posted by Robert J. Carmack   @blues2jazzguy

LA based Jazz pianist Theo Sauders has been added to the official personnel lineup for Todd Barkan’s 45th Keystone Korner Anniversary tour, July 7th and 8th in San Francisco Bay area. Theo Saunders is a part of both Azar Lawrence quartet and Henry Franklin group regionally heard almost for the last decade.  That band also featured the late Alphonse Mouzon on drums  and Lawrence taking up the reeds chair. Saunders is more than capable of tackling the herculean task of balancing style and  approach with passion and heart. He will be taking over for Benito Gonzalez, the young pianist from New York.

One need only look at Theo’s family pedigree, as it relates to performances in the arts.

Theo (Ted) Saunders was born and raised on the island of  Manhattan, NY.  His Russian heritage is masked by his name, which was legally changed along with the rest of his family so that his father, Nicholas, could get work as an actor during the Communist paranoia era of the 1950’s, which makes more sense when you know that he was the only actor in S.A.G./A.F.T.R.A. who could speak fluently in both languages without a trace of an accent in either.  He comes from a family whose theatre and musical roots goes back four generations. He attended the High School of Performing Arts (along with fellow musicians, George Cables, Bob Moses, and Ray Maldanado) where he got the jazz bug and spent several years at New York University before leaving to pursue his jazz calling. 

Highlights of his career include:  Performing at the Village Vanguard for a week in 1969 with guitarist Sonny Greenwich,  Jimmy Garrison, and Jack DeJohnette….Playing electric piano and clavinet on the Bill Evans/George Russell album,  “Living Time” on Columbia Records in 1971…a member of John Klemmer’s group that opened for the first national tour of the VSOP band in 1978 (including a concert at Avery Fisher Hall)…. a member of Ted Curson’s group that played Monday nights at Sweet Basil for a year in the early 80’s……First gig in Los Angeles– a three month stint with Willie Bobo in 1974……six national tours with Freddie Hubbard between 1981-95…European tour and Japanese tour with Carla Bley’s band in 1983-84 and a DVD, “Live at The Montreal Jazz Festival” ( a band that included Joe Lovano,  Steve Slagle, Steve Swallow, and Victor Lewis)… member of Bob Brookmeyer’s Quartet in Los Angeles from 1979-80 and touring nationally and also the Netherlands.

Theo (Ted) Saunders, a native New Yorker, has lived in California since 1985, but his musical career remains international in scope. Saunders’ musical odyssey has taken him to Five continents and more than twenty-Five countries.
He has performed in many of the world’s most prestigious jazz festivals, concert halls and night clubs, with distinguished jazz artists including:
Freddie Hubbard, Carla Bley, Charles Lloyd, Bob Brookmeyer, Sonny Fortune, Buddy Collette, Eddie Harris,Ted Curson, James Moody, Bobby Hutcherson, Teddy Edwards, Jack Dejohnette, Joe Lovano, Jimmy Garrison, Pharoah Sanders, Harold Land, John Scofield, Slam Stewart, Al Cohn, Zoot Sims ,Reggie Workman, Curtis Fuller, Rashied Ali, Mike Stern, Benny Powell, Chris Conners, Morgana King & Roseanna Vitro,David “Fathead” Newman, J.R. Montrose, Brew Moore,Sonny Greenwich, John Klemmer, Mark Egan, Wilbur Ware , Steve Khan, Henry Franklin, Azar Lawrence, Carl Burnett, Jack Wilkins, Steve Slagle, Dennis Irwin, Roy McCurdy, Eddie Gomez, Cecil McBee, Rick Laird, John Heard, Al Grey, Barbara Morrison, Lanny Morgan, and this is a short list.

Todd Barkan’s  Keystone Korner 45th Anniversary show promises to be an explosive evening and afternoon of pure unadulterated JAZZ.

(see below for a venue or time that suits you.)

Band personnel: Azar Lawrence, Eddie Henderson, Mel Martin, Theo Saunders(just added), Denny Zeitlin, Juini Booth,Roy McCurdy(just added) Akira Tana, Ray Drummond,Kenneth Nash, Charles McPherson, Gary Bartz and lots more.

Friday, July 7, 7:00 pm

Kuumbwa Jazz Center
320 Cedar Street, Santa Cruz
Tickets: $30/35

Saturday, July 8, 2:00 pm

Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society ( just about sold out)
311 Mirada Drive, Half Moon Bay
Advance: Adults $45/35, Students $25 (25 & under with ID)
Door: Adults $50, Students $30

FYI: Theo Saunders is also replacing Benito Gonzalez at a Los Angeles Concert July 4th at Zebulon Café

A McCoy Tyner Tribute Concert

Band features Bassist Juini Booth – Leader, Azar Lawrence Sax, Theo Sanders Piano, Drums Roy McCurdy,Robert J. Carmack poet /spoken word…

JULY 4th 2017  8pm – 10PM only 


Tixs: $10 advance $12 at door

Zebulon, 2478 Fletcher Drive. Los Angeles,CA. 90039

(323) 662-0966 (contact club for advance )















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