Tomchess is a Multi-instrumentalist/Improviser/Composer. He plays Reeds, Western Flute, Arabic/Turkish Ney flute, Oud, and Guitar. He also has a history of using electronics /sampling/live-sampling/loops/fx. He has performed with Drummer Ronald Shannon Jackson' Decoding Society, Butch Morris's Sheng Skyscraper, recorded with Tenor players Dewey Redman, Pharoah Sanders, Morrocan Sintarist Hassan Hakmoun and Butch Morris. He has also led a guitar trio with Drummer Phil Haynes and bassist Drew Gress called Seven Times a Year. He has studied Middle/Near Eastern and West African musics, spending time in West Africa playing and performing. He has studied with Bassam Saba, Omer Erdogdular, Tidiani Bangoura, Abdul Aziz Tourè and Mohammad Camarra. He has also conducted workshops and master classes/lectures and performances in the NYC Public school system as well as New Jersey and Universities and institutions such as Asia Society NY, Johnson State College Vermont, Columbia University, SUNY Fredonia College, McDaniels College, Carrol Community College, Md, and Gettysburg College Pa. He currently lives in NYC where he performs with his different ensembles and works as a freelance musician. He has performed at Lincoln Center, The Turkish Embassy, The Pakastani Embassy, the Asian Society, The Natural History Museum, The Metropolitan Museum, The Himalayan Museum of Art and The United Nations among countless other venues in NYC and the United States. He has also performed on NPR and PBS. He has performed in Africa, Canada, Holland, and Italy. He has played on Grammy Nominated recordings. He has been awarded grants from the Turkish American Society and The Maryland Council For The Arts. He has been nominated for an 2012 Independent Music Award.
TOMCHESS & THE LOVEDOGS
tomchess first formed the Lovedogs in 1999 as a vehicle to explore musical visions/expressions coming from his many experiences within wide-ranging musical worlds:
"...My inspiration is drawn from my evolving realizations of love and life; listening to an inner convergence, the rhythms of life, nature/city sounds, my experiences as a human being and artist and listening to music from all parts of the world. The deeper I listen, the more I hear unity/universals in how sound is used and celebrated, as well as differences. The World is chock-full of beautiful and multi-colored infinitudes of expression through sound. Music embraces within it the means to overcome and transcend religious, political and social boundaries as a powerful transformative vehicle. Its also simply just a hell of alot of fun. My playing is an expression of my past experiences re-coded into a vision through the present co-emergent moment towards beneficial future possibilities; its an expression of celebration.
...so i've always had a bit of the nomad and gypsy in me, it was part of my experience growing up in the sense that my family moved 19 times before i was 17yrs. old (new town, new school, new friends etc and hence the song title '19 times in 17 years'). So in any nomadic vibe, one foot is always firmly set on the gound while the other is always on the move, looking for new opportunities for experience and transformation through communication..."
"...With The Lovedogs i like to find different intriguing balances between improvisation and sound design within the feeling and mood of Song in a live context...and these recordings are live in the studio, no overdubs, i would say i'm inclined towards being a 'worshipper' of the Instant and Its constant journey towards a deeper/wider resonance of Unity. "
"...Tomchess & The Lovedogs....drinking from deep clear sufi wells and ascending to dolphynian heights of sensoral grooving bliss..."-Charles Blass, 89.9 fm WKCR, NYC.
Dervishly Ambient Melodies, Funky World Grooves, Improvisation; A Globally Inspired Sound Transcending Genre.
THE LOVEDOGS ARE:
SHANE SHANAHAN-PERCUSSION He has studied drumming traditions from all over the world and combines them with his training in classical Western music, jazz, and rock to create his own unique style. Since January of 2001, he has been touring around the world performing with Yo-Yo Ma as a member of the Silk Road Ensemble. He is also a member of frame drum master Glen Velez’s Handance ensemble. In addition, he has performed with jazz legend Sonny Fortune, African multi-instrumentalist Foday Musa Suso, master of Persian music Kayhan Kalhor, Bang on a Can All-Star Robert Black, and composer Philip Glass, among others. He has also worked with Indonesian gamelans, Caribbean Steel Drum bands, throat singing choirs, free improvisation groups, contemporary music ensembles, orchestras, folk singers and songwriters.
He has presented workshops, performed and studied in India, New Zealand, and Turkey as well as all over the U.S. and Canada.
RAVI PADMANABHA-PERCUSSION. a percussionist, multi-instrumentalist, improviser/composer. At age 18, he began his formal Tabla studies with Pandit Ananda Gopal, and later with Pandit Samar Saha of Calcutta. He then continued with Tabla Maestro Pandit Sharda Sahai. He worked for Trivini, an Indian Classical Music organization, which allowed him to meet and learn more about his rich musical heritage. Ravi spent many years performing in a wide variety of musical styles, including jazz, world, and experimental music. He has helped form many groups, such as Hylozoa with Steve Baczkowski on winds, Tala Rasa with Ron Locurto on guitar, and Omkara with Naryan Padmanabha on santoor and Aneal Padmanabha on guitar. Ravi has performed in various groups including the Howling Makams, and Tomchess. He has performed with many musicians including, Robert Dick, Willam Parker, Peter Kowald, Pauline Oliveros, Daniel Carter, Adam Lane, Blaise Siwula, Steve Swell and Bern Nix.
NATHAN PECK, BASSIST came from a family of jazz musicians and began playing professionally at age 15. Originally starting on piano, he also studdied clarinet, baritone saxophone, and drums before becoming a bassist in 1991. At age 16 he won the Milt Hinton award, a Scholarship for Students of the Double Bass and also won an honorable mention from the National Endowment for the Arts. Mr. Peck was honored to be invited to perform at the International Duke Ellington Conference which was held in Pittburgh, Pennsylvania, in May 1995. From 1995-2002 he was based in Pittsburgh, PA where he performed regularly with played with Joe Harris, Roger Humphries, Jimmy Ponder, and the Pittsburgh Civic Orchestra. In 1999 Mr. Peck toured with the great Maynard Ferguson Big Bop Nouveau band which included a command performance in Bankok for King Bhumibol Adulyadej. Since moving to New York City in 2002, he has also had the privilege to perform with artists such as Mark Murphy, Maria Muldaur, James Wlliams, Lafayette Harris, Joel Frahm, Roy Campbell, Bruce Cox, Allison Miller, Ari Hoenig, Janice Martin and Alex Skolnick. In summer 2004, he participated in the Kennedy Center’s Jazz Ambassador program along with the Kelley Johnson Quartet which included performances in Russia, Croatia, Slovenia, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan. In 2005 Peck performed in Moscow, Istanbul, and Baku(AZ), with Shahin Novrasli, a pianist from Azerbaijan and also toured with Alex Skolnick throughout the US and Canada. In 2006 he was one of 125 applicants who were selected to participate in Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead Program at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. Currently based in New York, he is a fulltime musician performing as a side man and with his own groups.
ALICIA RAU, TRUMPET, FLUGELHORN. Internationally recognized by her velvety warm tone and intuitive rhythmic style on the trumpet and flugelhorn. Her passion for world music and her fiery stage presence have paved a unique path to New York City and abroad She works extensively with bassist Marcus McLaurine of the Clark Terry Quintet and also performs regularly with Travis Sullivan's Bjorkestra, Roxane Butterfly, Diva Jazz Orchestra, Salieu Suso's Jaliya Kafo, Afrofunk Massive Orchestra, Irish-rock's The Temp, Manhattan Swing Orchestra, The Kit McClure Band, and Hot Lavender Swing. She has performed and recorded with Essiet Essiet's International Bushman's Organization, Jojo Kuo and the Afrobeats, Nepo & Africa Meets World. She has BA in Music and Anthropology at the University of Iowa and studied privately with John Rapson, David Greenhoe, and Clay Jenkins. In 2000, she traveled to Senegal, West Africa to study ethnomusicology, African drumming, and dance, and the languages and cultures of Senegal. While in West Africa, Alicia toured throughout Senegal and the Gambia with local groups including Zale Seck's Mbalax Daagou and Groupe Ceddo, performing in nightclubs, festivals, traditional weddings, and radio shows.
She is currently on the faculty of the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, Medgar Evers College, Brooklyn's Musician's General Store, Court Street Musicians of Brooklyn, St. Bart's Players of St. Bartholomew's Cathedral, and the F.D.R. Theater Guild.