Drummer Jeff Hatcher was the recipient of the 2007 Bakersfield Jazz Workshop Music Scholarship Award, the BJW’s first award. He attended the Gordon Goodwin Big Phat Band Summer Jazz Workshop at CSUN with the scholarship funds, and attended NYU, majoring in music. He is pictured here with Grammy Award winning pianist/composer/arranger Gordon Goodwin.
With a strong foundation in classical piano from the age of seven, Ezekiel Victor discovered a love for jazz and blues piano in his early high school years, around age 15, after previously having experimented with jazz on the tenor saxophone. Zeke, as he is more affectionately known, has played piano with numerous artists and combos in Bakersfield, including two live performances of Miles Davis’s best-selling Kind of Bluer ecord with local saxophone giants Paul Perez and Mike Raney and trumpeter Steve Eisen. Zeke was the pianist on call for the CSUB Jazz Ensemble for the 2006-’07 school year and recently had the opportunity to play in that band under the direction of the legendary big band composer Sammy Nestico. His primary influences remain Bill Evans, Vince Guaraldi, and Diana Krall. In May 2007 he released a trio album of his own featuring bassist Pablo Motta and drummer Canaan McDuffie, available for purchase through his web site and select online music retailers. He followed that initial effort with another, showcasing the impressive talents of his band and him.
Josiah is a professional free lance woodwind performer, private instuctor, composer and California State University Northridge, graduate who plays saxophone, flute and clarinet. Although he specializes in Jazz, Josiah also plays in funk, rock, folk and classical or concert wind bands. Josiah has had the privilege of performing and working with such jazz greats as Sammy Nestico, David “Fathead” Newman, Bennie Wallace, Bruce Babad, Paul Perez, Rob Lockart, Gary Pratt, Matt Harris, Gordon Goodwin, Eric Marienthal, Brian Scanlon, Jeff Driskill, Alvin Queen, Ken Bausano, Jaime Seville, David Cutler, Steve Eisen, Danton Boller, Bill Dendle, Anita Thomas, Terry Myers, Steve Homan, and Doug Davis, among many others. Josiah studied with Rob Lockart at CSUN and Bruce Babad, member of the nationally accalaimed Cannonball-Coltrane Project and professor at Fullerton college in the Los Angeles area. Josiah has played regularly at CSUN, as well as local gigs in the Los Angeles/Bakersfield areas.He is currently continuing his studies and performing in the New York City area.
Ray Wallace is a graduate of West High and was the drummer for the 2007 All-City Bakersfield Honor Jazz Band. He is also a recent finalist in the 2007 Guitar Center Drum-Off. Currently serving in the military, the BJW always looks forward to his visits back to Bakersfield and the workshop.
Two time recipient of the BJW’s Lary Totten Award in 2010 & 2011 (the latter w/Chris Nguyen), Isaiah Morfin has been playing the alto saxophone since he was 10 years old. He also doubles on all saxes and the flute. He played in Carnegie Hall in New York with his school Advanced Band, and has won numerous outstanding soloist and musicianship awards at Fullerton, Ridgeview High, and Western State Jazz Festivals (2003-2005). He was principal chair in alto sax for the SCSBOA Honor Jazz Bands (2004-2005), the All-State Symphonic Honor Band (2004), and the SCSBOA Honor Symphonic Band (2004).
While still in high school, Isaiah was a member of the Cal State Jazz Big Band, where he was first chair. He was the youngest performer in the 21st Annual Bakersfield Jazz Festival (May, 2007), even performing his own compositions at this prestigious event. He currently is continuing his jazz studies at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston on a full scholarship.
Isaiah performs regularly in the L.A. area at various clubs, musical venues, and the Promenade in Santa Monica, and also plays at numerous local community events in the Bakersfield area. He has played/performed with Justo Almario, Pete Escovedo, Kenny Garrett, Carmen Bradford, Alvin Queen, and Sammy Nestico, among others. Isaiah has studied with Jeff Clayton and Bob Sheppard.
For one so young, his list of accomplishments is truly phenomenal:
Jay Smith has performed with dozens of groups all over California, France, Italy, Germany, and Spain in a wide range of music, from bebop and gypsy jazz to latin rock and funk. He has worked with groups such as Velorio, Zambra, Marc 5, Patrick Contreas’ American Gypsy Experience and currently is involved in a side project mixing traditional elements of a variety of elements of jazz with underground hip-hop that should be out near the beginning of next year. He is a regularly featured artist at the Bakersfield Jazz Workshop.
Jonathan Martinez has been a staple in the jazz scene here in Bakersfield for the last few years. He’s worked with Kris Tiner, woodwinds master Vinny Golia, Paul Tynan, Harris Eisenstadt and Bakersfield College groups, as well as a number of musicians in town. He finds his sound in a cross between popular music and drummers such as Elvin Jones and Art Blakey.
Fernando Montoya has been playing electric bass since the age of 16. He began playing stand up bass in orchestra during his sophmore year and during his senior year was in Highland High’s Jazz Band (2006). During this time Fernando began playing in Rock groups and is currently a member of the rock band Trading Company. He has played with some local jazz musicians such as Ezekiel Victor and Anjilla Piazza. His main influences are Terence ‘Geezer’ Butler of Black Sabbath and Krist Novoselic of Nirvana. Some of his jazz favorites include Mingus, Miles Davis and Wes Montgomery.
Chuck Paulsen first became involved with music in fifth grade, when he began playing the guitar. In his high school band, he joined the percussion section and quickly became a skilled drummer. Chuck has participated in the Bakersfield Jazz Workshop and has been a member of the Kern County Honors Jazz Band for two consecutive years. He currently is the drummer for a jazz/funk band called Colorblind.
Quote: “I love making music; there’s nothing like hearing instruments in a band combine and work together towards a single musical goal.”
Anthony Rinaldi began piano lessons in second grade. Four years later, he picked up the guitar and bass guitar. After joining the Bakersfield Jazz Workshop, Anthony gained an appreciation for jazz and began to write compositions and study piano with Dr. Doug Davis, Professor of Jazz Studies at CSUB. He has been a member of the Kern County Honors Jazz Band for two consecutive years, during which his first full jazz band composition/arrangement was performed. He currently writes arrangements and compositions for Colorblind. He plans to study music and English at CSU Northridge.
Quote: “You can make music that evokes emotion in an audience. However, you have to you know what you’re doing to influence the response.”
Brent Williams began studying trumpet with his father at the age of 7. His passion for music quickly ignited as he entered high school and began studying with teachers including Charles Brady, Sal Panelli, Steve Eisen, and most recently Ed Carrol. Brent is currently enrolled at CSUB studying music performance. He also is the trumpeter for Colorblind. Past recognitions include four years in the Kern County Honors Jazz Band, four years in the Kern County Honor Band (two years first chair), two years with CBDA Allstate, and two years with the Cal Poly Allstate Band.
Quote: “Change is the only constant.”
Adam Zanoff began his music career playing tuba for the Stockdale Christian Junior High band. In his second year of junior high, he learned to play the bass guitar. He quickly developed as a bass player, and went on to play the bass in high school. After joining the Bakersfield Jazz Workshop, Adam played with the Kern County Honors Jazz Band for two consecutive years. Adam currently plays bass for and manages Colorblind, and plans to study audio engineering at the University of the Pacific.
Quote: “Life is like music; if I don’t know what to do, I make things up.”
Currently a sophomore at California State University Bakersfield (CSUB) as a Music Education major, Alejandro is working toward his teaching credential for the state of California. Having started in the fifth grade on the trumpet, Alejandro has ventured into being proficient with other instruments such as the french horn and flugelhorn, as well as composing original pieces (you can listen to them by visiting here: reverbnation and here: soundcloud).
Though still in college, Alejandro has had the honor of working with several fine musicians, including: Theo Bleckmann, Poncho Sanchez and Fransico Torres, Tim Ries, Josh Roseman, James Miley, Jay Smith, Doug Davis, Jim Scully and Kris Tiner.
He found his passion for music in high school, and has been going to the Bakersfield Jazz Workshop for the past three years; he still regularly attends every Wednesday to partake in the class and the jam session portions of the workshop.
Alejandro plays with several groups, including: the Bakersfield Jazz Workshop Big Band, Bakersfield Jazz Workshop Youth Ensemble, CSUB Small Ensembles, CSUB Concert Band, CSUB Jazz Big Band and the Salvation Army (seasonally).