Think Miles meets Pink Floyd…
With a dynamic new age/jazz/prog rock hybrid vibe often whimsically described as “Miles Davis meets Pink Floyd,” Jeff Oster has, since his 2005 award winning full length debut Released, shapeshifted the boundaries and redefined the sonic possibilities of instrumental pop music.
His boundary bursting, accolade filled career reached a dynamic peak in 2017-18 as a member of FLOW, a dynamic ensemble (featuring genre greats Fiona Joy, Lawrence Blatt and legendary Windham Hill founder and guitarist Will Ackerman) whose self-titled collection hit the Top 5 on the Billboard New Age Albums chart and won Album of the Year at the ZMR Awards and Best New Age album at the Independent Music Awards. For the inventive trumpeter and flugelhornist, there was only one way to follow up on this success – Reach!
For Oster and his chief collaborator/album producer Ruslan Sirota (who also plays piano, keyboards, guitar and provides vocals), the title Reach doubles as a powerful mission statement. It means breaking from Oster’s past tried and true studio approach of the past and engaging in a deeper exploration of the horn player’s artistry. Over the course of nine tracks, the result is a transcendent chill/ambient/new age meets sensual and grooving jazz/world fusion vibe where truly and radically, there are no creative boundaries
That freewheeling spirit, being so beautifully connected to the unexpected, flows through every track on Reach. With previous albums, Oster would make elaborate home demos, creating lead horn melodies and counterpoint harmonies over loops and tracks and bringing those into the studio where he hired what he calls a “musical fantasy camp” of studio musicians to help him realize his vision – including, over the years, all-stars like T-Bone Wolk, Keith Carlock, Chuck Rainey and Bernard Purdie. These recordings helped establish Oster as a major force in new age music, and have made him a four time ZMR Album of the Year winner, with numerous #1’s on NPR’s influential “Echoes” program and two wins for Best New Age Song at the Independent Music Awards.
His albums have featured well-known contributors such as Bruce Swedien, mixing engineer for Michael Jackson’s Thriller, guitarist Nile Rodgers, iconic bassist Chuck Rainey, legendary drummers Bernard Purdie and Keith Carlock, and Grammy- nominated artists such as pianist Philip Aaberg and bassist Michael Manring.
Check out the group’s website for a sampling of their music, online purchases, and information on the group’s upcoming performances: http://jeffosterlive.com
Since his early youth, Brazilian native and master drummer Celso Alberti has pursued a percussive vision that spans a multitude of genres and cultures – whether playing the traditional rhythms of his homeland, jazz fusion, rock or “world fusion” styles. This versatility has won Celso international acclaim, as attested by the elite company he keeps on performances and recording projects – working with artists such as Herbie Mann, John Lucien, Michael Manring, Joyce Cooling, Craig Chaquico, Airto Moreira, Flora Purim, Jose Neto, Andrei Kondakov and, most recently, the legendary Steve Winwood.
In 1989, Celso toured with jazz flautist Herbie Mann and formed an original instrumental power trio called No Man’s Land. From 1990 to 2004, he toured and recorded with many established musicians, including world-renowned recording artist Steve Winwood, guitarists Craig Chaquico (Starship) and Joyce Cooling, singer John Lucien, bassist Michael Manring, keyboardists Kit Walker (Kitaro) and Frank Martin (Narada Michael Walden) and many others.
Since 2006, Celso has toured Russia and the Ukraine with Russian keyboardist Andrei Kondakov and has also performed with guitarist Stef Burns (Alice Cooper, Huey Lewis and the News), legendary Brazilian singer Emilio Santiago, guitarist Chico Pinheiro, singer/multi-instrumentalist Claudia Villela, singer/songwriter Tim Hockenberry, bassoonist Paul Hanson, saxophonist George Brooks, bassist Kai Eckhardt and numerous others.
In addition to performance credits on over 60 recordings, Celso has also earned a reputation as a highly respected audio engineer, with credits on recordings by esteemed artists such as Steve Winwood, Airto Moreira, Kundalini Boombox and Kai Eckhardt, to name a few.
Hailed by many as the world’s leading solo bassist, Michael Manring has been pushing back the boundaries of what’s possible on the bass guitar for over three decades. While his technical skill and innovations always make an impression, it is his ability to communicate on a profound emotional level that most touches listeners. As editor Tom Darter wrote in Keyboard magazine after seeing one of Michael’s solo concerts, “Forget his astounding technique and musicality; forget his absolute command of his instruments; forget how seamlessly the musical ideas and the performance of them were wedded together…The enlightenment came most from feeling (seeing, hearing) the joy Michael felt to be playing…his brand of transcendental chops and musical understanding…was all in the service of the final outcome, the joy of making music.”
Building on the conceptions of his teacher, the late bass legend Jaco Pastorius, Michael has developed a new approach to the instrument that includes unorthodox tunings, techniques and methodologies. He has honed his skills on hundreds of recordings as a session musician and thousands of concerts throughout the world in venues including Carnegie Hall in NY, Yamaha Hall in Tokyo and Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco. Michael has worked with a surprisingly diverse collection of musicians from New Age keyboardist Suzanne Ciani to avant-improv guitar innovator Henry Kaiser to celebrated folk troubadour John Gorka to experimental post-metal rockers Tim Alexander (Primus) and Alex Skolnick (Testament) to electro-pop pioneer Thomas Dolby.
His long-term collaboration and close friendship with the late acoustic guitar genius Michael Hedges led to a lengthy stint as house bassist for Windham Hill Records; a label for whom he also worked as a solo artist, releasing four recordings under his own name: Unusual Weather (1986), Toward the Center of the Night (1989), Drastic Measures (1991) and Thonk (1994). These, along with his 1998 release The Book of Flame on the Alchemy record label earned him an international reputation as “a master of the fretless bass without rival.” (Guitar Club Magazine, Italy). He has garnered two gold records, Grammy and Bammie nominations, a Berklee School of Music Distinguished Alumni Award, two Just Plain Folks Awards and numerous Bass Player Magazine Reader’s Poll awards including 1994 Bassist of the Year. He was also the subject of a PBS TV documentary, “The Artist’s Profile: Michael Manring” and a Youtube video of him playing his iconic solo piece “Selene” has well over a million views.
In his solo concerts Michael weaves together his musical influences into a tapestry rich with expression, virtuosity, humor and meaning. As one writer put it, “Michael Manring can do more with a bass than even the most creative individual could imagine” (L. Pierce Carson, Napa Valley Register). His newest release Soliloquy, performed entirely solo without overdubs, is the best recorded example yet of that depth and diversity. Using a variety of bass guitars and the far-reaching, innovative approaches he is renowned for, with Enhanced CD content including Michael’s extensive 24-page liner notes detailing the composing and recording process, photos and live performance videos, Soliloquy takes the listener on a unique musical journey. We hope you’ll follow the advice of France’s Musicien magazine: “Do not miss your next opportunity to discover the bassist with the most fresh and inventive playing today.”
Todd Boston is a composer, guitarist/multi instrumentalist and producer that defies what is possible for one musician. Live he produces an organic and mesmerizing sound marrying together his love of music, nature and technology. TB fuses advanced finger style guitar techniques, wood flute, percussion and instruments of the world together with live looping and computer technology.
He has toured internationally reaching audiences in the United States, Europe, Russia, India, Canada, Mexico, Bahamas, Central and South America. As a performer for concert audiences, festivals, yoga classes or at the bedside of hospital patients, Todd invokes the feelings of nature in his melodic, and rhythmic playing to inspire and soothe his listeners.
Todd Boston’s music has been gaining popularity and recognition worldwide. His albums have received numerous nominations and awards and have been featured on radio stations internationally. His album Touched by the Sun produced with Grammy winner Will Ackerman (Windham Hill Records) was chosen Best Acoustic Instrumental Album of the Year at the 2012 ZMR Music Awards and charted #1 on the World/New Age listening charts. In 2013 Todd collaborated on Peter Kater’s Grammy nominated album Illumination and on Wouter Kellerman’s 2015 Grammy Nominated album Love’s Language. Todd Spent 2012-2013 touring with singer Snatam Kaur and Ramesh Kannan as touring bandmates.
Todd has worked and performed with Snatam Kaur, Ramesh Kannan (renown world percussionist) Tony Levin (legendary bassist of Peter Gabriel), Charlie Bisharat (Grammy Winning Violinist), Jeff Haynes (Grammy Winning Percussionist), Eugene Friesen (Grammy Winning Cellist), Deva Premal & Mitten, Manose, Tina Malia, Shimshai, Donna De Lory & Suzanne Sterling. He has performed at prominent festivals such as Wanderlust Festival Vermont and California, Earthdance, Harmony, the 2007 Mac Conference and at events featuring Joan Baez, Michael Franti, Jai Uttal, MC Yogi, Sila and the AfroFunk Experience and more. He has played at venues such as The Fillmore (SF), Marin Civic Center, XPN Studio World Cafe Live (PA) and many others.
Todd believes music is healing and continues to explore the deep relationship that exists between music and movement. He is also an educator and believes that music is an important part of our communities and offers his time to schools, hospitals, institutions, and healing centers to share and spread the powerful healing effects of music.
TODD AS A PRODUCER
Todd is a producer of World, Folk, Ambient, New Age, Contemporary Instrumental, Meditation, Indie, Rock & Pop styles. He has worked and performed with greats such as, Will Ackerman (Windham Hill), Alex Degrassi, Barbara Higbie, Michael Manring, Snatam Kaur, Ramesh Kannan, Tony Levin (legendary bassist of Peter Gabriel), Charlie Bisharat (Grammy Winning Violinist), Jeff Haynes (Grammy Winning Percussionist), Eugene Friesen (Grammy Winning Cellist), Shambhu, Jeff Oster, Tom Eaton, Deva Premal & Mitten, Manose, Tina Malia, Shimshai, Donna De Lory & more. He has performed at prominent festivals such as Wanderlust Festival, Earthdance, Harmony, the Mac Conference and at events globally.
Todd has studied North Indian Classical music with the late great maestro Ali Akbar Khan and has studied with guitar virtuoso Alex De Grassi. He spent extensive time in western music studies with Ernie Teach Chavaria (James Brown, Natalie Cole) and has studied voice with sound healing pioneer Silvia Nakkach.
Frank Martin was born and raised in Oakland, California. At age 6 his grandmother bought a piano for his eleven year old twin sisters who were interested in learning to play. “I so remember that first time touching the instrument” says Frank. “I felt an amazing connection and passion for the sound it created. It’s still the exact feeling I get each and every time I play the instrument.” He began his piano studies at age seven and in high school started his first band with school mates called “The Trend” performing for mostly school dances and eventually opening for rock bands like “Country Joe and the Fish,” “Sopwith Camel,” and the “Young Rascals.”
In the late 70’s an opportunity appeared via a recommendation by guitarist Steve Erquiaga to join the legendary alto saxophonist John Handy’s band. John was looking for a player who could play jazz, some odd time music, as well as groove music, and someone who could play keyboards and synthesizers. A perfect fit at the time given he was deep into the Minimoog, fender rhodes, and clavinet. Very shortly after that first musical meeting with John Handy, the band was in Los Angeles recording an LP for Warner Brothers Records called “Handy Dandy Man”, followed by a US Tour. That tour had them opening for artists like George Benson, Al Jarreau, and The Crusaders, to name a few.
Next came a call from fusion drummer Narada Michael Walden to join his band. He had just moved from the east coast and wanted to put a band together. The two of them got together and played for an afternoon in San Francisco and made an instant connection. Narada had recently left the Mahavishnu Orchestra, as well as Weather Report, having just recorded “Black Market”, and wanted to continue playing fusion as well as pop/rock/R&B where he could sing, as well as produce artists. That led to many records with him, as well as pop records with artists like “Sister Sledge”, Angela Bofill, George Benson, Dianna Ross, Whitney Houston, Lou Rawls, Steve Winwood, and many others. USA band tours followed, opening as well as headlining for artists such as Chaka Khan, the Brothers Johnson, Patti LaBelle, Grover Washington Jr., Dianna Ross, Peabo Bryson, Rick James, and many others.
Since 1997 he and Narada have been part of Sting’s “Rainforest Band” performing at Carnegie Hall in benefits for the Rainforest Foundation. There he has backed up countless stars including James Taylor, Billy Joel, Elton John, Madonna, Joe Cocker, Ricky Martin, Chris Botti, Zuchero, Bobby McFerrin, Tom Jones, Stevie Wonder, Brian Wilson, Gladys Knight, The Impressions, Bruce Springsteen and Percy Sledge to name a few.
For over 20 years Frank has been part of the Brazilian band the “Netoband” led by guitarist Jose Neto from Sao Paulo, Brazil. For 16 years the band was invited to play at London’s legendary “Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club”. In 2003 vocalist Patti Austin who he had been working with as her musical director, asked him to go to South Africa and put together a band of local musicians to perform a concert sponsored by the Mandela Family. “That was truly a great experience” says Frank. “The musicians there were so gracious and talented, taking me in like family and playing and singing as good if not better than Patti’s USA bands.”
Through the years he has performed with John McLaughlin, the Joe Farrell Quartet, the Richard Bona Band, Flora Purim and Airto Moriera, Robben Ford, and many others. Operating his own recording studio in San Rafael, California, he has been active in producing and arranging for many artists