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Gualala Arts

Promoting public interest and participation in the arts since 1961.

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Gualala Arts Jazz Series logo Eighth Annual
Redwood Coast Whale & Jazz Festival

Main Event

Bay Area Composers
Jazz Ensembles & Orchestra

Gualala Arts Center
Saturday, April 17, 2010

Doors open 6:30 p.m., Concert at 7:30 p.m.

Redwood Coast Whale and Jazz Festival logo

Jeanne Geiger
Jeanne Geiger
Erik Jekabson
Erik Jekabson
Gualala Arts is hosting the Redwood Coast Whale and Jazz Festival Main Event featuring the Bay Area Composers Jazz Ensembles & Orchestra,
with special guests Elena Pinderhughes and Zoë Presley, on Saturday, April 17, 2010.

The Bay Area Composer's Big Band was organized by
Erik Jekabson and Jeanne Geiger in 2008 as a 'reading band' for new big band music by local composers. These 'readings' allow the composers to hear works in progress and to adjust and refine them accordingly prior to public performance.

Whale & Jazz Festival Main Event 2010, poster by Hall Kelley
  by Hall Kelley
8½"x14"   PDF icon 160 KB pdf
Drawing from the roster of world-class jazz musicians in the Bay Area who have formidable reading and improvising abilities, these monthly reading sessions feature new works by different members of the band, each showing different influences and different approaches to writing for an ensemble this size and instrumentation.

The music ranges from avant-garde jazz to modern jazz to "third-stream" jazz and features many of the leading voices in the Bay Area's music scene drawn from the San Francisco Bay Area's top big bands including the Marcus Shelby Orchestra, Realistic Orchestra, the Mitch Marcus Quintet Plus 13, and the Contemporary Jazz Orchestra.

The fruits of these efforts were recently celebrated at the group's first public performance at Berkeley's Hillside Club. The program spanned a wide range of styles and genres - from big band arrangements of Stevie Wonder and 16th century composer Tomás Luis de Victoria to post-bop and avant-garde originals. The group hopes to repeat the success of this first public performance with future concerts featuring more new and exciting big band music.

For more information, visit the Bay Area Composer's Big Band website.

Bay Area Composers Jazz Ensembles & Orchestra

Bay Area Composers Big Band

Erik Jekabson (leader/trumpet), Darren Johnston (trumpet), Henry Hung (trumpet),
Neil Levonious (trumpet), Evan Francis (sax), Kasey Knudsen (sax), Marcus Stephens (sax),
Matt Nelson (sax), Doug Rowan (sax), Jeannie Geiger (leader/trombone), Adam Theis (trombone),
Jeremy Clark (trombone), James Dubberly (trombone), Mark Rosenberg (trombone),
Colin Hogan (piano), Jon Monahan (guitar), Tommy Folen (bass), Eric Garland (drums).

Erik Jekabson - leader / trumpet

Erik Jekabson Erik Jekabson is a trumpet player and composer whose music draws from many different sources, but remains firmly rooted in the "third-stream" explorative west coast tradition. A Berkeley, California native, his music has been shaped by his time spent studying at the Oberlin Conservatory, playing professionally in New Orleans (1994-98), New York (1998-2003) and San Francisco (2003-2010), and by his recent completion of graduate studies in classical composition at the San Francisco Conservatory in 2006.

Erik has toured with John Mayer, Illinois Jacquet, the Woody Herman Big Band and the jam-band Galactic, and has composed for film and dance projects. His solo album Intersection was released in the fall of 2003 by the Fresh Sound / New Talent label and recordings of two of his other projects, Vista: the Arrival and New World Funk Ensemble are also widely available.

Erik has recorded as a sideman on over 25 other jazz recordings, as well as recording on movie and video game soundtracks, and has self-published 32 Jazz Duets for Trumpet: Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced. He currently leads his own ensembles in the Bay Area, and has performed with them at the DeYoung Museum, Jazz at Pearl's, Pacifica Performances, the Downtown Berkeley Jazz Festival, the Jazzschool, and the Red Poppy Art House. He has also appeared with other groups at the San Jose Festival, San Francisco Jazz Festival, Monterey Jazz Festival, North Beach Jazz Festival and Redwood Coast Whale & Jazz Festival.

Erik maintains a busy schedule as a freelance musician in addition to his teaching jobs and often performs with local Bay Area musicians such as Marcus Shelby, Larry Vuckovich, Lavay Smith, and the Jazz Mafia. Erik is currently teaching at The Jazzschool, Berkeley City College, Chabot College, Cal State East Bay, Los Medanos College, Diablo Valley College and has taught clinics at Santa Rosa Junior College and Loyola College in New Orleans, as well as teaching at Jazzcamp West, the Stanford Jazz Workshop, and the Lafayette Summer Jazz Workshop.

Jeanne Geiger - leader / trombone

Jeanne Geiger Jeanne Geiger is proud to be a member of the Bay Area music scene for over 15 years. She has performed with numerous groups including Dave Eshelman's Jazz Garden Big Band, Ray Brown Great Big Band, Dave Brubeck Big Band, Gladys Knight, and Green Day, among many others.

While completing her BA in trombone performance in '02 and MA in composition in '07, she toured throughout Europe and Brazil with the CSU East Bay Jazz Ensemble and recorded an album featuring some of her music. She has also toured and recorded with her current groups, The Uptones, Dynamic, and Realistic Orchestra.

Special Guest Performers

Elena Pinderhughes - Flute

Elena Pinderhughes Returning to the Gualala Arts Center stage by enthusiastic acclamation, jazz flutist Elena Pinderhughes will have achieved the ripe old age of 15 by the time of the 2010 Whale and Jazz Festival Main Event.

Elena has been studying jazz, Latin jazz, and classical flute for seven years. She is a member of DC Berkeley's Young Musicians Program (YMP) and performs regularly with the YMP Junior Jazzers, the San Francisco Latin Jazz Youth Ensemble, and Catch 22, a group she founded with her brother, Samora, who plays piano and composes for the group.

Catch 22's repertoire includes Brazilian bossa novas, Latin jazz, be-bop, straight ahead jazz, and original compositions and arrangements by Samora. Through YMP, Elena has had the extraordinary opportunity to take week long seminars with many jazz greats including Frank Foster, Patrice Rushin, Rodney Whitaker, Herlin Riley, and Marcus Belgrave and to perform with trombonist Wycliff Gordon.

She has studied with teachers in the United States and Cuba. In the U.S. her teachers have included: Donna Viscuso, Michelle Caimoto, Geechi Taylor, John Galloway, Ledine Osuki, Jim Meredith, Candice Johnson, and her brother Samora. Currently, she is the youngest member ever of the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra.

Elena has performed at Carnegie Hall, Yoshi's, Pearl's, Yerba Buena Garden Summer Festival, SF Grammy Awards Annual Meeting, SF's Brazilian Carnival, and many other venues. She was featured at the 2007 Redwood Coast Whale & Jazz Festival, performing with the Montclair Women's Jazz Ensemble. In 2008, she returned as the headliner for the Whale & Jazz Festival's Gualala Arts Main Event, Jazz Prodigies, a rare moment in time," with alto sax sensation, composer and vocalist Grace Kelly (then only 15 years old). She has been featured in articles on jazz and in an HBO special on young musicians entitled The Music in Me. She won the "best jazz soloist" award from Downbeat magazine in 2008. Her debut CD, Catch 22, is available through CD Baby. She is also featured on a jazz CD produced by the Young Musicians Program entitled Future Gold.

Zoe Presley

Zoë Presley - Vocals

Zoë Presley has been singing and performing from the age of six; a career that has spanned jazz, musical theater, blues, bluegrass, folk, and cross-cultural music.

In recent years, Zoë has performed across the country as a solo act, with a jazz duo, with the contemporary bluegrass group, Cross-eyed Rosie, and with the eclectic fusion group, Cloudfire.

Her voice has been likened to Bonnie Raitt and Alison Krauss. Zoë enjoys the intimacy of live performance and connecting personally with her audience. She has produced a live solo album of poetry and original folksongs, and an album with Cross-eyed Rosie, Lookin' Up.

Tickets $28 advance, $5 more day of event; includes free appetizer buffet. No-host bar. You can purchase tickets online or by calling 800-838-3006. To purchase in person, visit the Gualala Arts Center, Dolphin Gallery or Four-Eyed Frog Books.

Bay Area Composers
Jazz Ensembles & Orchestra

April 17, 2010
Gualala Arts Center

Bay Area Composers Jazz Ensembles & Orchestra at Gualala Arts Center, April, 2010
Bay Area Composers Jazz Ensemble

Jeanne Geiger & Erik Jekabson at Gualala Arts Center, April, 2010
Jeanne Geiger & Erik Jekabson

Erik Jekabson at Gualala Arts Center, April, 2010
Erik Jekabson

Jeanne Geiger at Gualala Arts Center, April, 2010
Jeanne Geiger

Elena Pinderhughes at Gualala Arts Center, April, 2010
Elena Pinderhughes

Zoe Presley at Gualala Arts Center, April, 2010
Zoë Presley

Elena Pinderhughes & Marcus Stephens at Gualala Arts Center, April, 2010
Elena Pinderhughes & Marcus Stephens

More photos on

"Thanks to Fred Adler and the rest of the Gualala Arts staff for a brilliantly conceived and executed event, not to mention giving the band the red carpet treatment. While the great weather, festival hospitality, and band comraderie fades into a fond personal memory, the music is available to all from webpage below."
- Mark Rosenberg

The Gualala Arts Center, located at 46501 Old State Highway in Gualala, CA,
is open weekdays 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and weekends from noon to 4:00 p.m.
Please call (707) 884-1138 for more information, or email

Serving the coastal communities of northern Sonoma & southern Mendocino Counties.