Piedmont Piano Company is pleased to present
Jemal Ramirez Group
The Jemal Ramirez Group is a high powered music ensemble that focuses on making music in the moment. The repretoire is original music laced with outstanding jazz covers. Downbeat magazine gave the Jemal Ramirez Group 4 stars in the June 2018 issue, reviewing their most recent release.
$20 General Admission
"Jemal Ramirez also looked beyond the horizon for his massive African Skies (Joyful Beat V516; 39:21/46:23 4 stars). Here, he concentrates purely on igniting the other players through the spark of the groove. He does lead the way from one base to another, settling most frequently on hard-bop, various Latin formats and funk. He’s formidable in each area" –Downbeat Magazine
Jemal Ramirez is a San Francisco based jazz drummer and bandleader of a high powered music ensemble, featuring the internationally acclaimed vibraphonist Warren Wolf, Howard Wiley on saxes, Matthew Clark on keyboards, and Giulio Xavier on bass. Jemal has performed with Eric Reed, Joshua Redman, Marcus Shelby, Dayna Stephens, Howard Wiley, Bob Kenmotsu, Andrew Speight, Ambrose Akinmusire, Mike Olmos and other notable contemporary jazz musicians.
He has performed at the Antibes Jazz Festival, Lyon Jazz Festival, Big Sur Jazz Festival, Yoshi’s, Kuumbwa Jazz Center, The California Jazz Conservatory, Fillmore Jazz Festival, The North Beach Jazz Festival, Cafe Pink House, California Theater, Cafe Stritch, Biscuits & Blues, The Sequoia Room and countless jazz rooms in San Francisco.
Called “Mr. Ramirez”, by 200 public school music students daily, keeps him busy as a band director and percussion teacher in the city of San Jose, California. A self-proclaimed agent for promoting instrumental music within the lives of people of all ages, motivates his teaching, performances and recordings.
The Jemal Ramirez Group will be performing the summer of 2018 at the San Jose Jazz Festival, The Sonoma Valley Jazz Society and Piedmont Pianos. The Jemal Ramirez Group’s most recent release, “African Skies” has made the Jazz Week chart—peaking at #9 and continues to receive National Radio Play 20 weeks after its release. Downbeat Magazine gives the Jemal Ramirez Group a 4 star review in the June 2018 issue. jemalramirez.com
Howard Wiley is a multi-reed player from Berkeley, California. Raised in the East Bay, Howard is one of today’s original voices. Growing up in the Bay Area, Howard attended many shows at Yoshi’s and was able to meet and work with many young musicians in school attending Berkeley High School. At night Howard would find himself learning from the jazz masters who lived in the SF Bay, like Eddie Marshall, Ed Kelly, Jules Broussard and others.
Howard made many waves early in his career in the San Francisco Bay area headlining at Yoshi’s as a 14 year old. Other institutions made unusual exceptions for Howard, like the notable Thelonious Monk Institute —having admitted Howard as a 17 year old—usally reserved for graduate level students. Howard is now an International touring musician and San Francisco Bay area treasure.
Howard has headlined at all of the major jazz clubs and festivals in the San Francisco area and has played extensively in New York, Washington D.C., Kansas City and other major cities with Jerome Jennings, Doug Carn, Steve Turre, Faye Carol and Marcus Shelby.
Matthew Clark is a masterful pianist who evolved from a child prodigy into a pillar of the San Francisco jazz scene. Born and raised in Buffalo, New York, Matthew played clarinet in school and took private piano lessons at the age of 6. Matthew studied Music at Oberlin Conservatory, the first University to make significant social change in the United States—getting attentive lessons from the legendary jazz pianist Barry Harris.
After his formal education at Ohio’s prestigious Oberlin Conservatory, Clark planted roots in the SF Bay area and quickly became a first-call rhythm section player, working steadily with an impressive list of jazz heavyweights including Bobby Hutcherson, Marcus Shelby, Steve Turre, Andrew Speight, Joshua Redman, Teddy Edwards, Frank Morgan, Jon Faddis, Marcus Belgrave, Benny Golson, Wycliffe Gordon, Vincent Herring, Jim Snidero, Ken Peplowski, Jeremy Pelt, and Eric Alexander. .
Billy Edwards a San Francisco Bay Area native, started playing guitar at age 7. At 10, he had his introduction to Jazz, what he considers as the beginning of his musical career. He has studied drums under Walle Schnalle. High School found Billy experiencing the musical possibilities the bass gave him in the Jazz and Classical styles, and decided to explore that avenue. As well as the double bass, Billy plays the 6- string bass. Billy honed his skills with the San Jose Youth Symphony and Winchester Orchestra as well as numerous jazz groups in the San Jose South Bay.
He is inspired by musicians such as Victor Wooten, Ron Carter, Esperanza Spaulding, Ray Brown and Steven Bruner. He continues his musical growth studying bass under Dan Robbins, a Grammy nominated musician from Santa Cruz - one of the best bassists in the Bay Area!