Endorser


Dieter Ilg
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Bassist Dieter Ilg is regarded today as one of a handful of European musicians who make their unmistakable musical style a valuable contribution to the projects they work on. Whether it is as a internationally well-respected sideman or as band leader of his own ensembles: Ilg always combines the quality of the bass as a musical foundation with a graceful ease and expression that is rarely heard on a technically difficult instrument such as the double bass.

 


Dave Swift
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Born in Wolverhampton, Dave Swift was influenced by his two older brothers who both played guitar at home, motivating him to take up a musical instrument himself starting off with his brother´s acoustic and electric guitars. It wasn´t until he was 14 that he decided to take music seriously, and choose an instrument that he was really passionate about. Deciding on the trombone, he started having lessons at school, and it wasn´t long before he was playing in every concievable type of band. Shortly afterwards he and some friends formed their own band but needed a bass guitar player. Having had some experience – albeit limited to playing a bit of guitar – Dave volunteered, as he was the only one who´d had any experience with a stringed instrument…

 


Brandino
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Kevin was born in Compton, California to loving parents, and into a talented family who where from richly diverse musical cities of Chicago , Illinois and New Orleans, Louisiana. From birth he has congenital club feet and a hip displacement , but he did not allow this condition to deter him from pursuing his passion for music and the zest for life. Meeting Louis Armstrong at one of his concerts was also an inspiration in his early years…Kevin was self-taught at the tender age of 4, playing his sister’s piano and at age 7 he took up his brother’s saxophone, as he was gifted and enjoyed playing several instruments. When he was 9 his father suggested that he find a dedicated instrument of his own to play. Kevin wanted to play drums, however, his father thought with his handicap, eventually he would become discouraged.His older brother had a band and persuaded him to play electric bass because it was needed. Christmas of that year, Kevin recieved his first bass, a St George bass obtained from a swap meet. His brother taught him the basic technique and playing position, and the Kevin took it from there. He listened to various musical styles from Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, Big Band swing, Classical, Rhythm and Blues, Soul and Rock. During that time there were no stereo systems, stereo sound, or digital technology as we know it today. There were only records players and vinyl records. Many bass notes were difficult to hear, so Kevin put his ear over the record player as it played, to hear the bass notes for the songs he would play in his brothers band. At 13 years of age he began his formal musical training on the flute with Milton Hall from Watts,CA. Acoustic bass began during this time with Mr Hamilton also from Watts as well, which he continued through High School. At Pius the Tenth High School, Kevin learn to read music on both instruments respectivley. The flute in treble clef and the bass in bass clef. He studied harmony, 20th century western music, counterpoint, and took other music courses as well.In addition, he performed with the prestigious all-city Pico Riveria Stage Band, yielding him the experience, and understanding of the bass player’s role in a big band. This band won numerous awards, and the Hollywood Bowl Competitions for 3 consecutive years. In this same band, Kevin recieved the Jazz Soloist Award at the Orange Coast College Jazz Band Competitions. After graduating from Pius the Tenth High School, Kevin earned a full scholarship to the University of Southern California; however, his love for jazz prompted him to forego the USC Scholarship. Instead he opted to attend Cerritos and Long Beach Colleges, know for their jazz programs. Soon after, his desire to play professionally, and an opportunity to work with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, relocated Kevin to New York City. After his stint with Tommy Dorsey, he returned to Los Angeles, and also returned to his previous classical acoustic bass training, studing under renowned bassists: David Borkenhagen, Nathaniel Gangursky, Ami Porat, and was a protege of Barry Lieberman from the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. While working in the Bellflower Symphony Orchestra, Kevin finished his education at the University of Long Beach. As his career escalated, Kevin has become a premier bassist /producer on the music scene. Today, he has found great sucess working with many of the world’s top recording artists, entertainers, musicians, and is involved in a myriad of events within the music, entertainment, television, mutlimedia, web designing and film industries. In 2007 he was awarded by the National Association of Recording Arts and Science Double Grammy ‘s for his musicianship and participation on the 2007 Grammy Nominated ” Album of the Year ” and “Best Pop Vocal Album ” Justin Timberlake “FutureSex/LoveSounds”, 2006 Best R&B Album of the Year “Breakthrough” by Mary J Blidge , 2005 Beyonce and Stevie Wonder ” So Amazing ” single and the 2004 Grammy Album Of The Year , Best Rap Album , ” OUTKAST ”

 


Steve Sigmund
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Steve Sigmund most enjoys performing as well as his work as a contractor, copyist, producer and educator. He has toured the world performing for audiences ranging from Kings, Queens and Presidents to students everywhere around the world, from Stadiums, Concert Halls, Castles and Jazz Clubs to classrooms. His trombone playing has been acclaimed by jazz critics and audiences alike. In addition to a busy career in the South Florida area, Steve toured regularly with legend Ray Charles and his Orchestra leading the trombone section for over sixteen years including Ray’s final live performance. In addition to traveling all over the world, while at home in South Florida Steve stays very busy as the Principal/Jazz Soloist of the Florida Sunshine Pops Orchestra and the Assistant Principal/Jazz Soloist with the Palm Beach Pops Orchestra as well as performing regularly with groups all over South Florida. He also works with legendary producer/writer and arranger Mike Lewis live and in the studios as his musical contractor. Steve has just finished producing Los Angeles jazz trumpet artist Jeff Kaye´s debut release for the JazzedMedia label titled “Just Like Me” which was released in the fall 2005. It´s getting great reviews and airplay all over the country. Work has already begun for Jeff´s second CD which will be recorded in the fall in New York. His extensive performance experience includes shows performing with or accompanying such artists as Stevie Wonder, Natalie Cole, The L.A. Philharmonic, Gladys Knight, Arturo Sandoval, Tito Puente, Paquito D’Rivera, Quincy Jones, Charo, Rosemary Clooney, Randy Travis, Willie Nelson, James Ingram, Patti Austin, the Funk Brothers and Michael McDonald to name just a few. Additionally, Steve has appeared extensively on television all over the world including “The Tonite Show with Jay Leno”, PBS “Live at the Newport Jazz Festival”, “Ray on the Charles”, “Ray Charles Live in Japan” and two most recent DVD releases “Ray Charles Live at The Montreux Jazz Festival” and “Ray Charles Live in Concert”, a spectacular show recorded live in Miami with a 55 piece symphony orchestra conducted by Grammy award winning conductor Victor Vanacore. Steve´s highly musical trombone playing has been captured on many commercial recordings, including five CDs with Ray Charles. The latest, Ray Charles “Genius and Friends”, was released in 2005. Born on August 29, 1964 in Sacramento, California, Steve was first introduced to music in middle school. His interest in the trombone came alive at a early age when he first heard the instrument in his school band. In high school, Steve began his passion for jazz music. Primarily self-taught thru high school, Steve received training after high school from Dan Marcus before studying at Cabrillo College with jazz education guru Ray Brown. Steve then moved to Los Angeles where he continued private study with Roy Main and spent most of his playing time at Bill Yeager’s L.A. Jazz Workshop. He has continued his studies over the years at the Berklee College of Music with Phil Wilson and Hal Crook and Florida International University with Art Sares. Steve has a Bachelor degree in Music from Florida International University.


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If you’ve seen the film “Ray,” or caught the Ray Charles Orchestra any time in the past 20 years, chances are you’ve already heard Jeff Kaye. Now there’s another way to check out his soulful, sassy trumpet playing: his debut CD, “Just Like Me”. The disc places him among life-long friends, including pianist John Campbell and Charles’ band-mates George Harper on tenor and Paul Kreibich on drums. Living on the west coast since the 80′s, Jeff is now part of the exciting and diverse musical community in Los Angeles, and has worked with jazz greats Lionel Hampton, The Clifford Jordon Big Band, Junior Cook, Diane Schuur, Bill Perkins, and Pete Christlieb. Jeff was born in Chicago, and his first instrument was his father’s instrument: the guitar. But a chance encounter with an old cornet set the stage for his musical career. His dad’s record collection included healthy tastes of Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis and Count Basie and with a foundation like that there was little to hold him back. A prodigy through high school and a standout through his college years in Champaign, Illinois, Jeff wasn’t long for the midwest. After performing journeyman work in Chicago and various more exotic locales, he soon headed to New York City. In 1984 Jeff joined the Ray Charles Orchestra, which was indeed a turning point. “It felt like the ‘big time’ – it was awesome going straight into the jazz chair that had once been Johnny Coles’, which were some big shoes to fill, especially since his style was pretty strongly associated with Ray’s sound.” Jeff played regularly with Charles through 1992, gigged occasionally with the Genius of Soul during the next nine years, and was back with the band from 2001 until Charles became ill in 2003. Recently, Jeff Kaye played on the soundtrack of the movie “Ray”, and has performed with the Buddy Childers Big Band, Anthony Wilson, the orchestras of Bill Holman and Steve Huffsteter and the Jazz Coop.


Keith Loftis
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Keith Loftis has been described as one of the most dynamic jazz saxophonist of today. Keith wa born in Dallas, TX where he began his study of jazz and classical music as a child. He is graduate of the nationally recognized Booker T. Washington High School of the Visual and Performing Arts in Dallas, with fellow classmate and two time Grammy award winner, Roy Hargrove. Keith received his B.A. in music from the New School for Social Research in NYC, and his Masters in Composition/Film Scoring from New York University. Over the course of his career, Keith has performed with several jazz legends such as Abdullah Ibrahim, Benny Carter, Cedar Walton, Nancy Wilson, Frank Foster, Alvin Batistean and Ray Charles on name of few. Keith has traveled extensively around the globe performing regularly throughout Europe, Asia and parts of the Mid-East. He currently performs with legendary jazz drummer, Michael Carvin; the Roy Hargrove Big Band and the Frank Foster Loud Minority Big Band. Keith has also performed at VH-1`s “Fashion Rocks” with Mary J.Blige and Usher, and VH-1`s “Storyteller” again with Mary J. Blidge. Keith also performs regulary at New York`s renowned hotel the Carlyle. In addition to performing live, Keith also works on filmprojects to broaden his film scoring portfolio. He has performed music in the motion picture “Three Can Play That Game” starring Vivica A. Fox, and in the indepentend film, “Black Out” starring Jeff Wright and Melvin Van Pebbles. Keith and his wife, actress Brigitte Barnett-Loftis reside in Brooklyn, NY.


Wayne Escoffery
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Since moving to New York City in 2000, tenor saxophonist Wayne Escoffery has become one of the Jazz world´s most talented rising stars and in-demand sidemen. At only 32 he has recorded five CDs as a leader and been on numerous recordings as a sideman. Wayne began his professional New York career touring and recording with The Eric Reed Septet. In 2001 he became a steady member of the Mingus Big Band/Orchestra/Dynasty, The Lonnie Plaxico Group, and Abdulah Ibrahim´s Akaya. Then in 2004 Grammy award winning producer, arranger and trumpeter Don Sickler asked Wayne to be a part of Ben Riley´s Monk legacy Septet (an innovative piano-less group dedicated to carrying on the legacy of jazz great Thelonious Monk). At this time Wayne was also touring with Jazz At Lincoln Center´s Music of the Masters consisting of two groups of musicians hand picked by Wynton Marsalis. The Music of Dexter Gordon featured Wayne with Saxophonists Jimmy Greene and Gerry Welden; backed by Dexter Gordon alumni George Cables, Rufus Reid and Leroy Williams. The Music of Miles Davis featured Wayne with trumpet great Eddie Henderson and alto saxophonist Steve Wilson in the front line; backed by David Kikoski, Ed Howard and Miles Davis veteran Jimmy Cobb on drums. In 2006 Wayne secured one of the most coveted gigs in jazz: a frontline position in Tom Harrell´s working quintet. In addition to being a part of some of the last true “apprenticeship” opportunities of our era, he has delivered three studio dates as a leader on the Nagel-Heyer label Times Change in 2001, Intuition in 2004 and the most recent a collaborative project with his wife vocalist Carolyn Leonhart If Dreams Come True released September 18th 2007. In a review of the latter AllAboutJazz.com’s Senior Editor John Kelman wrote “Escoffery’s command of the instrument is impressive, able to navigate broad intervallic leaps with a sound that is robust in all registers,” Critics have also called him “[A] young, self-assured, hard-swinging tenor saxophonist.” (Ben Ratliff – The New York Times) “a skillful, musical player” (Chris Kelsey, JazzTimes) and “a thoughtful and ambitious composer” (Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr., All Music Guide). In October of 2006 Wayne signed with Savant Records, founded and run by noted record industry legend Joe Fields and his highly respected son Barney. His first CD for Savant called Veneration (released in March of 2007) was recorded live at Smoke Jazz Club in NYC and features Joe Locke on vibes, Hans Glawichnig on bass, and Lewis Nash on drums.
Despite his musical talent Wayne (born on February 23rd 1975 in London, England) grew up in a relatively non-musical household. In 1983, he and his mother moved to the United States eventually settling in New Haven, Connecticut in 1986. Wayne always enjoyed singing whatever music he heard but it wasn´t until his relocation to New Haven that his formal music education began. At age eleven Wayne joined The New Haven Trinity Boys Choir, an internationally known Boys Choir that toured and recorded annually. At this time he also began taking private saxophone lessons and playing the tenor saxophone in school bands. By the time he was sixteen he left the Choir and began a more intensive study of the saxophone, attending The Jazz Mobile in New York City, The Neighborhood Music School and The Educational Center for the Arts, both in New Haven. During his senior year in high School, he attended the Artist´s Collective in Hartford, Ct. It was there that he met Jackie McLean, the world-renowned alto saxophonist and founder of both The Artist´s Collective and the jazz program at The Hartt School. McLean gave Wayne a full scholarship to attend The Hartt School, where he graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor´s degree in Jazz Performance, and became known as one of McLean´s prize pupils. While at Hartt, Wayne played with such jazz greats as Curtis Fuller, Eddie Henderson, Philip Harper, Albert Heath, and many others. He went on to attend The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance at The New England Conservatory in Boston. It was a full scholarship two-year college program, accepting a small select group of the world´s most talented young jazz artists every two years. At the Institute, he toured with Herbie Hancock and studied with George Coleman, Jimmy Heath, Don Braden, Clark Terry, Ron Carter, Barry Harris, Charlie Persip and other Jazz masters. In May 1999, Wayne graduated with a Masters degree from The New England Conservatory moving to NYC in 2000. Since then, he has performed with countless internationally respected musicians and has become known for his beautiful sound, impressive technique and versatility. J. Robert Bragonier of All About Jazz Magazine writes, “This is a talented youngster capable of long, flowing lines, noteworthy creativity, and a broad range of expressiveness.” When commenting on Jackie McLean´s influence on Escoffery, he writes … “the latter´s influence is apparent in his knowledge of jazz history, lean, angular harmonies, and muscular tone.” As well as performing with his newest group Veneration and a collaborative group with vocalist Carolyn Leonhart, Wayne Escoffery currently performs locally and tours internationally with The Tom Harrell Quintet, Ben Riley’s Monk Legacy Septet, The Mingus Big Band/Orchestra/Dynasty, and The Carolyn Leonhart Group.


Andreas Hillesheim
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Started out as a classical pianist at the age of 7. First contact with Pop- and Rock-Music in his schoolband. After finisching school he studied Jazz-Piano at the Hermann-Zilcher Conservatory in Würzburg. Since then he is working as a professional live- and studio keyboarder, composer and arranger. Here are a few names he has worked with: Zirkus Sarrasani Band, Chima, Linda Carriere (3P), Don Braden (Bill Cosby Show, Winton Marsalis, Kenny Werner), Support Act for Elton John, Radost Bokel, Badesalz, Raptile feat. Valezka, Mic, Nico Suave, Fifty Fingers, Kamary Phillips, Kim Sanders (Culture Beat), Cassandra Steen (Glashaus), Sandie Wollasch (Hattler, Tap Two, 4yoursoul, Triband), Bonita (Stefan Raab SSDSGPS), Juliette (“Last Unicorn”), Nadja Benaissa (No Angels), Pat Appleton (De-Phazz), Roberto Cappelluti (Late Lounge) & Jessica Schwarz (Das Parfum), Rick Washington (Commodores, Eagles, Michael MacDonald), Daniel Hall (“We love to entertain you”), Tertia (Preluders), Sebastian Hämer (“Sommer unseres Lebens”), James Kakande, Gabriel Gordon, Juliette Schoppmann, Faiz (Brosis), Brixx, Elli, Nicole da Silva, Mike Leon Grosch, Maya Saban, Cosmo Klein, Hartmann, 2529, Sharon Phillips, Emma Lanford, Stefanie Heinzmann …