UnderCover 50 Yr. Anniversary Tribute to The Beatles' 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band'
Jazz Mafia Accomplices, Raz Kennedy, Eyes on the Shore, Amendola, Blades, Nino Moschella, Rohan Krishnamurthy, The Hogan Brothers, Sahba Aminikia, Nonstop Bhangra, Awesome Orchestra
Fri, June 2, 2017
Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pmThe UC Theatre Taube Family Music Hall
$27.50 - $77.50
UnderCover has gathered 13 eclectic Bay Area ensembles to honor one of the most inspiring albums of all time.
GUEST MUSIC DIRECTOR - JOE BAGALE
1. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band - Electric Squeezebox Orchestra
2. With a Little Help from My Friends - Jazz Mafia Accomplices
3. Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds - Raz Kennedy
4. Getting Better - Eyes on the Shore
5. Fixing a Hole - Amendola vs. Blades
6. She's Leaving Home - Nino Moschella
7. Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite! - Rohan Krishnamurthy
8. Within You Without You - The Hogan Brothers
9. When I'm Sixty-Four - Sahba Aminikia
10. Lovely Rita – TBA
11. Good Morning – TBA
12. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise) - Rohan Krishnamurthy + Nonstop Bhangra + Awesöme Orchestra
13. A Day in the Life - Otis McDonald feat. Awesöme Orchestra
40 Years of Experience. Numerous Gold and Platinum Records.
Featuring bombastic drum and bass, washed-out surf rhythms, and Beatles-style harmonies, Eyes on the Shore delivers hard rock with delicate, reassuring hands. Lead bass riffs take on a heavy, low-end grit, while ethereal guitar melodies stand as the voice of the band; raw, bottomless vocals croon simple but intricate verses while Latin rhythms and salsa beats seamlessly slip their way into rock songs.
Establishing a sizable following since their first EP, in addition to an array of local shows, the band has had radio airplay on Live 105, played at Oyster Fest, showcased for SF Station, and performed at Oracle Open World 2014.
Blades shoulders that responsibility with nonchalant virtuosity and infectious groove on his second recording, Field Notes (out August 19 from The Royal Potato Family). The album’s nine songs report back from the rich incubator that is the road, with pieces written from snippets recorded at soundchecks, gigs and jam sessions—field recordings of the jazz trio in its natural habitat. On his first full trio outing, Blades is joined by guitarist Jeff Parker (Tortoise, Joey DeFrancesco, Joshua Redman) and drummer Simon Lott (Charlie Hunter, Will Bernard), both musicians who share Blades’ grounding in tradition and urge to push it forward.
“Both those guys can play straight-ahead jazz, they can funk, they can take it out, they can go in so many different directions,” Blades says. “I always had the idea in my mind that doing a trio with Jeff Parker and Simon Lott would have a cool vibe and would be very open.”
Field Notes takes full advantage of that versatility and openness, exploring the full breadth of the organ trio’s potential. “On this record, I was definitely trying to come out of the lineage but then trying to look forward at the same time,” Blades says. “My whole thing is having a foot in the past and trying to have a foot in the future and to bring those two worlds together as much as possible.”
At the outset of the album, Blades is dubbed “the magnificent, wonderful, sometimes tragic Wil Blades” by a critic whose opinion is almost as important as Dr. Lonnie’s: Blades’ eight-year-old daughter, whose grandiose introduction of her father was captured while she was “hopped up on sugar and saying crazy, hilarious stuff.” That intro showcases Blades’ sense of humor, setting a warm, genial tone that carries throughout the CD’s many moods. Her pronouncement leads directly into the shuffling blues of “Miller’s Time.” The blues is a deep vein that runs through the entire album, straight through to the classic “I Get the Blues When It Rains,” which closes the album on a note of New Orleans soul.
That influence harkens back to Blades’ roots in Chicago, where he grew up playing drums and guitar in rock and funk bands. He moved west to study jazz at the New College of California, where he studied with bassist Herbie Lewis. “It was a real old school jazz education,” Blades recalls. “With Herbie, it was almost a Mr. Miyagi thing, life lessons where I’d be wondering, ‘Why am I cleaning the music room right now?’ But as I got older I started to appreciate these fundamental, basic lessons that were actually very deep and useful, more so than what scale to play over what chord.”
Blades had begun adding the organ to his repertoire at the time, and it was Lewis who pressured him to choose one instrument to focus on. He had discovered the instrument through rock records by the likes of Pink Floyd and Jimi Hendrix, which led him to Jimmy Smith and other jazz innovators. At the same time, Medeski Martin and Wood had emerged with a new, more radical approach to the organ trio, which Blades found equally intriguing. “Something about the sound of the organ really turned me on,” he says. “There was just something about it that I really dug, and I can’t really explain it.”
Over the past fifteen years, Blades has grown to be one of the most in-demand organ players on the Bay Area scene. In addition to leading his own trio, he works regularly in duo situations with drummers Billy Martin (Medeski Martin and Wood) and Scott Amendola (Nels Cline Singers); and in trios led by guitarist Will Bernard and drummer Stanton Moore. He’s performed and recorded with a host of jazz and blues greats including Melvin Sparks, Idris Muhammad, Joe Louis Walker, Don Braden, Donald Harrison, Nicholas Payton, Karl Denson, Charlie Hunter, Jason Marsalis, Herlin Riley, and many others.
Not long after Blades’ arrival in California, Dr. Lonnie Smith came to town to play a week of shows at the renowned club Yoshi’s with fellow organ great Jimmy McGriff. “I went to every single set,” Blades says. “The music was so soulful, it was addictive.” Finally mustering the nerve to approach Dr. Lonnie, Blades found an eager mentor; the two continue to play duo shows to this day.
“A lot of older guys really want the music to be carried on, and the old school method was not jazz college, it was mentorship,” Blades says. “Lonnie has really taken me under his wing. It’s always an amazing experience to get to play with him; he really is one of my heroes.”
Those lessons have paid off stunningly well, as evidenced in Blades’ scintillating and soulful playing throughout Field Notes, whether on the soul-into-psychedelia shimmer of “Chrome” (developed from an improvisation with Billy Martin) or the blues-meets-electric-Miles groove of “Dewey” or the African rhythmic accents of “Addis,” inspired by a 2011 trek to Ethiopia, where Blades got to work with local musicians. Stylistically, the album ranges from the alluring balladry of “Forgetful” to the smooth, slinky R&B of “Red Lanterns Are Blue,” which draws inspiration from J Dilla and Patrice Rushen.
While he wrote most of the album with his bandmates in mind, often building on fragments from jams and improvs grabbed by his iPhone, Blades pays specific tribute to both of his sidemen on a pair of tracks. “(I Can’t Stand) The Whole Lott of You” was named for an inside joke and is another unwitting contribution from Dr. Lonnie, who intoned the title in a mock English accent upon meeting Simon Lott. The title can be (and occasionally is) sung to the tune’s catchy funk chorus. Blades cedes the spotlight entirely to Jeff Parker on “Parks N’ Wreck,” a vibe-based tune driven by the organist’s memorable bassline that was inspired by the guitarist’s work in the hip-hop realm.
As his endorsement suggests, if Dr. Lonnie Smith and his fellow members of the B-3 pantheon are concerned about their legacy they can rest easy after hearing Field Notes. Wil Blades ably carries on the organ tradition while infusing it with modern influences, suggesting an exciting future for the instrument and for this trio.
For more information on Wil Blades, contact Kevin Calabro at Royal Potato Family: email@example.com
Nino has been playing music since age 6 and started recording as a teenager. Nino has had the opportunity to work with Strange Vine, Supermule, Bilal, Melvin Ryhne, David Hardiman, Burnard Purdie, Agape Soul, Song Preservation Society, Chief Xcel, Adam Theis (jazz mafia), Ledesi, Jesse Denatale, Valerie Troutt, Maria Muldaur, Willis Kirk, Platinum Pied Pipers, Zigaboo Modeliste, Marcos Silva, Oakland Bay Area Community Chorus, Bill Bell (The Jazz Professor), Mark Levine, Mario Guruanari, Latin Soul Project, Jeff Chambers, Eddie Marshal, Todd Sickafoose, Belinda Underwood, Bing Nathan, Brian Melvin, Jeff Pitson, Stephanie Bruce, Umoja, Max Baloian, AJ Roach, Bart Davenport, Nedelle Torissi, Michelle Amador, Fanny Franklin, Dennis Coffey, DJ Grey Boy, Chk Chk Chk, Shawn Lee, Galactic, Crown City Rockers, Keely And Zaire, Lady Bug Mecca, and many others.
Nino has 3 solo records out on Ubiquity records. His music has been featured on television and film including Monuments men, Damages, Facing Ali, Eastbound and Down, Lincoln Heights, Waiting to Inhale, and others.
Nino Lives in Oakland Ca with his beautiful wife and kids, he loves his family very much. He also love’s the mountains and fishing.
Rohan has shared the stage with the leading artists of Indian classical music, including M. Balamuralikrishna, T.N. Krishnan, N. Ramani, R. K. Srikantan, T.N. Seshagopalan, Chitravina N. Ravikiran, S. Shashank, T. M. Krishna, O.S. Thyagarajan, and Ranjani and Gayatri. Having intensely studied many styles of music, he has also spearheaded new cross-musical collaborations with eminent symphony orchestras, jazz ensembles, and musicians including Grammy Award-winners Glen Velez and Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, Anoushka Shankar, Jamey Haddad, and Ayano Ninomiya. He recently premiered Rohan, a novel concerto for South Indian percussion and Western percussion ensemble written specially for him by distinguished composer and percussionist, Dr. Payton Macdonald. The concerto was premiered on both coasts at The Juilliard School in New York City and San Francisco Conservatory of Music in San Francisco.
A highly-acclaimed educator, Rohan has presented Indian percussion institutes and summer camps, clinics, workshops, and master classes, and academic courses at world-renowned institutions, including the Eastman School of Music, Harvard University, MIT, Berklee College of Music, Duke, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Sam Houston State University, Western Michigan University, University of Madras (India), A.R. Rehman’s K.M. Conservatory of Music (India), Society for Ethnomusicology, Percussive Arts Society International Convention, Interlochen Arts Academy, and National Institute of Design (India). He directs the award-winning RohanRhythm Percussion Studio, both in-person and online, which has attracted dozens of students of all ages from around the globe. Rohan is the recipient of several prestigious awards, including USA Today’s “All-College Academic Second Team,” “Young Artist of India” by Bharat Kalachar (India), Thomas Siwe Scholarship from the Percussive Arts Society, and “Prodigy in Performing Arts” by the Indo-American Center in New York City. He was named an IndianRaga Fellow in 2013.
An innovator, Rohan designed a new drumhead tuning system that won him first place in Eastman’s New Venture Challenge entrepreneurship competition. His work resulted in a publication in the premier music journal, Percussive Notes. Rohan conducted acoustical research on his new design and has been regularly invited to present his work at the Acoustical Society of America’s international conferences, where he twice received the “Best Student Paper” award. Rohan also received a patent for his invention.
Committed to community service and outreach, Rohan has conducted and organized concerts and workshops since 1998 at prominent centers, including Chinmaya Mission, The Banyan (India), Sankara Nethralaya, Sankara Eye Foundation, Roots International Academy, Lakeside Treatment and Learning Center, Indo-American Cultural Center and Temple, Kalamazoo Juvenile Center, Washington Square Retirement Home, University of Rochester, and the Cleveland Thyagaraja Festival, the largest Indian music festival outside of India.
Rohan’s multifaceted accomplishments as a performer, composer, educator, researcher, and entrepreneur earned him a one-on-one meeting and performance for the President of India, Dr. Abdul Kalam, at the presidential office and estate in New Delhi.
A native of Kalamazoo, Michigan, and based out of San Francisco, Rohan obtained bachelor’s degrees in music and chemistry from Kalamazoo College as a Heyl Foundation Scholar, and Master’s degrees in musicology and ethnomusicology from the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester. He earned a Ph.D. in musicology at Eastman as a Provost Fellow, where he founded and directed a popular Indian percussion ensemble and summer institutes.
He received his Bachelor of Music and his Master of Music with honors from San Francisco Conservatory of Music under Dan Becker, David Garner and David Conte where he was the proud recipient of Phyllis Wattis Foundation scholarship. He has also received lessons from Conrad Susa, Richard Danielpour, John Corigliano, Oswaldo Golijov and John Adams. Aminikia is currently a faculty member at San Francisco Academy of Art University while maintaining his career as a freelance composer.
He is the recipient of many various commissions from theatre troops to contemporary classical ensembles, film scores, Persian traditional music groups to jazz bands including Kronos Quartet, Brooklyn Youth Chorus, Symphony Parnassus, San Francisco Conservatory of Music New Music Ensemble, Mobius Trio, Delphi Trio and Living Earth Show.
His third string quartet ,"A Threnody for Those Who Remain", commissioned by Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and Kronos Performing Arts Association was described by Financial Times as “An experience not to be easily forgotten”.
His music has been widely performed in United States, Canada, Iran, United Arab Emirates, Brazil, Ecuador, France, Italy, Poland, China, Greece, Turkey and Israel and at venues such Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Le Poisson Rouge, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, SF Exploratorium, SFJazz and Saint Anne's Warehouse.
His “Tar o Pood” (Warp and Weft) (2014) commissioned by Nasrin Marzban for Kronos Quartet was the second place recipient of the American Prize 2015 in composition, professional chamber music category. He was recently the artist-in-residence at Kronos Festival 2017, an annual festival held by legendary Kronos Quaretet at San Francisco SFJAZZ throughout which ten of his works including four new pieces were performed. His most recent piece for the same festival, was a collaboration between Kronos Quartet, San Francisco Girls Chorus and Afghanistan National Institute of Music which resulted in a 20-minute choral piece named "Music of Spheres". Aminis was called by SF Chronicle as “an artist singularly equipped to provide a soundtrack to these unsettling times".
Almost anyone can enjoy the unique collective energy of an orchestra. Yet the experience of attending a typical symphony concerts feels unreachable for many people. Whether it’s the price, the formality, or the repertoire, there are many barriers to entry for audiences. Our free, open sessions aim to remove as many of those barriers as possible. They are free, fun, relaxed, and diversely programmed.
It can also be difficult for musicians to have an opportunity to play in an orchestra. There are many local musicians who want to join an orchestra, but lack the time for a regular rehearsal commitment, or feel too intimidated to audition for even a community orchestra. Our open sessions create a welcoming environment for all musicians.
We strive for accessibility, community, and excellence in all that we do. We believe music sounds better when everybody is having a good time.
The UC Theatre Taube Family Music Hall
2036 University Avenue
near Downtown Berkeley BART
Berkeley, CA, 94704