Daniel Vee Lewis has played bass with the Jive Hounds, co-founded Dream Beach with Pipa Pinon, and has also been gigging with the popular Bay Area band Joint Chiefs. While with World Entertainment War, the late impresario Bill Graham said of Daniel: “You’ve got that Animal Juju thing when you play” after which he signed a recording and performing contract with Bill Graham Productions and MCA Records. The “animal juju thing” is what prompted Daniel’s vision to create his band currently on the scene called Locomotive Breath.
A pioneer of the world beat movement from the late 70s, Gary Regina performs all over the United States and Australia, focusing on his multi-instrumental solo performance, which utilizes looping technology. Playing a wide variety of instruments, Gary creates unique soundscapes of trip-hop, world and ambient music. Gary has a unique melodic sensibility that song writers, musicians and audiences absolutely love. As is always the case for those in the audience when Gary plays, your ears will have a hard time reconciling what they hear with what your eyes see. In addition to his involvement with the Tom Ralston band, Gary will be playing with The Temptations this year.
Jennifer Cass has degrees in music from the Eastman School of Music and in mathematics from UCSC. Ms. Cass has performed with UCSC and Cabrillo ensembles, Santa Cruz New Music Works, and has been a featured soloist with Ensemble Monterey, with whom she performed at Carnegie Hall. She has been an occasional harpist for the San Jose, Santa Cruz County and Monterey County Symphonies, San Jose Chamber Orchestra and for the Cabrillo Music Festival. She appears on recordings celebrating the works of Germaine Tailleferre, Lou Harrison, and Barry Phillips.
It’s probably safe to say a great many of you reading this have had the distinct pleasure of attending San Francisco’s record-setting musical review, Beach Blanket Babylon. One of the standout vocalists in that ground-breaking production was Jennifer Karno, the newest member of the Tom Ralston ensemble. If you were to ask Jen when her career as a vocalist began, she would tell you she can’t remember a time in her life when she was not singing. In addition to being in the cast of Beach Blanket Babylon, Jennifer has appeared in the Diablo Light Company production of Evita, and Billy Elliot the musical. She was also a member of Vocolot, an award-winning world music accappella quartet, and has been a soloist with the Cabrillo Big Band. In addition to contributing her considerable vocal skills to the Tom Ralston Band, Jennifer currently also sings jazz and swing music in the Bay Area.
Jimmy Norris has been one of the most notable and celebrated drummers in the Santa Cruz music scene sine 1974.
He recorded and played with FlybyNight, Larry Hosford, Snail, Humans, Joe Richards, and Jano Brindisi.
Jimmy joined Lacy J Dalton in ’83, and toured with her band to celebrated venues venues like Radio City Music Hall. He recorded with her intermittently through the 90”s. Also in the 90’s, Jimmy has recorded and/or played with Pipa Piñon and Daniel Lewis, Dreambeach, Dresden, Olatunji, and Ariel Thiermann. Currently recording and playing with Henhouse, Yuji Tojo, Carolyn Sills Combo, Keith Grenninger, Sharon Allen and Dusty Boots, The Messiahs, Christie McCarthy… And of course, Tom Ralston.
Ken Harrill studied music at Dick Grove school of music in Los Angeles, and has been giving guitar lessons for over 30 years. Ken played samples for Playstation’s Guitar Hero, and was a performing artist on the Two Moon Junction movie soundtrack. He has performed with Narada Michael Walden (who wrote sound tracks for The Body Guard/Whitney Houston), Greg Phillinganes, Patti Austin, Dennis Chambers, Little Anthony and the Imperials, Booker T, Clarence Clemens, Neil Young, Vince Neil, of Motley Crue, Eric Martin (Mr. Big), of Sly and the Family Stone, Tony Lindsay, of Santana, and members of Tower of Power.
Kristin Garbeff, cellist, received her Master of Music degree at the Longy School of Music. She is is a versatile chamber, solo and orchestral musician, and has performed with many groups in the San Francisco and Monterey Bay areas, including the Monterey Symphony, Santa Cruz Symphony, West Bay Opera, New Music Works, and Hidden Valley String Orchestra. Kristin is a member of the Bridge Piano Quartet. She has collaborated with indie band Blue Rabbit, Kenny Shick, Jenn Grinels, and the Thriving Artists organization.
Originally from Hawaii, Lisa Taylor has not looked back since she started performing at the age of 10. After moving to Santa Cruz, California, Lisa quickly built a name for herself through her solo work and as lead vocalist for her band Soul City. Currently, Lisa is very proud to be a lead vocalist in the celebrated When Doves Cry- The Prince Tribute Show. She has toured internationally as lead vocalist in acts that opened for the likes of Ghostface, Tech Nine, and Diego Garcia. Lisa’s album “Let Love Shine” was a best seller on a number of top distribution sites. And her single “Shy Gurl” was released in 2015. Lisa is currently collaborating with London recording artist Kejam.
Percussion artist, vocalist and drummer, Gary Kehoe has been drumming at the forefront of the world music scene throughout Santa Cruz and the Bay Area for decades, and his experience and energy are a constant inspiration to all who attend his performances. Gary studied music with the groundbreaking world music, improvisational group Oregon for three summers at the Naropa Institute in the late 70’s. Gary has played with many Bay Area groups, including Special Fun, Santa Cruz Steel, Sol Circle, master drummer Babatunde Olatunji, RCA Recording Artists Opa Fire, Sol Caribe, Chi Mizu, and The Banana Slug String Band and many others.
A fourth generation Santa Cruzan, Tom Ralston went to Holy Cross school and began writing poetry in second grade. Tom was frequently singing and mimicking songs from his older brother’s albums featuring artists like Elvis, Del Shannon, Bobby Vee, Bobby Darin and Frankie Valle. Tom took up guitar in 8th grade and would “noodle” on piano but not formally. After college Tom began casually writing songs (but not seriously). He played in the infamous band The Westside Raiders who had such a raucous following that instead of making promised money gigs, performances usually ended up costing the band money for property damages.
In 2004 Tom began writing songs in earnest and had his first CD release party for his CD, “Ruminations”, at the Kuumbwa Jazz Center in 2015. Tom continues his song writing in earnest and his second CD Nomads and Nightingales: Wake Up! is being released at Laurence Bedford’s Rio Theater in December 2017.
Shannon Delaney D’Antonio, violin, grew up in Northern Virginia, beginning as a Suzuki student and later studying with members of the National Symphony Orchestra. She holds a B.A. degree in Violin Performance from Stanford University. She also holds an M.A. degree in Education from UCSC. Shannon performs regularly with several local ensembles including Espressivo, Ensemble Monterey Chamber Orchestra, Santa Cruz Chamber Players, Santa Cruz New Music Works, Monterey Pops, and Cabrillo Stage. Shannon also played @ the Carnegie Hall in the summer of 2017 with the Ensemble Monterey.
When Brian started playing trombone his arm wasn’t long enough to reach the end so he needed an extension. He played through school and then played in the US Army band for 9-years. During that time Brian played for two Sitting US Presidents, two former US Presidents, and various Governors, Senators, and Foreign heads of state. He played in England, Germany, Spain and all over the United States. Brian got out of the Army 27 years ago and stayed in Monterey. He has played at the Monterey Jazz Festival three times. For the past 2-years Brian has been touring with the Glenn Miller Band.
Trumpet player Nick Bianchini grew up playing music at Westlake Elementary school in Santa Cruz, and has continued to this day. He played in the Santa Cruz Youth Symphony, Kuumbwa Jazz Honor Band, and San Francisco Jazz All-Stars. Nick studied at the prestigious Berklee School of Music in Boston, and later went on to USC’s Thornton School of Music and the Bob Cole Conservatory in Long Beach. Playing professionally, Nick has toured the US and Europe with a number of different bands. He is now helping inspire the next generation of musicians, just as he was once inspired, by teaching locally at Branciforte Middle School and Harbor High.
Jeffery Jay Luhn is a photographer, videographer and jazz musician. After earning a music degree he completed B.A. programs in Photography and World History. Jeffery makes his living working with corporations in over 35 countries, but has the most fun photographing and playing with fellow musicians. www.LuhnPhoto.com
Justin Mayer recorded his own compositions in the mid-1970s using one of the first 8-track reel-to-reel tape recorders. When friends asked him to record their music too, he put a window into a wall in his cabin on Bear Creek Road and transformed it into a studio. Word got out, and in 1979 Bear Creek Recording Studio was born. Over the last 38 years, Justin has enjoyed recording a large variety of styles from reggae to classical, Irish reels to rock ballads. He has recorded Bo Diddley and David Lindley, produced award-winning music for Martin Simpson, and served as “the ears of Gourd Music,” bringing out the sublime beauty of acoustic performances by Barry and Shelley Phillips and William Coulter.