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Jeff Ballard Trio featuring Lionel Loueke and Miguel Zenón; Monday, June 9, 2014

Jeff Ballard Trio featuring Lionel Loueke and Miguel Zenón
Monday, June 9
Kuumbwa Jazz Center

Raised in Santa Cruz, drummer Jeff Ballard’s expressive and dynamic style always enhances the music. From his earliest gigs with pianist Smith Dobson and music legend Ray Charles, to his long association with Chick Corea, and the co-op trio Fly (with Larry Grenadier and Mark Turner). Now, for the first time, Ballard steps to the forefront to lead his own trio. Featuring the amazing Lionel Loueke on guitar and saxophone phenomenon Miguel Zenón, the trio’s music is a reflection of Ballard’s wide ranging tastes in music, both homegrown and from around the world. The group never gets stuck for long in any one groove, or style. From Thelonious Monk to Middle Eastern folk songs; from George Gershwin to Queen’s of the Stone Age, The Jeff Ballard Trio is an exciting and riveting musical experience. Time’s Tales is their debut recording.

Jeff Ballard developed a love for jazz, and for music overall early in life. Listening to his father’s record collection introduced him to a wide range of jazz that covered everything from the big band music of Count Basie to the Brazilian sounds of Milton Nascimento and Sergio Mendez. As a developing drummer he found himself influenced by a number of top jazz drummers, including Ed Thigpen and Elvin Jones. But it was Tony Williams’ drumming with Miles Davis that made him rethink how he wanted to approach the instrument. As a music student at Cabrillo College, Ballard was heavily involved in the jazz studies program, as well as the big band ensemble under the tutelage of Ray Brown. At the same time, he was also getting professional experience playing around Santa Cruz and the Bay Area in small groups, including performances with the late Smith Dobson and other prominent Bay Area musicians. When he was in his mid-twenties, he was hired by Ray Charles, a position he held for three years. It was a major career break that turned him into a seasoned touring professional. After leaving Charles’ band, Ballard settled in New York City. At first he did temporary day work as a typist to pay the bills. Gradually, he began to make inroads into New York’s hyper-competitive music scene, playing music with other young, creative musicians: Kurt Rosenwinkle; Mark Turner; Avashai Cohen; Brad Mehldau; and former Bay Area native Larry Grenadier, among dozens of other up-and-coming artists.

As time passed, Ballard was touring or recording with some of the legendary figures of jazz, including Eddie Harris, Bobby Hutcherson, and Lou Donaldson. In 1999, Chick Corea hired Ballard, along with bassist Avashai Cohen, for his New Trio, a project that was his main focus for six years.  Still involved with Corea on an occasional basis, Ballard has been active playing in a number of other groups, including the Brad Mehldau Trio, Josh Redman’s Elastic Band; and Fly, a trio with bassist Larry Grenadier and saxophonist Mark Turner.

Jeff Ballard Trio featuring Lionel Loueke and Miguel Zenón


DATE: Monday, June 9, 2014
VENUE: Kuumbwa Jazz Center
ADDRESS: 320 Cedar St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
TIME: 7:00 PM
PRICE: $22/Adv $27/Door
TICKETS: Logos Books & Records, 1117 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz (831) 427-5100 and online at: http://kuumbwajazz.org
MORE INFO: http://kuumbwajazz.org or 831-427-2227

Media contact:
Enrico Lubatti

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