Victor Bailey was born on March 27, 1960 in Philadelphia, New Jersey. He attended Boston’s Berklee College of Music after being disqualified from naval service due to asthma.
Bailey has been extremely active on the jazz scene recording seven albums as a leader. However, he has been more prolific as a sideman recording and touring with the likes of jazz legends and musicians such as Sonny Rollins, Miriam Makeba, Larry Coryell, Lenny White, Kenny Garrett, Roy Haynes, Kenny Kirkland, Sadao Watanabe, Hamiet Bluiet, Kevin Eubanks, Bobby Broom and Steps Ahead among numerous others.
Victor has also worked with Mary J. Blige, LL Cool J, Sting, Madonna, Lady Gaga, Tom Brown, Najee, Olu Dara and Patrice Rushen. He has a Victor Bailey Signature acoustic bass released by Fender, as well as the Victor Bailey Jazz Bass (Artist Series), available in 4, 5-string, fretted and fretless versions. Jazz bassist Victor Bailey, best known for his contributions to Weather Report during their final years from 1982 to 1986, continues to perform, record and tour.
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Brian Torff was born on March 16, 1954 in Chicago, Illinois. He began his professional career in 1974 when bassist Milt Hinton offered him the opportunity of touring with Cleo Laine. During the late 70’s, he recorded and performed with pianists Mary Lou Williams and Marian McPartland, and toured Australia, New Zealand, and Hong Kong with the jazz violinist Stephane Grappelli. He played in pianist Erroll Garner’s last group and worked in the big bands of Oliver Nelson, and The Thad Jones / Mel Lewis Orchestra.
In 1979, Brian joined pianist George Shearing in a duo setting and for 3.5 years they toured throughout the U.S., Europe, Brazil, and South Africa. They received worldwide acclaim and were played The Tonight Show, The Merv Griffin Show, had their own PBS special from the Cafe Carlyle in New York City and performed for President Reagan at the White House.
Torff has composed works for four albums as a leader, with George Shearing and Larry Coryell, has composed scores for the Boston Pops, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the Pittsburgh Symphony, and has appeared as conductor, composer, and clinician for numerous high school and college jazz festivals. He penned the book In Love With Voices: A Jazz Memoir chronicles his early musical roots and provides portraits of musicians he has worked with, including Frank Sinatra, Mel Tormé, Erroll Garner, Benny Goodman, Mary Lou Williams, Marian McPartland, Stephane Grappelli, and George Shearing.
He is a professor of music and the director of the music program at Fairfield University in Connecticut, makes frequent appearances at the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts, and lead the Fairfield University Jazz Ensemble along with guest jazz artists. Brian leads his own trio, and is the musical director for the Django Reinhardt New York Festival, has played Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, Birdland and Carnegie Hall. He has with Mark O’Connor, Dave Grusin, Regina Carter, Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, and Pinchas Zukerman. He continues to perform at jazz festivals and workshops around the United States.
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Gavin Barras was born on March 2, 1981 in Kendal, Cumbria in Northwest England. Due to his tuition benefactors, Roberto Carillo-Garcia and Corin Long, he was afforded the opportunity to study music at the University of Manchester. Whilst studying classical music, he continued developing his love for jazz and received lessons from Steve Berry in jazz bass.
Barras notes his bass influences include Ray Brown, Paul Chambers, Wilbur Ware, Charlie Haden, Christian McBride, George Mraz, Hein van de Geyn and electric bassist Jaco Pastorius. Notwithstanding, he is heavily influenced by Chet Baker, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Enrico Pieranunzi and Billy Higgins.
Performing around the world has lent his talents to play jazz festivals and clubs Ronnie Scott’s, Dizzy’s Jazz Club and the Royal Festival Hall with the likes of Tim Garland, Iain Dixon, Ed Jones, Neil Yates, Steve Waterman, Les Chisnall, Dan Whieldon, Zoe Rahman, Mike Walker, Stuart McCallum, Gary Boyle Luke Flowers, Dave Walsh and Eryl Roberts to name a few.
A founding member of the jazz quartet EU4, Gavin is currently a member of the Dan Whieldon Trio, Jadid Ensemble, Sarah Ellen Hughes Band, 6Pac Jazz Sextet, Nat Birchall Band, Matthew Halsall Band, Unfurl and Steve Plews Trio.
Keeping busy is not an option for Gavin having recorded as a leader his debut album in 2008, and a second in 20011 while taking the sideman chair on bass for recordings on three albums with the Matthew Halsall Quintet that required him to put on his composer hat. He has appeared on Jamie Cullum’s BBC Radio 2 jazz show, been involved in several live sessions for BBC 6 Music and for Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide Show on BBC Radio One with both the Matthew Halsall and Nat Birchall Bands.
In between performing, recording and touring Gavin is committed to teaching and, in addition to a large portfolio of students at his home, he has worked as a tutor at the Dartington Jazz Summer School for the last five years and has been involved in Live Music Now as a member of 6Pac Jazz Ensemble delivering regular education workshops in schools, prisons, young offenders institutions and hospitals.
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Hilliard Greene was born on February 26, 1958. Taking up the double bass, his studies have been a thirty-year journey that included matriculating through Berklee College of Music and the University of Northern Iowa. His emphasis has been classical, jazz, blues, rock, R&B, tango and music of other countries and regions.
Hill, as he is known, was musical director for balladeer and jazz vocalist Jimmy Scott for 20 years. He has served as concertmaster for Cecil Taylor’s ensemble Phtongos and was a member of the Don Pullen Trio. His list of who’s who that he has performed and/or toured with include but not limited to Gloria Lynne, Jacky Terrasson, Rashied Ali, Leroy Jenkins, Jimmy Ponder, Eddie Gladden, Vanessa Rubin, Yoron Israel, Cindy Blackman, Electric Symphony, Charles Gayle, Jack Walrath, Don Pullen, Dave Douglas, Bobby Watson, Greg Osby, Kenny Barron, Joanne Brackeen, Carla Cook, Josh Roseman, John Hicks, and the Village Vanguard Orchestra.
Greene, as a bandleader, has released three albums with his ensemble The Jazz Expressions and a solo album titled “Alone”. As an educator, he is currently on the faculty of the Bass Collective in New York City and he teaches privately doing workshops and master classes in double bass and bass guitar for both children and adults.
Double bassist Hilliard Greene, whose concentration lies in Modern Creative and improvised music, performs widely in the New York City area in recitals, nightclubs, recordings, television and radio programs, in addition to throughout Europe, United States, Asia and South America.
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Darek “Oles” Oleszkiewicz was born on February 20, 1963 in Breslau, Poland. He had five years of piano lessons at the State Conservatory in his hometown, later learning guitar, electric bass and upright bass. As a teenager, he played pop styles of rock music, blues and jazz-rock and jazz. In the early 1980s he performed at numerous jazz festivals and national competitions. In 1983 in Krakow and was awarded the first place for jazz composition and a second for ensemble playing at the Youth Jazz Competition.
Subsequently, he joined saxophonist Ptaszyn Wroblewski’s quartet and in the following years worked with several bands. In 1988, he moved to Los Angeles where he received a fellowship at the California Institute of the Arts and studied with Charlie Haden. After his graduation in 1992, he taught at the Institute and has performed in Los Angeles Jazz Quartet with Chuck Manning and managed various jazz ensembles. He has been a lecturer at the University of California since 2002.
In addition to teaching, he worked with a number of American jazz musicians such as Brad Mehldau, Billy Higgins, Pat Metheny, Joe Lovano, Charles Lloyd, John Abercrombie, Bennie Maupin and Lee Konitz.
In 2004 he released his debut album Like A Dream, which he recorded with Mehldau and Bennie Maupin for Cryptogramophone. He was selected Best Acoustic Bass in the 2005 Reader Poll the European Jazz Forum. He recorded a duo album Raindance with Adam Czerwinski, and a trio album with Peter Erskine and Alan Pasqua titled The Interlochen Concert in 2010. Bassist, composer and educator Darek Oles continues to perform and record.
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