The New Acoustic Collective Special Guests Announcement 2022 New Acoustic & Latin Jazz Fusion Music Record!
Welcome Professional Bassist, Composer, Recording Artist, & David Grisman Quintet Member; Jim Kerwin!
Fans of David Grisman, the prolific canon of Dawg music and The David Grisman Quintet, as well as staple releases from Acoustic Disc; such as the grammy nominated record “Dawg 90” should be well aware of DGQ member, the prolific double bassist and Bay Area native; Jim Kerwin! All of us at The NAC are very excited and deeply honored to announce that we will be featuring Jim Kerwin and his superb double bass playing on our upcoming New Acoustic, Latin jazz, Dawg & SpaceGrass inspired fusion music record!
How Jim and The NAC met:
The time is winer of 2017. I was on winter break of my semester from East Tennessee State University, where I studied bluegrass, but primarily; New Acoustic, SpaceGrass music of Tony Rice, and the Dawg music canon of David Grisman. Jim Kerwin and I connected in 2017 over our love for Dawg music, improvisation, and genre-fusing/crossing music. I was studying with my good friend and mentor, ETSU Bluegrass Guitarist and Tony Rice Unit member; Wyatt Rice. At the time, I was learning the tunes and I wanted to put them into practice with someone else who knew them very well! I knew that Jim was the current bassist for The David Grisman Quintet since the mid 1980’s. I thought it would be a blast to connect and play and hoped we could meet during my break when I was back in Northern California. Jim gave me the time and opportunity to connect over this music and we had a blast! I can vividly remember playing many dawg music tunes, as well as other repertoire such as another great mentor of mine; John Carlini's wonderful dawg-samba; "Mugavero". We have continued to stay in touch with each other and I am elated to feature Jim on the upcoming New Acoustic Collective latin jazz fusion dawg music inspired record!
Jim's career highlights:
Jim Kerwin studied classical double bass performance at San Francisco State University under the direction and tutelage of S Charles Siani. He graduated with his degree in solo double bass performance and then spent much of his time through 1980's as the bassist for the Bay Area based; European avant-garde jazz trio led by the late jazz vibraphone master; Larry Blackshere. The trio had many successful European tours most notably to Germany, where their first and only record “Strategy” was recorded at Studio Walldorf in November of 1981. It was only released only on vinyl. You can check out one of the tunes from the record featuring Jim here!
Jim has had the second longest tenure in The David Grisman Quintet, next to founder and band leader David Grisman. He has been a DGQ Member for over 30 years, with his work dating to back as early as the mid-1980's with David Grisman's bluegrass projects "Home is Where The Heart Is and Mandolin Extravaganza" as well as "Svingin' with Svend" live at Fat Tuesdays. The latest release featuring Jim with The David Grisman Sextet is their 2016 project; The David Grisman Sextet which includes David, Jim, Chad Manning on fiddle, George Cole on guitar, Matt Eakle on flutes, and veteran jazz drummer and educator; George Marsh on drums and percussion. You can find that record over at Acoustic Disc here: https://acousticdisc.com/product/the-david-grisman-sextet-download/
Jim's first official release on Acoustic Disc was in the grammy nominated record; “Dawg 90”, the first official release by David Grisman on Acoustic Disc in 1990. Tunes that highlight Jim as a soloist and feature him include "Mad Max", "Lil' Samba", and many others. Take a listen to the entire thing and hear how Jim wonderfully compliments everyone in the record with his superb accompaniment, support, timing, and feel.
Jim also played bass on all the David Grisman Jerry Garcia recordings which can also be found at Acoustic Disc!
Currently, Jim plays bass with a few projects locally in the Bay Area. These include the Nell & Jim Band; make sure to check out their latest recording “Western Sun” released in 2020. Jim also plays bass with Birches Bend alongside DGQ Alumni Chad Manning, Jeremy Cohen’s group; Violin Jazz, and more!
-Jason & The NAC
NAC Curated Youtube Playlist featuring Jim Kerwin
Jim Kerwin's info via Acoustic Disc
Jim Kerwin's NAC Curated Spotify & Youtube video highlight below!
Welcome Professional Vocalist, Recording Artist, Composer, Arranger, & Educator Melissa Garay!
Anyone that is familiar with the Bay Area latin jazz music scene, as well as the mariachi and jazz scenes have heard of this superb musician, vocalist, and colleague of ours. We are honored to welcome on our upcoming project, special guest vocalist, triple threat composer, arranger, producer, and master educator; Melissa Garay!
You may have heard Melissa recently in December of 2021 at the Marc Anthony after party at Club Fuego singing with the current band she is apart of; Orquesta Saboricua! You may have heard perform at Kuumbwa Jazz Center in Santa Cruz, Moe's Alley, and more!
Melissa has and continues to bring her prolific voice and sound to any project and group she is with. She has graced the stage with the lead vocalist for Santana Tony Lindsay, the legendary Jazz guitarist Randy Vincent who has toured and recorded with Dizzy Gillespie, Bobby Hutcherson, Joe Henderson. She has also shared the stage with bass player Chris Amberger who toured and recorded with Art Blakey, the Jazz Messengers, and George Shearing. She has worked extensively alongside with percussionist Mingo Lewis who has worked with Santana, Al Di Meola, Chick Corea in the Return To Forever tour, Billy Joel, and the Tubes. For more info on Melissa's background, please feel free to visit her website below!
The band members and I all met Melissa while we and a few of our members still are studying at the great Bay Area local Collegiate Music Program at San José State University! I personally was absolutely floored when I first heard Melissa sing, and knew that we would be working together in multiple projects and music, for years to come.
I, Melissa, and our NAC members double bassist Rodrigo Ruiz and trumpeter Jacob Jackman were all fortunate to meet under the inspiration and spell of latin jazz, son cubano, cumbia, and salsa music under the direction of the great Professor of Jazz Studies, Trumpet Instructor, and Latin Jazz Ensemble director; Jeff Lewis in his Latin Jazz Ensemble Class. The four of us quickly found new and exciting ways to make music together through our studies and in class twice a week for years, exploring the wonderfully rich and culturally various diasporas of the latin music idiom.
When I was putting together my ideas for this next New Acoustic Collective project, and considering special guests artists to feature, I knew in the back of my mind, I wanted to figure out a way to include and feature Melissa and her spellbindingly unique vocals!
Additionally, I have been fortunate to work with Melissa in the studio previously. We had the fortunate opportunity that kind of just fell into our laps, when in a performance at a wine bar in Santa Cruz, we rearranged the Selena cumbia classic; "Amor Prohibido" on the spot as a folk-rock acoustic ballad. Well, the rest is history, as soon as we could; we went into the studio and cut that track officially. It was released on February 14th of 2020 on all platforms and features Melissa, and NAC members Rodrigo Ruiz (double bass), and I on guitar! Check out that official recording below in both of Curated NAC Special Guest Spotify Playlist and Youtube Playlists below if you're curious!
When considering the tunes/pieces for the project, there were certain tunes that The NAC had done instrumentally, that when seriously considering for this project, Melissa would excel and do a wonderful job on! They included original music that I co-wrote with her, that needed to be finally recorded and released officially, and we can't wait for you to hear it!
As many of our fans and listeners may know, we don't normally make use of vocals in our band. But here, is the exception to the rule. We are beyond excited to feature Melissa on tunes that will be highlighting her wonderful vocal power and unique ability that she possess, while also highlighting the rhythm section, and soloists in our band!
These certain tunes honestly require her vocals, and we are delighted to hear how they will turn out and change, for the better with Melissa as a special guest on our New Acoustic, Latin music Jazz fusion record!
Link to Youtube Playlist featuring Melissa Garay
Melissa Garay's website
Keep your eyes peeled for more special guest announcements this week!
-Jason & The NAC
Melissa Garay's NAC Curated Spotify & Youtube Video Highlights below!
Welcome Professional Mandolinist, Recording Artist & Educator Thomas Cassell!
You may have heard Thomas play mandolin with his progressive bluegrass band Circus No. 9, live with Billy Strings, Becky Buller, Missy Raines, and in the studio with Tim Stafford and the late Steve Gulley on the March 2021 release; “Still Here” as well as with Tim in 2020 on his latest solo record; "Tunes & Ballads".
As a solo artist and in demand freelancer, Thomas has been putting out music consistently since I met him at ETSU back in 2016. All of us at The NAC recommend you check out his superb New Acoustic record “Voyager” released in 2018 featuring a superb set of musicians as well as our colleague and mentor Wyatt Rice on “Mar West”! He has two recent single releases “New November” feat. Tim Stafford and co. from November and “Traveling Shoes” feat. Becky Buller and co. released in August! Recently, he was featured on Ethan Sherman's Music; “Cup & Porch” released officially on January 21st of this year! Thomas was one of the first people to interpret my first SpaceGrass tune; “Back in California” which has now become a main-stay opener/closer for The NAC live shows.
In addition to his prolific recording work, Thomas continues to develop and pursue the importance of music education with his “Mandolin Tune of the Week Series”. Here, he gives the tools, tips, and resources needed for mandolinists all over the globe to learn.
A few months ago, the pivotal moment was when The NAC all had such a blast after featuring Thomas as a special guest in our showcases at IBMA in September of 2021! We all thought “hey, we need to get into the studio and fast”!
I have personally known and been lucky to play with Thomas for years, he’s a huge inspiration, and I am beyond honored to welcome him as a special guest with The NAC on our upcoming New Acoustic, SpaceGrass, Latin jazz music fusion album!
Link to Youtube Playlist feat. Thomas Cassell
Thomas Cassell's website
For all mandolin enthusiasts, sign up at his Patreon page here
Keep your eyes peeled for more special guest announcements this week!
-Jason Keiser & The NAC
Thomas Cassell's NAC Curated Spotify & Youtube Video Highlights below!
Jason Keiser is a professional guitarist, composer, multi-stylist, freelancer, recording artist, and Band Leader of the Bay Area New Acoustic music band; The New Acoustic Collective.