Conal Fowkes

CONAL FOWKES

Conal Fowkes is a pianist, double-bassist, arranger and teacher. Born in Zambia and having spent most of his early childhood in Mexico, Conal moved to England in 1971. He gained a place at the world-renowned Royal College of Music, London, where he studied with virtuoso concert pianist Yonty Solomon and privately with legendary Cuban Maestro Chucho Valdes.

In 1988 he entered the International Wavendon Allmusic Competition where he was presented with the award as Winner of the College Student Allmusician of the Year by HRH Princess Margaret.

While in London he performed with many leading musicians including Cleo Laine, Johnny Dankworth, Nigel Kennedy, Stacey Kent, John R.T. Davies, George Chisholm, Roberto Pla, Patato Valdes, Alfredo Rodriguez, Adalberto Santiago, Steve Turre, Henry Fiol, and Jesus Alemani.

Since moving to New York in 1996 he has performed in 48 States at most of the premier concert halls and jazz clubs. He has performed with Wynton Marsalis, Wycliff Gordon, Bob Wilber, Ray Santos Big Band, Johnny Pacheco, Paquito D'Rivera, Marion McPartland, The Boston Pops Orchestra, Chocolate Armenteros, The Manhattan Rhythm Kings, Cheo Feliciano, The Night Hawks Orchestra and Bette Middler.

He has made several appearances on Garrison Keillor's A Prairie Home Companion and the Rosie O'Donnell Show. He can be heard and/or seen in the films Lipstick On Your Collar, Madame Suzatska, Ghost World, Finding Forrester, The Aviator, Proud, The Loss of a Tear Drop Diamond and was featured soloist in the hit Broadway show, One Mo' Time. He is featured on the sound track of Woody Allen's film You will meet a tall dark stranger and plays the voice and piano of Cole Porter in Allen's latest film Midnight in Paris.

He can be seen on the DVDs, Live at Montreux Jazz Festival, with Eddy Davis, Wycliff Gordon and Evan Christopher, Live at the Campidoglio with Woody Allen and the 2009 release of Eddy Davis and Conal Fowkes Live in Barcelona. He is featured in the PBS documentary Sound Revolution presented by Morgan Freeman.

He has been with the Woody Allen New Orleans Jazz Band since 2001, touring the world while maintaining regular Monday nights at the Cafe Carlyle. He is part of a duo with the great banjoist and singer Eddy Davis with whom he regularly tours in Europe. He is also a member of Orange Kellin's New Orleans Blue Serenaders, award winning Cuban group Los Soneros de Oriente, Charanga Orchesta Yerason, Orchesta Tipica Novel and tours regularly with Grammy nominated Latin group The New Swing Sextet. He is also pianist to movie star Danny Aiello.

To date he has performed in 34 nations and has over 30 recordings to his name.

Tom Artin

TOM ARTIN

Tom Artin began playing jazz in Junior High School in a band organized by the now celebrated American composer John Harbison. He has played throughout the U.S. and Europe with a number of world renowned jazz groups including the Smithsonian Jazz Repertory Ensemble (1981-84), the Louis Armstrong Alumni All-Stars, the World of Jelly Roll Morton, the World's Greatest Jazz Band, and Wild Bill Davison. He played lead trombone in Mel Tormé's big band, recorded live at Michael's Pub in New York, and has played with Bob Wilber's Benny Goodman revival big band. Festival credits include Kool Jazz in New York and Baltimore, the Illinois Jazz Festival, the North Carolina Jazz Festival, the Atlanta Jazz Party, the Guinness Jazz Festival in Ireland, the Floating Jazz Festival aboard the S.S. Norway, The Lugano Jazz Festival and the Ascona Jazz Festival, both in Switzerland. For about five years he was the house trombonist at Eddie Condon's in New York, having inherited the seat of the legendary Vic Dickenson. In 1994, he performed at the White House for the annual Christmas Congressional Ball. In 1999, he appeared as guest artist at Rome's celebrated jazz club Alexanderplatz. Beginning the summer of 2006, he has appeared regularly as guest artist with composer John Harbison at the Token Creek Chamber Music Festival. He has played on movie and television soundtracks, and appears on numerous recordings. In recent years, Tom has toured for Columbia Artists with Ed Polcer and the Eddie Condon All-Stars. He leads his own sixteen-piece TomCats Jazz Aces swing band, as well as the traditional jazz band Satchmo & Co, and Standard Brass, an adventurous seven-piece jazz ensemble for which he has written novel arrangements of jazz standards and classics from the Great American Song Book. Tom is founder and president of Artin Arts, a creative entertainment company representing over twenty jazz and classical groups and solo artists.

Frank Tate

FRANK TATE

Frank Tate was born in Washington, D.C. in 1943, and began his professional career during his junior year in college. After graduation from college, Frank returned to Washington and began working locally. In 1972, he began a two year engagement as leader of the house band at Blues Alley, where he worked and became friends with Wild Bill Davison, Bobby Hackett, Zoot Sims, Al Cohen, Urbie Green, Ed Polcer, Maxine Sullivan, and Marian McPartland, all of whom he worked with when he moved to New York. He went north to Cape Cod in 1974, where he worked with Bobby Hackett, and began a life-long association with pianist Dave McKenna, whom he refers to as "my music school." Prompted by a promise of work with Marian McPartland, Frank moved to New York City in 1975. He worked with Marian from 1975 to 1978. During this same period, he began to work for Ed Polcer at Eddie Condon's on West 54th Street. Frank still works regularly with Ed, doing recordings, concerts and tours. During the years Frank resided in Manhattan, he worked with Zoot Sims, Howard Alden, and Ruby Braff, to name just a few. Frank has two CDs as a leader, "Twilight World," recorded with James Chirillo and Tom Bailey, and "Frank Tate in Belfast," which features Dave McKenna, Howard Alden, Harry Allen, and Butch Miles. Frank has been a sideman on approximately 65 CDs with other leaders. The latest recording features Randy Reinhart and another features George Wein and Warren Vache. Frank was the bassist for Pearl Bailey from 1984 to 1990. He was employed by Bobby Short from 1996 until Bobby's death in March, 2005. Working with Bobby kept Frank employed in New York at the Café Carlyle 22 weeks out of the year. The rest of the year was spent working in California, Europe and South America. Frank lives with his wife Ellen and his teen-aged daughter Lizzy in Croton-on-Hudson, NY . When he is not working, Frank relaxes by playing golf, basketball, doing crossword puzzles, and reading. Frank and Ellen enjoy gardening and working on their 103-year-old house.