Eric Boeren was born in Baarle-Nassau, Netherlands on August 22, 1959. And started out playing euphonium and tuba in the Ulicoten fan fair. He took workshops with Arnold Dooijeweerd in the Bimhuis, from which the Amsterdam Creative Ensemble originated.
In 1983 Eric replaced trumpeter Jimmy Sernesky in the group Available Jelly, for which he also composed. In the Eighties he was part of several groups with Maarten Altena, Kenny Wheeler, Willem van Manen, JC Tans, Sean Bergin, and by the end of the decade joined Ab Baars and Paul Termos.
1990 saw Boeren joining Michiel Braam’s Bik Bent Braam, an association that continues today. In 1993, he founded his first group as a leader, Specs, which was short-lived. During the 1990s he played with Franky Douglas, Martin van Duynhoven, and Guus Janssen.
In 1995 he organized a series of PH31 concerts in Amsterdam with his trio trio comprised of Michael Vatcher and Wilbert de Joode. He enlisted another saxophone to play Ornette Coleman’s early quartet music. He also played Coleman’s music in the Bimhuis with the eleven-member band Go Dutch. He founded the Quartet Boers! That later became the Eric Boeren 4tet. His love for Coleman’s music resulted in two CDs – Cross Breeding and Joy of a Toy.
Boeren went on to play into the new millennium with the band NEWS with Cor Fuhler, bassist Nate McBride and drummer Mike Reed, and the quintet HO & I, that included Douglas and Paul Pallesen. Trumpeter Eric Boeren is one of the initiators of the music collective foundation dOeK (De Exercise de Kunst) and he currently performs, records and tours with his quartet Boerenbond, features Peter Evans, Tobias Delius and Jason Adasiewicz.
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Addison Farmer was born August 21, 1928 an hour after his twin brother, in Council Bluffs, Iowa reportedly at 2201 Fourth Avenue. Their parents divorced when the boys were four, and their steelworker father was killed in a work accident not long after this. He moved with his grandfather, grandmother, mother, brother and sister to Phoenix, Arizona when he was four.
Addison and his brother moved to Los Angeles, California in 1945 and attended the music-oriented Jefferson High School, where they got music instruction and met other developing musicians such as Sonny Criss, Ernie Andrews, Big Jay McNeely, and Ed Thigpen. They brothers earned money by working in a cold-storage warehouse and by playing professionally. He went on to take bass lessons from Fred Zimmermann, and studied at Juilliard and the Manhattan School of Music.
By late 1945, Farmer was with Johnny Alston and His Orchestra recording for the Bihari Brothers’ Modern Music label, backing Jeanne De Metz. Shortly afterwards he recorded on the Blue Moon label with Al “Cake” Wichard and King Fleming and worked with Teddy Edwards’s band. He played and recorded in several groups with his brother and in ensembles led by Benny Golson, Gigi Gryce, Mose Allison, Jay McShann, Charlie Parker, Gene Ammons, Bob Brookmeyer, curtis Fuller, Hampton Hawes, Curtis Fuller, Stan Getz, Teo Macero, Sahib Shihab, Mal Waldron and Miles Davis.
Bassist Addison Farmer recorded extensively for the jazz label Prestige before passing away suddenly from bed death on February, 20, 1963 in New York City at the age of 34.
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John Lee Clayton Jr. was born on August 20, 1952 in Venice, California. He began seriously undertaking the study of double bass at age 16, studying with bassist Ray Brown. By age 19, he had become a bassist on Henry Mancini’s television series The Mancini Generation. He later graduated in 1975 from Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music with a degree in bass performance.
He toured with the Monty Alexander Trio and the Count Basie Orchestra before becoming the principal bass in the Amsterdam Philharmonic Orchestra in the Netherlands. Returning to the States after five years and moved towards jazz and jazz composition. Shortly after his return he founded the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra with his saxophonist brother Jeff Clayton and drummer Jeff Hamilton. He and his brother also founded The Clayton Brothers which has featured instrumentalists such as Bill Cunliffe and Terell Stafford.
Clayton has composed and/or arranged for The Count Basie Orchestra, Diana Krall, Whitney Houston, Carmen McRae, Nancy Wilson, Joe Williams, Ernestine Anderson, Quincy Jones, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Natalie Cole, Till Bronner, and The Tonight Show Band. He won a Grammy for Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s): “I’m Gonna Live Till I Die” (Queen Latifah) and was nominated for Best Jazz Instrumental Album, Individual or Group for Brother To Brother by The Clayton Brothers.
From 1999 to 2001 he served as Artistic Director of the Jazz for the Los Angeles Philharmonic program at the Hollywood Bowl, has conducted the All-Alaska Jazz Band and and has been president over the International Society of Bassists. In addition to performing, bassist John Clayton currently serves as Artistic Director for the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival, Sarasota Jazz Festival, Santa Fe Jazz Party, Jazz Port Townsend Summer Workshop, and Vail Jazz Workshop. He is also an educator, teaching at the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music.
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Peter Leitch was born August 19, 1944 in Montreal, Canada. He has recorded seventeen albums as a leader and was a sideman with Oscar Peterson, Woody Shaw and Dominique Eade. He performed with Kirk Lightsey, Rufus Reid, Al Grey, Jeri Brown, Pepper Adams and Pete Yellin.
During his career he was nominated for a Juno Award for Best Traditional Jazz Album of the Year. He has written an autobiography, Off the Books, giving a real, raw, look at the life of a musician playing creative music. In addition to his music he became a very talented photographer with a number of exhibitions of his work.
Prior to his retirement due to medical issues on July 21, 2015, guitarist Peter Leitch was an educator who taught privately for a number of years.
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The Jazz Voyager is up in the air once again flying to the Keystone state to partake of the ambience and jazz being served up at the Lafayette Bar. feeling adventurous, as I always am, I have my Uber drop me off a few blocks from the venue and investigate the neighborhood. I’ll follow the directions to take a walk north on 4th past the doors to the hotel lobby and make a right on the other side of the coffee shop sign and you’ve arrived at the double grey doors of 15 N 4th Street, Easton, Pennsylvania 18042.
This well-worn venue is known for jazz hosts a laid-back, receptive crowd and features local, emerging and renowned musicians and I will be seated on the 19th in prime position to enjoy Jeff “Tain” Watts perform. They say it’s an American dive, just the kind of spot that brings good people together.
Shows start at 9:30pm and run to midnight often offering up two sets but sometimes a third set squeezes in. Free of cover and minimum but you must be 21+ and able to show identification to enter and drink. As always, for more information the number is 610-252-0711.