Friday, January 1, 2010

My Band @ Culver's & Steamers

My band for the Culver's Club on January 29th & Steamers on February 5th will be:

Theo Saunders, piano
John B. Williams, bass
Larry Koonse, guitar @ Culver City
Steve Cotter, guitar @ Steamer's
Tony Austin, drums

I am very excited to be working with this great group of musicians. For those of you who aren't familiar with them here is a little background info.

Theo Saunders and I worked together for the first time at Catalina's in late October and it was a pleasure from start to finish. Maybe we get along well because we both spent time as street musicians! He is a wonderful accompanist and also a comrade. I truly appreciate that.  Jerry and I met Theo after catching his sextet at Vibrato's, Herb Alpert's club in Bel Air. We were both excited by the passion and sense of storytelling behind each piece they played. Theo introduced an original song titled "When The Saints Go Out," a very cool tune that recalls the havoc of Hurricane Katrina - and also a jazzified "16 Tons" with all of the weight of the sextets horn section. His compositions, arrangements and leadership all highlight the groups teamwork while encouraging each band member to shine. The sextet is terrific and if you like instrumental jazz you'll dig this band. Here is a link to Theo's website: 

John B. Williams is not only the consummate bassist, but also a wonderful presence on-stage and off. Having studied with Ron Carter he then joined the Horace Silver Quintet. He worked with Doc Severinson and the Tonight Show band for seven years and later on the Arsenio Hall Show. I first saw John B. with one of my all-time favorite singers, Nancy Wilson. He has played in her band since 1976. I am extraordinarily proud to have him in the band once again. His website is very much worth checking out:

Tony Austin is the youngest member of the group, but he is already an "in demand" musician. He was mentored by the late Billy Higgins who took Tony under his wing and hired him as his “first call” substitute. Tony is a member of the Theo Saunders Sextet and many other diverse musical groups.
Larry Koonse This will be my first time working with Larry and I'm really looking forward to it. He has toured with Mel Torme, Terry Gibbs, John Patitucci, Karrin Allyson, Billy Childs and many others. He has recorded with Cleo Laine, Al Hirt, Jimmy Rowles, Lee Konitz, Larry Goldings, Alan Broadbent, Ray Brown, Bill Perkins, Toots Thielemanns, Rod Stewart, Clay Jenkins, Linda Ronstadt, David Friesen, Bob Sheppard, Charlie Haden and many other jazz artists.

Steve Cotter  I had the pleasure of working with Steve at the Catalina in October. It's hard to find him in town since he has been touring all over the world with vocalist with Steve Tyrell since 2005. In addition he's toured with Bobby Caldwell and performed with such notables as Joey DeFrancesco, Jimmy Smith, John Pisano, Ernie Watts, Lew Soloff, Lou Marini, and Ramon Banda.


  1. It is so cool to learn more about each player. When I first saw them at the Catalina Club in October, I was blown away. They are obviously top notch musicians and it certainly shows. Can't wait to see them again with you in concert the end of January.

  2. Can't wait to see you, Sony...had to change my plans to spend a week in L. A. and will return to SF on Saturday. A dear friend and nurse colleague will be flying in from Puerto Rico on the 30th, staying in SF till Feb 5th, attending a conference here with several other forensic nurse buddies so I felt I had to be here.