Monday, May 9, 2011

Introducing: Jazzberry Patch

Jazzberry Patch

Don Pender, saxophone; Jose Martinez, congas; Hal Solin, drums; Bernie Bagshaw, guitar; Jay R. Witt, piano

Jay R. Witt: piano & electric keyboard (J.R.) is a multi-instrumentalist who grew up and began his music career in Salt Lake City, where he received a jazz emphasis music degree at the University of Utah. There he developed his craft in the midst of musicians and educators assembled from throughout the United States as part of a unique and experimental jazz program comparable at that time to the talent level of the established east coast music programs. After playing full time for several years, J. R. took time off from music to establish a career as a C.P.A. but is once again musically active and performing throughout the Bay Area. He has over 15,000 hours of professional performing experience in private dinner clubs, theaters and other public/casual venues playing with various jazz/rock/blues/pop ensembles and has facility on a dozen different instruments. With Don Pender, J.R. is featured on piano and electric keyboard.

Jose (Manuel) Martinez: congas Don meet Manny on a bridge at lake Merced that Mayer Willie Brown built right before he left office. He was walking one day and heard these wonderful congas sound as if it were floating in the wind. He decided to find out where it was coming from and he went over and saw Manny playing to some music in his headphones. They became friends and Manny has been playing with Don ever since. That was 5 years ago. Manny is from the Dominican Republic and has many years of experience playing Latin music and brings a lot of flavor to the group

Hal Solin: drums Hal got interested in drums at an early age thanks to an uncle who played drums in a band. He took as many music classes in school as possible and started playing gigs right out of high school. Fearing that he would become just another one of those “jazz musicians”, his mother urged him to get a teaching credential and play music during the summers. The credential led to a 39 year career with the San Francisco public school system. The last 12 as associate superintendent. Hal kept his music alive by forming Standard Time, a band that continues to entertain in various venues throughout the bay area. Since retiring he has made music his main focus, studying with noted drum teacher Pete Magadini and playing at every opportunity. He belongs to several bay area groups such as the Starduster Orchestra, The Joe Agro Sextet and West Coast Cool. He also plays regularly with Wanda Stafford and Si Perkoff at the Panama Hotel in Marin.

Bernie Bagshaw: guitar Bernie started playing the guitar at age 10 influenced by rock & roll and folk. He started listening to and playing jazz in high school. He studied music at the College of Marin and San Francisco State University during the 70'. For the past 30 years he worked as an electrician in San Francisco. About 8 years ago he started going to jam sessions in and around San Francisco. He has recently retired as an electrician and is spending most of his time playing the guitar.

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