Cetrella Live Jazz Dinner with Tiffany Austin
Tiffany Austin vocal | Peter Horvath piano | Doug Miller bass | Michael O'Neill saxophone and bandleader
Unbroken [2018 Album]
Nothing But Soul [2015 Album]
Born and raised in South Los Angeles, Tiffany Austin grew up in a house filled with music. Her parents listened to soul and pop masters like Donny Hathaway and Stevie Wonder, while her Louisiana Creole grandmother introduced her to jazz.
Her older brother John Austin IV was also a profound influence. A celebrated emcee and rapper, he’s best known as Ras Kass. “He got signed to a record label at 17,” she recalls. “I watched him pursue his music, for better or worse, He never had a day job, and sustained himself from music. I’d sneak in his room and riffle through his records. He sampled lots of great music, and he’s responsible for my obsession with Ella scatting over the break in ‘A Night in Tunisia.’”
Austin took a very different path. She graduated from the vaunted Los Angeles High School of the Arts. At Cal State Northridge, she majored in creative writing, while studying classical voice. During the year she spent studying in the U.K., she started sitting in at jazz sessions around London. After graduating in 2004, Austin set out for Tokyo with the plan that she’d look for work as a singer and spend a year in Japan. After finding regular work as an R&B chanteuse Austin ended up staying in Tokyo through 2009 and only returned because UC Berkeley’s School of Law made her a scholarship offer she couldn’t refuse.
Austin submerged herself in law school and left music behind. After the first year, she realized that she desperately needed a musical outlet. She began performing with bassist, composer, and bandleader Marcus Shelby on numerous projects, including a title role in Harriet’s Spirit, an opera about Harriet Tubman. “There was such a stark contrast between what I was doing in law school and what I wanted to do. I don’t regret going through the program—it made me understand what is truly important to me.”
With a series of prestigious gigs and residencies, Austin quickly gained attention as the most exciting new voice in the region. Performing a program of songs associated with Hoagy Carmichael led to her 2015 debut Nothing But Soul, the album that catapulted her into national prominence. With the album, Unbroken, Austin makes it clear that she’s far more than a beautiful voice. Claiming her cultural birthright, she’s an artist drawing nourishment from all of jazz’s roots.
Born in Budapest, Hungary, Peter Horvath attended the Bela Bartok Conservatory of Music. At age 17, he won the National Jazz Combo Competition in Hungary and two years later moved to Austria to attend the Vienna Conservatory of Music. In 1983, Peter moved to the United States, where he studied at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. He has since performed, recorded and toured nationally and worldwide with Bobby Hutcherson, Joe Henderson, Richie Cole, Ernie Watts, Eddie Henderson, Charles McPherson, Benny Maupin, the Victor Bailey Group, Lenny White, Arturo Sandoval, Randy Brecker, Marcus Miller, Bob Mintzer, Bob Sheppard, Craig Handy, Pete Escovedo and the Oakland Symphony. Peter is currently on faculty at the California Jazz Conservatory, Saint Mary’s College of California and Stanford Jazz Consortium.
Ruth Davies has performed with Clark Terry, John Lee Hooker, Bonnie Raitt, Jay McShann, Van Morrison, Maria Muldaur, Junior Mance, Barbara Morrison, Etta Jones, Terry Gibbs, Jimmy Witherspoon, and Little Jimmy Scott. She toured the world for ten years with the late Charles Brown, performing at major jazz festivals, concerts and radio and television broadcasts. Ruth continues to spend considerable time abroad. Lately she performs and travels with Elvin Bishop's band. She has been on the faculty at the Stanford Jazz Workshop for 17 years and has had a very successful annual "Ruth Davies Blues Night" series at the Stanford Jazz Festival. She also is actively engaged in the San Francisco Symphony’s "Adventures in Music" program and the "Just Say Jazz” project.
Michael O’Neill, a San Diego native, began studying clarinet at an early age. His first mentor was his neighbor, the great jazz and studio drummer, John Guerin. After the usual involvement with school bands and orchestras, Michael did a stint in the Air Force Band. In college, while majoring in Biology, he minored in music studying composition and arranging as well as jazz performance. After a brief career in science, Michael returned to music full time, studying saxophone with the great Joe Henderson while playing in dance bands, salsa bands and doing local jazz gigs. During this time Michael became interested in composition and formed groups to perform his original material, a trend that is ongoing today. Besides jazz composition, Michael’s interests have taken him into orchestral and ethnic musical forms. In the 1980's he began writing music for documentaries and television for which he now has a long list of credits. Jazz performance residencies as leader include 13 years at the Ritz Carlton Half Moon bay, 7 years at Cetrella Half Moon Bay and 6 years at the Hotel Sofitel in Redwood Shores. Michael has performed and/or recorded with Idris Muhammad, Joe Locke, Michael Wolff, Giacomo Gates, Geoffrey Keezer, Maria Muldaur, Eddie Fisher, Rodney Jones, Kim Nalley, Jackie Ryan, Tony Lindsay, Margie Baker, Faye Carol, Brenda Boykin, Jeff Chambers, Rob Schneiderman, Mark Levine, Frank Jackson, and many others.The Michael O'Neill Quintet featuring the great vocalist, Kenny Washington, has headlined the Monterey Jazz Festival, San Jose Jazz Festival, the Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival, SF Jazz, the Blue Note in Napa, Jazz at Pearl’s, Oakland and San Francisco Yoshi’s, Anna’s Jazz Island, the Jazz on the Hill Festival, the Oakland Art and Soul Festival, the San Jose Jazz Society Concert Series and many others.
Photos Austin (Bill Reitzel), Horvath (Eszter Biró), Davies (Howard A. Gitelson), O'Neill (Dave Lepori)
- Venue: Cetrella Restaurant
- Date: Sat August 17, 2019 6:30pm
- City: Los Altos
- Email: [email protected]
- Price Range: $15
- Tickets: 650-948-0400
Sat September 21, 2019 6:30pm