Music Director, Pianist
Tammy Lynn Hall started playing the piano at age four, remembering and picking out tunes she heard in church, on the radio, on television, on records, and could play pretty much anything she heard. This wonderful skill led her to pursue the study of classical music from age eight to eighteen, after which she ventured out on her own to learn about jazz.
Ms. Hall quickly learned the art of being a singer's best friend, by accompanying church choirs, choirs and vocal ensembles in junior and high school and impromptu jams while attending Mills College in Oakland. Her unique, rich, delicate yet full sound has brought her to stages all over the world including Belgium, France, Germany, Japan and Spain as well as across the United States with artists such as Etta Jones, Mary Wilson, Darlene Love, Denise Perrier, Kim Nalley, Linda Tillery, David "Fathead" Newman and Houston Person and Pamela Rose.
Ruth Davies, Bass
Photos on the Steinway grand in Ruth's living room reflect her musical career. Several pictures get one's attention. Her mother, a music teacher, inspired Ruth to earn a music Bachelor of Arts degree. Mom poses with Dad in front of a venerable Harley Davidson. There's a group of young musicians glowing during a workshop. Ruth embracing Toots Thielemans in a Baku caravansary. Ruth playing at Bill Clinton's inauguration. Ruth hamming it up with singer Jackie Ryan and composer Amina Figarova. Some photos include celebrities or famous musicians. Others simply grab one's interest. What a life Ruth has had!
Ruth has performed with such jazz and blues greats as Keb' Mo', Charles Brown, Clark Terry, John Lee Hooker, Bonnie Raitt, Jay McShann, Van Morrison, Maria Muldaur, Junior Mance, Barbara Morrison, Etta Jones, Terry Gibbs, Jimmy Witherspoon, and Little Jimmy Scott.
Her discography (including several Platinum and Grammy-winning CDs) covers various jazz and blues styles as well as movie soundtracks. She has recorded with Charles Brown, Bonnie Raitt, John Lee Hooker, Van Morrison, Clark Terry, Vassar Clements, Toots Thielemans, Ernie Watts, Elvin Bishop, Maria Muldaur, Jackie Ryan, and Ramblin' Jack Elliott, among others.
She toured the world for ten years with the late Charles Brown, performing at major jazz festivals and concerts and on radio and television broadcasts worldwide. Ruth continues to spend considerable time abroad. She records and tours internationally with Maria Muldaur, Denise Jannah, Dmitri Matheny, and European pianist/composer Amina Figarova.
Ruth believes in teaching and in bringing music to the public schools. She has been on the faculty at the Stanford Jazz Workshop for ten years and has had a very successful "Ruth Davies Blues Night" series at the Stanford Jazz Festival. The San Francisco Symphony's "Adventures in Music" program and the "Just Say Jazz" project deliver music education to the classroom. By any conservative estimate, Ruth has presented music programs to over one thousand school groups. That's a serious commitment.
"Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent," said Victor Hugo. Perhaps that is the key to Ruth's musical life.
Kristen Strom, Saxophone
"With a tone that's lithe and lustrous, Kristen Strom embodies her musical philosophy in every note she plays." - Andy Gilbert, San Jose Mercury News
Saxophonist Kristen Strom has been a mainstay on the Bay Area music scene for nearly two decades, acclaimed for beautifully rendered melodies, exceptional tonality, and accomplished musicianship. Strom has played alongside many well-known artists, including Manhattan Transfer, Gladys Knight, Natalie Cole, Roberta Flack, Johnny Mathis, Jimmy Heath, Steve Turre, Pamela Rose, and Jon Faddis. In addition to her solo album, “Intention”, and the US/Canada jazz collaboration, "Crossing Borders", she has recorded more than 25 CDs with various jazz and pop artists and her touring schedule has included performances across the U.S., Canada, Europe and Asia. Kristen is married to guitarist Scott Sorkin.
Kristen is an endorsing artist and clinician for Selmer saxophones.
"Strom demonstrates again, with her mesmerizing new album, "Intention," that she's among the finest contemporary sax players. Her stylings are rich in subtleties and nuance. - Paul Freeman, Palo Alto Daily News Entertainment Writer
Kristen Strom's new CD, "Intention' shows off Kristen's saxophone artistry in a variety of styles. The music and playing are thoughtful and deeply soulful.
This is one of my favorite records of 2005." — Wayne Wallace