Giant Blue’s first album “Live from Scottsdale” showcases a Tucson powerhouse “Sass & Brass” says it all when it comes to Tucson’s premiere Horn Band, Giant Blue. One reviewer captured the unique gift that is Giant Blue in just a few words: “A horn section like this is a perfect wing man…makes everything so much cooler.”
Giant Blue is committed to bringing its music to new audiences in 2013 and according to Mike Walden, Band Leader/Founder, Giant Blue will be having its 5 year anniversary in 2013 and to celebrate, is releasing it’s very first CD, recorded live April, 2012 at the Scottsdale Culinary Festival.
Anna Warr (vocals) Anna is a Tucson treasure and has been bringing her powerful blues sound to local audiences for over 20 years. She is one of the original Desert Divas (formed by Tucson’s Lisa Otey), which started her international touring experience. She went on from there to tour Holland with “Mr. Boogie Woogie”, Eric-Jan Overbeek (who entertains Tucson on his bi-annual visits - Spring & Fall). Anna is also a member of the Tucson Musicians Museum.
Mike Walden (vocals/guitar/Band Leader/Founder), a veteran of rock bands since 1968. Mike grew up musically steeped in the southern blues of the Allman Brothers and Johnny Winter, playing in several memorable Fayetteville, North Carolina bands, including Valley - one of the top Carolina bands in the early 70's. Mike moved to Minot, North Dakota in 1985 for his military career, and formed The Crew - a band voted "Best Rock Band in North Dakota". In 2000, Mike and Joe LoCascio formed Tucson’s East2West - a very popular dance band that is still packing local venues with their loyal fans after 12+ years.
Richard Katz (Keyboard) A practicing and performing musician for over 20 years, Richard brings a modern touch to the keyboard that is rooted in many styles. He has worked with and arranged for numerous artists and studios in LA, New York, and now Tucson. He has many, CD, film and arranging credits and in addition to performing and producing music, Richard also teaches music in Tucson’s public school system. He is a member of many local bands including East2West.
Jeff Stone (Drums) hails from Eureka, California, and started playing his dad’s drums at age 7. He played big band jazz, rock and blues in Northern California from middle school to college then on to the SF Bay Area to record and tour with several original rock bands in the 80s. In 1988, he put music aside to pursue his career as a professor of Psychology and now teaches at the UofA. Since 1997 Jeff’s played with several area bands including Nigel’s 11, The Freeze, Grind, Fuzion, Mr. Bonestripper, Running Hot and Soul Harvest. He is enjoying the opportunity to return to his jazz roots with Giant Blue.
Kevin Shumaker (Horn Arrangement/Baritone Sax), a native Tucsonan, he picked up the saxophone in grade school. In 2004 he received a scholarship to attend the University of Arizona’s School of Music where he received a Music degree in 2008 and has been working under the tagline “Tax & Sax” as a professional musician and tax accountant with Shumaker Wengren LLC. Kevin has played with The Temptations and jazz greats including Victor Wooten, Bud Shank, Carl Saunders, Pete Christlieb, and Jeff Coffin.
Sam Eagon (Bass) is an impeccable bassist, performing with a wide variety of artists from all over the world. Sam pulls from his varied influences to create a soulful and effective groove in any situation. He’s also the co-owner of LandMark Sound Recorders here in Tucson, and the owner and craftsman of Land Mark Drum Co. Sam also is credited with doing the production work on Giant Blue’s first CD, “Live in Scottsdale” due out this Spring.
Carlos Chavez (Trumpet) began playing professionally at age 12 with his family in a Mexican Big Band. He eventually branched out to: Jazz, Latin, Salsa, and Funk. He toured the world with several great bands, including The Ray Charles Orchestra, where he played lead trumpet. Carlos set music aside in 1988 and didn’t return professionally until 2009, thanks to his good friend, Tucson’s world-class trumpet player Rick Peron, who encouraged Carlos to play again.
Ross Daniels (Trumpet) has been playing professionally for 30 years. Ross has performed with artists such as; Dizzy Gillespie, Frankie Avalon, Rita Moreno, The Four Tops, The Platters, The 5th Dimension, Charo, and The Osmonds. Ross is glad to be playing the music of his youth, having a blast recreating these great classics with a wonderful band like Giant Blue.
Brian Hicks (Saxophone) and Mike Moynehan (Saxophone) are the newest members of the band and round out Giant Blue’s signature horn section. In 2010, Brian won the University of Arizona’s annual President’s Concerto Competition and went on tour in Australia and the U.S. in 2011/2012. He is currently the lead alto player for Big Band Express and performs regularly with Salsarengue, Giant Blue, and Lonely Street Productions
Rick Haase is the technical wizard on sound that makes it all come together, no matter where the band drops their down beat.
If you’d like more information or would like to be included in the email list, check out www.giantblueband.com.