Live in Harlem
(alto saxophonist, clarinetist, composer, arranger, hip-hop artist, producer, keyboardist, and general bad-boy of Jazz and Swing!) 'A revelation!' proclaims the Jazz Hot Club du France Newsletter. 'Sensational!' states the New York Daily Challenge. 'Really something to behold...without a doubt, something special,' says Mary Snyder of Downbeat 'The kid is tearing up New York,' claimed late trumpet legend Doc Cheatham The artist these people are raving about happens to be alto saxophonist/clarinetist Joey Cavaseno. Over the last few years, Cavaseno has shown himself to be a prominent sideman and potential leader in the world of jazz, and after leading his own small groups for a few years, is now the leader and musical director of the most influential and prominent band in swing, The Yalloppin' Hounds. As young musicians go, Joey is quite unique. One of his main musical attributes is an extensive background in the history of jazz music. Whereas most jazz musicians his age don't even go farther back than John Coltrane, Cavaseno's influences are as diverse as Sidney Bechet to James Brown. He cites Duke Ellington as his main influence. Joey Cavaseno was born in Queens, NY and was raised in West Hempstead, Long Island. He began playing clarinet at eleven and saxophone at fourteen, studying with reedman Chasy Dean. Cavaseno has studied at the Eastman School of Music, Rutgers University, and the New School as a jazz performance major. His career took off at the age of seventeen, when he was discovered from the ranks of the McDonald's Tri-State Jazz Ensemble by none other than vibraphone legend Lionel Hampton. Hampton then featured Cavaseno on clarinet with him at an N.Y.U. Highlights in Jazz concert. Since then Cavaseno's career has blossomed into as full an agenda of jazz experience as any pro. He was, until 1998, sitting at the lead alto chair with the world-renowned Illinois Jacquet Big Band (on-and-off for 12 years total, since 1986.) In fact, Joey is featured on that band's only commercial release, Grammy nominated Jacquet's Got It, on Atlantic Records. He has also acted as lead alto and musical director for Panama Francis' Savoy Sultans, with whom he has been worked for twelve years, replacing Bobby Watson. He is still actually also performing with, on occaision, ex-Louis Armstrong bassist Arvell Shaw's Armstrong Legacy. Joey has recorded with Arvell, and the Armstrong Legacy CD was released as of April '92 on Victoria Records. He has also performed extensively with the late trumpet legend Doc Cheatham, with whom he recorded Echoes of Harlem on Stash records. Cavaseno was also a featured member of Bobby Forrester's Organ group for several years, as well. Among other artists Joey has performed with are Clark Terry, Wild Bill Davis, Hassan Melvin Sparks, Carrie Smith, Arvell Shaw's Armstrong Legacy, Lionel Hampton, George Kelly, Frank Lacy, Art Baron and the Duke's Men, Red Richards, Aaron Bell, Henry Butler, Jimmy 'Preacher' Robins, Bill Doggett, and many others. These experiences have taken him to France, Spain, Italy, Mexico, Germany, Switzerland, Holland, the Virgin Islands, Jamaica, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Japan, Czech Republic, Greece, and Hong Kong. In the spring of 1991, Cavaseno was featured in 2 concerts at the J.V.C. Jazz Festival, New York City. At these concerts he shared the stage with stars such as Dizzy Gillespie, Wynton Marsalis, Jon Faddis, Buddy Tate and many others. Not only has Cavaseno become an outstanding soloist, but he is also an accomplished arranger and composer. Some of his arrangements are featured in the Panama Francis repertoire. He has simultaneously embarked upon an innovative journey in the parallel universe known as Hip-Hop music. He began laying Rap tracks in 1988, hearing the possibilities for jazz/rap fusion before any other jazz artist even heard a rap record. After demoing his varied experiments in sound, by 1992, he was signed to Tuff City Records as the lead rapper, saxist, and producer of the trailblazing trio Ghetto Philharmonic. They released their album 'Hip-Hop/Be-Bop' in 1993, complete with a single, 'Don't Bite The Concept', with a music video that was seen world-wide! He also produced several other commercially released projects, including collaborations with Weldon Irvine and Camille Gainer, both musicians with an ear for Hip-Hop. Cavaseno, with the help of trumpeter Brian 'Lord' Sledge, and pianist Eli Yamin, formed their most dynamic band yet: The Yalloppin Hounds. With the resurgence of Swing dancing and music throughout the world, it was only natural that musical director Cavaseno lead them into new heights of Neo-Swing, based on the triumvirate's authentic experience in the true genre. This band, to date is Cavaseno's busiest endeavor yet, and five releases later, the band constantly growing in popularity. Cavaseno has since then become the only remaining founding member and still leads the band to this day. Cavaseno's latest project is an alternative hip-hop/jazz/pop group called Rayzd, with a first release in 2004. Over the last few years of this amazingly fruitful career, Joey Cavaseno has received his share of accolades. Nat Hentoff of The Village Voice called him 'an exceptional young musician with strong roots...so much feeling.' It is obvious that this young star is an asset to jazz' future. But he will not be a star born without a healthy background of hard work and dues paying. Joey Cavaseno will surely take all his experiences with him into the future.