Grammy award winning pianist Bill Cunliffe and his talented sextet will perform the music of George Shearing on the Latin side with an all-star line-up that includes Brandon Fields on saxophone, Andy Martin on trombone, Oscar Cartaya on bass, Nick Mancini on vibes, and Dick Weller on drums.
Bill Cunliffe is a Grammy award winning jazz pianist, multi-band leader, arranger, composer, and winner of The 1989 Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Piano Competition. Bill has authored 5 jazz educational books, teaches at Cal State University, Fullerton, and has been active on the jazz scene for over 40 years. Originally from Massachusetts, Bill grew up on classical and jazz oriented music as well as playing in rock and roll bands. Bill was drawn to hip harmonies and melodies from the music of the 1960’s and 1970’s from performers like The 5th Dimension, Burt Bacharach, and Herb Alpert.
Bill graduated from Phillips Academy in 1974, attended Wesleyan University, and listening to Oscar Peterson made him a jazz player overnight. Bill went on to study with pianist Mary Lou Williams and graduated from Duke University, and later received a masters degree at Eastman School of Music. From there Bill taught at Central State University in Ohio, and eventually went on the road with The Buddy Rich Big Band where he worked with Frank Sinatra. Bill also was the house pianist at The Greenwich Tavern in Cincinnati where he worked with jazz musicians Woody Shaw, Joe Henderson, Freddie Hubbard, Benny Golson, and James Moody. Moving to L.A., Bill won The Thelonious Monk Piano Competition, judged by piano greats Hal Galper, Ahmad Jamal, and Barry Harris. Bill worked with Buell Neidlinger’s group “Thelonious”, worked and recorded with The Clayton-Hamilton Orchestra, The Clayton Brothers, Holly Hofmann, Ray Brown, Jim Hershman, Jeff Hamilton, Darek Oles, Joe La Barbera, Bob Sheppard, Clay Jenkins, A Latin octet, and made a big band tribute to Oliver Nelson and Oscar Peterson. Bill has composed numerous works for big band, orchestras, chamber groups, The Cincinnati Pops, The Illinois Philharmonic, The Reading Symphony, The Rio Hondo Symphony, The Manhattan School Of Music Symphony, Temple University, Cal State Fullerton Symphony, and The Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra. Bill has written for T.V. and Film, including Kareem Abdul Jabbar’s documentary film, “On The Shoulders Of Giants”. Bill has also taught at The Musicians Institute in Hollywood, Cal State University, Northridge, U.S.C. Temple University, The Skidmore Institute, The Vail Jazz Workshop, and is the composer-in-residence at The All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena. Bill is active as a soloist with symphonies, leading his own trio, big band, Latin jazz group, and classical-jazz ensemble. Bill has made 25 recordings as a leader, has nearly 350 music credits, has 7 major music award nominations, and has won 4 major music awards.
Saxophonist Brandon Fields haas been performing, recording, and touring in the music scene for nearly 40 years with musicians like George Benson, Kenny Loggins, Barry Manilow, Tower Of Power, Earth, Wind, and Fire, Elton John, Quincy Jones, Nancy Wilson, Jewel, B.B. King, EverClear, Bonnie Raitt, Alex Acuna, David Benoit, Luis Conte, Terrence Trent D’Arby, Neil Larson, B. Meyers, Alphonse Mouzon, Ricky Peterson, Tom Petty, Phil Upchurch, BabyFace, Toto, Luther Vandross, Luis Miguel, Al Jarreau, Robben Ford, Bobby Caldwell, Los Lobotomys, The Rippingtons, Nancy Sinatra, George Duke, Stanley Clarke, The Temptations, Buzz Feiten, Michael McDonald, Randy Newman, Neil Diamond, Kenny Rogers, David Garfield, Lionel Ritchie, Queen Latifah, Rob Thomas, Engelbird Humperdink, Harry Connick Jr., O.D.B. and Dave Weckl. Brandon has played on 7 featured film soundtracks, recorded on the 2002 Grammy award winning Latin music album of the year for Alejandsro Sanz Y Solo Seme Occurre Amarte, and on Ray Charles Multi-Grammy award winning album, “Genius Love Company”. Brandon is an active teacher at premier music camps and schools around the world, has recorded 7 albums as a leader, and has over 700 music credits.
Trombonist Andy Martin’s technique and virtuosity has established him as a premier musician who has influenced countless young musicians, and he has appeared at many colleges and universities as a guest artist and clinician. Andy is a world class musician who has recorded 12 albums as a leader/co-leader, and has collaborated with jazz artists like Carl Fontana, Pete Christlieb, Bobby Shew, Eric Marienthal, Stanley Turrentine, Horace Silver, Vic Lewis, Gordon Goodwin, Tom Kubis, Bill Holman, Jack Sheldon, Louie Bellson, Quincy Jones, Matt Cattingub, Bob Curnow, Patrick Williams, Sammy Nestico, Dick Berk, Lou Rawls, Dave Grusin, Clare Fischer, Frank Capp, Bill Berry, Dave Pell, and many others. Andy is one of L.A.’s most prominent trombonists for commercial recordings, T.V., Motion Pictures soundtracks, and live theatre. Andy has recorded with popular artists like the Pussy Cat Dolls, ColdPlay, Michael Buble, Prince, Neil Diamond, Lionel Ritchie, and others. Andy’s T.V. credits include performing at the Grammys Awards, The Emmys Awards, The Academy Awards, The Golden Globes Awards, and The Screen Actors Guild Award Shows. Andy has been a regular performer on popular live and recorded T.V. shows, and Andy has performed on over 210 film soundtracks, over 110 T.V. soundtracks, over 300 albums as a sideman, and has over 475 music credits. Andy became an honorary member in 2018 of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia at The National Convention in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Bassist Oskar Cartaya is a composer, arranger, and musical director whose musical influences are a mix from the music of Puerto Rico, N.Y. and L.A. Oskar has worked with Stevie Winwood, Spyro Gyra, Herb Alpert, Jennifer Lopez, Celia Cruz, Ruben Blades, Tito Puente, Robbie Robertson,Willie Colon, Dave Valentin, Tito Nieves, Pete Escovedo, Andre Crouch, Juan Gabriel, Shiela E., Rumbanela, Justin Timberlake, Wayne Brady, Playing For Change, Gilberto Santarosa, All 4 One, Wynona Judd, Jonathan Butler, Giovanni Hildago, Bobby Allende, Alex Acuna, and Marc Quinones. Oskar has produced recordings, live concerts, worked on T.V. show housebands, movie soundtracks, and has played on Grammy award winning albums with Arturo Sandoval, Willie Colon, and Spyro Gyra. Oskar’s group “Enclave”, is a mix of gumbo jazz, funk, Afro-Caribbean percussion and urban street soul attitude. Oskar has over 120 music credits.
Vibist Nick Mancini is a composer, arranger, and educator who has played professionally since the age of 15. Nick received a music degree from Crane School of Music at Suny Potsdam, and a masters degree from Manhattan School of Music on The Prestigious President’s Award Scholarship. Nick received the Best Jazz Percussionist Award(For Vibes) from Drum Magazine, and has worked with Arturo Sandoval, Peter Erskine, Poncho Sanchez, Solange, Kenny Werner, Amos Lee, Jennifer Holliday, Kamasi Washington, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, and Ben Wendel. Nick has performed at The Apollo Theatre, Birdland Jazz Club, Joe’s Pub, and many L.A. Jazz venues and festivals around the world. Nick teaches at Cal State University, Long Beach, and at The Thelonious Monk Institute. Nick has 5 recordings as a leader.
Drummer Dick Weller is an electrifying musician who is versatile, hard driving, and plays in a solid groove. Dick has worked with Billy Vaughn, Percy Faith, The L.A. 6, Ladd McIntosh, Alan Pasqua, Bob Sheppard, John Beasley, Alphonse Johnson, Jeff Beal, Bob Florence, Judy Niemack, Fred Hersch, Phil Norman, The Weller Brothers and many others. Dick teaches at State University Of N.Y. At Purchase, and at Cal State University, Northridge. Dick has performed with most of L.A.’s top jazz artists, and has recorded 4 albums as a leader/co-leader. Dick has over 50 music credits.