Veteran jazz pianist Barbara Dzuro loves the emotive nature of jazz improvisation, “You play what you feel. You have to be able to think fast and phrase everything well … but more than that you have to have a passion and a soul for it,” Dzuro, who played piano with the Eugene Jazz All-Stars for nine years, originally trained as a classical musician. She found jazz and improv to be more emotive and cathartic. “With classical music, you have to play every note on the page,” she said. “With improv, you’re not bound by anything. You’re playing what you feel.”
For Bruce Cole and the other musicians, improv is more than just a style of music, it’s the ultimate euphoria. “ Improv really is the drug of choice for musicians,” he said. “You don’t always get that high, but when you do, I’ve heard some say it’s better than sex.” Cole is the backbeat of the Eugene jazz scene. Playing drums since the age of 5, Bruce is comfortable with all genres of music claiming influences ranging from Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Pink Floyd, Led Zepplin, Peter Tosh and Bob Marley. However, jazz improve is his love.
Barbara performs professionally coast to coast. She enjoys both large Jazz festivals, and small intimate venues. She has studied and explored jazz improvisation since 1971. She has played in New York at the River Cafe, The Gage & Tollner, and at Greene Street in SoHo. She did a thirteen month dream gig, playing six nights a week in St. Thomas, the U.S. Virgin Islands. She has recorded her original music with the jazz quartet Meridian.
Mike Hanns has 40+ years playing experience including performances with nationally recognized artists, Holly Hoffmann, Mike Wofford Halie Loren, Ritchie Cole, Andrei Kitaev, Meredith d’ Ambrosia ’ and many others. While attending the University of Oregon Mike performed with the U of O Symphony, the U of O Jazz Ensemble, plus number of small jazz groups. Mike is a highly sought after session and gig player.
Discovering his love of jazz at an early age, Scott Mitchell has played the saxophone since the age of seven. His adolescence was spent studying the alto saxophone, and later the flute, while playing in a number of combos, ensembles, and bands. In high school, Scott studied under legendary University of Oregon jazz author, educator, and performer Carl Woideck. During this time, he frequented the Southern Oregon Music Festivals and other festivals around the Pacific Northwest, where he received numerous awards as “Outstanding Performer,” and learned from living legend, Mel Brown among many others. Scott then went on to earn a BFA in Jazz Studies from the Herb Alpert School of Music at the California Institute for the Arts where he studied under Paul Novros and many other professional musicians, including saxophonist Vinny Golia, and bassists Charlie Hayden and Alphonso Johnson. He is trained in music theory, composition, and performance. His earliest influences were Charlie Parker and later Cannonball Adderly, and for his junior performance at Cal Arts he did a tribute to Adderly that prompted one professor to say he thought Scott was “channeling Cannonball.” Scott played in Yachats with the Gerry Rempel Syndicate last summer, and is back by popular demand.
Reviews about Barbara exclaim:
“Barbara has always been an artist; art is her lifestyle, as a composer and pianist she is gifted with a depth of perception that is awe-inspiring. She plays with intuitive intelligence and emotional understanding.” —Viola Feix, What’s Happening, Eugene, Oregon
“Dzuro’s style is a melange of influences from Bill Evans to Chick Corea to Keith Jarrett. She’s primarily a lyrical player.”—Robert Jannapollo, Cadence Magazine
“Dzuro’s vacillations of touch and mood express life as most people live it, hanging on surely through ups and downs. These are just nuances though and the equilibrium is sound, but they make for the character that is missing from so many more commercial and trendy recordings.”el Syndicate last summer, and is back by popular demand.