JEFF BABKO - Piano, Keyboards
Pianist/keyboardist Jeff Babko is a native of Southern California, and has remained on the west coast throughout his career. Babko constantly balances many musical and professional hats as an in-demand recording musician and touring keyboardist.
After graduating from the University of Miami’s distinguished Frost School of Music, Babko began working with international superstar Julio Iglesias on a series of worldwide tours. After leaving Iglesias, Babko began regularly touring Asia and Europe super-drummer Simon Phillips. Soon after, he joined guitarist Robben Ford's band, and later toured and recorded with Larry Carlton. With Carlton, Listeners can enjoy Babko's recorded work with Ford and Carlton on their joint effort, “Live In Tokyo”, as well as on some of their individual recordings.
Other tours included Europe with the L.A. supergroup TOTO in 2000 (including the "Live In Sofia" television special), and also with Grammy award winner Shelby Lynne.
Television work began with Martin Short’s syndicated talk show in 1999/2000, and later on the Wayne Brady daytime show. For the past 11+ years, most significantly, Babko has been the musical arranger, a composer, and house band member on ABC TV’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live”. He’s backed up countless rock, pop and jazz artists on the show, and has produced much of the music for its comedy segments (including co-writing “I’m F**king Ben Affleck”).
Always keeping one foot dipped in comedy territory, Babko has been the touring musical director and accompanist for Martin Short since 2002, and also performs with Mr. Short & Steve Martin, often accompanied by the bluegrass group Steep Canyon Rangers.
In 2010, Babko recorded (“100 Miles From Memphis”) and toured with pop superstar Sheryl Crow. The "100 Miles" band, dubbed "The Thieves", recorded a live set from the Pantages Theatre, which has been a televised mainstay since its release. Another ongoing touring and recording situation has been with James Taylor, and Babko can be heard on Taylor’s “Covers” record, including its single, “It’s Growing”. Other recent recording highlights include Jason Mraz’ “Love Is A Four Letter Word” and Frank Ocean’s “Channel Orange”, as well as Smokey Robinson’s recent “Smokey & Friends” record of duets, produced by Randy Jackson for Verve Records. You also have heard Babko on recordings from Alanis Morrisette, Willie Nelson, Tim McGraw, Jennifer Nettles, The Madden Brothers, and others.
Babko has four solo albums out under his own name, including 2012’s critically acclaimed “Crux” for Tonequake Records, featuring Mark Isham, Tim Lefebvre and Matt Chamberlain. His 2007 release “Mondo Trio” w/ Jeff Coffin and Vinnie Colaiuta is considered a “classic drum fusion" record.
Jeff runs his own studio, TudorTones, with his wife, studio violinist Songa Lee and also hosts a podcast from there featuring fellow keyboard players called "The Caffeinated Keyboardist." (http://caffeinatedkeyboardist.podomatic.com).
WILL LEE - Electric Bass
Will Lee had a formal musical education at the University of Miami, where he studied French horn for a year and then switched to a bass major. After classes, he worked on bass fundamentals listening to not only the Beatles, but also Stevie Wonder, Jimi Hendrix, Steve Miller, The Rascals, Motown, Sly & the Family Stone, etc. He would put it all into practice six sets a night gigging with various local bands, including an innovative horn band called "Goldrush."
The Will Lee reputation spread throughout the music world, and brought New York looking for him. Trumpeter Randy Brecker called Will out of class one day and invited him to NYC to audition for "Dreams". In New York, Will's career soared. He toured with B.J.Thomas, Horace Silver, Bette Midler, Barry Manilow, The Brecker Brothers, and Herbie Mann. Gaining experience in the commercial field, Will found himself in high demand.
As a bassist and singer, he's recorded with an extensive array of top performers including David Sanborn, Boz Scaggs, Diane Schuur, Tom Scott, Neil Sedaka, Carly Simon, Frank Sinatra, Phoebe Snow, Ronnie Spector, The Spinners, Spyro Gyra, Ringo Starr, Steely Dan, Cat Stevens and Barbra Streisand -- and taken from his discography, these are only some of the "S's"!
In addition, Will played in the New York "24th Street Band" which had great success in Japan, giving him a solo artist career that yielded him a top 5 single. In 1994, his solo CD entitled "OH!" reached the #1 position on the "Jazz Beyond" chart there. His CD, “Love, Gratitude and Other Distractions” also reached #1 on the Jazz charts in Japan.
He has the distinction of having performed with all four Beatles, and with The CBS Orchestra has played in the house band at all the Rock ‘n Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremonies.
After 33 years playing on TV at the Ed Sullivan Theatre as the bassist with Paul Shaffer and the "CBS Orchestra" on the wildly popular "Late Show with David Letterman" where you could hear him playing, singing every night, he is now enjoying a his new found freedom, or more to the point his slightly lighter schedule, and so having more time to record and play live with a whole array of artists and musicians. In 2015 and 2016, Will performed at the Hollywood Bowl with Herbie Hancock, Peter Erskine & Vince Mendoza honoring Jaco Pastorius, live concerts with Lyle Lovett, The Bob Mintzer Big Band, Chad Smith & GE Smith in a power trio and David Garfield, along all his regular gigs with Oz Noy, The Bluebirds of Paradise and The Fab Faux.
KEITH CARLOCK - Drums
Keith Carlock is a professional drummer currently residing in New York City, NY & Nashville, TN.
He has recorded and/or toured with such musical luminaries as John Mayer, Sting, Steely Dan, James Taylor, TOTO, Christopher Cross, Donald Fagen, Walter Becker, Diana Ross, Faith Hill, The Blues Brothers Band, Mike Stern, Leni Stern, David Johansen and the Harry Smiths, Richard Bona, Chris Botti, Wayne Krantz, Rudder, Harry Belafonte, Oz Noy, Larry Carlton, Clay Aiken, Rascal Flatts, Paula Abdul, and Grover Washington, Jr, to name a few.
Keith was voted number 1 Pop drummer, number 1 Fusion drummer, and number 1 Best All-Around drummer in Modern Drummer’s 2009 Readers Poll!
Keith’s first ever instructional DVD is now out with Hudson Music! It’s entitled “Keith Carlock - The Big Picture: Phrasing, improvisation, Style & Technique".
JEFF COFFIN - Saxophones, Woodwinds
Jeff Coffin is an internationally recognized saxophonist, bandleader, composer, author and educator. He is a 3x Grammy Award winner from Bela Fleck & the Flecktones and played with them from 1997-2010. In July 2008, Jeff began touring with Dave Matthews Band, and officially joined the group in 2009 following the tragic passing of founding member LeRoi Moore. When not on the road with DMB, Coffin fronts his own group, Jeff Coffin & the Mu'tet, presents clinics and workshops around the world, teaches at Vanderbilt University, and fronts the Nashville Jazz Composers Collective.
As a heavily in-demand clinician, a Yamaha Performing Artist and D’Addario Performing Artist Jeff has presented more than 300 solo and Mu'tet music clinics from Farmington, Maine to Perth, Australia to Mexico City to Johannesburg, South Africa for students of all ages to raving reviews.
Some of the artists Coffin has shared the stage and the recording studio with include a “who’s who” of musicians such as Dave Matthews Band, Bela Fleck & the Flecktones, Steven Tyler, Branford Marsalis, Bob Mintzer, DJ Logic, New Orleans Social Club, Maceo Parker, McCoy Tyner, Baaba Maal, Phish, Mike Clark’s Prescription Trio, Galactic, Kirk Whalum, My Morning Jacket, Widespread Panic, Chris Thile, Willie Nelson, Chester Thompson, Garth Brooks, Van Morrison, J.D. Souther, Vinnie Colaiuta, The Dixie Chicks, ‘Rakalam’ Bob Moses, Stanton Moore, Brooks and Dunn, Tuvan Throat Singers - the Alash Ensemble & Konger Ol Ondar, George Porter Jr., Umphrey’s McGee, Del McCoury, John Scofield, Yonder Mountain String Band, Marc Broussard, Martina McBride, Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Wailers and many, many others.
Living in Nashville, TN since 1991, Jeff graduated with a music education degree from the prestigious University of North Texas in 1990 where he played in the acclaimed One O’Clock Lab Band and is an avid photographer.
NIR FELDER - Guitar
Called “the next big jazz guitarist” by NPR, hailed by the New York Times as a “whiz kid”, and dubbed “incredible” by the Montreal Gazette, Nir Felder is a new voice in jazz guitar. Growing up right outside New York City, Felder spent his youth playing in rock bands while learning about jazz at the local record store, inspired by icons from John Coltrane to voodoo chile Jimi Hendrix. After attending Berklee College of Music on a full scholarship, Felder moved to New York City in 2006 and quickly became one of the city’s most highly sought after sideman, notching credits in bands led by Grammy winner Esperanza Spalding, Terri Lyne Carrington (with whom he recorded the Grammy-winning “Money Jungle”), Jack DeJohnette, Greg Osby, Eric Harland, Jose James, Meshell Ndegeocello, and Cindy Blackman and others. Felder’s critically acclaimed debut “Golden Age” (Sony/OKeh) has been called “absolutely beautiful” by The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, “lyrical and lofty” by The New York Times, “mesmerizing” by The Boston Globe, “a melodic triumph” by the New York City Jazz Record, and “mind-boggling” by All About Jazz.
NIKO BOLAS - Engineer, Mixing, Sound Guru
There are not many engineers in the world who could be considered to be 'part of the band' but Niko Bolas is one who qualifies. Niko is one of the great engineers on the planet and has worked with the very top artists in their field. From Neil Young, Herbie Hancock, Frank Sinatra, Rod Stewart, KISS, Fiona Apple, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Robben Ford to Stan Getz, Warren Zevon, Toto, Santana, Barbara Streisand, The Jackson 5, and so many more…Niko Bolas has nearly done it all! He refused to let this recording be done without him and the band agreed wholeheartedly. Neeks brought his spirit, humor, energy, and sonic expertise to the table. The band is hoping he knows how to drive a tour bus too!
For More Visit: Band of Other Brothers