“A minimal but mighty romp!”—East Bay Express
With its surprising and highly combustible line-up of two saxmen and one drummer, the Bay Area-based group MO’FONE has thrilled audiences with some of the funkiest jazz—and jazziest funk—being played today. Powering its way through inventive high-energy original compositions and navigating unexpected tunes by the likes of Weather Report, John Scofield, and Led Zeppelin, MO’FONE makes a huge sound that belies its compact size.
Combining serious musicianship with an infectious sense of fun onstage, MO’FONE also manages to groove with abandon while keeping miraculously in balance, as each member of the band pushes his instrument well beyond its role in a more traditional trio. What’s more, MO’FONE delivers adventurous riffs and grooves, while achieving a sound that’s not only accessible, but instantly addictive. Their groovy improvisations and original concept have earned them the award for Best Jazz Group in the 2008 East Bay Express Readers’ Poll, and secured them slots at the Monterey, San Francisco and Sonoma Jazz Festivals, in addition to gigs at the Bay Area’s premier live music venues. The group was also nominated for Best Funk Band in the 2008 SF Weekly Music Awards.
“I was hooked from the first track,” wrote the Contra Costa Times of the band’s debut disc, Surf’s Up (Evander Music, 2003). “Mo’Fone proves it’s the biggest little band on the scene. On each piece, the trio finds ingenious ways of creating a full, multitextured, hard grooving sound.”
A healthy portion of that driving sound comes from the mighty baritone sax and bass clarinet of JIM PETERSON, alternating seamlessly between funky bass lines and powerful melodic riffs. A stalwart of the Bay Area scene for more than 20 years, Jim is a veteran of leading bands like Mitch Woods and His Rocket 88s, Indigo Swing, and Motordude Zydeco. Soaring overhead on alto sax, clarinet and flute is LARRY DE LA CRUZ, whose own impressive résumé includes stints with Phil Woods, Bobby Hutcherson, the Temptations, Boca do Rio, and Doc Severinsen. Completing the MO’FONE magic is drummer JEREMY STEINKOLER, “a master of second line syncopation” (SF Bay Guardian) whose orchestral approach to percussion drives the trio’s turn-on-a-dime dynamics and gives MO’FONE its third ceaselessly inventive solo voice. As AllAboutJazz.com summed up the group’s exhilarating and cohesive sound: “This jazz trio is a powerhouse to be reckoned with…. If Mo’Fone doesn’t blow your socks off, you’re not paying attention.”
Mo'Fone Doing IT!
Mo'Fone PersonnelJEREMY STEINKOLER, DRUMS AND PERCUSSION
“A very swinging drummer who’s mastered the art of coordinated independence,” (East Bay Express), Jeremy Steinkoler has crafted a fresh and far-reaching style from an expansive range of early influences: classic New Orleans second-line street beats, the hard-driving bebop of Max Roach, the power of Elvin Jones’ “circle of sound,” and various elements of funk, R&B, and rock ’n’ roll. His credits as a sideman include performances and recordings with the likes of Adam Levy and Lee Alexander (Norah Jones), Dave Ellis (Charlie Hunter), Kirk Joseph (Dirty Dozen Brass Band), plus Guru Garage, Christie McCarthy, Kevin Beadles Band, Hot Links, Phatlip, and other groups. He leads and composes for Mo’Fone, the unique saxes-and-drums trio featured at the Monterey, SF and Sonoma Jazz Festivals, and has received radio play across the country and in Europe. Jeremy has been teaching private drum lessons since 1991, and is the Co-Founder of BandWorks, a school of rock for musicians of all ages and levels based in the Bay Area. He has taught workshops and master classes in Dublin, Ireland; Ann Arbor, MI; and in Northern California for the past 17 years. He is proud to be endorsed by Vic Firth Drumsticks, Istanbul Cymbals, Aquarian Drumheads, and Protection Racket cases.
JIM PETERSON, SAXOPHONES, CLARINETS, FLUTE
A 25-year veteran of the Bay Area music scene with a sound steeped in modern jazz and R&B, Jim Peterson has lent his fiery saxes and other reeds to high-profile bands like Mitch Woods and his Rocket 88's, Red Archibald and the Internationals, Steve Lucky and the Rumba Bums, Indigo Swing, Rhythm Town Jive, Motordude Zydeco, and Hot Links. A founding, ten-year member of the world-beat group Mumbo Gumbo, Jim currently leads his own trio and is also an
in-demand sideman on the international touring circuit.
LARRY DE LA CRUZ, SAXOPHONES, CLARINETS, FLUTE, PERCUSSION
With a résumé including stints with such diverse music luminaries as Phil Woods, Bobby Hutcherson, Doc Severinsen, Lou Rawls, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Steve Smith (Journey, Vital Information), Kenny Werner, Boca do Rio, and the San Diego Symphony, Larry De La Cruz is one of the most eclectic and in-demand hornmen on the Bay Area music scene. In addition to Mo’Fone’s Surf’s Up, his alternately blazing and soulful sax work can be heard on discs by Carlos Angeles, Colors, Flight 7, Allan Phillips, Aldoush Alpanian, and other outstanding artists. [MORE INFO: WWW.LARRYDELACRUZ.COM]
What They Say About Mo'Fone!“A POWERHOUSE TO BE RECKONED WITH…. IF MO’FONE DOESN’T BLOW YOUR SOCKS OFF, YOU’RE NOT PAYING ATTENTION.” —ALLABOUTJAZZ.COM
“A MINIMAL BUT MIGHTY ROMP!”—EAST BAY EXPRESS
“IN A WORD, MO’FONE DELIVERS.”—ALLABOUTJAZZ.COM
“ONE OF THE HOTTEST BANDS TO SURFACE IN A LONG WHILE.”—JAZZWEST.COM
“MO’FONE PUTS THE FUN BACK IN FUNK.” —JAZZTIMES
“LIKE A FURIOUS DETACHMENT OF THE TOWER OF POWER HORNS.” —EJAZZNEWS.COM
“MO’FONE BRINGS THE GREASE.” —JAZZIZ
“SNAPS AND CRACKLES LIKE JAMES BROWN’S FAMOUS FLAMES MIXED WITH A NEW ORLEANS
SECOND LINE.” —JAZZWEEKLY.COM