MUSICIANS 

 Aireene Espiritu 

Aireene Espiritu is a singer/songwriter playing mostly original songs accompanied by latin/african rhythms, folk, bluegrass pickings and inspirations from gospel music - a mix of stompin', swayin', and timeless Americana. http://www.aireeneespiritu.com

 

She was born in the Philippines and moved to the United States at 10 years old, growing up in the third culture: the old country, the new country and a blend of both worlds. Mainly influenced by listening to Alan Lomax's field recordings from the South and growing up listening to her uncles' Filipino folk guitar fingerpicking, her music is reminiscent of front porch storytelling, of ghosts and the living, times of laughter and tears. She tours solo as well as with her band as Aireene & The Itch. 

 

Her latest project is with Little Village Foundation, a non-profit label founded by venerable blues keyboardist Jim Pugh. Back Where I Belong released in July 2016, paying tribute to the great rhythm and blues artist Sugar Pie DeSanto along with favorite American and Filipino folk songs. The album has been receiving positive reviews and recognition from notable press such as KQED's The California Report, All About Jazz, San Francisco Chronicle, Huffington Post, and print issues of Living Blues and No Depression magazines. 

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Los Angeles Times, Jonny Whiteside

“Folk singer-songwriter Aireene Espiritu works in the elemental substance of vernacular American music with an uncanny ease. Whether blues, hillbilly, soul, folk or R&B...demonstrates masterly command of each. Her original compositions mix deft lyrical construction and classic form just as impressively...An authentic, authoritative vocalist and with distinctly sensitive manner of phrasing...”   continue reading.

Christoffer "Kid" Andersen

By age 11, Andersen had gained the attention of Norwegian blues guitar teacher, Morten Omlid, who steered him towards traditional blues music. In 2001, at age 21, Andersen moved to the United States, joined blues frontman Terry Hanck's band, and quickly became a figure on the West Coast blues scene.

 

Andersen later played in Charlie Musselwhite's band and got a Blues Music Award (formerly W.C. Handy Award) for best contemporary blues album for Charlie Musselwhite's Delta Hardware. Then, when Little Charlie Baty retired from touring, Andersen took his place as guitarist in the Nightcats, and the new name of Rick Estrin & the Nightcats was formed. Andersen has also done extensive touring with Elvin Bishop on the Red Dog Speaks Tour. He is married to American Idol finalist Lisa Leuschner. They currently reside in San Jose, California where Andersen is CEO of Greaseland Studios.

 

In 2013, Andersen was nominated for a Blues Music Award in the 'Gibson Guitar' category. In 2014, 2015, and 2016 he was nominated for a Blues Music Award in the 'Best Instrumentalist – Guitar' category.

D'MAR

Derrick Martin aka D’MAR, a very talented drummer/percussionist, producer, songwriter and educator from Mississippi, has been performing internationally for the past 25 years. He has worked in studios from Los Angeles to New York. Derrick has been a member of the Little Richard Band for 17 years. He has shared stages and recorded with artists such as Mark Hummel, Mitch Woods, Dorothy Moore, Jerry Jemmott, Kid Andersen, Greg Nagy, Syl Johnson, Jackie Payne, Ron Thompson, Bob Margolin, John Nemeth, Bobby Rush and the list goes on. Derrick has also appeared on THE TONITE SHOW, LATE NIGHT WITH DAVID LETTERMAN, THE AMERICAN MUSIC AWARDS, THE RUPAUL SHOW among others. 

Jesus Martinez

Born in Presidios Durango Mexico, Jesus was interested in African Dance at age 7, but fascinated more by the drum beats introduced by his African substitute teacher one summer of 1975 .  Since then, Jesus learned the basics of drumming and was self-taught since age 10.  By the age of 13, he recorded two singles with a Latin-Tex-Mex and Pop music band, and began touring and playing non-stop on weekend events from Jr. High school throughout High school... He attended UC Berkeley, received his BS in Psychology and Pre-med, giving music a rest for close to 10 years.  In 1996, he began to study Brazilian traditional drumming with Bay Area Percussionist Fernando DeSanjinez,  and participated in San Francisco Carnival with Samba Do Coracao, Energia Do Samba, and many more Brazilian schools of Samba in the Bay Area.  Jesus has also participated in several San Francisco  Ethnic Dance Festivals as a drummer/percussionist with Brazilan groups, Afro Peruvian groups and Traditional Mexican group directed by Jose Roberto Hernandez,  Vinic-Kay, accompanying  Ensambles Ballet Folklorico de San Francisco.  Currently, Jesus is an active band member and drummer for the group Sang Matiz and SambaFunk based in Oakland.  He loves the art of music and continues to perform in multiple venues as needed aside his busy schedule as a full time Social Worker Supervisor for Alameda County.

Jim Pugh

Jim Pugh’s international performing music career spans 40 years and includes multiple Grammy Award, platinum and gold records. He has recorded and performed with a star-studded array of musicians including B.B. King, Etta James, John Lee Hooker, Robert Cray, Boz Skaggs, Syl Johnson and Van Morrison. He created Little Village Foundation in 2014 to share the diverse music that has always inspired him and to help other artists, especially musicians no one would learn about without Little Village Foundation’s support. http://www.littlevillagefoundation.com

Clark Seal

Clark Seal is an experienced Percussionist, and Performer.  Drawn to drums at an early age, Clark has moved through life keeping time through rhythm.  His passion for percussion was influenced by his Central American heritage, and it wasn’t long before he was studying the different rhythms, and drums of Latin America.

 

Since the early 80’s Clark has been playing a variety of percussive instruments including conga’s, bongo’s, various handheld percussive instruments, as well as several percussive drums from Brazil.  He studied Afro-Brazilian rhythms and Samba under master drummer Fernando de Sanjins.  He was invited to play with his performing company Samba do Coracao and participated in many performances including the San Francisco Dance Festival, San Francisco Carnival Parade, Shoreline and many other bay area venues.

 

He formally played with Sang Matiz.  He currently has his own group Contagious Mojo, bringing original soul, funk, R&B and world influences into a unique groove that will make your mojo contagious.

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