Fri, February 2, 2018
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2018-02-02 8:00 pm
Howard Alden With Kit Eakle And Djangosphere at Piedmont Piano Company
Here is what the critics say about guitarist Howard Alden: "He may be the best of his generation," writes Owen Cordle in JazzTimes. George Kanzler of the Newark Star Ledger proclaims that he is "the most impressive and creative member of a new generation of jazz guitarists." And Chip Deffaa of the New York Post observes that he is "...one of the very finest young guitarists working today."
It seems that the only thing regarding Howard Alden on which the critics have debate is whether the remarkable jazz guitarist is one of the best or simply the best.
Born in Newport Beach, California, in 1958, Howard began playing at age ten, inspired by recordings of guitarists Barney Kessel, Charlie Christian, Django Reinhardt and George Van Eps. Soon he was working professionally around Los Angeles playing in groups ranging from traditional to mainstream to modern jazz. In 1979, Alden went east, for a summer in Atlantic City with the great vibraphonist, Red Norvo, and continued to perform with him frequently for several years.
Moving to New York City in 1982, Alden's skills, both as soloist and accompanist, were quickly recognized and sought-out for appearances and recordings with such artists as Joe Bushkin, Ruby Braff, Joe Williams, Warren Vache` and Woody Herman.
He has continued to win accolades from critics and musicians alike, adding Benny Carter, Flip Phillips, Mel Powell, Bud Freeman, Kenny Davern, Clark Terry, Dizzy Gillespie and George Van Eps, as well as notable contemporaries such as Scott Hamilton and Ken Peplowski to his list of impressive credits.
Howard Alden has been a Concord Jazz recording artist since the late '80s where his prolific recorded output as leader, co-leader, and versatile sideman, has captured an artist of consistently astonishing virtuosity and originality.
Kit Eakle is known as one of the most original improvising violinists on the West Coast. He grew up in the San Francisco Bay area where he studied classical violin. He also studied with noted composer, John Cage. Moving to Canada he studied jazz improv with Lionel Hampton pianist Elmer Gill and played with Vancouver's finest jazz musicians including Miles Black, Marc Atkinson, Hugh Fraser, and Michael Creber.
Since returning to California in the 1996 he has shared a stage with David Grisman, The Hot Club of Marin, Mark Holzinger and Dan Hicks, among others. Kit Eakle also hosts this concert series devoted to jazz violinists and is currently teaches a course on the History of Jazz Violin at Simon Fraser University and the California Jazz Conservatory, and plays with his own group, DjangoSphere, inspired by the music of Thelonious Sphere Monk and Django Reinhardt.
Rory Judge, a protégé of his uncle, the great swing drummer, Jake Hanna, will keep the group swingin' on drums along with veteran Bay Area bassist Don Bennett.
Piedmont Piano Company, 1728 San Pablo Avenue