Franklin Trio to play Pierce Street Jazz
March 1, 2013
By Darla Martin Tucker
RIVERSIDE, Calif. – (www.lasierra.edu) Jazz musicians Henry “the Skipper” Franklin, Ramon Banda and Theo Saunders have played on stages the world over. On Wed., March 6 they will bring their talent to the next Pierce Street Jazz concert at La Sierra University.
With Franklin on upright bass, Banda on drums and Saunders on piano, the trio will perform at the La Sierra University Alumni Center at 7 p.m. The band members have performed and recorded with a long roster of famous acts including Al Jarreau, Stevie Wonder, Poncho Sanchez, Count Basie, Freddie Hubbard, Milt Jackson, Barbara Morrison, Gladys Knight, and many others.
The alumni center is located at 11500 Pierce St., Riverside. Further information is at 951-785-2148. Admission is free.
Franklin has organized the Pierce Street Jazz concerts at La Sierra University since their inception as a summer jazz series in 2009. His broad experience includes recordings on more than 150 albums and compact discs including gold releases, many of which he produced. He released his latest album, “June Night,” in January.
Franklin has performed with many headline artists including Al Jarreau, Stevie Wonder, Count Basie, Freddie Hubbard and Milt Jackson and was part of the legendary Hugh Masekela’s band during the late 1960s. When not on tour in various parts of the United States and the world, Franklin performs at The Historic Mission Inn in Riverside, Calif.
Pianist Saunders has performed in many of the world’s most prestigious jazz festivals and concert halls with distinguished artists including Freddie Hubbard, Carla Bley, David “Fathead” Newman, Barbara Morrison, Bobby Rodriguez, Gladys Knight, the Four Tops and many others.
He has directed music for opera productions and international musical theatre. As a composer, Saunders has numerous compositions to his credit as well as original scores for theatre, radio and multimedia production. He performed in Venice, Calif. with Franklin and other musicians through November and December last year.
Drummer Banda performed 24 years with the Grammy award-winning Poncho Sanchez Latin Jazz Band. He is a current band member with famed jazz organist Joey DeFrancesco. Banda grew up in Norwalk, Calif., part of a large musical family. He started out on the guitar but switched to drums in 1967. Banda and his electric bass-playing brother, Tony Banda, performed weekend gigs during their school years with several bands including with Poncho Sanchez. In 1996 he and Tony formed their own ensemble, The Banda Bros. Group, with Tony on upright bass. The duo has performed on numerous worldwide tours and with many famous acts. Over the past two decades, Ramon has performed on more than 22 recordings and recorded and played with such music greats as Dizzie Gillespie, Tito Puente, Freddie Hubbard, Chick Corea, Arturo Sandoval, Diana Reeves and others.