Pete Pancrazi

Pete Pancrazi @Jazz in the Hills

Pete Pancrazi was named by Downbeat Magazine as “one to watch” and a guitar player “deserving greater attention” is no surprise to those who have heard him perform. Pete graduated from the Berklee College of Music with a Bachelor of music degree in jazz performance.

Pete has been “one to watch” in the Phoenix area since taking up residence here in 1990. Through the years, he has cultivated a large and loyal following. Audiences enjoy his nimble guitar work and warm vocals in settings ranging from solo performances at venues in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area to the complexity of his quartet at the Desert Botanical Gardens jazz series. Pete continues to delight audiences with a growing repertoire of original compositions, presented in performance alongside straight-ahead and Latin jazz sounds. He has released four CDs to date and looks forward to his next recording project.

In addition to being a popular performer, Pete is also a sought-after private teacher and clinician. He’s been an artist roster member for the Arizona Commission on the Arts for 10 years and is currently on staff at Mesa Community College, where he teaches jazz theory, jazz combo and guitar.

Pete Pancrazi: Guitar and Vocals
Sean Brogan: Bass
Dave Ihlenfeld: Keys
February 7, 2014 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Desert Canyon Golf Club
10440 North Indian Wells Drive
Fountain Hills,AZ 85268
$12 General Admission, $9 Members, $5 Children

Floote Prints

Floote Prints

Since their very first performance at Jazz In The Hills, Floote Prints has continued to play for enthusiastic audiences throughout the valley. Rarely has the sound of two flutes been heard in jazz since recordings by Joe Farrell and Sam Most more than 25 years ago. Created by flutists Joe Corral and Mike Crotty, Floote Prints revisits music introduced by some of the legendary jazz flutists of the past such as Hubert Laws, Herbie Mann, Joe Farrell, James Moody, and Paul Horn.

The combination of flute, and some less commonly heard instruments including alto flute, bass flute and piccolo with rhythm section create unique textures, which often are used as a framework to feature the fiery energy of Armand Boatman’s piano and Ryan Anthony’s drums and the sensitive lines of Tom Williams’ bass. This is a unique and talented ensemble of lifelong professionals and you can hear them right here at Jazz in the Hills.

Sit back and enjoy the distinctive Floote Prints flow as the band weaves through tunes such as Ben Tucker’s “Comin’ Home Baby”, recorded by Herbie Mann, “Morning Star”, the title cut from one of Hubert Laws’ greatest albums and “Let’s Go Dancing”, a Victor Feldman tune recorded by Joe Farrell. In addition Floote Prints features compositions by Mike Crotty and arrangements by Armand Boatman.

Mark Lewis – Saxophone and Flute

Mark Lewis to perform at Jazz in the HillsMark Lewis’ first ever concert in Arizona will be the show at Jazz in the Hills . Mark will be joined by local legends Jack Radavich on bass, Nick Manson on piano and Cleve Huff on drums.

“Jazz After Hours” radio host Jim Wilke calls Mark Lewis “a Northwest treasure.” Rotterdam bassist James Long says, “Time after I have been witness to his ability to touch and move the listener in a way that is seldom seen.”

“You listen to the guys with the primo recording contracts, on the very top labels, and in my opinion, they’re not in Mark’s league” says jazz critic and author of “The History of Jazz,” Ted Gioia.

Seattle area saxophone and flute master Mark Lewis in known for his endless creativity, exceptional lyricism, compelling tone and ability to play across a wide range of styles. Mark grew up in the Northwest then moved to the Netherlands for many years to perform, teach and record music. He also lived n San Francisco and recorded a top 40 jazz album after auditioning for Stan Getz to land a record deal. He often subbed for Stan Getz and John Handy during his time in San Francisco.

He is a prolific composer, with over 1,600 songs to his name. He’s also an accomplished recording engineer, and has recorded and produced albums for a number of great jazz musicians, including the last album recorded by legendary jazz drummer Philly Joe Jones.

Mark has performed and recorded with a number of well-known jazz musicians including pianists Mark Levine and Barney McClure; drummers Candy Finch and Eddie Moore; bassists David Friesen, Larry Grenadier and Chuck Metcalf; saxophonists Johnny Griffin and Noah Howard; trumpet player Randy Brecker; and vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson.

Dmitri Matheny

Celebrated for his warm tone, soaring lyricism and masterful technique, American musician DMITRI MATHENY is lauded as “the first breakthrough flugelhornist since Chuck Mangione” (San Jose Mercury News). First introduced to jazz audiences in the 1990s as the protégé of Art Farmer, Matheny has matured into “one of the jazz world’s most talented horn players” (San Francisco Chronicle). An honors graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy and the Berklee College of Music, Dmitri has toured extensively as a soloist and bandleader throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. He has performed with a “who’s who” of jazz luminaries and has contributed to over 60 compact discs as a composer, arranger, producer, annotator or flugelhornist. Dmitri has released nine critically-acclaimed albums as a leader: Red Reflections (1995), Penumbra (1996), Starlight Café (1998), Santa’s Got a Brand New Bag (2000), Nocturne (2005), The SnowCat (2006), Spiritu Sancto (2007), Best of Dmitri Matheny (2008) and Grant & Matheny (2010). He currently performs with Grant & Matheny, a chamber jazz duo directed by Portland, Oregon-based pianist Darrell Grant, and the Dmitri Matheny Group, “an all-star jazz band featuring some of the most accomplished musicians in the western United States” (All About Jazz).

Dmitri Matheny

Cleo Corcoran at Kimmies

Jazz in the Hills ended its fall 2013 season with a performance by Cleo Corcoran’s group Bossa Brazil.

Cleo is known for her Astrud Gilberto style and vocals in her native Portuguese.  The band featured Peruvian guitartist, Simon Ames. Another Rio native, Miro De Sa, played Tambora and percussion. Frank Smith’s Flute and Sax completed the quartet.

For those familiar with Bossa Nova and Brazilian Samba music, you could simply wait for your favorite tune and you heard it in this performance; all with the gentle, swaying style you would hope for.

Cleo Corcoran

Cleo Corcoran

Singer Cleo Corcoran, originally from Rio de Janeiro, has a great love of bossa nova and the music of Antonio Carlos Jobim. Her influences include Astrud Gilberto, Elis Regina, and Gal Costa. Cleo is backed by some of Phoenix’s finest bossa nova musicians with a repertoire that includes all the classic as well as some more obscure musical gems.

Bossa Brazil is:
Cleo Corcoran vocals
Simon Ames vocals and acoustic guitar
Frank Smith flute/sax
Jose DePontes percussion

Nicole Pesce

Nicole Pesce

Nicole Pesce’s main teacher was her dad, Nick Pesce, a Valley pianist who raised his prodigious daughter to embrace all kinds of music and admire only the finest musicians. Nicoles keyboard role models reflect her dads high standards. In jazz, they are Oscar Peterson, Art Tatum and George Shearing. Kenneth LaFave – Phoenix Magazine

At the age of seven, Nicole began playing piano, and after only six months of lessons, she committed over 100 songs to memory and performed publicly for the first time at the Phoenix Country Club’s annual holiday gathering. By age ten, over 500 songs were committed to memory and she won First place in the Discovery Television National Competition. Shortly after, she landed a steady gig at the Phoenician Resort becoming one of the youngest pianists ever to play for high tea. At age 11, Nicole began composing music, and at 14 appeared on the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon which aired to over sixty million viewers. An extensive tour of the US with Jerry followed that. And while in Las Vegas Nicole had the pleasure of performing with Debbie Reynolds at her hotel and Casino. Numerous performances followed for celebrities like Rich Little, Buddy Grecko, Pat Boone, Barbara Stanwyck and Nat King Cole’s younger brother Ike Cole.

Nicole Pesce makes a lot of stuff sound cool — which is one of the reasons she’s attracted an ever-growing fan following…and why they return so often to hear her take on everything from Tchaikovsky to Billy Joel.
New Times: You do realize you have a cult following, don’t you?

Nicole Pesce: There do seem to be a lot of folks who come in on a regular basis to hear me play. It’s really amazing. I find it hard to believe.

NT: Now, when you were 14, you were playing for Debbie Reynolds at her hotel in Vegas. After which, you toured with Jerry Lewis.

Pesce: Yes, it was a great opportunity. We toured all over the country with a 16-piece orchestra. I was around 14 then, and found it amazing to perform with such a legend.

NT: …So, tell me the truth: You’re playing music while people are eating and talking. Do you ever just want to stand up and shout, “Listen to me!!”?

Pesce: When I’m playing, I try to feel the room out, and try to figure out what the crowd is up for. Sometimes I’m just playing ambient music, and other times I’m doing a show. Later in the evening, it’s more about my performing.
Robert Pela – The New Times

Judy Roberts / Greg Fishman Duo

Roberts - fishman - live

When Judy Roberts sits down at the piano and begins to sing, the nearly whispered vocals, the lushly voiced chords, the elegant keyboard touch – it’s all there, in place, just as you remember from her previous performances in Fountain Hills.

Come and enjoy this special Sunday afternoon Jazz in the Hills event and help celebrate Judy and Greg’s return to Fountain Hills.

“…Roberts is a sensitive, articulate pianist, with depth and range. Her playing is laced with intense, freshly-voiced chordal passages. Her singing is delicate and breathy or worldly and sultry in accordance with the mood…” –Downbeat

“…blessed with an irrepressible musical imagination as well as the technique to give it life, Roberts stands as a first-rate Jazz singer…” –Chicago Tribune

“…at the piano she smiles and her joy is obvious. The smile isn’t forced and it isn’t faked. Roberts isn’t faking it. She is simply a woman in love with her work.” — Los Angeles Times

“…boppish dexterity isn’t [Greg Fishman's] only strength, as he brings a warm soulful, singing tone to several ballads that sometimes recalls the logic and lyricism of Stan Getz.” –Mike Joyce Washington Post

Pete Christlieb

pete christlieb saxophone at Jazz in the Hills

You’ve heard his sax solos for Steely Dan “Deacon Blues” and “Unforgettable” with Natalie Cole.

Come and enjoy the intimate Jazz in the Hills setting for a memorable night of Jazz and hear world-class Tenor Sax player Pete Christlieb. This November at Jazz in the Hills.

Since the 1970′s, the sound of Pete’s tenor has been heard on television and motion picture sound tracks and recordings.

Pete is also well known for his 20 year stint with Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show Band. Electing to follow in his father’s footsteps as a studio musician, Pete has played in the wind section on the Star Trek shows, and has had featured solos on CDs like Natalie Cole’s “Unforgettable.”

Live, from New York, it’s John Tendy

John Tendy

Our special guest this November is New York City saxophonist John Tendy performing with Jack Radavich’s trio.

Jazz saxophonist/clarinetist and audio engineer John Tendy has teamed up with NYCs best independent jazz musicians to create a production pool called IndexJazz. Members include John Tendy, Jerry Weldon, Joe Magnarelli, John Hart, Kyle Koehler, Akiko Tsuruga, Rudy Petschauer, Jerry Sokolov, Mike Hall, Jim Mola, Steve Johns and more. John performs nightly on gigs that range from small jazz venues to authentic Jewish music to Broadway, and spends his days as a jazz engineer and producer.

Anyone who says “a jack of all trades is a master of none” hasn’t met John Tendy. By 16-yrs-old John was already gigging full-time and spent most of his 19th and 20th year performing on cruise ships. Although John was primarily interested in jazz and spent most of his time transcribing and studying the improvisations of John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins and Michael Brecker, he also saw there were other areas of the music biz he needed to explore.

The mid-80s also saw the beginning of the computer revolution in music production and John wanted to be a part of it. When a new electronic instrument came out, John bought or borrowed it and learned its programming parameters inside and out. As a result, he was in high studio demand as a synthesizer programmer and sound designer.

By the early 90′s John started writing jingles and saw success with spots for Disney, Mattel and ATT. In the late 90’s John wanted to get back into woodwind performance. He pursued Broadway, and played on such shows as Fosse, Thou Shalt Not, Bells Are Ringing, Crybaby and Wonderful Town, and even enjoyed a few stage performances. It was on Thou Shalt Not where John reconnected with old pal Jerry Weldon. Jerry invited John to do a night with him at Showman’s in Harlem NY, and John was once again bitten by the jazz bug.