The Dick Whittington Trio
with special guest, Andrew Speight
The Dick Whittington Trio will be playing jazz interpretations of the "American Songbook," by Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, Harold Arlen and others, in addition to selected jazz standards of the 40s, 50s, and 60s.
Some will be those recorded by Charlie Parker ("Bird with Strings") in the early 50's.
Dick Whittington - piano
John Wiitala - bass
Vince Lateano - drums
Andrew Speight - saxophone
Friday, April 12, 2013 at 8pm
$20 - To reserve tickets with your credit card, please call (510) 547-8188
Dick Whittington grew up in Los Angeles and started playing "Boogie Woogie" piano by ear when he was four. After a few failed attempts at classical lessons, he continued teaching himself by copying the jazz and popular music of the 1940's that he heard on radio and records. At sixteen he studied with Sam Saxe, a wonderful - and possibly the only - jazz piano teacher of that era, who taught keyboard harmony and improvisation by analyzing the music of Charlie Parker, Bud Powell and other great jazz pianists.
After high school Dick received invaluable experience sitting in with most of the best musicians on L.A,'s South-Central jazz scene. While attending Cal State Northridge, where he received a degree in Elementary Education, he continued working gigs with Bobby Hutcherson, Sonny Criss, Barney Kessel and Charles Lloyd, later accompanying vocalists Anita O'day, Ernestine Anderson, Dinah Washington and Mel Torme.
When a 1961 tour with saxophonist Dexter Gordon concluded at San Francisco's Jazz Workshop, Dick relocated to Berkeley, spending the next 30 years teaching Jazz Education in the Berkeley Public Schools where he co-founded the nationally recognized Jazz Band program, which helped launch the careers of Benny Green, Joshua Redmon and many others. Since then he has performed with many jazz greats, including: Stan Getz, James Moody, Lee Konitz, Eddie Harris and Chet Baker.
In 1987, Dick and his wife, Marilyn, founded the Maybeck Recital Hall where, for 10 years, they lived and produced over five hundred jazz and classical concerts, including the internationally acclaimed "Live at Maybeck" solo piano series on Concord Records, which features over forty-five of the top pianists in jazz. Since moving to Big Sur, Dick played 4 years at Bernardus Lodge and has been at Carmel's Cypress Inn since 2005.
Andrew Speight is an internationally acclaimed saxophonist and educator. Originally from Australia, he relocated to the United States in 1990 to perform and record with jazz luminaries. That year, he was also a prize winner in the Thelonious Monk Saxophone competition.
Andrew has toured with the prestigious Lincoln center Jazz Orchestra, and the Nat Adderley Quintet. He has performed with Benny Carter, Phil Woods, Branford Marsalis, and recorded with Wynton and Ellis Marsalis. In 1999, Andrew was awarded an ARIA for best jazz album (Australia’s most prestigious music award).
Recordings featuring Andrew span from 1988 to the present, in configurations from Quartet to Orchestra. He has recorded in Japan, Australia, Europe and the United States. In 2005 an album produced by Branford Marsalis featuring Andrew along with Ellis and Jimmy Cobb won much critical praise.
Currently Andrew is the leader and artistic director of the Generations Jazz Project. The Project resides at San Francisco State, the centerpiece being a jazz combo of undisputed jazz masters. Founding members included Jimmy Cobb, Ray Drummond, Ronnie Mathews, Eric Alexander and Marcus Belgrave. Jimmy Heath, Frank Wess, Jeremy Pelt, Terrell Stafford, Louis Hayes, Jim Rotundi, Joe Farnsworth and David Hazeltine are also part of the regular roster. This band is considered one of the finest in jazz and has also produced a full feature DVD and accompanying CD on essential concepts in Jazz education.
Along with this Andrew is also the artistic director of the Manly International jazz Festival, the largest jazz festival in the southern hemisphere. He is also educational consultant to the Stanford Summer Jazz Program. Andrew can be heard playing in local Jazz clubs and on KCSM radio every week.. Ha can also be seen in performance, teaching and intervieved on youtube.
John Wiitala has worked with some of the greatest names in jazz, including Joe Henderson, Junior Cook, Charlie Rouse, James Moody, Bud Shank, and Cecil Payne. He has toured with Richie Cole, Arturo Sandoval, Shorty Rogers, and Jessica Williams, and has played at jazz festivals around the world, including Monterey, North Sea, Montreux, Detroit, and JVC/Concord. His recording credits include work with Scott Hamilton, Jessica Williams, and Mark Levine.
Renowned Bay Area drummer Vince Lateano began his professional career as a jazz drummer in the ninth grade. At the age of 18, Vince went on the road with pianist Carmen Cavallaro, and on his return to the Bay Area, Vince established himself in San Francisco playing with the likes of Eddie Duran and Vince Guaraldi. He has toured with the Woody Herman Band (a band that included Alan Broadbent and Sal Nistico) and eventually joined the Cal Tjader group with whom he played until Cal’s untimely death in 1982. Vince has appeared on six recordings with Cal including the Grammy Award winning La Onda Va Bien! and the Grammy nominated Gozame! Pero Ya. Other recording credits include albums with Stan Getz, Dizzy Gillespie, Tania Maria, Tom Harrell, Al Cohn, Clare Fischer, Mark Murphy, Eddie Duran, Bill Perkins, Carmen McRae, and Bruce Forman, among others. In addition, Vince has performed with numerous artists including Scott Hamilton, Joe Henderson, Art Farmer, Charlie Byrd, Bill Berry, Benny Carter, John Handy, Chet Baker, Mundell Lowe, and Marlena Shaw. Vince has been the Traveling Drum Clinician for the Monterey Jazz Festival since the Education Program’s inception in 1984.