Here is information about the band members. The Gordon Goodwin Little Phat Band is a collection of 9 of L.A.’s best musicians. They include Mike Rocha on trumpet, Brian Scanlon on saxophone, Francisco Torres on trombone, Gordon Goodwin on piano, Kevin Act on bass, Ray Brinker on drums, Will Brahm on guitar, Joey De Leon Jr., on percussion, and Vangie Gunn on vocals.
Gordon Goodwin is leader of both The Big Phat band, and The Little Phat Band. Goodwin is a pianist, saxophonist, composer, arranger, conductor, and teaches at The L.A. College of Music. Goodwin has won 3 Grammys, 3 Daytime Emmys and received over 20 Grammy nominations for his compositions and arrangements. Goodwin wrote his first big band chart in the 7th grade and studied music at Cal State Northridge.
Goodwin worked in the Disneyland band and wrote a Mouseketeers musical that included Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. Goodwin worked with the Louis Bellson Big Band with sax greats Pete Christlieb, and Don Menza, and also worked with musicians Les Hooper and Grant Geissman. In his Big Phat Band, Goodwin has brought together the talents of Wayne Bergeron, Eric Marienthal, and Andy Martin, and he details in his writing the adapting of old jazz tunes with a modern twist. Goodwin’s band has recorded 9 albums, and in 2012 won a Grammy for best instrumental arrangement of George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue”.
Goodwin has scored 17 films, 6 T.V. series, and has recorded/performed with Mel Torme, Ray Charles, and Christina Aguilera. Goodwin received a Grammy for best instrumental arrangement for the film “The Incredibles” among his many individual awards. Goodwin has been a guest conductor for numerous symphony orchestras, and worked with many top artists like Johnny Mathis, Patti Austin, Toni Braxton, John Williams, Natalie Cole, David Foster, Sarah Vaughn, Simone, Brian McKnight, Quincy Jones, and many others. Goodwin’s Little Phat Band is a contemporary group of great soloists that put out exhilarating sound that is accurate, fiery, and without limit of musical styles. Goodwin writes witty, intricate, hard swinging compositions that mixes swing, latin, blues, classical, and rock with jazz excellence that has great appeal. Goodwin’s band is an extension of the music of Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Buddy Rich, Thad Jones-Mel Lewis, Earth, Wind, and Fire, Tower of Power, that sounds astonishing in live performance.
Trumpeter Mike Rocha is an expert arranger, versatile performer, and meme connoisseur who plays in orchestras, cinema, clubs, and in costume singing and dancing. Rocha co-leads the Lappitt-Rocha Septet and has performed with Christina Aguilera, Bob Dylan, Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band, Jeff Bernat, Death From Above 1979, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson Ensemble, John Daversa Big Band, Geoff Strandling Large Ensemble, Alan Chan Band, and Vardan Ovsepian Chamber Ensemble. Rocha teaches at Occidental College, El Camino Community College, Haru-West High School, and Mira Costa Community College. Rocha has authored 2 books of jazz arranging for string quartet, and is an avid cook and chess player.
Saxophonist Brian Scanlon is a studio and live performer who has appeared on numerous film and T.V. show soundtracks. Scanlon has recorded with Bob Dylan, Seth McFarlane, Randy Newman, Bette Midler, Patti Austin, and Rosemary Clooney. Scanlon is the 1st Tenor saxophonist in Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band, and has performed with Alicia Keys, Tony Bennett, Dizzy Gillespie, Brad Mehldau, Michael Buble, Neil Diamond, Take 6, Barry Manilow, Dianne Reeves, John Williams, Josh Groban, Adina Menzel, Kristen Chenoweth, The L.A. Philharmonic, The Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, The Long Beach Symphony, 5 years with The Tonight Show Band, toured with Doc Severinsen and The Tonight Show Band, Ben Vereen, Natalie Cole, Maureen McGovern, Suzanne Somers, The Buddy Rich Big Band, and The Glenn Miller Band Scanlon has taught at Pepperdine University, and is a graduate of Eastman School of Music of The University of Rochester.
Trombonist Francisco Torres is an arranger, composer, and educator from Sonora, Mexico. Torres is the musical director for The Poncho Sanchez Latin Jazz Band, is a member of The Gordon Goodwin Big Phat Band, The John Beasley Monkestra, and The Clare Fischer Big Band. Torres has been a part of 3 Grammy winning recordings, and 5 Grammy and Latin Grammy nominations in producing Poncho Sanchez’ albums. Torres has recorded with over 35 notable artists, performed with dozens of top artists, and performed in many films, T.V. and award shows, and with most of L.A.’s top jazz big bands. Torres is an in-demand clinician, and has directed the Southern California High School All-Star Jazz Band. Torres began playing the trombone at the age of 15, and studied at Fullerton College and Cal State University, Long Beach . Torres currently teaches jazz trombone at Cal State University, Long Beach. Torres has played on nearly 100 recordings, and plays any genre of music. Torres, with Jose Rizo, created and conceived Jazz on the Latin Side, bringing together to perform a group of the best Latin jazz musicians in L.A.. Torres influences include jazz trombone greats Carl Fontana, Frank Rosolino, Andy Martin, Hal Crook, and latin greats Barry Rogers, Generoso Jimenez, and Leopoldo Pineda.
Bassist Kevin Axt has been a freelance musician around L.A. for nearly 40 years. Kevin began playing at the age of 13, and studied on a scholarship at U.S.C. with L.A. Philharmonic bassist, Dennis Trembley. Axt has performed, recorded, and toured with over 30 major artists, appeared on over 150 recordings, performed on dozens of theatre, film, and T.V. productions, played on 12 Grammy nominated projects, and has performed for many years with The Tierney Sutton Band.
Drummer Ray Brinker graduated from North Texas State university, and performed with their famed Grammy nominated One O’Clock Lab Band. Brinker toured with Maynard Ferguson, and has been a staple in the L.A. studio and performance scene. Brinker is a 25 year founding member of The Tierney Sutton Band for which he has co-arranged and recorded 11 CDs. The Tierney Sutton Band has received 5 consecutive Grammy nominations that Brinker has been a part of, and he received a Grammy nomination as a co-arranger for best arrangement accompanying a vocalist. Brinker is a member of The Gordon Goodwin Big Phat Band, and has performed and recorded with nearly 40 major artists, including on Ray Charles’ 8-time Grammy winning album of the year, “Genius Loves Company”. Brinker has over a dozen T.V. and film credits that include working on Clint Eastwood’s film “Sully”.
Guitarist and composer, Will Brahm, is a graduate of jazz guitar studies at Cal State University, Long Beach, where he was a 5-time K-Jazz scholarship recipient, and a semi-finalist in the 2019 Herbie Hancock International Guitar Competition. Brahm has performed with Arturo Sandoval, The New West Guitar Group, Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band, Kim Richmond, Otmaro Ruiz, Sara Gazarek, Jane Monheit, and Gretchen Parlato. Brahm has recorded 3 albums as a leader, toured the U.S. and internationally, draws his melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic playing style from a number of musical backgrounds from around the world. Classically and street-trained percussionist, Joey DeLeon Jr., has held the bongo chair for the Grammy winning Poncho Sanchez Latin Jazz Band for the last 5 years, and is now the band’s timbalero and drummer.
DeLeon received his classical percussion performance degree from The Manhattan School of Music. DeLeon comes from a percussion family that has a legacy of well known musicians in the latin music scene. Deleon’s father was a founding member of a band that was pivotal in the N.Y. City Salsa, Bobby Rodriguez Y LA Compania. DeLeon’s uncle, Santos Mirania, was his family’s first true all-around percussionist. DeLeon works with Arturo Sandoval’s L.A. All-Star Big Band, and his West Coast Sextet, and Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band. DeLeon has performed and recorded with Alex Acuna, Francisco Aquabella, Kevin Eubanks, Dean Brown, Robbie Williams, Al McKay of Earth, Wind, and Fire, Strunz and Farah, The Spanish Harlem Orchestra, Joan Sebastian, Juan Gabriel, Bill Cunliffe, Chante Moore, Al Jarreau, Queen Latifah, The Lucky 7 Mambo, and many others.
Vangie Gunn is a professional singer who has years of experience singing and performing in film, and commercial recordings in Southern California. Gunn is the talented and versatile lead vocalist for Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band, and has appeared as a vocalist and actress combined, in 15 films.