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Jazz Prodigy Matt Wong at Studio Trilogy in San Francisco

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San Francisco, April 2016 – San Francisco’s Studio Trilogy recently hosted sessions with 17-year old jazz virtuoso Matt Wong. A pianist/composer/arranger and San Francisco native, he developed an appreciation for jazz and blues at an early age and began playing piano at age six.

Wong began composing and performing his own material for small ensembles at age 11 and gained early recognition at the world-renowned Blue Note jazz club in New York City. In 2014, he received an ASCAP Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Award, given to jazz composers under the age of 30.

Trilogy engineer Justin Lieberman commented, “I’ve worked with Matt before and am familiar with his great ability to work through an arrangement with musicians. Based on those previous experiences, I knew that it was important to give the players maximum communication and that line of sight was critical for Matt to be able to adjust the performance and make sure it was feeling good musically.”

Accompanying him on piano were top players from the Bay Area: Tommy Folen, bass; Jeff Marrs, drums; Max Miller-Loran, trumpet; Thomas Occhiuto, sax; and Paul Hanson, bassoon. Lieberman added, “They are really an awesome group of musicians. In situations like this I try to do as much pre setup as possible, so that when the musicians get in the room they can get straight to hammering it out.”

In both 2014 and 2015, Wong won both the Gerald Wilson Award at the Monterey Jazz Festival and the Herb Pomeroy Jazz Composition and Arranging Award for big band composition at the Berklee College of Music High School Jazz Festival. In 2015, he was a winner in three categories of Downbeat magazine’s 38th Annual Student Music Awards, including Jazz Instrumental Soloist.

Lieberman explained the recording set-up, “For Matt, I put B&K omnidirectional microphones on the piano hammers and a Neumann 149 at the foot,” Lieberman continues. “ I used a large diaphragm Neumann M269 on two of the horns and a Royer 121 ribbon mic on the trumpet. For drums I had a Wunder CM7 on kick, a Shure 57 and a Sennheiser 441 on snare, with AKG 452’s overhead. Bass was a Neumann 269 at the bottom and a Royer 121 where the neck meets the body.”

Wong commented on the sessions at Trilogy, “Working at Trilogy was a blast for me. I went in to record and document some of my new compositions. It was really a treat and a great opportunity to get to work with some of my favorite musicians in such a great studio.  Justin made the entire process of recording really easy, smooth and seamless, and allowed me to focus on the music and working with the musicians. I really like how the tracks came out and I definitely look forward to working there again.”

In 2015 at the Essentially Ellington Competition and Festival, presented by Jazz at Lincoln Center, Wong won the student composition and arranging contest. He was introduced by Wynton Marsalis and conducted the performance of his piece by the Jazz At Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. He currently attends the Manhattan School of Music in New York City. http://www.toojazzy.com

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Cellos Rule at Studio Trilogy in San Francisco

Pictured at Studio Trilogy in San Francisco are (L-R) cellists Meta Weiss, Joan Jeanrenaud and David Requiro. Photo by David Goggin.

Pictured at Studio Trilogy in San Francisco are (L-R) cellists Meta Weiss, Joan Jeanrenaud and David Requiro. Photo by David Goggin.

San Francisco, December 2015 – Studio Trilogy recently hosted multiple recording sessions with three world-renowned cellists.  Former Kronos Quartet cellist Joan Jeanrenaud has just wrapped up her new album, “Visual Music,” as well as producing the debut album of the duo of Meta Weiss and David Requiro.

Jeanrenaud’s album was co-produced with her longtime collaborator PC Muñoz, who also co-produced her previous albums, “Strange Toys” and “Pop-Pop.” The new album is comprised of 17 pieces composed and performed by Jeanrenaud to accompany dance, art works and other visual presentations over the past five years. Percussionist Muñoz also performs on the new album, which was engineered by Trilogy’s Justin Lieberman.

“PC Muñoz and I work together frequently with Justin,” Jeanrenaud commented. Over all these years, Justin and I have established a special rapport, a working relationship that is really good to have, and I value it so much. It’s so great to have an engineer who really becomes a collaborator as the work unfolds in the studio.”

Joan Jeanrenaud plays a Deconet cello made in the mid-1700s.  A native of Memphis, Tennessee, she played with the Kronos Quartet from 1978 until 1999, when, after a sabbatical, she left to pursue a solo career and collaborations with other artists. “Visual Music” will be mastered by Bernie Grundman for early 2016 release on the Deconet Records label.

In addition to completing hew new album, Jeanrenaud was also at Trilogy producing a new album of classical and contemporary compositions performed by esteemed cellists Meta Weiss and David Requiro. Trilogy’s Justin Lieberman engineered this project as well.

“I know Meta because I gave her cello lessons from age 13-15,” recalls Jeanrenaud.  “Since then she has gone on to do some great things and is almost finished with her doctorate degree from Julliard.  She has known David Requiro for many years and the two are getting married next year. Judging from the way they play together, it seems to be a match made in heaven.” The duo regularly performs together at prestigious festivals and concerts.

The new album from Weiss and Requiro includes: J. S. Bach “Chaconne” (from the violin Partita in D minor arranged for two cellos); Niccolo Paganini ‘Variations on One String on a theme by Rossini’ (arranged for two cellos); Giovanni Sollima “The Shooting,” “Il Pino,” “Il Tasso,” and “Le Sequoia”; Jean-Paul Borremanne “A Due Celli,” and Joan Jeanrenaud “Oulipo.”

San Francisco native Meta Weiss made her international debut at the age of seven in Utrecht, Holland at the International String Convention. An acclaimed soloist, chamber musician, and artist, she performs music spanning all periods from classical to jazz. Her performances have taken her to venues throughout the US and internationally, including Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, Boston Symphony Hall, The Kimmel Center, Royal Albert Hall, and Teatro Britanico (Peru). Weiss performs on a Gioffredo Cappa cello, c. 1690, generously provided for her by an anonymous supporter

David Requiro has emerged as one of today’s most promising young cellists. He has soloed with the Tokyo Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, and other orchestras across the U.S. Requiro is currently Artist in Residence at the University of Puget Sound where he is professor of cello and director of the chamber music program.

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Joan Jeanrenaud Records at Studio Trilogy for ODC Dance Company

Pictured in session at Studio Trilogy are (L-R) ODC co-founder/choreographer KT Nelson, cellist/composer Joan Jeanrenaud, and chief recording engineer Justin Lieberman.

Pictured in session at Studio Trilogy are (L-R) ODC co-founder/choreographer KT Nelson, cellist/composer Joan Jeanrenaud, and chief recording engineer Justin Lieberman.

San Francisco, CA, April 2015 — Grammy-nominated cellist and composer Joan Jeanrenaud has recorded new music for San Francisco’s ODC dance company.
Jeanrenaud has been working on the music for nine months with KT Nelson, co-founder of the venerable 35-year old San Francisco dance company. She was joined by longtime collaborator and keyboardist/percussionist PC Muñoz and chief recording engineer Justin Lieberman at San Francisco’s Studio Trilogy.

“It’s so great to have an engineer who really becomes a collaborator,” Jeanrenaud commented. “Justin is such a big part of the process — just the way he is, his attitude. In this case, that proved to be very helpful because he is so enthusiastic, even when it meant working on something over and over again as the work unfolds in the studio.”

ODC choreographer KT Nelson was inspired to create the new work, “Dead Reckoning,” by a trip to Death Valley.” Jeanrenaud explained, “KT was deeply moved by the bleak landscape and the feeling of being a lone individual in such huge, vast surroundings. Her descriptions of the experience and the choreography deeply influenced the music I composed and performed.”

Joan Jeanrenaud plays a Deconet cello made in the mid-1700s. A native of Memphis, Tennessee, she played with the Kronos Quartet from 1978 until 1999, when, after a sabbatical, she left to pursue a solo career and collaborations with other artists. Her first solo album, “Metamorphosis,” was described by Greg Cahill in Strings as “visceral, hypnotic… compelling.

“PC Muñoz and I worked together with Justin on the CD ‘Strange Toys’,” recalled Jeanrenaud, “and then we went on to do the CD ‘Pop Pop.’ Over all these years, Justin and I have established a special rapport, a working relationship that is really great to have, and I value it so much.”

Jeanrenaud is planning to include the new “Dead Reckoning” music in a CD compilation of her music for dance recorded over the years for a variety of dance companies. Learn more at: http://www.jjcello.com

Founded in 1971, ODC (Oberlin Dance Collective, named after its place of origin, Oberlin College in Ohio) relocated to San Francisco in 1976.  In 1979, ODC was the first modern dance company in America to build its own home facility, from which it now operates the dance company, a school, a theater, a gallery, and a health clinic for dancers. ODC was elected Best Dance Company by the San Francisco Bay Guardian’s 2014 Best of The Bay Readers’ Pick. http://www.odcdance.org/

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Tom Graf Cuts “Smokin’” Jazz Album at Studio Trilogy

Pictured during sessions at Studio Trilogy are (L-R) Ray Obeido, producer; Billy Johnson, drums; David K. Matthews, piano, arrangements; Marc van Wageningen, bass; Tom Graf, composer; and Justin Lieberman, recording engineer.  Photo by David Goggin.

Pictured during sessions at Studio Trilogy are (L-R) Ray Obeido, producer; Billy Johnson, drums; David K. Matthews, piano, arrangements; Marc van Wageningen, bass; Tom Graf, composer; and Justin Lieberman, recording engineer. Photo by David Goggin.

San Francisco, CA, January 2015 – Popular jazz composer Tom Graf has completed his new album “Smokin’” at Studio Trilogy in the heart of San Francisco.  Graf steps out on his own after writing for groups such as Con Funk Shun and Angela Bofill, catchy radio commercials, and music for the “Dirty Dancing” soundtrack.  The album was produced by jazz guitarist Ray Obeido, who has worked with Herbie Hancock, Pete Escovedo, and Sheila E, as well as releasing five successful albums on the Wyndham Hill Label.

Graf’s new album is garnering steady national and international airplay.  “This album was a real joy to record at Trilogy,” remarked Graf.  “My solo career started out as a vanity project of jazz tunes that I had written over many years and decided to record.  They were coming out so well that the musicians were saying ‘Hey, you need to release this.’  I said OK, and then started getting great airplay on the jazz stations.”

Graf elaborates on the new album: “David K. Mathews, currently with Santana, arranged the compositions with help from, and overall production by, Ray Obeido.  This is the way smooth jazz used to sound when played by the likes of Freddy Hubbard, Milt Jackson, and Wes Montgomery. The musicians on my album expanded the compositions, added a sense of groove and delivered beautiful improvisations to create music with all of the verve and integrity I imagined from the very beginning.”

Trilogy chief engineer Justin Lieberman commented on the sessions, “I always love working with Ray Obiedo and Tom’s project was no exception.  He assembles the best musicians around and it makes my job super easy.  All of these musicians are so good at controlling and catering their tone for what they are playing that I just follow their lead.”

“We really enjoyed working at Trilogy,” added Graf.  “The vibe is very cool, the facilities are impeccable, and the people are bright and really take care of you. They also have a really fine grand piano.”

Learn more about Tom Graf and “Smokin’”:  http://www.tomgraf.com/

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