With Brass, Bows & Beats, Adam Theis (principle composer/arranger) has brought together a fearless group of musical innovators at the top of their game delivering a major contribution to the constantly evolving American and global art form known as jazz. Rick Marianetti of The San Francisco Examiner calls Brass, Bows & Beats “one of the most exciting new works of American music in years–a seamless fusion of jazz, funk, hip-hop, electronica, and digital turntable that deserves to be heard world wide.”
Approached with innovation and improvisation, Brass, Bows & Beats was developed over the course of a year with help of a $50,000 grant from The Wallace Alexander Gerbode and William and Flora Hewlett Foundations. This multi-thematic, genre-defying and community-oriented work both embraces and expands on jazz tradition, while sending a positive and pertinent message for our times.
The result is a piece that continues to impress an historical impact that simply cannot be denied; a work, as Gabe Meline of the Sonoma County Bohemian writes, “on par with Miles Davis & Gil Evans’ ‘Live at Carnegie Hall’ or Charles Mingus’ ‘Epitaph’ – visionary in scope, staggering in depth.”
Featuring artists such as Dublin, Joe Bagale, The Realistic Orchestra, The Shotgun Wedding Quintet, Jeanne Geiger, Dave Scott, Karyn Paige, Seneca, Chris McGee, DJ Aspect McCarthy, Jon Monahan and many more. Collectively known as the Jazz Mafia, this talented group of musicians seamlessly combines Latin polyrhythms, boom-bap rhymes, melancholy ballads, swinging jazz and blistering solos, while at the same time adhering to symphonic structural elements. All spun together in the spirit of a Jazz Era big band- but conducted with a maestro’s sense of timing, timbre, and mood- the experience is akin to watching the New York Philharmonic back a street corner B-Boy battle in the heart of downtown Oakland.
The “Brass, Bows & Beats” premiere sold out two shows at the Palace Of Fine Arts as well a sold out a six-show run at Yoshi’s in San Francisco. The 60 piece incarnation of Jazz Mafia’s “Brass, Bows & Beats” that premiered at the Palace of Fine Arts was recorded and released as a live album in June 2010. 2010 has been a break through year for Jazz Mafia, with performances at the Newport Jazz Festival, Montreal Jazz Festival, Playboy Jazz Festival (Hollywood Bowl), and the Monterey Jazz Festival.
The original 60-piece Palace ensemble can be pared down to a tighter core of 40 to accommodate and emphasize more intimate settings. The piece marks a coming of age for The Jazz Mafia as a new voice in composition. Jazz Mafia Symphony is a monumental achievement displaying an exciting barrage of compositional elements, which the composers ingeniously weave together through a complex blend of skill, talent and courage. An eager and quickly growing global audience awaits their further contributions. A creative force on the Bay Area music scene for more than a decade, the loose-knit band of jazz cats, MCs, arrangers and composers known collectively as The Jazz Mafia, is fast emerging as the most prolific musical organization on the West Coast. Launching some of the Bay Area’s most innovative and stylistically expansive ensembles, these musicians contribute their varied talents to a cross-cultural mix of new beats and melodies, blended with instrumental virtuosity. The Jazz Mafia Horns have recorded in the studio with Carlos Santana and backed artists such as Zion-I, KRS One, and Thomas Dolby. Other bands in the JM pantheon include The Shotgun Wedding Quintet, the incredible Realistic Orchestra, Supertaster with Joe Bagale, Brass Mafia, Jazz Mafia Trio, Spaceheater, and The Shotgun Wedding Hip Hop Symphony. With top-tier brass players and an always premium rhythm section, and dealing in jazz, funk, hip hop, soul, R&B and more, The Jazz Mafia form one of the most powerful assemblies of virtuosic performers on the West Coast.