Friday 8th February - Saturday 9th February
Dizzy Gillespie was introduced to Chano Pozo in 1947 by Mario Bauza. Both became life-long friends and Dizzy and Chano Pozo developed Afro-Cuban jazz, which became extremely successful, atrtracting people to dance to its unique rhythms. Gillespie's most famous contributions to Afro-Cuban music are the compositions “Manteca” and "Tin Tin Deo".
Machito’s Afro Cubans (formed in 1940), the creators of Cu-Bop, were a major influence on musicians like Dizzy Gillespie. Dizzy loved it so much, that in 1975, he invited Machito’s son, Mario Grillo or Machito Jr., to join Dizzy’s band for the recording of ‘Afro-Cuban Jazz Moods’.
So it only makes sense to have him join the Dizzy Gillespie™ Afro Cuban Experience under the direction of John Lee, Dizzy’s long-time bassist, and the director of the Dizzy Gillespie™ Big Band.
Five-year-old Mario Grillo learned to play the timbales during the summer of 1961, with lessons from Uba Nieto, then returned to New York with his father's band and played his first gig, taking a single timbales solo at the Palladium Ballroom while standing on a chair next to Tito Puente. After his father’s death, Mario carried forward the legacy by leading The Machito Orchestra. He also brought to life The Big 3 Palladium Orchestra, an homage to the Mambo Kings – Machito, Tito Puente and Tito Rodríguez – the three legendary bandleaders who transformed the US music scene, featuring himself and Tito Rodríguez Jr.
Bassist, composer, educator and producer, John enrolled at the Philadelphia Musical Academy in 1970. During this period he began appearing in New York City, working with the bands of Carlos Garnett, Joe Henderson and Pharoah Sanders.
In 1972, John was hired as bassist for the Max Roach Quartet. Later that year he moved to Europe for a stay that would last until 1974. During this period, he worked and recorded with Gary Bartz, Philip Catherine, Joe Henderson, Chris Hinze, Jasper Van'T Hof, Joachim Kuhn, Charlie Mariano and Toots Thielemans. In 1982, John joined the McCoy Tyner Quintet, where he worked until joining The Dizzy Gillespie Group in 1984. John was a member of Dizzy's various bands including the Dizzy Gillespie Quintet, the 70th Anniversary Big Band and the United Nation Orchestra until 1992 when Dizzy became ill. As of present, John is producing and writing as well as working with the Dizzy Gillespie Alumni All-Stars, Dizzy Gillespie Big Band, Sonny Rollins, Jon Faddis, Slide Hampton, Claudio Roditi, Gregory Hines, and the Fantasy Band, a group formed with Chuck Loeb, Marion Meadows and Dave Samuels. He is also the program director for "DIZZY™: The Man and the Music", the official concert and clinic program celebrating the life and work of John Birks "Dizzy" Gillespie.
Trumpeter Freddie Hendrix describes growing up in Teaneck, New Jersey as “survival of the fittest.” Perhaps this experience is what gave him his fierce drive; he practices for at least four hours a day and, at 33, already has a lifetime worth of accomplishments with five albums as a sideman for George Benson, Bradford Hayes, Melvin Davis, New Jersey City University Jazz Ensemble, and most recently Rufus Reid. Hendrix has been dedicated to his instrument since age 12. “The sound went through me, I had a spiritual connection,” he told the Newark Star-Ledger, describing his first encounter with the trumpet. “Today, it’s the sound, the feeling that overcomes me when I play. It makes me feel whole.”
"Since his arrival in New York in 2005, Israeli guitarist Yotam Silberstein has made an impact on the scene with his precision bebop lines and fleet-fingered improvisations." JazzTimes
In only seven years since landing in New York, internationally-acclaimed guitarist Yotam has earned a well-deserved spot among the Jazz elite by collaborating with legendary musicians such as James Moody, The Heath Brothers, Paquito D'Rivera, Monty Alexander, Roy Hargrove, and the Dizzy Gillespie Alumni All-Stars.
Whether playing straight ahead jazz, modern, Brazilian, world music, blues or bebop, Yotam's performances receive rave reviews from critics and fans alike. Performing with the world's premiere artists has allowed Yotam to learn from the masters and hone his incredible talent. Now, at age 31, his skills are polished, his career is skyrocketing, and critics agree that Yotam is poised for a stellar future.
Tommy Campbell grew up outside of Philadelphia in a musical environment. His father was an organist and singer, and his uncle is Jimmy Smith, the renowned Hammond B-3 ace. Reminiscing, Tommy says, "I was surrounded by music and drummers from the time I was two years old. My father and drummer Mickey Roker would rehearse at our house a lot, and whenever Uncle Jimmy had a new record he was releasing, he'd come over with a prerelease copy. We would all sit and listen to it together as a family. I used to play along with those records for hours."
Tommy recently returned from living in Tokyo, Japan for 13 years. He has also lived in Paris,France for several years in the 80's, and these days has friends all over the world.
He attended the Berklee College of Music, the international center for education in professional music renowned for its acclaimed Jazz faculty, where he majored in instrumental performance (1975~79) , and then after years of touring with Jazz legends, returned as a professor of percussion 1985~88, and received the Distinguished Alumni Award in 1998.
He has been inspired by legendary drummers such as the late great Buddy Rich, Billy Cobham, Max Roach, the late great Art Blakey, and the late great Tony Williams and has earned himself a well-deserved reputation as one of Jazz's leading talents.
He has performed as a *regular member with Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins, John McLaughlin, The Manhattan Transfer, Kevin Eubanks, Jimmy Smith, Stanley Jordan, Tania Maria, Gary Burton, the Mingus Big Band, and a host of other Jazz greats.