Azure-JoMaLa Jazz Quintet
Azure is the 2005 release by the JoMoLa Jazz Quintet on Cravin’ Records.
It showcases fresh, original compositions in the jazz, funk , and Latin styles by John Damberg and Mark Manners, two of Alaska’s noted jazz composers.
JoMaLa was created by Alaska Jazz Artists John Damberg, Mark Manners, and Laura Koenig as a vehicle to inspire new levels of artistry through improvisation, composition, and live performance. It grew out of their musicial association with the John Damberg Latin Jazz Quintet, which was founded in 1995 and has been well received by audiences in concerts, clinics, and workshops throughout Alaska. After years of honing their skills performing with internationally renowned artists in a wide variety of genres, the trio is proud to release their debut CD Azure on Cravin’ Records.
The members of JoMaLa are:
John Damberg-marimba, vibes, steel drums, percussion
Laura Koenig-flute, alto flute, piccolo
Mark Manners-electric and nylon string guitars
Bob Andrews and Dirk Westfall-bass
Cameron Cartland-drum set
Angie’s Samba is the 1998 release by the John Damberg Latin Jazz Quintet on Cravin’ Records. Two years in the making, it contains twelve artfully crafted compositions by well known Alaska percussionist/composer/educator John Damberg. These songs reflect John’s passion for improvisation and his love of the fiery and seductive rhythms of Latin and South America. John has fused these elements to create songs with memorable melodies set to the exciting rhythms of Latin America, the Caribbean and Brazil.
Featured on this recording are the unique sounds created by the blending of the marimba, vibes, steel drum, flute and guitar. The sounds are at once lush and percussive in character expressing emotions from dream-like to rhythmically driving and primal. The origins of these instruments are folkloric in nature evoking a sense of connection with Nature, one’s past and the heartbeat of Mother Earth. When combined with the driving pulse of the Latin rhythm section, they blend to create an exciting sound for the listener to enjoy.
This CD is a realization of John’s long time dream to produce an Alaska based recording of his original compositions showcasing many of Alaska’s finest jazz artists. John also wants to let the world outside of Alaska know there really is some great Latin jazz in Alaska. Featured on this release are inspired performances by John Damberg on marimba, vibes, steel drum and hand percussion, Herb Kloss on flute and alto flute, R. Dirk Westfall on acoustic and electric bass, master drummer Chuck Henman and Portland based guitarist extordinaire Dan Balmer.