Dave Cliff was born David John Cliff on June 25, 1944 in Hexham, Northumberland, United Kingdom. He began his music career playing rhythm and blues in the Newcastle area. In 1967 he matriculated through Leeds College of Music with a degree in jazz studies, while studying with bassist Peter Ind and Bernie Cash.
Moving to London, England in 1971 Cliff established himself on the local scene and during 1976-1977 he toured Holland, Denmark, Italy and the UK with the Lee Konitz/Warne Marsh Quintet. The following year he toured the UK with the Soprano Summit alongside Kenny Davern and Bob Wilber. From the 1980s on he worked increasingly as a freelance.
His debut album as a leader was The Right Time, recorded in 1987, featured alto saxophonist Geoff Simkins and was the first of a number of albums with Simkins, with whom he has collaborated extensively.Dave has also recorded with Warne Marsh, Allan Ganley, Phil DeGreg and Bruce Adams.
Cliff has appeared frequently at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in varied settings including Georgie Fame’s Blue Flames, Mike Carr Trio, Irene Reid and the Dick Pearce Sextet. He has worked extensively with visiting American musicians, including Slide Hampton, Nina Simone, George Masso, Spike Robinson, Herb Geller, Lanny Morgan, Harry Allen, Buddy Childers, Lew Tabackin, Mundell Lowe, Bucky Pizzarelli, Jack McDuff, Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis, Richie Cole, and Ken Peplowski.
As an educator he has been teaching jazz guitar at London Trinity College of Music, The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, the Birmingham Conservatoire, as well as at the Original UK Jazz Summer School, and has taught at the Jamie Aebersold Summer School in London and at the Christiansand jazz course in Norway.
Guitarist and educator Dave Cliff, whose influences from Charlie Christian and Wes Montgomery can be heard in his playing, continues to perform, record and teach.
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Paul Cacia was born on June 20, 1956 and at age 10 he took up playing the trumpet. A protege of the master Claude Gordon and private pupil of Cat Anderson, he was also mentored by Stan Kenton, Louie Bellson, and Don Ellis.
His professional career began as the lead trumpet for the Al Hirt Big Band in New Orleans, Louisiana and The Ray Anthony Orchestra. His first recording session was a duet with Stevie Wonder, leading to over a decade as a top call studio musician in Los Angeles, California. As a soloist and bandleader, his career began before sixty thousand people as the opening act for the rock group Chicago. Paul has also shared billing with Tito Puente and Pia Zadora.
Hard bop trumpeter, big band leader and producer Paul Cacia recorded for the Alexander Street, Outstanding and Happy Hour labels. He has produced The Mormon Tabernacle Symphony & Chorus, the Los Angeles Raiders Big Band and has been the personal manager to Peggy Lee. For over fifty years he has been known as one of the world’s greatest high note trumpet showmen until his retirement in 2016.
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William Hooker was born on June 18, 1946 in New Britain, Connecticut. He began his music education singing in the church choir before receiving private drum lessons from the age of 10. He training continued as he played in the Nathan Hale Junior High, New Britain High School and Central Connecticut State College bands.
Starting off playing in rock and roll bands it wasn’t until he was sixteen that he got into jazz, learning standards from an older musician who taught him the essentials of leading a band. During his college years he listened to as many records and live performances as he could, gaining a wealth of knowledge. He also was a member of an organ trio as he matriculated through college and has since performed as a leader of many ensembles in San Francisco, California and New York City, leaning towards avant-garde, improvised and new music.
He has performed or recorded with Billy Bang, Thurston Moore, David Murray, David S. Ware, William Parker, Melvin Gibbs, Donald Miller, DJ Olive, Elliott Sharp, Malachi Thompson, Zeena Parkins, Lee Ranaldo, DJ Spooky, Rob Brown, Roy Campbell, Mark Hennen, Steven Bernstein, Roy Nathanson, Jason Hwang, Dave Soldier, Sabir Mateen, Glenn Spearman, Joseph Celli, Ellen Christi, Liudas Mockūnas, among many others.
Lauded by Downbeat, The Wire and the San Francisco Chronicle as an inspired and fluent drummer who gives long performances of consistent energy and is a kingpin of the free jazz world, drummer and composer William Hooker continues to perform, compose and record.
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My Foolish Heart is the theme song to the 1949 film of the same name adapted from J. D. Salinger’s 1948 short story Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut. Directed by Mark Robson and starred Dana Andrews and Susan Hayward. The film tells the story of a woman’s reflections on the bad turns her life has taken.
Unfortunately for movie fans this remains the only authorized film adaptation of Salinger’s work as the filmmakers’ infidelity to his story famously precluded any possibility of film versions of other Salinger works, including The Catcher in the Rye. Though a lackluster and critical reception met the movie, Hayward was nominated for an Academy Awards for Best Actress in a Leading Role and Victor Young and Ned Washington for Best Music, Song for the title song and which has become a jazz standard.
The film was recognized with a nomination by American Film Institute in 2002 to AFI’s 100 Years…100 Passions, however, it did not make the list.
Jon Georg Balke was born on June 7, 1955 at Furnes, Ringsaker, Norway and started playing classical piano, but switched to blues at 12, and eventually migrated into jazz. At the age of 18 he joined Arild Andersen’s quartet.
By the mid-1980s he was working on his own and has become one of Norway’s leading jazz composers. He was active in the groups of Radka Toneff, the Afrofusion group E´olén, Oslo 13 and Masqualero in the early 1980s. From 1989 he focused on his own projects, such as JøKleBa with Audun Kleive and Per Jørgensen, and the Magnetic North Orchestra.
Forming the percussion group Batagraf in 2002, he created a series of multimedia concerts at Vossajazz festival, labeled Ekstremjazz that included the extreme sports of parachuting, paragliding, hang-gliding, and bmx biking. In 2016 he launched the solo piano concept Warp, with a subtle use of live electronics accompanying the grand piano in live performances.
Pianist and composer Jon Balke has received numerous awards for his contributions to jazz, has been an artist in residence at Moldejazz and currently works with his Magnetic North Orchestra.
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