Bobby Avey graduated Summa Cum Laude from Purchase College Conservatory of Music, where he studied on scholarship with Dave Liebman, Hal Galper, Phil Markowitz and Charles Blenzig. He is a past winner of the Downbeat Student Music Awards for Original Composition and has performed original music with Jon Faddis with the Purchase Jazz Endeavor. Vienna Dialogues, a duo CD in collaboration with Dave Liebman, was released on ZOHO records in October, 2006. This project features the songs of Mendelssohn, Brahms, Chopin, Mahler, etc. – many opened up for improvisation. The album received an excellent review in Jazz Times. Bobby, who was honored with the Presser Award Scholarship at the Purchase College Conservatory of Music, was also named the Yamaha Young Performing Artist on piano for 2006.
Best known as a sideman in Chick Corea's Origins and many other famed jazz ensembles, Steve Wilson developed his fluid style and versatility through years of study, touring and session work with artists like Jon Hendricks, Ellis Marsalis, Don Byron, the Mingus Big Band, Out of the Blue and Frank Foster. By the early '90s, Wilson was emerging as a leader, issuing a series of albums for the Criss Cross label. By the mid '90s his work was receiving critical praise—in 1997 and 1998 he was named in a Downbeat critics poll as a "talent deserving wider recognition" for both soprano and alto saxophone. Two projects in the late '90s highlighted Wilson's strengths: Avashai Cohen's 1998 album, Adama, and his own 1999 project for Concord records, Generations. His acclaimed CD Passages appeared the following year. Steve devotes a substantial amount of time to the advancement of jazz education and is on faculty at Purchase College.
Athens, Greece native Panagiotis Andreou is a cross-cultural musician with 11 years of experience as a bass player in a multitude of different settings, including Afro-Caribbean, South American, Balkan, Turkish, Armenian, Western African, American folk and Middle Eastern. Pana has played with Ivan Milev, Hushne Senledirici, Ivo Papasov, Ray Vega and Pedro Martinez and is currently the bass player in Jason Lindner’s NOW vs. NOW group as well as the Grammy-nominated NY-based latin funk collective, Yerbabuena.
Brooklyn-based Jordan Perlson is among the most in-demand drummers in New York. Having attended Berklee College of Music and NYU, Jordan has been honored with the Zildjian Award, the Aerosmith Award and the Max Roach Award from Berklee. He was featured in the December 2002 issue of Modern Drummer and he came in 2nd place in Sabian/ProMark's Live Drum 'N' Bass drummer contest. Jordan is a top call in a multitude of styles spanning jazz to Balkan music and is a member of many bands including the East West Quintet and the Oli Rockberger Group.
Pianist/composer Dawn Clement is an active performer most often heard in Seattle and New York. Current projects include performing, touring and recording with Jane Ira Bloom (with a new release slated for this year), a project with Julian Priester, and a trio recording with Matt Wilson and Dean Johnson. She is also actively working on a song project with Brooklyn-based artist Jon Solo.
Dawn has performed in some of the world’s premier venues including Carnegie Hall, Le Conservatoire Superieur, Paris, and Seattle’s Benaroya Hall. She has toured the U.S. with a number of projects including the Sabella Consort (2000-2003) and the Rubin/Clement Piano Dialogues (2000-2002), for which she received a King County Arts Commission Grant (2002).
Other highlights include performing at the Kennedy Center as a finalist in the Mary Lou Williams Jazz Piano Competition (2006, 2007), an invitation to compete at the International Martial Solal Jazz Piano Competition in Paris, France (2002), Earshot Jazz awards for “Best Emerging Artist” (2000), “Best Jazz Quartet” and “Best album” for her performance with legendary trombonist Julian Priester (In Deep End Dance 2003), and a nomination for “Earshot Jazz Record of the Year” (2004) for her first album, Hush, released by Conduit records in 2003. She’s performed with artists such as Pharaoh Sanders, Edmonia Jarrett, Nancy King, Ingrid Jensen, Louis Moutin, Hadley Caliman, Buddy Catlett, John Clayton, Ron Steen, Chuck Deardorf, Reed Whitwell, Mercer Ellington and Bobby Previte. She is on the faculty of Cornish College of the Arts and maintains a rigorous performance schedule.
Soprano saxophonist/composer Jane Ira Bloom has been developing her unique voice on the soprano saxophone for over 30 years and is a pioneer in the use of live electronics and movement in jazz.
She has collaborated with artists such as Kenny Wheeler, Charlie Haden, Ed Blackwell, Rufus Reid, Matt Wilson, Bob Brookmeyer, Julian Priester, Jerry Granelli, Matt Wilson, Jay Clayton, Mark Dresser, Bobby Previte and Fred Hersch, and has spearheaded a collaborative world music group, Atlantic/ Pacific Waves. She has performed at Carnegie Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Museum of Modern Art, the Kennedy Center, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, the Smithsonian's Einstein Planetarium and the Montreal, JVC and San Francisco Jazz Festivals, as well as regular engagements in NYC and tours throughout the world.
Bloom was awarded a 2007 Guggenheim Fellowship in music composition, was winner of the 2007 Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Award for lifetime service to jazz, the 2001, 2003 and 2006 Jazz Journalists Award for soprano sax of the year, the Downbeat International Critics Poll for soprano saxophone, the Charlie Parker Fellowship for Jazz Innovation and the International Women in Jazz Jazz Masters Award. She is the first musician ever commissioned by the NASA Art Program and was honored by having an asteroid named in her honor by the International Astronomical Union (asteroid 6083janeirabloom). She has been featured on TV, Radio, Film and in numerous publications and is on the faculty of the New School for Jazz & Contemporary Music in NYC. She holds degrees from Yale University and Yale School of Music.
Jon Wikan started playing drums in elementary school in Bothell, Washington. He went on to attend Central Washington University but took time off to tour with the legendary Mills Brothers and Herb Jeffries and later with Ernestine Anderson. He has studied with drum masters such as Chico Hamilton, Carl Allen and Jeff Hamilton and has worked with multi-horn man Jay Thomas, Bill Ramsay and composer James Knapp. Wikan moved to New York in 2000, and has since toured the world with artists such as Geoffrey Keezer, Maria Schneider, Ingrid Jensen, Maria Muldaur, Mark Murphy and GRAMMY® award winning New York Voices.
Born in Seattle, Washington, Dean Johnson is a busy freelance artist, touring throughout the world. He has collaborated with Bob Brookmeyer, Randy Brecker, Joe Lovano, Dave Liebman, Art Lande, Dave Douglas, Lee Konitz, Nguyen Le, Steve Kuhn, Wynton Marsalis, The New York Voices, Jackie and Roy, Carol Sloane and Roseanna Vitro and has appeared on over 50 recordings with a variety of artists. His most prominent association was with Gerry Mulligan. Before his passing in 1996, Dean spent 10 years with Mr. Mulligan in a variety of musical situations including the Quartet, Nonet, Big Band, and Orchestra. Together, they performed in concerts and jazz festivals all over the world and with a number of well known pianists including Harold Danko, Bill Mays and Bill Charlap. Dean has taught privately for years, and has conducted clinics at the Berklee College of Music, New Mexico State University, University of Northern Colorado, Ithaca College and at the Rotterdam Conservatory of Music.
Bobby Avey, piano
Steve Wilson, saxophone
Panagiotis Adreou, bass
Jordan Perlson, drums
Dawn Clement, piano
Jane Ira Bloom, saxophone
Dean Johnson, bass
Jon Wilkan, drums
Photo: © Kristine Larsen