Dear Live Music Fan,
Studio 909 is honored to present a very special musical evening featuring renowned jazz artists Bill Cunliffe and Denise Donatelli with Honolulu bassist Bruce Hamada. This event was made possible in great part due to the generous support of HPR jazz moderator, Don Gordon, who will join the festivities as emcee.
Jazz pianist, composer and Grammy Award-winning arranger Bill Cunliffe is known for his innovative and swinging playing and compositions. Early in his career, he toured with the Buddy Rich Big Band and worked alongside the likes of Frank Sinatra, Joe Henderson and Freddie Hubbard. Bill currently plays with his trio, his big band, his Latin band, Imaginación, and his classical-jazz ensemble, Trimotif. He performs around the world as a leader and sideman as well as a soloist with symphony orchestras.
Bill was awarded a Grammy for Best Instrumental Arrangement for West Side Story Medley on the album Resonance Big Band Plays Tribute to Oscar Peterson (Resonance Records, 2009).
The Bill Cunliffe Trio (with bassist Martin Wind and drummer Tim Horner) released its CD River Edge, New Jersey in April of this year. Other recent releases include Overture, Waltz and Rondo for jazz piano, trumpet and orchestra (BCM+D Records, 2012), which won Bill his fifth Grammy nomination, for Best Instrumental Composition; and That Time of Year (Metre Records, 2011), an anthology of solo improvisations on Christmas carols that was described in the Los Angeles Times as a tour de force.
Bills film work includes the score for On the Shoulders of Giants, Kareem Abdul-Jabbars homage to the Harlem Rens basketball team of the 1920s and 30s. The movie recently received an NAACP Image Award for Best Documentary and Bills soundtrack was nominated for Best Album.
Bill Cunliffe is professor of jazz studies at Cal State Fullerton and also teaches at the Skidmore Jazz Institute and the Vail Jazz Workshop. He was the 1989 winner of the Thelonious Monk International Piano Competition.
Denise Donatelli, a GRAMMY® Nominated Savant recording and international concert artist, is recognized as one of todays premiere vocalists. Her four recorded albums to date have collectively garnered three GRAMMY® nominations.
Donatelli's 2012 release, Soul Shadows received a GRAMMY® Nomination for Best Jazz Vocal Album, her second consecutive nomination in that category. Her 2010 release When Lights are Low received two GRAMMY® Nominations, one for Best Jazz Vocal Album and another for Best Arrangement Accompanying a Vocalist for pianist and collaborator Geoffrey Keezers arrangement of Don't Explain. In 2008, Denise recorded her second CD entitled What Lies Within. The record garnered uniformly high praise from critics and casual listeners alike, soaring to the top ten on Jazz Week Radio. Denise makes a vocal appearance on the Christmas recording, That Time of Year by GRAMMY® Award Winner Bill Cunliffe.
The Los Angeles Jazz Society honored Ms. Donatelli with the 2012 Jazz Vocalist of the Year award. Voting advisors include John Clayton, Herbie Hancock, Quincy Jones and Johnny Mandel. Described as "a musician's singer" by GRAMMY® Award winning saxophonist, Phil Woods, Denise has performed as guest vocalist with Roger Kellaway, Terry Trotter, Christian Jacob's Big Band Theory, Alf Clausen's Jazz Orchestra, Les Hooper's Big Band, the Stan Kenton Alumni Band, and a growing list of jazz luminaries.
Bruce Hamada is well-known on the Honolulu music scene, as much for his virtuosity on acoustic and electric bass as for his vocal renditions of American jazz standards. From 1989 to 2012, he and his collaborator Jim Howard were fixtures at the Halekulani Lewers Lounge, where they attracted fans from all over the world, including a long list of renowned musicians. Bruce has been featured soloist with the Honolulu Symphony Pops, and alongside artists such as Russell Malone, Karryn Allyson, John Clayton, Randy Brecker and Andrew Speight. Hamada's first solo recording, Two for the Road, recorded at Capitol Studios in Hollywood and engineered by multiple Grammy laureate Al Schmitt, also features Jeff Hamilton, Tamir Hendelman and Jim Howard and was released on the Don Don Label.
Don Gordon is a veritable fountain of knowledge about jazz of all genres, and a staunch advocate for high quality live music in general. He has championed the cause of Studio 909 Presents since the earliest beginnings of the series, presenting artist interviews and recordings on his HPR show Jazz with Don Gordon, and has attended concerts in person whenever possible. Don's longstanding friendship with Bill Cunliffe was the catalyst for this particular event, and for that we are very grateful indeed.
We wish to acknowledge the generous support of private and corporate sponsors for this event:
Greens & Vines
Hawaii Public Radio
Maxine Robson of RE/MAX Honolulu
Waikik Parc Hotel
Anonymous Live Music AngelY