Outstanding Bay Area Musicians

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Charlie Hadenfeldt, Barbara Hadenfeldt, Karen Horner Cullen, Benny Watson

As the BabShad Jazzz Quartet, Barbara and Charles perform with outstanding Bay Area musicians, including the following:

Pianist Benny Watson’s latest CD, entitled Singer~Songwriter, includes a BabShad Jazzz favorite tune, “Brief History of Modern Love.” Check out his site at http://www.myspace.com/bennywatsonjazz.  Benny has vast experience accompanying such Bay Area jazz vocalists as Sony Holland, Darlene Langston, Mary Stallings, Kenny Washington, and Shanna Carlson. 

Carla Kaufman is an active bassist in the Bay Area.  As a “sideman” she has played with many great musicians including Calvin Keys, Mike Greensill, Wesla Whitfield, Ed Reed, Clark Terry, Frank Morgan, Vernelle Anders, Dianne Witherspoon,  Eddie Duran,  Davis Ramey, Ylonda Nickell, John Nichols, Frankye Kelley, Donald “Duck” Bailey, Ed Kelly, Smiley Winters, Jules Broussard, Noel Jewkes, Pete Yellin, Vince Lateano,  Pete Magadini, Benny Watson, David Udolf, Eddie Marshall, Denise Perrier, Frank Jackson, Kenny Washington, and many  more.   She has also played in the California Symphony, The Women’s Philharmonic, Berkeley Symphony and other orchestras and big bands.

 Karen Horner Cullen is a strong advocate of arts education, and currently teaches vocal and instrumental music in public schools, in addition to performing.  She holds a Master’s degree in doublebass performance from the University of Wisconsin, where she worked with jazz great Richard Davis as his graduate teaching assistant. She has recorded at Fantasy and Lucas Ranch studios and has performed in top national and international venues in a variety of genres.  “Karen is a solid sender and a marvelous improviser – she swings to beat the band,” says Don Burnham, leader of Lost Weekend Western Swing Band.

Pianist Andy Ostwald has performed/recorded with the Cartoon Jazz Septet, with Jacqui Naylor, and with the Peck Almond Group, and has toured extensively with Diane Witherspoon. He teaches at Oaktown Jazz Workshops and at his home studio in Oakland. His book/CD series, “Play Jazz, Blues, Rock Piano by Ear,” has received enthusiastic reviews in Keyboard Magazine, American Music Teacher Journal, and California Music Teacher.

Pianist Walter Bankovitch has appeared with Stan Getz, John Lee Hooker, Bobby Shew, Rebecca Parris, and Bobby Hutcherson. He is extensively involved with the San Francisco Bay Area vocal jazz community as the accompanist for the Oakland Jazz Choir and for the Contra Costa College jazz vocal ensembles. Walter is no stranger to the recording studio, having contributed piano and keyboard work, compositions, arrangements, and an occasional voice track to over a dozen album and demo projects with blues bands, vocal ensembles, and instrumental ensembles.

Si Perkoff has been a pianist/vocalist and composer in the Bay Area jazz scene since the sixties, when he was house pianist at the legendary Bop City. He has led combos featuring many of our finest local musicians and has been sideman in groups including national stars of jazz. He teaches jazz piano theory and technique and earlier taught jazz piano at Sonoma State University. Si has played many festivals nationwide with The Chicago Six band based in Southern California. He is the pianist with the Mike Vax Big Band and pianist and musical director for Monk’s Music Trio. He leads his own modern be-bop trio and frequently performs with his son Max Perkoff’s Jazz Ensemble. For a list of recordings, festivals, musical collaborators, and gigs, see Si Perkoff’s Jazz Webpage: www.siperkpoff.com.

Paul Smith is the bassist for the Berkeley-based FivePlay Jazz Quintet, with three albums to their credit, and for Tony Corman’s big band, Morphestra. Paul and his wife Sheila had a seven-month gig in Rio de Janeiro during the golden era of Musica Popular Brasileira (MPB). They met while performing with Moacir Santos (“the Ellington of Brazil”) in Hollywood, where Paul also played with Willie Bobo’s Latin jazz group. He currently plays old-time jazz with Mal Sharpe’s Big Money in Jazz, and in a Brazilian jazz quartet at San Francisco’s Club Deluxe.

Guitarist Bob Brumbeloe’s playing demonstrates an impeccable command of the guitar, seasoned with taste and a playful sense of musical humor. He has played every major venue in the San Francisco Bay area, including Yoshi’s and Kimball’s East. He has performed with internationally known jazz recording artists including Bud Shank, James Moody and John Handy.  When he’s not performing or composing, Bob has worked as an educator with Jazz Education Friends, a non-profit organization that presents jazz to disadvantaged young children and teens. He has been a guest instructor at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and the San Francisco University High School. He was an instructor at the Yamaha music school and continues to give private lessons.

David Slusser is a multi-talented jazz artist and composer who often performs with BabShad Jazzz on flute and sax.  Slusser’s group Avant Gardeners was the house band for jam sessions at the old Yoshi’s on Claremont Avenue in Oakland, and he was a regular performer at Beanbenders in Berkeley in the 1990s.  His own jazz group Rubber City performs locally and has released several CDs including Trouble in Tiretown.  The band name and the album title refer to Akron, Ohio, the tire-manufacturing capital where Slusser was born.  In 1977 he and his wife moved to the Bay Area to find a scene more hospitable to the free jazz he was playing and composing in Cleveland.  Happily, Dave is now a pillar of the local jazz scene.

Guitarist Dave Bell is a Berklee College of Music grad who has toured extensively with Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks and performs with various jazz and blues groups around the San Francisco Bay area.  He is the owner of Bellboy Recording in Richmond, California, where he has engineered and produced since 1994.

Sue Crosman is a professional jazz pianist with many years of experience playing in jazz venues throughout the world. She has played solo and with many trios and combos. Her combination of knowledge, technique, experience, and personality makes her a sought-after music teacher in the Bay Area. Sue currently performs at Original Joe’s and Les Joulins Bistro in San Francisco; Marin Joe’s in Corte Madera; and Sand Dollar Restaurant in Stinson Beach.  She is a volunteer pianist for Bread & Roses.  Recently she toured Alaska and the Caribbean with Princess Cruise Lines, and performed in the Cat Cora Lounge at the San Francisco International Airport.

Renowned composer/arranger/ musician Robin Lewis has played his seven-string guitar on several nationwide tours, at many West Coast jazz festivals, and at prominent Bay Area jazz venues (Yoshi’s, The Fillmore, The Jazzschool).  Robin is in demand as an accompanist to many top jazz vocalists including Jenna Mammina, Shanna Carlson, and Maria Marquez.

Guitarist Bob Calo left a career in network news production to teach journalism at UC Berkeley and pursue his passion for jazz guitar.  A lyrical, expressive guitarist, Bob has played with the Marin Jazztet and other local groups. 

Bassist Dan Keller has played most jazz venues in the Bay Area, including all the Cafes and Caffes (Claude, de la Presse, Trieste, du Nord and Bastille), Savannah Jazz, Shanghai 1930, the Cliff House, and the Plush Room, even Marin Joe’s.  For two decades he has accompanied divas including Berkeley Jazzschool’s Laura Antonioli, Rhonda Benin, Brenda Boykin, Lavay Smith, Kim Nalley, and many, many more.  You can check out his website at http://www.jazz.keller.com/resume.html.

Bassist and tenor sax player Jeff Silberman came to the San Francisco scene in the early ‘70s, playing sax with many notable Latin jazz/rock musicians. After a stint as a music teacher at San Francisco’s Mission High, he put his sax in the closet for 30 years while building a career in another field.  He played bass for five years with many Bay Area groups, including BabShad Jazzz, before switching to sax and forming his own group, the Jeff Silberman Jazztet.