Celebrate Filipino American History Month with the San Francisco Filipino American Jazz Festival as we present the 6th Annual Festival on Sunday October 20, 2013. Jazz vocalists, Melissa Morgan and Yolanda Quandt bring their brand of Jazz and Blues; pianist/composer, jazz/fusion maestro Winston Raval and his Ensemble will thrill you with fabulous compositions written especially for this show; drummer/festival presenter, educator, jazz historian, Richie Quirino will perform with the Winston Raval Ensemble.
Born in New York City to a Filipina mother and an American father, by the time she was in high school Melissa Morgan was already winning awards for her skills both as a pianist and a vocalist. She received a B.A. in jazz vocal performance from SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Music in New York and has performed at many of New York’s top jazz rooms. A gifted, classically trained jazz and blues singer, Melissa Morgan at 28 combines the poise and maturity of a seasoned veteran with the infectious verve of a fresh new talent. You’ll hear elements of Nancy Wilson, Dinah Washington and Dakota Staton in her sound, but Melissa Morgan clearly has her own voice and isn’t copying anybody. Morgan debut CD on Telarc Records, Until I Met You has received glowing reviews and comments including “It is one of the most assured and enjoyable debut albums by any jazz singer in recent memory.” (San Diego Union Tribune) and “she is the one we’ve been waiting for.” (Dr. Herb Wong)
In 2004, Melissa was named a semi-finalist in the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition in Washington D.C. Since then, she has quickly risen to heights unexpected for one so young. She has relocated to Los Angeles, California to begin a recording career and to extend her jazz audience throughout the West Coast. She is presently completing the second CD for Telarc Records. It is scheduled for release in the Fall of 2013.
Her career began as a child star in the Philippines, where she was known as “Baby Yolanda” Llanto. In her later years Yolanda developed into a wonderful jazz singer and entertainer, often featured with local jazz musicians during the heyday of Manila’s club scene in the 60’s and 70’s. She married and moved to the United States where she raised a family. Returning to the stage and performing in nightclubs, Ms. Quandt has recorded a delightful CD dedicated to Duke Ellington and his music, Passion for Duke. Recorded in London in 2003, it truly showcases the depth and vocal chops of this vibrant singer. Occasional performing in the Las Vegas area where she now lives, “Baby Yolanda” still knows how to entertain the crowd with standards from the Great American Songbook and more!
Pianist and composer Winston Raval is a seminal influence in the development of jazz fusion in Manila. During the 70’s, he was among the first to combine indigenous instruments and music of the Philippines with jazz. He composed music scores for 23 films by award-winning Philippine Director Ismael Bernal. Raval was pianist and musical director for major artists in Manila. Relocating to Hawaii, he led the Winston Raval Trio and worked as a solo pianist. He has been living and performing in Southern California for the past few years. In October 2011, Winston Raval performed at the 4th Annual San Francisco Filipino American Jazz Festival where he was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Raval was also featured at the 7th Annual San Francisco Asian Heritage Street Celebration in May 2011 with the Jonathan Bautista Group.
Richie C. Quirino is Filipino jazz historian, composer and musician. Trained at the University of the Philippines and The Berklee School of Music in Boston, he was the first Filipino to chronicle and publish a detailed history of Jazz in the Philippines. He has published two of the three-volume series about jazz in the country; the first entitled Pinoy Jazz Traditions, won the 2004 National Book Award for Music and served as the basis for producing the 60-minute video documentary Pinoy Jazz: The Story of Jazz in the Philippines. The second volume, Mabuhay Jazz: Jazz in Postwar Philippines, was published by Anvil in 2008. The most current book in the Pinoy Jazz trilogy is Contemporary Jazz in the Philippines launched in 2011.
Quirino was a founding member and later president of the Jazz Society of the Philippines. He was instrumental in organizing the Philippine International Jazz and Arts Festival, which is still in existence today and is held during the entire month of February in Manila and other cities in the Philippines. Quirino graduated with a double major in Professional Music and Audio Recording from the Berklee School of Music in 1980. He has performed as a drummer and percussionist with numerous bands for over 30 years. In the last 5 years he has travelled to 18 cities and 11 countries propagating Pinoy Jazz.
About the San Francisco Filipino American Jazz Festival:
The San Francisco Filipino American Jazz Festival, a non-profit 501(c) (3) organization, is sponsored by Philippine American Writers and Artists (PAWA), and by the Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS) East Bay Chapter. It promotes, preserves, and celebrates contributions to Jazz, Blues, R&B, and World Music by Filipino American and all artists.