Agenor Garcia was born in Campo Grande, Brazil on October 10, 1967 and received classical training from the age of 12. He eventually moved to Brasilia, the capital of Brazil, in 1995 where he started his composition classes with Professor Bohumil Med in the Music Department at the University of Brazil. He also taught lessons at ArtMed, Bohumil Med’s music school and wrote music scores for movies and theatre plays.
Moving to the United States in 2001 Garcia recorded his debut piano trio album Alabastro. During this period he studied jazz under Cliff Korman and by 2003 he received an invitation to participate in the Jazz Walk Festival in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. 2004 saw him move to Paris, France, teaching music lessons at the Bill Evans Piano Academy and working as a music director and performing solo. Returning to America, in 2009, he started to work with Steinway & Sons performing contemporary piano concerts across the country. His album “The Music of Agenor Garcia” was recorded live while on the Steinway tour.
Pianist, composer, performer and musical director Agenor Garcia has played numerous jazz festival, has received awards including the Spanish Heritage Award for Best Composition, and in 2014 released his album Symbiosis, blending improvisation with his musical influences. He continues to perform, record, tour and educate.
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Michael Pedicin was born on July 29, 1947 in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. He started playing at eight and joined a band at 15. His ability to read music and play alto, tenor, and soprano saxophone made him a sought-after session musician at Sigma Sound Studios. His session skills not only got him into the R&B side of music with Gamble & Huff but led to a self-titled debut solo album in 1980 on Philadelphia International Records that did well only in New York. His single You piqued CBS Records’ interest but ultimately they withdrew their offer when he demanded a three-record deal.
By 1981 the casinos and lounges of Atlantic City were calling his name and he moved there to pursue his musical dreams. Gigs were plentiful at first, but Atlantic City wasn’t Las Vegas, and many lounges discontinued their live entertainment and the saxophonist hit the road with Dave Brubeck for two years. He resurrected the Michael Pedicin Quartet after the stint and found work in Atlantic City’s revitalized lounges. He also started a talent agency, promoted major jazz acts, did a second album — City Song on the Optimism Records label and served as the musical director at different times for three casinos.
He formed Bayshore Music, a management company , recorded a third solo album, Angles, on Optimism that featured Peter Erskine and Micki Rossi. A fourth album, You Don’t Know What Love Is , featured the Holland, Dozier, and Gorman tune Forever, popularized by the Marvelettes and Marvin Gaye, that has been reissued by Peter Pan and Triloka Records.
Michael has worked with Lou Rawls and Maynard Ferguson, taught at Temple University, and started 12th Street Music with Sigma Sound engineer Joe Tarisa. The post-bop saxophonist Michael Pedicin continues to commute to Philadelphia for sessions, remains active on the jazz scene and composes, performs and records with his current quintet with drummer Vic Stevens, bassist Andy Lalasis, guitarist Johnnie Valentino and pianist Rick Germanson.
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Gábor Szabó was born Szabó Gábor István on March 8, 1936 in Budapest, Hungary and began playing guitar at the age of 14, inspired by jazz music heard on Voice of America. He escaped Hungary in 1956, the year of the attempted revolt against Soviet dominated Communist rule, and moved to the United States. Once there he attended the Berklee School of Music.
In 1958, he was invited to perform at the Newport Jazz Festival. He then went on to perform with the quintet of Southern California drummer Chico Hamilton from 1961 to 1965, playing what has been described as chamber jazz, with “a moderate avant-gardism. In 1962 and 1963, Hamilton’s bands cut two albums consisting entirely of saxophonist Charles Lloyd compositions. The title track of Man From Two Worlds featured Szabó’s guitar on top of a propulsive beat, parrying with Lloyd’s tenor sax.
Throughout the Sixties and Seventies he cut a span of albums as a leader for Impulse! Record label, co-founded the short-lived Skye Records with Cal Tjader and Gary McFarland, recorded an album with Lena Horne, and performed and recorded with The California Dreamers, Ron Carter, Paul Desmond and Bobby Womack. His playing also influenced guitarist Carlos Santana witnessed by Szabó’s mid-1960s jazz/gypsy guitar work in his Gypsy Queen and Santana’s Black Magic Woman.
He would go on to be label mates with George Benson at CTI, became affiliated with the Church of Scientology and signed in November 1978 with their Vanguard Artists International that brought its own set of troubles to his career, eventually ended uo with cross-suits aimed at both parties. He recorded twenty-four albums as a leader, and also worked with Steve Allen, Coke Escovedo and Santana, infusing jazz, pop-rock and his native Hungarian music.
Despite his influence on jazz music and the caliber of players with whom he performed, Gábor Szabó, who felt he was never fully accepted as a jazz artist in the United States, passed away on February 26, 1982 in his hometown, Budapest.
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Frank Tiberi ws born December 4, 1928 in Camden, New Jersey. He plays the alto and tenor saxophone, clarinet, flute and bassoon. He has been performing and recording since the age of thirteen and has toured with Benny Goodman and Urbie Green, and has played with Dizzy Gillespie.
He is a part time professor at Berklee College of Music where he teaches improvisational techniques and pedagogy. He has served as the director for the Camden Jazz Festival. Tiberi specializes in modern and contemporary jazz techniques and has released EPs with fellow Berklee instructor George Garzone.
Saxophonist Frank Tiberi is currently the leader of the Woody Herman Orchestra. Herman handpicked him shortly before his death to lead the band. He has been doing so since 1987.
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Lena Bloch was born on January 31, 1971 in Moscow, Russia. She immigrated to Israel in 1990, to attend Rubin Academy of Music and Dance, and then received a full scholarship for Jazz In July workshop. Acquiring her Artist Diploma cum laude from Cologne Conservatory, she was granted another full scholarship to attend the Jazz Workshop in Banff, Canada. Bloch has studied with Yusef Lateef, Billy Taylor, Joe Lovano, Kenny Werner, Dave Holland and Lee Konitz.
By 2001 Lena met her most important teacher, Lee Konitz, who she studied and was introduced to the music of Lennie Tristano’s school, especially Warne Marsh. She played the first tenor chair in the Jazz Ensemble and got a “Downbeat Student Award” 2005 and MENC Award 2004 in Minneapolis. She has won the “Outstanding Performance Award”.
Since 1993 Lena has been leading her own quartet and trio, writing music and arranging and she played in the legendary “Embryo” band touring Italy. She is an inventive improviser who incorporates Middle-Eastern and Eastern European elements into the jazz idiom, achieving a unique sound.
She has performed with Mal Waldron, Johnny Griffin, Horace Parlan, Keith Copeland, John Marshall, Alvin Queen, Steve Reid Vishnu Wood, Arturo O’Farrill, George Schuller, Billy Mintz, Dave Shapiro, Roberta Picket, Scott Wendholt, Dan Tepfer, Bertha Hope, Ray Drummond and Matt Wilson among many others. Alto saxophonist Lena Bloch is also a creative and inventive educator, who continues to successfully teach woodwinds and jazz improvisation to all ages and levels since 1990.
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