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Sherman’s Revival Series: Saunders Brothers and J-Music Pocket Band
August 12 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
GRAMMY Award winning bassist, Geoffrey Saunders along with family, friends, CLMF Musicians perform along with a special guest appearance from Patrick Bartley, Jr. and the J-Music Pocket Band.
Geoff Saunders, bassist
Grammy Award winning bassist Geoffrey Saunders is a versatile performer and composer who is experienced in a wide range of styles and genres. This is what initially drew Geoff to the instrument; the opportunity to connect and collaborate with people all over the world through music and the bass. Originally from Simsbury, CT, Geoff has received degrees from the Eastman School of Music (BM, Jazz Bass Performance) and the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami (MM, Jazz Pedagogy). He received his DMA in Jazz Studies at the Frost School in 2017, where he was a Teaching Assistant and member of the award-winning Concert Jazz Band. While at Frost, Geoff was a fellow at the Henry Mancini Institute where he worked closely and performed with such notable artists as Mark O’Connor, Chick Corea, Bobby McFerrin, Gloria Estefan, Steve Miller, Larry Rosen, Phil Ramone, Dave Grusin, Terence Blanchard, and James Newton Howard. Geoff can be heard on the CD/DVD PBS special Jazz & The Philharmonic featuring many of these artists. He can also be heard on the Grammy nominated recording of All My Tomorrows by arranger Jeremy Fox featuring Kate McGarry on the album With Love.
Currently he can be seen on tour with the O’Connor Band with Mark O’Connor who’s debut album Coming Home received a Grammy Award for Best Bluegrass Album in 2017. The album debuted at #1 on the Billboard Bluegrass Album charts and remained in the top ten for several weeks in 2016. Geoff has served as faculty member at the Mark O’Connor Method Camp for four years running. He also recorded on O’Connor’s America On Strings album featuring orchestral arrangements of popular American songs. Geoff is an active freelance bass player in Nashville and frequently collaborates with fiddlers Buddy Spicher and Billy Contreras on their project Billy & Buddy. Geoff has composed the score and performed in the multi-media piece Appalachian Squall by Shira Abergel which premiered at the Miami Light Project and was performed again at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts. He also performed with the New World Symphony for the premier of Four Preludes on Playthings of the Wind, composed and conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas.
J-MUSIC Pocket Band (J-MUSIC Ensemble)
The J-MUSIC Ensemble is an NYC-based, jazz-rooted instrumental band that is devoted to bringing new perspectives to modern Japanese music. This strikingly sonorous 8-piece band combines the elements of the electric guitar, keyboards, bass, and drums with a full horn section–saxophone, trumpet, and trombone–to deliver a full and powerful, yet dynamic, sound. Following in the jazz tradition, the horns don’t play a background role here; instead, they’re put in the front line, just like singers. Having already performed twice at the Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival of Greater Philadelphia, live on the television show, “Checkerboard Kids” (MNN59), and a host of other venues, the J-MUSIC Ensemble is surely spreading the J-Music message across a wide range of audiences.
Formed by saxophonist Patrick Bartley while attending the Manhattan School of Music, the J-MUSIC Ensemble initially spawned as a vehicle to express a mutual interest in anime and video game soundtracks–many of which never get a proper spotlight. This music is fused with the spontaneity and soulfulness of jazz improvisation to deliver a fresh and engaging listening experience, without distracting from the intent and message of the original songs. The band has since expanded its repertoire to include music from all facets of modern Japanese culture, and has done covers of artists such as Perfume, Utada Hikaru, Yoko Kanno, PUFFY, and School Food Punishment.
The J-MUSIC Ensemble frequently features some of the most talented and already accomplished young musicians from around the world, including Daryl Johns, Max Calkin, Leo P (from Too Many Zooz), and many others. All the music featured by the band is transcribed and arranged by our very own band members, and given a flavor that is unmistakably original. With the help of highly talented composers/arrangers such as Kyle Athayde and Khrystopher Williams, the J-MUSIC library has been able to expand to contain over 100 transcriptions, arrangements, and lead sheets of various Japanese artists, composers, anime, and video game songs.
The J-MUSIC Ensemble is a growing project that serves as the spearhead and pioneering force for the “J-MUSIC Alliance” – the idea of linking together Japanese music fans around the world by providing opportunities for both musicians and audiences to learn about Japanese culture through the world of music, as well as opportunities to perform and produce Japanese music. Patrick believes that by fervently and prolifically re-arranging Japanese music for jazz-like instrumentation, the J-MUSIC Ensemble can help to expose and nurture the undeniable relationship between both Japan and America’s music worlds, providing the ultimate platform for a true “J-MUSIC Alliance”.