Aleece Carson, Music Director of Hope United Methodist Church, presented the December program of Christmas Negro Spirituals with Mary as the main subject. Ms. Carson played the piano and taught the audience to do call and response singing.
Andrei Bostan received his degree in Violin Performance and Pedagogy from George Dima Conservatory of Music in Romania. He has played with Viva la Musica, Monterey County Symphony, Santa Cruz Symphony, West Bay Opera, Oregon Music Festival, Monterey Bay Orchestra, Teatro Zinzanni and the State Opera in Cluj- Napoca, Romania. He played with the 2011 Viva Prague/Dresden tour.
Ron Sfarzo is a renowned keyboardist, Ron performed as a concert artist for Baldwin, Lowery, Hammond, Roland and Wurlitzer keyboard companies, performing throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. Ron is also an accomplished composer and arranger. Together with his wife, Maryann and son, Chris, they have produced songs for artists such as Loyal Garner in Hawaii. In his musical career Ron has performed for: Steve Miller, Charo, Danny Rodriquez (the NYPD singing policeman), Dave Smith (drummer for Journey), Tom Coster (Keyboardist for Santana), George Shearing, President George H.W.Bush, Henry Kissinger, George and Charlotte Schultz, George Lucas, Francis Ford Coppola, Sophia Coppola, Franc D’Ambrosio (famed Phantom of the Opera actor and vocalist), Wil Shriner (Comedian, T.V and Film Producer), Fred Travalena Sketch Henderson, Art Linkletter, Clint Eastwood, Ophra Winfrey, Rick Kaplan, Executive Producer CBS Evening News, Jimmy Buffet, Merv Griffin, Glen Charles (creator of Cheers) and Al Masini (Creator of “The Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous”).
In January on 2007, Ron was invited to perform at the National Association of Music Merchants Convention in Los Angeles for the Roland Music Company with world renowned keyboard artists, David Benoit and Brian Culbertson. In 2012 he was asked to share his musical career with The National Association of Music Merchants Musical Oral History. Ron is also a contracted musician with George Lucas Skywalker Recording, where he recorded the Accordion Track for “In The Electric Mist” with Tommy Lee Jones. In 2011 Ron worked as the Musical Conductor for the Sandy Hackett Rat Pack show in SF. His musical talents continue to grow, playing venues all through the Bay Area, visit http://www.sfarzoproductions.com to learn more!
"This woman can do it all," is how the Los Angeles Daily News describes Clairdee. With her lustrous voice, soulful delivery, and scene-stealing charisma, she has honed a repertoire of standards set to state of the art arrangements that are equally smart and entertaining.
Clairdee's vocal gifts are many. Her soulfully alluring style and rich timbre reveal roots in the gospel church. She has an intimate, vulnerable and gentle way with a ballad, yet she can swing or shout at will. As a song stylist and interpreter of lyrics, Clairdee is unmatched. She is aware of the meaning and feeling behind every phrase. And her finely honed sensibility and old-school attitude about the importance of communicating with audiences, is skillfully demonstrated in her gift for putting her own stamp on a song while capturing its essence
Clairdee is an international touring artist, playing to sold-out houses and garnering rave reviews. Besides her engagements as a leader, she performs with symphony pops orchestras and big bands, and has worked with acclaimed instrumentalists including Bucky Pizzarelli, Boz Scaggs, Cyrus Chestnut, Houston Person, Shelly Berg, Ken Peplowski, and Chuck Redd. And she has opened for numerous artists as diverse as David Sanborn, the Count Basie Orchestra, Johnny Mathis, and the late, great Etta James
Ken French, music director, pianist, arranger
Ken is passionate about jazz, blues, and the rich tradition of American song. With early training in classical piano, and university studies in philosophy and music composition, Ken has continued to hone his craft for over two decades on world class stages from New York to Tokyo, including the Monterey Jazz Festival and Yoshi’s Oakland and San Francisco. Continually inspired by performing with such artists as Mary Stallings, John Handy, Mundell Lowe, and Wynton Marsalis, Ken loves to share his musical passion through the San Francisco Symphony “Adventures in Music” educational program for children, in private teaching, and with his creative arrangements and musical direction while touring with international jazz vocalist Clairdee.
The Scottish Thistles is a varied assortment of musicians who are bound together by love for Celtic music. The Thistles began in earnest when they were joined by guitarist, Mike Hird, and dancer, Marghie Goff. These two aficionados of Scottish dance music added depth to the casual ensemble. The Thistles now invite all and sundry to join as “Honorary Thistles” in their appearances in church halls and backyards across Marin County. As long as Mike’s steady harmonies and at least one melody instrument are in the room, the Thistles are in session.
Today (March 13, 2017), the Thistles are represented by fiddler, Patty Heller, and guitarist, Mike Hird. They will weave for you a tale of Celtic folklore and history, traveling through time from the pre-Roman days of the Fairy Folk, past the arrival of the Celts and Vikings, as the various Gaelic communities developed their national identities. We hope you enjoy this send-off to the celebration of St. Patrick when everyone in the work is Irish.
Falls of Rogie
King of the Fairies
Hector the Hero
Si Beag, Si Mhor
The Irish Washerwoman
Nathaniel Gow’s Lament on the Death of His Brother
Classical guitarist Bradly Pupa lives and operates out of San Francisco, California. He is a multifaceted artist performing frequently as a soloist and chamber musician. Bradly is currently on faculty with the Albany Music School and a guest teacher with the San Buenaventura Guitar Ensemble. Mr. Pupa’s musical endeavours have recently involved a performance of Jeffrey Van’s A Procession Winding Around Me with the Gold Coast Concert Chorus. He also performed at the 3rd International Biasini Festival in an ensemble directed by David Tannenbaum premiering Javier Farias’ Nazcan. Bradly has had the privilege of participating in master classes with Christopher Parkening, Roland Dyens, Alvaro Pierre, and Kazuhito Yamashita. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in May 2016 from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, studying with Sergio Assad. He is currently continuing his studies at the San Francisco Conservatory to pursue a Master’s Degree.
Sure thing! Larry Dunlap, piano; Curt Moore, drums; Jim Kerwin, Bass
Mike Galisatus is the Director of Bands at the College of San Mateo directing both the college big bandstand the wind ensemble. He has been the recipient of various teaching honors including the CMEA Bay Section Outstanding Jazz Educator Award 2015-2016, The Peninsula Arts Council Arts Educator of the Year for 2007, the Otter Distributors 2004 Jazz Educator Award for the state of California, the California PTA Honorary Service Award, and the CMEA Bay Section Gil Freitas Memorial Award for music education. Prior to his appointment at the College of San Mateo, Michael was the band director at South San Francisco, El Camino, and Aragon High Schools. Michael is in demand as an adjudicator throughout California, and has appeared as guest conductor for the CMEA Bay Section Conference Band, Hayward Unified School District High School Honor Band, The Elk Grove Unified School District High School Honor Band, The Stanislaus County Music Educators Association High School Honor Jazz Band, The San Mateo Union High School District Honor Jazz Band and Concert Bands, the Contra Cost County Honor Junior High School Honor Jazz Band, and the West Contra Costa County Honor High School Band. As a freelance trumpeter in the San Francisco Bay Area, Michael has recorded with Pete Escovedo and Queen Ida, and has performed with a variety of artists, including Louis Bellson, Natalie Cole, Frank Sinatra Jr., Mary Wilson, Kenny Washington, Jamie Davis, Frankie Valli, Kenny Loggins, Gladys Knight, Johnny Mathis, Mel Torme, The Temptations, Michael Feinstein and a host of others.