Michael Pellera

Michael Pellera

April 8, 2019

7:30pm

 

301 Main Street

North Little Rock, AR 72114

“As warm as a summer breeze off of the Gulf Coast, this ravishing recording by New Orleans pianist Michael Pellera addresses the listener gently and with sweet persuasiveness. If the atmospheric ensemble playing sounds a bit familiar, that’s because Pellera collaborates with members of the superb New Orleans band Astral Project.”

-Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune

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michael pellera_s

BIO

 

After studying at Berklee College of Music, Mr. Pellera has been a jazz educator serving New Orleans since 1989.  He taught jazz piano and improvisation for fifteen years at Loyola University before joining NOCCA’s faculty in 2002. In the last 25 years, he has lived in New Orleans and New York, giving his music a unique perspective that draws freely from the influences of the two cities.  As a composer he has created a body of work that encompasses modern jazz harmony, indigenous New Orleans rhythms, and elements of the classic American songbook of the 30’s & 40’s.

He has released two critically acclaimed CD’s of his jazz compositions.  His first CD, “Cloud Nine” was released in 1997 and his second CD “Son of Sky” was released in 200l. Both CD’s featured a veritable of “who’s who” of the New Orleans modern jazz scene, such as, Bill Huntington, John Vidacovich, Steve Masakowski, Tony Dagradi, Bill Summers, James Singleton, and Phillip Manuel.  As an arranger and producer he has worked in a variety of contexts from trio to big band.  He has performed with a multitude of great jazz artists, including Wynton Marsalis, Buddy Rich, Branford Marsalis, Bobby McFerrin, and Harry Connick Jr.  Some of his former students include Brian Blade, Jon Cowherd, Jonathan Batiste, Troy Andrews, Rich Vogel and others who have created distinguished careers for themselves with artists like Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Wynton Marsalis, Liz Wright, Joni Mitchell, Lenny Kravitz, and Galactic.


Steve Herberman

Steve Herberman

October 14, 2019

7:30pm

 

301 Main Street

North Little Rock, AR 72114

“Steve Herberman is an exceptional guitarist…’Ideals’ is a delight, artfully played and quietly triumphant. “
– Robert Doerschuk, Downbeat Magazine

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steve herberman

BIO

 

“Steve Herberman exhibits a vast harmonic palette involving uncommon stretches on the fretboard along with a real capacity to burn on fluent single note lines… His sheer command of the instrument puts one in mind of such jazz guitar masters as Joe Pass, Joe Diorio, Lenny Breau, and Gene Bertoncini. His nuanced touch, excellent tone, tasteful, even phrasing and fresh writing style, further elevates Herberman far above the pack of other talented Berklee grads…definitely worth checking out for fans of advanced jazz guitar.” – Bill Milkowski, JazzTimes (05/07)

Steve Herberman is a graduate of Berklee College Of Music majoring in Jazz guitar performance. He began playing a seven-string guitar in 1993. Steve Herberman has performed at venues such as Birdland in NYC, Spazio in Los Angeles, the NAMM shows in Anaheim and Nashville, and at the North Wales jazz guitar weekend in the U.K. and a recent Italian tour. Closer to home he has performed at Blues Alley, the Smithsonian Jazz Cafe, and the Kennedy Center For The Performing Arts. Steve has performed with renowned musicians such as Keter Betts, Buster Williams, Gary Bartz, Drew Gress, Chuck Berghofer, Mark Ferber, Matt Clohesy, Colin Stranahan, Jim Snidero, Harvie S, Ali Ryerson, Steve Williams, Steve LaSpina, Jeff Hirshfield, John Pisano and many more.

Steve Herberman has recorded four CDs as a leader and two CD’s as co-leader; Thoughtlines (2001) Action:Reaction (2006) Ideals (2008) Between Friends (2015) A Little Closer (2018) and Counterbalance (2019.) His recordings have received wide critical acclaim in JazzTimes, Downbeat, Jazz Improv and many others. Steve’s recent CD, Ideals, reached the Top 10 on the JazzWeek chart for national airplay remaining on the chart for 16 weeks. Action:Reaction, a CD of Steve’s original music, was chosen as one of the top 50 CD’s of 2007 by Jazz Improv magazine. Steve Herberman’s original composition “What We Do” won first place in the jazz category of the 2018 USA Songwriting Competition.

Steve Herberman taught jazz guitar on the faculty of Towson University for 14 years and is presently teaching guitar at the Washington Conservatory Of Music and Sidwell Friends School. He is also on the faculty of  the Jazz Band Masterclass and teaches at his home studio in addition to giving lessons via Skype. He has presented masterclasses in the U.K. and Italy and at many universities across the U.S. Steve has written instructional material for Downbeat magazine, Fingerstyle Guitar Journal, Fingerstyle 360, Mel Bay’s Guitar Sessions, Just Jazz Guitar and Modern Guitars webzine. He is an online instructor for www.mikesmasterclasses.com where he has produced over 50 instructional jazz video lessons. Steve Herberman has been featured on the covers of Fingerstyle Guitar Journal and Just Jazz Guitar Magazine with his Comins guitar that he has endorsed for many years. He is a GLB amplifier artist with his own signature model amp, the GIG 50SH, the flagship model for GLB Sound.


Vicki Genfan

Vicki Genfan

August 15, 2019

7:30pm

 

301 Main Street

North Little Rock, AR 72114

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I understand completely why the audience applauds and whistles so wildly…this is fiery, living music.” – IndieMusic.com

I have to open my eyes to make sure that only one guitar is playing and that Vicki Genfan – so the name of this fascinating woman – only owns two hands.” – Spurren Magazine, Switzerland

Vicki has brewed her own style that has no name…and created a new kind of singer-songwriter culture.” – Frankfurter Allgemeine

Genfan is carving a niche in the acoustic music world which few can fill.” – minor7th.com

Every now and then an artist comes along whose music reaches out and touches the soul of all who hear them…virtuoso guitarist, singer and composer Vicki Genfan is among those artists… Drawing from folk, jazz, pop, soul and world music, Vicki is redefining ‘singer/songwriter culture.’ With a mastery of the acoustic guitar that borders on pure alchemy, audiences are mesmerized by the waves of sound Vicki creates with just two hands and her voice. Using 29 alternate tunings and the percussive technique she calls ‘slap-tap’, you’ll find the addition of her pure, expressive vocals that dig deep and stir the heart to be the perfect accompaniment on many of her songs. Vicki writes and beautifully sings her own brand of music and lyrics while putting her unmistakable imprint on familiar tunes like the Beatles’ Norweigian Wood. An evening with Vicki is far more than a concert; stories, warmth and humor come gift wrapped in an unforgettable evening of music that leaves the audience always wanting more.

Vicki has been recognized among the world’s greatest guitarists and musicians at festivals such as The International Montreal Jazz Festival, Germany’s Open Strings Guitar Festival, Italy’s Soave Guitar Festival, as well as at venues and Performing Arts Centers across the US and abroad. In 2005 she was one of the featured artists on ‘La Guitara’, the first compilation CD featuring female guitarists from around the globe, released by Vanguard Records. With several additional ground-breaking recordings behind her, recent acquisitions of the 6 string banjo, 12 string and baritone guitars, high demand at clinics and music camps and an ongoing European presence, Vicki continues to reach beyond musical borders and into new territory.

For more, check out vickigenfan.com

Vicki Genfan

August 15, 2019

7:30pm

 

301 Main Street

North Little Rock, AR 72114

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I understand completely why the audience applauds and whistles so wildly…this is fiery, living music.” – IndieMusic.com

I have to open my eyes to make sure that only one guitar is playing and that Vicki Genfan – so the name of this fascinating woman – only owns two hands.” – Spurren Magazine, Switzerland

Vicki has brewed her own style that has no name…and created a new kind of singer-songwriter culture.” – Frankfurter Allgemeine

Genfan is carving a niche in the acoustic music world which few can fill.” – minor7th.com

Every now and then an artist comes along whose music reaches out and touches the soul of all who hear them…virtuoso guitarist, singer and composer Vicki Genfan is among those artists… Drawing from folk, jazz, pop, soul and world music, Vicki is redefining ‘singer/songwriter culture.’ With a mastery of the acoustic guitar that borders on pure alchemy, audiences are mesmerized by the waves of sound Vicki creates with just two hands and her voice. Using 29 alternate tunings and the percussive technique she calls ‘slap-tap’, you’ll find the addition of her pure, expressive vocals that dig deep and stir the heart to be the perfect accompaniment on many of her songs. Vicki writes and beautifully sings her own brand of music and lyrics while putting her unmistakable imprint on familiar tunes like the Beatles’ Norweigian Wood. An evening with Vicki is far more than a concert; stories, warmth and humor come gift wrapped in an unforgettable evening of music that leaves the audience always wanting more.

Vicki has been recognized among the world’s greatest guitarists and musicians at festivals such as The International Montreal Jazz Festival, Germany’s Open Strings Guitar Festival, Italy’s Soave Guitar Festival, as well as at venues and Performing Arts Centers across the US and abroad. In 2005 she was one of the featured artists on ‘La Guitara’, the first compilation CD featuring female guitarists from around the globe, released by Vanguard Records. With several additional ground-breaking recordings behind her, recent acquisitions of the 6 string banjo, 12 string and baritone guitars, high demand at clinics and music camps and an ongoing European presence, Vicki continues to reach beyond musical borders and into new territory.

For more, check out vickigenfan.com


Steve Masakowski

Steve Masakowski

March 11th, 2018

7:30pm

 

301 Main Street

North Little Rock, AR 72114

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Masakowski

BIO

 

Steve Masakowski has long been regarded as one of the top Jazz artists from New Orleans. Born and raised in New Orleans, Steve Masakowski has played guitar with most of the city’s greatest musicians including Alvin “Red” Tyler, Ellis Marsalis, Danny Barker, Earl Turbinton, and James Black. He has also performed with Grammy Award-winning artists Bobby McFerrin, Nicholas Payton, Allen Toussaint, Dianne Reeves and others at major festivals around the world.

As a recording artist, he has released numerous CDs including two on the prestigious Blue Note Records label. He has been an active member of, and composer for the award winning New Orleans jazz group, Astral Project.

He has twice been voted “Best Guitarist,” and won “Best Contemporary Jazz Group” three times by Gambit and Offbeat magazines in their annual reader’s polls. He has published lessons in Guitar Player magazine and authored the book, “Jazz Ear Training – Learning to Hear Your Way Through Music” for Mel Bay Publications. He is frequently recognized by Down Beat magazine as Talent Deserving Wider Recognition. Steve has participated in numerous Jazz concerts and workshops at major universities including Princeton, the University of Chicago, and the University on Indiana.

Steve is currently on the faculty at the University of New Orleans where he holds the position of Coca-Cola Endowed Chair of Jazz Studies.


Derek Douget

Derek Douget

September 9, 2019

7:30pm

 

301 Main Street

North Little Rock, AR 72114

“Derek Douget finely mixes his Louisiana upbringing with his strong individualism and idiosyncratic voice.”  

-AFO Foundation

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derek douget_s

BIO

 

Raised in Gonzales, Louisiana, Douget was adopted into a mixed race family. His Cajun father exposed him to all things Acadian from food to music. In a region known for mixing African, Latin, Native American, and European traditions and cultures, Douget celebrates his part in this great community of mixed cultures that has always been a hot bed for jazz musicians.

At age 10, Derek started playing the saxophone. In high school, Douget first heard the recordings of Ornette Coleman, Charlie Parker and Count Basie. These recordings resonated so strongly within him that Derek gave up classical saxophone for a career in jazz.

Douget studied at The University of New Orleans under Ed Petersen and was mentored by Ellis Marsalis and Harold Battiste. By the time he graduated in 1997, Douget had performed with many notable musicians on the New Orleans scene, toured nationally with Nicholas Payton, recorded the movie soundtrack “Soul of the Game” with Terence Blanchard, and was a member of the Ellis Marsalis Quartet.

He then concentrated on earning a Master’s degree, which he completed in 2005. After the flooding of New Orleans, Douget moved to Brooklyn, NY, and continued to record and tour internationally with the likes of The New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, Maurice Brown and Ellis Marsalis.

At the close of 2009, the saxophonist and his wife moved back to New Orleans. He performed on the 2010 Grammy-winning album “Book One” with the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra.