fwap is comprised of 3 musicians, all with deep and rich musical backgrounds.
Andy West - Bass
West says his musical career can be divided into four phases. First, there was the Dixie Dregs (later just the Dregs) era, which began when he met guitarist Steve Morse in high school in Augusta, Georgia. The two formed a band that played the usual Zeppelin and Cream covers and evolved gradually into the Dixie Dregs. The group released six albums and split up in 1983, when Andy entered his second phase. He spent a few years in Northern California giving bass lessons, doing occasional side projects, and attempting to form his own band. He was introduced to experimental guitarist Henry Kaiser and played in Kaiser's Crazy Backwards Alphabet, which recorded an album and toured California and Western Europe in 1986-'87. During this time he also performed on guitarist Vinnie Moore's Mind's Eye and recorded with Paul Barrere of Little Feat. Eventually, West met guitarist Joaquin Lievano; the two moved to Los Angeles and formed Zazen, an "eclectic new-age instrumental band." This was the third and longest period of Andy's career. Zazen released over a dozen albums on private labels and produced 4 commercial releases. In 1993, West took a hiatus from Zazen and entered his fourth, current phase. He moved to Chicago, where he formed his own trio "It was a mix of really interesting heavy, industrial, sampled, chops-oriented stuff," he says. Recent years work has been the recording of the Mistakes' eponymous CD, a reunion of the Dregs that resulted in 1999’s ‘California Screamin’ album, and the Magna carta album ‘Andy West with Rama - Rama 1’ (featuring Rod Morgenstein, Mike Portnoy, Mike Keneally and others). He is fully occupied with the latest incarnation of Zazen and the formation of fwap with long time associate Joaquin Lievano. (parts excerpted from Bass Player Magazine interview by Tom Wictor)
Joaquin Lievano - Guitar, Vocals
Joaquin Lievano first gained international recognition as guitarist with jazz-fusion violinist Jean-Luc Ponty. Born in Bogota, Colombia, he moved to the United States with his family at age one and grew up listening to a mixture of Latin and rock music. A self-taught musician, he played in a variety of pop and rock groups before joining Ponty's band. That three-year association resulted in several world tours and four albums -- the fusion classic Cosmic Messenger, Live, A Taste for Passion, and Civilized Evil. Later, Joaquin worked extensively as a band leader with a list of members that reads like a "who's who" in jazz/fusion and beyond: Terry Bozzio, Steve Smith, Steve Kindler, Sheila E., Airto Moreira, Narada Michael Walden, Jerry Goodman, Simon Phillips and many others. In addition, he continued to tour and record with such artists as former Santana keyboardist/ songwriter Tom Coster, new age star Yanni, and R&B performers Angela Bofill and Stacy Lattisaw. His interest in electronic music led to the recording of One Mind (Global Pacific), his acclaimed 1987 solo debut, which stayed on the Radio & Records charts for several weeks in jazz, adult contemporary, r&b and new age, and continues to be a popular choice for "source music" throughout the world. His second solo recording, Ecologie, was released by Miramar in January, 1996, and was lauded by Billboard magazine for its "gorgeous melodies," "lyricism" and "broad tonal palette." Lievano placed fourth on the list of the "Best 25 Artists of 1996" announced by producers of the nationally-syndicated radio program, Echoes. His work with Andy West in the band Zazen inspired Jazziz Magazine to call Zazen albums “on a par with the best work of such innovators as Tangerine Dream” .
Hilary Jones - Drums
Baltimore native Hilary Jones began playing the drums professionally at age 16. Upon Graduation from the Baltimore School for the Arts she joined the U.S. Navy Band. The The first six months of her enlistment were spent at the Armed Forces School of Music, where she graduated with honors. In the next three years her musical duties included performances in just about every musical style, from big band to pop. After being discharged from the Navy, Hilary relocated to the San Francisco bay area to join "Girlfriend", a hand picked group of musicians formed by acclaimed producer, Narada Michael Walden. Shortly thereafter Hilary worked for many artists such as Maria Muldaur, the Mamas & the Papas, Angela Bofill, Clarence Clemmons, Pete Escovedo, and Ray Obiedo. Since moving to Los Angeles Hilary’s success continues as she’s recorded and/or toured with such artists as Lee Ritenour, Dave Grusin, Scott Henderson’s Tribal Tech, Eric Marienthal, Doc Severinson, Brazilian guitar virtuoso Badi Assad, and Robben Ford. When not on tour she keeps busy doing numerous recording sessions and enjoys playing on the local L.A scene with bands such as Cecilia Noel and The Wild Clams, The Delphines, and her own band. Hilary is also a frequent writer for Drum magazine and performs instructional Seminars internationally. With the May 2001 release of her debut CD,"Soaring", Hilary has embarked on what promises to be a successful solo career as well.