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7/16/2012 8:11:00 AM
JJ Sansaverino: Lead jazz guitarist for Maxi Priest brings his band to Sedona
JJ Sansaverino returns to Sedona to play jazz at the  Sound Bites Grill with his band Nu Jazz.
JJ Sansaverino returns to Sedona to play jazz at the Sound Bites Grill with his band Nu Jazz.
Sedona pianist David Vincent Mills will also perform with JJ.
Sedona pianist David Vincent Mills will also perform with JJ.

Jazz guitarist JJ Sansaverino has over the past number of years built quite a reputation for himself as a purveyor of smooth, slick, laidback grooves and what press releases often call "intoxicating" rhythms.

JJ was in Sedona last year performing with Maxi Priest for the Sedona Jazz Festival when he met Sound Bites Grill owners Stephen Sullins and Michele Moore. JJ jammed at Michele's previous restaurant for the After Sedona Jazz Festival Party. JJ and Stephen shared a love for jazz and spoke about JJ performing with his band again in Sedona once Sound Bites Grill was open. Friday and Saturday, July 20 and July 21, 8-11 p.m. JJ Sansaverino and his band Nu Jazz will be performing.

Over the past several years, guitarist Joe "JJ" Sansaverino has reached millions with his music, touring the United States, Canada, Europe, Africa, Asia, the South Pacific, and the Caribbean. He has worked with the best in the business in a wide range of idioms, both live and in the studio, and has appeared on hundreds of recordings. An accomplished composer, arranger, and musical director, Sansaverino was playing trumpet and violin by age 11 and the guitar by age 13. Growing up in and around New York, his diverse influences - Santana, Hendrix, as well as Jazz, Motown and Doo-Wop - has helped mold his unique style.

After performing locally in NYC for several years in the early '90s, he embarked on his first European tour with the popular alternative rock band Heads Up. Upon returning to the U.S., he attended Berklee College of Music, graduating in 1994. Relocating to New York, he began performing nightly, quickly earning a reputation as one of the hardest-working musicians on the scene. It wasn't long before he started appearing and recording with artists like George Clinton, Kelly Price, SuperCat, Shabba Ranks, Monty Alexander, the Jungle Brothers, Rita & Ky-Mani Marley, and Toots and the Maytals, and recording TV jingles.

JJ eventually settled in as the lead guitarist for Maxi Priest in 2000, immediately embarking on the first of several world tours. In 2005, he released a stunning collection of his original compositions titled "Sunshine After Midnight." Together with his band Nu Jazz, he continues to perform while simultaneously preparing for the recording of his forthcoming sophomore album, "Waiting for You".

JJ will be performing with his bassist, artist, bandleader, writer, Thomas Gooding and two local musicians - David Vincent Mills on piano and Eddy Barattini on drums.

Thomas Gooding has been playing bass since the age of fourteen. Self-taught, He was Inspired by the music of His Father, Cuba Gooding Sr., Of the Main Ingredient, and other '70s soul and R&B legends. He has performed with GQ ("Disco Nights"); Alyson Williams ("Just Call My Name"); Ali Woodson of the Temptations and Mli'sa Morgan ("Fool's Paradise") And Freddie Jackson to name a few. He attended Five Towns College and has become a well -respected and sought after bandleader and sideman for studio and stage. Thomas plays all styles of music with excellence, and is well known and respected as a consummate and competent professional in the music industry.

David Vincent Mills has performed as a piano soloist, as well as a member of many jazz, R&B, and rock bands, in numerous clubs and resorts throughout Southern California and Arizona. He was the keyboardist for "American Idol's" Kimberley Locke, One Love Tour in which he performed in stadiums, concerts halls, clubs, and on television throughout the United States.

Eddy Barattini is one of Sedona's favorite and well known drummers. He performs with a variety of groups and is instrumental in putting bands together. Eddy was born with the beat in his blood in Rochester, N.Y. At the age of 4, a toy drum set ignited a passion for the instrument. In 1992 Eddy graduated from the Percussion Institute of Technology.

Eddy now plays in numerous ensembles that embody many different styles of music such as jazz, rock, world beat, Latin, and blues. He has played on a substantial number of albums as well as recording projects ranging from: artist demos, to radio jingles and television commercials. The drums have taken him to twenty plus countries around the globe.

You can enjoy this amazing talent in uptown Sedona at the new Sound Bites Grill 8-11 p.m. Friday or Saturday evening July 20 and July 21. For more information on the JJ Sansaverino and Nu Jazz please visit www.jjsans.com. Sound Bites Grill does not take reservations but does seat over 200 people. Come for dinner and enjoy the show. Dinner service starts at 5 p.m. till midnight. For more information call (928) 282-2713


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