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Steps Ahead meets Soulbop

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Steps Ahead meets Soulbop
Mike Mainieri - vibraphone
Randy Brecker - trumpet
Bill Evans - saxophone
Steve Smith - drums
Tom Kennedy - bass

Jazz, funk, and fusion sparks will fly when vibraphonist Mike Mainieri’s Steps Ahead joins forces with saxophonist Bill Evans and trumpeter Randy Brecker’s Soul Bop for the first time ever! Bassist Tom Kennedy and drummer Steve Smith are veterans of both bands.

In the late 1970s, pioneering vibraphonist Mike Mainieri founded the jazz fusion group Steps Ahead in order to delve into contemporary sounds while maintaining experimental energy and compositional integrity. Steps Ahead achieved global acclaim and became a launching pad for young talent and new musical ideas. Soul Bop was the creation of saxophonist Bill Evans and trumpeter Randy Brecker who combined funk with modern jazz improvisation. The rhythm team of virtuoso bassist Tom Kennedy and Drummer Steve Smith have long histories with both bands.

Trumpeter Randy Brecker’s versatility in different musical genres has made him a sought-after player, equally accomplished in jazz, rock, and R&B. He has also worked as a studio player for many famous musicians and co-founded The BRecker Brothers with his late brother, saxophonist Michael Brecker.

Saxophonist Bill Evans started in Miles’ Davis bands in the early 1980s and has since worked with an array of artists including Willie Nelson, Herbie Hancock, and The Allman Brothers, as well as contemporary jam bands, Medeski Martin and Wood, and Umphrey’s McGee.

Massachusetts native Steve Smith went from garage bands to Berklee College of Music in Boston before touring with jazz violinist Jean-Luc Ponty and joining the classic rock band Journey, with whom he toured the world for nine years, recording numerous Top 40 hits. In 2001, Modern Drummer Magazine added Smith to the list of the 25 best drummers of all time.