid jazz listener and student of the bass. Leonard began playing professionally while fulfilling a geology degree at U.C. Santa Cruz in the 1990s. Since then he has been active in the San Francisco bay area, southern California, and most recently New York. Some ongoing collaborations have included performing and/or recording with saxophonist Matt Otto, guitarist Justin Morell, and vocalist Vicki Burns. Leonard has also enjoyed performances with vocalists such as Cleo Laine, Mary Stallings, Madeleine Peyroux, Sasha Dobson, Marlena Shaw, Giacomo Gates, Madeline Eastman, Kitty Margolis, Paula West, V.R. Smith, Julie Kelly and George Hubbard.

Leonard Thompson website

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Matt Otto studied music performance and composition at Indiana University, Berklee School of Music, The New School for Social Research (BFA) and California Institute of the Art (MFA). Having lived in Japan for 5 years, New York City for 7 years and Los Angeles for 6 years, he has performed with a variety of artists including Anthony Wilson, Larry Koonse, Rashid Bakr, Ben Monder, Wada Leo Smith, Willie Jones III, Alan Ferber, Mark Ferber, Albert “Tootie” Heath, Gregory Hutchinson, Charlie Haden , Joe La Barbera, Junior Mance, Leroy Vinegar, Jimmy Smith, Ari Honig, Ben Street, Mike Moreno, Danny Weiss, Steve Cardenas, Larry Goldings, Eric Harland, Sheryl Bailey, Darek Oles, Erik McPherson, and many others.

While in Los Angeles, Matt co-founded of the Los Angeles Jazz Collective, an artist driven composers collective and record label dedicated to promoting and recording original creative improvised music and collaborating with other arts and music organizations.

He currently performs his original compositions with his Kansas City based quartet with members Gerald Dunn on alto saxophone, Jeff Harshbarger on acoustic and electric bass, and Mike Warren on percussion and drum set. Matt has recorded with the Anthony Wilson Nonet (“The Power of Nine” Groove Note 1035, 2006), Joeless Shoe ( Joeless Shoe, jcr, 2007), and 3-ish (Baobab, jcr 2009) and has several Cds recorded as a leader; 53 West 19th – Noir Records 1996, Red–Origin Records 2000, Q trio vol.1 (Jazz Collective records 2008) , and has appeared on over 15 CD projects as a side man.

Matt Otto website

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Guitarist John Ehlis is inspired by traditional music from around the world including Brazil, Cuba, India, Mali, South Africa and the Basque region of Spain and France. He rechannels the influences of these musically vast cultures into a unique sound that incorporates chanting, lyrical melodies, ambient sounds and collective improvisations. He also includes the sounds of mandolin, bamboo flutes, mbira and hand percussion into his performances.

Ehlis studied music under the direction of Grant Wolf at Mesa Community College and completed his formal music education at UC Riverside in 1989. He has performed throughout the United States for the past 20 years with musicians that include John Tchicai, Francis Wong, Jon Birdsong, Marie Afonso, Ken Butler, Joe Craven, Beth Custer, Tony Passerell, Rent Romus, Tapia and Leturia, the Gauden Bat Basque Dancers and Euskal Giroa. The John Ehlis Ensemble has two releases on his indie label Sívac Records. He has also led the improvisational ensembles Beautiful Cuba and Francis the First.

John Ehlis currently resides in New York City where he is collaborating with saxophonist Allen Won and percussionist Todd Isler in the Wu Wei Trio.

John Ehlis website

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As a composer  Vinny Golia fuses the rich heritage of Jazz, contemporary classical and world music into his own unique compositions. Also a bandleader, Golia has presented his music to concert audiences in Europe, Canada, Mexico, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and the United States in ensembles varying dramatically in size and instrumentation. Mr. Golia has won numerous awards as a composer, including grants from The National Endowment of the Arts, The Lila Wallace Commissioning Program, The California Arts Council, Meet the Composer,Clausen Foundation of the Arts, Funds for U.S. Artists and the American Composers Forum. In 1982 he created the on-going 50 piece Vinny Golia Large Ensemble to perform his compositions for chamber orchestra and jazz ensembles.

A multi-woodwind performer, Vinny’s recordings have been consistently picked by critics and readers of music journals for their yearly “ten best” lists. In 1990 he was the winner of the Jazz Times TDWR award for Bass Saxophone. In 1998 he ranked 1st in the Cadence Magazine Writers & Readers Poll and has continually placed in the Downbeat Critic’s Poll for Baritone  & Soprano Saxophone. In 1999 Vinny won the LA Weekly’s Award for “Best Jazz Musician”. Jazziz Magazine has also named him as one of the 100 people who have influenced the course of Jazz in our Century. In 2006 The Jazz Journalists Association honored him with a Lifetime Achievement  Award.

Golia has also contributed original compositions and scores to Ballet and Modern Dance works, video, theatrical productions, and film. As an educator Vinny has lectured on music & painting composition, improvisation, Jazz History, The History of Music in Film, CD & record manufacturing and self-production throughout the  United States, Europe, Mexico, New Zealand and Canada. He currently teaches at California Institute of the Arts. In 1998 Golia was appointed Regent’s Lecturer  at the University of California at San Diego. In 2009 Vinny Golia was appointed the first holder of the Michel Colombier Performer Composer Chair at Cal Arts.

Vinny has been a featured performer with Anthony Braxton, Henry Grimes, John Carter, Bobby Bradford, Joelle Leandre, Leo Smith, Horace Tapscott, John Zorn, Tim Berne, Bertram Turetzky, George Lewis, Barre Phillips, The Rova Saxophone Quartet, Patti Smith, Harry “the Hipster”  Gibson, Eugene Chadburne, Kevin Ayers, Peter Kowald, John Bergamo, George Gruntz Concert Jazz Band, Misha Mengelberg, Han Bennick, Lydia Lunch, Harry Sparrney and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra amongst many others.

Vinny Golia website

BlueWhale website


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