Phil Smith and The Gentlemen of Jazz are one of the most professional musical groups you will find in the San Francisco Bay Area.
They are accommodating and easy to work with. If you have special song requests they will do everything necessary to put them in the song list for your event.
Their mission is to entertain you and your guests with great music at a volume level that is comfortable and encourages conversation with your guests.
Phil has been playing professionally for the last 40 plus years and has provided the music for hundreds of weddings, wedding receptions, anniversaries and private parties in the San Francisco Bay Area.
He has recorded and performed with such stars as: Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Michael Buble, Johnny Mathis, Mac Davis, Big Joe Turner, Joe Williams, Doc Severenson, The Smothers Brothers and Willie K, to name a few.
He has always had a first class band of musicians that are extremely professional and pleasant to be around.
Ross Gualco was born and raised in Oakland, Ca. where he studied piano with renowned bay area jazz pianist Don Burke. He studied music at Cal State Hayward before touring as musical director of the show band “Sounds Of Joy”.
He has played with jazz and rock luminaries as Tom Scott, Steve Miller, Joe Satriani, Michael Bublé, Clark Terry, John Handy and Tommy Smothers. He has been musical director for many well known Bay Area artists and shows including Val Diamond and Teatro ZinZanni.
Kendrick Freeman is a Bay Area drummer, percussionist, and teacher.
He has background in both drum set and hand drums, having studied with American artists and musicians from Ghana, Congo, and the Caribbean, with an emphasis on the music of Haiti.
His drum set and traditional studies inform each other, and he has been flexible enough to work with wide range of artists in a number of styles and settings, among them national dobro ace Rob Ickes, string wizard Joe Craven, banjoist Alison Brown, Pakistani singer Sukhawat Ali Khan, the flamenco group Rumba Tribe, and blues artists lke Soul Fuse and guitartist Michael Barclay.
He has performed with Bay Area Haitian dance companies Group Petit La Croix, led by Blanche Brown and Rara Tou Limen, directed by Portsha Jefferson and master drummer Daniel Brevil.
Like all working musicians, he does freelance work with a large pool of Bay Area players. He teaches privately and at Sonoma State University, where he currently leads two performance ensembles. Kendrick has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Alliance for California Traditional Arts.
I am an acoustic bass player raised in the Detroit area. As a youth I played classical music and studied the violin, viola, cello, string bass, and voice. My early professional career was dedicated to playing the electric bass, with which I explored many of the rock/pop genres. I have been playing full time professionally since 1970, and most of my real education has come “on the job”.
Since jazz and the acoustic bass have become my passion, I have had the privilege of performing with many fine musicians, including Steve Allen, Henry Mancini, and Michael Bublé. In addition to being a mainstay at many North Bay and San Francisco jazz clubs, I have made regular appearances at some of the area’s popular jazz festivals, including Russian River, Cotati, Benicia, Monterey, Mammoth Lakes, Morro Bay, and the Sacramento Jubilee.
I’ve had the good luck to work with some extremely talented musicians. These “mentors” have been too numerous to list, …but I have to say that Bob Lucas taught me a lot about what I know of jazz, and Vince Delgado along with Mimi Spencer taught me a huge amount about odd time signatures and music that uses quarter tones. To this day I continue to try and gather bits of knowledge from all of the fabulous musicians I have the pleasure to work with. I am truly indebted to them all.