The Austin for Peace album project is our first effort to assist the Syrian refugees through the art and gift of music. This altruistic endeavor is happening at the core of the Live Music Capital of the World, and we want you to be part of it!
International Rescue Committee (IRC) is the world’s leading International Organization providing systematic humanitarian assistance to the Syrian refugees. Music Peace Project will donate 50% of the purchase price of this digital album and 66% of the purchase price of this physical album to the IRC during special promotion from April 1st, 2017 to July 1st, 2018, with a minimum contribution of $25,000 per year.
Meet the Musicians of “Austin for Peace” Album Project!
Pianist - Steinway Artist
Esteban Alvarez is the Founder, Music Director and Pianist. For more information click here: More Info
Drummer - Grammy Winner
In 1980 Ignacio left his country during the Mariel Boatlift, moved to New York and joined Dizzy Gillespie’s quartet in 1981, becoming the drummer of all the important bands Gillespie formed until his death in 1993. Ignacio Berroa has been recognized by many as one of the greatest drummers of our times. Jazz legend Dizzy Gillespie best defined Ignacio as: “… the only Latin drummer in the world in the history of American music that intimately knows both worlds: his native Afro-Cuban music as well as Jazz…” As an educator Ignacio has conducted clinics and master classes all over the world. As an author he made his mark with the instructional video: Mastering the Art of Afro – Cuban Drumming as well as the books: Groovin’ in Clave and A New Way of Groovin’. His first album as a leader, “Codes”, released under Blue Note Records, was nominated for a Grammy in 2007. “Codes” also won a Danish Music Award in 2007 as best International Jazz Album. He was recently honored by inclusion in the 2011 Blue Note and Modern Drummer Release entitled “Jazz Drumming Legends”. He is currently working on a new album for 5Passion Records and plans to produce a new instructional DVD under the same banner. Ignacio has recorded and played with musicians of the stature of McCoy Tyner, Chick Corea, Wynton Marsalis, Freddie Hubbard, Jackie McLean, Michael Brecker, Joe Lovano, Jaco Pastorius, Ron Carter, Charlie Haden, Tito Puente and Gonzalo Rubalcaba, just to name a few.
Strings - Grammy Award Winner
Patitucci was born in Brooklyn, New York, where he began playing the electric bass at age 10, composing and performing at age 12, as well as playing the acoustic bass at 15, and the piano one year later. After moving west, he studied classical bass at San Francisco State University and Long Beach State University.
Patitucci has released 12 albums as a leader. In addition to his solo work, he has played on albums by B.B. King, Chick Corea, Clare Fischer, Joanne Brackeen, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Michael Brecker, John Abercrombie, George Benson, Dizzy Gillespie, Dave Grusin, Natalie Cole, Roseanna Vitro, Sting, the Manhattan Transfer, Carly Simon, Was Not Was, Roby Duke, Bon Jovi, Queen Latifah, Everything but the Girl, Jellyfish, Twila Paris and Aziza Mustafa Zadeh.
As a performer, he has played with his own band, and with Stan Getz, Wynton Marsalis, Joshua Redman, Randy Brecker, Freddie Hubbard, McCoy Tyner, and Tony Williams. He was selected to be the bassist for the GRP All-Star Big Band. Some of the many pop and Brazilian artists he has played with include Carole King, Astrud and João Gilberto, Airto Moreira and Flora Purim. Patitucci has worked with film composers such as Jerry Goldsmith, Ry Cooder, Henry Mancini, and John Williams.
Patitucci has led several projects of his own, in addition to playing with Chick Corea’s Elektric Band and Akoustic Band. He is active in Wayne Shorter’s quartet. The group won the Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Jazz Album for the album Beyond the Sound Barrier in 2006.
He has taught at music schools and workshops in several countries, and he was the Artistic Director of the Bass Collective, a school for bassists in New York City, and he is involved with the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz and the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead program. He was Professor of Jazz Studies at City College of New York. In June 2012 he launched the Online Jazz Bass School with John Patitucci. He currently teaches at Berklee College of Music as an Artist in Residence.
Drum and Percussion
Playing in several bands through high school and college, he left his academic career for a life of music on the road. Moving to Austin Texas in 1994, he built a solid music foundation, playing with some of the most respected names there today in an extensive music genres. In 2000 James began playing for several official US Open parties supporting tennis players for both the US Open tennis tournament in New York, the Ericsson Open tennis tournament in South Beach Florida, as well as the Grand Slam Jam shows in Austin, playing with Mike Mil(R.E.M), Eric Johnson, Neal Schon (Journey), Lee Roy Parnell, Gavin Degraw, Bob Schneider, Endochine, guitar prodigy Nick Sterling and music director Sean McCarthy (Mojo Nixon, Ugly Americans, The Scabs). He was the primary drummer for the Grand Slam Jam, giving the stage over to Lars Ulrich (Metallica) to play a song. James’ brit pop band Cinema West with music director Sean McCarthy also played Heidi Klum’s birthday party among many other shows in New York that year. James has been in bands that have shared the stage with Quiet Riot, Blue Oyster Cult, The Strokes, Dropkick Murphys, Flogging Molly, Hooverphonic, Spoon, Fastball, Black Joe Lewis, Firewater, White Denim, Slim Cessna, Friends of Dean Martinez, The Mentors, and Kathy Valentine(The Go Gos). Notable local bands he has played with are Happy Valley, The Dirty Hearts, Lomita, Color, The Spoils, to name a few. Currently, his main project is Mr. Lewis and the Funeral 5. James is endorsed by Paiste cymbals.
Russell Kenji Shores born in New York has a varied and impressive resume. Nick -named Thor or Thunder baby by his peers for his thunderous grooves, he began playing bass at age twelve. Armed with a degree in music, he began his professional career. Russell has shared the stage with Diana Ross, Julian Lennon, , The Kevin Fowler band ,Lucid Dream, The Steve O” Neil band, The Major Burkes band, The ACC jazz band, The Blues Specialist which features Mel Davis cousin of the legendary T Bone Walker,Elliott Fikes and Soul Sereanade as musical director, Austin Alibi,Wesley United Methodist Church The First Baptist Church ,Mt. Zion Baptist Church and The Freedom Home Baptist Church Mass Choir under the leadership of Pastor O.B Howard Jr. Russell is also on Staff as the electric and contra bass Teacher at the Academy of Music in Austin Tx. Russell plays and has the endorsement of M.T.D basses American and MTD Kingston and MTD strings and Visual Sound pedals and AccuGroove speaker cabs and Gruv Gear and Reunion Blues Gig bags.
Guitar - Ukulele - Accordion
Mauricio Callejas is a troubadour from El Salvador. With beautiful lyrics, Mauricio sings about daily life, simple things that happen right before our eyes.He relased his first solo CD “Cosas de la Calle” in 2002 in El Salvador and then he moved to Austin, Texas to continue his studies and pursue a professional career in songwriting and recording. He recorded a second album, Magico, in Austin TX in 2008 produced by Stephen Doster. Currently, Mauricio is promoting his third album called “Helado Pop” that was co-produced by Michael Ramos and Mauricio Callejas in Austin Tx. “Helado Pop” was officially released in April 26th 2012.
After more than 20 years creating songs and working on his music, Mauricio has performed in different venues in Latin America , the United States and Canada.He is the founder of the first songwriter directory of Central America, www.centroamericanto.com and produces a weekly radio program that is broadcasted from different radio stations around the world. Mauricio also produces an annual singer-songwriter festival called Centroamericanto Fest in Austin TX.
Red Young is a pianist, organist, arranger, producer, vocalist and artist. Born in Ft Worth, TX, Red started playing piano at age 3, first classical concert at age 10, played with bands and accompaniied vocalists throughout high school and started playing Hammond organ at 16. Over his 45 year career he has recorded and toured with a wide variety of artists: Freddy Fender, Sonny & Cher, Noel Redding, Dolly Parton, Tanya Tucker, Eric Burdon, Linda Ronstadt, Nelson Riddle to name a few before he started his own groups. He lived in Los Angeles from 1977 and 2002, and been on TV shows, Movies, performed and written for orchestras, bands and artists, and produced arranged, sang and written on many projects including 160 albums.
After moving to Austin in 2002 after 25 years in Los Angeles, Red worked with Marcia Ball, Stephen Bruton, Delbert McClinton and many others including his own groups.
Since 2006, Red spends part of his time touring with Eric Burdon and the Animals throughout Europe, Canada and the USA (he also recorded on 2 albums since he joined Eric). The rest of the time he spends at his home in Austin and works regularly in Austin and throughout Texas where his own band, Black Red Black and his Organ Trios, Quartets and Quintets draw great crowds.
Tamela is a multilingual singer and composer. Her essence is her cultural mix; a Swedish father and an Ecuadorian mother and a Costa Rican upbringing. Her fusion of cultures is reflected in her musical style. Tamela is fluent in Spanish, English, Swedish and Italian. Her LatinPopSoul or TropicalSoul is reflected in her sound. Her voice expresses soul, funk, Latin rhythms and a pop fusion, She is after all… a mix. The same CD got her to win the Costa Rican Premios ACAM, with her CD “TAMELA” in the Category: Best Pop Album. In 2015 Tamela sang the official song for the Costa Rican Nacional Games, San Carlos, Costa Rica.
Tamela has been the supporting act for stars like Puerto Rican singer Chayanne and Calle 13, Prince Royce, Colombian singer songwriter Fonseca, Spanish singer songwriter Rosana and Miguel Bosé. She has been invited to various international festivals like the Peach Tree Festival, Atlanta (USA), Chaoyang Pop Festival, Beijing (China), Strawberry Festival, Shanghai (China), Festival Internacional de las Artes (Costa Rica) and Fujairah International Arts Festival, (UAE).
In September of 2015, Tamela release her latest musical production together with her Costa Rican pianist and composer Edgar Brenes-Soto ̈En este lado del Mundo ̈ which they promoted in Costa Rica, El Salvador and Nicaragua. They also toured around Costa Rica together with Costa Rican band “Percance” in pro- motion of the album.
Tamela has been in the music business since 2007, that year she participated in Sweden Idol (Sweden). In 2012 she was nominated in the Latin Grammys as a songwriter with her song “Acércate” in the category: “Best Tropical Song”
LaMonica Marquette Lewis, a native of Austin, began her musical career at age seven as a soloist in the children’s choir at Wesley United Methodist Church. She received a scholarship to study voice at the University of Texas at Austin where she was classically trained. She has been teaching music for the past 29 years in the Austin Independent School District.
LaMonica Lewis is currently the Director of Music at Wesley United Methodist church under the pastoral care of Sylvester E. Chase, Jr. Her ministry of song has afforded her and the Wesley Music Ministry the opportunity to perform at such events as the memorial services for Ann Richards and other dignitaries, the HEB Feast of Sharing and so much more. She has also been blessed to perform jazz and/or record with various musicians of Austin and the surrounding areas, such as, Geneva Rawlins, Kyle Turner, the late Tim Curry, Thomas Hughes, James Polk, Pam Hart and the Women in Jazz just to name a few.
LaMonica continues to serve the community in various capacities through her involvement in the Austin Chapter of the Links, Inc., Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., NCNW and the Douglass Club.
She quotes- “God has truly blessed me and in turn I pray that through my music, I can be a blessing to others.”
Janice is a member of Wesley United Methodist Church and a member of the church choir where her soulful, jazzy voice can be heard every Sunday. She is also a member of ‘Perfect Peace’, a sextet ensemble whose voices ring with perfect pitch and harmony. Janice is the Director of the Children & Youth choirs at Wesley. She has presented her musical talents for many venues to include community performances with ProArts Collective, Zach Theater, Austin Community College, Austin NAACP, and has performed with a nine piece swing band. Janice loves working with youth and is currently a part of the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas program where she and her mentee have been active for 8 years. She is a firm believer in giving back to her local community and the world as a whole. She relished at the opportunity of being a part of this very worthwhile project, ‘Austin for Peace’.
As I grew up my cousins and I would put on shows, singing for the grown-up, and other family members. At an early age I joined a small Baptist church and began singing in the choir. We didn’t have a piano in our church, so all of our singing was done a Capella.
At the age of 15, I began singing in a blues band. I left East Bernard right after high school, joining the Army. I sang in bands, and the Wurzberg Gospel Choir.
Music has always been my therapy.
I have been singing in the Wesley Intergenerational Choir, at Wesley United Methodist Church for more than 15 years now. I love singing in the choir. My spirit soars when I sing of God’s love for us. This opportunity is a blessing to me.
Sondra Dilworth Johnson is a native Texan born and raised in Dallas. Her talent expands R&B, Jazz, Classical and Gospel. She’s been performing in the Central Texas area for the past decade in a variety of capacities including background vocals and studio work for local and national artists. Sondra has performed at Jazz festivals all around the state and was the featured soloist on tour with the Tom Husak Big Swing Band with notable international performances with the Monterrey, Mexico Symphony Orchestra. She has also been featured in the Women in Jazz Association Tribute to Damita Jo and more recently a Tribute to Natalie Cole at the One World Theater in Austin, Texas. Sondra’s melodious voice and presence on stage is described as warm, engaging, exciting and enticing.
Leonard Woods is a commercial litigator by profession where he is board certified in consumer and commercial law and maintains a Martindale Hubbell rating of AV – Preeminent.
He is General Counsel of a black theater company and has had small acting roles in three movies. He sings and is president of the Intergenerational choir where he performed at the grand opening of the Long Center for the Performing Arts and at the American Masterpiece Festival.
He is a past President of the Gamma Gamma Boule of Sigma Pi Phi and serves on the East Austin Quality of Life Committee and the boards of the Austin Urban League, Justice for Our Neighbors, and the Texas Rio Conference. The Austin ISD awarded him their highest award for community service. He received his B.S. degree and J.D. degree from Baylor University, and is married with two daughters.
Lawrence T. Hornsby, a native Texan from Waco has lived in Austin since 1998. A graduate of Richfield High School in Waco, Arkansas College (Lyon College) in Batesville, Arkansas and Thurgood Marshall School of Law/Texas Southern University in Houston, Mr. Hornsby is a licensed attorney currently serving as the General Counsel for the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services. A member of Wesley United Methodist Church, Mr. Hornsby is a tenor in the well known Wesley Intergenerational Choir. Mr. Hornsby has performed at Austin’s Paramount Theater; the Steamboat and the Bob Bulloch Museum in the production of “Border Radio”.
Mr. Hornsby served with the Waco Police Department from 1980 to 1984; was promoted to Detective, where he served until 1989. He was a senior investigator with the Office of Inspector General/Department of Human Services, from 1990 to 1993. He was accepted into law school at Thurgood Marshall School of Law, Houston in 1993 and graduated in 1996. He returned to state employment with the Department of Human Services in 1998, continuing his employment there as an attorney until the consolidation of the Department of Human Services, The Texas Department on Aging and the Texas Department of Mental Health in 2004. That consolidation resulted in the formation of a new agency, the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services, where Mr. Hornsby now serves in his current position.
Mr. Hornsby is a licensed private pilot, a licensed scuba diver and an avid fan of classical guitar. He has two adult children, Lauren and Trevor; and three grandchildren, Michael, Tony and Isabel.
Paul is an information expert who compiles and analyses datasets for business development. Himself in three words: Fast, Efficient, Goal-Chaser.
Beyond data entry, Paul is a fine musician and performer (Tenor) who has been involved in performances with the ZACH Theater, Austin Lyric Opera and other companies. His spare time is devoted to developing his musical capabilities and teaching others how to use their voices as creative talent.
Willie has been involved in choral music since the age of five when his mother dragged him kicking and screaming into the children’s choir at Pine Hill Baptist Church. From there he has been blessed to have some inspiring music teachers and developed a love of music that has never left him.
He went on to participate in various school and community choirs earning individual All-Region and All-State honors in state high school competitions in Arkansas. At Dollarway High School in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, he auditioned for and was accepted into the Varsity Choir, Male Chorus, Madrigals Singers, and the Dollarway Singers, a pop group which sang at various civic functions. Those choirs consistently won group honors as well in state high school competitions.
After high school, Willie was awarded both academic and music scholarships to attend college at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, where he earned a degree in accounting. Willie was one of only a few non-music majors to earn a spot in the internationally acclaimed University of Arkansas Vesper Choir. As a tenor with this choir, Willie toured annually during spring break to perform in major venues across the United States.
His past theatrical and musical exploits include some fun competitions, winning the Holland America cruise line’s “Dancing with the Stars at Sea” competition, a performance as James Brown in the Carnival Cruise Line “Legends” show, and various theatrical productions at Wesley United Methodist Church.
Willie currently sings tenor with the Wesley Intergenerational Choir. He has also performed with the Bastrop Community Choir and the Colorado River Singers.
Willie has maintained a long relationship with his alma mater and has been periodically called upon to rejoin and sing with the Vesper choir. In fact, his most notable musical accomplishment is touring Italy with this choir, with performances in the Vatican, Rome, Tuscany, Florence, Venice, and Milan.
A native of Austin, Texas, Grammy-nominated bassist Ryan Hagler began his musical journey as a trumpet player before shifting his focus to the electric and acoustic basses. Ryan attended the University of North Texas earning Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Jazz Studies, where he studied with Lynn Seaton and spent two years in the world-famous One o’ Clock Lab Band. He has performed all over the world with the likes of Mike Moreno, James Carter, Bernard Wright, Andre Hayward, Stefan Karlsson and Mario Cruz (Jaco Pastorius). Since 2012, Ryan has served as Professor of Double and Electric Bass at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito in Ecuador where he maintains an active performing career in addition to his teaching duties.
An accomplished modern and baroque violinist, violist, and viola da gamba player, Stephanie Raby is an active performer with groups accross the USA and is currently the concertmaster for Austin Baroque Orchestra. She aquired her Bachelor of Music from the University of North Texas where she was privileged to work with Julia Bushkova and Cynthia Roberts among others, and Masters in Music from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music under the direction of Stanley Ritchie and EMI Faculty. In 2013 Stephanie won the Indianapolis Baroque Concerto Competition and had the opportunity to play with the Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra. Stephanie now plays with a diverse many groups including La Follia, Austin Troubadours, Texas Early Music Project, Ars Lyrica, Mountainside Baroque, and is a founding member of Les Touches Viol Consort who were most recently finalists in the biannual York Early Music Young Artists Competition.
Rabbi Neil Blumofe
Biography: Neil Blumofe is the Senior Rabbi of Congregation Agudas Achim in Austin, Texas, a growing congregation of 650+ families. He holds Rabbinic Ordinations from the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) in New York and the Academy for Jewish Religion in Los Angeles. Rabbi Blumofe also holds the diploma of Hazzan (Vocal Cantorial Arts) from JTS. His academic interests include researching reactions and responses to post‐modernism and exploration of the writings of SY Agnon and their importance in revealing a sustainable Judaism in the 21st century. In these investigations, questions of worship, ritual performance and spiritual leadership are paramount. Blumofe is on faculty at St. Edwards University in Austin and is a jazz composer and a recording musician. In addition, Neil is active in social justice work in Austin — serving on the Executive Committee of the Texas Freedom Network and the Advisory Board of the NPR affiliate radio station in Austin, KUT. He has studied at the Hartman Institute in Jerusalem, is part of the Hevraya of the Institute of Jewish Spirituality, and has been a Rabbinic Fellow in Rabbis Without Borders for 2011‐2012, and will participate in the Young Rabbis’ Delegation to Ghana sponsored by the American Jewish World Service in summer, 2012. His jazz recordings are available on iTunes and his divrei Torah can be found at the site, Chirga Yoma (http://blumofe.wordpress.com)