Bios

SG7 Biographies / Guest Artists / Alumni / Etc.
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Kye Palmer is a native of southern California and a graduate of Cal-Poly, Pomona. He held the trumpet chair in the house band on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno from 2006-2009 and was heard nightly on NBC. Before his tenure on the Tonight Show, Kye toured with the Poncho Sanchez Latin Jazz Band. Kye has performed live with music legends Bob Dylan, Tom Jones, Tony Bennett, Seal and Joe Williams. He has toured Japan with the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra and Europe with Brian Setzer. Other European appearances include guest artist with the HR Big Band in Frankfurt, Germany. Besides his regular spot in the house band, Kye has appeared on the Tonight Show with musical guests Michael Bolton, Switchfoot, Brian Setzer, Ray LaMontagne, Los Lonely Boys and Natalie Cole. Other TV appearances include Late Night with David Letterman, Good Morning America, the Today Show, the Conan O’Brien Show.

Kye can be heard playing live jazz with his own group at various Los Angeles venues including Spazio and Vibrato. Regular appearances as a sideman include DMQ, the Edmund Velasco Quintet, the Chris Walden Big Band, and Bill Cunliffe’s Imaginacion. Kye’s compositions can be heard live with several of these groups and his arrangement of Kenny Barron’s Voyage was recorded by Poncho Sanchez and is available on iTunes.

As an educator, Kye has taught applied trumpet at USC, Jazz Theory and Improvisation at Riverside Community College, and maintained a private teaching studio for students of all ages since 1999. His former students include members of Michael Buble’s touring band as well as a Downbeat college award winner and a Grammy high school band finalist. As a clinician/soloist he has worked with students and bands at the University of North Florida, University of Memphis, Mount San Antonio College, Riverside Community College, Cal-State Fullerton, and many local high schools. He has also authored several articles on jazz improvisation for the International Trumpet Guild.

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Glen Berger (Saxophone) is a native of New Jersey and was born into a musical family. His father was a professional woodwind/keyboard player and his mother was a music educator.  Glen attended the Berklee College Of Music.

Performing a variety of  woodwinds, he has appeared with Barry Manilow, Shakira, Keith Emerson, Barbra Streisand, Stanley Clarke Band, Tom Jones, Pasadena Pops Orchestra, Poncho Sanchez Band, Max Weinberg Big Band, Bill Watrous Big Band, and many others.

Glen’s TV appearances include The Academy Awards, The Tonight Show, 60 Minutes, The Today Show, and Dancing With The Stars. He can also be heard on the soundtracks for a variety of TV shows and motion pictures including FamilyTree, The Family Guy, Cleveland Show, Entertainment Tonight, "Extra," CSI, Mad Men, Fairly Odd Parents, The Butler, Sparkle, Burlesque, Mars Attacks! and others.

Glen has recorded with artists and groups such as Robbie Williams, Matchbox Twenty, Steve Lukather, Spinal Tap, Silversun Pickups, Ricki Lee Jones, Fiona Apple, Christina Aguilera, Stanley Clarke and Friends, Marc Broussard and many more.

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Jim Lewis is the Trombone player and founding member of SGS. He studied jazz at the University of Alabama under Steve Sample and more recently with trombone virtuoso Bill Watrous.  He is a regular on the L.A. jazz scene and has performed in MANY LA based groups including the Bill Watrous Refuge West big band, the Chris Walden big band, Swing City and many other groups. He also leads several groups that perform regularly in the LA area.  He started as a side man in Birmingham, Alabama and has worked as a session player in Muscle Shoals, Los Angeles, Orlando, and briefly in San Diego.  He moved to LA in September of 2001 and, immediately after 9/11, was sent to Afghanistan for 18 months as a Special Forces Team Leader with his National Guard unit. Upon his return in 2003, Jim focused his attention on starting SGS and currently performs in many of the local rehearsal bands around town. Jim works full time as an engineer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena and, after another 18 month deployment to Afghanistan in 2010, spends much of his free time coordinating activities for SG7.

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Matt Weisberg (Keyboard & Musical Director)
As a performer, Matt has worked with some of the best; notwithstanding being totally at ease in any genre and setting. He has worked with everyone from Latin pop star, Estafano, REO Speedwagon, various American idols, to a myriad of notable jazz all-stars. Ira Sullivan, Brian Lynch, Bill Watrous, Eric Marienthal, Pete Christlieb, Ramon Banda, John Heard, Katisse Buckingham, just to name a few. Matt is a first-call session musician; his playing finding it's way into everything from major theatre productions and sketchers TV commercials to major label EP's.

As a composer and producer, his music has found it's way into the commercial settings of movie trailers, tv shows, and radio spots. Most recently, he has been producing music for MTV's, "10 on top", and feature films like "Big Momma's House III" and the Hallmark Channel's, "The Town Christmas Forgot".

At age 4, Weisberg started his musical journey. Matt studied classical and pop songs on the piano until his teen years, when he added guitar to his musical arsenal. Matt was influenced by the usual rock/blues guitar gods like Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton, but was also drawn to the technical mastery of some of the more esoteric "shred" players, such as Yngwie Malmsteen and Shawn Lane. His parents were not as enthused.

Matt was convinced that playing rock guitar was going to be his life's work until his first exposure to jazz at a Berklee College of Music summer camp. Weisberg was enticed by the sounds of Keith Jarrett, Bill Evans, and Oscar Peterson, and decided to further pursue it in a university setting.

Within eight months he was a competent jazz pianist and received a scholarship to study at the acclaimed University of Miami's school of music. In Miami, Matt had the opportunity to hone his skills with some of the best educators in the world. After his stint in South Florida, Matt made the move to the West Coast in late '05. He teaches and produces music out of his home studio in the Hollywood Hills; teaching and recording on a Yamaha C1 grand piano.

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Steve Gregory began playing the guitar in bars and for private events at the age of seventeen.  The earliest gigs were, a jazz big band, a country bar band, and a pop cover band. Years later, while a student at California State University, Northridge, he was the recipient of the Shelley Manne Memorial New Talent Award from the Los Angeles Jazz Society, and began performing around Los Angeles with his own band.   Steve soon began touring the world with the Legendary genius of soul, Ray Charles.  Since then Steve has toured with pop music icon, Frankie Valli as well as singer/songwriter and Leonard Cohen collaborator, Anjani.   Steve has performed and/or recorded with Thelma Houston, Brian McKnight, Michael Buble, Diane Reeves, Pattie Austin, Marilyn McCoo, Stacy Orrico, Leonard Cohen, Alphonse Mouzon, Macy Gray, Bob Florence big band, Phil Norman tentet, Margo Rey, and many others.  Steve is currently very active as a studio guitarist and has recorded for a number of television shows such as "Beavis and Butthead" (MTV), "Playboy Club" (NBC), "Big Time Rush" (Nickelodeon), and others, as well as films and commercials.  For more detailed info, check www.stevegregory.net

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Jonathan Pintoff
(Bass) was born in New York City, and grew up amidst the various sounds, rhythms and flavors of that multicultural metropolis. With more than 25 years of professional experience as a jazz, Latin, rock, and R & B bassist, he brings broad playing experience and creativity to every project. Performing regularly in the US, Jonathan has also played internationally in Brazil, Puerto Rico, Japan and Singapore.

Live appearances include La India, Hilton Ruiz, Jeff Lorber, Bennie Maupin, Celia Cruz, Los Angeles Master Chorale, Francisco Aguabella, Don Menza and many others.

Recordings include Francisco Aguabella – H20, Dave Pike – Peligroso, Angela Carol Brown – The Slow Club, Azuquia – Tipicamente, Robert Incelli – From Bolivar to LA, Ladd McIntosh Swing Orchestra, Susie Hansen – Solo Flight, Bobby Rodriguez – Latin Jazz Explosion (Grammy nominee), Craig Pilo – Just Play.
Commercial spots include Denny’s, Budget Rent-a-Car, IHOP, Coors, Hyundai Motor Corp and many others.
Television recordings include Ally McBeal, The Office, and The Osbournes.
Film and Television performances include Blade (1978), The Office – “Classy Christmas” (2010).

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Randy Drake
began playing drums at age twelve. After graduating from Goffstown High School in New Hampshire, Randy moved to Denton, Texas, and studied music at the University of North Texas, graduating cum laude with a Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Studies.


After moving to Los Angeles in 1988, he began performing with Dan Siegel, Bill Watrous, John Novello, Pat Kelley, and Gregg Karukas. Between 1990 and 1992, he performed and recorded with artists including Birds of a Feather, the Mark Masters Jazz Orchestra, Uncle Festive, Ralph Carmichael, and many other Los Angeles artists. After touring Japan with Japanese guitarist Masayoshi Takanaka and the United States with Englebert Humperdinck, Randy performed, recorded, and toured with the jazz-pop artist Daniel Ho and Kilauea. Recently, he has been performing and recording with Shelly Berg, Jennifer Leitham, Carmen Bradford, the jazz-pop group Kombo, and Suzanne Buirgy.

In 1999 and 2000, Randy worked with aspiring young musicians at Bill Murphy’s Summer Jazz program in Jackson, Mississippi. Currently, he teaches private drum set students at California State University Long Beach.

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Special Guest Artists
Bill Watrous, Trombone
Steve Snyder, Alto Sax
Bruce Lofgren, Guitar
Jeff Bunnell, Trumpet
Steve Huffsteter, Trumpet
Pete Christlieb, Tenor Sax
Harry Smallenburg, Vibes
Steve Treseler, Tenor Sax
Eric Marienthal, Saxes
Sal Lozano, Saxes
Jennifer Gates, Vocals
David Whitfield, Vocals
Nick Mancini, Vibes
Andy Martin, Trombone
Kevyn Lettau, Vocals
Katie Campbell, Vocals

SG7 Alumni

Brenda Goforth Adelante, Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Dominic Mazzoni, Piano, Music Director
Steve Pemberton, Drums
Dave Antonio, Guitar
Andrew Synowiec, Guitar
Peter Kastner, Bass
Francisco Torres, Trombone
Frank Villafranca, Saxophones

Staff Writers
Larry Williams
Joseph Curiale
Jeff Bunnell
Dave Cushman
Frank Villafranca
Dominic Mazzoni
Jim Lewis
Bill Watrous
Dave Connor
Pete Mittleschtadt
Paul Lopez
Bruce Lofgren
Jim Lutz
Sandra Schlink

Staff Support
Gabe Boudreau
Subs
Trumpet:
         Brian Owen
         Larry Williams
         Pete De Siena
         Mike McGuffy
         Kevin Richardson
         Walter Simonsen
Saxes/Flute:
         Jeff Dellisanti
         Gary Herbig
Trombone:
         Chris Tune
         Jim Lutz
         Harry Smallenberg
         Paul Young
         Scott Whitfield
         Andrew Lippman
         Dave Woodley
         Eric Jorgenson
         Jeremy Levy
Piano:
         Chad Edwards
         Wendy Ryan
         Matt Whited
         Bill Fulton
        John Balbuena
Guitar:
         Dave Wood
         Yarone Levy
         Ron Hershewe
         Bill Fowler
         Andrew Synoweic
         Tony Pulizzi
Bass:
         Robert Russell
         Adam Cohen
         Geo Valle
         Susan Cohen
         Bruce Lett
         Josh Hatton
        Jennifer Leitham
Drums:
         Dave Derge
         Brad Elliott
         Slammin' Sammy K
         Jack LeCompte
         Johnny Friday