Singer and creativity enthusiast, Moorea Dickason, is one half of the San Francisco/East Bay original art-rock super group, MoeTar, along with amazing musician and artist husband, Tarik Ragab. Striving to always serve the music, she shows up passionately and professionally in all that she participates in; to the extent of fearlessly baring her soul to appreciative audiences.
MoeTar put 2 albums out with Magna Carta Records but struck out on their own as an independent project in January 2016. Moorea and Tarik are presently producing consistent video songs every two weeks for their growing patrons on the Patreon platform. For those who love interesting new music, unexpected covers of familiar and unfamiliar songs, quirky yet poppy originals- all done with stellar musicianship and love for art and craft- will find the fertile soil of Moorea and Tarik’s imagination, nourishment to the spirit of creatives and music lovers alike.
With good humor and forthrightness, the two spoke with OTSSFO about the care and feeding of a band of virtuosos, self-awareness, making a living through creative endeavors and content, and marriage in art and life.
Tracks featured throughout Episode #013:
As a complement to our two part conversation with New York Based, Bassist, Composer, Recording Artist, and Educator, Ben Allison, with his permission, we are providing a special peek into a portion of a discussion held at the California Jazz Conservatory in Berkeley, California.
This preceded a performance of material from his new recording with the Think Free Band entitled ‘Layers of the City’; now available.
Also in the room was his touring band for the occasion, Steve Cardenas on Guitar, Allan Mednard on drums, and Kirk Knuffke on Cornet.
Tracks featured throughout Episode #012 Part 3 of 3:
We continue with Part two of our discussion with New York Based, Bassist, Composer, Recording Artist, and Educator, Ben Allison.
In Part one we discussed the process leading up to the recording of the new album, stylistic choices made, curators of taste, the Salsa scene of Newhaven Connecticut, Production techniques, the visceral experience of music and physical product, becoming an entrepreneur, cultural diplomacy through music, and finally,
turning audiences on to jazz through dialog and live performance.
We resume our discussion with Part two to further unbox Ben’s viewpoint on the intrinsic value of music, the importance of copyrights, the benefits of an extended career in jazz, touring life, advocacy and engaging with politicians, and how that is channeled into his creative process.
We also reference a conversation surrounding Ben’s personal approach to composing, and how it yielded some of the tunes on his new recording, ‘Layers of the City’.
Tracks featured throughout Episode #012 Part 2 of 3*:
*All from Ben Allison recordings except where otherwise noted
New York Based, Bassist, Composer, Recording Artist, and Educator, Ben Allison has a career that spans several decades.
Ben has established himself at the forefront of modern jazz and creative music. A disciple of the jazz canon, rock, folk, 20th Century Classical music, and improvisational music from around the world, he firmly believes in the notion that the tradition of jazz is to move the music forward.
He was a founding member of the Jazz Composers Collective that produced more than 100 performances in New York and abroad, new music, and annual concerts in the region for 11 seasons.
One could add one time club owner (Kush), and now producer, record label owner, and artist advocate activist to his CV, with that last part highlighted by virtue of Ben's position as current President of the Board of the New York chapter of the Recording Academy.
With more than 11 recordings out under his various group configurations, such as Ben Allison and Medicine Wheel, Peace Pipe, and Think Free bands, he is now releasing his second recording on his Sonic Camera label imprint, with ‘Layers of the City’. A set of new compositions featuring Ben with Guitarist, Steve Cardenas, Trumpeter Jeremy Pelt, Pianist Frank Kimbrough, and Allan Mednard on Drums.
We spoke with Ben about his new recording, composing process, audience engagement, leanings toward activism and advocacy, worldview, and development as a recording artist.
With such a rich and densely packed career, we couldn’t possibly fit it into a brief discussion, so we have broken our conversation into several parts.
Tracks featured throughout Episode #012 Part 1 of 3:
Matthew Szlachetka, guitarist, singer-songwriter, and producer. Originally from the state of Massachusets, Matthew is now Nashville based after being a long-time resident of Los Angeles.
His roots rock and Americana style is familiar with audiences all around the U.S. through his various songwriting partnerships, and ultimately as a diligent touring solo artist.
At home playing lead on electric guitar in his studio recordings, he is more likely to have an acoustic guitar in his hands with songs that fit neatly into the sensibilities of giants like Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, and Bob Dylan. And with his new full-length recording entitled “Heart of my Hometown” slated for release in 2017, it is no wonder, as the product is produced by Grammy Award winning producer and engineer, David Bianco, who's credits include all of the aforementioned, as well as Mick Jagger, Lucinda Williams, and many more of diverse styles.
We feature excerpts from both 2017's forthcoming release, “Heart of my Hometown”, and 2014’s “Waits for a storm to Find” throughout our discussion.
Tracks Featured Throughout Episode #011:
We continue Part Two of our conversation with Bulgarian born guitarist and composer, Hristo Vitchev.
While in Part One we highlighted his acclaimed 2 Disc release, “In Search of Wonders”, not to mention a foray into Hristo’s love of metal guitar and music in his youth, in Part Two, we continue the discussion into how he channeled his business acumen in the music industry through foundational marketing strategies and early adoption of social media tools to become a recording artist, label owner, clinician, and internationally touring musician.
Hristo offers his experience as a virtual master class for those aspiring to be bandleaders and touring recording artists.
What happens when you transport a Bulgarian born, metal loving guitar player to San Jose, CA by way of Venezuela and "small-town" Utah? You get impressionistic jazz composer, bandleader, and guitarist, Hristo Vitchev.
Making the San Francisco Bay Area his home, Hristo can be found producing a prodigious amount of recordings with longtime collaborators in his own, Hristo Vitchev Quartet. With a variety of Duet and Quartet recordings under his belt on the label, First Orbit Sounds, that date back to 2009, one can explore his steady output.
In 2016, he released an ambitious double CD entitled “In Search of Wonders” to acclaim, and features a quartet of musicians that highlights easy interplay as a result of their long-time association.
We made this discussion a two-parter. In Part One, we explore Hristo's journey from Bulgaria to establishing his prolific Quartet out of the San Jose State Jazz Program, with stops at jam sessions along the way, restaurant casuals, and having his dreams dashed at a Death Metal show.
Immediately available is Part Two- a BONUS EPISODE that provides a virtual master class on building one's career in jazz as a bandleader, including foundational marketing strategies, Social Media tools, running a record label, and managing overseas tours.
Tracks Featured Throughout Episode #010: