Diego Figueiredo and Ken Peplowski
Saturday, May 19, 2018, 7:30pm

Diego Figueiredo

Brazilian-born Diego Figueiredo (pronounced fig-a-ray-do), whom George Benson called “one of the greatest guitarists [he’s] seen in [his] whole life”, is considered one of the most talented guitar players in the world today. He is the winner of several important competitions including the Montreux Jazz Competition and the VISA Prize.

Diego has released over nineteen albums to date, three DVD’s, and several instructional books. His unique interpretations – a fusion between Jazz, Bossa Nova and Classical, along with his phenomenal technique and emotion, has created an explosion of adoring fans and concert goers.  Diego has performed in over forty countries around the world.

Diego Figueiredo was born in 1980 and by the age of fifteen, he was playing theaters and nightclubs throughout Brazil, playing both solo and with many renowned Brazilian musicians. He has studied classical guitar, Brazilian popular music and jazz in several different conservatories including Franca, Ribeirão Preto, Tatuí, and Berklee College of Music.

Besides being a guitar player (he has been accompanying the French phenom and Lakeshore Music alumna,  Cyrille Aimée!), Diego is a producer, arranger, orchestrator, multi-instrumentalist and has recently produced and arranged the double album “As várias caras de Drummond” for which Belchior wrote the music for Drummond´s poems, and which was released in CARAS magazine.

Figueiredo is a virtuoso with an infectious, joyful feeling that will leave you amazed and happy. Don’t miss this opportunity to discover this incredible artist, whose performances unite technique and emotion in a fusion of Brazilian music and jazz.


Ken Peplowski

Ohio-native Ken Peplowski is one of the leading clarinetists and sax players in jazz today. He played his first pro engagement when he was still in elementary school and by the time Ken was in his early teens, he was experimenting with jazz by playing in the school “stage” bands, and also by jamming with many of the local jazz musicians. In 1980, Ken moved to New York City and was soon playing in all kinds of settings. In 1984, Benny Goodman came out of retirement and put together a new band, hiring Ken on tenor saxophone.

To date he’s performed and recorded with all the greats including Mel Torme, Leon Redbone, Charlie Byrd, Peggy Lee, Benny Goodman, George Shearing,  Madonna,  James Moody, Steve Allen, Woody Allen, and many more. He has recorded over 50 CDs as a soloist, and 400 as a sideman.

He likes to play for audience of all sizes: in small clubs, the Hollywood Bowl (where he played a sold-out concert), headlining in Las Vegas, the Newport Jazz Festival, pops concerts, European festivals and clubs, or at home in NYC, where among other things, he’s been playing on the soundtracks to Woody Allen movies and guest soloing on various records.

In 2014, Ken was the recipient of the Sarasota Jazz Festival’s “Satchmo” award, given to him for his “unique and enduring contribution to the living history of jazz”; in March, Ken was also the guest of honor at a “Highlights In Jazz” concert in NYC saluting him for “his matchless musical achievements”. He was the 2015 recipient of Hot House Magazine’s “Fans’ Decision Jazz Award” on clarinet.

Past Shows

Past Shows

Jeff Hamilton Trio
Saturday, Apr 21, 2018, 7:30pm

Jeff Hamilton – Drummer

Born in Richmond, Indiana, Jeff grew up listening to his parent’s big band records and at the age of eight began playing drums along with Oscar Peterson records. He attended Indiana University and later studied with John Avon Ohlen. Jeff was influenced by Gene Krupa, Buddy Rich, Mel Lewis, “Philly” Joe Jones and Shelly Manne.

In 1974, he got his first big break playing with the New Tommy Dorsey Orchestra. He then joined Lionel Hampton’s Band until 1975 when he, along with bassist John Clayton, became members of the Monty Alexander Trio. From 1999-2001, the Clayton/Hamilton Jazz Orchestra was named the in-residence ensemble for the Hollywood Bowl Jazz series. The Los Angeles Jazz Society named Jeff and his musical partner, John Clayton, musicians of the year for 2006.

Jeff has been on nearly 200 recordings with artists such as Natalie Cole, Diana Krall, Milt Jackson, Barbara Streisand, Mel Torme, John Pizzarelli, Benny Carter, Lalo Schifrin and many others. Jeff is a frequent guest of the WDR Big Band in Cologne, Germany. He also appeared in Natalie Cole’s Great Performances PBS special, Unforgettable and an Oscar Peterson documentary, Life In The Key Of Oscar.

Tamir Hendelman – Pianist

Tamir began his keyboard studies at age 6, attending the Anazagi Conservatory in Tel Aviv, Israel. During this period, a Count Basie recording introduced him to jazz. At 14, Tamir won top honors at Yamaha’s national keyboard competition. As a result, performances in Japan and at the Kennedy Center followed. In 1988, Tamir studied composition at the Tanglewood Institute where he received his first writing commission for large ensemble.

Eastman School of Music was the next stop for Tamir in 1989. This experience afforded him learning opportunities with visiting alumnus Ron Carter and jazz great Lee Konitz. There, he received a Bachelor of Music degree in composition in 1993.
Since returning to Los Angeles in 1996, Tamir has been in demand as both pianist and arranger. His accomplishments include: receiving awards from ASCAP and the National Foundation For Advancement in the Arts, musical director for Lovewell Institute for Creative Arts and clinician for the Thelonius Monk Institute. In March of 2000, Tamir joined the Jeff Hamilton Trio and in January of 2001, became the pianist with the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra. He was a recent guest soloist with the Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra.

Christoph Luty – Bassist

Salt Lake City native, bassist Christoph Luty is known for his big, natural sound, melodic bass lines and solos, and articulate arco playing. He came to Los Angeles in 1990 to pursue his dream of studying and playing with the greats. He studied bass with his mentor John Clayton and also earned his Master of Music degree from the University of Southern California. His playing has received many accolades.

Christoph currently lives in the Los Angeles area, and maintains a busy concert schedule, appearing in concert halls, clubs, and festivals throughout the United States, Japan, and Europe. With Jeff Hamilton Trio he performs concerts, club dates and workshops nationally and internationally. As the longtime bassist of the Clayton/Hamilton Jazz Orchestra he has collaborated on concerts with artists like Oscar Peterson, Ray Brown, Diana Krall, Clark Terry, Dave Brubeck, James Moody and Shirley Horn, to name only a few. He has recorded with the likes of Milt Jackson, John Pizzarelli, Diana Krall and more; and has appeared nationally with artists such as Dena DeRose, Harry Allen, Warren Vache, Curtis Stigers, Bill Watrous, Anthony Wilson, Jeff Clayton, Bill Cunliffe, Howlett Smith and many others.

Christoph is also interested in educating young bassists – he teaches jazz bass at California State University Long Beach, assists John Clayton at the University of Southern California, and teaches privately in his own studio.

For more information, please go to: hamiltonjazz.com

Dennis McNeil
Saturday, Mar 17, 2018, 7:30pm

Born and raised in Los Angeles, the renown Irish tenor Dennis McNeil received his degree in  Music from U.C. Davis. He is a highly sought after performer in the corporate and concert world having performed for several of the top U.S corporations and  for George W. Bush’s first Inauguration. He was also personally invited to sing at the Kennedy Space Center Memorial for the Space Shuttle Columbia and crew.

Well known for his versatility, McNeil is equally happy on the Broadway stage (singing roles like that of Mr. Snow in Carousel or of Nikos to Broadway legend, John Raitt’s Zorba), the Opera stage (he has performed with many of the major opera companies in the U.S. including the Met, New York City Opera and several others) or in front of a symphony as a soloist. He also sang in the smash hit musical Words and Music! and has toured and performed with legendary composer and conductor, Lalo Schifrin.

Now he brings us an evening of Irish song and story, singing some of the most beloved melodies ever to come from the Emerald Isle. Let Danny Boy and Galway Bay, sweep you away into an Irish dream along with songs like The Fields of Athenry, Raglan Road, Grace and many other popular Irish ballads made famous throughout the years by the Irish balladeers. McNeil blends his Irish charm along with his powerful and enchanting vocal talents to string together humorous tales and emotional songs. An evening not to be missed.

For more information, please go to: www.dennismcneil.com

Carmela Ramirez with Mariachi Pasion
Saturday, Feb 17, 2018, 7:30pm

Salsariachi! comes to Tempe Center for the Arts when Carmela Ramirez and her Latin Jazz Salsa band “Más”, create an evening of Latin Musical Fusion with Mariachi Pasión, an all-female Mariachi band. These award-winning performers have turned audiences on for many years performing in local venues and internationally. Afro-Cuban and son Jalisciense Mariachi rhythms will come alive in this electrifying concert! 

Carmela Ramirez, Latin Jazz, Classic Jazz and R&B Vocalist, has been awarded Best of Phoenix Latin Band, Best R&B Band, Best Fusion, Best Vocalist and more throughout her performing career. She and her band Más perform sizzling Afro-Cuban rhythms from Salsa, Merengue and Cha-Cha, to traditional and fusion stylings of Latin Jazz. Coverings artists from Dizzy Gillespie to Celia Cruz to crossover Brazilian artists like Tania Maria and Elaine Elias.

Mariachi Pasion was formed in April 2002. The group itself started in a music class at Arizona State University: eight girls thought it would be fun to play for a close relative… the rest is “HERSTORY”! The group has grown into a fifteen member group with the majority of musicians having worked their way through their education playing mariachi music!
The heart of Mariachi Pasion is the group chemistry and the common love and respect for mariachi music. “Tradition, pride, musicianship, diplomacy, class, beauty, grace… the group embodies its rich culture, heritage and customs.

For more information, please go to: www.carmelaramirez.com

Aldo López-Gavilán
Saturday, Jan 20, 2018, 7:30pm

Aldo López-Gavilán was born in Cuba to a family of internationally acclaimed classical musicians. At eleven he won a Danny Kaye International Children’s Award and at twelve he made his professional debut with the Matanzas Symphony Orchestra. Parallel to his classical abilities, López-Gavilán developed remarkable skills in improvisation which earned him an invitation to perform in the world-famous Havana Jazz Festival with the legendary Chucho Valdés.

López-Gavilán excels in both the classical and jazz worlds as a recitalist, concerto soloist, chamber-music collaborator, and performer of his own electrifying jazz compositions. He has appeared in many prestigious concert halls, among them: the Amadeo Roldán (Cuba), Carnegie Hall and Jordan Hall (U.S.), as well as in many other venues around the world.

Since December 2014, López-Gavilán has played a very active role in development of the new relationship between the U.S. and Cuba. In 2015, he joined the New York-based Harlem Quartet—co-founded by his violin-playing brother Ilmar—for several concerts, including one here, at the Tempe Center for the Arts. In April 2016 he was part of the group of Cuban musicians who collaborated in Cuba with such renowned U.S. artists as Joshua Bell, Usher, Dave Matthews, and Smokey Robinson. He also partnered with American trumpet virtuoso Byron Stripling in a concert at Havana’s Teatro del Museo de Bellas Artes, organized by Cuba Rhythm and Views (Lakeshore Music’s sister organization).

Don’t miss the chance to see this prolific and brilliant artist as he comes back to the TCA in 2018.

For more information, please go to: www.aldomusica.com

Nicole Pesce, Stephanie Trick and Paolo Alderighi
Saturday, Jan 13, 2018, 7:30pm

Nicole Pesce

Pianist, keyboardist, composer and arranger Nicole Pesce entertains audiences with her unique blend of virtuosity, humor and pizzazz. With a repertoire consisting of over 12,000 memorized songs, Nicole is often dubbed “the human iPod” and is recognized as one of the “top ten musicians to hear in Phoenix” by the Arizona Republic. She has appeared on Phoenix’s prime time news, television and radio stations as well as in magazines and newspaper articles.

As a composer with a catalog of over 300 songs, Nicole was commissioned to write the title track to the compilation CD “Amada” – dedicated to the Susan G. Koman Breast Cancer Foundation. Following the CD release, Nicole’s original music was featured in a documentary film for the Koman foundation presented at the Pink Tie Gala in Tampa, Florida.

Currently, Nicole is the resident pianist at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Phoenix where she regularly entertains with vocalist Jeffrey Hattrick and plays everything from Bach to Lady Gaga.

For more information, please go to: www.nicolepesce.com

Stephanie Trick and Paolo Alderighi

Stephanie Trick (Harlem stride piano virtuoso) and Paolo Alderighi met at a piano festival in Boswil (near Zürich), Switzerland, in 2008 and started to collaborate on a four-hands piano project dedicated to classic jazz, preparing arrangements of songs from the swing era, as well as drawing from the ragtime and blues repertoire. Following the 2012 release of their first album, Two for One, they have been invited to many festivals and events throughout the world. Their second CD, Sentimental Journey (2014), shows their commitment to the formula of four-hands duets on one piano, rarely used in jazz. They recently released two new recordings, Double Trio Live 2015, and Double Trio Always (2016), with the classic jazz trio setting (piano, bass, and drums), but with two pianists instead of one.

For more information, please go to: www.stephanietrick.com

Bob Ravenscroft Trio
Saturday, Dec 23, 2017, 7:30pm

Bob Ravenscroft, the widely-acclaimed jazz keyboardist and composer, is all about a lifelong pursuit of making great jazz music and exploring new ground. He anchors the new Ravenswave Recordings® label, which has emerged as a special, state-of-the-art “audiophile jazz” music company dedicated to capturing the sound of jazz as “lush” and “intimate” as today’s rapidly-advancing recording techniques will allow.

Bob currently performs in concert both solo and with his exciting new spiritual group Inner Journeys, and is developing new concepts as part of his Jazz in Sacred Spaces series. The Arizona Republic recently named his trio “Best Jazz Group.”

In addition to his love for the acoustic piano, Bob is also a master at creating textures with electronic keyboards, and Ravenswave has released Bob’s new Peace Within, featuring his dramatic synthesizer sounds.

Bob Ravenscroft’s unique playing style has been described as everything from sensitive and seasoned to far-ranging and free or “impressionistic.” Whatever it is, it’s always “something else!”

For more information, please go to: www.southwestartsmusic.com/bobravenscroft.html

Tierney Sutton Band
Saturday, Nov 18, 2017, 7:30pm

With a recording and touring history spanning over 20 years and 9 CDs, The Tierney Sutton Band, “TSB” has traveled a rare path. Comprised of Sutton and instrumental virtuosos Kevin Axt, Ray Brinker, Trey Henry and Christian Jacob, the band functions as a true collaborative (and legally incorporated) unit and makes all musical as well as business decisions as partners. In 2011 the TSB  received a Grammy nomination for its collaborative arranging, the only collaborative team ever to receive that honor.

Since its founding, the band became known for its sophisticated, refreshing arrangements, and the obvious musical joy they felt when playing together. The group has developed into a tightly knit group that recorded critically acclaimed CDs. Their discography is thematic and rich and past TSB projects have addressed: Americana (“American Road” 2011) Materialism (“Desire” 2009), The Pursuit of Happiness (On The Other Side” 2007), as well as the musical legacies of Bill Evans (Blue in Green 2001) and Frank Sinatra (Dancing in The Dark” 2003).

The most recent releases are ““Sully” – The Music From and Inspired by the Motion Picture” and “Sting Variations”. The latter one was nominated for the 2017 Grammy in the Best Jazz Vocal Album category (seventh nomination in this category).

For more information, please go to: www.tierneysutton.com

Mike Kocour and Friends with Dee Alexander
Saturday, Oct 28, 2017, 7:30pm

The TCA All-Stars team up for a night of classic jazz with acclaimed Chicago vocalist Dee Alexander. The TCA All-Stars should already be familiar to those who follow the Lakeshore Music Series. These musicians are the A-Team throughout the larger Phoenix music community. Jerry Donato, reeds; Michael Kocour, piano (leader); Dwight Kilian, bass; Dom Moio, drums.

Dee Alexander is among the premier vocalists and songwriters in American music today and one of Chicago’s most gifted and respected artists. Her performances span virtually every musical genre related to the African diaspora, gospel, blues, neo-soul, rhythm-and-blues and world music, but her true heart belongs to jazz, the one idiom that can encompass all her influences.

Michael Kocour is a jazz pianist, organist and composer. He also serves as Director of Jazz Studies at the Herberger the School of Music at Arizona State University. Hailed by the Chicago Tribune as “one of the most sophisticated pianists in jazz,” Kocour has performed at venues around the world and was a guest on the late Marian McPartland’s internationally syndicated NPR program “Piano Jazz.” Among the many artists and ensembles with whom he has appeared with are Dizzy Gillespie, Joe Lovano, Eddie Harris, James Moody, Eddie Daniels, Randy Brecker, Benny Golson, Ira Sullivan, Carl Fontana, Dewey Redman, Lew Tabackin, and the Chicago Symphony.

For more information, please go to: www.michaelkocour.com

Benny Green
Saturday, Sep 23, 2017, 7:30pm

Born in New York in 1963, Benny Green grew up in Berkeley, California, and began classical piano studies at the age of seven. Influenced by his father, a tenor saxophonist, his attention soon turned to Jazz: “I began trying to improvise on the piano, imitating the records I’d been hearing from my father’s collection, which included a lot of Monk and Bird… it was a gradual process of teaching myself”.
Since emerging under the tutelage of Betty Carter, Art Blakey, Freddie Hubbard and Ray Brown in the early 1980s, Benny Green has become a highly regarded pianist and bandleader. His recordings with the masters form a foundation of jazz education and some notable early highlights include: Beginning his touring life with Betty Carter for four years and realizing a life-long dream of becoming a Jazz Messenger; In 1993 Oscar Peterson chose Benny as the first recipient of the City of Toronto’s Glen Gould International Protégé Prize in Music culminating in Oscar & Benny (1998) recorded for Telarc. To date Green appeared on well over one hundred recordings, with legacy artists and as the leader of his own groups.

Benny Green possesses the history of jazz at his fingertips. Combine mastery of keyboard technique with decades of real world experience playing with no one less than the most celebrated artists of the last half century, and it’s no wonder Green has been hailed as perhaps the most exciting hard-swinging, hard-bop pianist to ever emerge from Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers.

For more information, please go to: bennygreenmusic.com