Don Peake - Guitar

 
 

Don Peake is a multi-talented musician who has worked as a guitarist, arranger, record producer, and film music composer. Starting his professional musical career as a guitarist in 1961, Peake's talent was recognized early when he toured as lead guitarist with the Everly Brothers at the age of 21, playing in the U.S. and Europe for two years. Peake returned to Los Angeles to establish himself as a recording musician, and played for many of the legendary performers under Phil Spector's production including The Righteous Brothers - "You've Lost That Loving Feeling", Ike and Tina Turner - "River Deep Mountain High", as well as recording with Mahalia Jackson, Billy Preston, Cannonball Adderly, Marvin Gaye, and Diana Ross.

In 1964, Peake became the first white guitarist to play with the Ray Charles Orchestra, touring with Charles, and recording with him for ten years. During that time, Peake studied guitar with Barney Kessel, Howard Roberts, and Joe Pass, three legendary guitarists. Peake became one of the premiere session guitarists in Los Angeles, recording for Jan and Dean, The Mamas and the Papas, Sonny and Cher, The Beach Boys, and many others. Don was inducted into an elite group of musicians led by drummer Hal Blaine known as "The Wrecking Crew".

He played lead guitar for Marvin Gaye (Let's Get It On), and on all the Jackson Five's original hits, ”ABC“, ”I Want You Back“, etc. Don was on the Commodores, Smokey Robinson, The Supremes, The Temptations, and many more Motown Artists' records as a Staff Guitarist for Motown Records.

Peake also played on John Lennon's records that Phil Spector produced, and on all of Barry White's hit records, some of which he arranged. On all of the records that Don Peake has made, he has been a major creative contributor.

It was a natural thing for Peake then to move into arranging and composing. His first arrangement was Tim Hardin's " If I Were A Carpenter" for Bobby Darin, which sold over a million records in the first week and a half of its release. Peake has been involved in some of the landmark recordings of the last twenty years. Some of these have been "breakthrough" records, like his arrangements on Gloria Gaynor's Platinum Album "Love Tracks", the first disco record to become a pop crossover.

His arrangement of "Don't Take Away The Music" for Tavares was a runaway disco hit. Peake also has a Gold Album for his arrangements on Jermaine Jackson's "Let's Get Serious" album, and a Platinum Album for his production work with Ray Parker Jr. on " Ghostbusters". Don has arranged for Roy Orbison, Kenny Rankin, The Monkees (Gold Album), Minnie Riperton, The Fifth Dimension, Sonny and Cher, Wayne Newton (Gold Album), Hank Williams Jr. and many more.

This amazing range of musical experience led Peake to composing music for film and commercials. He studied composition and orchestration extensively with Dr Albert Harris, Academy Award winning composer Paul Glass, and conducting with Broadway's beloved Maestro Samuel Krachmalnick.

Peake has composed the music for two Academy Award winning live action short films, "In The Region Of Ice", and "Violet". He also scored the short subject "Leon's Case", which won the Golden Hugo Award at the Chicago Film Festival. His film scores include Wes Craven's cult classic "The Hills Have Eyes", "Walk Proud" , "Moving Violation", "Modern Love", and "Breakin'" which earned him a Platinum Album. Peake has scored seven movies for television including "Dalton, Code Of Vengeance" and its sequel, and he has composed music for several pilots including "My Two Dads". Don spent three and a half years scoring the popular Universal Television series "Knight Rider". He also scored the American Playhouse production of "The Meeting", a film about the meeting between Martin Luther King and Malcom X. Don won the Golden Addy Award in 1990 for Northern Natural Gas' "Whistling Teakettles", which was also chosen by Ad Week as one of the seven best commercials of the year. In September of 1991, Don scored the Universal Pictures release of Wes Craven's "The People Under The Stairs", which opened as America's #1 movie.

In addition to the sound track CD from "People", Don has just completed his first solo album as an artist. It is a jazz album entitled "Soho Blue", featuring Ray Pizzi and Mike Garson. Don produces Singer/Rapper M.C. Blvd and has a new release on Beckwood Records (Jan. 1998). Peake rejoined Ray Charles and performed with him and a symphony orchestra in L.A., Wichita, and San Francisco in April 1993 and three nights in April 1994 with the "Big Band" at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Don Peake served on the Board of Directors of the Society of Composers and Lyricists and has judged the "Arranging Category" for the Grammys for the last 3 years. He is a member of the Music Branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, as well as the Television Academy.

 
     
 

Ellis Hall - Keyboards & Vocals

 
 

Ellis Hall is a multi-instrumentalist virtuoso who possesses a vocal style that commands attention in its diversity and depth. Born in Savannah, Georgia, Ellis moved to Boston at the age of five, where he began his musical career, and has been on a direct course for success ever since.

His first release as a solo artist was a version of the Motown smash from the 60's "Every Little Bit Hurts." His talents were showcased nationally and internationally with the Ellis Hall Group, opening for many top performers such as the Temptations, Earth Wind & Fire, Herbie Hancock, the Spinners and Natalie Cole.

Ellis was featured as lead vocalist on the debut hit single, "What Does it Take," from the Kenny G. multi-platinum "Duotones" album and joined the soul-stirring hit group Tower of Power as lead vocalist and keyboardist, culminating that stint with his co-production and song-writing prowess on their album, "Power." He had enormous success as one of the California Raisins with their platinum album, "The California Raisins Sing the Hit Songs," and a gold album, "Christmas With the California Raisins." He has also lent his vocals and/or performed with such diverse artists as James Taylor, Warren Hill, George Duke, Michael Sembello, Huey Lewis and the News, Bo Diddley, Taj Mahal, Freddie Hubbard, Bobby Kimball and ToTo, Jason Scheff of Chicago, Bobby Womack, James Ingram and Stevie Wonder.

Adding to his credits are a series of movie and television soundtracks as well as a variety of International radio and television jingles. He appeared in the award winning ABC TV show, "The Wonder Years"; performed vocals in "New York Undercover", Fox TV; "NYPD Blue", ABC TV; "Hercules", a Disney feature film; "Lion King II", Disney Home Video; DreamWorks animated feature film, "Chicken Run", singing the title track "Flip, Flop and Fly"; on screen as the organist in "Big Momma's House", with Martin Lawrence, a 20th Century Fox feature film; singing on screen in a scene with Tom Hanks in the Steven Spielberg movie by DreamWorks, "Catch Me If You Can", and his recent films, "Bruce Almighty", Universal, "A Day Without A Mexican", Universal/BMG and "Polar Express", Warner Bros.

In 2003, for Camille Cosby's New Visionary Leadership Project honoring Mr. Ray Charles, Ellis performed "You Don't Know Me" at the Kennedy Center, Washington, D.C. Ellis has also performed at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Millennium Stage, for his Leadership in Arts and Disability. He also performed a salute to Ray Charles at the Kennedy Center Honors Week-end.

At the Recording Academy's Inaugural Grammy Jam, in 2004, Ellis was featured in a rousing salute to Earth Wind & Fire and in 2005 he celebrated the Music of Stevie Wonder . He was also a featured performer in the Keb Mo Christmas Special, at Disney Hall, Los Angeles. In January, 2005, on the Bob James Showboat Cruise to Mexico, he was featured in several vocal duets with Michael McDonald and sang lead vocals with Tom Scott's LA Jazz All-Star Band.

In February 2005, Ellis Hall was featured at Concord Records Grammy Party which was later shown on the BET Special "Jammin' For Ray". In May 2005 he was featured along with Brian McKnight at The Revlon Run/Walk For Breast Cancer at the Los Angeles Colliseum and in August 2005, he performed with a host of stars in a commemoration for the 75th birthday of Ray Charles "A Night With Concord Records" at the Hollywood Bowl presented by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association's Jazz at the Bowl series.

 
     
 

Leland Sklar - Bass

 
 

Leland has been a prominent figure among Hollywood session bassists ever since his early success with James Taylor and their first hit record together, "Fire And Rain." To date he has more than 2000 albums to his credit, and his distinctive Dingwall Bass has been heard on hits by such artists as Linda Ronstadt, Hall & Oates, Jackson Browne, Phil Collins, Reba McEntire, etc.

Leland has also played on numerous film and TV projects, including shows like "Hill Street Blues," "Knight Rider," "Simon & Simon," and such films as "Forest Gump," "Ghost," "Kindergarten Cop," "My Best Friend's Wedding," etc.

During the 70's, Sklar often worked with guitarist Dan Kortchmar, keyboardist Craig Doerge and drummer Russ Kunkle, together known as The Section, even recording three albums of their own.

Sklar entered the new millennium taking on projects with Willie Nelson, Steven Curtis Chapman, Nils Lofgren, Lisa Loeb, and many more. In 2007, Leland toured with Toto until the band broke up in 2008. Then in January 2009, he appeared as bassist at the farewell Bush concert backing Harry Shearer. That "Bushmen" album was Grammy nominated in the comedy category. Then this year Sklar joined the Troubadour Reunion Tour, supporting James Taylor and Carole king.

Known by his family as 'Father Time,' in deference to his flowing beard, Leland Sklar has long been recognized as one of the great studio musicians of our time.

 
     
 

Jonathan 'Sugarfoot' Moffett - Drums

 
 

Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, the third son of a musical family of siblings, Jonathan began playing drums at the age of six, eventually joining The Jackson's as a teenager, and embarked upon his first major tour with the Jackson Family in the spring of 1979. Two more US tours with The Jackson's then followed. One in the winter of 1979 and the other in the spring of 1981. 1982 included two additional tours. One with Patti Austin in the spring and the R&B funk group Cameo in the fall. To carry him over from 1982 through 1983, Jonathan joined Lionel Richie's first solo artist efforts, which included the Tokyo Music Festival, Japanese Television Shows, America's "Saturday Night Live" and Johnny Carson's "Tonight Show." In the summer of 1983, Jonathan rejoined Cameo for his second tour with them.

The Jackson relationship again resumed for the 1984 Jackson's 'Victory Tour' concert. Madonna requested his services for her 1985 debut 'Virgin Tour,' which was to be the first of many. Following the 'Virgin Tour' he performed with artist Tina Marie. From December 1985 to January 1986, with an impressive list of credits, Jonathan toured with Jermaine Jackson and was showcased as Jermaine's Musical Director. The tour lasted to the fall of 1986. Jonathan completed that year with his third Cameo Tour. In the spring of 1987, Jonathan rejoined Madonna for her spring/fall tour. Then it was into the recording studio with producer and songwriter Patrick Leonard for album projects that included Peter Cetera, Julian Lennon and Madonna's "Like A Prayer" sessions.

The following year, Jonathan wrote, arranged, produced and performed backing vocals on a song for the Eddie Murphy/Arsenio Hall hit movie "Coming to America." During that summer, he began his first association with pop legend Elton John, which continued through October 1989, including two US tours, one European tour, a UK tour and the recording of Elton's "Sleeping With The Past" album.

The spring of 1990 saw Jonathan's third world tour with Madonna and two more album associations with "True Blue" and the "Dick Tracy" movie sound track. This was followed by Madonna's 1991 "Truth or Dare" tour and movie. 1991 also included two tours with George Michael, one in the US and the other in Europe and South America.

The following years were filled with numerous television appearances, studio recordings, videos and continued writing, arranging and producing of Jonathan's own personal solo efforts. One of those tours brought him back to the Jackson family with Janet Jackson in the 1993-1994,"Janet"tour, and the list of credits continues.

 
     
 

Ray Pizzi - Wind Instruments

 
 

"Ray Pizzi's harmonically sophisticated, introspective style on Saxes, Flute, Clarinet, Bassoon is the highest level of communication. It's music music, combined with openness, clarity, simplicity, substance, lyricism and energy that always communicates with the listener. He is a true to life master of instrumental timbres and sonic realism. Ray Pizzi will resonate in your ears with truth, wisdom and inspiration" - Tim Price

Receiving a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Boston Conservatory and Berklee School of Music, Ray successfully taught public school Junior High Band, Chorus and Classroom Music in Randolph Massachusetts. (1964-69). "A wonderfully memorable and personal growth period of my life, but I needed to fulfill an urgent desire to play music professionally." In 1969, he moved to Los Angeles to realize his dream.

Ray has enjoyed a long and fruitful career in the music industry, working with such diverse artists as Dizzy Gillespie, Frank Zappa, Ravi Shankar, Henry Mancini, (wrote "Piece for Jazz Bassoon and Orchestra" for Ray), John Williams, Alan Silvestri, Quincy Jones, Jack Elliot, Lalo Schifrin, Sarah Vaughn, Nancy Wilson, Madonna, James Brown, Clarke Terry, Bob Florence, Louie Belson, Billy Higgins, Christopher Cross, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Chaka Kahn, Barbra Streisand, Bill Conti, Burt Bacharach, Bobby McFerrin, Horace Silver, Joe Henderson, Lou Rawls, Willy Bobo, Michael Feinstein, Moacir Santos, Fred Myrow, David Foster,Stephen Bishop, Alan Price, Woody Herman etc. Including his own albums (scroll down) , he plays on numerous , Recordings, Movies, TV shows

His international concert\festival performances as a headliner include: The Hollywood Bowl, L.A. Music Center, Disney Concert Hall, Davies Symphony Hall, The Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, American Orchestra,Rochester Symphony Orchestra and the Playboy, Monterey, Mobile and various European Jazz Festivals.The 1984 Olympics saw figure skater Rosalyn Sumner performing her skating program to Rays rockin' sax solo on "We Go Together" (from the movie, "Grease") winning her the silver medal.

As an actor, Ray starred in the leading role of the highly acclaimed, award winning film short "End Of The Rainbow" produced- directed by Marino Colmano, Lazlo Pappas.

His outstanding level of musicianship and versatility, has garnered him many awards, including: "Most Valuable Player Emeritus"(4 consecutive years) from NARAS, "Musician of the Year" Jazz Podium Magazine, Germany. "Talent Deserving of Wider Recognition" Downbeat Magazine, "Grammy nominations" "Album of the Year" Hi-Fi Mag. "Silver Microphone Award" Ad Music, "Jazz Pioneer Award" BMI, "John Phillip Sousa Award" Quincy High School, Bari Sax, "Honorary Citizens Award" Mobile Alabama, is also included in both Groves Music Dictionary and Encyclopedia of Jazz.

 
     
 

Leonard Kalikow - Moderator

 
 

Mr. Kalikow is currently President of Music Business Reference, Inc., and Editor & Publisher of its information service, ”New On The Charts.“ Established in 1976, the service is used by music executives in the United States and internationally. The original music business 'tip sheet,' "New On The Charts" includes industry contact information, artist song leads, and a listing of film and TV projects currently in production that are open to source music.

In the past Mr. Kalikow served as Co-Founder and President of Integrated Video Marketing, Inc., a TV, film and video production company with national corporate clients that include De Beers Diamonds, AT&T, MCI and IBM. Various Kalikow/I.V.M. productions included the home video ”How To Break Into Heavy Metal (Without Getting Screwed)“ and more recently ”Kids & Divorce,“ currently in distribution to school guidance counselors throughout the United States by Sunburst Communications.

He previously worked as Vice President and General Manager of Music Equity, Inc., a music publishing organization responsible for various music publishing companies. Prior to that, Mr. Kalikow served as General Manager at Big 3 Music, the print division of United Artists Music Publishing, printing songbooks and sheet music for such artists as Elvis Presley, Kenny Rogers, Crystal Gayle, ELO, etc. Leonard also co-wrote a film script optioned by Universal Pictures and later by 20th Century Films.

In the early 70's as New York Director of Don Elliott Productions, a commercial jingle house, his accounts included United Airlines, Windsong Perfume, Dodge Cougar, Pepsi Cola, etc.. Before that, as administrative Director of Contemprocon Productions, Leonard was involved in concert promotion and talent management, representing such jazz clients as Larry Coryell, Alphonse Mouzon, and Randy Brecker. Also, as an independent concert promoter, Mr. Kalikow helped organize the first international dance tour for Mikhail Baryshnikov through Latin America.

His career in the music business began as a singer/songwriter under production agreements with both Chess Records in Chicago and then Capitol Records in New York, and as a staff writer for Beechwood Music at 1650 Broadway. He performed as the opening act for such artists as Richie Havens, Van Morrison, Jefferson Airplane, etc.

 
     
 

Richard Corsello - Sound & Editing

 
 

Richards's career spans over 4 decades working with major stars in almost all musical genres. Starting as Mastering Engineer for the Longines Symphonette Society in the early 70's, his next move was to Staff Engineer for Sylvia and Joe Robinson at All Platinum Studios, when they acquired the Chess Records catalog. There he recorded, not only Sylvia Robinson, best known for "Pillow Talk," but also such acts as The Moments, Etta James, Solomon Burke, Ike and Tina Turner and The Dramatics just to mention a few.

His next move was to Manhattan, where he established East Coast Recorders, working from and managing Don Elliott Production's midtown studio. There he handled recording for Don's "A List" advertising clients, including Pepsi, Windsong Perfume, Dodge, and won a Clio Award for his recording of "Have In Your Way" for Burger King, performed by Phyllis Hyman.

In the 80's Richard moved to the west coast to begin a long-term relationship as Chief Engineer at Fantasy Studios / and the Saul Zantz film center in Berkeley, California. There he recorded, mixed and/or produced Gold and Platinum records for Sylvester, The Two Ton’s of Fun, The Greg Kihn Band, Y&T, Country Joe, Bill Evans, Sonny Rollins, McCoy Tyner, Patrice Rushen, Bobby Hutcherson, etc. In fact, Richard won a Grammy for Sonny Rollins' "The 911 Concert." Also in there flagship Studio D, he handled pre-production on projects for Huey Lewis And The News, Jon Wait's 'Bad English,' Eddie Money, Joe Satriani and Night Ranger, among others.

With the emergence of digital technology, Corsello beta tested multitrack recording systems for Mitsubishi and Sony until hardware was phased out and computer technology replaced with software programs. At that point Richard was asked once again to beta test several recording software packages and was involved in 3D Audio applications that are still in use today at Disneyland amusement rides.

As a video producer, Corsello also produced and edited 'Sonny Rollins Live In Vienne' where on Amazon.com the review notes: "To those who are searching for a great image quality this is definitely a great DVD to have because of the crisp image and sound quality."