Piedmont Piano Company is pleased to present
Ali Ryerson Quartet
Back by popular demand, internationally renowned jazz flutist, Ali Ryerson, is excited to return to Piedmont Piano Company with her longtime colleagues, Steve Rudolph on piano, John Wiitala on bass, and Akira Tana on drums. The quartet comes to Oakland directly following their weeklong residency at Hidden Valley Music Seminars on the Monterey Peninsula, where Ryerson conducts her annual jazz flute masterclass.
$20 General Admission
With a career spanning over four decades, international recording and touring artist, Ali Ryerson consistently ranks among the top jazz flutists in the Downbeat Jazz Poll. She was born in New York in 1952 into a musical family. Her father, Art Ryerson, a renowned jazz guitarist, got his start with the Paul Whiteman Orchestra and later became one of the top NY studio musicians of his day. Ali Ryerson carries on the family tradition, with performances ranging from Carnegie Hall to festivals worldwide, including her 8th appearance at this year’s Monterey Jazz Festival. Ryerson has released some two-dozen albums on major jazz labels, including ‘Game Changer’ (Capri), which featured Ryerson’s groundbreaking 19-piece jazz flute ensemble. Ryerson has recorded and/or worked with jazz greats such as Kenny Barron, Joe Beck, Mike Mainieri, Hubert Laws, Frank Wess, Roy Haynes, and a guest appearance with Wynton Marsalis and the JLCO. Ryerson was principal flutist with the Monterey Bay Orchestra in the early ‘90’s, has taught an annual masterclass at Hidden Valley Music Seminars in Carmel Valley since 2002, and has been a visiting faculty member at the California Jazz Conservatory in Berkeley. Ryerson is a Gemeinhardt Artist with an Autograph Series of flutes. aliryerson.com
Steve Rudolph has had an inspiring career in his 50 years of professional music making. Jazz Improv magazine states, “Rudolph is a savvy, swinging, glimmering heavyweight… ...simply outstanding.” With eleven acclaimed CDs as a leader, he has served as producer, arranger and performer on many recordings including CDs with Johnny Coles, Bill Goodwin, Ali Ryerson, Matt Wilson and J.D. Walter. His vast experience encompasses concert performances with many jazz masters including Louie Bellson, Clark Terry, Terry Gibbs, Buddy Tate, Al Grey, the Mills Brothers, and Cal Collins. He has toured throughout the U.S., India, Europe, Canada, Russia and the Caribbean.
Born and raised in Southern Indiana, Steve studied trumpet and composition at Butler University in Indianapolis. He switched his main instrumental focus to the piano at age 22 and was hired by Buddy Morrow to perform with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra in 1977. This job led him to move to Harrisburg, PA in 1978 where he has been largely responsible for the growth of the thriving jazz scene in Central PA. His devotion to the music inspired him to found a jazz service organization - the Central PA Friends of Jazz - now in its 37th successful year. Steve is currently a Yamaha Keyboard Artist and his detailed recording and touring information may be found at steverudolph.com.
John Wiitala is a freelance bassist, active in the Bay Area Jazz scene since the 1980s. He's played and recorded with pianist Jessica Williams' trio, Mark Levine's Latin Tinge, the Bruce Forman Trio, Bill Bell, Wesla Whitfield and Mike Greensill, Ed Reed, Erik Jekabson, Adam Shulman, Patrick Wolff and Randy Porter. He currently teaches at the California Jazz Conservatory and annually at flutist Ali Ryerson's Master Class at Hidden Valley, the Stanford Jazz Workshop and the Theo Bleckman/Laurie Antonioli Vocal Intensive. Wiitala has had the fortune to accompany a few of his musical "heroes" through the years: Joe Henderson, Benny Golson, Mark Murphy, Charlie Rouse, Shorty Rogers, Bud Shank, Bob Dorough, Mose Allison, Charles McPherson, Kenny Barron, Albert Tootie Heath, Pete Jolly, Mike Wofford, Lou Levy, Bobby Hutcherson, Mary Stallings, Joe Locke, John Handy, Noel Jewkes and Calvin Keyes. He counts among his mentors Hal Stein, Flip Nunez, drummers Richie Goldberg and Donald Duck Bailey and pianist Smith Dobson IV.
Born and raised in California, Akira Tana earned degrees from Harvard University and the New England Conservatory of Music. Tana has worked with Sonny Rollins, Sonny Stitt, Zoot Sims, Hubert Laws, Milt Jackson, Jim Hall, Art Farmer, The Paul Winter Consort, Paquito D'Rivera, James Moody, J.J. Johnson, Lena Horne, The Manhattan Transfer, Ruth Brown, Charles Aznavour, Maurice Hines, and Van Dyke Parks. He has appeared on over 150 recordings.
Tana co-led a quintet with the bassist, Rufus Reid called TanaReid, has five releases, Yours and Mine and Passing Thoughts, on Concord Records and Blue Motion and Looking Forward, and Back to Front, on Evidence Music. On Sons of Sound, Akira has two releases as a leader, Moon Over the World and Secret Agent Men. The third US releasee on Sons of Sound as a leader is a project by the Secret Agent Men Band playing themes from the movies of James Bond, entitled Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, featuring the vocalist, Annie Sellick. Just released in Japan is a project entitled JAZZaNOVA on Vega Records that features the vocalists, Claudio Amaral, Claudia Villela, Jackie Ryan, Carla Helmbrecht, and Sandy Cressman. Guest artists include Branford Marsalis and Arturo Sandoval. This project will be released in the US in 2017. A recent release as a leader is a recording entitled Otonowa, which features jazz interpretations of Japanese folk and pop melodies that date as far back as the 1800s. The newest release for Otonowa, the group’s name, is Stars Across the Ocean. This group has completed four tours of Tohoku performing and teaching for communites still rebuilding from the Earthquake/Tsunamai of 2011. An active teacher and clinician, Tana has taught at Rutgers University, Queens College, Jersey City State College, New York University, and is currently on the faculty at San Francisco State University and the California Jazz Conservatory in Berkeley, CA.
Mr. Tana is a product endorser of YAMAHA DRUMS, SABIAN CYMBALS, and VIC FIRTH STICKS. akiratana.com