17 Broadway Blvd.
Fairfax, CA, 94930
8:00PM (event ends at 10:00 pm)
This event is 21 and over
Diamond Jazz is a collaboration of five talented, energetic musicians who share a love for performance and improvisation in a wide variety of genres, ranging from Herbie Hancock to Duke Ellington, Wayne Shorter to Rodgers & Hart, Oliver Nelson to Louis Bonfi, Hoagy Carmichael to Johnny Mercer, Miles Davis to Cole Porter and Antonio Carlos Jobim, and more. With the unique instrumentation of Phil Diamond on jazz flute, Philip Knudsen on drums, Mark Armenta on bass, Jay Stapleton on guitar, and Michael Granat on piano and keyboards, Diamond Jazz brings a fresh, new interpretation to standards, jazz, and Latin favorites.
Phil Diamond (jazz flute) grew up in Los Angeles, and has been a performing musician almost all of his life. Classically trained on piano, Phil gave his first piano recital at the age of five. Branching out to flute at age nine and guitar at age 13, Phil has performed on all three instruments over the years in a wide variety of settings, including rock bands, cocktail trios, concert and marching bands, orchestras, musical theater pit bands, jazz ensembles, and folk groups. His musical interests range from jazz to classical, from country western to standards, and from Latin to pop and rock. He has performed on television several times and in venues ranging from Bay Area nightclubs and restaurants to San Francisco's Orpheum Theater and Caesar's Tahoe. He has performed on jazz flute with a number of Bay Area ensembles, including the Jon Steiner Trio, the 19 Broadway Swing Band, and the Bill Canada Jazz Experience.
Philip Knudsen (drums) grew up in Lafayette. In the third grade, he fell asleep during a live performance of Gene Krupa playing "Sing, Sing, Sing," and when he woke up he decided right then (probably by osmosis) that he wanted to be a drummer. Philip has performed in Dixieland, concert, and marching bands, as well as a number of jazz groups including a five-year stint as the drummer for the Jon Steiner Trio at 19 Broadway. In 1968, Philip lived for a year in India, where he studied the Tabla (an Indian hand drum). He returned from India by traveling and performing through Europe and at a jazz club in Moscow.
Mark Armenta (bass) is a versatile musician who splits his time between jazz, big band, blues, and salsa gigs. He is a veteran of the San Francisco Bay Area music scene. Some of the bands he has played with include the Jon Steiner Trio, Orquesta Borinquen, Jackie Payne, and the Gary Flores Trio. He brings a unique style and energy, and supplies the driving force to Diamond Jazz.
Jay Stapleton (guitar) is a versatile jazz guitarist and composer who lives in Marin County. In addition to playing with Diamond Jazz, he plays guitar in the world's only theremin lounge band, Project: Pimento, fronts his own ensemble, and backs up a handful of vocalists. He has performed in venues large and small around the Bay Area and up and down the West Coast for the last 10 years. His recordings include, "Live At Biddy McGraw's," with Noah Peterson, "Space Age Love Songs," with Project: Pimento, several CDs of his original compositions ("Vaguely Feverish," and "Trio"), and most recently, "Upshot," by the boogaloo band of the same name. He also provided arrangements for "Lullabies," by Lori Carsillo, and his compositions were featured on Noah Peterson's "Duos and Trios." Other bands he has recorded or performed with include: Miles Ahead, Grunglefunk, The Tanner Cundy Band, Soul Jonz, Nadja (Brazilian), Lauralee Brown and Company, Satellite Jazz, and The West Side Jazz Club.
Michael Granat (piano and keyboards) is a San Francisco Bay Area native. He has a strong background in classical and jazz music. Michael has been playing the piano since the age of seven and has attended various music schools including California State University in Hayward, Indiana University, The San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and San Francisco State University where he graduated with a Bachelor of Music in Piano. Michael has won several scholarship awards from participating in the San Francisco Music Club, Pacific Music Society, Piedmont Young Musicians Solo and the Pepsi Cola Young Musicians Concerto competitions. He has also played in master classes at Dominican College, San Rafael for Leonid Hambro and Jorge Bolet. Michael has been performing as a soloist and in ensembles locally for the last 20 years. Some of the Bay Area venues he has played include: Coconut Grove, Cafe Du Nord, Mecca, Brunos, Enricos, Rasselas, San Francisco Brewing Company, Restaurant 11, the Lone Palm, Freight and Salvage, Servino's, the Schramsberg and Close Pegase Wineries, and the Corinthian, Tiburon, St. Francis, San Francisco, and Point San Pablo Yacht Clubs. Michael has been on staff at San Francisco City College as an accompanist for 8 years.
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