Green Mountain Mambo is an exciting ensemble that draws extensively on the afro-cuban musical tradition, while adding jazz, funk and gospel influences to create a unique body of hard-driving sophisticated original music.
The band performs music composed by pianist/leader Dan DeWalt and trumpet/flugelhorn player Steve Sonntag. Each musician in the band has a well earned reputation for excellence:DeWalt has played extensively throughout the Northeast for the past 30 years, on trombone and steel pan as well as piano, playing venues as varied as the Clinton White House and the Newfane Common.
Steve Sonntag is a member of the Amherst Jazz Orchestra, the Jeff Holmes Big Band, the VJC Big Band and the Al Alessi Band. He currently is a music professor at Westfield State College and at University of Massachusetts at Amhest.
The other half of the horn section is anchored by a rising star in the trombone world, Clayton DeWalt, a freelance trombonist currently based in Boston, MA and Pittsburgh, PA.
Since he began performing and recording professionally in his early teens, Mr. DeWalt has found comfort in a wide range of musical styles, from jazz and classical music, to rock, R&B and Afro-Caribbean.
Throughout his career, he has played with a variety of talented artists, such as Toshiko Akiyoshi, Nancy Wilson, Cecil McBee, The New York Voices, the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, the Gene Krupa Orchestra, Bob Moses, Dave Samuels, Patrizio Buanne, The Temptations, and Regis Philbin, and can be heard on recordings with The New York Voices (MCG Jazz), The Three Rivers Jazz Orchestra (Sea Breeze Records), Catro, Azucar, and others.
Mr. DeWalt holds a B.S. in Music Education from Slippery Rock University, a M.M. in Jazz Studies at the New England Conservatory of Music and is now pursuing his Doctorate at NEC.
The rhythm section features Julian Gerstin, congas, Ben James, drums and Wim Auer, bass.
Julian Gerstin's percussive explorations have led him from the folk traditions of Ghana and Cuba to popular music from Nigeria to Brazil, as well as jazz styles from New Orleans brass bands to avant-garde experimentalism. He currently appears with the Caribbean/Mideastern jazz group As Yet Quintet, Afrocuban dance ensemble Grupo Palo Santo, cajun band Lil' Orphans (on washboard!), Brattleboro's Brass Band Project, and accompanies the Brattleboro Women's Chorus, River Singers, and others. Julian's scholarly interests took him to Martinique in 1993-95 and his writing on Martinican music traditions has appeared in several journals and books. He teaches music at Keene State College and the Vermont Jazz Center (where he also serves on the board), as well as community percussion classes at The Loft.
Initially a guitarist, Wim Auer took up the electric bass in 1974 to play with the regional jazz collective Antares with whom he toured the northeast through 1978. In 1979 the group relocated for a year to Cambridge, England. Returning to the states in 1980, he moved to southern Vermont and played with the popular Prime Rib Band, a Vermont based group that attained some notoriety in the northeast. During this period he met local musicians Dan DeWalt and Draa Hobbs with whom he has worked extensively.
Ben James grew up playing drums in Guilford, Vermont. Since moving on, Ben first lived in Boston and New York, then lived and played music in San Francisco before moving back to the north east. Ben now plays drums and percussion with various music groups in the area.
Dan DeWalt composes music, plays piano, trombone and steel pan. Green Mountain Mambo is his flagship band, but you will also find information and music about several other bands in which he plays. Please take a listen and you'll find something that you like.
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