Koby Hayon was born June 5, 1972 in Jerusalem, Israel and studied guitar at the Rimon School of Jazz and Contemporary Music in Tel Aviv. While there he gained experience as a guitarist with the DGK Trio, Hulon Big Band, and many other notable groups.
Moving to the United States in 2001, he earned his BFA in Jazz Performance at SUNY Purchase, was a recipient of the Ullendorff Memorial Foundation Scholarship, and studied with John Abercrombie, Hal Galper, Todd Coolman, and Jon Faddis. In 2009, Hayon formed the Koby Hayon Jazz Trio. With bandmates Kermit Driscoll and Jerome Morris, he fuses his heritage with his vast musical training by performing classic Israeli songs in a jazz setting, as well as his own compositions. In addition he is part of Trio Shalva with pianist Assaf Gleizner and percussionist Nadav Snir-Zelniker.
As a sideman, Hayon has performed and toured throughout Western New York and Canada, playing and recording with countless bands, from Dixie/Swing Band, led by the legendary Sol Yaged, to playing alongside bassist Bill Crow and with various bands playing traditional Israeli music.
In addition to playing live music where he can be heard regularly at the 55bar, Cornelia St. Cafe, Watercolor Cafe, Birdland and other reputable New York clubs. Hayon is the musical director of “Nigunim – A Festival of New Improvised Jewish Music” and through his efforts, the festival became a recipient of the Arts Project Grant from Westchester Arts Council.
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Red Holloway was born James Wesley “Red” Holloway on May 31, 1927 in Helena, Arkansas and started playing banjo and harmonica, switching to tenor saxophone when he was 12 years old. He graduated from DuSable High School] where he had played in the school big band with Johnny Griffin and Eugene Wright. He attended the Conservatory of Music in Chicago, Illinois and then joined the Army when he was 19 and became bandmaster for the U.S. Fifth Army Band.
After completing his military service returned to Chicago and played with Yusef Lateef and Dexter Gordon, among others. In 1948 he joined blues vocalist Roosevelt Sykes, and later played with other rhythm & blues musicians such as Willie Dixon, Junior Parker, and Lloyd Price.
In the 1950s he played in the Chicago area with Billie Holiday, Muddy Waters, Chuck Berry, Ben Webster, Jimmy Rushing, Arthur Prysock, Dakota Staton, Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson, Wardell Gray, Sonny Rollins, Red Rodney, Lester Young, Joe Williams, Redd Foxx, B.B. King, Bobby Bland, and Aretha Franklin. During this period, he also toured with Sonny Stitt, Memphis Slim and Lionel Hampton. He became a member of the house band for Chance Records in 1952. He subsequently appeared on many recording sessions for the Chicago-based independents Parrot, United and States, and Vee-Jay record labels.
From 1963 to 1966, he was in organist “Brother” Jack McDuff’s band, which also featured a young guitarist, George Benson. In 1974, Holloway recorded The Latest Edition with John Mayall and toured Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. From 1977 to 1982, Holloway worked with Sonny Stitt, recording two albums together, and following Stitt’s death, played and recorded with Clark Terry.
As a leader/co-leader he recorded with Big John Patton, Eric Gale, Shuggie Otis, Horace Parlan, Cedar Walton, Harry “Sweets” Edison, Matthias Bätzel Trio, T.C. Pfeiler, Norman Simmons, Phil Upchurch, O.C. Smith, Plas Johnson, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Melvin Sparks, Sacha Boutros, Henry Johnson, Chris Foreman, Greg Rockingham, Bernhard Pichi Trio
As a sideman he has performed and recorded with Gene Ammons, George Benson, Joe Dukes, Wade Marcus, Joe Williams, Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson, Carmen McRae, Atle Hammer, Knut Riisnæs, Clark Terry, Freddy Cole, Horace Silver, Junior Mance and Etta James among others.
Saxophonist Red Holloway passed away in Morro Bay, California, aged 84 of a stroke and kidney failure on February 25, 2012, one month after Etta James, with whom he had worked extensively.
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Tricky Lofton was born Lawrence Lofton on May 28, 1930 in Houston, Texas. Not much is documented about him but he studied trombone with Kid Ory and J. J. Johnson.
He recorded several recordings with Carmell Jones, Ron Jefferson, Richard “Groove” Holmes, Wayne Henderson, Bobby Hutcherson, Leroy Vinnegar, Frank Strazzeri, Bill Berry’s LA Big Band, Jimmy Cleveland, Les McCann and Ben Webster. He worked with arranger Gerald Wilson and recorded on Pacific Jazz, Fresh Sound Records.
Trombonist Tricky Lofton passed away on December 15, 1993 in San Francisco, California.
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Phil Ranelin was born May 25, 1939 in Indianapolis, Indiana and lived in New York City before moving to Detroit, Michigan in the 1960s. He worked as a session musician on many Motown recordings, including with Stevie Wonder.
In 1971, he and Wendell Harrison formed a group called The Tribe, which was an avant-garde jazz ensemble devoted to black consciousness. Alongside it he co-founded Tribe Records. He released several albums as a leader in the 1970s, and continued with The Tribe project until 1978. Following this, Ranelin worked with Freddie Hubbard, Freddie Redd and the Red Hot Chili Peppers..
Working for the most part locally around Detroit in the following decades, Phil did not find widespread acceptance among jazz aficionados. He did, however, eventually gain the attention of rare groove collectors who became increasingly interested in his work. As a result, Tortoise drummer John McEntire remastered some of his older material and re-released it on Hefty Records. He also recorded on Lifeforce, Wide Hive and Rebirth record labels.
Trombonist Phil Ranelin continues to perform, compose, and record.
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Ira Sullivan was born May 1, 1931 in Washington, D.C. and was taught trumpet by his father, saxophone by his mother and played both in the 1950s Chicago, Illinois with Charlie Parker, Lester Young, Wardell Gray and Roy Eldridge, garnering a reputation as a fearsome bebop soloist. After playing briefly with Art Blakey in 1956, he mastered alto and baritone saxophone before moving south to Florida and out of the spotlight in the early Sixties.
Sullivan was reluctant to travel which limited his opportunities to play with musicians of the first rank, but he continued to play in the Miami area, often in schools and churches. Hanging out with local younger players Jaco Pastorius and Pat Metheny, led to teaching and to broadening of his own musical roots to include the lessons of John Coltrane’s music and elements of jazz rock.
Adding flute and soprano saxophone to his armoury, Ira moved to New York City and in 1980 formed a quintet with legendary bop trumpeter Red Rodney where they worked on new material and fostered young talent to produce some fresh and stimulating music. He and his longtime friend and collaborator jazz pianist and vibraphonist Stu Katz, co-led a multi-night performance with at Joe Segal’s Jazz Showcase in Chicago.
Ira has performed and/or recorded with Red Rodney, Erin McDougald, Rob Block, Art Blakey, Frank Catalano, Kelly Sill, Charles Heath, Eddie Harris, Roland Kirk, Marc Berner, Lin Halliday, J. R. Monterose, Rita Reys and Billy Taylor and numerous others.
Trumpeter, flugelhornist, flautist, saxophonist, and composer Ira Sullivan has recorded as a leader and currently teaches at the Young Musicians Camp each summer at the University of Miami and remains an active musician on the jazz scene.