Pianist and composer Michele Rosewoman's musical growth took root in Oakland, California where she began playing piano at age 6 in a home full of music, art and politics. She was exposed to the music of jazz greats like Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday and Earl Hines, as well as R&B, and music from cultures throughout the world. In the 1970's she began her professional career as a protege of renowned Bay Area educator and pianist Ed Kelly.Upon moving to New York in 1978, Rosewoman began performing with several Cuban dance bands. Her very first recording was as pianist and arranger for the Cuban songo group, "Los Kimy" in 1984. In the Latin music genre, she has worked with Puntilla's "Nueva Generacion," Celia Cruz, Paquito D'Rivera, Daniel Ponce, Chocolate, and Roberto Borrell. Her jazz credits include performances with Julian Priester, Jimmy Heath, Freddie Waits, Reggie Workman, Oliver Lake, Julius Hemphill, Ray Drummond, Billy Bang and Carlos Ward. Her debut recording as a leader, THE SOURCE (Soul Note/1984) was praised for its radiance and ingenuity, and in a review published by Down Beat Magazine, Rosewoman's direction was likened to that of master innovator Charles Mingus. That same year Dizzy Gillespie, Marian McPartland and Lester Bowie awarded her the ASCAP/Meet the Composer Commission for Emerging Composers resulting in the opportunity to write a new work for performance by the 40-piece Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra with a quintet of improvisers including Rufus Reid, Howard Johnson and Greg Osby. Beginning with her next recording, QUINTESSENCE (Enja/1987), Rosewoman further revealed her distinctive ensemble concept and compositional approach by assembling dynamic bands to interpret her writing. Since it's debut, Quintessence has served as an ongoing vehicle for Rosewoman's evolution as pianist, composer and bandleader. And throughout it's history, she has brought together musicians who would subsequently become some of this generation's most inventive voices, including saxophonists Steve Coleman, Greg Osby, Gary Thomas, David Sanchez, Craig Handy and Steve Wilson. Besides four recordings with Quintessence, Rosewoman has two trio recordings. OCCASION TO RISE (Evidence/1993), her first in the trio format was voted one of the year's best recordings in six critics' polls, while SPIRIT (Blue Note/1996) was her first live recorded performance (from the Montreal Jazz Festival). In 1983 Rosewoman received a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) grant for the formation of NEW YOR-UBA, a 14-piece ensemble conceived to perform her original compositions and arrangements which integrate Afro-Cuban folkloric music and contemporary cutting-edge jazz. New Yor-Uba made its debut before an enthusiastic SRO crowd at New York's Public Theater, and has gone on to appear at festivals throughout the United States and Europe.
Eddie Marshall, drums. For almost fifty years he has played drums with nearly every major name in jazz, from Freddie Hubbard, Jon Hendricks and Dexter Gordon to Rahsaan Roland Kirk and Eddie Harris. During the seventies he was the house drummer at San Francisco's Keystone Korner. His most long-standing musical association has been with Toshiko Akiyoshi, with whom he has played since 1958. Other associations include the late Stan Getz, Bobby Hutcherson, Dionne Warwick, Kenny Burrell, John Handy, Ahmad Jamal, The Pointer Sisters, Archie Shepp and Bobby McFerrin. He co-founded with Mike Nock the seminal jazz fusion group, "The Fourth Way".A consummate sideman, Marshall is in continual demand. In recent years he has performed internationally with Bobby McFerrin's group, BANG ZOOM, appearing in concert with The Israeli Philharmonic; with Marlena Shaw, Marian McPartland, Charles Lloyd, Art Lande and Rufus Reid; with Bobby Hutcherson and Cedar Walton at Russian River and with Jon Jang and James Newton in Beijing. He backed Sam Rivers and Julian Priester at Yoshi's and was reunited with Mike Nock for the Wangaratta Jazz Festival in Australia. He travels to Japan frequently with Toshiko Akiyoshi's trio and was featured in a tribute to percussionists at the 1999 Monterey Jazz Festival. SFJazz honored Mr. Marshall with its first annual SFJazz Beacon Award in November of 2000.
John Wiitala, bass.One of the most in demand bassists in the Bay Area, John has played with Jessica Williams, Mark Levine, Akira Tana, Vince Lateano, Wesla Whitfield, Madeline Eastman, Bruce Forman and Jackie Ryan, among many others. John was heard previously at Chez Hanny with Faith Winthrop.
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