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Erik Jekabson's Vista Nonet Art Songs & Chamber Jazz

Erik Jekabson's Vista Nonet

Art Songs & Chamber Jazz

Saturday 18 Mar 2017 at 8:00pm The Berkeley Hillside Club is excited to present an old friend with a new ensemble. Composer and trumpet player Erik Jekabson has performed numerous times in our concert series over the years and we've become great fans of his compositions and his playing. For this performance he is bringing his Vista Nonet, a nine piece ensemble including vocalists, violin, trumpet, reeds, vibraphone, and a jazz rhythm section. They will be performing Erik's original compositions, including musical settings of poems by Frank O'Hara and Elizabeth Bishop. Don't miss these remarkable artists performing in our historic and acoustically-excellent hall

The Ensemble: Erik Jekabson - trumpet Becca Burrington & Alexis Jenson - vocals Alisa Rose- violin Matt Renzi - woodwinds Dillon Vado - vibes Jeffrey Burr- guitar Jeff Denson - bass Alan Hall - drums.

About the artists:

Erik Jekabson is a freelance trumpet player, composer, arranger and educator who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is equally busy playing and composing for different bands, leading his own groups and teaching a wide variety of students. Erik has five CDs out under his own name: his most recent album is “A Brand New Take” on the OA2 record label. His other CDs are “Erik Jekabson Quartet & John Santos: Live at the Hillside Club”, (released in 2014) which like “Anti-Mass”(2012) , and “Crescent Boulevard” (2010) are on his own Jekab’s Music record label. His debut CD, “Intersection”, was recorded in New York in 2002 and released on the Fresh Sound/New Talent label. Erik also co-produced and played on two other recordings which are widely available: “Vista: the Arrival” and “New World Funk Ensemble”. He’s recorded as a sideman on numerous other jazz recordings, as well as doing session work in many other genres of music and on movie and video game soundtracks. He’s spent time on the road with Illinois Jacquet, John Mayer, Galactic, and the Howard Fishman Quartet, and has performed at such notable venues as the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Algonquin Room, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Madison Square Garden, the Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Late Night with David Letterman. As an arranger and composer, he’s written for both vocalists (Madeleine Peyroux, Ani DiFranco, Jane Krakowski, Jackie Ryan, Kenny Washington, Madeline Eastman, Kellye Gray, Sandy Cressman, Raz Kennedy, Shanna Carlson) and instrumental ensembles. (San Francisco Symphony, the Stanford Jazz Orchestra, the Realistic Orchestra, the California State University East Bay Jazz Ensemble, the SF Composers Orchestra and his own Electric Squeezebox Orchestra, which plays every Sunday at Doc’s Lab in San Francisco.)


Multi-reedist Matt Renzi has been performing professionally for the past 20 years at international jazz festivals and music venues worldwide. For the past decade, he has been recognized multiple times by jazz organizations in Italy, Spain, Belgium, India and Israel as well as in the United States for his advanced concepts in spontaneous group composition and collective improvisation with The Matt Renzi Trio. He holds a Bachelor’s in Music (Performance) from the Berklee College of Music and Master’s in Arts (Classical Composition) from San Francisco State University. Some of his teachers include Joe Henderson and South Indian Vocalist R.A. Ramamani.


Fiddler and violinist, composer and improviser, Alisa Rose is a modern musician who easily navigates between many musical styles. With roots in classical music as well as the rich American musical tradition, she attracts attention for her expressive lyrical voice on the violin. Alisa Rose has performed with a wide range of artists including the Real Vocal String Quartet, 2008 Rockygrass winners 49 Special, and Grammy-nominated Quartet San Francisco. Alisa performed and taught throughout Eastern Europe as an Ambassador of the State Department, and has performed at Carnegie Hall, NPR's Weekend Edition, the historic Carter Family Fold festival, TEDx Alcatraz with Bob Weir, Song of the Mountains on PBS, as well as numerous international tours.


Dillon Vado grew up in San Jose, California and began playing music at the age of 7. Learning at first informally from a close family friend, he immediately showed an interest in music. He played music in middle school, and high school focusing on primarily tenor saxophone, and percussion. At Del Mar High School, Dillon spent a lot of time playing in the various music programs offered, from concert percussion in the concert band, to snare drum and tenor drums in the marching band and winter drumline. By the age of sixteen Dillon was gigging and playing regularly. His experiences in high school really helped launch his professional career, because he had many opportunities to play musicals, play in the jazz band, and lead/compose for the drumline. These experiences led him to play snare drum after high school in the first ever Santa Clara Vanguard Winter Drumline, while also studying music at West Valley College in Saratoga, California. It was at West Valley that he started playing vibes more often, and eventually formed his own band, Grooveyard Shift. After West Valley, Dillon transferred to The California Jazz Conservatory in Berkeley, California and is currently there pursuing a Bachelors of Music in Jazz Studies.


Jeff Denson is currently focused on four projects as a leader, Jeff Denson Quartet ( featuring Jeff on bass and vocals and has included such extraordinary trumpeters as Ralph Alessi and Cuong Vu), Electreo (an experimental ensemble of electric bass, electric bassoon and percussion), The San Francisco String Trio, and the Jeff Denson Trio +1 – a project featuring a special guest artist each season, beginning appropriately with Lee Konitz in 2014/15, that has toured in the U.S and Europe. In addition, Jeff performs solo and in some special duets. In 2013 he released two duo recordings on pfMENTUM Records: I’ll Fly Away, a re-imagination of hymns and spirituals with Joshua White; and Two, with the remarkable European clarinetist Claudio Puntin.

From his position as Outreach Director for the CJC, Jeff is nurturing young musicians into the world of professional performance, promoting partnerships and relationships among various elements of the Bay Area scene. A key part of his mission is to provide that special growth experience of allowing young musicians to share the bandstand side by side with the professionals with whom they will become colleagues in the future. His ultimate goal is to not only foster this emerging talent, but also to create an atmosphere of activity and productivity that is intended to make the local scene a viable professional option for young musicians. It’s his hope that this will keep this young talent in the area rather than departing for other cities in search of career success.


Alan Hall has performed and/or recorded with many jazz greats including Paul McCandless, Russell Ferrante, Taylor Eigsti, Art Lande, Geoff Keezer, Jimmy Haslip, Kai Eckhardt, and vocalists Kenny Washington and Rebecca Parris. He’s worked with Cirque Du Soleil in NYC and Teatro Zinzanni in San Francisco. Alan taught drum set and ensembles at Berklee College of Music for seven years and he currently teaches drum set and ensembles at California Jazz Conservatory in Berkeley and Cal State University East Bay in Hayward. He is the author of several articles and a drum book entitled: “Internalization”- A non-reading intensive approach to mastery of the jazz drumming language. He is a proud endorser of Brooks Drums, Zildjian Cymbals, Aquarian Accessories and Vic Firth Sticks.


Becca Burrington graduated in trombone performance with honors at Oberlin Conservatory, where she received the Conservatory Dean’s Talent Award. She also studied at Interlochen Arts Center and received the Governor’s Scholar and Outstanding Brass Performance award. An active freelancer on trombone and voice, performances have included trombone with the Silk Road Project with Yo-Yo Ma, San Francisco Sinfonietta, California Chamber Symphony, Women’s Philharmonic, Aspen Festival Orchestra, and the Montclair Women’s Big Band. She is a founding member of Solstice, an award winning female vocal septet. Ms. Burrington is also a member and frequent soprano soloist with the Pacific Mozart Ensemble, and the ground breaking vocal jazz group the Mirabai Ensemble. She has sung with an a wide array of artists including Bobby McFerrin, Sufjan Stevens, Meredith Monk, Andy Williams, and John Zorn. Becca’s students have played in the Oakland Youth Symphony Orchestra, the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra, and have attended major conservatories including Oberlin. ---

Bay Area native Alexis Jensen is an active local singer and actor. She has performed on a wide variety of stages with companies such as Berkeley West Edge Opera, San Francisco Symphony Chorus, the Pacific Mozart Ensemble, Lamplighters Music Theater, Exit Theater, Actors Ensemble of Berkeley, Ray of Light Theater, Altarena Playhouse, Cinnabar Theater and Contra Costa Civic Theater.

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