Guitar, Marimba, Vibraphone
Jon, who’s been writing, arranging, performing and producing music since the 1970’s, received a career high achievement when he was named Best Jazz Guitarist at the 2000 Los Angeles Music Awards for his work on Latitudes. His love affair with the guitar began in the sixth grade, and resulted in his taking classical guitar lessons for 15 years developing his signature finger-style technique. But musical creativity might actually be in his genes.
His dad, Charles, was a songwriter for Chappel Music, when he wrote songs for the original Broadway musical “Harlem Cavalcade” which featured a young Lena Horne and Harry Belafonte. Jon feels his strong sense of melody is rooted in the standards, show tunes and classical music that was always playing in his home while growing up.
Jon studied music and played in the early 70’s while attending Cal Poly University, Pomona, adding marimba and vibraphone to his instrument repertoire, but it wasn’t until the ‘80’s that he played steadily with his group, Abrakadabra, in the South Bay area. They eventually became the house band at The Lighthouse, and played the jazz club circuit in Los Angeles to sold out crowds.
Forming a new smooth jazz trio in 2000 (Gold Coast) Jon co-produced an instrumental CD, Latitudes, that garnered extensive radio airplay throughout the world. A founding member of Abrakadabra, Jon looks forward to the reincarnation of this Group, known for its driving, propulsive rhythms and mesmerizing vocals.
Inspired by the sounds of Joe South, Tony began playing keyboards when he was 15-years-old. By the time he was 17, he was writing music and lyrics, as well as singing. Growing up in the South Bay, Tony studied music in school and played with a number of local bands before he moved to Hawaii. There he developed an affinity for the island sound, now deeply infused in Abrakadabra’s mellow signature. He and John Pickell became a songwriting team in the ‘80’s, creating most of Abrakadabra’s library of tunes, along with Jon Coleman.
On a trip to Mexico when he was 18-years-old, Vince’s purchase of a set of bongos began his long-lasting love of percussion instruments. Inspired by the soul and energy in Santana’s music, Vince studied music at college and performed with the number one jazz ensembles at both Orange Coast College and Cal State University Long Beach. He currently resides in Littlerock, CA, and performs regularly with Hollywood Rockers, Blue Jewels Band, and with Robert Ortiz at various venues in Orange County.
Carter Aristei, a southern California native, started his musical career in the early 80’s recording tracks for the MUZAK Company. Through his friendship and association with the well know drummer Gary Ferguson, Carter began performing at The Sweetwater in Redondo Beach with the “James Conroy Band” as well as the band “Underwater Traffic” at the Comeback Inn in Venice. Carter then joined the local South Bay jazz/fusion band “Turnaround” performing regularly at The Lighthouse in Hermosa Beach and The Strand Super Club in Redondo. Carter worked for two summers with a CBS country recording artist as an opening act for Conway Twitty and Mac Davis. Later, while playing recitals at Los Angeles Harbor College, Carter met other musicians and arrangers leading to the formation of the 40s Big Band group “The Swing Of Things” which performed for several years at The Sky Room in Long Beach. Currently, Carter is the leader of the Smooth Jazz group “The Jazz Vibe” which plays in the South Bay area, as well as, regularly performing with “Abrakadabra”.
Tom Bray Trumpet
Tom Bray, accomplished trumpet sessions player, began his illustrious career with The Evergreen Blues, recording his first song, “Midnight Confessions” with them in 1969. After touring with that Band for many years, he joined Electric Flag with Michel Bloomfield and Buddy Miles in 1974 thru 1977. From there, Tom mostly played clubs, until he did a recording session in 1986 with Neil Young’s group, Crazy Horse. When Neil wanted to add horns to his “This Note’s For You”, he tapped Tom, and its video won MTV’s Best Video of the Year in 1988. Tom continued his collaboration with Neil off and on for some 26 years, including a performance on “Living With War” in 2006 that was nominated for 3 Grammys. Tom’s also recorded with CSNY on the “American Dream” and ”Déjà Vu” albums, while also touring with them in 2006 for the Freedom Of Speech Tour (the movie of which Tom also appears in).
Humberto Moreno Bass
Humberto is from the west Texas, Southern New Mexico area. He began playing at the age of 14 invarious local garage bands. At 20 he started playing with the Las Cruces Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Dr. Marianna Gabbi where he played with prominent musicians such as Arturo Sandoval, Nadja Salerno Sonnenberg and Antonio Meneses. After moving to Los Angeles, he stretched his musical horizons playing Doo Wop, Blues, R&B, Rock and Jazz.
Tom Lujan PercussionTom Lujan, a native of Los Angeles is a self taught musician who grew up listening to the likes of Santana, War, Poncho Sanchez and Herbie Hancock and the Headhunters. Inspired by the various sounds coming from the percussion sections of these bands is what drove Tom to pursue the art of becoming a percussionist