John Bacon Jr., George Caldwell, Clay Jenkins, Andy Weinzler, Joe Goehle with Bobby Militello
Star People, named after the 1983 Miles Davis release, is co-lead by John Bacon Jr. and George Caldwell. John and George wanted to examine the diverse exploration of Miles on his journey of discovery and creation throughout his career. As a result, over the last 3 years, they have created a book with over 60 of the songs of Miles and other relevant players in his bands. This exploration has resulted in the creation of a band that can interpret and morph these compositions and arrangements into an amalgamation representative, of the players and their influence on the music.
John Bacon Jr.
John Bacon Jr., PhD, percussionist and composer, has performed with Lester Bowie, Roswell Rudd, Bobby Previte, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Bobby Militello and as a leader in a variety of ensembles. He teaches percussion at UB and is head of Jazz at Villa Maria College in Buffalo, NY. He holds a PhD. in Music Composition from SUNY at Buffalo. His diverse skills as a percussionist, trap drummer and vibe player have been featured with a wide range of groups including the Slee Sinfonietta, Maelstrom Percussion Ensemble, and the Genkin Philharmonic. His music has been performed by an eclectic collection of musicians, including The Amherst Saxophone Quartet, Leroy Jenkins, the New Jazz Orchestra of Buffalo, the New York New Music Ensemble, Amanda Deboer and the Colorfield Ensemble, Duo Cuentista, Ensemble Laboratorium, Wooden Cities and the UB Percussion Ensemble. He has toured in England, Italy, Canada, and the US. He has recorded with Paul Bley, Roswell Rudd, Don Menza and George Caldwell. Recent CD releases featuring his music include “Pausa Live” with the Buffalo Jazz Octet on Cadence Records and “Migration” byresAUnance with vocalist Esin Gunduz, cellist Jonathan Golove and pianist Michael McNeil, on FMR records. John is a 2013 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship Award recipient in Music/Sound and a New York State Council on the Arts Individual Artist Composer Commission with ChristopherJentsch2015. JohnwasvotedJazzMusician,JazzEducatorandJazzDrummeroftheyear2015and2016byJazzBuffalo.johnbaconjr.com
Pianist George Caldwell hails from Clarksdale, Mississippi. His first job as a jazz pianist was with saxophonist Bill Easley at Bill’s TwilightLounge in Memphis, Tn. He is currently a member of the music faculty at SUNY Buffalo, where he directs the student jazz ensembles and teaches jazz improvisation and jazz piano. After a brief stint with Clifford Jordan, Caldwell followed Mulgrew Miller into the piano chair of the Duke Ellington Orchestra, for 3 years. Caldwell's next job was with David "Panama" Francis at the legendary Rainbow Room atop the RCA building in Manhattan, followed by 7 years with the Count Basie Orchestra, 5 years under the direction of Frank Foster, and 2 years under Grover Mitchell's. George also played with Dizzy Gillespie, Cab Calloway, Frank Wess, Clark Terry, Quincy Jones, Joe Williams, George Benson, Kenny Garrett, Carmen Bradford, Savion Glover, Lou Rawls, Lionel Hampton, George Coleman, Louis Smith, Joe Newman, Roy Hargrove, and Jon Faddis. He performed at the Chicago JazzFestivalwiththenewKansasCitySeven,featuringFrankWess,BennyPowell,BuddyDeFranco,ClarkTerry,BuddyCatlett,andHaroldJones. A sampling of Caldwell's discography includes 5 discs with the Count Basie Band: Live at El Morrocco', 'Basie's Bag', 'Joe Williams and The Count Basie Orchestra Live at Orchestra Hall', 'Jazzin' with Tito Puente, and 'The Count Basie Orchestra live at The Manchester Craftsmen's Guild w/ the New York Voices' (for which the band won a Grammy). His arrangements and original compositions were featured on Craig Bailey's 'A New Journey', Lewis Nash's 'Rhythm is My Business', Hank Crawford's 'South Central', and Bill Easley's 'First Call'. Caldwell was awarded full scholarships to Memphis State University and Oberlin Conservatory of Music, where he received his bachelor of music in piano and composition. He is the recipient, along with the other members of the Basie band, of a Jazz Education award from the I.A.J.E. The Blues Foundation awarded Caldwell a W.C. Handy Blues in Education award for a curriculum he designed for teaching 4th and 5th graders music theory using the blues idiom. His new release, ‘Accord’was reviewed in the March issue of DownBeat magazine. www.georgecaldwelljazz.com
Professor of Jazz Studies & Contemporary Media • Eastman School of Music
Clay Jenkins' career as a jazz artist has covered a wide range of musical experiences and responsibilities, bringing him to the forefront of the jazz
performing and teaching arenas. Clay's experience as a performer began at an early age playing with the Stan Kenton Orchestra. Clay moved to Los Angeles in 1978, where he was in demand as both a live performer and studio-recording musician. From Los Angeles, he toured with the big bands of Harry James, Buddy Rich, and finally, the Count Basie Orchestra.
Since moving to Rochester, NY, to become Professor of Jazz Trumpet at the Eastman School of Music in 2000, Clay has maintained a busy performing, recording, and teaching schedule. He has remained active throughout the United States and abroad. Clay continues to perform and record with the Clayton/Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, of which he is a charter member.
Clay has released eight solo recordings. Additionally, his ensemble with co-leader Kim Richmond has released three recordings and "Trio East" has two releases entitled Stop Start and Best Bets. Other artists Clay has recorded with include Milt Jackson, The Clayton/Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, Diana Krall, Gladys Knight, Billy Harper, Lyle Mays, Peter Erskine, Harold Danko, Rufus Reid, Ray Brown, Moacir Santos, Joe La Barbera, Kurt Elling, Dr. John, John Pizzarelli, Bob Sheppard, Jim Widner, John La Barbera, Pat La Barbera, Larry Koonse, Alan Pasqua, Gary Hobbs, Rich Perry, Bill Perkins, Bill Cunliffe, Billy Childs, Steve Houghton, Reggie Thomas, Lennie Niehaus, Ernestine Anderson, Karrin Allyson, and Miki Coltrane. His most recent recording projects include a partnership with saxophonist Don Aliquo entitled "New Ties and Binds" (with Harold Danko, Rufus Reid, and