The Gathering is a multi-generational music project and band started in 2005 by Jesse Sharps, one of the early bandleaders of Horace Tapscott’s Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra. With roots in the Leimert Park arts district and the progressive improvised music scene of Los Angeles its aim is to pull from the rich history of local composers in the Los Angeles area and feature emerging young talent along side local established players. From the historic recording session in 2005 to the many performances at local venues and festivals, including the 2009 Angel City Jazz Festival, the band has featured such luminaries as Azar Lawrence, Dwight Trible, Kamau Daáood, Phil Ranelin, Roberto Miranda, as well as rising stars Brandon Coleman, Kamasi Washington, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, Randal Fisher, and many others.
The Gathering’s performance at The Angel City Jazz Festival will be led by Jesse Sharps and feature Nyofu Tyson, Randal Fisher, Peter Jacobson, Johnny Sandoval, and Kalum Harrison. A virtual screening of the feature documentary, The Gathering: Roots & Branches of Los Angeles Jazz, will be available for streaming during the festival. The film chronicles the historic recording session at CALArts in 2005 with behind the scenes footage, interviews with many of the musicians, live concert footage, intertwined with the background and history on the roots of the project.
Nyofu Tyson is an accomplished bandleader specializing in Turkish music and performance of the Turkish Saz, a long-necked lute common to Turkey and the Middle East. He has performed and worked internationally with many acclaimed composers and performers across Turkish, Armenian, and Flamenco traditions.
Randal Fisher was 15 years old when he attended the 2005 session at CALArts and has since become an impressive composer and bandleader of his own ensemble, as well as playing regularly with Dexter Story’s Wondem Ensemble, Eitho-Cali, and the Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra.
Peter Jacobson has been a member of Grammy-winning group Quetzal, a soloist with Kamasi Washington, and regularly appears with the San Diego Symphony, Ryhe, and the Arohi Ensemble. He has been appearing and performing with The Gathering since the first session and summit in 2005.
Johnny Sandoval is a world class percussionist that has performed and recorded with numerous artists such Greg Adams, Brandon Fields, Chucho Valdeś, Ry Cooder, and many others.
Kalum Harrison studied with legendary drummer Billy Higgins and is the son of drummer Karon Harrison (a long time drummer with Jesse Sharps and The Gathering).
Jesse Sharps – Woodwinds
Randal Fisher – Tenor Saxophone
Nyofu Tyson – Turkish Saz, vocals
Mark Tyson – Guitar
Peter Jacobson – Cello
Evren Edler – bass
Johnny Sandoval – percussion
Kalum Harrison – drums
Jesse Sharps is one of the premiere musicians to come out of Los Angeles, a talented multi-instrumentalist, leader, conductor and arranger who is completely devoted to his art, who lives it every day of his life, carrying unselfishly the banner of community arts and pushing the boundaries on the musicSteven Isoardi
Jesse Sharps is an accomplished composer, bandleader, performer, and instructor of music. He grew up in Los Angeles and spent some of his formative years as a musician in the Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra as one of Horace Tapscott’s principal scribes and co-bandleaders. He also studied with Cecil Taylor before leaving to serve in a US Naval Band stationed in Germany, where he eventually settled after his service. While back in Los Angeles in 2005 to work on the music of PAPA Jesse wanted to record some of the music from the Ark and he convinced many long time and new members to come together, along with others, for a day of sharing, playing, and recording the music of their peers.
The name, The Gathering, was inspired by a place that Kamau Daaood helped organize in the 70s where musicians would get together and perform, artists would share their work, and poetry readings and community events would be held. The album title, Leimert Park – Roots and Branches of Los Angeles Jazz, is a reference to the connection Jesse experienced to Leimert Park, where he would hang out and play, and where he ran into to many old friends.