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ABOUT THE BAND

Phil Aaron / Piano
Pianist and Chicago native Phil Aaron attended the Berklee School of Music and the University of Phil Aaron Illinois prior to relocating to California. Aaron served as music director in the dance department at UCLA and also taught music at Santa Monica College. While at UCLA, Phil composed and performed for numerous local and national dance companies. Since coming to the Twin Cities, Aaron has been composing music for TV and film and performing live. His own Phil Aaron Trio is known for its outstanding recordings and regular weekend gigs at the Hotel Sofitel, as well as shows at other top Twin Cities venues. Aaron is also a top sideman in the Twin Cities music scene, a favored pianist among vocalists and national touring acts. Aaron's long list of credits include shows with Frank Morgan, Byron Stripling, Bob Sheppard, Sammy Davis Jr., John Patitucci, Scott Colley, Jeff Clayton, Ray Drummond, Barbara Morrison and Jackie Allen. In addition to five CD releases as leader, Aaron has appeared on a number of recordings by other artists.

Dave Hagedorn / Vibes
Dave Hagedorn is an Artist in Residence in the Music Department at St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN, where he teaches percussion, jazz studies and world music. Dave Hagedorn His impressive academic credentials include a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Percussion Performance from the Eastman School of Music, as well as various music-related degrees from the New England Conservatory and the University of Minnesota. He has studied with artists including Vic Firth, John Beck, Ed Blackwell (like Phil Hey), and many others, and performed in academic settings with everyone from Gil Evans to Happy Apple. Equally impressive, however, are Hagedorn's accomplishments outside the classroom. His excellent 2003 CD SOLIDLIQUID was released on Artegra Records in the SACD format. He has toured nationally with George Russell, playing several stops on the Kool Jazz Festival circuit, and appeared on Russell's So What (Blue Note Records) and Grammy-nominated The African Game. Around the Twin Cities, Hagedorn has appeared on recordings by the likes of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and Debbie Duncan, and regularly performs with groups including Source Code with Eric Kamau Gravatt, Apex, Low Blows, Pete Whitman's X-Tet, and JazzMN. Dave Hagedorn is a Yamaha performing artist. Tom Lewis

Tom Lewis / Bass
Twin Cities bassist Tom Lewis, noted for his lyrical solos and musical versatility, can be heard all over town playing bebop, hard bop, free jazz and swinging standards. A long time member of Eddie Berger's “Jazz All Stars,” Tom is currently a member of the Phil Aaron Trio, The Five and other projects. A composer and bandleader in his own right, Tom is regularly called upon to play with visiting jazz luminaries like Benny Golson, Mose Allison, Jim Rotundi, Slide Hampton, Lew Tabackin, Charles McPherson and others. Lewis also keeps busy as a sideman to Twin Cities musicians, as a clinician and as a recording session player.

Phil Hey / Drums
Phil Hey was born in New York City and raised in Philadelphia.

Phil HeyHey's mother (a grade school teacher), and father (a tradesman who later earned his PhD in sociology from Columbia University at age 46) kept music playing around the house. It also seemed to Hey that all of Philly was soaked in music – jazz, British Invasion rock, Motown, Philly soul – and he took every bit in. The family moved to Roseville, Minnesota in the late 1960s, where Phil completed high school at Ramsey. As with his public school experience in Philly, Ramsey's strong music program (which produced other notable drummers like Gordy Knudtson and Jim Pickrel) furthered Hey's musical education. After high school, Hey spent two years at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu before returning to the Twin Cities to attend the University of Minnesota. (Hey's brother, who visited Phil in Honolulu and never really left, is a Professor of Geophysics at the University of Hawaii. The new CD's title track and Hey composition “Subduction” is a geophysics term – the tune is dedicated to Phil's brother.)

Hey's stint at the UofM focused on non-music education (American Studies and African-American Studies), however, his return to Minnesota was motivated by studying percussion privately with teachers like Marv Dahlgren and Floyd Thompson. Phil went on to study privately with jazz drumming giant Ed Blackwell beginning in the mid-1970s. The lessons, which were conducted in NYC, Minneapolis, Chicago and Blackwell's home in Connecticut, not only were crucial to Hey's drumming skills, but opened his eyes to a whole world of “real jazz.” The friendship that formed between the two drummers resulted in years of Blackwell sharing experiences and passing along stories, as well as introducing Hey to future employers like Dewey Redman, Charlie Rouse and Kenny Barron. Among his treasured experiences with Blackwell was the drumming duet that ended every lesson. Blackwell had lived in Africa for a time, and the duets often focused on the continuum of rhythm from West Africa to New Orleans to bop. “I wouldn't be doing what I'm doing if it wasn't for Blackwell,” says Hey.

Since the mid-1970s, Hey has been one of the busiest and most respected drummers in the Twin Cities music scene. Over the years, Phil has played drums with virtually every active Twin Cities jazz musician, including membership in groups like Eddie Berger's Jazz All Stars, Departure Point, the Chris Lomheim Trio and countless others. Whether keeping the beat on standards with vocalists like Lucia Newell, burning through be bop in groups like Mulligan Stew or breaking down free jazz with folks like sax-man Pat Moriarty, Hey's sense of swing and versatility are welcome additions to any rhythm section. (He has even been found applying his talent in Klezmer bands and once toured with the late blues icon Lazy Bill Lucas.)

In addition to working with virtually every active Twin Cities jazz musician, Hey has hit the road with internationally known artists like Benny Golson, Dewey Redman, Jay McShann and Stacey Kent. As a recording artist, Phil has appeared on over 60 albums as sideman including Von Freeman Live at the Dakota and the Pete Whitman's X-Tet's Where's When?, both of which received the “four star” treatment from Downbeat magazine.