von Baron
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von Baron


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"Supercontinental Jazz"

Jazz musician von Baron has earned a high profile around Honolulu as a member of the Honolulu Jazz Quartet and as drummer of choice for at least one all-star "pickup" group. His second album builds on the first, "Pangaea," in displaying his versatility -- he plays keyboards as well as drums and other percussion instruments -- and skill as an imaginative composer.

"New Age music on steroids," is how he describes his music, and it's apt enough.

The title track is one of four on which he does it all: drums, keyboards and percussion. They're all substantial enough that von Baron could easily have worked solo throughout and come out with a praiseworthy album. Give him credit for doing more than that and sharing the musical spotlight with several A-list guests.

Jeff Peterson joins him on "Well-Traveled Gypsy" and local jazz veteran Jimmy Funai on "One Life To Love." Tim Tsukiyama and Dan Del Negro sit in on "Leap of Faith," and they both appear elsewhere. Each guest is a good fit. Each song adds another mood or different ethnic shadings to von Baron's soothing "virtual journey to worldly destinations evoking a deep sense of peace and belonging." In short, "Souljourner" can entertain with the musicianship of von Baron and his guests or be enjoyed as background music.

And, don't let the "new age" tag obscure the fact that "Souljourner" will certainly be one of the best jazz albums to come out of Hawaii in 2009. - Honolulu Star-Bulletin by John Berger

"CD Reviews"

A drummer by trade, von (lower case v) Baron plays keyboards and percussion, as well as drums, on this atmospheric "journey into your soul," as his CD is subtitled. The Honolulu Jazz Quartet drummer describes this as "new age music on steroids" — and he's onto something, expanding the perimeters of jazz by blurring the boundaries with sweetening and softening the jazz edge.

Overview: Musicians know best; when you play, you jam. And von Baron has tapped the considerable talents of his pals — guitarist Jimmy Funai, pianist Dan Del Negro, saxophonist Tim Tsukiyama on "One Life to Live" and several other tracks, acoustic guitarist Jeff Peterson and acoustic rhythm guitarist Nolet Quaison on "Well-Traveled Gypsy," but plays it all on "Pineapple Express," "Tranquil Destination" and "Soujourner." His album is available at www.cdbaby.com. Von-derful!
- Honolulu Advertiser by Wayne Harada

"New Age With An Attention To Rhythm"

von Baron‘s journey through music has been more than a reflection of his own reality. He’s explored and experienced everything from classical to hip-hop to jazz to Brazilian to new age, and now - new age on steroids.

New age on steroids is just what it sounds like it would be, new age with an added kick. To hear what that sounds like, check out Baron’s brand-new album, Souljourner , which released last week at CDBaby.com and Down To Earth Pearlridge.

“When I grew up I listened to a lot of new age music, and the primary difference from what I do and what I hear even in the new age market today is the drums,” explains Baron, who also drums for the Honolulu Jazz Quartet. “The drums and the attention to rhythm in the smooth context. But it’s not a drummer’s album. In fact, one of the goals was not to make this sound like a drummer’s album.”

Souljourner is a musical journey in itself that Baron says evokes a deep sense of peace. But more than that, he explains he “captured new age music in terms of the attention to melody and spacial elements, but then added that sense of movement and rhythm.”

This album is No. 2 for Baron, having broken into the new age scene in 2007 with his debut album, Pangea.

Comparing the two, Baron says, “The second album is spicier than the first one. The first album was really when I started getting my voice out through music. This album really hit the nail on the head as far as what I was really trying to say. It’s my own drums on every single song, so that really made a difference.”

For this album, Baron is excited that he was able to put everything together to the scope that he desired. To accomplish this, he hired some of his buddies, who also happen to be some of the best in the business: Jeff Peterson, Nolet Quiason, Dan Del Negro, Tim Tsukiyama and Jimmy Funai.

With his musical attention focused on this album, Baron understands that other areas of his musical ambition may be put on hold for a while, including jazz. But ultimately, he says, “I’ll always have a place for jazz, I just love it too much.” - The Midweek by Melissa Moniz

"von Baron"

Some of von Baron's songs really reminds me of modern video game music ("Pangaea" and "See Beyond" would really make a great soundtrack to Final Fantasy) and some songs like "A New World" could work as a film's introduction. Basically, I think his music really lends itself well in other medium other than radio.

My favorite is actually "Fiesta Del Mundo" (Celebration of the World) which starts off with a "wicka wicka" DJ style, which is kind of unconventional and different for a New Age CD. It also uses a lot of instruments that you would normally see in a Jazz setting at work in this song, including trumpets and saxophone.

Maybe I'm reading too much into the title of his album, Pangaea, which refers to Alfred Wegener's theory of at one point in time when all the continents were connected to each other, the songs on this album is kind of a mixture of several different world music influences such as Caribbean, Spanish, Brazil, and Europe. - We Heart Music by Vu Nguyen


What a difference a name change can make! Performing under his birth name, Adam Baron is well known as the drummer of the staunchly traditional Honolulu Jazz Quartet. Replace his given name with the ennobling Germanic honorific "von" and he becomes a self-contained musical entity who blends electric New Age instrumentation, percussive rhythms from several cultures, and a few additional "live" instruments, to create a genre he calls World Age Music.

What's that mean? Well, the electronic arrangements have more vitality and presence than traditional New Age music, and the rhythm tracks suggest tropical, or at least Mediterranean, influences. There is also a jazz feel.

von Baron's percussion work provides an organic element. The mood is energizing yet soothing -- a seeming contradiction, but it's evident from the first song that he intends this music to be heard and appreciated rather than serve as ambient filler.

Tim Tsukiyama sits in on woodwinds on two selections. His work with von Baron on "In My House," one of the most dance-oriented numbers, makes the song an instant standout in this beautifully crafted project." - Honolulu Star-Bulletin by John Berger

"Celebrity Cafe Reviews"

von Baron's "Pangaea" is a record that interweaves New Age music with a soulful jazz flow. Von Baron's melodies have been compared to artists such as Yanni and Enya due to their meditative melodies. "Pangaea" is von Baron's first album; he previously recorded as a sideman in bands like The Honolulu Jazz Quartet and The Honolulu Symphony. "Pangaea" will bring listeners to a calm station where they can relax and relapse into a soothing state of cognizance with no worries.

"Heart and Sol" has a consolatory tone that is accomplished through the magical rhythm. Light percussion work adds to the track's soaring beat, making this a song that could be heard in a motion picture where the lead character has made the decision to take control of his or her life.

On "A New World" the tone Von Baron utilizes takes a much slower turn. On this track, soft piano work is present as each note is played with plenary preciseness. Almost immediately, the rhythm becomes power driven as more commanding notes make their presence known.

"Fiesta del Mundo" has the scratching discord of a record in the intro followed by a hip-hop like rhythm, which makes this song dissimilar from the previous tracks. There is also saxophone and drum play, as well as smooth guitar licks that move in bringing a Latin flow.

"Pangaea," from von Baron, brings influences from countries like Brazil, the United States and even the Caribbean and folds them into every stanza. Whether the beat is cheery or a bit somber, "Pangaea" will transport listeners to a sphere they have never known before where peace and tranquility reign supreme. - The Celebrity Cafe by Sari N. Kent

"On the Scene"

VON BARON ROCKS Hawaii Pubic Radio: Von Baron and his wife, Monica, were all smiles after his concert Saturday at Hawaii Public Radio's Atherton Performing Arts Studio. "One Life to Love" and his show-closing rendition of "Souljourner" were two highlights of the excellent 90-minute show. - Honolulu Star-Bulletin by John Berger

"Planet Drum"

Atherton Performing Arts Studio / On Saturday, venture to the sonic realm of “New Age on steroids” with percussionist von Baron and an acclaimed jazz quintet at the Atherton Performing Arts Studio. Baron, who teaches drumming lessons to Hawaii’s keiki when he’s not recording, blends new age and world music on tracks with names like “Tranquil Destination” and “Passion for Peace.”

Joining him on the spiritual journey through jazz and pop will be bassist Mark Tanouye, who’s played with Cecilio & Kapono for eight years, Jeff Peterson, a Grammy-award winning slack key-guitar player, keyboardist Dan Del Negro, who played in Miss Saigon during its run in Honolulu, and Tim Tsukiyama, a saxophonist who’s jammed with Ray Charles. To quote another one of von Baron’s song titles, together, the quintet promises to be “Divine Inspiration.” - Honolulu Weekly


Souljourner – von Baron (von Baron Music) 2009

Pangaea – von Baron (von Baron Music) 2007



von Baron studied drums, percussion and music at both the University of Missouri at Kansas City and then at Berklee College of Music in Boston. von holds a degree in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Washington.

Since early 2000, von Baron has called Honolulu “home”. His career in music includes performing and recording with local, national and international artists of many genres including, The Honolulu Jazz Quartet, Tennyson Stephens, Geoffrey Keezer, Shelly Berg, Benny Golson, Yasuko Hayakawa, John Clayton, Gerald Clayton, Don Ho, Ray Brown Jr., Nathan Osmand, Jeff Peterson, Paul Shimomoto, Jimmy Borges, Bruce Hamada, Noel Okimoto, Dean Taba, Yoshiaki Miyanoue, Bop Tribal, Herb Ota Sr., Ginai, Theresa Bright, Gabe Baltazar, Conrad Herwig, the Honolulu Symphony Pops, Napua Davoy, Byron Nease, Valery Ponomarev, Mihana Souza, John Valentine, Show Brazil!, Jill Cohn and many others.

After twenty enjoyable years of performing as a sideman, von Baron released two critically acclaimed albums of inspiring and Jazzy New Age instrumental music. He blends musical influences from the Yellowjackets to Yanni in both Pangaea (2007) and Souljourner (2009).

John Berger of the Honolulu Star Advertiser newspaper describes von Baron's music as Supercontinental Jazz because of its percussive yet smooth and relaxing style, capable of leaving New Age music fans tapping their toes, Jazz lovers in a state of rapture and relaxation, and all fans of inspiring music feeling great about life. To put it another way, von Baron’s music reminds us of happy and pleasant times in our lives. These are the moments that took our breath away and filled us with a sense that anything is possible.

von believes that music is the true universal language and the tool most adept at bringing our world closer together through tolerance and understanding. It's with this singular vision that he composes and produces music.