We are delighted to welcome Ben Powell back to headline this year's Colorado Gypsy Jazz Camp.
Ben Powell is fast assuring himself as one of the most versatile violinists of his generation. British born, he now lives in Los Angeles, California after residencies in Boston, Paris and New York. He is an alumnus of Berklee College of Music where he majored in composition and performance.
Upon hearing the playing of Stephane Grappelli in his early teens his journey into string improvisation was born. Recently, Ben has collaborated on his own recording projects with renown musicians such as vibraphonist Gary Burton, cellist Lynn Harrell and percussionist Peter Erskine. He was the featured violin soloist on the Warner Bros blockbuster 'Dunkirk' (2018) and 'Batman vs Superman' (2017), both scored by notable film composer Hans Zimmer and has worked in the recording studios of Los Angeles with artists such as Neil Young, Barbra Streisand, Aretha Franklin and Michael Buble. His dynamic work as a violinist makes him a rare commodity in the detailed world of cinematic music. This has allows him regular opportunities to work alongside celebrated film composers such as Hans Zimmer, Alexandre Desplat, Danny Elfman, Alan Silvestri, Geoff Zanelli and Bill Ross.
A lover of the French style 'Gypsy Jazz', Ben recently performed the acclaimed 'Symphonic Django' suite as a soloist with the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra joined by American guitarist John Jorgenson. An experienced performer, Ben as appeared alongside Paul Simon, Herbie Hancock, Gloria Estefan, Danny Elfman, Celine Dion, Andrea Bocelli, and recently appeared as an improvising soloist with Steve Wonder at The Forum, Los Angeles. Ben has enjoyed cameo appearances on prime time television sitcoms including The Mindy Project, New Girl and Two and a half Men. The latter saw Ben performing in a scene alongside star actors Ashton Kutcher and Jon Cryer in one of the final episodes of the show's . Fusing the improvising worlds with his classical pedagogy, Ben is truly a musician who transcends boundaries, not only by his own playing but by bringing together such varied musical company to join him in his creative ventures. This was most recently realized on his March 2016 release 'The LA Sessions'. Gathering 26 of LA's finest musicians, Ben compiled an album merging music from the worlds of Bebop, American Folk, Classical, French Musette, Film, Gypsy Jazz, Fusion, and Traditional Jazz. Ben plays an English violin by Alfred Vincent.
Jason will be offering Zoom lessons and classes this year. He will not be able to be in Crested Butte in person
One of the youngest violin professors at Boston’s Berklee College of Music, Anick is considered “a rising star in the world of jazz violin and mandolin” (Downbeat Magazine). In addition to leading various groups under his own name and performing with the Rhythm Future Quartet, Anick has been touring and recording with Grammy award-winning Nashville guitar virtuoso John Jorgenson since 2008 when he was recruited while still a senior at the Hartt Conservatory.
Over the past few years, Jason has been focusing on arranging and composing for the Rhythm Future Quartet, Jason Anick Acoustic Trio, and the Anick/Yeager Quartet. The Rhythm Future Quartet, which Jason started with Finish guitar virtuoso Olli Soikkeli, is rapidly becoming one of the preeminent Gypsy jazz groups in the country. The group just released its third album, "RFQ and Friends" which was praised by JazzTimes as "packed to the gills with feeling... dynamic, full of virtuosity and swing".
The Jason Anick Acoustic Trio, which formed in 2017, applies Jason's formidable improvisational and compositional chops to the roots/fiddle music of his youth. The Jason Anick/Jason Yeager Quartet draws on the wide swath of musical interests of its co-leaders, blending straight-ahead and post-bop jazz, world music, funk and pop, eagerly embracing what Anick and Yeager have defined as “jazz without borders.” Their debut album, United, garnered rave reviews including 4.5 stars from Downbeat Magazine.
A versatile musician and sought after side-man, Anick has also shared the stage with an array of artist like Stevie Wonder, Tommy Emmanuel, Hamilton de Holanda, The Jim Kweskin Jug Band, Celia Woodsmith, and Ward Hayden and the Outliers. With performances all over the world from China, Europe, and Japan and renowned venues like the Montreal Jazz Festival, Blue Note, Smalls Jazz Club, Scullers Jazz Club, Yoshi's, Iridium, TD Garden, Regattabar, NPR, and The Late Night Show, Jason has proven himself to be a leader in the ever-growing contemporary string world.
Jason is also a sought-after educator, and has taught jazz violin and mandolin to students of all ages at string camps, workshops, and clinics around the world. Jason regularly contributes educational columns to Fiddler Magazine and instructional videos to DC Music and Christian Howes' Creative Strings Academy.
Vinny brings to the camp his showmanship and incredible guitar chops.
As a touring guitar musician, performer, and educator, Vinny Raniolo is best known for his accompanying skills and is a very high demand rhythm guitarist. His dynamic playing has brought him to 14 countries on three continents – and still growing – having performed in some of the world’s most illustrious venues, including the Sydney Opera House in Australia, The Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, New York’s Lincoln Center and the world’s oldest indoor concert hall, Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza, Italy.
While keeping a busy touring schedule in a variety of musical settings, Vinny has also become a familiar figure on Public Television. Featured previously on three popular shows, including the heavily programmed Tommy Emmanuel and Friends, in Frank Vignola’s Four Generations of Guitar as the youngest generation in the lineage of jazz guitarists with veteran Bucky Pizzarelli and in the Music Gone Public series.
Recording credits include soundtracks for HBO’s Boardwalk Empire and Woody Allen’s film Café Society.
Nathan played for the Crested Butte Music Festival last year with his band Hot House West. We are fortunate to have him return as a performer and instructor.
Nathan Royal is a guitarist, singer, teacher, and band leader based in Salt Lake City, Utah. His folk roots stretch back to his childhood home of Anchorage, Alaska, where he first discovered his obsession with the guitar. After several years of self-experimentation and a series of bands with his friends, he found his way as a guitar teacher to Alaska City Folk Arts, the music camp that kick-started his desire to play music professionally. It only took one week of getting paid to teach, perform, and stay up all night jamming, to get him hooked on the job!
In 2010, he moved to Salt Lake City to study music at the University of Utah, where he received a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Performance. The University created the space for him to combine his love of acoustic and community music with the sharp focus of jazz discipline. There he started the band, Hot House West with two other students, James Martak and Kevin Schultz. Together, they dove headfirst into the music of Django Reinhardt. The band has since performed in major venues across Utah as well as several appearances in Las Vegas, including the Django Vegas Festival. The playful, energetic nature of the music keeps them busy performing everything from bars and weddings, to crowded dance halls and major festivals.
Always in search of new musical ideas and a deeper connection with the guitar, Nathan has travelled around the world to study and play with great musicians and teachers. A regular at Django in June, Djangofest Northwest, and the bars and venues across Western Europe where Django Jazz thrives, he has had the chance to study and play with great musicians such as Tcha Limberger, Fapy Lafertin, and Denis Chang.
More recently, Nathan has rekindled his love of other American Roots music through his project with Jack Dwyer, the Another Brothers. Together they explore classic American songs through the medium of tightly harmonized Brother Duets pitted against virtuosic instrumental interplay. They have toured through the Pacific Northwest, California, Alaska, and Utah, sharing their music with audiences large and small.
Max is a joy to have at camp with his infectious enthusiasm for gypsy jazz, his love of teaching and his great muscianship.
Guitarist, composer, and arranger Max O’Rourke was born and raised in West Rutland, Vermont. His interest in guitar began when he was six and has since progressed into a lifelong journey. While touring around the world with other bands, he has built up a significant amount of original work and is now leading his own project. His debut album Disquiet draws from his roots in gypsy jazz and also marks the start of his love for the electric guitar.
The backbone of any good camp is a great bass player - and Greg is the best!
Professional bassist, composer, and bandleader Greg Loughman has made a name for himself as an “emphatically lyrical” -Scott Albin, JazzTimes, versatile, and sensitive accompanist who plays "with sublime authority" -Raul d’Gama Rose, AllAboutJazz.com and "delivers not only the bass foundation for the pieces rhythms, but also over and over again intriguing, melodic, cleanly stated solos" -Bill Donaldson, Cadence Magazine.
Born in Zanesville, OH, Loughman currently lives in Boston, MA. He has performed with artists including Jerry Bergonzi, George Garzone, Hal Galper, Mark Murphy, and many others. Since 2014, he has toured extensively with gypsy jazz group the Rhythm Future Quartet and has made a name for himself in the gypsy jazz world, also performing with artists such as Stephane Wrembel, Gonzalo Bergara, and John Jorgenson. In addition, Greg co-leads the groups Roving Soul and ManOnLand, and plays in the John Funkhouser trio, Klezwoods, and the Sonic Explorers. He is also an in demand studio musician in the Boston area and teaches private lessons from his own home or online.
Tom is a local with the dream of keeping gypsy jazz alive in Crested Butte. He returns this year again as assistant faculty.
Tom MacFarlane grew up playing classical cello. Exploring the angst of youth he played electric bass in a punk band during his college years. For many years he played mandocello with the Colorado Springs group, Mandocentrics. But it was not until he discovered the music of Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grapelli, that he found his true musical calling in gypsy jazz. He was introduced to the music by Raul Reynoso and forever remains grateful. Over the years he has had the opportunity to play with Archtop Eddy and Mango Fan Django, Hot Djam, and Mood Swing in Colorado Springs. In Crested Butte he frequently joins Les Choy and Gypsy Jazz Social Club for some high altitude jazz manouche. A frequenter of Django in June he has had opportunities to jam with many of the greats of gypsy jazz and learn a few of the tricks. When he is not jazzing out he is honing the art of peche a la mouche, mountain biking and skiing, or supporting it all by doctoring in the ER.