* Your musical inspirations?
Beginning with Mozart and Rachmaninoff then through Elton John, Billy Joel, James Taylor, Carole King, Led Zepplin, The Eagles and then finally Keith Jarret, The Paul Winter Consort, Lyle Mayes and Pay Methany and the group Oregon.
* Favorite CD's, songs, or musicians?
* Has music helped you thru a difficult time in your life
I think to some degree my need to make music was created by difficult times in my life. I found myself playing the piano to express feelings that I wasn't sure of how to express in any other way and found that as I did this, I felt more balanced, cleansed and whole. Thus a lot of my music to this day is created for the purpose of bringing myself (and the listener) into a sense of balance. It also comes from an inexplainable sense of the beauty and perfection of life.
PIANIST-COMPOSER-PRODUCER - PETER KATER
Twice Grammy-Nominated, multi-platinum selling pianist, Peter Kater, has written the music for over seventy television and film programs including eleven On and Off-Broadway dramatic plays. His more than 30 critically acclaimed CD releases in 20 years range from Contemporary Jazz, World Fusion and Native American collaborations to full orchestrations and of course, his signature solo piano recordings. His PIANO recording, released in October of 2003 was just Nominated for the "Best New Age Album" of 2004 Grammy Award. Receiving extensive world-wide airplay on a diverse array of radio formats, Kater’s broad creative stroke has touched millions of hearts. In addition, because of his commitment and dedication to the environment and humanitarian causes, Peter was honored with the Environmental Leadership Award by the United Nations in 1995.
Over the last few years his music was heard in the NBC broadcast of the 2000 & 2004 Summer Olympics; he collaborated with Kenny Loggins on his December CD and performed at Carnegie Hall in New York City. Kater's latest album, Red Moon, debuted at #5 on the National New Age Reporter and was nominated for the 2003 "Best New Age Album" Grammy Award. His Through Windows & Walls release,was nominated for the 2001 "Best New Age Album" Indie Award. His Heart's Desire album, debuted at #14 on the New Age Voice Top 100 Chart in May of 2001.
Since 1989, Kater has been nominated seven times for the Indie "Best New Age Album" award, winning the award in 1992 for his critically acclaimed album, Migration, with Native American flutist R. Carlos Nakai. Kater has garnered awards such as New Age Voice magazine’s 1998 Best Meditation/Healing Award for his Compassion CD and the 1998 Visionary Retailers First Place Award for World Flutes I. Tower Records’ Pulse magazine placed his Dance Of Innocents recording with Nawang Khechog in the Top 100 Independent Records of 1998;. Various other finalist awards went to Kater’s Essence, Eco-Challenge and Winds of Devotion recordings. The majority of his albums have appeared in the Top 10 of National Airplay charts and in the Top 20 of Billboard’s New Age and Contemporary Jazz charts.
In addition to scoring for television, video and film projects, Kater has written the music for various award winning Broadway and Off-Broadway dramatic plays. He has collaborated with Pulitzer Prize winning playwright, Lanford Wilson; legendary director Marshall Mason; and actors including John Malkovich, Jon Voight, Ethan Hawke, Tyne Daly, Tony Randall, Joan Allen, Christopher Reeve, Jennifer Jason-Leigh, Judd Hirsch, Laura Linney and Christine Lahti to name a few. Also, through repeated invitations to perform at various exclusive events at Robert Redford’s Sundance Institute; John Denver’s Choices for the Future and countless environmental and humanitarian symposiums around the world, Kater has had the honor of performing for celebrities and dignitaries such as Mikhail Gorbachev, George Bush, Thich Nhat Hanh, Gerald Ford, Ted Turner, Shirley Maclaine, Dustin Hoffman, Sean Connery, Sidney Pollack, Alan Alda, Bill Murray, Chevy Chase, Dennis Weaver, Griffin Dunne, Raul Julia, Karl Malden, Laura Dern, James L. Brooks and many others.
Of German birth and descent, Peter moved to New Jersey from Munich, Germany at the age of four and began studying the piano, at his mother’s demand, when he was seven. Seven years of classical training led into playing Rock & Roll and Top 40 bands around New Jersey and New York while studying contemporary improvisation. Moving to Boulder, Colorado at the age of eighteen, he began a six-year period of playing only improvisationally in clubs throughout the Rocky Mountain region. “I didn’t want to play anything the same way twice, being in the moment and spontaneous was very important to me, both musically and personally”, said Kater. When he was twenty years old he accepted a scholarship to the California Institute of the Arts in Los Angeles but quit after two months, preferring his life as a professional musician.
When Kater realized that his next step was composing and recording his music, he moved back to Colorado “to a less external, more inspiring natural environment” and released his first album of piano solos, SPIRIT, in 1983. To his surprise his albums started receiving national attention and charting in the Top 10. Other opportunites started coming his way in the form of phone calls from various television and theatre directors and producers and Kater started to branch out and explore many avenues of creative expression and composition. Since then he's recorded and performed nationally and internationally with some of the worlds most talented and accomplished musicians, actors, directors and authors. Currently Peter lives in Southern California enjoying the climate, lifestyle and the incredible resource of talent and creative opportunities that exist there.
Your thoughts on the connection between music and healing:
When we lost my first child at birth, it was Morris Ravel's 'Pavan for a
Dead Princess' that came on the radio immediately after receiving the
doctor's phone call. That became the piece that I listened to for many
months to find solace in.
Has music helped you thru a difficult time in your life?
It was the guitar, and music in general, that helped me define myself and
lead me out of many challenges.
Velvet Touch of Lenny Breau
Baroque & On the Streets-Fredrick Hand
The Invisible Touch-Phil Collins
God Bless the Child-Kenny Burrel
The Real Howard Roberts
A Simple Matter of Convictions-Bill Evans
The Beatles '65 Album
The 5th Symphony-Dimitri Shostakovich
Dimitri Shostakovich-not just his music but his life
Baroque music especially JS Bach
Ralph Von Williams
Howard Roberts, Howard Morgen, Joe Pass, Chuck Wayne, Fredrick Hand
Hildegarde Von Bingen's music
Juan Luis Guerra
Buena Vista Social Club
LOUIE MIRANDA BIO/INFO:
Louie Miranda, a leading figure in early childhood education and family
entertainment, uses music to help children believe in themselves. Known
professionally as "Louie", he uses his innovative teaching and performance
techniques to strengthen basic musical concepts including pitch, tempo,
dynamics and improvisation. Blending sophisticated rhythmic structures,
bilingual lyrics and themes of empowerment and encouragement, he creates a
musical dialogue that's both stimulating and liberating. Louie¹s goal is to
inspire children to integrate music into their daily lives. With two CDs in
the works for December, he's looking to take his amalgam of inspiration and
information to the next level.
On the title track of the CD "Yellow Checker Taxi Jazz Guitar", Louie sets
up the feel of the album, referencing jazz standards that drive you down
Broadway all the way to Ipanema then fly you to the moon. In the
environmentally-conscious 'Blue Whale' song, Louie picks up his parlor
guitar to create a jazzy, country swing feel. This track, among others,
represents a form of 'Informational Music', which teaches as it entertains.
Young listeners learn about the Blue Whale, the largest animal that ever
lived, even as they're subtly introduced to basic jazz sounds. Whether he's
integrating Hip-Hop and jazz or introducing listeners to the style of Louis
Armstrong, Louie is able to take a familiar song and infuse it with an
unexpected contemporary shift. "Yellow Checker Taxi Jazz Guitar" will also
feature jazz versions of two Louie classics, 'Flamingo' and 'Boom Boom
Baboon' songs, both of which originally appeared on the CD "Animal Mix" and
have become family favorites in the years since.
Also in December, Louie will release "Fiesta Latina", bringing Latin
influences to adults and children. A mix of distinctive rhythms will be
evident, from Afro-Cuban and Columbian to Peruvian and Taino, to name a few.
"Fiesta Latina" will be an upbeat, danceable album, allowing the listener's
body to instinctively respond to the rhythms first and then ultimately
discover the songs themselves through a mix of both Spanish and English
lyrics. Both "Yellow Checker Taxi Jazz Guitar" and "Fiesta Latina" will
feature Louie¹s band Subanda, a group of world class musicians whose
individual experiences come together to create a spontaneous, infectious and
hip blend of sounds.
You Become 'The Louie Show':
Louie’s live shows define his unique appeal to children and their families,
as he recognizes and brings out the child in everyone. When you attend a
Louie show, you become the Louie show. Observers become
participants...children end up on stage...parents, grandparents and family
friends join in, playing air guitar, singing into the microphone and dancing
to the rhythmic beats. The key to this dynamic is Louie himself -- he makes
it safe to participate, and he never tries to upstage anyone. In the secure
environment he creates, shyness gives way to confidence...inhibition
succumbs to glee. Louie is without pretense, and his honesty is so disarming
that audience members can¹t help but surrender their familiar day-to-day
'guard'. This is Louie¹s gift and his joy: to encourage families and
individuals to have fun together...and to keep it going once they leave the
Louie is a genuine 'good guy'...he feels a responsibility for his part in
the world. Whether he's conducting outreach programs, interactive concerts,
teaching music or working with his favorite charities, he strives to have a
positive impact on everyone he meets. Growing up amid tough circumstances,
Louie himself has succeeded despite truly extraordinary odds, and he brings
his life experiences to each new relationship he makes.
Empathy, compassion and experience are keys to his ability to connect with
children. Louie creates a musical journey that lets children celebrate the
special talents within themselves. Interestingly enough, in doing so, Louie
himself emerges as an authentic and positive role model for children. A
decent, kind, gentle person.
Louie has had extensive experience working in and around the music industry,
as a performer and/or producer with Epic Records, Capitol Records and
Jellybean Benitez¹ Hola Records. Louie has spent years teaching as well,
including serving as an adjunct Music professor at Adelphi University. One
of 12 boys, he was born in Puerto Rico, grew up on the streets of East New
York in Brooklyn, and got his first guitar at age 13. His formal studies
began at age 19, with jazz guitarists Howard Morgen and Chuck Wayne,
attending seminars by Howie Roberts and Joe Pass and Classical guitar
lessons with Alexander Bello, Valdez Blain and Frederick Hand. It was Howard
Morgen, a pioneer in 'fingerstyle jazz guitar', who first recognized
Louie¹s talents for teaching and gave him his entré into the music industry
and to the New York club scene.
In the spring of 1995, Louie met Joy Suarez, and they began to write
educational music for children and their families. The process engaged Louie
so thoroughly that it drew him away from his life as an independent
producer and guitarist for record companies. In 1996, Louie and Joy became
two of the founding members of their own label, Jerry Joy Music, and have
written and co-produced four CDs since then. "Yellow Checker Taxi Jazz
Guitar" and "Fiesta Latina" will both be released on Jerry Joy in December.
A Journey With CMOM Starts by Opening the Door. Literally.
Louie and The Children¹s Museum of Manhattan -- From Opening Doors to
Shaping Young Minds: At the time Louie met Joy, she was the Programs
Manager at the Children¹s Museum of Manhattan (CMOM). The museum was
thriving, busy with lines out the door to coincide with the opening of its 'Winnie
thePooh' exhibit. In a simple moment that would ultimately change Louie's life,
Joy asked him if he'd like to help out at CMOM, as a 'musical doorman'.
Louie said "yes", and he entertained crowds of families as they waited to
get into the museum. And then it clicked for him...He saw the opportunity
to build a career doing what he loved to do, and decided to take a full-time
position working at the museum. It wasn't long before Louie found himself as
a museum educator, playing and singing to capacity crowds for the
'end-the-day sing-a-longs', which became the rage throughout the Upper West
His instinctive ability to entertain as well as educate could not be
contained, and now Louie's innovative music programs at CMOM have waiting
lists. In fact, Louie has become an Artist-in-Residence, performing regular
monthly shows. As Creator of CMOM¹s early childhood music classes, he's
involved in key music staff development and training issues at the popular
Museum. He served as the "Sounds Fun" Exhibit Coordinator for the Museum¹s
largest permanent exhibit, which included an entire floor of hands-on
facilities dealing with music and sound. Louie has designed and conducted
recording studio workshops for children, including special curricula for
school group visits. Leslie Bushara, Deputy Director, Education/Guest
Services at CMOM, says: "He has an innate understanding of children's early
learning styles. He 'sees' how they learn -- he has a special gift with
children you just can't teach. Louie helps the kids find the music inside
them -- he can make you feel musical, even if you're not."
Louie continues to take his innovative music program beyond CMOM and
beyond New York. In addition, a Spring 2006 tour is in the works. Details will be
Integrity and True Intention:
Louie has chosen to work with children and families because he recognizes
that this is his life's work. His quest for purpose has led him to pursue
this path: to bring families and communities together so they may learn to
love, understand and communicate through music as he does. He is passionate
about issues that will help educate children to grow with awareness and care
both for their bodies and for this planet (in fact, Louie is currently
creating an innovative series of Public Service Announcements to do just
that. Details will be announced soon.)
In workshops, residencies, concerts and classes, Louie is an advocate for
children and their families. His creativity and his efforts are both noble
and tireless: He designs and teaches music appreciation and theater
residency programs. He has designed music and art curriculum training
manuals for museum educators. He has conducted visual arts and music teacher
training workshops. He is an educator, an artist and a trusted friend. Ask
anyone who has ever met him and they'll tell you: Louie is the real deal.
My Musical inspirations:
I grew up in Brooklyn NY and I was a teenager in the 50s. When I was a little kid I loved Spike Jones, still do. My parents had records of Broadway shows like "Oklahoma" and "This is the Army". They also had things like "Ballad for Americans" by Paul Robeson and "The House I Live In" by Frank Sinatra, "Irene Goodnight" by the Weavers and those things influenced my way of seeing the world and inspired me in a social and spiritual way.
I think I was about 12. when I heard this song on a jukebox; it was 'My Girl Awaits Me" by the Castells, a song that just happened to be written by Jerry Ragavoy who also wrote "Piece of My Heart", a song which became-15 years later- our big hit with Janis and Big Brother. That was the next music that really inspired me.
I listened to Alan Freed and the 'Moondog' show on the radio and went to the very first show at the Brooklyn Paramount and I heard a lot of Rhythm and Blues before it became 'Rock and Roll" : Fats Domino, Lavern Baker, Red Prysock, Sam-the-Man Taylor, Clyde Macphatter and the Drifters, all the greats of that time; it was a great and special time. I soaked it up like a sponge. I never got into Elvis or even Buddy Holly all that much; I always liked the 'real deal'. R&B.
When I started to play the drums at 15 I started listening to Jazz. First it was West Coast Jazz; Shorty Rogers, Shelly Manne, Mulligan, Baker, Brubeck, Chico Hamilton. Then I got into BeBop and Hard Bop. I listened to Bird, Diz, Mingus, Monk, Tristano, Sonny Rollins, Horis Silver,etc. The New York Jazz scene at that time was beyond incredible when we look back at it now. I was and still am to this day, inspired by the creativity and the emotional depth of that music; It was mysterious and dark and those people were great masters of their instruments.
My Dad would take me to Birdland where they had a non-drinking 'Peanut Gallery' section. I saw George Shearing, Tito Puente, Stan Kenton, Dizzy Gillespie and many others when I was 15-16.
After my weekly drum lesson at the Henry Adler school on 46th street I would hang out outside the Metropole on Times Square and listen to Cozy Cole and Zutty Singleton with Red Allen. That music looked like the most fun and I started to play with Swing and Dixieland bands around NY
The drummers that most inspired me early on were Gene Krupa, Roy Haynes, Max Roach and Shelly Manne. Krupa had the greatest swing feel of anybody and every young drummer like myself tried to play that 'Sing-Sing-Sing' tom-tom rhythm. The Be Bop drummers were playing melodies and patterns on the drum set that were new and exciting and mysterious. They could play these ridiculous tempos and I was totally in awe of what they did.
I joined the Musicians Union at 15 and played in dozens of bands: Klezmer music, all the standards, Latin music, Dixieland. I played the 'Borscht Belt" in the summer and when I was 19 I went to Europe with a very tight Dixieland band "Rick Lundy and the Saints"
When I was 20 I met John Hammond Jr at an Art School in Maine; he hadn't yet begun to play or sing, but he had this incredible collection of blues albums that we listened to all night long and I guess that's when I was once again inspired by the Blues and Gospel and African American Roots music.
When I came to SF in 1960 to go to art school I started playing with a traditional jazz band at the San Francisco Art Institute composed entirely of Artists-Musicians and I did some other jamming but mostly I was painting and Abstract Art- Clifford Still, Franz Kline, De Kooning, Frank Lobdell and Jay DeFeo, etc- was my inspiration and was the souce of my ideas and where I was growing as an artist.
During this time-the early 60s- a lot of ideas were in the air. I listened to Ornette Coleman, Coltrane, and 'free jazz'. I started listening to Stockhousen and Varese and Cage and people who were exploring the outer edge of music/sound/noise. There was also the new Folk music; Dylan, Baez, etc and eventually the re-birth of Rock and Roll as a creative artform with the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.
The early 60 was a great time of ferment. All of these things that were happening inspired and opened my mind to new possibilities and different ways of expression. It definitely influenced my approach to drumming when I later joined Big Brother and the Holding Co. in early '66.
James Gurley and Janis were inspirational early on with Big Brother. They both were really taking risks and really 'going for it' with an all-out approach. For me, playing with Janis will always stand as the most inspired musical moments for me. Because she was so strong a presence, as a singer and so connected to the rhythm it allowed me to play with total confidence and to go places that I had never gone to before. That time will always be very special in my evolution as a musician, as an artist and as a human being.
Today I still play music with Big Brother and the Holding Co. As a drummer I could try to reproduce the parts I created 40 years ago or I can try to create something new and keep myself inspired. I choose the latter though the audience and those that want to stifle creativity want what they already know and is predictible.
As an artist one must continually look for and find inspiration. It can come from anywhere; Art, music, nature, life, love, anger, despair, the desire to change things, the need to express one's being, God or Gods or demons inside of us.... It doesn't matter to me anymore where it comes form . I have to have it and the need for it never stops.
It was in Heyoka Indian Dancers that Dave started playing the drum. From the very beginning he displayed an exceptional rhythmic ability and was soon the ‘drummer of choice’ for all the other performers.
In Junior High Dave was asked to be the drummer in a band that was being formed. Though he had never played a drum ‘kit’ before he quickly adapted his rhythmic talent to that instrument. He began taking drum lessons at the Henry Adler School in Manhattan and was a member of the Musicians Union, local 802 and was playing professionally around New York by the time he was fifteen years old.
Throughout High School he worked as a freelance drummer in numerous bands but he decided to pursue a career in the other area where he also had shown extraordinary talent: the visual arts. He attended the prestigious Cooper Union Art School from 1957 to 1960. In the summer of 1959 he played with Rick Lundy and the Saints, a tight, six-piece Dixieland ensemble that played for the Holland America Lines cross Atlantic cruises and also toured Europe. After graduating in 1960, lured by the stories he’d read and heard about California, he hit the road to ‘Coast’ and continued his studies at the San Francisco Art Institute. During this very fertile time-the early 60s in San Francisco-Dave was at the heart of the ‘bohemian’ scene in San Francisco: a graduate student at the freewheeling Art Institute, painting in an old shoe factory in the then-funky, South-of –Market area, living in North Beach and the Fillmore, playing the drums in a number of musical combos that were playing everything from New Orleans to Ornette Coleman and working as a cook at the legendary ‘Old Spaghetti Factory’ as well as running the cafeteria at the Art Institute.
In 1964 received his M.F.A. and won a Fulbright Fellowship in Painting. Contrary to the obvious choice of studying in a western European country like France or Italy, decided to go to Krakow, Poland for a year and try to paint. Poland at that time was still a communist country, part of the ‘Iron Curtain”. Being an ‘Abstract Expressionist’, Jazz musician, free-thinking American artist was no easy task; but it was an adventure that ultimately had a tremendous effect on his way of thinking and his path in life.
Studio space in Krakow was at a premium and after Dave’s ‘space’ was appropriated by the ‘art bureaucracy he started spending most of his time in the local Jazz Club. Within a few weeks Dave was playing in several groups with some of the best Jazz Musicians in Poland.
Dave returned to San Francisco in 1965 and was offered a teaching position at the San Francisco Art Institute. Though he had spent more than half his time in Europe playing the drums and he had loved every minute, he still thought his path was to be a painter, to teach, to show his work art galleries, museums and the walls of the rich and famous. He would assign drumming to the back-burner of his life; then fate and the zeitgeist intervened.
Very early in 1966 while he was still teaching at SFAI and working part-time at the Spaghetti Factory Dave met Peter Albin who worked up the street from Dave’s loft in the Mission district. Dave had heard Big Brother and the Holding Co-a band that Peter had started with Sam Andrew that featured a very unique guitarist named James Gurley- at some of the first ‘acid’ events, dance-concerts and the Longshoreman’s Hall or the Old Fillmore Ballroom. These events were part of a cultural and spiritual revolution that was taking place at the time and San Francisco was the ‘hub’ of that revolution.
Dave became the drummer in Big Brother a few weeks later, bringing to the band a drive and a level of rhythmic energy that was previously missing. Three months later the band found it’s singer in a woman from Port Arthur Texas named Janis Joplin.
The next three years, from 1966 through 1968 were some of the most important times both in the history of popular music and also the history of America; Big Brother and the Holding Co was at the very center of what was going on and for Dave it was an incredible, seminal period. In 1968 Big Brother released it’s most enduring album, Cheap Thrills which went to #1on the charts and stayed there for two months…Shortly thereafter Janis Joplin announced here departure and Big Brother broke up. Country Joe and the Fish, another of the original ‘psychedelic’ bands asked Dave and Peter Albin to join them and in 1969 Dave toured Europe and the U.S. as well as recording two albums with Country Joe “Here We Go Again” (1969) and “Paris Sessions” (1972).
In 1969 Dave started a family and moved to Fairfax, Ca, a small town north of San Francisco. It was in Dave’s studio in Fairfax that Big Brother and the Holding Co was reborn. This new, re-formed version of BBHC featured many great performers as well as the original BBHC lineup; Big Brother continued touring and recording from 1970-1973 producing two albums on the Columbia label, “Be a Brother” (1970) and “How Hard It Is” (1972). Also during these years, the early 1970s Dave was in demand as a drummer and played with numerous other bands including Pendergrass (with Ronnie Montrose and Kathi McDonald), NuBoogaloo Express (members of the Sons of Champlin) Banana and the Bunch (members of the Youngbloods) the Fletcher Brothers, the Heartbreakers, Country Joe All-Stars and several other groups. It was also during this time that Dave briefly studied the tabla (North Indian classical drums) with Shankar Ghosh and John Bergamo.
In 1974 Dave moved to the East Coast and became involved with the Arica Institute, a school for spiritual growth founded by Chilean mystic, Oscar Ichazo. Dave became part of a musical group within that organization consisting of Dave, Al Shackman (Harry Belafonte, Nina Simone), Bruce Langhorne (Bob Dylan, Richard and Mimi Farina) and Gordy Ryan (Olatunji). It was in this context that Dave was able to further develop his interest in the drumming, percussion and rhythm of all cultures and in 1974-75 this Arica ‘super-group’ produced some of the first music that was to later be called “new age”: “Music for Psychocalesthenics” (1975) and “Music for Hypergnostic Meditation” (1975).
In 1975 Dave met his current wife, actress/singer Joan Payne and moved to Los Angeles where they formed the band Passengers. Passengers was an eclectic mix of Pop, Rock, Broadway and Jazz that enjoyed a dedicated, underground following and played clubs and theaters in Los Angeles from 1975 through 1979. Completely original in both concept and musical content, Passengers was musically and theatrically far ahead of it’s time but finally disbanded in 1979 without ever producing a complete album.
It was at this point in his career that Dave knew he had to get back to making visual art. Dave studied printmaking and learned the technique of serigraphy which he felt best suited his love of color and his sensibilities as a painter. In the fall of 1979 he began his own studio in Santa Monica, called ‘Made to Last Editions’ and over the next eight years produced over thirty five editions of original work as well as hundreds of other one-of-a-kind pieces including paintings, monoprints, collages, cast paper and mixed-media pieces. Dave’s work in printmaking was recognized immediately and was shown in galleries in Los Angeles (Ruth Bachofner, DeVorzon, LACMA rental gallery etc) Chicago (Miriam Perlman Gallery) and New York (Alexander Gallery). Many of his pieces from this time period are in private and corporate collections all over the world.
During the time Dave was living in Los Angeles there were interludes away from his art when Dave took time for some music projects: in 1978 he recorded with country-rock singer Lee Montgomery and did occasional studio work for T.V. In 1982, for the British label Demon/Edsel (founded by Elvis Costello and Andrew Lauder) he produced the historical album “Cheaper Thrills” which contained the first recorded performances of Janis Joplin with Big Brother. He also performed and recorded with Jon York of the Byrds and on occasion with a few other L.A. rock groups.
In 1987 after moving back to Fairfax with his wife Joan and their daughter Elizabeth Dave had to stop working in serigraphy because of the toxic nature of the oil-based inks that he used in his work, but since that time Dave has continued to pursue his visual expression in other modes, producing both two and three dimensional art using a variety of media from painting to assemblage. In 1988 Dave had a show of large, illusionistic wall pieces with sculptor Carl Dern. At the Wetzel Gallery in Marin County and since then has shown individual new pieces in gallery and museum shows in the Bay Area.
In 1987 the original members of Big Brother and the Holding Co, Peter Albin, Sam Andrew, James Gurley and Dave Getz decided to get back together to perform for the twentieth anniversary celebration of the ‘Summer of Love’ This re-union, as of 2004 has lasted 17 years. Today, three of these original four are still performing, touring and recording all over the world. Appreciation for their music and the recognition by audiences of their importance in rock music history has continued to grow. In the summer of 2003 they played a “Tribute to Janis Joplin” (utilizing seventeen different, acclaimed singers) to a huge audience in New York’s Central Park Summerstage.
From 1991 to 1993 Dave attended Sonoma State University to earn a California Teaching credential in Art and from 1994 through 1997, he taught art at the two Novato Ca. high schools, Novato and San Marin. Though he was successful as an art teacher and appreciated by his students there was not enough time to balance full-time teaching and being in a rock band that was continually traveling and after just four years of teaching high school Dave chose to leave the high school teacher behind and go with the music, performing and the ‘road’ and find other ways to teach independent of the public school system.
Two years later Dave was asked if he would direct a program in drumming for two groups of twenty five high school students at Sir Francis Drake High.School near his home in Fairfax. Dave accepted the offer and the following two months were some of the most challenging, educational and life altering. None of these students were drummers but they had to learn something that they could perform in front of 300 people. Dave taught them about drumming and rhythm from many different perspectives and at the end of the class students were able to perform African, Brazilian, Latin and Rock rhythms.
Ultimately it was this class and this experience that led Dave to the idea of “The Language of Rhythm”, a class for both experienced drummers and non-drummers that teaches the ‘how-to’ of rhythm and drumming from a broad, universal perspective; that focuses on ways that people can develop their rhythmic sensibilities to higher levels rather than just learn a particular form of drumming; that recognizes the importance of and addresses the historical, social, psychological, philosophical and spiritual aspects of drumming and rhythm.
Currently Dave teaches “Language of Rhythm” at the College of Marin in Kentfield, Ca and also teaches drumming classes and privately at his home studio in Fairfax. He is also active in several other musical areas. Dave continues to play and tour with Big Brother and the Holding Co which re-grouped in 1987. He also performs with fellow, multi-percussionist Mika Scott as the percussion duo ‘Bataboom’. Dave is working on a CD of original compositions that will be released in 2004.
Linda Hopkins -she's authentic. Ruth Brown. Sarah Vaughan. I like Barbra Streisand also.
FAVORITE CDs, SONGS, MUSICIANS:
Favorite singers: Big Maybelle, Gladys Knight, Marvin Gaye, B.B. King, T-Bone Walker. Dusty Springfield, Stevie Nicks.
HAS MUSIC HELPED YOU THRU A DIFFICULT TIME:
Thelma Jones BIO
by David Ybarra
Thelma Jones is on time. When the house lights dim and the band starts into the first riff of "Never Leave Me," her first single, the sound of music is instantly conquered by the rhythm of applause, whistles and anticipation. Thelma Jones is in the house. A spotlight arcs across the stage and stops at the statuesque, stone-embodiment of a soul survivor, the elegant silhouette of a rhythm & blues music legend. This is Thelma Jones. Like clockwork the band stops and she pleads into the microphone, "Never, never leave me." It is the recognizable soul cry of one woman, who, like a fine wine, has come into fruition, artistically sophisticated and vocally sassy. The room resounds with the thunder of anticipation as the band rejoins her smoothly. Approaching her fortieth year as a recording artist and soul music staple, Thelma Jones is not only 'en vogue' in 2005, she is right on time.
She is a woman whose journey has taken her a long way from home but never far from the stage. A bona fide soul sister from the school of Aretha Franklin and Gladys Knight, her North Carolina roots were sown in gospel music. As a leading member of the McDaniel Singers, she recorded gospel singles and toured with The Clara Ward Singers throughout the South. A move to New York solidified her reputation as a sought-after soloist and eventual discovery by Reverend James Cleveland, who featured her regularly on his television show "TV Gospel Time."
In Harlem, Thelma was captivated by the burgeoning music scene and soon began to rehearse with various groups aside from gospel. It was during such a rehearsal that she was heard by legendary bluesman T-Bone Walker, who was headlining across the street at the Apollo Theater. Encouraged by Walker to perform during The Amateur Hour at The Apollo, she warily agreed -well aware of the famous stories surrounding the artistic competitiveness and aggressive audiences that made the venue legendary. She not only won the approval of that hard-to-please crowd (and won the amateur hour contest), she was also offered a recording contract with Barry Records.
On Barry Records, Jones made her secular debut with a song that has become a Northern Soul cult classic and a quintessential East Coast soul standard, "Never Leave Me." Released in 1966, the success of the bluesy single sent her back to the Apollo where her name adorned the marquee alongside headliner Big Maybelle. It was Big Maybelle who took the young singer under her wing and mentored her during their tenure. Big Maybelle's musical influence continues to be a highly requested part of Thelma's live performances.
A string of successful singles followed in the latter-part of the 1960s while she rightfully earned her status as The First Lady of Barry Records. In 1968 she was handed a song to record with The Sweet Inspirations, and its potential caught the attention of the Queen of Soul who recorded it shortly afterwards. "The House That Jack Built," continues to be a hit that fans demand from Jones in concert, and a song that divides the Aretha Franklin and Thelma Jones camps.
A move to Florida in the early 1970s did not keep her from an extensive touring itinerary with the likes of Kool & the Gang, Brenda and the Tabulations, B.B. King, and Little Milton. In fact, it opened her up to the supper club circuit in which she cultivated a jet-set following of a musical cabaret act which included jazz, blues and Broadway numbers. Jones continues to incorporate tunes from this period in her contemporary performances to critical praise and popularity.
Her work in the studio and reputation on stage caught the attention of Columbia Records which initiated a return to New York to make what critics today call her "classic Columbia recordings". In 1976, her signature ballad "Salty Tears" was issued as the debut Columbia Records single. It continues to be the song most associated with her musical legacy. "Salty Tears" dramatically closes many of her concerts today and is perhaps the single-most requested song of her work of the 1970s. The successes of follow-up singles "I'd Rather Leave While I'm In Love" and "I Second That Emotion" prompted the 1978 release of the first Thelma Jones album. Though yet to be entirely reissued on CD, the self titled album is a highly-sought after masterpiece of Thelma's musical maturity and vocal prominence. However, like several of her singles from the 1960s, these recordings from the Columbia years are finally surfacing on various soul music compilations overseas and abroad.
In the 1980s Jones relocated to Los Angeles. Though focusing primarily on live performances, she continued to be featured with The Four Tops, Herb Jeffries, and Barbara McNair and later, Sammy Davis Jr. in the 1990s. The decision to retire from the music business was thwarted by a monumental meeting with R&B pioneer Ruth Brown who inspired Thelma to carry on. She committed and indeed flourished in collaborations with Jackson Browne and Najee. In 1996, she was invited to join Jennifer Holliday, Oleta Adams and Ernestine Anderson at Sheryl Lee Ralph's "Divas Simply Singing!" annual concert. In a review by the Los Angeles Times, Jones was singled out and praised for her soulful excellence.
The resurgence of classic soul music on CD and in particular, by the Northern Soul scene phenomena, has guaranteed her an exalted place in music history and a regular concert itinerary in the U.S. The recording and release of two CDs of her contemporary work, in 2001 and 2002 -the latter being a blues CD, serve as a musical testament to an artist who has never left music, but continues to bring her soul music history into the millennium. This is Thelma Jones, vocally, soulfully, on time.