Thursday, April 28, 2005

Profile - Lori Stotko

Profile is a regular feature (this is the first) on the Redhouse Jazz blog in which you get to know a San Francisco bay area jazz musician a little better.

When did you first start playing an instrument? Piano age 2, trombone age 11

Who/what were your first influences? MF Horn! Maynard Ferguson! How 80's is that! Weather Report and Dizzy Gillespie's Swing Low Sweet Cadillac. Also, I am ashamed to say, Chuck Mangione - Children of Sanchez and Feels so Good....HOW 80's is that? I did not get "Kind of Blue" until 1989, then my discography much improved: Bill Evans, Ahmad Jamal, Horace Silver, Oscar Peterson, Eliane Elias, etc.

How did you get experience? In my youth? Playing Louisiana beauty pageants.....GOOD GOD. Playing in high school and college jazz bands, playing in small groups. We had one college group called Redskin Rhythm. We renamed it "Close enough for 25" (because the whole band often got only$25.) We played for drunken, BBQ sucking rednecks on metal barges that went down the bayou in Lousiana. Like the Delta Queen. Texas was a cultural waste land for piano trio gigs, so I just practiced and bided my time. Got a free piano and hauled it in a pickup truck. I started doing trio work when I moved to San Francisco.

What instruments do you play? Piano first, trombone second. I can play anything with a keyboard (Marimba, vibes, accordion.) A little guitar.

What instruments do you own? Three trombones, a grand piano, two electric pianos, an Accordion (the "gift from God") a guitar, several rusty harmonicas, a drum set and a nose flute.

Do you compose? Yes, but i don't write much down.

What is your fondest gig memory? Playing a wedding and being told I sounded like Oscar Peterson!

What was your worst gig from hell? The 1000 person start-up company bash where the CEO got his hair sprayed purple while being held in a headlock, and there were tambourines and assorted noise makers on every table, as well as a 180 decible DJ from hell.

What do you listen to now? Benny Green, Keith Jarrett, Herbie Hancock, Maria Schneider, Dave Holland, Thad Jones, Other contemporary big band stuff, all piano trio stuff, Conrad Herwig and Bruce Fowler for trombone! (But I listened to a LOT of JJ Johnson)

What projects are you involved in? Contemporary big band stuff, pick up gigs, trio casuals. Want to write some charts for the big bands I play with.

What would you like to plug? Our next concert is at Foothill June 7 at 7 pm!!!! (Editor's note: See my write up for the Foothill College Jazz Ensemble from March)

Lori Stotko's web site is at


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