Welcome to the official site for John Trentacosta
and Straight Up Productions...
'Straight up Productions' features renowned Jazz Drummer John Trentacosta and a core group of Santa Fe based musicians appearing most often as a Trio or Quartet. Regulars are Brian Bennett - Piano, and Michael Olivola – Bass. 'Straight Up' plays private and public venues, and has a talented cast of guest stars to draw from such as Trumpeter Bobby Shew, Count Basie Tenor Saxophone Titan Doug Lawrence and local favorites like the great Arlen Asher. The group has put together some favorites on several CDs, which you can order and enjoy at home!
John is Teaching College a Jazz Class!
Classes for The Spring semester at Santa Fe Community College will begin on January 23 rd and registration will soon be closing. If you have been thinking about signing up for my “Jazz History” class, time is running out. If you have not been thinking about it, now’s the time. I guarantee that you will learn a lot about jazz and have a lot of fun doing so. The class will be geared toward non-music majors and you really don't need to know anything about jazz to take the class. However, I'd love to have some of you sophisticated jazz listeners in the class so we can raise the bar on class discussion. If you know someone who might be interested, please send this message on.
"Jazz History" Where : Santa Fe Community College Section : MUSC 147 B Class Times : Tues & Thurs 7:30 - 8:45 pm Credit : yes - 3 (can Audit) First class : Jan. 26, 2010 Length:16 wks. Registration : http://www.sfccnm.edu
This class is designed for non-music majors. Students will learn about different stylistic periods and acquire a better understanding of what to listen for when appreciating jazz. Course assignments will include a field trip to a jazz concert, a live on air jazz radio broadcast, and an in depth live performance workshop by local jazz musicians.
About Straight Up... and our Musicians
The Santa Fe based jazz group “Straight Up ”made it’s debut in March 1994 at the Outpost Performance Space in Albuquerque New Mexico. Since originally appearing as a trio, the group has expanded to a quintet and even a sextet at times. This wide range of diversity has made it possible for Straight Up to appear at many concerts and jazz festivals.
The rhythm section has become known as the hottest jazz rhythm team in the area, providing the energy behind numerous headliners such as, James Moody, Bud Shank, Lee Konitz and Eddie Daniels.
Through the years Straight Up has become the rhythm section of choice for Roger Kellerway, Nick Brignola, Kenny Davern, Frank Morgan, Josh Breakstone, Giacomo Gates, Ali Ryerson and Holly Hoffman.
In July 1997, Straight Up recorded the first CD, “Live Jazz In The desert” at the historic Fuller Lodge in Los Alamos New Mexico. The recording captures the group’s distinctive post be-bop sound and also includes two originals by pianist Bob Fox. “Live Jazz In The Desert” quickly became the #1 selling local jazz CD in New Mexico and received critical acclaim by music critics and jazz musicians alike. The success of “Live Jazz In The Desert has led to appearances at most New Mexico jazz festivals, the Tucson and Sedona jazz festivals in Arizona and “Jazz In The Sangres” in Westclife Colorado.
The long awaited follow up to “Live Jazz In The Desert” was released in 2003. The album “No Need For Words” features the quintet at its best, pure straight ahead be-bop. Three “MIC” awards were won that year for the recording that features 5 originals by pianist Bob Fox and trumpeter Michael Morreale, with the addition of standards by Jimmy Van Heusen, Oscar Lavant, Harold Arlen, Dizzy Gillespie and Horace Silver.
In 2003 we began a six year stay at Bumble Bee’s Baja Grill in Santa Fe. Alternating as “John Trentacosta and Friends”, and “Straight Up, “ the music was presented in standard Trio form with special guests every other week. Over the years we created quite a following with special guests : Ali Ryerson, Giacomo gates, Michael Morreale, Arlen Asher, Jim Fox, Hillary Smith, Bobby Shew, John Tank, Brian Wingard, Larry Ham, Doug Lawrence, Howard Alden, Josh Breakstone, Kevin Hays and the great Kenny Davern.
A super guy to have on piano... Alan has played with all the big boys, and occasionally joins us here in New Mexico.
A truely big-time guy with a fantastic Big Band who has collaborated with John and Straight Up on many occasions.
Gretchen is a fabulous guest vocalist with Straight-Up, and loves to work with her father, New Mexico's "1st call" Jazz bassist David Parlato who is a regular 'Straight-Up guy'.
A native New Yorker, drummer and Straight Up leader John Trentacosta brought his collective big band and small group experience to New Mexico in 1992. After two decades as the rhythm force behind jazz notables Chuck Wayne, Jimmy Knepper, and the Al Porcino big band, John brought new energy to the New Mexico jazz scene.
He received his formal music education at New York University, and was an Assistant Arts Director for The Staten Island Chamber Music Players, from 1978 – 1992.
In 1993, he formed the jazz group Straight Up, and has since become the energy behind the group’s busy concert schedule and the two CD releases “Live Jazz in The Desert” and “No Need For Words.” In 2003, John won a “MIC” award for best producer of the CD no need for Words. He has been part of the rhythm team for concerts with saxophone legend James Moody, vocalist Teri Thornton, tenor sax sensation Doug Lawrence and 1996 Thelonious Monk saxophone competition Jon Gordon. Most recently he has performed with Eddie Daniels and The Santa Fe Symphony, Frank Morgan, Joshua Breakstone, Roger Kellaway, Nick Brignola, Lee Konitz, Bud Shank, Bobby Shew and Kenny Davern. In 2003, John began a long tenure as musical director of John Trentacosta and Friends, a trio plus special guests bi-monthly, which played almost weekly for six years at Bumble Bee’s Baja Grill in Santa Fe.