As the title suggests, Kickoff represents the start of something new. The members of HBC have all worked together on a variety of gigs over the past decade. However, the formation of this group marks our first effort at blending our individual voices into a unique sound that reflects our shared affinity for the hard bop style. On this album we have chosen to offer a few lesser-known compositions by some of the genre's most renowned artists - as well as our own take on some very familiar songs. Although the tunes are presented in a variety of styles and tempos, they all possess the hallmarks of the HBC sound: harmonic and melodic complexity grounded by a hard-driving rhythm. We sincerely hope you enjoy our work.
Since 2003, Daniel Casares has been a constant presence in the SF Bay Area music scene. Drawing upon his wide-ranging
influences and versatile abilities, this talented multi-instrumentalist has shared the stage with artists such as: Benny Green,
Eric Alexander, Thomas Pridgen (Mars Volta), Toussaint the Liberator (Soulive), Ozomatli, The Realistic Orchestra, and
Jesus Diaz y su QBA. Daniel recently returned to the Bay Area, after spending a year in France studying with renowned
instrumentalist Rick Margitza and performing with some of Europe's best jazz musicians.
Known for his warm and pure sound, Jordan Samuels is quickly becoming one of San Francisco's most sought after young
guitarists. His distinctive finger-style technique and resourceful melodic phrasing has engaged Bay Area audiences for
more than a decade. You can find him playing with groups or as a solo artist at private events or at venues such as Caffe
Trieste, Club Deluxe, Cliff House, and the Orbit Room. In addition to his studies with acclaimed guitarists Bruce Forman,
Randy Vincent and Jim Witzel, Jordan's unique approach towards jazz is influenced by his formal training as a classical
Tomoko Funaki was born in Japan into a musical family. Following in the footsteps of her parents, both musicians, she
studied classical violin and flute. A move to New York exposed her to a broad range of musical genres but she found
herself increasingly drawn towards jazz. Her love of the music prompted her to pick up the bass and for the past decade,
she has immersed herself in the San Francisco jazz scene. Ms. Funaki has performed and studied with luminaries Ray
Drummond, Rodney Whitaker, Andrew Speight, Donald "Duck" Bailey, and Rufus Reid.
A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, Austin Lee Harris is known for his hard-grooving swing and strong rhythmic
presence. While living in California, he was a staple in the San Francisco jazz scene, playing at venues including the
Berkeley JazzSchool, Jazz at Pearls, and the Stanford Jazz Festival. Since moving to New York City in 2007, Harris has
quickly established himself as one of top young drummers in the scene, performing with musicians such as saxophonist
Frank Wess, pianist Dan Nimmer (Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra), bassist David Wong (Heath Brothers, Roy Haynes).