Welcome to Bangalore Breakdown – World music Jazz with Indian and African influences. Led by multi-instrumentalist Premik Russell Tubbs and pianist, composer and educator Uli Geissendoerfer, and backed by drummer Todd Isler (bass) and bassist Dan Asher (bass), this ensemble soars with tremendous energy, improvisations and haunting melodies. “Every song sends you on a journey to a land you might not know but would love to travel to.” Premik’s skills honed with the Mahavishnu Orchestra and Carlos Santana will be fully on display. Premik and Uli was also grace the stage for some duet work based on their latest release, “Passport to Happyness”.
Premik’s May of 2008 schedule led him to perform in Sting’s Rainforest Foundation Fund benefit concert Some Kinda Legacy at Carnegie Hall followed by extensive touring with Russian legend Boris Grebenshikov beginning in London at the Royal Albert Hall, continuing on to Dublin, Kiev, Milan, Moscow, St. Petersburg, ending the year in Vienna. In 2008 he accompanied both Ravi Shankar and his daughter Anoushka Shankar on tamboura at the Kimmell Center in Philadelphia and on various occasions in 2009 he accompanied on flute and saxophone the contemporary Rabindrasangeet vocalist Rezwana Chowdhury Bannya. May of 2009 brought Premik to California for the Narada Michael Walden Foundation, Let the Sunshine In benefit concert. May of 2010 Premik played at Carnegie Hall in the The Rainforest Fund’s 21st Birthday Celebration Benefit Concert. June of 2010 Premik, brought in a trio to play at Sting & Trudie Styler’s NYC apartment (private dinner- fund raiser) following the Jazz at Lincoln Center performance of Twin Spirits, a celebration of composer Robert Schumann’s 200th birthday. On April 17th, 2014, Premik will return to the stage of Carnegie Hall for his 4thConcert for the Rainforest, again hosted by Sting.
Premik, in conjunction with jazz pianist Uli Geissendoerfer heads Bangalore Breakdown, an exciting, world music ensemble. They just released their first CD, titled Diary, in 2008. Premik and Uli will soon be releasing their own collaborative CD entitled Passport to Happyness. Premik also leads Journey to Light Ensemble,, a world, jazz, East-West sextet featuring some of the top New York players. The sound is electro-acoustic, that of contrasting soundscapes reaching for new sonic dimensions, with inspiration rooted in the cutting edge jazz/fusion groups of the past. Journey to Light explores the beauty of Indian ragas, the harmonic dynamism of Western orchestrations, the improvisational freedom of jazz and roll it all into a joyful nonstop music exploration.
In 2004, Premik had released his own album, Mission Transcendence, a soulful melding of East /West, jazz and world styles. Previous solo releases include Transformation-Dawn, Run to Tomorrow’s Sun, A New World of Peace and Endless Energy, Sleepless Speed. In October of 2009 Pratyavartana, a collaboration album by Premik Russell Tubbs and Steve Booke was released. Pratyavartana is Sanskrit for ‘homeward journey.’
Premik has worked with Carlos Santana, Whitney Houston, Herbie Hancock, John McLaughlin, Ravi Shankar, Narada Michael Walden, Clarence Clemons, Ornette Coleman, Jackson Browne, Jean-Luc Ponty, Lonnie Liston-Smith, Sting, Billy Joel, and James Taylor, just to name a few. He is equally adept in pop, R&B, jazz, world and experimental genres.
German-American pianist, composer and educator, Uli Geissendoerfer, originally from Munich, is a versatile and remarkable musician exploring rhythms and melodies across many styles of music, with a special emphasis on World, Jazz and improvisation. He worked with among others Tito, Puente, William Cepeda (awarded a Grammy nomination), Groove Collective, Giovanni Hidalgo, Blood Sweat & Tears, Leslie Uggams, Cirque du Soleil, Kofo the Wonderman, Ute Lemper, David Cassidy, several Symphonies, the Connecticut Opera and more.
His current projects include, Colors a World Jazz Quintet, the Beregovsky Project, a duo with fabulous award winning violin virtuoso Alicia Svigals and Bangalore Breakdown (first release “Diary”), an Indian World Jazz project featuring Premik Russell Tubbs. Premik and Uli also just recorded a Duo CD ”Passport” released last Fall. Two albums of Uli’s have been released in Europe on the Caramella d’Oro label; The Extension and Transformation. The Extension features some of New York’s finest Latin Jazz artists and Transformation 9/11 is a highly emotional, completely improvised piano solo CD dealing with events of September 11.
As film composer, Uli composed together with Emmy nominated composer Steve Sandberg the critically acclaimed short film, Climbing Miss Sophie, winner of the NYU Film Festival 2002, and invited to Sundance Film Festival and Cannes Film Festival among other prestigious festivals worldwide. Together with Nicole Renaud they are featured on three releases of cartoonist Bill Plympton. In 2011 Uli was awarded best sound design at the 48 hour film festival and last year one of his and Nicole’s songs, Red, made it onto short list for the Oscars.
Currently Uli resides in Las Vegas were he his teaching at the University of Las Vegas (his Latin Jazz Ensemble received two DownBeat awards), and is working on single handedly reviving the Jazz Scene. He started a Jazz Club, the Dispensary Lounge (winner Best of Las Vegas), which is hosting local and international artists, instituted the Jazz lecture series at the University and promotes his and other creative endeavors, like serving as creative director for the Spring Mountain Festival.
His UNLV Latin Jazz ensemble won first prize in this years Downbeat competition. His song “3-41” just won top honors at the 13th Independent Music Awards Funk/Fusion/ Jam category.
Drummer, teacher and author Todd Isler is based in New York City, where he has been active in the jazz and world music scenes for over 20 years. He currently co-leads International Orange, who released their debut album in ‘2013. He has two recordings under his own name, Two Step: Duets and Beyond, and his current Soul Drums, as well as his book You Can Ta Ka Di Mi This, which utilizes the South Indian Rhythm System to help musicians ground and expand their sense of rhythm. Todd, along with the band Savane, won the Disc Makers Unsigned Band Contest. He was also a winner of the JAZZIZ Magazine Percussion On Fire contest. Todd has toured Africa under the Goethe Institute, and studied the South Indian Mrdangham with Ramnod V. Raghavan and Karaikudi R. Mani in India. Todd has also studied with Brazilian greats Portinho and Vanderlei as well performing and teaching extensively in Brazil.
In addition to his own releases Todd has played on hundreds of genre-crossing recordings and performed and/or recorded with a wide rang of artists including Joe Lovano, Dave Liebman, Sting, Steve Turre, Melvin Sparks, Cisao Machado, Mike Gordon, Bakithi Kumalo, Ivan Neville, Betty Buckley, Badal Roy, Francis Mbappe, Jack McDuff, David Krakauer, Al Kooper, Charlie Burnham, and many others. He has performed with several dance companies throughout the United States, many of whose performances featured his original compositions. Todd endorses Sonor Drums and Bosphorus cymbals.
Dan Asher has been busy performing and teaching in the New York area since 2001. His active schedule has included performances at legendary venues such as Birdland, the Blue Note, Smalls and the 55 Bar, covering a wide range of music, mainly Rock, R&B, Jazz and what some people might call “fusion”. He works with numerous singers and songwriters, performing at venues such as Rockwood Music Hall, The Living Room, and The Bowery Poetry Club, which showcase some of the greatest upandcoming
talent in New York City. As an in demand sideman, he performs and records regularly with projects involving members of Screaming Headless Torsos, Snarky Puppy, the Mahavishnu Orchestra and many others, while also keeping active in NYC’s unparalleled musical theater community. He currently lives in the Bronx and continues to rack up as busy a schedule as possible, wearing out brake pads, blowing head gaskets, napping at highway rest stops and somehow always coming to the conclusion that it’s all worth it.
Jazz/Soul Vocalist, pianist and composer, Mala Waldron is a native of New York City. Her musical approach reflects the many varied genres of music she was exposed to as a youngster including jazz, soul, classical & calypso. The daughter of renown jazz pianist/composer Mal Waldron, she credits both parents (her mother, Ellie, being a fine jazz pianist & vocalist) with giving her a strong foundation in jazz and a solid work ethic.
She began classical piano lessons at the age of 7, later at the age of 15 she joined her first band, a local R&B group, which was signed very quickly to RCA records. After graduating from high school, wanting to expand her formal knowledge of music, she attended SUNY, College at Old Westbury where she studied jazz piano, voice and composition in a program chaired by multi-reed player Makanda Ken McIntyre. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree.
Ms. Waldron has been invited to perform at venues all over the world including in France, Italy, Japan, China & Malaysia (HENNESSY-MOET Jazz Tour), the Catania Jazz Fest (in Sicily, Italy) and Russia. She has also participated in numerous jazz festivals including the Annual Diet Coke Women in Jazz Festival (Jazz at Lincoln Center) where she opened for Patrice Rushen. Mala is proud to have participated in the WBGO Kids Jazz Concert Series leading an all-female ensemble at the Newark Museum.
Mala’s Featured recordings include a duo project with her father entitled, “He’s My Father,”her solo debut, “Lullabye,”and her first U.S. release, “Always There” which made JazzUSA‘s 2006 Top 20 Jazz CDs list. Mala is currently putting the finishing touches on her next recording, an EP entitled, ”Deep Resonance.”
STEVE SALERNO (GUITARIST/COMPOSER)is an active performer of both Jazz and Classical music. He has performed internationally as well as throughout the U.S. with many top musicians including Jaco Pastorius, John Abercrombie, Mark Dresser, Eric Marienthal, Regina Carter, Lonnie Plaxico, Peter Erskine, Kenny Wheeler, Matt Wilson, Mark Helias and Adam Nussbaum. He is a member of the Ray Anderson Quartet, Paul Smoker Notet, Mala Waldron Quartet, Blue Pipa Trio, has a duo with Christopher Lamb (of the NY Philharmonic), another duo with guitarist, John Abercrombie and leads a variety of groups, including his jazz quartet, Exiles. Among his latest recordings is Mala Waldron’s Always There, Paul Smoker’s Mirabile Dictu, Min Xiao-Fen’s Blue Pipa Trio, and Ray Anderson’s Love Notes. He is a member of the classical group, The Constellation Trio. He was music director for the PBS special Shoreline Sonata, which features the Constellation Trio. Salerno is also a member of the Musician’s Advisory Board for D’Addario Strings and author of Planet Wave’s Chord Master (an 8,000 chord voicing dictionary) that was recently voted the Number 1 music application for Apple’s iPhone 2010!
MARCUS MCLAURINE (BASSIST, COMPOSER, BAND LEADER AND SIDEMAN) has become one of the most sought-after artists in jazz, sharing bandstands with Dizzy Gillespie, Kenny Burrell, James Moody, Lou Donaldson, Dame Cleo Laine, Joe Williams, Jon Hendricks, Abbey Lincoln, and the Count Basie Orchestra under the direction of Thad Jones. Now, in addition to his work as a leader and first-call sideman, Marcus is focusing on his burgeoning career as a composer, writing both jazz and contemporary pieces.
MICHAEL T.A. THOMPSON (PERCUSSIONIST-“SOUNDRHYTHIUM,”) has performed with a wide variety of musical artists including Joe McPhee, Henry Grimes, John Stubblefield, Harvie Swartz, Barbara Sfraga, the Calypsonians, the Mighty Sparrow, Becket and Owen Gray, as well as many artists crossing genres from classical to rap and beyond. Allowing all these influences to flow through him, Michael’s palette encompasses an abundance of sound colors. He hears everything, and plays with it in a way that’s inventive and perceptively responsive. He also acted as producer on Always There as well as on “Timelessness Frozen in Time” (by The Timelessness Project a/k/a Barbara Sfraga & CSQ) , and “A New Day” (Mimi Jones.)
COMMUNITY BLUES JAM
Willie Steel. A musician, teacher, and head of the Willie Steel Band (one of the last great territory bands on Long Island, NY), Willie Steel operates under an abiding principle – truth in music. For over 25 years, he has led bands of all types (blues, rock, jazz, country, bluegrass, Hawaiian, soul, funk, r&b) at clubs as well as at corporate events, festivals, and private events, including weddings, fundraisers, bar mitzvahs, and parties.
Willie Steel’s journey began under the tutelage of the renowned Billy Bauer. Willie studied with him for six years until Billy pronounced, “you’ve had enough.” In the early days, Willie split his time between writing music, fronting bands, and playing gigs of all kinds and in all directions – as far north as Maine, as far south as Puerto Rico, and west to Chicago, Memphis, and Mississippi.
Willie Steel is the founder of Huntington Bay Music Store in Huntington, NY, which he ran for 10 years. Since he sold the store, Willie focuses on playing gigs with some of the most talented musicians on Long Island as well as teaching scores of students all things musical. As Billy Bauer did for him many years ago, Willie imparts this knowledge to his students – what music is and a bunch of “hows” – how to learn it, study it, practice it, and appreciate it.
JAZZ & FUNK JAM – See Headline Bios: Premik Russell Tubbs, Uli Geissendoerfer (Bangalore Breakdown), Steve Salerno (Mala Waldron Quartet)and Workshop Bios: John Scarpulla, Steve Finkelstein (Funk), Terry Greene II, others
Shenole Latimer Award winning saxophonist and educator Shenole Latimer has gained recognition for his playing style and engaging stage presence. Latimer’s passionate approach to playing the saxophone shows influences drawn from the likes of Michael Brecker, Branford Marsalis, and Dexter Gordon. However, Latimer clearly exhibits the gift of being able to effectively communicate with and affect his audiences through a voice and style that is uniquely his own.
Shenole is also a passionate educator, having recently stepped down from his role as Education Director at East End Arts in Riverhead. His education programs — “What’s All That Jazz About” – has been presented up and down the east coast. For the last several years, Shenole has helped The Coltrane Home develop its Legacy Education Project and directed the facilitator training program designed to inspire fun and creativity.
Terry Greene II A New York native, trombonist, improviser, drummer, arranger, and composer Terry L. Greene II received his Doctorate in Musical Arts from Stony Brook University in 2008. After his studies at Stony Brook under trombonists Ray Anderson and Michael Powell, he then went on to perform with The Roots, Macy Grey, David Murray, Oliver Lake, Elliot Sharp, and several other notable creative artists. You can hear Terry on Oliver Lake’s latest big band album titled “Wheels” and Elliot Sharp’s latest Aggregat album called “Quintet”. Terry has a wide range of experiences in musical genres including New Music, Jazz, Afro-Cuban, Brazillian and Columbian music, Gospel, Orchestral and chamber ensembles, Funk, Hard Rock and Free Improvisation. Terry also has also built up classroom experience from teaching at Stony Brook University, Suffolk Community College, and Clara Barton High school. Terry is one of the Coltrane Home’s music education facilitators.
Napoleon Revels-Bey A master percussionist who is much sought after as a musician in the worlds of Broadway, Soul and Jazz, Napoleon has performed on several Broadway productions including Jelly’s Last Jam, West Side Story, Bubblin Brown Sugar, Dancin’, Ain’t Mis’Behavin, and Eubie. He has also worked with many artists, including Gladys Knight, Gregory Hines, Aretha Franklin, Cab Calloway, and performed at,jazz around the world, including Europe and Japan. He is also a leading edge educator, conducting Arts in Education programs in the tri state area. Napoleon is also a Coltrane Home music facilitator and will be assisting the music improv workshop as well.
Jerome Liggon Jerome began playing the conga and djembe as a teenager. He studied with Master Drummers John Ward, Edwina Lee Tyler and Daniel Bailey and worked with drummer Michelle Quigg. He has been playing professionally with the calypso band “Vivienne and The Merrymakers” for the past 18 years. Mr. Liggon regularly performs and plays for community drum circles, yoga, dance and reiki classes and has done a number of assembly programs at area schools.
John Scarpulla’s tenor sax is “killin’”. John has toured, recorded and collaborated with some of the biggest stars in the music business. He has gained his reputation as an Artist and as a Saxophonist live and in the studio with Funk legends Tower of Power, Rock icons Billy Joel and Hall & Oates, Pop superstars Celine Dion, Mariah Carey, Jennifer Lopez and Michael Bolton and Latin luminaries Willie Colon and Celia Cruz.
He has worked and recorded with and alongside Grammy winners as well as Grammy nominees and continues to take New York by storm. Recently, John was asked to join Billy Joel and his band for the historic “Last Play at Shea” shows where they performed for over 60,000 people a night and were joined by Don Henley, John Mellencamp, John Mayer and Tony Bennett. The second show trumped it with a return from Tony Bennett along with new turns from Steven Tyler, Roger Daltry, Garth Brooks and, as if that were not enough, Sir Paul McCartney. He tours regularly with Diana Ross.
Steve Finkelstein. Voted best percussionist on Long Island in 1999 and member of Long Island’s Funk Filharmonik, Steve has worked with Mariah Carey, Celine Dion , Grammy award winner Dave Valentine, Randy Brecker, Cyrile Neville, Jonathan Butler, Debbie Gibson, Mary Wilson and the Supremes, and countless other local and national acts. He studied drumming and culture in West Africa and has been known to bang on everything from bicycles and bones to trees and trash… including- literally – the kitchen sink!
RAP/HIP-HOP & BEATS
Clifton Torres was born on 1977 in the south Bronx Ny….the birthplace of Hip-Hop music. At the age of 16 he began to write creatively on his own and began creating music to accompany his writing 1 year later. In 1996 he founded the organization and music label Constituent Recordz. Constituents is not only a music label but rather a progressive hip-hop movement and a collaborative music coalition. It is also an organization designed to inspire and assist young artists to achieve their dreams of becoming successful musicians and artists. The non-profit side of the organization is called Constituents For Life. Constituents For Life is the facet of the organization that seeks to develop positive changes in our communities. These goals will be accomplished through social and cultural awareness. Clifton continues to pursue music in his spare time and is currently attending Five Towns College in Dix Hills to complete his Bachelor degree in business and audio recording technology.
Mikah Feldman-Stein, 21, is a composer/producer from Huntington, NY. Over the past several years he has been increasingly involved in the local Long Island Music scene, as a live electronic music performer. Mikah will be entering his senior year at Wesleyan University in the fall, where he is Head Engineer of the student run Red Feather Studios, where he facilitates the teaching of around 20 students in the methods of recording and mixing music digitally. Mikah is also on staff in the Nassau Community College Sound Recording Technology (SRT) department, where he assists with departmental improvements, as well as supplementary help for the current SRT students.
Mikah is also an accomplished multi-instrumentalist and jazzman best known for his work on alto and soprano sax.
Patricia Shih wrote her first song at age 12 and hasn’t stopped since. At the age of 15, she signed a recording and management contract with Unicorn Records of Washington, D.C. as half of a duo which marked the start of her professional career. In 2004 Patricia was honored with a Woman of Distinction Award in New York. An multi-instrumentalist, she has six albums to her credit: two for adults, “Woman With One Closed Eye” (Glass Records) and “Leap of Faith” (Flying Fish Records); and four family/children’s albums, “Your ImaginEngine!,” “The Power of One” (NAPPA Gold Award & Parents’ Choice Approved Award), “Big Ideas!” and “Making Fun!” (1997 Parents Choice Approval Award) on Glass Records. Her work is also included on three anthology albums: “Sharing Thoughts,” “Early Ears” (Zoom Express, BMG), and “Rainbow Sign” (Rounder Records), which was honored by the American Library Association Notable Children’s Recording Award, Parents’ Choice Award, Parents’ Prize, NAPPA Gold Medal, and the L.A. Times “Best of 1993” list. She is the author of two books about music: Gigging: A Practical Guide for Musicians (Allworth Press, NYC) and Truly Rotten Gigs from Hell: The Funny, The Sad, The Unbelievably Bad True Tales from the Music Trenches (Uncommon Publishing, Xlibris)
Toby Tobias. Born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa, Toby has immersed himself in all genres of American Music of the last 50 years. His interest in African Rhythms & World Music, coupled with his keen ear for highly intuitive arrangements, has been the hallmark of his writing and performance styles, and he has garnered a strong following of listeners on Long Island and beyond. A graduate of the prestigious Rubin Academy of Music in Jerusalem Israel, he continues to search for material that stays as close to his musical roots as possible while at the same time reaching for new and exciting musical universes. His music school, geared toward guitar players and songwriters, is located in Northport.
Kirsten Maxwell. Described as “magnificent,” brilliant,” and dubbed the Judy Collins of 2015, Kirsten Maxwell has “a voice reminiscent of the great folk ladies of the 60s.” “If I could sing like her, I’d give up the violin,” said Chris McKhool, Sultans Of String. Proving her excellence in craft and performance, Kirsten Maxwell was named winner of RISA’s, Rhode Island Songwriting Association’s, Annual Songwriting Contest and ultimately, won an opening slot in Stone Soup’s 2016 season.
Martin Stone is a multi-faceted performer. He plays guitar, a variety of wind instruments and percussion, and sings in a rich baritone voice. He has performed with the 13th Street Theater in New York, as well as the Village Light Opera group (VLOG). Martin spent 5 years singing with the Hudson River Sloop Singers. He performed with Pete Seeger onstage at Carnegie Hall as a backup singer. He likes to play folk music as well as blues, and dabbles in new age and world music as well. “Music is why we are here on earth, to express ourselves loudly, softly and rhythmically. Our hearts beat out a rhythm and so does our need to be expressive.”
Martin has been the Art Coordinator for the Our Times Coffeehouse in Garden City, NY for the past 15 years, and can be heard performing around the Long Island and the NYC metropolitan area.