“Some time after John Coltrane's death his pianist, McCoy Tyner, wanted another saxophonist to play with. Azar Lawrence was the man Tyner picked, and his powerful new album reminds us why..." - The Times (London) by Chris Pearson
(L to R) Azar Lawrence, Theo Saunders, Dale Williams, Windy Barnes Farrell, Yayo Morales,
Brian Schwartz and Gerald Brown
Meet The TALEr's
Mr. Azar Lawrence (Saxophonist)
Azar is on fire! Shortly after John Coltane’s death in 1967, Azar Lawrence, at just 19 years old, was chosen by Elvin Jones (for 3.5 years) then McCoy Tyner (for 5 years) to fill the shoes of Mr.Coltrane. Azar recorded and played with Miles Davis on his Dark Magus album, wrote and recorded with Earth, Wind & Fire and Marvin Gaye to name a few! Azar’s 2018 album, Elementals, garnered such reviews as “Azar Lawrence sounds more like John Coltrane than John Coltrane ever did” Chris May, London Times, a humbling review. Azar continues to roar with his 8 piece ensemble, The Azar Lawrence Experience, sizzling to the sound of Azar’s original compositions from Elementals and Concord’s reiissued Bridge into the New Age & the 1976 Summer Solstice album!
Babatunde Lea (Percussion)
Babatunde Lea’s vast experience of nearly forty years as a master percussionist, as well as the spiritual depth and resonance he brings to everything he does, has made him one of the most esteemed musicians of the past half century. He joined a band called Juju, which relocated to Richmond, Virginia in the early 1970s. Among the artists with whom he played were Stan Getz, Joe Henderson, McCoy Tyner, Randy Weston, Van Morrison, and Oscar Brown, Jr.. His first album as leader, Levels of Consciousness was released in 1979. He recorded with a band called Phenomena, which grew out of the Loft Jazz Association. In 2010, Babatunde moved to Pennsylvania to teach at Gettysburg College.
Brian Swartz (Trumpet)
Trumpeter Brian Swartz has appeared on multiple Grammy nominated and winning recordings with artists including The Dixie Chicks, John Beasley’s Monk’estra , and Kim Richmond’s Concert Jazz Orchestra. He has also performed or recorded with Michael Bublé, Saint Motel, Patti Labelle, Natalie Cole, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, The Luckman Jazz Orchestra, Jose Rizo’s Jazz on the Latin Side All Stars and many more.
Gerald Brown (Bass)
Los Angeles native Gerald "Get-Down" Brown is a by-product of the Locke H.S. Msingi Workshop Jazz Band that featured the brilliant pianist Patrice Rushen and saxophonist Gerald Albright. Having studied under jazz bassist Ray Brown and Thelonius Monk bassist Larry Gales he further his musical education by attending the U.S.C. School of Music, performed in the Symphony Orchestra , and studied String Bass under Professor Milton Kestenbaum. Having played all genres of music in his formative teen years he was well equipped to garner the bass chair for Marvin Gaye through an audition and recorded The Live At The London Palladium album in 1976. Other artist for whom he has performed with are: Michael Jackson, Maurice White(EW&F), Hubert Laws, Freddie Hubbard, Willie Bobo, The Emotions, Ronnie Laws, Norman Connors, Kenny Burrell, Doug Carn, Harold Land Sr., Gene Chandler, Nancy Wilson, Stephanie Mills,Diane Reeves, and the Big Bands of Gerald Wilson, Teddy Edwards, Oliver Nelson and Joe Williams.
Theo Saunders (Piano)
Theo Saunders has performed and recorded with dozens of jazz luminaries and worked extensively in the bands of Freddie Hubbard, Carla Bley, Sonny Fortune, Bob Brookmeyer, and John Klemmer, as well as Azar Lawrence. He participates in the historic album, “Living Time” on Columbia Records which brought together the writing of composer George Russell and pianist Bill Evans. Theo played electric piano and clavinet and the band consisted of a pantheon of great jazz musicians, including Joe Henderson, Tony Williams, Ron Carter, Eddie Gomez, Sam Rivers, Jimmy Guiffre, Snooky Young and Howard Johnson. His latest recording, “Trane Stories” with Teodross Avery, Dwight Trible, Henry Franklin, and Marvin “Smitty” Smith also features Azar Lawrence as a guest on “Afro Blue”. This recording marks his ninth as a leader and he has been a sideman on more than 50 jazz recordings.
Windy Barnes Farrell (Vocals)
Windys’ luxurious vocals move effortlessly from Jazz to Pop, to R&B and Gospel. It’s easy to see why she is one of the most sought after singers around the globe. Windy has been featured extensively on tour with the highest grossing balladeer in the world, Julio Iglesias. She has traveled the world many times over with one of the most imitated, respected and endearing singer/song writer/musician of the 21st century, Stevie Wonder. She has also performed with Michael Bolton. It stands to reason why the unique vocal styling’s of Windy Barnes is recognized all over the world.
Yayo Morales (Drums)
Yayo Morales after spending many years of international acclaim, living and working in Europe, performing with top Jazz, Latin Jazz and Flamenco stars, moved and is now situated in L.A. Drummer, Composer, Producer, Arranger and Educator, Yayo has played with an array of talent, such as:, Jerry González, Chano Domínguez, “Tomatito”, Jorge Pardo, Carles Benavent, and many other artists including Rita Marley, La Barbería del Sur, Henry “The Skipper” Franklin, Azar Lawrence, Bobby Bradford, Steve Cotter, Theo Saunders, Benn Clatworthy and Ron Stout to mention a few. His own project entitled “Los Andes Jazz Project” parts one and two, based on rhythms and folkloric styles from Bolivia and the Andes fused with jazz was awarded a diploma from the Honorable Alcaldía Municipal de La Paz (Bolivia) and the Oficialía Mayor de Culturas for his work, in recognition for his contribution to the development of Bolivian contemporary music.
James Saez (Guitar)
Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society
Half Moon Bay, CAJanuary 28, 2019
Yoshi's Jazz Club
Oakland, CAFebruary 23, 2019
Roscoe's Jazz Lounge
Long Beach, CA
March 1 - 3, 2019
Jazz at Lincoln Center
New York, NY
North Hollywood, CA
April 20, 2019
Los Angeles, CA
Healdsburg Master Classes & Concert
May 8, 2019
Venice Beach, CA
May 12, 2019
San Pedro Music Festival
San Pedro, CA
June 1, 2019
Orange County, CA
June 9 - 12, 2019
Inntoene Jazz Festival
(This engagement is supported by Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation through USArtists International in Partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation)
June 14 - 16, 2019
June 17, 2019