Artistes - Jazzaar 2016

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Featured Artistes in the production – Sounds of the Caribbean


Gil Goldstein Musical Director

jazzaar_2012_artist8 Gil Goldstein was born Nov 6 l950 in Washington DC. His work as an arranger includes projects with Michael Brecker, Esperanza Spalding, Chris Botti, Bobby McFerrin, Milton Nasciemento, and David Sanborn. He is an important disciple of Gil Evans, having worked with his band from 1981 until his passing, and then was appointed as the musical director of that band. He reconstructed the classic Miles Davis/Gil Evans collaborations of the 60’s for a concert in Montreux, Switzerland under the direction of Quincy Jones. He has earned 5 Grammy Awards through this work as an arranger and producer. As a pianist and accordionist he has worked with most of the leading modern jazz artists including Pat Metheny, Pat Martino, Jim Hall, Al Jarreau, among many others. He is versed in all varieties of world music and has recorded with the leading musicians of Brazil, including Toninho Horta and Romero Lubambo, of Spain with Carles Benavente and Jorge Pardo, of Paris with Juliette Greco, and also the cream of American popular music, including Paul Simon, James Taylor and Sting. He has collaborated on film scores with Ryuichi Sakamoto and Pat Metheny as an arranger and orchestrator, and composed a number of scores. As an educator, he holds a Ph.D in music eduction from Union Graduate School, and has written The Jazz Composer’s Companion which is published by Schott Music.

Gil Goldstein contributed arrangements and compositions for the Sounds of the Caribbean production.

Herman Olivera Vocalist

Foto Portfolio back sin texto Herman Olivera is considered as one of the very few SONEROS left in the true salsa genre. He continues to tour all over the world, appearing as a featured vocalist in many prestigious festivals, T.V. shows, etc., including stints with The Carnegie Hall Jazz Band & The Lincoln Center Afro-Latin Jazz Band. This brilliant vocalist has been noted to have all the essential qualities of a great singer: diction, vocalization, soul & feeling which combined with his charisma & the palatable timbre of his voice projects the well seasoned mixture of the Afro Caribbean rhythms. Olivera has worked with Manny Oquendo’s “Conjunto Libre” with whom he recorded five albums & had a string of hits like “Decidete”, “No Me Echen La Culpa”, “Que Humanidad ” & “Tu Me Perteneces” among others. Herman also worked regularly with “Johnny Pacheco”, “Ray Barretto” , “Bobby Rodriguez Y La Compañia ” & “The Machito Orchestra”. Herman Olivera is featured as lead vocalist on forty one productions to date, including one solo recording “Chequea La Mercancia” & has also collaborated with many mainstream artists on a number of projects.
This dynamic SONERO is currently the lead singer of the “Eddie Palmieri Orchestra” , where he is featured on five cd’s with the nine time Grammy Award Winner & Master Pianist including “Masterpiece/Obra Maestra” with the late, great Tito Puente which garnered two Grammys.

Barry Danielien Lead Trumpeter

Barry Danielien Trumpeter/Producer-Arranger Barry Danielian has for nearly three decades performed with many of the biggest names in the music industry. Having worked with such diverse artists as Bruce Springsteen, Barbra Streisand, Tony Bennett, Sting,Tower of Power, Queen Latifah, Eddie Palmieri, KRS One, Branford Marsalis, Paul Simon, Tito Puente, James Taylor, Billy Joel, McCoy Tyner, Illinois Jacquet, Marc Anthony, Ricky Martin, The Roots and Bono.
He is constantly requested by such legendary producers as: Phil Ramone, Jay-Z, Arif Mardin, Randy Jackson, Barry Eastmond and Narada Michael Walden. He is currently one of the most in demand trumpeters and arrangers in NYC having recorded on over 350 CD’s. He is a prolific writer and producer whose music is used throughout the media industry including CBS, NBC, HBO, Showtime, A&E and MTV.
Barry has also been a regular fixture on the NYC Broadway scene having played in the orchestra for “42nd Street”, “Bring on the Noise Bring on da funk” “The Color Purple” “Bye Bye Birdie” “Promises, Promises” “Movin’ Out” “On Your Feet” among many others.
He has released two CD’s as a solo artist. “Common Ground” released in 2004 received much critical praise and his latest, “Metaphorically Speaking” released in 2013.

Craig Handy Soprano Saxophonist & Flutist

Craig_Handy Craig Mitchell Handy is an American post-bop tenor saxophonist.
Born in Oakland, California, Handy attended North Texas State University from 1981 to 1984, and following this played with Art Blakey, Wynton Marsalis, Roy Haynes, Abdullah Ibrahim, Elvin Jones, Joe Henderson, Betty Carter, George Adams, Ray Drummond, Conrad Herwig, Dee Dee Bridgewater, and David Weiss among many others. He is a member of the Mingus Big Band, Mingus Dynasty, and Mingus Orchestra.
Handy plays the role of Coleman Hawkins in the 1996 film Kansas City. He is credited for performing the Cosby Show season 6 theme.

Conrad Herwig Trombonist

Eastern Trombone Conrad Herwig-119 Conrad Herwig is one of the leading trombonists on today’s Jazz scene, having begun in 1980 with the Clark Terry Big Band and later performed with Miles Davis, Frank Sinatra, Eddie Palmieri, Tito Puente, Joe Henderson, Horace Silver, McCoy Tyner, and the Mingus Big Band, among many others. He has recorded 24 albums as a leader and was twice voted #1 Jazz Trombone (TDWR) in the Downbeat International Jazz Critic’s Poll. The Jazz Journalists Association also nominated Herwig for “Trombonist of the Year” in 2015.
Herwig is an alumnus of the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas, where he performed in the One O’Clock Lab Band. He also attended Goddard College in Plainfield, Vermont, where he received a Bachelor of Arts in Afro-Caribbean ethnomusicology, and Queens College, CUNY, with a Master of Arts in Jazz Studies. Herwig is professor of jazz trombone, jazz improvisation and jazz composition/arranging at Rutgers Mason Gross School of the Arts, where he serves as the Artistic Director and Chair of Jazz Studies. Conrad Herwig performs exclusively on Michael Rath Trombones, England.

Edsel Gomez Pianist

Edsel Gomez_1 A superb pianist/composer/ arranger born in Puerto Rico, Edsel Gomez is a Grammy awarded virtuoso and a master at polyrhythms who considers his main inspirations to be Chick Corea and Eddie Palmieri. He has the ability to sound relaxed when playing in the most complex time signatures, and conversely sometimes layers on so many rhythms that he can disguise the fact that he is playing in 4/4 time. Berklee Alumni ’85, Gomez lived in Brazil for 10 years, relocating to New York in 1997 and has worked with many of today’s greats including, Don Byron, Jack DeJohnette, Willie Colon, Celia Cruz, Conrad Herwig, David Sanchez, Janis Siegel/Manhattan Transfer and a long association with Dee Dee Bridgewater.

Oscar Stagnaro Bassist

Stagnaro_0143 Hailing from Peru, Oscar studied at the Conservatory of Music in Lima while working extensively as a first-call session musician and live performer for many international artists and local bands. He moved to the U.S. in 1979, where he continued his studies with pianist/educator Mike Marra, and Jazz great Jerry Bergonzi. Since then, Oscar has become one of the most in-demand performers on the East Coast. His mastery of different music styles from Jazz and Fusion to Latin styles has allowed him to travel the world performing with a virtual who’s who in these genres. Throughout his illustrious career, Oscar has accrued four Grammy Awards with a total of six nominations.
Oscar is also a Professor at the Berklee College of Music in Boston since 1988. He’s been largely responsible for the school’s development of Latin education, instituting several courses on Latin and world bass styles. He also teaches Latin Jazz Ensembles and Jazz Improvisation in the Latin Jazz Idiom at the New England Conservatory of Music.
Oscar is the co-author of the “Latin Bass Book” published by Sher Music. He has also written the Afro Cuban Slap Book published by Berklee Press/Hal Leonard and is currently working on another book for Bass, Drums and Piano.
Oscar is a contributing writer for the Magazine “Musico Pro” for the monthly articles “Latin Bass Masters,” and “Bass Concepts.”

Ludwig Afonso Drummer

Ludwig Afonso_2 Shortly after obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in Studio Music and Jazz Performance from the University of Miami in May 2002 Ludwig moved to New York and began performing and touring with Spyro Gyra. He appeared on their Grammy-nominated CD Wrapped in a Dream, as well as Grammy-nominated recordings The Magician by Sammy Figueroa, Hector Martignon’s Second Chance and The Rodrigues Brother Impromptu. Ludwig has also performed with Martin Bejerano, Giovanni Hidalgo, Joshua Redman, Chris Potter, Joe Locke, Pedrito Martinez, Mark Murphy, Dave Valentine and Juan Carlos Formel.
Ludwig is currently working with various artists in the New York area including Yosvanny Terry, Samuel Torres, Eldar Djangirov, Manuel Valera, The Rodriguez Brothers and Richard Bona.

Swiss Youth World-Music Ensemble

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA The SYWE is an off-shoot of the Swiss Youth Jazz Orchestra (SYJO). It is formed to give the selected young talents the opportunity to play and experience the music of other cultures around the world from a jazz fusion perspective. This year the ’Sounds of the Caribbean’ production is dedicated to the array of styles such as the Calypso, Mambo, Reggae, Merengue, Bachata, Salsa, Afro-Cuban Jazz Rhumba, the Mini Jazz Haitian Gospel and such that reflect the complex origins that make up the cultural melting pot of the Caribbean islands. Since the ensemble will also feature vocals, it is an opportunity to present songs in the various colonial languages that had a strong impact on the Caribbean people, such as Spanish and English.

Click here for more details on the Caravan Quest production with the SYWE.


Music Composers & Arrangers for Jazzaar 2016 Productions

Bob Freedman

Bob Freedman : Artists 2012 | Jazzaar Festival Having Bob Freedman on the Team is truly an Honor for Jazzaar Festival. Bob is a composer, songwriter, conductor, saxophonist and arranger. After his high school education, he became a saxophonist in the dance orchestras of Serge Chaloff, Vido Musso, Woody Herman, Herb Pomeroy and Maynard Ferguson. He joined ASCAP in 1958, and his popular-song compositions include “And We Listened”. Throughout his life Bob worked for Duke Ellington, Sarah Vaughan, Lena Horne, Wynton Marsalis, Grover Washington, Miles Davis, Arther Blythe, Thad Jones & Mel Lewis, Herbie Mann, Michael Brecker, Billy Joel, Renee Rosnes, Dianne Reeves, won a Grammy together with Quincy Jones for The Wiz and conducted hundreds of Productions around the Globe. He also taught at the Berklee School of Music and was the chairman of their Arranging department until his retirement while being the music director at a Boston recording studio. In 2010 Bob wrote the arrangements and directed the recording sessions for this truly GREAT Big Band led by master bassist Ron Carter. It was released on Sunnyside Records on Sept 13, 2011 and worldwide in November 2011. The Japanese release (March 2011) is on EMI-Toshiba. Visit for more information and audio clips.

Bob Freedman contributed arrangements for the Jazzaar Summit production.

Ned Wilkinson

CA 1 copy Ned Wilkinson graduated from the Berklee College of Music in 1987 with a degree in Commercial Arranging and an emphasis in trumpet performance. He soon found himself in Branson, Missouri, a tourist destination where few musicians read music and fewer trumpet jobs existed. Undaunted, Ned established himself first as a multi-instrumentalist, playing brass, woodwinds, strings, keyboards, and drums at the Silver Dollar City theme park; he moved from there into show production and musical direction at the park, while arranging for shows on the “76 Strip” such as The Osmonds. He is most proud of his work with The Haygoods, fellow SDC alumni and current stars of a cable TV reality series. Ned recently moved to Orlando, Florida to continue production work, to explore comedy, and to launch his original stage musicals; his newest work, “Fosgate: Ferret Loan Officer”, will premier at the Orlando International Fringe Festival in May.

Ned Wilkinson contributed arrangements and transcriptions for Jazzaar 2016 Caribbean and Soul productions.

Florian Ross

Forian Ross contributed arrangements for the Jazzaar 2016 Caribbean and Soul productions.


Featured Artistes in the production – Soul Night

Fritz Renold Musical Director

Fritz Renold | Jazzaar FestivalIn 1984, a 24 year old Renold received the Quincy Jones Full Scholarship Award at Berklee College of Music, Boston, where he achieved his B.A in Jazz Performance in 1987 and was voted into the college’s faculty immediately. Since 1997, ‘Fritz Renold and the Bostonian Friends’ have been signed to the label SONY – BMG Music – Columbia Records in New York. With ca. 500 compositions, premiers and several Grammy pre-nomination recordings to his name, the composer, saxophonist and arranger from Aargau belongs to one of the few music entrepreneurs in Switzerland.
He is a founder of this Bandstand Learning with Role Models program at Jazzaar Festival that is now 22 years in operation.

Fritz Renold contributed compositions & arrangements for the Jazzaar 2016 Caribbean and Soul productions.

Billy Cobham Drummer

bcpromo Ever since his breakthrough in the early 1970s-as a founding member of the Mahavishnu Orchestra, and as a drummer/leader whose recordings (such as Spectrum) and powerful, complex style of play exerted a strong influence on the course of jazz and jazz-fusion-Billy Cobham has remained a tireless musical explorer.

Panamanian by birth, a New Yorker by upbringing, and a resident of Switzerland for more than 25 years, Cobham has pursued an ever-broadening, ever-deepening engagement with the world not only as a master drummer and percussionist but as a composer, producer, educator, and clinician who gives service through music even as he constantly expands his personal creative expression.

In 1969 Cobham co-founded the fusion group Dreams, which also featured Randy Brecker, Michael Brecker, John Abercrombie, Don Grolnick, Barry Rodgers, and Will Lee. The following year he was invited to join Miles Davis’s group and contributed to four pivotal recordings by the trumpeter, including Bitches Brew (where he collaborated with guitarist John McLaughlin) and Tribute to Jack Johnson.

Mahavishnu Orchestra was formed by McLaughlin in 1971 with Cobham, Jan Hammer, Jerry Goodman, and Rick Laird. They released three acclaimed albums (beginning with Inner Mounting Flame) before the band was dissolved and Cobham chose to launch his solo career with Spectrum, one of the definitive albums of the jazz-rock era.

During the 1970s and ’80s, he recorded steadily as a leader in collaborating with artists ranging from George Duke, John Scofield, and Tony Williams to Jack Bruce and the Grateful Dead, both on stage and in the studio.
In ’93 Cobham performed, recorded, and produced at the WOMAD Festival (World of Music, Arts and Dance) with Peter Gabriel, Nigeria’s Okuta Percussion, and Farafina from Burkina Faso.

By the start of the 2000s Cobham had introduced “The Art of Jazz” series, recording and touring extensively first with the Art of 3 (Kenny Barron, Ron Carter), then the Art of 4 (Carter, Donald Harrison, James Williams) and the Art of 5 (Harrison, Guy Barker, Eric Reed or Julian Joseph, Orlando Le Fleming). He also worked with Culture Mix, recording two albums with them and in 2003 reactivated Spectrum as a band that revisits the music of that genre-reinventing album.

Of late, Billy had working on a series of recordings that are a tribute to his parents and his roots. The project is call “Fruit From The Loom”. The first CD, of the same name, was released in 2009. The second CD – “Palindrome” was released in 2010. In 2013 was released the third recording entitled “Tales From The Skeleton Coast”.
Billy was concentrating upon recording entitled “Billy Cobham Spectrum 40 Live” and released this project at the beginning of 2015.

Frank Greene Lead Trumpeter

Frank Greene Frank David Greene is one of the most in demand lead trumpeter in den USA. His career began with the Maynard Ferguson big band that led him in no time to New York City where he still resides. Today he works in bands with Maria Schneider, Jimmy Heath, the Dizzie Gillespie All Stars and plays with Christian McBride, Frank Foster, Frank Wess, Bob Mintzer, Clark Terry, Jon Faddis, Nicholas Payton, and Roy Hargrove among others. He was the lead trumpeter in the Letterman Show in NYC until May 2015 besides the CBS Orchestra.

Tony Lakatos Tenor Saxophonist

Lakatos_DSC1862 Tony was born in a musician family on the 13th November 1958 in Budapest, Hungary. His Father was a famous gipsy violinist as well as his younger Brother Roby. The musical study began on the violin at the age of 6. He graduated from the jazz department of the Bela Bartók Conservatory in Budapest 1979. Shortly after he moved to Germany in 1981, became one of the most respected saxophonist in Germany as well as worldwide. He performed as a saxophone soloist in numerous jazz/pop/rock recordings and concerts. Tony has played the saxophone about 300 LP/CD recordings as a leader or as a sideman. He has played with other jazz greats such as Terri Lyne Carrington, Anthony Jackson, David Whitham, Peter O’Mara, Kirk Lightsey, Al Foster, George Mraz, Randy Brecker, Adam Nussbaum, Jimmy Scott and more.
From 1985 thru 1996 he was a member of the succesful PILI-PILI Band (led by Jasper Van’t Hof ). He has been living in Germany since 1981, Frankfurt am Main since 1993 and working as a soloist in the H. R. Big band – Radio station.

Marques Young Trombonist

IMG_9229 Since moving to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 2009, Former Principal Trombone of the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, Marques Young has profoundly contributed to the development of the growing jazz culture in Southeast Asia. Through his bands ‘Q Sound’ and the ‘Bassment Syndicate’, he has led numerous performances at jazz venues throughout the region, including sold-out performances at the Dewan Filharmonik Petronas as part of DFP’s Happy Hour Series.
In 2003, Marques began his studies at the Juilliard School under Joseph Alessi, Principal Trombone of the New York Philharmonic. At Juilliard, he was a member of the award winning Trombone Ensemble “Dease Bones” and The Lionshead Brass Quintet. During his time in New York, Marques was also invited to perform with the American Brass Quintet, Buffalo Philharmonic and New York Philharmonic. He has also had the honor and privilege of performing and sharing the stage with a wide range of jazz legends, including Paquito D’ Rivera, Wynton Marsalis, Randy Brecker, Terri Lyne Carrington, James Morrison, Wycliffe Gordon, Chris Botti and Lala Hathaway.

Oli Rockberger Vocalist and Keyboardist



Singer, songwriter, producer & keys man Oli Rockberger divides his time between hometown London and New York City with performing/recording credits including Carly Simon, John Mayer, Jesse Harris, Gloria Gaynor, Levon Helm, Judy Collins and Chris Daddy Dave. Current work includes lending finishing touches to a 4th solo record following on from his acclaimed 2013 self-release “Old Habits”, which was championed by the UK’s Jazz FM , and described as a “monument to be relished in the border territory between jazz and pop” (London Jazz). In addition to his solo work, he continues to write/produce for artists on both sides of the pond, with recent projects including prodigious London electronic artist Terrane (co-production), multi-grammy winner Randy Brecker (co-writing) and acclaimed London born-NY based indi-songstress Cariad Harmon (co-writing/co-production, whose most recent self-titled album received a 3 1/2 star review in Rolling Stone.

Neil Jason Bassist

NJ2015 Neil Jason is a professional bassist, producer and composer. He has worked with Paul McCartney, Pavorotti, Billy Joel, Roxy Music, Bryan Ferry, Hall & Oats, Mick Jagger, Pete Townshend, Paul Simon, Kiss, Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, The Brecker Brothers, Celine Dion, Brigitte Zarie ,Cindy Lauper, Dire Straits, Eddie Van Halen, and, John &Yoko to name a few. In addition, he was a member of the house band for Saturday Night Live from 1983 to 1985, and has over 100 appearances with Paul Shaffer and the Band on David Letterman.
( Interview excerpt Courtesy of John Carey) Neil Jason is profiled in the Marquis Edition of “Who’s Who in Entertainment”.

Swiss Youth Jazz Orchestra

_DSC1610 The Swiss Jazz Orchestra was founded in 1995 and is now part of the collective Swiss Youth Ensembles (SYE) at Jazzaar Festival, comprising of musically gifted youth between the ages of 16 – 26 years striving towards a music career. The SYE belongs to the ‘Bandstand Learning with Role Models’ platform, with international artists in the role of colleagues and role models for the young players. The youth in the SYE could spend up to 10 years in this community of music practitioners, mastering a wide spectrum of genres and styles of music to be versatile in the music industry. These youth musicians work on premiering productions together with international artists from the jazz to classical and world music genres to perform and record at a high level. The SYE have released 2 albums on CDs and DVDs since 2013, both of which were pre-nominated for the Grammy awards in up to 10 categories.
Among the alumni of the Swiss Youth Jazz Orchestra are Mathias Künzli AG (drums/perc), Tobias Preisig ZH (vl), Simon Jeker AG – (ts), Claudio Strüby SZ – (pn), Adrian Pflugshaupt LU -(as), Phil Hilfiker AG – (as) and many more leading professional musicians in the current Swiss and international music scene.
This year the SYJO will explore a combination of standards and original music to present a night of authentic Soul music.


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