“Dee’s voice is pure and tender, at times haunting. Her approach to the material is straightforward and unpretentious. She takes you inside the lyrics, and you can almost hear her smile.
- Jesse Hamlin, SF Chronicle
Dee Bell’s debut album, Let There Be Love with Stan Getz on saxophone, and Eddie Duran (a Benny Goodman Band graduate) on guitar, was released on the Concord Jazz label (CJ-206) as an LP for Valentine’s Day 1983. The record also featured prominent Bay Area musicians Al Plank, Vince Lateano, and Dean Reilly. Let There Be Love posted in the top ten in Radio and Records jazz airplay charts in the spring of 1983. The follow-up recording in 1985 of One by One (CJ-271), also on the Concord Jazz label, reached number 13 on the Radio and Records jazz airplay charts in early summer 1985. This album featured trumpeter Tom Harrell along with Duran and Plank, and other Bay Area jazz musicians. Let There Be Love was chosen as a BillBoard Magazine “Recommended LP Jazz Pick in 1983. “ Bell was also nominated by Downbeat Magazine in their Jazz Critic’s Poll for two consecutive years as “Talent Deserving Wider Recognition.” BAM Magazine nominated Let There Be Love as the Best Debut Album and One by One as Best Jazz Vocal Album, both in their release years. Bell has performed nationally and internationally and has appeared at the Golden Globe Awards, the Russian River Jazz Festival, the Jazz in the City Festival, the Napa Valley Mustard Festival to name a few, as well as a wide variety of television, club and hotel performances.
Bell moved to San Francisco in 1978 to develop her professionalism as a vocalist and to work toward her goal to make a record in five years. One of her first experiences in Northern California was when she “sat in” at a Santa Cruz Jazz Club with Eddie Jefferson, where he told her “to keep on singin’ because you’ve got a fine sound.” The story of her first musical pairing with Eddie Duran is legendary. She met Eddie Duran at the Trident Restaurant where she was a waitress and his trio was the musical entertainment. He heard her sing “Happy Birthday” to a friend after hours, was taken with her voice and then asked her to sit in on all of his performances at the Trident over the next few years. In 1982, Eddie and Dee made a demo tape that enticed Stan Getz to volunteer to play on a record date, as Stan also was enchanted by Bell’s sound. The demo tape led to Let There Be Love with Stan Getz, followed by One by One, also with Eddie and featuring Tom Harrell.
Bell grew up in a musical family in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and in her formative years, Indianapolis, Indiana, and is the middle child of five. She played clarinet and dulcimer at a young age, but as early as nine, her dream was to become a singer. Between the ages of 12 and 23, she performed in many musical groups, both vocal and instrumental.
First a pre-medicine, then an art student, she graduated from Indiana University in 1972 as an art teacher and metal sculptress. After graduation, she lived for several years in a cabin in the Hoosier National Forest with a wood stove for heat, no running water, and no telephone. During this period she studied voice with IU’s visiting opera diva, Eileen Farrell, and performed in local clubs while she ran her own health food restaurant (which fostered one of the first health food stores in the Midwest). Bell also freelanced in the graphic arts by painting signs and creating logos for health food companies such as Willow Run Margarine. She continues to perform in the Midwest during summers, in California festivals, and for private invitation-only concerts.
“Bell has a haunting, jazz-infected sound, her diction and phrasing flawless.”
- Leonard Feather, Los Angeles Times
For nearly two decades, the contemporary jazz group known as The Brubakers has enjoyed consistent artistic and commercial success by grafting elements of Pop, Rock, R&B, Fusion and a variety of other sounds to their unwavering jazz foundations. In the course of four recordings, the group has continued to explore the limitless dimensions and permutations of jazz while at the same time appealing to a broad mainstream audience.
Their newest album released the summer of 2013 "Forever", contains a unique collection of original music featuring Eddie Ritch, Andre Ferreri, Joe Gminder, Rick Almond, Carlton Jackson and Gray Fallin.
On their website, www.thebrubakers.net you'll find information about the group and its members, discover pictures that document the group from its formation to the present, and see the direction we've taken on our musical journey. You can read about the individual members' musical influences and some of our experiences. Key members of earlier Brubakers configurations are represented in our alumni section, including bassist Roger Kohrs, keyboardist Mark Holland, and guitarist Alex Bost.
Check out our their earlier CDs "Triple Bypass", "Second Nature", "The Time Has Come"
Singer/Guitarist Mari received her musical education while growing up in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. From guitar lessons beginning at age 9 to high school ensembles and several lead roles in musical theater along the way. She began composing in college and spent years performing at weddings, clubs and special events both locally and internationally.
Seeming to skip a generation or two, music played a major role in Mari's family heritage. Her grandmother played piano for the Silent Movies in the early 1900's. Her mother's great grandfather was the conductor of a Big Band in Union Town Pennsylvania in the early part of the 20th century.
Mari has an interesting musical story contributing to the intriguing metamorphosis of a unique style spanning many genres including Pop, Bossa and Jazz. In this self-titled project her crystal clear vocals and relaxed, subtle phrasing reflect the unique and familiar flavors of Basia, Joni Mitchell, Astrid Gilberto and Nora Jones.
The musicianship of the players is impeccable on this very impressive debut for the eclectic Mari.
Originally from New York, Andre Ferreri is a self-taught guitarist who began playing at the age of nine. He started playing Jazz, R&B, and Top 40 music during his High School years, he then continued his studies in music composition and arranging at Berklee College of Music in Boston. His musical style was greatly influenced by many of the rock and roll legends of the time as well as jazz greats Joe Pass, Hank Garland, Wes Montgomery, Pat Martino and George Benson. Andre’s signature style combines the sound and energy of rock with improvisational jazz.
After school, Andre garnered the recognition necessary to be called to perform and be hired as a session guitar player. His compositions have appeared on national television shows, movies, and commercials for both radio and TV.
Andre’s credits include a long list of famous artists’ albums. He has played with many group combos through the years including Brook Benton, Maurice Williams, General Johnson, Chuck Berry, Jim Brock, The Poor Souls, Fred Story, Maria Howell, Herbie Mann, Dave Valentin, Bill Evans, Adam Nitti, Bucky Pizzarelli, Sam Moore, Brian Hyland, Danny and the Juniors, Lou Christy, Dennis Yost and the Classics Four, The Chiffons, The Shirelles, Little Anthony and the Imperials, The Coasters, The Marvelettes, The Platters, Deana Martin, Jenifer Holliday, Roger Williams and many others. He has also worked as a guitar clinician at several events with Larry Coryell, Chuck Levell and T Lavitz. He currently plays original contemporary jazz music with The Brubakers who have enjoyed 18 years of performing and recording. Andre is also a first-call guitar player for the Charlotte Symphony. In 2008, Andre co-founded Laser Records, a music label created to help musicians promote their music.
Discography includes his most recent CD release called Tributes on Laser Records. Also as leader; Projections, The Peacemaker, A Place in the Shade, Spirit Feel, Cool Christmas.
Past projects have included:
Dr. Bill Cummings; It's Christmas (2015)
The Brubakers; Forever (2013)
General Johnson; Soul Tapestry (2009)
Mari; Mari (2008)
Mary Buchan; Hidden Door (2005)
UAV Records; Earth Songs (1995) Thunderstorm Blues, Natural Jazz, The Long Way Home, Blue Tide, Natural Guitar
The Embers; Christmas Memories (1986)
Flight 108; (Self-titled, 1986) Circuits (1987), Zero Gravity (1988), Vertigo (1989)
Teri Gore; Movin' On (1984)
Brook Benton; Beautiful Memories of Christmas (1984)
The Poor Souls; S.O.S. (1982)
Jim Brock; Lions Song (1980)
Don Thompson; Fanny Brown (1976)
Way back in the very late 70's Fred Story, Ben Williams and Scott McLaughlin connected and started the most amazing musical journey. Fred played piano, synth and wrote the music that cleared FLIGHT 108 for takeoff. He was also a very popular local radio talent in those days and had a very progressive jazz show on WBCY 107.9 in Charlotte, NC. Hence the name FLIGHT 108. With Ben on electric fretless bass and Scott on drums and percussion they started performing their brand of jazz in the southern region. It wasn't long before Andre Ferreri joined the group on guitar and added a new element to their sound. Andre had been working with jazz groups as well in the south and had his own composition contributions to make for the band. Their sound was established and they were off enjoying a regular stream of performances. They were fortunate enough to be regular warm up act for THE DIXIE DREGS and playing concerts with artists like John Scofield, Earl Klugh, Ray Charles, Blood Sweat & Tears, David Sanborn, Kenny G, The Rippingtons, Sea Level and Dave Valentin. Primarily playing nightclubs and festivals and slowly building a huge following by playing live shows and radio airplay on many of the jazz stations.
They recorded their first album in 1985 and produced one a year for the following two years. Their recording style was simple. Everything was recorded direct to 2 track master and live in the studio with no overdubs. This guaranteed that their recordings would have the same level of energy that exuded when performing live. They decided to go in a different direction on their fourth album and recruited BILL EVANS on saxophone and DAVE VALENTIN on flute. Both who are respected musicians and have had exceptional careers in the jazz community. Including the elements of brass and woodwind again added a new sound for this group.
Over the years FLIGHT 108 morphed through several transitions with different players after Ben and Scott went on to other projects. Fred and Andre remained the consistent backbone of the group while the musician roster included Lee Venters, Donnie Marshall and Michael Johnston on Drums. Rick Blackwell, Ben Hermann and Rusty Springfield on bass guitar. David Lail, Mark McClure on saxophone and flute. Through that period their music thrived and they were able to continue with their older songs as well as develop a whole new sound.
Always open to try new music they developed a huge catalog of original compositions. Making it very difficult to pick the songs for their albums. Their unwavering dedication to performing and perfecting their sound set FLIGHT 108 apart from all the other groups of their time. One thing is for sure. This was a group that was unique and original and there will never be another like it!
Ziad Rabie’ is an acclaimed saxophonist and a graduate of Wake Forest University where he earned a B.A. in political science and philosophy. Ziad studied advanced jazz improvisation with internationally acclaimed and legendary jazz educator/musician/author Jerry Coker at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville for 3.5 years. Prior to studying with Jerry Coker, he studied jazz and music theory with Bill Hanna, a veteran of the Woody Herman and Stan Kenton orchestras.
Through performances and recordings, Ziad has made quite a niche for himself as one of the truly outstanding tenor saxophonists in the United States. Ziad's distinctive saxophone sound has been recorded on over 20 albums of various jazz, rock and gospel artists. Ziad has recorded with national artists including, “The Godfather of Soul James Brown”, Gospel Music Hall of Fame Recording Artist "John P. Kee", Chart Topping Gospel Recording Artist "Donald Lawrence and the Tri– City Singers", Giant Warner Recording Artists "Company", the "Impressions" and many more. He has performed live with or performed as an opening act for Ramsey Lewis, Grover Washington Jr., Ronnie Laws, Herbie Hancock, Dizzy Gillespie, Dave Brubeck, Buddy Rich, Tom Scott, Tony Bennett, The Crusaders, Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight, Roberta Flack, Lou Rawls, Greg Karukas, Jon Smith (Edgar Winter & White Trash), Mic Gillette (Tower of Power), Edwin McCain, Ron Holloway, and Russell Malone, to name a few.
Ziad is the Artistic Director of the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art’s First Friday “Jazz at the Bechtler” Series, which features The Ziad Jazz Quartet. Each concert has sold out since the series' inception in May of 2010. The series expanded to two shows in August of 2013, and both shows continue to draw standing room only crowds each month.