MOULDER GRAY & WERTICO
John Moulder is a guitarist and composer whose music has evolved from an assimilation of various musical traditions. His most recent release entitled Earthborn Tales of Soul and Spirit (Origin 2016) features Donny McCaslin, Marquis Hill, Paul Wertico, and many other long time musical companions. Inspired by soulful individuals, it has been described as a contemporary musical narrative. John’s compositions and playing are featured on his CDs entitled Awakening (Mo-Tonal Records 1993), Through the Open Door (Igmod/Mo-Tonal Records 1997), Spirit Talk (NAIM 2003), and Trinity (Origin 2006) and Bifröst (Origin 2009) were both named one of the “Ten Best Jazz CDs” of 2006 and 2009 respectively by the Chicago Tribune. On The Eleventh Hour: Live at the Green Mill (Origin 2012), John collaborated with his long time musical companions, Paul Wertico, Larry Gray, Jim Trompeter, and Geof Bradfield.
Televised feature stories on John and his work have aired on Artbeat (WTTW) and Chicago Tonight (WTTW). He has played nationally and internationally at numerous festivals, clubs and concert halls and has performed with artists such as Eddie Harris, Bob Mintzer, Paul McCandless, Lyle Mays, Paul Wertico, Gary Burton, Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen, Arild Anderson, Bendik Hofseth, and Terry Callier.
John received his Master’s Degree in Music from Northwestern University. As an educator, he is currently a faculty member at Northwestern University, Benedictine University, and Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of the Performing Arts. He has lectured, taught master classes, and conducted clinics at universities, high schools, music institutes, and other settings.
John’s official website is: johnmoulder.com
Bassist, multi-instrumentalist, and composer Larry Gray has enjoyed a career spanning some four decades in which he has collaborated with a long list of many of the world’s most important jazz artists, including Jack DeJohnette, Bobby Hutcherson, Joe Williams, McCoy Tyner, Benny Golson, James Moody, Sonny Stitt, Larry Coryell, Kenny Burrell, Joe Pass, Clark Terry, J.J. Johnson, Steve Turre, George Coleman, Lee Konitz, Benny Green, Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis, and Gary Bartz, among many others. He has five solo recordings to his credit, beginning with Solo + Quartet and most recently, Three Equals One. Among many projects as a collaborator or sideman, he appeared on five CDs during his twelve years as a member of the Ramsey Lewis Trio. Through the years, he toured with many artists, including Joe Williams, Clark Terry, Frank Wess, James Moody, Marian McPartland, and Ramsey Lewis, appearing at many important festivals and concert venues worldwide.
Most recently he appears on the recording on ECM, Jack DeJohnette-Made in Chicago, with Muhal Richard Abrams, Roscoe Mitchell, and Henry Threadgill. He currently tours with Jack DeJohnette’s group and also played in Larry Coryell’s Trio, alongside drummer Paul Wertico. Another recent project, The Gray Wilkerson Ra Trio, features the internationally acclaimed improvisation musicians Ed Wilkerson and Avreeayl Ra. He also serves as an Associate Professor of Jazz Studies at the University of Illinois School of Music in Urbana/Champaign.
Larry’s official website is: larrygraymusic.com
Hailed in the press as “One of the most versatile and musical drummers in music today,” Paul Wertico was a member of the Pat Metheny Group from 1983 to 2001. During that time, he won seven Grammy Awards (three for “Best Jazz Fusion Performance,” three for “Best Contemporary Jazz Performance,” and one for “Best Rock Instrumental Performance”), won numerous magazine polls, received several gold records, and played drums & percussion on David Bowie’s hit recording (with the Pat Metheny Group), “This Is Not America.”
He has played with countless artists and has performed in all 50 states and in over 60 countries. Paul has also played drums and percussion on hundreds of recordings. As a solo recording artist, Paul’s recordings have received great critical praise. DownBeat magazine listed Paul’s CD, Impressions of a City, as one of its “Best CDs of 2010.” LA Weekly even wrote, “His recent records, such as 2000s Don’t Be Scared Anymore and the new StereoNucleosis, are stunning examples of the electronic, rhythmic and intellectual directions jazz could be going.”
Paul is also extremely active in the field of education. In addition to teaching drums privately for over 45 years, he is an Associate Professor of Jazz Studies at Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of Performing Arts. For over four decades, he’s conducted drum masterclasses, clinics, and workshops around the world and has written educational articles for numerous magazines. His instructional DVD, Paul Wertico’s Drum Philosophy, was named “One of the best drum videos of the last 25 years” by Modern Drummer magazine, and in July 2017, Alfred Music published his new book, Turn The Beat Around (A Drummer’s Guide to Playing “Backbeats” on 1 & 3), in which Paul even coined a new word for these types of reversed beats: frontbeats.
In 2004, Paul was a Chicago Tribune “Chicagoan of the Year.” In 2010, he was honored with two “Lifetime Achievement Awards”: one from the Cape Breton International Drum Festival for his “Major Contribution to The World of Drumming & Education,” and the other from the Montréal Drum Fest. As Musical Director for the crowdsourced TV video series, Inventing The Future, Paul was nominated for a 2012-2013 Emmy Award in the “Outstanding Achievement In Interactivity” category by The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, Midwest Chapter. He also hosted his own weekly radio show for two years, Paul Wertico’s Wild World of Jazz.
In the international press, Paul’s drumming has also been compared to that of an “Impressionist painter,” and he has also been called “an inspired madman,” “a restless innovator,” “a true legend of jazz drums,” “a master of drumming insanity,” “a genius of the sticks,” and a recent review stated, “Wertico simply oozes musicality.”
Paul’s official website is: www.paulwertico.com