Drum Master returns to Nighttown with All-Star International Organ Trio!
Featuring: Jeff Hamilton-Drums, Akiko Tsuruga-Hammond B-3 Organ, & Graham Dechter-Guitar.
Originality is what versatile drummer Jeff Hamilton brings to the groups he performs with and is one of the reasons why he is constantly in demand, whether he is recording or performing with his trio, Oscar Peterson, Ray Brown, the Clayton Brothers or co-leading the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra.
Jeff is equally at home in smaller formats. He is an integral part of the Clayton Brothers and Herb Wong stated in his review of their release, The Music (Capri), in JazzTimes: “Always evident is…the colorful work of the rhythm section featuring…the sensitivity and sizzle of Jeff Hamilton’s seasoned drums.”
In addition to his many recordings with Ray Brown, Jeff has been on nearly 200 recordings with artists such as Natalie Cole, Diana Krall, Milt Jackson, Rosemary Clooney, Barbara Streisand, Mel Torme, John Pizzarelli, Benny Carter, Lalo Schifrin, George Shearing, Clark Terry, Gene Harris, Toshiko Akioshi, Scott Hamilton, Harry “Sweets” Edison, Keely Smith, Bill Holman, Herb Ellis, Barney Kessel and Mark Murphy.
An accomplished guitarist, composer and arranger, Graham Dechter plays with the kind of swinging authority and seasoned maturity that belies his young age. The 28-year-old Los Angeles native, a member of the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra since he was 19, shows a deep reverence for the jazz guitar tradition in his warm-toned renditions of ballads, bossas, bebop and blues. A formidable soloist and consummate accompanist, he imbues standards with rare enthusiasm and an inherent bluesiness while carving out his own path with several affecting original compositions.
Dechter’s tastes are firmly rooted in a different aesthetic. A talent deserving of wider recognition, Dechter follows in the lineage of his guitar heroes like Wes Montgomery, Barney Kessel, Grant Green and Herb Ellis.
Akiko Tsuruga - Raised in Osaka, Japan, this talented musician began studying the organ at the age of three, at the famed Yamaha Music School. After discovering her passion for jazz very early on in her musical journey, Akiko launched her career immediately after graduating from the Osaka College of Music.
While living and playing in Osaka, she had many opportunities to perform with world-renowned jazz musicians from the United States. Meeting Grady Tate, in particular, was a life-changing event for Akiko.
After landing in the mecca for jazz, New York City, it didn’t take long for Akiko to make her mark - she was soon embraced not only by audiences, but by her fellow musicians, as one of the top organ players in the city.
But it was the meeting of organ legend Dr. Lonnie Smith that proved to have the greatest impact on Akiko’s musical development and career. He became an important mentor to Akiko, and she considers him her greatest influence.
Akiko has ten albums as a leader to her credit. Her debut album in the U.S., “Sweet and Funky”, was selected as a “Best album of 2007” in DOWNBEAT Magazine.