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  The Skerries:   Bill Horvitz                  Tom Hayashi                     Scott Walton           photo: Robert Holt

 

 

sker • ry, n. pl. skerries. [Norway, Scotland] 1. rocky offshore islets or reefs that have broken away from a larger rock formation.

The Skerries

The Skerries is an instrumental band led by guitarist and composer Bill Horvitz, performing all original jazz, folk, funk and rock-based instrumental music for guitar, acoustic bass, and drums with Scott Walton and Tom Hayashi. Bill Horvitz's long and varied experience as a guitarist and composer has resulted in a strongly original compositional voice. All three musicians have impeccable credentials and experience in jazz, improvisation, rock, folk and new music and have been performing and recording for decades.

AUDIO

Guadeloupe

The Kids These Days

                                                                                                                                                photo: Robert Holt

Bill Horvitz has spent more than 30 years pursuing ways to combine composition and improvisation and to expand the voice of the guitar with both traditional and innovative techniques. He has led both large and small ensembles and has worked with many remarkable musicians, composers and improvisers. His guitar playing has been compared to John McLaughlin, Sonny Sharrock, Jimmy Page, Roger McGuinn, Dave Van Ronk, John Fahey, and Robert Fripp. Critics have described his music as “meditative, sizzling, earthy, funky, joyous, brooding, gorgeous, serene, and kinetically charged.” He currently leads and composes for the Bill Horvitz Expanded Band, a 17-member conducted ensemble that released it’s first recording, The Long Walk, in April of 2013. He also sings and plays guitar, banjo, and ukulele with his wife, songwriter, guitarist, pianist and composer Robin Eschner, in the folk band TONE BENT. TONE BENT has two CDs out: Say What You Will and Angels in the Kitchen. In addition, he is a member of the vocal and instrumental group Take Jack. He has also composed and performed music for four plays with director John Shillington: Anatomy of Gray (2008), Kingsolver Stories (2010), Voice of the Prairie (2011), and Our Town (2012).

 

                                                                                      photo: Robert Holt

Scott Walton is a bassist and pianist whose music negotiates the terrain between jazz, free improvisation, and the classical avant-garde. In addition to the Skerries, current projects include a quartet with trombonist Michael Vllatkovich, a trio with drummer Alex Cline and guitarist Tom McNalley, a duo with lutinest Gilbert Isbin, a trio with dancer Ellen Webb and singer Cecilia Engelhart, Jeff Gauthier's Goatet, Larry Ochs' Kihnoua, and ad hoc ensembles with electronics magician Tim Perkis, and with percussionist Garth Powell. As a bassist, Walton has performed and recorded with George Lewis, Nels Cline, Myra Melford, Wadada Leo Smith, John Carter, Vinny Golia, Anthony Davis, Peggy Lee, Bobby Bradford, Gerry Hemingway, John Abercrombie, Jerry Coker, Al Cohn and Clifford Jordan, among many others. His pianistic focus is on Ives, Cowell, and Messiaen. He has premiered works by numerous composers, and has collaborated with poets, dancers, performance artists, filmmakers, multimedia and telematic artists. Walton is featured on recent CD releases by Alex Cline (“multifaceted, multi-stylistic and multicultural” - All About Jazz, “one of great discs of this or any year” - Downtown Music Gallery, “a fully realized artistic statement” - All Music Guide), and by Cosmologic (“truly fascinating upper echelon progressive jazz music” – All Music Guide, “a stirring listening experience…West Coast jazz at its most heartfelt and adventurous” - All About Jazz). Walton holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of California, San Diego, and in recent years has designed courses and implemented online music instruction for universities and colleges in California and Colorado.

                                                                                                                                                photo: Robert Holt

Tom Hayashi was born a long, long time ago in Billings, Montana. His first interests in music were musicals and popular classics like "The Music Man" and Grieg's Peer Gynt Suite. After moving to Santa Rosa at age 7, he started playing drums in the 3rd grade. In grammar and junior high school, Tom added guitar and piano. By age 16 he was playing in symphonic settings as well as playing drum set with the "house band" at the Sonoma County Fair, backing up a wide variety of acts ranging from comedians like Skiles and Henderson to musical acts such as The Harmonicats, Jimmie Rodgers, Freddie Fender and various artists from the Lawrence Welk Show. Later, Tom studied music formally at Cal State Hayward, including percussion, music theory, jazz band, orchestra and conducting. After college, Tom's first toured with harmonica wizard, Norton Buffalo and long time Kris Kristofferson sideman, Stephen Bruton. Many experiences remain indelibly etched from that time. He has also performed with keyboardist/composer Kit Walker, trumpeter/composer Jeff Beal and woodwind master Paul McCandless. Playing with Jeff Beal at the Montreux Jazz Festival was quite a memorable highlight. For many years Tom played with the Santa Rosa Symphony and more recently has performed with Chris Hayes of Huey Lewis and the News. Presently he is working with Healdsburg guitarist Christian Foley-Beining as well as the inimitable Sonoma County musical treasure Bill Horvitz and the dashing, debonair bassist/pianist, Scott Walton, gentlemen and scholars both. In addition to performing, Tom also gives private drum instruction.