Band Bios: Rock for Hope All-Star Band
Tony grew up jamming with his Dad, Merl Saunders, and friend, Jerry Garcia. Tony received his first piano lesson from Herbie Hancock and was awarded a fellowship at the prestigious San Francisco Conservatory of Music for piano. His first bass guitar was a gift from Tom Fogerty, brother of John and rhythm guitarist for Creedence Clearwater Revival. Tony has gone on to win many awards including 2 Emmys for playing bass. The list of musicians that Tony has toured and recorded with on bass includes: Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Ringo Starr, Sly Stone, Ron Wood, David Crosby, Bo Diddley, Tony Bennett, Patti LaBelle, and Chaka Kahn. In the late 70’s, Tony was Eric Clapton’s roommate for six months. www.tonysaunders.com
Stu has toured extensively with Joe Satriani and Steve Vai. Stu held down the bass in the all-star jam at the renown G3 concert in 1996 as Joe Satriani, Steve Vai and Eric Johnson took turns at lead guitar. Stu plays all the bass tracks for the new Rush tribute album: “Subdivisions,” in which a diverse array of musicians are featured including Satriani, Vai, Sebastian Bach and Randy Jackson. Recently, Stu was featured in the BX3 tour with other world-class electric bass guitarists Jeff Berlin (from Bill Bruford Band) and Billy Sheehan (from Mr. Big, Steve Vai and David Lee Roth bands). In his heralded solo career, and as a former teacher at the Bass Institute of Technology, Stu “explores the outer-limits of bass technique.” In his 2007 tour, Stu has explored the outer-limits at gigs in Taipei, Shaghai, Beijing, Bangkok, Hong Kong, and Santiago, Chile. www.stuarthamm.net
Since his time as the house bassist for the Windham Hill label, Michael's profile and influence as a solo bassist have gone from strength to strength, first through years of touring alongside acoustic guitar legend Michael Hedges and then through solo performances and collaborations with artists as diverse as Patti Larkin, Henry Kaiser, John Gorka and Thomas Dolby. Michael is without doubt one of the most original, remarkable and celebrated voices on the electric bass in the world today. Responding to American political culture of the times, the concept for Michael’s 2001 album with Alex Skolnick and Tim Alexander, Attention Deficit, The Idiot King was to make totally un-prepared, on-the-spot compositions and improvisations, so they went into the studio with almost nothing. On electric bass, Michael is the “ManThing.” www.manthing.com
Jude interviews the top guitarists in the world as Associate Editor of Guitar Player Magazine. In addition to performing with George Clinton and the P-funk All-Stars, David Grisman, Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett, Eddie Money, Merl Saunders, String Cheese Incident, Jude toured and recorded with JGB (formerly known as the Jerry Garcia Band) for three years after Jerry passed-on to the other side. Recently, Jude performed a piece he co-composed with the Oakland Symphony. www.judegold.com
Dorothy was lead singer and co-author for the Northern California State Youth Choir’s recording of “Oh, Happy Day,” when it climbed the gospel, R& B and pop charts in 1968. The success of this first album, Let us go into the House of the Lord helped spark a revolution that introduced Gospel music to new listeners worldwide, selling seven million copies. “Oh, Happy Day” is making a resurgence in popularity as a soundtrack for television commercials and movie soundtracks. Dorothy performed live on stage with CSN&Y, Joan Biaz and Joni Mitchell at the Big Sur Folk Festival in 1970, and has toured with Van Morrison. Dorothy has also record albums with Boz Scaggs, Rita Coolidge and Ricardo Sands.
Jay traded lead vocals with Latoya London on Allstar Jukebox for two years until she was signed to American Idol (4th place, 2004). As lead singer of Occam’s Razor in 1995, Jay’s song, “She Said” hit #55 in the top 100 chart, with 1,000 spins a week on American Radio stations. Occam’s Razor received major airplay on KFOG, KOME & Live 105; and played a 3-song live set on KFOG. Mister Moon, the hit from Occam’s 2nd album was produced by 5-time Grammy winning producer John Cuniberti (producer for Joe Satriani). Occam’s played at prestigious San Francisco venues like the Fillmore and the Great American Music Hall, and Los Angeles classics like the Whiskey A-Go-Go and the Roxy Theater. Jay sang and wrote songs that appeared on TV shows Dawson’s Creek and Party of Five.
Lisa recorded an album with the legendary San Francisco band, Big Brother & the Holding Company as lead vocal, and toured with them for three years. Lisa is currently performing with her own group, "Lisa Battle Band,” in the San Francisco Bay Area along with the popular event band “Allstar Jukebox” who has formerly backed “American Idol” contestants. Lisa has had the opportunity to sing with top artists: Dave Matthews, Eddie Money, Norton Buffalo, Mic Gillette and Skip Mesquite (Tower of Power). www.lisabattle.com
Wabi-sabi, the first independent release by the Mike Emerson Project, is an adventurous collection of instrumental songs by a variety of visible Bay Area blues artists. Mike Emerson has performed and/or recorded extensively throughout the United States, Europe and Canada with a wide range of musicians including Elvin Bishop, Ivan Neville, Percy Sledge, Zigaboo Modeliste, Tommy Castro, Terry Haggerty, Mic Gillette (Tower of Power), and David Grisman. Emerson has played keyboards at the Monterey Blues Festival, the Chicago Blues Festival, the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise in Mexico, the Hanover Jazz Festival in Germany, and the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. www.mikeemerson.net
In his extensive drumming career, Marty has been the man laying down the beat for jazz greats like Herbie Hancock, Clark Terry, and Don Grusin, and local brass legends Tower of Power. Marty has played drums numerous times with Kay Bouler at the prestigious Monterey Blues Festival. As Oakland’s mayor, Jerry Brown officially declared May 4th Latoya Day in 2004 after American Idol’s successful Oakland native Latoya London, Marty played drums for the induction ceremony with All Star Jukebox at the Oakland Civic Center featuring Latoya with Jude Gold and Jay Middleton.
John Allair is called “Marin county’s original rock & roller” by the dean of bay area rock writers, Joel Selvin. John has partly maintained his youth by touring with Van Morrison for over 30 years. You can see his classic performance with Van on the DVD: “Live at Montreux” back in 1974, or see his current genius with the Van Man on public TV’s Austin City Limits broadcast. John Allair is also known for Toulouse Ta Truck, a 70’s band in which he joined with Phil Lesh and Sons of Champlin guitarist Terry Haggerty. And Clifton Kaufman, owner of Cotati's Prairie Sun Studios, where Allair recorded his new album, "John Allair Cleans House," may have put it best, John is a: "buried treasure." www.johnallair.com
Since his time as the house bassist for the Misa Malone is a great San Francisco Bay Area sensation. Originally a member of premier Bay Area party bands including Sonata Pi, Anything She Wants and the Keith Johnson All Stars - Misa Malone formed her own band with extraordinary musicians and vocalists and as a result has created a sweet, fresh sound. Misa’s strong and sultry vocal tones and creative lyricism, along with the accompaniment of other veterans of the Bay Area Music scene blend to make a fresh exciting funky R&B Neo-Soul Smooth Jazz flavor, which they call “Smooth Soul. www.misamalone.com
Pete has played (and mastered) the boogie woogie with John Allair for since the fifties! They played their first gig together at Lind’s father’s bar, The Forty Thieves in San Rafael in 1956. “The best feeling I ever had was playing rock ‘n roll in high school,” he says. “I try to get that back every time we play.”
John “Stewball” Stewart, vocals & guitar: Bursting from the womb of Mother Rock, Stewball’s Jelly forges some of the most inspired jams in Marin today. “Stewball” began his music career in the ‘70’s with the Damaged Banana Band, voted “Best New Band” in Colorado Springs by the local music magazine. John has played live on stage with the Grateful Dead, RatDog, Phil and Friends, Bonnie Raitt, Bruce Hornsby, Jackson Browne, Pete Sears and Rob Wasserman.
Eric Eisenberg, vocals & guitar: As Jelly’s rhythm guitarist and backing vocal, Eric has had the opportunity to jam with the many great local musicians like Bob Weir. Eric has received several rewards from online songwriting forum: Songfight! Eric’s previous bands include Pokey Mutton Bluegrass Excursion, House of Slack, Los Dos Locos and Squirmer.
Alden Feldon, bass guitar: Finally landing with Jelly, Alden has played bass for dozen’s of bands including Barking Lizard and Crazy Fingers. Alden is a life coach and a living poet.
RT Weber, drums: Drummer for Jelly. RT has performed with numerous artists throughout New England including the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, Vermont Jazz Ensemble and “The Helicopter Consortium” playing original music steeped in the improvisational world of Frank Zappa before moving to the bay area.