Primary Instrument: Band/orchestra
Take a fiery, intense drummer, mix with uncompromising sax, guitar, bass and vibes musicians, infuse with world music from Brazil, Latin America, Afro-Cuba and India, and allow free-flowing original composition--that’s the core essence of Kombu Combo.
The band leader, drummer John DiGiovanni, plays pop, rock, blues, bebop and classical percussion, but throughout his career, jazz has been his home. Most music-lovers from other genres shy away from jazz; John’s concept for his new band Kombu Combo is to enable people from all genres to better enjoy and understand jazz. To accomplish this goal, the band composes melodies that take influence from jazz greats like Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and Vic Feldman, mixed with music icons like Frank Zappa and Robert Palmer, and classical composers like Erik Satie. They use World Music rhythms to turn these melodies into eclectic, but distinctively enjoyable music.
Kombu Combo brings together some of the finest jazz musicians on the East Coast. To date the band has released one CD, and is working on their second, due out early 2010. The original compositions on these tracks range from dark, menacing works that take influence from African rhythms, to bright, light Samba styles that conjure up Brazilian street parties.
Bob Colligan: Bassist Bob Colligan is described as “one of the finest bass players in the area, an incredible player”. He started on guitar, switched to electric bass, earned a Masters degree in classical instrument performance from Temple University, and has since stayed very busy as both a player and an educator.
Norm Dorrell: Mallet player Norm Dorrell performs on vibes, marimbas and percussion. He is perhaps best known for his work with the group F.O.I. (Flying on Instruments), a quartet that he co-leads with saxophonist Kevin Brace. Norm brings original compositions and new arrangements to the band, constantly expanding and refreshing the repertoire.
Sean Holz: Guitarist Sean Holz can play a wide variety of styles from Hendrix and Zappa to Miles Davis. Having developed his own original and flexible tone, Sean’s playing is instantly recognizable and a major asset to Kombu, both as a composer, soloist and for his work in the band’s ensembles. A graduate of the University of the Arts with a degree in Jazz Studies, Sean teaches at Pro Musica Studio.
Frank McKitty: Saxophonist Frank McKitty has worked in many musical settings over the past 25 years including with Eddie Daniels, Bobby Shew, Loren Schoenberg, Latin bands, society orchestras and his own quartet. He plays tenor, alto, baritone, soprano, flute, and even oboe, which makes him a particularly valuable part of Kombu.
John DiGiovanni: John DiGiovanni, the band’s creator, began on the drums when he was seven, became interested in fusion a decade later, entering the jazz door by listening to Chick Corea, Tony Williams Lifetime and the Mahavishnu Orchestra. He has since carved out an impressive and eclectic career, working with many blues, r&b and rock bands, accompanying creative singer/songwriters, and bringing all of his diverse experiences to his infectious jazz playing. John is also owner and operator of Marsh Road Studios, where Kombu’s recordings take place.
Willing to teach:
Advanced students only.