Johnnie Valentino/Kenneth Burgomaster/Elissa Lala Quintet

Guitarist and composer Johnnie Valentino was born in 1957 in South Philadelphia, where he studied privately with Philly legends Dennis Sandole, Joe Sgro and Pat Martino. Also during that time he studied composition at Rutgers University while doing local club dates and recording sessions at Alpha recording studio for Philly World Records. In 1984 Johnnie relocated to Los Angeles where he has been musically active in writing, recording, scoring, performing and sound designing for TV, films, toys, and recordings.

He has recorded with some of today's leading improvisers including Alex Acuna, Oscar Brashear, Delmar Brown, Luis Conte, Billy Drewes, Kermit Driscoll, Mark Ferber, Sherman Ferguson, Erik Friedlander, Vinny Golia, Gerry Hemingway, Alphonso Johnson, Russ Johnson, Andy Laster, Pat Martino, Bennie Maupin, Darek Oles, Michael Pedicin, Alan Pasqua, Mick Rossi, Mike Sarin, Bob Sheppard, Wadada Leo Smith, and Trevor Ware.

He performed here previously with the Johnnie Valentino/Kenneth Burgomaster/Michael Pedicin Quintet.

Composer/pianist Kenneth Burgomaster was raised in a musical family (his parents are both professional musicians) in Indianapolis, IN. After graduating from Kenyon College in Ohio he spent a year in New York City scoring commercials, and playing piano at the famous Empire Diner, before heading to LA.

His composing credits include three Garfield films and "Hero Wanted" for Sony Pictures, and over 500 episodes of television.

As a keyboardist, Burgomaster has worked with Herbie Hancock, Bennie Maupin, and Carly Simon, and has performed on "The Tonight Show," "Conan O'Brien," and at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. His band "Back of the Hand All Stars" has been playing at The Brig in Venice, CA every Tuesday since 2002, with guest musicians including Sal Marquez, Robbie Krieger, Jimmy Haslip, Harvey Mason, Doug Webb, and Jimmy Earl.

He performed here previously with the Johnnie Valentino/Kenneth Burgomaster/Michael Pedicin Quintet.

Vocalist and lyricist Elissa Lala grew up in Philadelphia and began singing professionally at the age of five. By the time she was in her early teens, Elissa was doing background vocal sessions at Philly's then explosive Sigma Sound Studios.

Pursuing her jazz muse, Elissa and Johnnie Valentino performed together at every major venue on the east coast, eventually getting married and moving to Los Angeles.

Not long after the move to L.A., Aaron Spellings' music supervisor heard her and hired her to sing "All the Things You Are" for the ABC miniseries "Crossings, and Elissa's voice was heard throughout the world. Thus began more film and TV studio work with credits such as "Dirty Dancin'", "The World's Greatest Magic Show", "The True Story of Bonnie and Clyde," and a host of A&E documentaries.

Another one of Elissa's passions is writing lyrics for pieces such as Ralph Towner's "I Knew It Was You." Elissa has written and/or recorded with Pat Martino, Narada Michael Walden, Michel Legrand, Alex AcunŮa, Tommy Tedesco, and Bennie Maupin.

Elissa's newest project is on OmniTone, entitled "Touch of Your Voice: New Takes on Chet Baker". Touch is a deep and melancholic project which consists mostly of beautiful ballads recorded by Chet Baker and two originals composed by Johnnie Valentino and Elissa. Elissa's previous recordings are "Eternal Now" (Insight) and "Promises of the Heart" (Four Winds).

Since moving to San Francisco in 1999, Sam Bevan has established himself as one of the most versatile and creative bassists in the Bay Area.

The foundation was laid for Bevanís career where he began classical piano lessons at the age of four. Sam's adoption of the electric and acoustic bass followed periods playing jazz and classical piano, singing professionally and getting a BA in French.

Sam has had the opportunity to work with a wide range of artists including: David Grisman, Zigaboo Modeliste, Joshua Redman, Roswell Rudd, Houston Person, Kenny Washington, Joe Locke, Michael Wolff, Jim Kweskin, Geoff Muldaur, Joe Craven, Meklit Hadero, Lisa Engelken, Jackie Ryan, Jacqui Naylor, The VNote Ensemble, Telepathy, Nathan Clevenger Group, New Pickle Family Circus, Ian Dogole & Hemispheres, Fil Lorenz Orchestra, and the Contemporary Jazz Orchestra.

He performed here previously with Scott Foster, and the Johnnie Valentino/Kenneth Burgomaster/Michael Pedicin Quintet.

Drummer Deszon X. Claiborne is one of the busiest musicians in the Bay Area. His very diverse credits include Don Cherry, Ornette Coleman, Bo Diddley, Phyllis Hyman, Jay McShann, Michael White, Andy Narell, Alex Acuna, Ray Obiedo, Alphabet Soup, Charles Brown, Dave Ellis, Rodney Franklin, and Peter Apfelbaum.

He studied with Ralph Humphrey, James Levi, Billy Cobham, Richard Peterson, Barry Jekowsky, and Kenneth Nash, and has taught at the Stanford Jazzz Workshop and Berkeley's Jazzschool.

He appeared previously at Chez Hanny with Larry Schneider, Glen Pearson, and Charles McNeal.