Devin Phillips ... saxophone
Domo Branch ... drums
Eric Gruber ... bass
Domo Branch - drums
Recently accepted to Manhattan School of Music, Domo Branch will be taking his drums to continue his musical journey on the opposite coast before we know it. It’s not all that often a 17-year-old high school student plays with such vigor and intensity, while keeping the same pace as those two or three times their age. Domo has been doing just that for the past two years and has proven his ability to hang with the best. There won’t be many more chances to catch him playing in Portland, so please join us in sending him off with the best PDX fare- thee-well possible.
Eric Gruber - bass
Eric Gruber was born in Concord, California in 1977. He began his classical studies at the early age of six; and after short trials on the piano and violin, found his match with the string bass. The bass came more quickly for him, and it wasn’t long before he was playing in a bluegrass band led by his private teacher.
As a member of New Orleans Straight Ahead, led by saxophonist Devin Phillips, Eric and fellow bandmates Mark DiFlorio and Andrew Oliver participated in The Rhythm Road, American Music Abroad program under the auspices of the United States Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and Jazz at Lincoln Center. In November 2007, they embarked on a month-long tour of five countries in Central and Western Africa not regularly visited by American musicians. The band was invited to return to play the Saint-Louis Jazz Festival in Senegal in May 2012.
Eric returned to his musical beginnings when he started collaborating with McMinnville, Oregon based folk band Skybound Blue, founded by Matt and Jen Behnke. The husband and wife duo is influenced by elements of bluegrass, folk, singer-songwriter, and rock; and they found their definitive sound when they expanded to include Eric in 2014. Skybound Blue is currently in the studio recording their third album, with Eric actively contributing with songwriting and arranging.
In 2015, Eric became a member of the Portland based trio All 4 Naught, featured alongside founder & pianist Darrell Grant and drummer Tyson Stubelek. All 4 Naught specializes in straight-ahead and unconventional jazz arrangements of the popular music of today.
Currently, Eric is highly sought after among Portland jazz professionals and is also gaining national recognition. He is often seen performing with various notable Northwest musicians including Darrell Grant, Devin Phillips, Marilyn Keller and Dmitri Matheny; as well as playing frequently throughout Oregon and Washington with Skybound Blue. He is frequently recognized for his harmonically innovative solos, driving rhythms, and superb sense of time.
Devin Phillips - saxophone
Born and reared in New Orleans, the cradle of jazz, Devin Phillips’ intense affair with the saxophone began at the age of eight. At 14, he was accepted into the prestigious New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, whose alumni include Wynton and Branford Marsalis, Harry Connick, Jr. and Nicholas Payton. There, trained in music theory and multi-styles composition, he graduated in 2000 with top honors.
Performing, touring and recording with top jazz artists, such as Wynton Marsalis, Eddie Palmieri, The Headhunters, the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, musician Lenny Kravitz, and Los Hombres Caliente (with whom he recorded two award-winning albums) soon followed. His reputation as a sax man with intricate and rhythmically innovative sounds made him a popular feature at jazz festivals: France’s Jazz de Vien Festival; Tokyo’s JVC Jazz Festival; Itanbul’s The Ruins; Spain’s Barcelona Jazz Festival; the Netherlands’ North Sea Jazz and the New Orleans Jazz Festival.
On May 14th, 2015 The Jazz Society of Oregon presented their 2015 JSO Hall of Fame Concert honoring 2015’s Hall of Fame inductee, Devin Phillips.
This is a potluck jazz party event. Please bring something small to share with others (snacks, nuts, wine, etc.).