Doug Beavers
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Doug Beavers


Band Jazz Latin


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"Warren Truitt - Kids Music That Rocks (Feb. '08)"

Imagine a Toddler Las Vegas, a Rat Pack of sippy cup totin' hipsters ... I'm pretty sure this would be the music they would be digging! Now, I've said before that if a kids' performer decides to record nursery rhymes or folk tunes, they'd better bring something different to the table. And much like Josh Levine's salsa-fest Josh Levine for Kids or Rockosaurus Rex's metalhead heaven The Big Bang, the Doug Beavers Rovira Jazz Orchestra does just that: Classic kiddie tunes are given a super swingin' treatment that'll have your junior Chairman of the Board's fingers a-poppin'.

Jazz, Baby! is an amazingly solid collection of songs, performed by a crack team of musicians, and sung by Matt Catingub and Linda Harmon. No low points or draaagging tracks here: From the opening horns of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" to the subdued 4/4 - 3/4 arrangement of "Brahms Lullaby", play this one from beginning to end without reserve. Highlights include the Steely Dan / Manhattan Transfer-style vocals of "Itsy Bitsy Spider"; the Louis Prima / Keely Smith samba of "She'll Be Comin' Round the Mountain"; and the big, wide-open organic production of the whole project - very tight but very real (sounds like you're in the same room with the whole band!).

Kids who already know these songs will get the biggest kick out of listening to Jazz, Baby! ... I can just see 'em, cranking this album up and singing along as loudly as they can! Also highly recommended for parents who are sick of listening to the same damned CD of classic kids' tunes ... This fresh but familiar bunch of preschool hits will make a great addition to classrooms, libraries, and homes.

Warren Truitt
Kids Music That Rocks Blog
February 26, 2008 -

"Stephen Sheppard - Zooglobble (Jan. '08)"

All 10 songs here are traditional ("Twinkle Twinkle," "Shortnin' Bread," "Working' On the Railroad"), and the vocals take center stage. If there is any difference it's that the arrangements are stronger, with strong versions of "Twinkle Twinkle" and "Itsy Bitsy Spider" that take full-advantage of a 20+ member big band being two highlights. "She'll Be Comin' Round the Mountain" is done in a fun cha-cha style. It's a polished recording, and while it's not targeted at adult listeners, those listeners who listen with their kids certainly won't begrudge time spent in its company. -

"Doug Beavers to lead all-star salsa outfit at Yoshi's SF( July '08)"

Doug Beavers' path appeared to be well mapped out in front of him. After graduating from Antioch High School in '94, he planned to study electrical engineering at the University of California at Davis.

He had received a scholarship from the school - a full ride, no less - and was pointed in the direction of a life of pocket protectors and calculators. Then, at the last minute, he had second thoughts.

"The day I got accepted, I was feeling that it wasn’t what I wanted to do," he says during a recent interview at a barbecue restaurant in Oakland. "It was cool, but it wasn’t "it."

What was "it," Beavers soon realized, was making music. The trombonist passed on Davis and picked New York City as the launching pad for what has been a mighty impressive career. Fans can witness how electrical engineering’s loss has become jazz music's gain when Beavers leads his all-star salsa outfit, Conjunto Rovira, in concert on Monday at Yoshi’s in San Francisco.

Beavers is only 31 - a mere infant in jazz speak - but he’s already accomplished more than some jazz musicians do during entire careers. Much of that can be credited to his unsurpassed work ethic. This guy is always working on something, be it a new CD project, writing arrangements for his own band or playing trombone is somebody else’s group.

"I am constantly working," he admits. "I’m working like 16 hours a day."

You believe him when he claims 100-plus-hours work weeks. A quick scan of his bursting-at-the-seams resume backs up that kind of a ridiculous number, but his intensity level is what really speaks volumes. Indeed, the best word to describe this young musician is intense. He’s one of the most focused and passionate people I’ve ever met, and it’s all centered around music. You never doubt what matters most to this young man.

Beavers' versatility has also been a big factor in his career. He’s a terrific trombonist, one who knows how to swing with the best of them, and arguably an even better arranger. He’s improving all the time as a bandleader and has become known for his ability to transcribe music.

It was that last talent that eventually led him to work with Eddie Palmieri. The Latin jazz giant was working on a new CD and hired Beavers to transcribe some long-retired compositions. Those Beavers-revived compositions would form the heart of Palmieri's "La Perfecta II" (2002).

The trombonist would then join Palmieri's touring band and be featured on the master’s star-studded 2006 release, "Listen Here!," which went on to win the Grammy for Best Latin Jazz recording in 2007. Looking back, Beavers says his time with Palmieri was well spent.

"What I learned from Eddie was how to get a crowd crazy," he says.

He’s now applying that skill in leading his own band. He fondly recalls a recent gig at Jazz at Pearls, which started off kind of slow, but then took off like a rocket:

"Thirty minutes after we started, the club was packed," he remembers. "About an hour after we started, because the windows in the club were open, people were outside dancing on the street."

Beyond captaining his own salsa music juggernaut, Beavers has also recently signed up to blow trombone in Pete Escovedo’s band. If you’re a Latin music guy, like Beavers, having both Escovedo and Palmieri on your resume by the time your 31 (or even 81) is vastly impressive.

Furthermore, the busy bee has found the time to record and release a new CD. "Jazz, Baby!" features Beavers leading an orchestra in top-flight arrangements of such children's classics as "The Hokey Pokey," "Itsy Bitsy Spider," "The Ants Go Marching" and "You are My Sunshine." Although it's the rare children's recording that can be enjoyed by parents, Beavers says he's been getting the strongest reaction from the target market.

"Kids who check this out, they want to play it over and over, because they keep hearing new musical gifts," he says.

Your own musical gift awaits when Doug Beavers y Su Conjunto Rovira perform Monday at Yoshi’s in San Francisco. Showtimes are 8 and 10 p.m. Tickets are $12. Yoshi's SF is at 1300 Fillmore St. Call 415-665-5600 or To learn more about this talented local artist, check out - - "The Concert Blog" w/Jim Harrington

"Jesse "Chuy" Varela: An Interview with Doug Beavers (Oct. '08)"

"A new star is emerging with his trombone in his heart and salsa dura in his soul."

-Jesse "Chuy" Varela - Latin Beat Magazine

"Liner Notes from Eddie Palmieri's "La Perfecta II""

"For the efforts of Mr. Beavers, the new millennium finds me truly grateful."

-Eddie Palmieri - Concord Records

"Jack Bowers - All About Jazz (Dec. '07)"

Doug Beavers Rovira isn’t the first bandleader to reach out to the “diminutive demographic,” but he may be the first to do so without pretense or condescension. In other words, Rovira doesn’t play “down” to toddlers and children, he raises them “up” by clothing nearly a dozen nursery rhymes and songs in clever orchestral arrangements that would please even the hippest adult listeners. Blend in charming vocals by Matt Catingub and Linda Harmon and you have Jazz, Baby!

Coincidentally, Jazz Baby (sans comma or exclamation mark) is the name of a two-disc set released not long ago by Casablanca Records, but unlike Rovira’s self-contained enterprise, it’s a compilation featuring such well-known singer/entertainers as Rosemary Clooney, Billy Preston, Dr. John, Cybill Shepherd, Janis Siegel, Jim Belushi, Freddy Cole, Barbara Morrison, Claudia Acuña and Kymberly Evans. Also unlike Rovira’s big-band album, the “Jazz” content is sporadic, not steady.

Rovira’s choice of material is delightful, from “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” and The Hokey Pokey” to “Itsy Bitsy Spider,” “Shortnin’ Bread,” “Comin’ Round the Mountain,” “The Ants Go Marching In,” “Hush Little Baby” and “You Are My Sunshine.” At the end, Harmon ushers in nap-time with a soft and gentle version of the “Brahms Lullaby.”

Are toddlers ready for a regular diet of jazz? One can always hope. In any event, there’s no harm in exposing them to it. I raised my three on steady doses of Stan Kenton, Count Basie, Woody Herman, Buddy Rich, Zoot Sims, Stan Getz and others. Did it work? Well, I can’t honestly say they’re as passionate about jazz as their old man, but they at least understand and appreciate it, along with other kinds of music. For those who have toddlers, or who simply love children’s songs, Rovira‘s Jazz, Baby! is warmly recommended.

-Jack Bowers, - All About Jazz

"Harvey Siders - JazzTimes (Jan. '08)"

How young is too young when it comes to exposing your youngsters to jazz? According to the producers of this album, a Bay Area couple with a one-year-old daughter, and the arranger, Doug Beavers Rovira, apparently if you can play or sing nursery rhymes to your toddler, you can begin the jazz indoctrination. Enter Matt Catingub and Linda Harmon to sing and swing them, accompanied by a 21-piece band filled with L.A. and San Francisco players, and gestation (from conception to mastering) took a nervous three years.

The whole project is first-class because of Rovira’s arrangements and the singers heard on all 11 tracks: Catingub is well-known as the Big Kahuna arranger-conductor, but his hip, Bobby Darin style of singing is in his genes: his mom was the great, but under-appreciated Mavis Rivers. Harmon has been heard more than seen, singing on TV and in movies since ’79, often uncredited. The singers constantly modulate (in deference to attention deficit?); the band swings mightily; soloists shine: trumpeter Mike Olmos, tenorist Sheldon Brown, altoist Alex Budman and guest percussionist Giovanni Hidalgo.

-Harvey Siders
- JazzTimes

"Eddie Palmieri - Jazz, Baby (Jan. '08)"

"Mr. Doug Beavers has once again displayed his strong arrangement and production skills." Jazz Baby is a fine piece of work.

Eddie Palmieri -

"Baby Beats & Beyond: Celebrating Jazz Appreciation Month…with trombonist and arranger Doug Beavers"

In celebrating Jazz Appreciation Month, we’re looking into the intersection where jazz and children’s music meet. And following the philosophy that one should think globally but swing locally, the musical spotlight first shines on trombonist, band leader and East Bay native Doug Beavers.

Beavers’ Rovira Jazz Orchestra recorded Jazz, Baby!, a big band & vocal project which includes his fun arrangements of familiar numbers such as “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,” “The Hokey Pokey” and “She’ll Be Coming Around the Mountain.” The story of how it — and he, as a gigging musician — came to be is as compelling as the album is listenable.

A Pittsburgh, CA native, Beavers attended Los Medanos College and focussed on math, science and music. All set with a full scholarship to study electrical engineering at UC Davis, he opted instead to pursue music and went to Cal State University, East Bay (née Cal State Hayward).

Studying jazz trombone and arranging with Dave Eshelman and classical theory and trombone with David Ridge (San Francisco Opera bass trombonist), he fortified his musical foundation and was accepted to the famed Manhattan School of Music after earning his Bachelor’s degree in Hayward.

In addition to being under the tutelage of ‘bone master Conrad Herwig, he also learned about studio arranging and orchestration from Mike Abene while in the Big Apple. (This would prove very useful in the future, including on Jazz, Baby!)

Gigs playing and arranging in pianist and Latin jazz icon Eddie Palmieri’s large group followed, as did arrangement work for and gigging with the Mingus Big Band. As for Jazz, Baby!, it came about when executive producer and jazz vocalist Bob Saul wanted big band arrangements of children’s favorites for his own Peninsula-based 18-piece Orchestra.

“What I had to think of was that you can’t just write regular ‘adult’ big band arrangements for kids,” says Beavers. “You can’t just do it like you were going to do it normally. You have to have the attention span of a child in mind.

“It was all about the vocals,” he continues. “If the vocalist is singing then there’s more of a likelyhood that the kid’s going to be paying attention, because they can relate to the spoken word.” (That’s true for grown ups who are uninitiated in jazz, as well…)

“Through Jazz, Baby!, they’re introduced to the trumpet, trombone, saxophone and those kinds of things. And because those aren’t so much used in popular music, there might be a stigma surrounding ‘em,” he points out. “Before hearing those instruments, kids might say, ‘Well, why would we ever want to do those?!?’”

In addition to nursery school and campfire standards, Beavers threw in a couple of twists. “‘Shortnin’ Bread’ is a kids’ tune that harkens back to olden times,” he says. “My dad’s African-American, and he really related to it.

“He actually rolls around in his cars and blasts ‘Shortnin’ Bread!’ He loves it.” - A+E Interactive - Bay Area Arts and Entertainment Blog w/Yoshi Kato


Doug Beavers Rovira Jazz Orchestra - "Jazz, Baby!"
(Origin Records - 2007)
Tracked US Airplay in California, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Washington, Montana, Idaho, Georgia.

Eddie Palmieri - "Listen Here!" (Concord Records, 2005)
*Grammy® Award - Best Latin Jazz Album

Eddie Palmieri - "Ritmo Caliente" (Concord Records, 2004)

Eddie Palmieri - "La Perfecta II" (Concord Records, 2003)
*Grammy® Nominated

Rosemary Clooney - "Last Concert" (Concord Records, 2003)
*Grammy® Nominated

Rosemary Clooney - "Sentimental Journey" (Concord Records, 2002)
*Grammy® Nominated

Rosie O' Donnell - "A Rosie Christmas" (Columbia Records, 1999)



“Beavers is only 31 - a mere infant in jazz speak -but he’s already accomplished more than some jazz musicians do during entire careers.” – Jim Harrington, Contra Costa Times, 2008

In exceedingly high demand as a cutting edge trombonist as well as an internationally-renown producer, composer, orchestrator and “arranger of the first-class” (Harvey Siders, JazzTimes), Doug Beavers has become known for a meticulous attention to quality and his “unsurpassed work ethic” (Jim Harrington, The Concert Blog) in his music. These defining qualities have recently earned him a Grammy® award for his work on Latin legend Eddie Palmieri’s star-studded release Listen Here (2006), as well as the opportunity to perform, tour, record and collaborate with world-class musicians including Eddie Palmieri (La Perfecta II, Ritmo Caliente, Listen Here), Rosemary Clooney (Sentimental Journey, The Last Concert), Mingus Big Band, Spanish Harlem Orchestra, Arturo Sandoval, Brian Culbertson, Pete Escovedo and countless others. His first studio production, Jazz, Baby! (2007, Origin Records), was dedicated to young fans of jazz and big band swing and has received extensive radio airplay in the US, in addition to being reviewed by a wealth of jazz and children’s publications.

The present finds Doug Beavers active in a wide swath of musical endeavors. He has just completed production on his debut solo release, featuring an all-NYC cast of musicians scored for a jazz nonet. The album, entitled “Two Shades of Nude”, features such NYC stalwarts as Cuban drumming sensation Dafnis Prieto, one-time Miles Davis drummer Tony Moreno and jazz trumpet virtuoso Alex Sipiagin. His brand new “salsa music juggernaut” (Harrington, Contra Costa Times) Conjunto Rovira is quickly generating buzz and critical acclaim, performing venues like Yoshi’s San Francisco and is currently scheduled to headline at the 7th Annual San Francisco Salsa Congress with “the sonero of the 21st century”, Herman Olivera.

Always a firm believer in musical advocacy, Doug Beavers has given clinics and masterclasses at many different institutions, including Fresno State University, Cal State East Bay, Los Medanos College, the Jazzschool, (Berkeley, CA) the University of Washington and the Coalition School for Social Change in New York City. He has also become adjunct professor of music at Los Medanos College in Pittsburg, CA and has recently joined the music faculty as Professor of Jazz Trombone at California State University, East Bay.