dave elke
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dave elke

Chico, California, United States | SELF

Chico, California, United States | SELF
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"dave elke band cd review"

Things You Know
Dave Elke

By Michele Bechard

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This article was published on 04.14.05.

If you haven’t heard local jazzman Dave Elke at one of the many gigs he’s played in Chico’s cafes, theaters and bars, and at parties, chances are you’ve taken one of his guitar classes at Butte College or Chico State. Veering away from the jazz some, his new CD, Things You Know, features Elke’s cool jazz sound tinged here with hints of funk and reggae, combining with his mellow voice and ultra-positive lyrics to spin a friendly blanket of sound that is as encouraging as a bear hug from your mom. There’s a little old-school blues, but Elke’s style is definitely shaped by the opposite of angst. The eight tracks feature local talents Zack Bowden on drums, Drew Pressman on bass, plus Marquesa Versola harmonizing vocally with Elke on three tracks. Bruce MacMillan plays steel lap guitar on “Leave Without a Trace” and Dobro on the rockabilly-bluegrass Zen of the final track, “I Am Found,” with its words of empowerment: “You can come here and take all the time that I gave/ But you can’t take away my pride.” If you’d like to be buoyed by the groove and the positive message, pick up a copy at Tower or the Underground.

- chico news and review

"dave elke with mike newman jazz"

A ring-a-ding-ding
Once a month the Hardboiled Sextet turns Duffy's Tavern into the coolest spot in town


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This article was published on 01.08.04.

Hard-boiled saxman Mike Newman keepin' it hot!
Crack the Hardboiled Sextet: Duffy's Tavern
Every first Sunday, 10pm. Free

You don't know what love is/ 'til you've learned the meaning of the blues./ Until you've loved a love you've had to lose/ you don't know what love is.--Billie Holiday

On the first Sunday of every month, when the Hardboiled Sextet lets loose with an evening of jazz standards and the occasional new composition, the tavern atmosphere of Duffy's transforms into a Parisian cafe, full of bohemians, actors, artists, revolutionaries, laborers and musicians.

For Duffy's co-owner Roger Montalbano, jazz in his blood. When he first pointed to a picture on the wall to tell a story about his father, I thought, "My god, Roger's father is Sammy Davis Jr.! He's even cooler than I thought." But it was to just below the Candyman's framed portrait that Roger was pointing.

"My father was a saxophone player in New York with Jerry Rio and his Continentals, whose slogan was they played 'for popular prices.' It was during the early 1940s, when he was about 20 years old. The band also featured my mother's brothers. I was immersed in a total appreciation of jazz, saxophones in particular. I grew up listening to Lester Young, Charlie Parker and Coleman Hawkins. I liked the be-bop of the '50s and moved right on to Stan Getz. As I got older I had to hide from my father the fact that I liked rock 'n' roll."

Duffy's Tavern and jazz have a long history. The Motets used to tear the house down, but the torch has now been passed to the Hardboiled Sextet. This high-profile aggregation consists of many Chico musicians, but on a recent Sunday night the core group was on hiatus. The kingpin, drummer and maestro of the band, CSUC graduate Scott Cummings, explained that regular bassist Nate LeFranchi was on vacation and trumpeter Rocky Winslow, director of the Jazz Studies program at CSUC, was on tour with Paul Anka. Also out of town was guitarist Ty Tuschen. Filling out this evening's version of the band was Mario Silva on trumpet, Bruce Calin from Redding on a beautiful stand-up bass, Dave Elke on guitar (he also plays with his own trio and the bluegrass band Greebo), and one of Chico's best horn men and a former member of Blue Plate Special, Mike Newman, on saxophone. Newman's brother Ryan also stepped up to play bass for a tune.

The late world-famous critic Ralph Gleason once said of a jazz legend, "Charlie Parker gives the feeling that he doesn't care for the consequences; all's he is interested in is right now." When the Hardboiled Sextet hits a Parker song on the mark, the community huddles around the tiny stage to share some of the fire that jazz brings. The guitarist for the local group Gumboots, Sloan Tash, refers to it as "the best show in town."

A legend himself, David "12er" Sorenson credits the work of Cummings, Elke and Newman as "genius." And local actress and upcoming vagina monologist JessLeanne Perry says, "I've been searching for a cool place to hear jazz in Chico, and this is it."

Collected, calm and at the center of the cyclone, Cummings explains it like this, "I like playing in restaurants like the Black Crow, but there's a certain level of letting go we can achieve at Duffy's that you cannot do when people are eating a steak. It could be dangerous." Mad-cow jokes aside, the Hardboiled Sextet is able to draw on sounds from the past and create something that is equally nostalgic and progressive.

- chico news and review

"jazz trio review"

Kind of true
Eavesdropping on the telepathic jazz of the Dave Elke & Greg D'Augelli Trio

By Lyra Penoyer

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This article was published on 01.09.03.

(From left) Guitarist Dave Elke tackles those hard jazz chords, accompanied by veteran drummer Dan Kinkle and bassist Greg D'Augelli as the Dave Elke and Greg D'Augelli Trio performs one of its regular January gigs in Christian Michael's Ristorante downtown.
Dave Elke & Greg D'Augelli Trio Christian Michael's Ristorante Saturday, Jan. 4, 2002
8:30 p.m.

Jazz, like an old friend, is not something that needs to engage you to enjoy its company--its presence is enough. And, like those of an old friend, you know its subtleties and nuances. It's a familiar face in your mind, what some might even call comfort food for the soul.

Christian Michael's Ristorante downtown was the place to be on Saturday, Jan. 4, if aural comfort is what you had in mind. That night's talented jazz trio was comprised of veteran local players Greg D'Augelli on upright bass, Dave Elke on Les Paul guitar and Chico State percussion teacher Dan Kinkle on drums. The three extremely tight musicians (who have played numerous times with one another) delivered a smooth, almost telepathic, jazz set of traditional covers before a small collection of bar-bellied people tuned into the warm, friendly ambience of musicians in artful conversation among themselves.

I'm the first to admit that I hold no loyalties to any particular music genre. I love a little bit of them all. And I can't play the part of the jazz music enthusiast who knows everything, because I don't. I know what I like and am prepared to give my opinions, as I'm sure many people are. And this kind of jazz music I most certainly like.

Briskly running through a set of gorgeous traditional jazz classics such as Miles Davis' "All Blues," Dizzy Gillespie's "Groovin' High" and trumpeter Lee Morgan's "Sidewinder," the musicians all appeared to be having fun with their own unique personal arrangements. For instance, a flourish of Latin flavor by D'Augelli would be followed with instant recognition from Kinkle on drums. These guys know the real meaning of "in sync" when it comes to music.

My friends and I nursed our drinks as we talked, the sounds settling in around us, unobtrusive and stylish, clean and impromptu. The glory of this kind of improvisational jazz is that it's so incredibly easy to listen to, to forget it's there and then to pick it back up again at the beat you were keeping in your head. At times, it was kind of like enjoying the unfamiliar scent of a passing stranger's perfume.

I asked bassist D'Augelli just how the three prepared their set; was it something they did in advance or do they just play by ear? "We play as we like them," he answered. He also mentioned the profound influences of jazz greats John Coltrane, Duke Ellington and, of course, Miles Davis.

What I surmised from talking with D'Augelli is that, for these particular performers, playing jazz was pure enjoyment, not a poke at popularity.

"We don't arrange the set beforehand," explained D'Augelli. "Someone calls out a song and we just go right into it. ... We just can't play loud in the dinner setting."

But that was about all I learned, since I felt like I was bothering the poor guy on his only break, when all he really wanted to do was have an aperitif with his recently turned-15-year-old son, who was patiently waiting for him on a couch nearby.

Throughout the rest of the night, the trio's laid-back style provided great background music for a classy bar like Christian Michael's (although I thought the television could have been turned off, something that was a bit off-putting). In spite of that small distraction, Christian Michael's will always be a favorite of mine for enjoying a fine meal and intimate music.

Such an enduring American art form as jazz truly depends upon the devotion of working jazz bands like this trio. It's all about doing what you love. With this trio, you can be sure the musicians are not trying to change the world with avant-garde obscurities, they're simply enjoying the time they have while they're here.

And maybe, if we happen upon them at just the right time, they'll play a couple of songs for us that fill the spaces between our own playing ... and looking ...and listening. - chico news and review

"rocky horror review"

Raising dead flesh
Energetic onstage version of Rocky Horror jolts the Chico Cabaret

By John W. Young

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This article was published on 10.24.02.

Delightfully live Rocky Horror now playing at the Chico Cabaret.
The Rocky Horror Show
The Chico Cabaret, Thurs.-Sat., Through Nov. 16, 7:30 p.m., Special Midnight Shows: Oct. 26 & 31 and Nov. 1 & 2, Directed by Phil Ruttenburg

At the concessions counter, they're serving hot dogs ... frankfurters. Naturally. Or maybe one should say "supernaturally." After all, the Chico Cabaret is presenting a production of Richard O'Brien's delightful gender-bending monster mash, The Rocky Horror Show. And, as it happens, it's a pretty fun-filled little entertainment.

Believe it or not, this rock musical about a 1950s-type couple getting its libido jacked up into the sexual stratosphere by a transvestite transsexual from Transylvania sauntering around in a black-leather corset and high heels has entered the consciousness of just about everyone 45 and under. Even those who have never seen the movie (of which this reviewer counts himself; it should be pointed out, however, that he has been subjected to so many retellings of the plot and singings of the songs in general that he practically knows the darned thing by heart). The Rocky Horror Picture Show, director Jim Sharman's 1975 cinematic adaptation of O'Brien's play, was a cult classic from the beginning. (I have distinct memories of my friends Tom and Donna coming back to Orland and raving about this crazy movie musical they had just witnessed at The Pageant Theatre in Chico; Tom, who played bass in my band at the time, couldn't stop talking about this one rocker, "The Time Warp").

It should come as no surprise, then, that a local theater group is staging the live version--and just in time for Halloween.

Backed by a positively percolating band (guitarist Dave Elke, bassist Mike DiTrolio, saxophonist Kian McLaren, keyboardist Karl Iverson and drummer Komoki Bunting), well-choreographed (by Lydia Taylor and Nancy Willis), costumed accurately (Alter Ego) and set with enjoyable technical effects, Horror Show is a moveable feast of camp. It's an explosion of orgone-laden lunacy that simultaneously salutes and sends up classic '30s and '40s horror conventions,'50s rock-'n'-roll clichés and '70s sex-lib contrivances, all in one deliriously gaudy package.

Lauren Taylor and Robert Conley, as the innocent Adam-and-Eve couple seduced into carnal wisdom, are enjoyably adequate. Conley is perhaps a bit stronger in his role; Taylor unfortunately had some mike problems opening night and was a bit difficult to hear. As Riff-Raff, Columbia and Magenta--Frank-n-furter's household retinue--Lars Logan, Shannon Foy and Allison Rich deliver good work, Rich turning in the most energetic performances, especially during the dance numbers.

Marc Edson does a good job as the pseudo-sophisticated ("Where the @*%#'s your neck?") Narrator. Jeremiah Johnson is sufficiently menacing in a greasy-kids'-stuff sort of way as '50s throwback Eddie, Colin Scott is prurience personified as Frank-n-furter's "self-made" man Rocky, and Don Eggert does a good turn as the hypocritical Doctor Scott, who hides a twisted secret of his own.

But the show belongs to the Frank-n-furter character (purportedly played to glee-filled perfection in the film by Tim Curry), and in casting actor Tony Varicelli director Phil Ruttenburg has done good. Varicelli's singing voice isn't the greatest, but he more than makes up for his limitations with unabashed exuberance. The only other actor who practically outshines Varicelli is Bethany Miller as the Belasco Popcorn Girl at the play's beginning. Sans microphone, Miller belts out such a punchy rendition of "Science Fiction Double Feature" the audience is knocked out immediately.

And this version of "The Time Warp" is more fun than a corkscrew roller-coaster ride at Great America.

The show is not necessarily recommended for young viewers, although the humor is exactly what most 11-year-olds are exchanging in school yards all over America.

Go figure.

- chico news and review

"CAMMIES Awards"

Dave Elke Trio


After two years in a row as a nominee (and one year, 2006, as a winner) in the Jazz category, the Dave Elke Trio has crossed over to the funky side. It’s not as if Elke and bassist Johnathan Stoyanof and drummer Zach Bowden have made a change in musical direction, it’s just that the CN&R and the nominating committee has finally seen the that the funk is the driving force for the jazz/funk/blues trio and has placed them in a more appropriate genre (besides, Elke keeps himself so busy that his Elke/D’Augelli Duo is up for CAMMIE in Jazz category as well). The self-described “groovehead” vibe that Elke and the guys bring to the stage is applied to standards and originals alike as the crew brings the improvisational party to places like Johnnie’s, 33 Steaks and the happy hour at LaSalles.

Band Bio

Dave Elke-Jazz Guitar
Dave Elke has played in numerous bands and toured the west coast extensively. After recording a few CD's and touring with various rock bands, he decided to focus on playing jazz. In 1999 he formed the Dave Elke Trio. Playing in the classic trio format (drums, bass and guitar) has been very rewarding. This format provides an ability to stretch out and also invite other players to sit in. After earning a Masters Degree in Music from Chico State in 2000, Dave dedicated himself to performing and teaching. He now teaches music classes at Butte College and guitar lessons in his private studio. The trio performs regularly in Chico and the North State area. The group plays a mix of jazz standards, funk and blues, with original tunes mixed in. Personal influences include players like Joe Pass, Howard Roberts, Wes Montgomery, Pat Matheney and John Scofield among others. Dave enjoys passing along the knowledge of how to play this wonderful music to his students and sharing this great art we call jazz with an ever growing audience

- Chico news and review

"elke trio opens for christian scott"

Music review: Jazz trumpet prodigy plays Harlen Adams Theatre

Posted: 12/11/2008 12:00:00 AM PST

CHICO -- Players like Christian Scott are rare, the prodigies who carry on and expand the jazz tradition.
Wynton Marsalis was one such brilliant trumpet player whose first album under his own name was recorded when he was not quite 20 years old. And Christian Scott, with his impeccable and nearly ethereal tone, is firmly in the Wynton Marsalis tradition of prodigiously gifted young trumpeters.

Like Marsalis, Scott is a New Orleans native and, like Marsalis, he put out his first album when he was a mere 19 years old. Soulfulness seems to come with the birth certificates of musicians born in the Crescent City.

Last Friday, Scott, now 24, put his extraordinary talent on display, fronting his sextet for an audience of a couple hundred jazz enthusiasts on Friday evening at Harlen Adams Theatre on the Chico State University campus. A.S. Presents put on the show.

Christian Scott first came to this reviewer's attention with the release of his CD, "Rewind That," in 2006. That album represented a reconfiguring of lots of jazz licks, a blending of new and old. It's a terrific CD, a little reminiscent of middle-to-late-period Miles Davis. Like Davis, Scott's tone is distinctive and almost spiritual in its warmth, a sound one writer described as "fiery coolness."

But the live show was somewhat less satisfying than Scott's second album, mostly because the drummer was too bombastic, and amped way too loud. There's a delicacy in Scott's music that was ill-served by an overly-busy


Still, it was a treat to see such a great trumpet player early in what is sure to be a stellar career.

Scott took the stage wearing shades, looking like a young Freddie Hubbard, and when he introduced his second piece -- "Angola, Louisiana and the 13th Amendment" -- he told the story of a young cousin, unjustly imprisoned and made to pick cotton at that notorious penal colony. The composition began in sorrow, moved through frustration, to anger, and ended on a lingering note of intense sadness. It was a tour de force.

Jazz aficionados who missed the show would be well advised to seek out "Rewind That," or his more recently released "Live at Newport" CD.

Opening for Christian Scott was local jazz ensemble, the Dave Elke trio, featuring Patrick Wiseman on drums, Johnathan Stoyanof on bass, Elke on guitar, and Greg D'Augelli a guest saxophone player who, from the fifth row, looked like a younger Russell Crowe. Elke is a gifted guitarist, and the local boys acquitted themselves well. This reviewer kept wishing that Elke's drummer had taken over for the drummer Christian Scott brought with him. - Chico ER/the Buzz


Chico Area Music Accompilation-2007
Dave Elke Trio-2006 "standards and originals"
Chico Area Music Accompilation-2006
Dave Elke Band-2006"things you know"
Tall Poppy 2001
Potluck 2000 "freelance"
Potluck 1998 "organic"
Jensing 1997 "little girl"



Recently (2009) nominated for a CAMMIE in funk/jam category. Dave was nominated for 2 CAMMIES in 2007 and 2008, and won a Cammie for "best jazz group" in 2006. while having a successful run at playing straight ahead jazz and funk jazz, dave is currently back at writing original vocal songs. He is currently recording a new CD of all originals, and booking a summer tour..

Dave's music has been featured on several compilation CD's, and he has released 6 CD's of original music with his various band lineups and projects. The latest was The Dave Elke Band's "Things You Know" released in 2006.
Dave has toured the west coast extensively from Oregon to San Diego, Arizona, and Utah. and all stops in between. He recently opened for Brett Dennen at the El Ray Theater.

Dave recieved his masters in guitar performance in 2000, and teaches private guitar and bass lessons, and music courses at Butte Community College.

Dave began his musical career in the San Francisco area. Studying guitar at Diablo Valley College and playing gigs in the bay area, where he was introduced to many different musical styles, first playing rock, then funk and jazz, Dave has explored many musical styles and settings.

He was introduced to jazz through Steve Sage, and went on to study with Warren Nunes. He graduated CSU, Chico in 1995 with Liberal Studies and Music. While a student, he worked with school aged children in after school programs and summer camps for eight years, while maintaining a busy performance schedule. He went on to record several CD's with various groups, and toured the west coast for several years. He then settled down in Chico to raise a family, and returned to CSU, Chico to obtain a Masters degree in Guitar Perfomance. Here he studied classical guitar with Warren Haskell, and Jazz with Charlie Robinson and Mark Lavin. During his studies, Dave developed the electric guitar ensemble at Chico State, and began teaching at Butte Community College. Dave now teaches all levels of guitar, theory and jazz appreciation at Butte College, and continues to maintain a busy performance schedule.

Dave's journey with the collective sound (formerly ETHOS) began in its early conception. Having met Zack Smith while a student at Chico State, Dave got involved with the development of the camp in the very beginning. Contributing to the structure and program formats, and teaching guitar and leading band rehearsals, Dave occupied the role of teacher for the first four years of the camp. Now, Dave has taken on the role of Program Director of Education, and is involved with every aspect of the planning and implementation of curriculum, programs, and the tour. Having been in many bands, toured, recorded, taught private lessons and college courses, Dave has a wealth of knowledge to offer students of the camp.