7 pm Friday, June 10, 2022
Second Stage I Amherst
(194 Second Street, Amherst, Virginia)
Second Stage I Amherst
(194 Second Street, Amherst, Virginia)
Los Gatos is a Latin jazz group based in Roanoke, Virginia. It was developed through the merger of musical influences of musicians from different regions. The members of Los Gatos have played with Latin Jazz Project, Latin Heat, Solazo, and other groups. Their performances take the listener on a trip to distant lands, drawing on repertoire that includes traditional African rhythms, Caribbean influences and traditional song forms. Los Gatos seamlessly melds these musical idioms with contemporary jazz styles to produce music for all listeners to enjoy.
Los Gatos is:
• Chris Magee: trumpet, flugelhorn
• Greg Moody: saxophones/woodwinds
• Ken Hitchcock: saxophones/woodwinds
• Sue Halloran: vocals
• Lenny Marcus: keyboards, flute
• Jeff Hofmann: acoustic and electric bass
• Vladimir Espinoza: congas/percussion
• David Sandoval: bongos/percussion
• Larry Scott: drums/percussion
Adults $15; Students $10
Los Gatos premieres of their arrangements of Chick Corea works:
Chris Magee, trumpet/flugelhorn
Chris Magee is Assistant Professor of Music at University of Lynchburg. At UL, Dr. Magee is Director of Jazz Studies, teaches trumpet, and teaches courses in music appreciation, and music technology. He received the doctor of musical arts degree from the University of Iowa and bachelor and master of music degrees from James Madison University.
Chris is in demand as a clinician and guest conductor around the east coast, including guest director of the VBODA District 16 All-District Jazz Ensemble and the Delaware All-State Jazz Ensemble.
A busy free-lance trumpeter, Dr. Magee is principal trumpet with the Lynchburg Symphony Orchestra, performs with the Latin jazz group Los Gatos, and is co-leader and lead trumpet with the Vosbein Magee Big Band (vosbeinmageebigband.com). Chris has played lead trumpet for artists such as Aretha Franklin, Wayne Newton, The Temptations, The Four Tops and the O’Jays. Previously, he was staff trumpeter and arranger at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
Greg Moody, saxophones/woodwinds
Greg Moody grew up just outside of Staunton, Virginia. He attended the Shenandoah Conservatory at Shenandoah University, where he earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Studies. He has performed with groups such as The Temptations, the Glen Miller Orchestra, and Richmond-based Salsa group Bio Ritmo. He performs regularly as a freelance saxophonist and woodwind specialist, and is a member of the Vosbein Magee Big Band.
Greg is the band director at Fishburne Military School in Waynesboro, Virginia; he also serves as the saxophone instructor at Mary Baldwin University, and teaches woodwinds and guitar at Valley Music Academy in Waynesboro. Greg lives in Staunton with his wife, Holly, and his daughters, Anne and Claire
Ken Hitchcock, saxophones/woodwinds
Ken Hitchcock was one of the most in demand multi-reed instrumentalists in New York City and now in Roanoke,VA. Equally at home on the Orchestral Concert stage as well as in any type of jazz big band or combo, funk, R+B and Latin groups.
Ken has played on 3 Grammy award winning albums with Gerry Mulligan, Machito, and with Steely Dan on their two most recent CDs including the 4 Grammy Award winner- “Two Against Nature” and “Everything Must Go.”
Latin and Jazz groups toured and recorded with include- Buddy Rich, Louie Bellson, Gerry Mulligan, Machito, Tito Puente, Chico O’Farrell, The Latin Giants, The Bronx Horns, Spanish Harlem Orchestra, Mambo Legends Orchestra, Mel Lewis, Bob Mintzer, and the Elvin Jones Jazz Machine (quintet). Ken has also performed with Herbie Hancock.
Extensive touring and recording with vocalists includes Sting, Rod Stewart, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Lou Rawls, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross, Sarah Vaughn, Mel Torme, Natalie Cole, Michel Legrand, Joe Cocker, Audra McDonald, Chaka Khan, Michael Buble, and 13 years as soloist with Liza Minnelli.
In the classical genre Ken has performed featured solos in Orchestral performances with The Metropolitan Opera, The American Symphony, New York Pops, New Jersey Symphony, Concordia Orchestra, American Ballet Theater, The American Composers Orchestra, NE Pennsylvania Philharmonic, and the Westchester Philharmonic.
In December of 2011 Ken and his wife Sue Halloran released their first CD celebrating their 25th anniversary-“I Can Cook Too”. The CD has received only rave reviews from 9 of the most prominent jazz critics.
Sue Halloran, vocals
Sue is from that hearty native stock of Milwaukee, Wisconsin who started a professional career in music at age 15. She joined the Milwaukee Florentine Opera Company for two years and then was discovered by “The Bob Fosse of Milwaukee.” His name was Bob Simpson and from that moment, Sue’s journey took an exciting path, starting in a Milwaukee night club, Fazio’s on 5th. Since she was underage, her dad drove her to work and picked her up at midnight with her long blonde hair, full make up, and fishnet stockings, still exhilarated after two shows, singing and dancing with a troupe of six. The show biz bug…bit!
Two years later a singing and dancing group was put together called “The Brothers and Sisters”. Bob Simpson gathered 16 young and talented performers from Milwaukee and they hit the road with a bang. Traveling for three years together playing all the big casinos in Las Vegas and all over the US and Canada. They met with such success that they appeared numerous times on all the variety shows of that time, Merv Griffin, Mike Douglas and Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show. Sue, gained immeasurable experience that carried her on toward many varied opportunities in show business.
She began her career in the theater, with roles such as Lili in “Carnival” Agnes Gooch in “Mame,” and Hedy la Rue in “How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying”, delving into her flair for comedy. Her distinctive soprano voice eventually led her into the competitive world of radio and television commercials, landing her group and solo accounts for McDonald’s, AT&T,Hertz, Ford, Red Lobster, Women’s Day Magazine and Dunkin ‘ Donuts, to name a few. She worked for Salsoul records, one of the biggest Latin-jazz and funk labels in the 70’s-80’s, and became a back-up vocalist for major recording artists from Paul Anka, David Clayton Thomas of Blood, Sweat & Tears to David Byrne of the Talking Heads and recorded the hit single Big Blue Plymouth from his album with Twyla Tharp, "The Catherine Wheel".
Sue became a featured vocalist with the Red Parrot big band, one of the last live and steady working big bands in New York, performing at the Red Parrot Night Club in midtown Manhattan. Oh...by the way, she also met her husband to be, Ken Hitchcock, also performing in the band. They went on to share concert stages with Phil Woods, Nancy Wilson, the late great Cab Calloway, Tito Puente and Sarah Vaughn.
One of the proudest moments of her career was joining the New York Saxophone Quartet, which also included her husband Ken. Their national tour presented undeniable proof that saxophones alone, with no rhythm section, can provide solid accompaniment for a featured vocalist. This wonderful blend of saxes and singer brought an original sound and style which delighted their sophisticated concertgoers across the country and in New York City. Over the years, Sue has been performing with a very unique vocal trio called "String of Pearls." They have recorded 4 CD’s and have traveled extensively through the US, Europe and Japan. Billy Taylor invited them to perform in “The Women of Jazz” festival held at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.
Lenny Marcus, piano and flute
Jazz Times Magazine has described Lenny Marcus’ music as “Infectious!” No wonder, since Lenny worked for many years in New Orleans studying and performing with legends such as Ray Bryant, Ellis Marsalis and Alvin Batiste . He has a strong blues oriented left hand, thanks to Bryant. Lenny possesses a superior melodic imagination and highly developed arranging and orchestration skills that become palpable throughout a diversity of styles-swinging, cool, sophisticated, jazzified Beethoven masterpieces, Latin, toe- tapping , high energy as well as beautifully contemplative and engaging.
His latest release, Gloria’s Step TOUTED as “ Swinging elegant fun,” has reached #10 on Canadian jazz charts & #34 in the top 50 of USA charts. An earlier release, Sun Ray, a Ray Bryant tribute, was considered to be one the top jazz albums of 2012, and his follow up ‘TONK’ in 2013 was acclaimed by notable jazz critic Owen Cordle of JazzTimes magazine.
International famed players who have performed and recorded with LMT include Charlie Byrd, Herb Ellis, Frank Foster, Brian Lynch, David “ Fathead “ Newman (Ray Charles tenor) and Jane Powell.
Lenny has performed in three New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Fest, Spoleto , Barbados and Grenada Jazz festivals in addition to appearing four times in Wash DC at the famed Blues Alley with his trio.
Jeff Hofmann, acoustic
and electric bass
An appreciator of all music genres, Jeff began his formal study of bass at Roanoke College under the direction of Alan Weinstein, Assistant Professor of Cello and Bass at Roanoke College/Virginia Tech and a member of the Kandinsky Trio.
Since then, he has committed countless hours to his craft and has played in bands covering jazz, gypsy jazz, blues, funk, pop, Latin, Americana, 80s, and more. His passion for folk and cultural music of different eras and geographic regions drives his desire to possess a deeper understanding of music and its subtle nuances.
Prompted by his desire to educate through music, Jeff created Unison Foundation in 2004 to support artists and musicians in southwestern Virginia through performances, workshops, and free promotion. He managed and performed with four music groups who were registered with the Virginia Commission for the Arts. Additionally, he was invited to participate in the 37th annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival.
His bass work has appeared on more than 50 albums, as well as television and movie soundtracks, and musical productions. Highlights for him include a film entitled "Down in the Old Belt: Voices from the Tobacco South", commission work for an animated trailer featured at the historic Grandin Theatre in Roanoke, VA. Additional films include “The Joneses" (David Duchovny, Demi Moore), "Baby Baby Baby" (Kelsey Grammar, Bradley Cooper, William Shatner, Cloris Leachman), as well as the pilot episode of Showtime's "Homeland".
Having performed internationally and with more than 30 years of experience producing and performing on the instrument, Jeff brings a wealth of wisdom to anyone seeking to expand their knowledge about the bass. Jeff also teaches bass at Hollins University.
Vladimir Espinoza, congas/percussion
Vladimir Espinosa is a musician, actor, and choreographer born in Havana, Cuba. He graduated from the ENA (school of national arts in Cuba) in 1985.He also studied with the National Folkloric de Cuba with Regino Jimenes and Pelladito: both having taught at ENA. After he graduated he became a professor and instructor in the school of the arts and the house of the culture in Havana, Cuba. Then he started a professional career for different companies as an actor, dancer, and choreographer the companies he worked with included: Teatro Caribeno (Cuba), Teatro Orile (Cuba), Compania National De Danza (Ecuador), and Rojo Oscuro (Ecuador).
In 1996, Vladimir was the Artistic Director and Choreographer for the election ceremonies Miss Ecuador. Also he has been a teacher, instructor, and musician accompanist for the American Dance festival (Durham, North Carolina) since 2005. He propagandized a movie (El Accidente De La Libertad) and a coproduction with Germany and Venezuela. Vladimir was part of many different groups and bands like Savuka Son, Havana Express, Coral y Esmeralda, Los Gatos, Las Manos Del Sol, Solazo, Western Mambo, Lenny Marcus Jazz Trio, Jazz Trio Michel and Vladimir, Latin Clave, and many others. His specialties include Latin and afro-Cuban music, contemporary Latin and Afro-Cuban Folkloric Dance, and traditional African Diaspora rhythms.
David Sandoval, bongos/percussion
David Sandoval is a percussionist born into a family of musicians. His father played bongó for famous Puerto Rican trumpet player Mario Ortiz. David was raised in Santurce, Puerto Rico and played in several local salsa bands. He played with such greats as Jose Justo Canales, Nacho Sanabria. His styles include Afro-Cuban, Latin jazz, merengue & salsa beats. His stepfather, Ray Coen, was a well-known pianist/ arranger/composer, and afforded him the opportunity to learn from such musical talents as Roy Rosario, Papo Pepin, (his godfather), Roberto Rohena & Rafael Cortijo.
David strives to foster ethnic diversity using his talents as a percussionist to cross racial and ethnical barriers. His diverse percussion skills bring a highly spirited flavor to the already-spicy rhythm section. The melody can be as smooth as sugar cane, or as fiery as sazón.
Larry Scott, drums/percussion
Larry Scott resides in Lynchburg, Virginia and he has traveled extensively. He is one of the most sought-after drummers in Southwestern VA. Among his many accomplishments is he has played with the Lynchburg Symphony, and he has opened for Kool and the Gang. He is an instructor at the Lynchburg Music School. Cadence and Jazztimes magazines have given him high marks for his percussive style.