Jazz Ensemble

Event Date: 

Wednesday, June 6, 2018 - 7:30pm

Event Date Details: 

Event Location: 

  • Lotte Lehmann Concert Hall (UCSB)

Event Price: 

Tickets: general ($10), non-UCSB students with ID ($5), UCSB students with ID (FREE), children under 12 (FREE). Tickets may be purchased at the door, at the Associated Students Ticket Office window (UCEN Room 1535, across from Corwin Pavilion), online at the link below, or by calling the Associated Students Ticket Office at (805) 893-2064.
Youth and UCSB student tickets may be reserved in advance by visiting the Associated Students Ticket Office window on the UCSB campus (UCEN Room 1535, across from Corwin Pavilion) or by contacting the Associated Students Ticket Office at ticketoffice@as.ucsb.edu or (805) 893-2064.


Event Contact: 

Adriane Hill
Marketing and Communications Manager
UC Santa Barbara Department of Music
(805) 893-3230
Jazz Ensemble. Photo by Matt Perko.
Photo by Matt Perko.
The UCSB Jazz Ensemble welcomes guest artist Jeff Babko (keyboards for the Jimmy Kimmel Live) as well as featuring several of the ensembles graduating or otherwise departing students. Trombonists Cameron Swanson, Julian Marks (graduating seniors), and Griffin Hosseinzadeh (departing for a post-doc in Astrophysics at Harvard University) will be featured on Rob McConnell’s famous arrangement of Just Friends, and alto saxophonist Collin McCrary (transferring to UCLA) will be featured on Maria Schneider’s lush Journey Home, along with close friend guitarist Lucas Brooker. Clinical psychology graduate student Josh Sheltzer will be featured along with other members of his combo on Chris Potter’s New Year's Day, including fellow grad students Evan Monroe (drums), Sinan Isik (piano), and junior standout guitarist Soham Mistry. Bassist Rex Fukuchi, another graduating senior, will be featured with this as they open the concert as well as playing with the large ensemble throughout the concert. Rounding out the first half of the concert will be Thad Jones’ Cherry Juice (featuring the saxophone section) and Bob Washut’s Cubaneando (featuring our young standout trumpet section), and both charts featuring members of the ensemble returning next year, including guitarist Danny Toomey, saxophonists Blake Reader and Milo Bechtloff, trumpeters Kinamee Rhodes and Angel Hernandez, and pianist Reno Behnken. The ensemble will also welcome Santa Barbara percussionist Kevin Winard as special guest on the first half of the concert.
Jeff Babko joins the ensemble and combos for a variety of tunes and styles that reflect his musical identity, including his arrangement of Devo’s Girl U Want, and his composition Nostalgia is for Suckas as performed with a combo led by UCSB staff member Matt Perko (drums), along with being featured soloist on John LaBarbera’s Highland Crossing, a trio version of Wayne Shorter’s Black Nile, Frank Mantooth’s arrangement of the beautiful ballad Young and Foolish, and an arrangement of Bob Berg’s rollicking shuffle, Friday Night at the Cadillac Club
Don’t miss this perfect end to the academic year at UCSB, with our own fantastic jazz ensemble students and two great guests as led by Jon Nathan, finishing his 23rd year as director of UCSB Jazz!
Jeff BabkoPianist/keyboardist Jeff Babko is a native of Southern California, and has remained on the west coast throughout his career. Babko constantly balances many musical and professional hats, as an in-demand recording musician and touring keyboardist. After graduating from the University of Miami’s distinguished Frost School Of Music, Babko began working with international superstar Julio Iglesias on a series of worldwide tours. After leaving Iglesias, Babko began regularly touring Asia and Europe super-drummer Simon Phillips. Soon after, he joined guitarist Robben Ford's band, and later toured and recorded with Larry Carlton. With Carlton, Babko performed for the King and royal family of Thailand in Bangkok's royal palace. Listeners can enjoy Babko's recorded work with Ford and Carlton on their joint effort, Live In Tokyo, as well as on some of their individual recordings (see "other people's rekkids" section). Other tours included Europe with the L.A. supergroup TOTO in 2000 (including the "Live In Sofia" television special), and also with Grammy Award-winner Shelby Lynne. 
Television work began with Martin Short’s syndicated talk show in 1999/2000, and later on the Wayne Brady daytime show. For the past 15+ years, most significantly, Babko has been the musical arranger, a composer, and house band member on ABC TV’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live”.  He’s backed up countless rock, pop and jazz artists on the show, and has produced much of the music for its comedy segments (including co-writing “I’m F**king Ben Affleck”). Always keeping one foot dipped in comedy territory, Babko has been the touring musical director and accompanist for Martin Short since 2002, and also performs with Mr. Short & Steve Martin, also joined by the Grammy Award-winning bluegrass group Steep Canyon Rangers. Look for their Netlfix special in 2018!
In 2010, Babko recorded (“100 Miles From Memphis”) and toured with Sheryl Crow. The "100 Miles" band, dubbed "The Thieves", recorded a live set from the Pantages Theatre, which has been a televised mainstay since its release. Another ongoing touring and recording situation has been with James Taylor, and Babko can be heard on Taylor’s “Covers” record, including its single, “It’s Growing”. Babko joined Taylor on the 2017 stadium tour with Bonnie Raitt, performing at Wrigley Field and Fenway Park, among other legendary ballparks. Other recent recording highlights include Jason Mraz’ “Love Is A Four Letter Word” and Frank Ocean’s “Channel Orange”, Nathan East's 2 solo albums, as well as Smokey Robinson’s “Smokey & Friends” record of duets, produced by Randy Jackson for Verve Records. You also have heard Babko on recordings from Alanis Morrisette, Maná, Willie Nelson, Tim McGraw, Jennifer Nettles, The Madden Brothers, and others.
Babko has four solo albums out under his own name, including 2012’s critically acclaimed “Crux” for Tonequake Records, featuring Mark Isham, Tim Lefebvre and Matt Chamberlain. His 2007 release “Mondo Trio” w/ Jeff Coffin and Vinnie Colaiuta is considered a classic "drum fusion" record. The collective supergroup "Band Of Other Brothers" with Will Lee, Dave Matthews Band's Jeff Coffin, Nir Felder and Steely Dan's Keith Carlock was a critical favorite and the band headlined the Iridium in NYC in 2017. He runs his own studio, TudorTones, with his wife, studio violinist Songa Lee. Also, Jeff hosted a podcast from TudorTones featuring fellow keyboard players called "The Caffeinated Keyboardist". 




Jazz Ensemble. Photo by Matt Perko.