La Ve Lee Jazz Club – Where Hummus Meets Samba

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Imagine eating your favorite Mediterranean dish of Spanakopita, along with stuffed grape leaves, pita and humus and then suddenly having the urge to get up and do the Samba. If you have every had the pleasure of hearing live music played by such legends as Sheila E. and her father Peter Escovedo dueling it out on percussion, alongside Peter Michael and Freddie Ravel, at La Ve Lee Jazz Club, then you have no doubt had all of your five senses stimulated…at once.

What sets La Ve Lee apart from many other Jazz venues are several things. Its ambiance is a throwback to the days when musicians like Miles Davis would perform for an intimate gathering in his East Village loft in New York City. There’s nothing grandiose about La Ve Lee. It’s Jazz music, with a little Salsa and Brasilian thrown in, as it was meant to be heard. Although the acoustics are a cut above the majority of clubs in the area, the experience of being so close to the band that you can actually touch them is the first thing that makes La Ve Lee unique. Sit at their long bar and tap your foot on the barstool or at a table that hugs the stage and either way, you are up close and personal with some of Jazz music’s heavy hitters.

Dark on Sundays and Mondays, La Ve Lee Jazz Club is open Tuesday thru Saturday from 7:00 to 1:00 a.m. However, these are loose hours. If you are around for the last set of the evening, you’re not leaving at 1:00 a.m. If you’ve seen many a live gig, you know that just as a musician is just hitting his or her stride, regardless of the time, no clock is going to pull him or her off that stage. Can you even imagine asking Ricky Lawson, in the middle of his drum solo to “exit stage left?” Call the babysitter. This is going to be another late night for you!

The dress code can best be described as casual chic. While no suit and tie are required of its patrons, please don’t show up in a holey pair of Levi’s. A trendy pair of jeans is fine, but keep in mind that Jazz is by nature classier than Rock and Roll. Thinking back to the days when Jazz was just getting its footing, seeing these cats on stage, they often wore their best suits. Even today as rock musicians are donning their best rags, singers like Brenda Russell and Kátia Moraes or saxophonist Michael Paolo are dressed in something sophisticated and elegant when they’re performing at La Ve Lee Jazz Club.

Reservations are strongly recommended. This venue is as popular as it is small and intimate. Whether it’s a Tuesday or a Saturday night, if you want to guarantee being able to hear Marcus Miller, Steve Tavaglione, Daryl Hayott, Vinx or Scott Kinsey, you will want to call ahead and get your name on the list.

If you are wondering whether this is the same La Ve Lee Jazz Club where you saw Latin Jazz Super Star “El Rey” Tito Puente and Jazz Fusion’s Jaco Pastorius perform, you would be correct. Over the last 25 years, the list of famous singers, piano players, bassists, drummers and percussionists who’ve graced her stage is both long and extremely impressive.

Located at 12514 Ventura Boulevard in Studio City, California. Their phone number is: 818-980-8158.

For an opportunity to eat the best humus and hear live music performed by some of the most extraordinary in Jazz, Latin Jazz, Samba and occasionally Rock n Roll, call La Ve Lee Jazz Club today.

Vinx – Track Star, Olympic Qualifier, Musician and Composer and College Professor

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Try as you might, it is impossible to put the musician and composer Vinx into a box. Some call him a Jazz artist, others call him Afro-Cuban, and still others might see him as a little Pop mixed with a little Rock and a lot of soul. Whatever box you want to place him in, it may work for the moment, until you hear the next song on the album you’re listening to.

This is probably why he’s toured and recorded with everyone from Wayne Shorter, Sting, Sting, Sheryl Crow, Teena Marie, Brenda Russell, Taj Mahal, Branford Marsalis, Roscoe Lee Brown, Bonnie Raitt, Bruce Hornsby, B.B. King, Herbie Hancock and Stevie Wonder. If you were to try and lump him into one genre of music based on the aforementioned list of “heavy hitters” who have requested his percussive talents and beautiful singing voice, given that they all appeal to such different audiences, you’d be hard pressed.

It would figure that the man who can’t be boxed into one musical genre can lay claim to two full names – born Leslie Jackson Parette, Jr., he also goes by the name Vincent D’jon Parette. And so to distinguish him from his father, the late Leslie Jackson Parette, Sr. whom he credits as being his greatest musical influence, it’s just easier to call him Vinx.

Vinx didn’t, however, start out as a singer, percussionist and arranger. Accepted into Kansas State University on a track scholarship, Vinx had his eyes on becoming an athlete. Unfortunately, for every event that he won, he attracted the type of attention nobody wants – hatred and envy. Fueled by racism, a group of people (to this author’s knowledge, Vinx hasn’t publicly accused anyone) burned down the houses of his neighbor and his family’s. Severely burned by the fire, it all but ended his hopes of being a professional athlete. Determined as he was, Vinx three years later would return to make the world’s second longest leap in the triple jump; qualifying him for the Moscow Olympics of 1980. However, politics got in the way of realizing his Olympic dream when President Jimmy Carter boycotted the US’s participation in the games that year.

Vinx, who had dabbled in deejaying in College, moved to Los Angeles and while working as a personal trainer to several celebrities, caught the attention of Ernie Watts who was just headed to the studio to record. And the rest, as “they” say, is history. Calls started coming in from artists such as Rickie Lee Jones, Herbie Hancock, Sting and numerous others. The next thing you know, he’s recording album after album, touring around the world and being asked to perform at the prestigious Montreaux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, where he was sandwiched between Miles Davis and Wayne Shorter.

When Vinx isn’t in the studio recording (he has 7 solo CDs to his credit, along with hundreds of collaborative efforts), he teaches at the Berklee School of Music.

It’s no surprise that Vinx has performed seven times at La Ve Lee Jazz Club. Each time, although build as a solo act, you just never know who would share the stage with him. With a résumé as impressive as his and with all the people who ask him to record and tour with them, several people have made cameo appearances with him.

If you aren’t already “hip” to Vinx, by all means, download, Rooms in My Fatha’s House, I Love My Job, The Storyteller, Lips Stretched Out, etc. etc. And after you have listened to his music, see how many boxes you check when trying to categorize him.

Video: Tito Puente and El Canario

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Tito Puente – El Rey del Timbal

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Whether or not you listen and can appreciate Latin Music, be it Salsa, Latin Jazz, Samba, Merengue or Cumbia, you’ve likely at least heard of percussionist Tito Puente. Born on April 20, 1923, in Harlem, New York City, to Ernest and Ercilia Puente, both native Puerto Ricans, Puente has a musical career that spanned over 50 years before his death on June 1, 2000. With over 60 albums to his credit, several of which were released posthumously, it’s no wonder he received five Grammy Awards and two Latin Grammy Awards. Three years after he died, his estate was honored with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

After serving three years in the US Navy during World War II, Puente was honorably discharged in 1945 with a Presidential Commendation having served in nine battles. Accepted to the prestigious Julliard School of Music in Manhattan, he received a Bachelor’s in conducting, orchestration and theory.

As Afro-Cuban music was beginning to take root outside of the Caribbean, Puente was at the forefront of this movement. Responsible for helping to introduce the world to such unique sounds as the cha-cha-cha and the mambo, indeed until his death, many assumed him to be Cuban. The fact that he recorded numerous singles and two full length records with the Queen of Salsa Celia Cruz, is likely another reason why people thought he was Cuban, as was she.

Among the myriad of awards Tito Puente garnered in his lifetime, they include:

In Luis Muñoz Marín Park, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, an amphitheatre was named in his honor (a double honor, given what Sr. Luis Muñoz Marin means to Puerto Rico – who was the beloved first Governor of the Caribbean island, as well as an accomplished poet).

For the 1996 Summer Olympics held in Atlanta, Georgia, Tito Puente performed at the closing ceremonies. This is as much a statement about the politics of the day; given the sometimes ill will that Americans have held for those of any Latin culture.

In 1990 Puente received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He was then garnered with the National Medal of Arts Award in 1997. And then in 2005, Union City, NJ honored him with a star on their walk of Fame in the park named after Celia Cruz.

Four documentaries have been produced about El Rey, which he can add to his most famous concert footage when he played at the Montreal Jazz Festival – “Live in Montreal”.

But arguably the most notable of all the recognition Mr. Puente has garnered, it surely must be his numerous guest appearances on the beloved animated program, The Simpsons. Having an opportunity to show of his comical side, the episodes Puente appeared on had extremely Nielson Ratings.

Numerous times during his career Tito Puente performed at La Ve Lee Jazz Club. Every single appearance was sold out and standing room only. Hopefully you were among the fortunate to see him in such an intimate setting. Although Puente has performed in myriad of larger settings, there is nothing quite like seeing him so close, you can touch him. The world owes a debt of gratitude to the genius behind El Rey del Timbal.

Sheila E. – One of the “Baddest” Drummer/Percussionists in the World

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Even her father, percussionist Pete Escovedo would agree that his daughter, known professionally as Sheila E. is one amazingly talented drummer. A woman who has broken barriers for being one of the few to hold her own against her male colleagues, whether or not any of them is more talented than she is almost immaterial. In a field largely dominated by men, Ms. Escovedo is not only as good as, but is better than many male drummers out there.

Born on December 12, 1957 to Pete and Juanita Gardere Escovedo, Sheila E. has three siblings, a sister and two brothers. With the long list of famous musicians in her family, it’s no wonder than talent would ooze from her veins. In addition to her father’s extraordinary talent, her uncle is Alejandro Escovedo of Punk Rock’s The Nuns fame. Another uncle, Coke Escovedo has played with such notables as Carlos Santana, Stevie Wonder and Herbie Hancock. Although not related, Tito Puente is Ms. Escovedo’s godfather.

Sheila E. started her career as a session drummer for the likes of Alphonso Johnson, George Duke, Lionel Richie, Herbie Hancock and Diana Ross. Although it was while performing with Prince that she would gain fame. As stories go, Prince saw her performing on stage with her father (as they did then and still do today), and approached her with two propositions: Join his band and marry him. Applying the “no-strings attached” rule to both her personal and professional life, she did neither. However, she did provide some incredible drum tracks for several songs that were released on the Purple Rain movie soundtrack.

Thanks in part to her associations with both her father and Prince, Sheila E. began recording solo albums, which highlighted her signature “explosive” style of pounding the drum skins. To this day, it’s difficult to hear songs like “The Glamorous Life”, “The Belle of St. Mark” and “A Love Bizarre” without causing even the least musically inclined of her fans to get up and dance. Indeed, “The Glamorous Life” would garner both a Grammy and an American Music Award nomination.

Ringo Starr
Sheila E. has toured three times with Ringo Starr and his All-Star band. Ringo Starr is of course one of only two surviving members of The Beatles and an incredibly talented drummer himself. Playing alongside Ms. Escovedo on stage, as she does with her father, Starr often lets her steal the show with her all-too-familiar TNT fueled manner of banging those drum heads.

La Ve Lee Jazz Club
Sheila E. and her father Pete are what you might call regular acts at the Jazz Club La Ve Lee in Studio City, California. They’ve performed together numerous times and always to a sell-out crowd. Indeed on a couple of occasions, Ms. Escovedo performed at La Ve Lee with her godfather, the late Tito Puente. For anyone who managed to purchase tickets that night, you got the treat of a lifetime for certain. Between his genius and her bloodline, for anyone who loves the percussions, whether they’re “traps”, congas, bongos or timbales, surely there are still holes in the floor from all the dropped jaws after those performances.

Raymond Jones – Pianist, Composer, Arranger, Engineer, Writer and Producer

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That’s quite an impressive introduction, isn’t it? A man of many talents, numerous awards and accolades, and a speed dial with some of the most famous singers, band members, A&R people and movie directors, the résumé of Raymond Jones is both long and extremely impressive.

The next time you listen to Stephanie Mills, Angela Bofill, Nona Hendryx, Chaka Khan, Norma Jean Wright, Whitney Houston or Patti Labelle, instead of putting the CD down to do something else, take the time to look at the liner notes. What you will find is that each of these women, whose powerful voices can fill not only your living room but also a venue as large as the Hollywood Bowl, shares the same man. Whether you know his name or not is almost immaterial. The fact that all these women are smart enough to keep calling Raymond Jones to produce, arrange, write lyrics to some of their hit songs or perform on a Steinway for them, is what’s important.

A true Native New Yorker, both born and raised in Manhattan, Jones started playing music in high school, where he played piano in Latin groups in and around New York City. Quite clearly talented and special, Jones caught the attention of Nile Rogers and Bernard Edwards who were just putting together the R&B band Chic. Playing alongside his good friend, the late session drummer Tony Thompson (of Power Station fame, as well), Jones first began making women swoon at the young of 19.

As a solo musician, Jones has recorded five CDs, the most recent of which, Hillside Stories, listeners can’t help but be reminded of the all but lost political and social awareness found in Black Music of the 1970s.

Ask Jones what gives him such a unique perspective on the way he sees and hears music, whether it’s R&B, Rock n Roll, Pop, Latin Jazz or Samba, to quote him, “The clave (Latin pulse) is in everything I do musically. I can’t go against clave to this day.” This might go a long way to explaining why in addition to the impressive list of music’s legendary female singers who won’t work without him, why film director Spike Lee has collaborated with Raymond Jones on five of Lee’s movies.

Although a departure from his usual movies and CDs, one rather well known Pepsi commercial featuring singer Beyoncé Knowles and Lee’s direction, would surely have hit a sour note had Jones not provided the lyrics for Ms. Knowles to flawlessly sing.  You may remember the commercial; it debuted at the 2003 Academy Awards.

If you were to sit down and talk with Raymond Jones and not know about all the impressive people he’s performed with or recorded for, what you will find is someone of hyper awareness about the world he lives in and a man who can be described as an activist and yet someone who remains very humble about this brilliance. But people on this level of contribution to society needn’t spend his time boasting or bragging, but rather performing and giving fans what they came to hear. La Ve Lee Jazz Club is one of many such venues who has called upon the talents of Jones. Performing hits off his five solo CDs, La Ve Lee has been very supportive of his career.

Whether you know it or not, you already know the many talents of Raymond Jones. Now the next time you’re listening to one of your favorite R&B singers or the likes of the Tom Tom Club or Talking Heads, have a gander at the liner notes.

If you want to know more about Raymond Jones, please visit his official fan page: http://www.uegmusic.com/main.htm

Poncho Sanchez – Grammy Winning Conga Player and Salsa Singer

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Although he is of Mexican-American descent, Poncho Sanchez is considered one of the legends of Salsa music, whose roots are more closely linked to Cuba and Puerto Rico. Born in Laredo, Texas on Halloween’s Eve, 1951, Sanchez is the youngest of 11 children. It wouldn’t be long before Sanchez’s family would move to another largely Mexican community in Norwalk, California. It would be there that he would be exposed to two unlikely genres of music – Afro-Cuban and Bebop Jazz. Indeed Sanchez counts Tito Puente and Charlie Parker as his two biggest influences.

Although trained to play guitar, after an audition with an R&B band to be their lead singer, Sanchez discovered what the rest of his adoring fans know to be a fact; he has a beautiful and melodic voice. He would later evolve as a musician, teaching himself to play the flute, drums and following in the footsteps of his idol, Tito Puente, he would learn the Timbales.

When he was 24, conga, timpani, bongo, vibraphone and piano player Cal Tjader (1925-1982), upon seeing Sanchez performing with his band, asked him to sit on a couple of sets with his band. Seeing something in Sanchez that he’d not seen in other musicians before, given his unique combination of equal parts Salsa, Jazz and R&B, Tjader offered him a full-time gig with his band. Indeed Tjader is credited with discovering and mentoring Sanchez.

Just before his untimely death of a heart attack while on tour in Manila, the Philippines, Tjader would see to it that his record label Concord Picante division of Concord Records would sign Poncho Sanchez as a solo artist. Intuition or premonition about what was to be his fate perhaps or just recognizing that eventually even the protégé strikes out on his own, the world of Latin Jazz owes Tjader a debt of gratitude.

A relationship that would be fruitful for both parties, Sanchez has recorded 19 albums for Concord Picante. For his band’s 2000 CD Latin Soul, Poncho Sanchez received his first Grammy, which the band took home for the Best Latin Jazz album that year. Indeed his win would be rather bittersweet as his idol Tito Puente died the same year.

With the illustrious career Sanchez has enjoyed, given the respect he’s commanded by fans and musicians alike, it’s no wonder so many want to record and perform with his band and him.

Over the last 28 years, since signing with Concord Caliente, Sanchez has recorded with Tower of Power, Mongo Santamaría, South Africa’s Hugh Masakela and Claire Fischer, among others.

La Ve Lee Jazz Club

Located in Studio City, California, La Ve Lee Jazz Club has on numerous occasions asked Poncho Sanchez to perform for them. La Ve Lee is one of those venues that recording artists have a hard time saying no to. Its intimate setting gives fans the feeling as if their favorite musicians are playing for them in their very own living rooms. The tables hug the stage, which allows fans to literally be within arm’s reach of anyone on stage. The next time you hear that Poncho Sanchez is going to gig at La Ve Lee Jazz Club, book your reservation. You won’t be sorry!

Marcus Miller – Bassist, Composer, Music Producer

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Born William Henry Marcus Miller, Jr. on June 14, 1959 in Brooklyn, New York, Marcus Miller is one of the most influential and popular bassists of all time. If you have heard of Miles Davis, David Sanborn and Luther Vandross, listened to their music and seen them in concert, you have seen and heard Marcus Miller.

The Apple Doesn’t Fall From the Tree

Some come by their musical genius by luck, fortunately for Miller, he was born to be a musician. His father, William Miller, was a Church organist. Growing up with music playing during meals, as he did his chores, his homework and of course, each and every Sunday at Church, Miller ate, breathed and slept music.

While most teenagers are out getting into trouble or falling head first into adolescence, by 13, Miller was writing songs, and splitting his time between the clarinet and the electric and upright basses. Still in high school, Miller started gigging in clubs around New York City. It wouldn’t be long before he started making a name for himself. As the busiest session man, Marcus Miller has been called upon to play his bass on albums for Mariah Carey, ol’ blue eyes himself, Frank Sinatra, McCoy Tyner, Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan, Wayne Shorter, Luther Vandross and the list continues to grow.

Although most notable is Miller’s session career, he is credited with composing, arranging and writing most of Miles Davis’s Tutu album; indeed considered the comeback and defining album of Davis’s career. In addition to Tutu, Miller has gone on to produce CDs for Wayne Shorter, the late Luther Vandross, David Sanborn, Chaka Khan and Wayne Shorter. As a producer, Miller has earned numerous Grammy Awards.

Controversy

If you are a lover of both Jazz and Fusion, surely you recognize Marcus Miller’s name and as you read this, you find yourself nodding in agreement, as you more than likely know a fair amount about his career. That being the case, you likely are quite familiar with the careers of Stanley Clarke and Jaco Pastorius – colleagues and equally brilliant bass players. Despite all the accolades Miller is credited with, the numerous musicians who wouldn’t consider working with any other bass player, there are still those who for many years believed that Miller was imitating both Clarke and Pastorius’s slapping style.

What separates good bass players from extraordinary ones is the ability to perfect the “slapping” technique. Slapping refers to a combination, a sort of one, two punch, using the side of the boney joint of the in the middle of the thumb, which allows the top string to hit against the next two strings, causing a unique vibration. As the late Jaco Pastorius along with Stanley Clarke were making names for themselves as solo artists, given that Miller had built an impressive résumé as a session man, many accused Miller or imitating both bassists who were more known than he. The controversy was short lived as people soon realized that Miller not only could perfect the technique, he’d go on to improve upon it.

There should be little surprise that a man with his genius might perform at La Ve Lee Jazz Club countless times in his career, both as a solo artist and with the likes of Miles Davis, Luther Vandross and David Sanborn.

If you don’t think you have heard of Marcus Miller, in reality you know his music, you just may not have been able to identify his name. Given the literally hundreds of albums he’s provided the bass grooves for and the 100 or so albums he’s produced, you know him, just perhaps not by name.

Jaco Pastorius – Only the Good Die Young

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There are those people, be they musicians, actors, writers, painters, profits and relatives of yours, that when they pass, a void is left in their place. Although attempts are made to fill that void, whether because of their brilliance, their personality or their larger than life heart, try as others might, no one can fill the void left by that person’s passing. That sense of profound sadness is made more intense when the person who died had his or her life cut too terribly short.

John Anthony Francis, “Jaco” Pastorius III was born on December 1, 1951, in a little place called Norristown, Pennsylvania. He was the first of three children born to big band singer and drummer Jack Pastorius and his wife Stephanie Katherine Haapala Pastorius. It wasn’t long after Pastorius was born that his family moved to a small town outside Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

Although he showed promise in basketball, baseball and football as well as painting, in high school he met his first band mates, John Caputo (who would later go on to become a theology professor) and Dean Noel and began performing, playing the electric bass.

Jaco started his musical career playing the drums, like his father, it was while playing his other love – football – that he injured his wrist, which required surgery and ended his drum playing days. He tried playing first the upright bass and then the electric version and although self-taught, the genius began to emerge.

By the time he was 18, Pastorius had begun making a name for himself as both a Jazz and R&B bassist. Performing gigs and recording with bands in the Southeast United States, by 1974, Pastorius would be asked to record an album with legendary Jazz-Fusion guitarist Pat Metheny.

Right Place, Right Time
Within a year of his association with Pat Metheny, Pastorius caught the attention of CBS Records who was just starting to look for untapped talent for their newly formed Jazz division. Indeed it was unusual then, and to a certain degree still today, not the norm for a bass player to be signed as a solo act to a major record label. Considered part of the rhythm section for a band, bass players are often passed over in favor of a cute singer or considered to be just another member of the band. However, if you have ever heard Jaco play, it’s easy to understand why any record company would want to go against the grain and produce an entire album with the bass player as the featured musician.

What makes the whole idea even more unusual is that while bass players are clambering to work with the more notable recording artists, namely singers and larger named bands, because of Pastorius’s apparent genius, people such as pianist Herbie Hancock, saxophonists Wayne Shorter, Michael Brecker and David Sanborn and percussionists Lenny White and Don Alias were begging to be his back up band!

Continuing to record on his own, Pastorius eventually joined the Jazz-fusion band Weather Report. By this point in his career, Pastorius joined not as someone who was to be relegated to being behind the scenes, as is often the case with bass players, but as a featured member of the band. Pastorius went to great lengths to change the image of bass players from being heard and not seen. His unique style of playing – indeed he is most often credited with perfecting the technique known as slapping the bass – coupled with his aptitude for composing, producing and arranging music, there isn’t a bass player alive in any part of the world, be he or she amateur or professional, who doesn’t know the genius of Jaco Pastorius. He may quite possibly be the most emulated bass player in history.

La Ve Lee Jazz Club
Both as a soloist and performing with Weather Report and myriad of other well-known musicians, Pastorius has taken the stage at La Ve Lee Jazz Club. As you can likely imagine, if you know well the brilliance of his music, his performances were always sell-outs. If you have some how managed to meander through life without having heard of his music or him, you owe it to yourself to pick up one of his CDs. If you own a pair, it’s recommended you listen to him with noise reduction headphones to filter anything that can interfere with his bass slapping.

Bipolar and Alcoholism
In 1982 Pastorius was diagnosed with having Bipolar disorder, also referred to as Manic Depression. So much more is known about the disease today than when he first began presenting with the telltale mood swings of extreme highs and lows. As is tragically often the case, many sufferers of this mental illness tend to self medicate with alcohol and/or drugs.

Both drunk and high on drugs, Pastorius found himself in a dispute, which quickly turned violent, outside a bar in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.

At the age of 35, both the life and brilliant career of Jaco Pastorius would come to an abrupt halt, leaving one of the largest voids in musical history.

Daryl Hayott – Drummer, Percussionist, Keyboardist, Bassist, and oh Yeah – a Sensei

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When asked whether Daryl Hayott had ever performed at La Ve Lee Jazz Club, his response was a very quick one: “Absolutely, I believe everybody had to or else u weren’t invited back to Cali.” Cali of course being California and it was clear from his response that he thinks highly of the Jazz Joint. Well, why not? When you’ve stood on the same stage as bassist Marcus Miller and The King of Latin Jazz Tito Puente, and played your heart out, you know that this is one of many indications that you’ve arrived.

Things weren’t always so assured for Hayott. Indeed, his beginnings can easily be described as humble. Born and raised in São Paulo, Brazil on November 5, 1960, he moved to New York City as a teenager. Hayott would spend two years on the street as a homeless teenager, yet he managed to earn himself a few gigs as a session drummer bassist recording at the world famous Electric Lady Studios (yes the very one that Jimi Hendrix built).

Still a teenager at this point, the record label Warner Brothers took notice of this entirely self-taught, incredibly talented bassist and drummer. Among the many things that makes Hayott an extraordinary human being is that although he’d had a taste of fame and fortune at such a young age, he opted to go to college and earn his Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. For most, this would end the quest for well roundedness, not so for Hayott. He did not one but two tours of duty in the United States Marine Corps.

While he was in the Armed Forces, Hayott took up Karate. And after an honorable discharge, he studied Gōjū-ryū karate under Grand Master Leon Wallace. Still playing the bass and drums, with numerous championships under his belt – no pun intended – Hayott toured alongside his friend and professional colleague Billy Blanks in the Budweiser Kickboxing Challenge.

Despite winning myriad of championships in professional kickboxing and Karate, including the US title of East Coast Champion as well as a feature in Karate Illustrated, something was missing from Hayott’s life. And so, with one phone call to Warner Brothers, Daryl Hayott was back on the road touring; this time with Sade, Al Jarreau and Teddy Riley.

Both as a solo artist and as part of bands, Daryl Hayott has performed at La Ve Lee Jazz Club. By his own admission, anyone who’s anyone has performed there. This is not to say that if a musician has yet to grace the stage of the 25 year-old Jazz venue he or she is not really a musician, but rather one of many measures of success in a long list of successes is to be asked to perform there. In fact, when further probed, Hayott considers it an honor to have performed on the same stage as many of the greatest Jazz legends before him. And with any luck, he will be asked to do so again.

For more information about Daryl Hayott, please visit his official fan page: http://www.dhayott.com