Eric Boeren was born in Baarle-Nassau, Netherlands on August 22, 1959. And started out playing euphonium and tuba in the Ulicoten fan fair. He took workshops with Arnold Dooijeweerd in the Bimhuis, from which the Amsterdam Creative Ensemble originated.
In 1983 Eric replaced trumpeter Jimmy Sernesky in the group Available Jelly, for which he also composed. In the Eighties he was part of several groups with Maarten Altena, Kenny Wheeler, Willem van Manen, JC Tans, Sean Bergin, and by the end of the decade joined Ab Baars and Paul Termos.
1990 saw Boeren joining Michiel Braam’s Bik Bent Braam, an association that continues today. In 1993, he founded his first group as a leader, Specs, which was short-lived. During the 1990s he played with Franky Douglas, Martin van Duynhoven, and Guus Janssen.
In 1995 he organized a series of PH31 concerts in Amsterdam with his trio trio comprised of Michael Vatcher and Wilbert de Joode. He enlisted another saxophone to play Ornette Coleman’s early quartet music. He also played Coleman’s music in the Bimhuis with the eleven-member band Go Dutch. He founded the Quartet Boers! That later became the Eric Boeren 4tet. His love for Coleman’s music resulted in two CDs – Cross Breeding and Joy of a Toy.
Boeren went on to play into the new millennium with the band NEWS with Cor Fuhler, bassist Nate McBride and drummer Mike Reed, and the quintet HO & I, that included Douglas and Paul Pallesen. Trumpeter Eric Boeren is one of the initiators of the music collective foundation dOeK (De Exercise de Kunst) and he currently performs, records and tours with his quartet Boerenbond, features Peter Evans, Tobias Delius and Jason Adasiewicz.
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Johnny Claes was born Octave John Claes on August 11, 1916 in London, England and received his education at Lord Williams’s School. He began playing trumpet in a jazz band that included Max Jones on reeds, and another with Billy Mason on piano. By the 1930s he had moved to the Netherlands, where he worked with Valaida Snow and Coleman Hawkins and in Belgium he worked with Jack Kluger’s.
Returning to England, Johnny led his own group, the Clay Pigeons, making a recording in 1942. Unfortunately for the jazz world in the late 1940s he abandoned his jazz career and settled in Belgium as a professional racing driver.
By 1955 Claes’ he had contracted tuberculosis and his health problems worsened. Finally trumpeter, bandleader and professional racer Johnny Claes succumbed to the disease in Brussels on February 3, 1956 at the age of 39.
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Natsuki Tamura 田村 夏 樹 was born on July 26, 1951 in Ōtsu, Shiga Prefecture, Japan. He played in a wind band during his school days and after his graduation he became a professional musician performing with the World Sharps Orchestra, Consolation, the Skyliners Orchestra, the New Herd Orchestra, the Music Magic Orchestra and in different band configurations with his future wife, pianist Satoko Fujii .
He appeared in various Japanese television shows from 1973 to 1982, such as The Best Ten, Music Fair and Kirameku Rhythm. In 1986 he moved to the United States to study at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. After returning to Japan, Tamura taught at the Yamaha Music School and gave at private trumpet studios in Tokyo and Saitama.
Back in the United States, he worked with among others, the improvisation quartet Gato Libre, led his own groups, performed in the duo with his wife and as a soloist. Signed to Leo Records he released four albums, A Song for Jyaki, Buzz, Libra and NatSat. He also worked with Masahiko Satō, the Roca Saxophone Quartet, Larry Ochs, the Juggernaut Jug Band, Misha Mengelberg, Angelo Verploegen, Chris Brown, Jimmy Weinstein, Elliott Sharp, Paul Bley, Takayuki Katō, Takaaki Masuko, Ryōjirō Furusawa and the band Junk Box.
Trumpeter and composer Natsuki Tamura, whose influences have been Hugh Ragin, Roy Campbell, Wadada Leo Smith, Toshinori Kondo, Don Cherry and Lester Bowie, continues to perform, record and compose.
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James Delano Zollar was born July 24, 1959 in Kansas City, Missouri and studied after high school at San Diego City College, then at the University of California, San Diego . At the same time, he played in various radio and jazz bands and conducted his own quintet. By 1972 he had moved to San Francisco, California to study improvisation with Woody Shaw.
In 1984, he moved to New York City, played in the Cecil McBee band, and was involved in several big band projects by David Murray in the 1990s. During the decade he worked in the big band of Joe Haider & Bert Joris, recorded with Sam Rivers on his Inspiration album, played with JM Rhythm Four of Jürg Morgenthaler in Zurich and played in the Tom Harrell big band on Time’s Mirror.
By the turn of the century he was working on several projects with clarinetist Don Byron such as Bug Music and You Are # 6. He released his debut recording as a leader, Souring with Bird, on the Naxos Jazz label. James worked with Jon Faddis and the Carnegie Hall Jazz Orchestra and with Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra.
Zollar appeared in Robert Altman’s film Kansas City and is known for his use of the plunger effect of the early trumpeters of the Duke Ellington Orchestra, in whose successor bands he also played. He also performed in Madonna’s music video My Baby’s Got a Secret and in Malcolm D. Lee’s film The Best Man. Trumpeter and pianist James Zollar continues to perform and record.
Bobby Lee Bradford was born July 19, 1934 in Cleveland, Mississippi and at age eleven his family moved to Dallas, Texas in 1946. He moved to Los Angeles, California in 1953 where he reunited with childhood friend from Texas, Ornette Coleman. He subsequently joined Coleman’s ensemble but was drafted into the U.S. Air Force and replaced by Don Cherry.
After playing in military bands from late 1954 to late 1958, Bradford reunited with Coleman’s quartet from 1961 to 1963, infrequently performing in public, but prolifically recorded under Coleman’s Atlantic contract. Unfortunately these tapes were among those many destroyed in the Great Atlantic Vault Fire. Returning to the West Coast to pursue further studies, he would eventually receive his B.M. degree from Huston-Tillotson College.
He soon began a long-running and relatively well-documented association with the clarinetist John Carter, a pairing that brought both increased exposure at international festivals. Following Carter’s death in 1991, Bobby fronted his own ensemble known as The Mo’tet.
Bradford has performed with Eric Dolphy, Leon “Ndugu” Chancler, Ingebrigt Håker-Flaten, Bob Stewart, Charlie Haden, George Lewis, James Newton, Frode Gjerstad, Vinny Golia, Nels Cline, William Parker, Paal Nilssen-Love, and David Murray, among others.
An educator, he is a professor at Pasadena City College in California and Pomona College in Claremont, California, where he teaches The History of Jazz. Trumpeter and cornetist Bobby Bradford is the father of drummer Dennis Bradford and jazz vocalist Carmen Bradford. He has recorded eight albums as a leader, ten as a co-leader, seventeen as a sideman and continues to perform with his group The Mo’tet.