Ken Gregory was born on April 26, 1950 in Atlanta, Georgia and began playing trumpet at age nine, playing in the Northside Highlander Concert Band for three years beginning in 1960. After four years of private training, during his time in high school he sat 1st chair trumpet in the concert band from 1963 to 1968. He went on to work as conductor and lead trumpeter for the Six Flags Over Georgia orchestra until 1971, then learned to play guitar, electric bass and keyboards.
Gregory started playing the nightclub circuit in 1971 for the next nine years. By the Eighties as performance venues transitioned from clubs to private parties, he partnered with an electronics technician and moved into the professional studio business.
As a composer he has been commissioned to write for Warner Bros. Films, CNN, the Weather Channel, numerous radio and television advertisers, songwriters and lyricists. He has added trombone to his arsenal of instruments and has been recorded on thousands of studio sessions and has engineered audio and MIDI programming.
He performs original compositions with his band Solid State and has been featured on some of Atlanta’s best radio stations, on PBS Television’s Jazz Atlanta, and has performed at the Montreux Jazz, Atlanta Jazz and Inman Park festivals. Trumpeter and engineer Ken Gregory continues to be active in the professional music and record business in Atlanta.
Thilo Berg was born April 23, 1959 in Dortmund, Germany and attracted attention in the 1980s, as a modern jazz drummer and big band leader. He has produced and organized more than 700 jazz, classical, R&B and soul events. Besides his own productions, he worked on large industry concerts as well as kick-off meetings and social events.
Berg completed studies as a classical percussionist with Herrmann Gschwendtner and held the position of solo timpanist and percussionist in the Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra and the German between 1981 and 2008. Having worked in various bands, in 1986 he formed his big band, performing with guest soloists such as Barbara Dennerlein, Ack van Rooyen, Jiggs Whigham, Barbara Morrison, Silvia Droste, Jim Snidero, Slide Hampton, Bob Mintzer, Art Farmer and Bill Ramsey.
Over seven year together they recorded three albums and the band saw coming through its ranks Till Brönner, Paul Heller, Peter Weniger, Ludwig Nuss, Mark Nightingale, Gerald Presencer, Martin Shaw, Hubert Nuss and Thilo Wagner.He also worked in smaller groups with Jack van Poll, Bobby Shew, Heiner Franz, John Gordon, Elaine Delmare and Curtis Fuller.
Drummer Thilo Berg founded the jazz and classical music label Mons Records in 1991, has worked as a music producer for Sony Music, BMG, Columbia and Universal, and continues to perform, record and produce.
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Barry John Guy was born April 22, 1947 in London, England and came to the fore as an improvising bassist as a member of a trio with pianist Howard Riley and drummer Tony Oxley in 1969. He also became an occasional member of John Stevens’ ensembles in the 1960s and 1970s, including the Spontaneous Music Ensemble.
By the early 1970s, he was a member of the influential free improvisation group Iskra 1903 with Derek Bailey and trombonist Paul Rutherford and in the late Seventies was revived with violinist Philipp Wachsmann, replacing Bailey. Guy, saxophonist Evan Parker, and drummer Paul Lytton became one of the best-known and most widely travelled free-improvising trios of the 1980s and 1990s.For a brief time he was a member of the Michael Nyman Band in the 1980s, performing on the soundtrack of The Draughtsman’s Contract.
Guy’s improvisation and formal composition interests led him to the London Jazz Composers Orchestra, originally formed to perform his composition Ode in 1972. The orchestra became one of the great large-scale European improvising ensembles. Though documentation is sketchy early on, in the late 1980s the Swiss label Intakt set out to document the band more thoroughly, resulting in several recordings.
He has also written for other large improvising ensembles, such as the NOW Orchestra and ROVA. Having taught at Guildhall School of Music, double bassist Barry Guy is currently improvising in piano trios with Marilyn Crispell and Agusti Fernandez, recorded several albums for ECM, continues to venture into the pop field with his session work, and along with his wife, run the small label Maya, which releases a variety of records in the genres of free improvisation, baroque music and contemporary composition.
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Daniel Richard Gottlieb was born in New York City on April 18, 1953. Taking lessons from Mel Lewis and Joe Morello, he graduated from the University of Miami in 1975. He became a member of the Gary Burton Quartet in 1976 with Pat Metheny, and then was one of the original members of The Pat Metheny Group from 1977–1983. Bassist Mark Egan, who was also in Metheny’s first group, teamed with Gottlieb and formed the band Elements. In 1984 he was a member of the Mahavishnu Orchestra led by guitarist John McLaughlin.
Gottlieb performed or recorded with dozens of musicians not limited to Bill Evans, Branford Marsalis, Jacqui Naylor, Chick Corea, Randy Brecker, Stan Getz, Clark Terry, Ernie Wilkins, Gerry Mulligan, Joanne Brackeen, Herbie Hancock, Hiram Bullock, Booker T and the MG’s, Hubert Laws, Lew Soloff, Jim Hall, Jimmy Haslip, Nnenna Freelon, John Scofield, Bobby McFerrin, Kenny Barron, Larry Coryell, Eddie Gómez, Mark Murphy, Miroslav Vitous, Naná Vasconcelos, Ali Ryerson, Nguyên Lê, Rufus Reid, Sting and Wayne Shorter, as well as the Carnegie Hall Jazz Orchestra, NDR Big Band, Trio, Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Gil Evans Orchestra and WDR Big Band.
In 2004 he became the drummer for Gary Sinise’s Lt. Dan Band. He has performed on over 400 albums, earned nine Grammy Award nominations and four wins, is on the faculty of the University of North Florida as a full-time Professor of Jazz Studies. Drummer Danny Gottlieb has made over ten instructional DVDs, wrote the textbook The Evolution of Jazz Drumming, and continues to perform and record.
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Ulf Karl Erik Wakenius was born April 16, 1958 in Halmstad, Sweden and raised in Gothenburg. In the 1980s he played with Peter Almqvist in Guitars Unlimited during the intermission for 600 million viewers of the Swedish International Finale of the Eurovision Song Contest in 1985. He went to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil that same year and began recording the first of three records with Sivuca, Aquarela Do Brazil, followed by Rendez-Vous in Rio in 1986 and Let’s Vamos in 1987.
During the Eighties Ulf collaborated with Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen also started this decade, and during the mid to late Nineties they recorded Those Who Were and This Is All I Ask. He led the U.W. Group, releasing Venture with Jack DeJohnette on drums, Bill Evans and Bob Berg on saxophones, trumpeter Randy Brecker, pianist Niels Lan Doky, Chris Minh Doky and Lars Danielsson on bass. In 1994 he recorded New York Meeting with Niels Lan Doky, Ira Coleman and Billy Hart.
He would go on to work with Lars Jansson, Lars Danielsson, Raymond Karlsson, Gösta Rundqvist, Yasuhito Mori, Jukkis Uotila, Carsten Dahl, Morten Lund, Lars Danielsson, Haakon Graf, John Scofield, Dennis Chambers, Gary Grainger, Oscar Peterson, Michel Legrand, Ray Brown, Pat Metheny Jon Larsen, Stian Mevik, Jimmy Rosenberg Lisa Nilsson, Cæcilie Norby, Viktoria Tolstoy, Esbjörn Svensson and Youn Sun Nah among others.
Guitarist Ulf Wakenius,a member of of Oscar Peterson’s last quartet from 1997 and a member of the Ray Brown trio, continues to lead his own band and record.
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